The Doctor of Philosophy or PhD is recognised worldwide and is often an essential requirement for those wishing to follow an academic or research career in health or social care.
- A PhD programme includes allocation to a bespoke supervisory team to advise and guide each student through all aspects of their study. In addition, each student has access to a wide range of learning opportunities within the Graduate School and the University as a whole.
- Our research degrees are not taught courses. Each student's research degree programme is personalised to match their interests to the research priorities, staff expertise and research facilities available.
- You will have access to dedicated research facilities and will be encouraged to publish in collaboration with your supervisors and to take part in research conferences.
To undertake a PhD you will usually need to have an MA, MSc or MPhil degree that has given you the specialist knowledge of the major academic literature, theories and frameworks and awareness of current practice to enable you to challenge conventional wisdom in your proposed field of study. You also need to have experience of research methods and design.
How to Apply
To apply, please click on the 'Apply Online' button below.
Instead of completing the personal statement on the online form, please complete and upload a research proposal to your online application using the following template.
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.
Fees and Finance
Fees for students from the UK or EU countries?
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Fees for students from non-EU countries (International)?
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Most of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses start in September/October, at the beginning of the academic year. However, some courses also have January/February or April start options. Short courses take place throughout the year.
Many of our courses can be studied on a Full-Time (FT) or Part-Time (PT) basis.
We also offer a Sandwich (SW) option for some courses – this usually involves two periods of Full Time study separated by a 'sandwich' placement spent working in an occupation related your course.
Distance Learning (DL) courses can be studied remotely, usually using online learning tools.
Fees quoted are only for the academic year or start date stated. Fees may change in future years.
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK. Our reputation for excellence is soaring globally, thanks to the superb links we forge with industry, our international alliances, and our focus on practical, vocational learning.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
Postgraduate Open Event
Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be held on Wednesday 26 April 2017, between 3pm and 8pm.
Our postgraduate open event offers you the chance to:
- Meet with lecturers and other prospective students to discuss study options
- Meet and chat with our current students
- Obtain advice on fees and funding opportunities.
93 per cent of our graduates find work or further study within six months (DLHE). Explore your potential at our open evening.
Who is it for?
Whether you are coming to the end of your undergraduate studies, or have been in your job for a while and want to progress in your career or change direction, a postgraduate qualification gives you the opportunity to stand out from the crowd in a competitive market.
Our graduates are already shaping the world in a variety of high-profile roles – and you could be next. Read some of our inspiring case studies.
For more information, visit our Open Days page or call our Course Enquiries Team on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
23 November Open Day
University Approach to Employability
Birmingham City University is committed to preparing students for successful employability and professional careers. We have an innovative approach to employability that will help you obtain an interesting and well-paid graduate job.
Read our Employability Statement to find out more.
The majority of students who enrol for a research degree complete their studies on a part-time basis while they are employed. The PhD awards from Birmingham City University are well established and valued professional qualifications.
Studying for a PhD will mean undertaking a programme of research that makes a contribution to knowledge. The course normally takes three years full-time/five years part-time study.
Supervision and guidance from the supervisory team to help the student refine the initial research proposal, research training, completion of the Post-graduate Certificate in Research Practice, participation in research seminars, journal review groups and in-house conference events, pilot studies and completion of research governance procedures.
Supervision and guidance in field work, data collection, data analysis, refining arguments and beginning to draft the structure of the thesis, further research training, presentation of aspects of the research at research seminar and conference events, development of potential papers for publication, participation in teaching activities as appropriate.
Supervision and guidance in completing the thesis of 80,000 words, clarifying the contribution to knowledge, preparation for examination, further research training presentation of aspects of the research at research seminar and conference events, development of potential papers for publication, participation in teaching activities as appropriate.
How is this course taught?
Our research degrees are not taught courses. Each student's research degree programme is personalised to match their interests to the research priorities, staff expertise and research facilities available.
Who will teach me?
Our experienced academics, many of whom are engaged in internationally recognised research, will provide you with supervision as you pursue the award of a PhD degree.
You will begin the course by undertaking a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Practice consisting of two modules – Research Methods, and Research Skills.
The module in research methods covers issues such as the nature of PhD study, supervision, research proposal development and writing, literature review and information management.
The module in research skills will enable you to develop an appreciation of the range of tools and techniques that are available to help you carry out your research and situate your research within a broader methodological context.
This will involve consideration of the epistemologies and methodological frameworks that are appropriate to the types of phenomena that you are likely to study.
The Progress of PhD students is subject to a formal written annual review. There is frequent informal monitoring of progress by the Director of Research and the Director of Studies.
You will be assessed by means of a thesis of approximately 80,000 words and by viva voce examination.
Prospective students from the UK
- Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
- If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team online by using the Course Enquiry Form.
- Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
Prospective students from outside the UK
- Please use the International Enquiry Form.
- Alternatively, call us +44 (0)121 331 5389.
For an overview of our postgraduate courses and a range of other information please download our Postgraduate Prospectus (10Mb).
Please contact HELS Doctoral Research College team:
Tel: +44(0)121 331 6103