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Postgraduate research

We offer a wide range of world-leading research opportunities to choose from.

Our research programmes involve the completion of original academic research, or a piece of scholarship, which you will conduct under expert supervision from a Birmingham academic. You will also be supported by a thriving academic community of internationally renowned research staff and talented research peers, alongside research skills training.

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Birmingham - research that matters

At Birmingham, you’re free to pursue your own independent research, while building the skills and confidence to make an impact on global society. A platform for significant, pioneering research, Birmingham is a hub for innovation, delivery and academic rigour. We focus on global issues, with a collaborative, cross-disciplinary culture. Combined with modern facilities and academic expertise, it’s an approach that shapes and inspires all our teaching, creating and learning.

Routes in to Research

There are generally, two routes to a Birmingham research degree.

  1. Apply for an 'advertised PhD'.

    You can apply to an ‘advertised PhD’, which means it is part of an established research project and is usually funded by the University or other funding body. Generally, advertised PhDs are associated with the physical and life sciences subjects. Some advertised PhDs will be pre-defined but some may require you to propose your own research.

  2. Propose your own research

    Apply to any of our PhD programmes and propose your own research that is ‘self-funded’ (by you, a sponsor, or other sources not explicitly attached to the PhD on application). Usually you submit a research proposal and identify your proposed supervisor. These are generally associated with the arts and social sciences.

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How to apply

Once you have decided if you'd like to apply for an 'advertised PhD' or propose your own research, you'll need to follow a few simple steps to get your application to the University started.

Funding your research

Each year we invest in research funding to attract outstanding students to our PhD programmes, nationally and internationally. Find out what opportunities are available to help you fund your research degree.

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Not sure on your research topic?

Birmingham is one of the most popular UK Universities for postgraduate study. We offer 140 research degrees across 47 different subject areas to suit your interests and specialisms. We also offer flexible research options that can be studied part-time or online to help fit your research around your other current job or other commitments.