Hi Emma, I’m currently looking into the Psychology PhD programme on a distance learning basis, following a gap of two years in my education. I currently hold a first class MSc in Psychotherapeutic Counselling, as well as a BSc in Psychology and Counselling. As part of both of these courses I completed an independent research project, and I am confident in my research skills. However as I’m sure you’re aware, psych courses seem to get more specific as you progress along your academic pathway. I have since discovered that counselling is not the career for me, and I’d love to start working towards a career in research/ lecturing. I was wondering if you had any advice/ comments on my eligibility to undertake the doctoral programme especially as you have been through the application process yourself? Many thanks!

Hi – so sorry for the delay replying! I think we’ve had some issues with the system.

In terms of eligibility, if you have the grades (which I would think you do, if you have a BSc and MSc and you have done two independent research projects) then it’s less about competition for a space and more about finding a supervisor and developing your research idea.

Do you have an idea in mind about what you would like to research? Something related to what you’ve done already would be good, as you can show you are interested and passionate, but if you have completely gone off counselling then that’s fine too!

There are two routes to a PhD you can take – you can apply to an advertised PhD, which often has funding attached to it. This is like a job application, so you will be competing against others for the space. The other one (which is the route I followed) is to develop the research idea first, then find supervisors. The down side to this route is that you will likely not have funding immediately, but you do have more flexibility in what you want to research. You can then apply for funding separately, through scholarships, bursaries or research councils – there is lots of info on the uni website:

If you pick the second one, I would definitely advise you come up with some kind of research idea before starting to approach potential supervisors. Even if it’s just a draft, or a paragraph of what you want to research, approaching academics with an idea formed already shows that you are passionate and not just trying your luck!

The application process itself isn’t that tricky once you have your supervisors finalised and your proposal written.

I hope this helps – would be happy to answer more questions if you have them.

Best wishes,

Dear Emma, I would like to know, what are the degree requirements for PhD in Psychology at the University of Birmingham? Are there any assessments such as oral or written comprehensive examination in the process of PhD? Thank you so much!

Hi – so sorry for the delay, we’ve had some issues with our system!

You can find entry requirements on the course page:

There are no exams during the application process. You will have to submit a fully developed research proposal when you apply, but you can take as long as you need on it. I didn’t have to do an interview for mine but if you apply for an advertised PhD project, you may have to have an interview as part of the process.

I hope this helps!

Would the University accept a 58 years old ex head teacher to start PhD research on post 16 Maths FS and GCSE resit anxiety and the impact on mental health? I will be self funded and study part time.

Hi, thanks for getting in touch.

This is not something I would be able to answer really – I (unfortunately!) don’t have the power to accept or deny applications. My advice would be to find a supervisor related to your interests before you apply to the university. You can use this website to do so:

Once you’ve found some academics, send them an email with a draft research proposal. Even if it is just a draft, it’s best to approach potential supervisors with an idea already formed. Then, once you’ve found a supervisor and they have agreed to supervise you throughout your PhD, you can make an application. Applications are much more likely to be accepted if you can state you have a supervisor already agreed!

I hope this helps,

Hi Emma, I am currently doing a BSc in Psychology and I am in my 4th semester. Should I apply for an MSc in Applied Psychology or Clinical Psychology after finishing my BSc?

what MSc you choose depends on your interests and career aspirations – the MSc courses will be more specialised so you can focus in on what you want to study. I would advise you look at the course details to see which one interests you more – also check the entry requirements to make sure you are eligible for both.

There is nothing to say you can’t apply for both, most MSc courses won’t have an application fee so you could always submit an application for both and decide at a later date!

Best wishes,

What are some of the questions to expect during the PhD interview with prospective supervisors prior to admission?

Hi – thanks for your question. I didn’t actually have an interview prior to starting my PhD so I can’t offer any specific advice I’m afraid!

I’ve had a quick look online and this webpage might have some helpful pointers:

and same with this one:

Best of luck for the interview!

Hi Emma, I graduated with an MSc in Clinical Psychology and I am interested in doing a PhD in Psychology. Can you please tell me more about how to apply to the University of Birmingham? I am from Albania and I need to know what I need to have, such as documents and even if I have the opportunity to apply for this PhD.

Hi – thanks for getting in touch and sorry for the delay replying!

The UoB website has some really good advice about how to apply for research courses ( and If you’ve completed an MSc already, as long as it was of sufficient standard (around a 2:1 / Merit or above) then yes you should be eligible to apply.

This webpage lists all the available PhD projects at Birmingham – there aren’t any in Psychology at the moment but it does get updated:

Your other option (more relevant if you have an idea about what you want to research) is to find a potential supervisor. You can search for academics here:

I hope this helps – please do get back in touch if you have more questions.

Best wishes,

Hey Emma! I hope you are doing well. I had a query regarding the application process at the University of Birmingham. I've applied to the University of Birmingham for an MSc in Marketing, but my application has not been processed yet. It's been more than 2 weeks now, and the website is still not completely working. Can you please let me know when this issue will be resolved, and what can I do in the meantime?

Hi – apologies for the delay in replying to you! Sorry to hear you’re having trouble applying.

If you run into any technical issues with your application then you can contact the application portal team at:

If you have applied and just haven’t heard back yet, it can take 6-8 weeks for our Admissions team to reach a decision on your application. So please don’t worry! Our admissions team are just extremely busy and so can take a while for them to look over your application.

Best of luck,

Hi Emma, I’m a second year Mental Health nursing student studying at BCU. I want to apply for the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy high intensity Postgraduate course in University of Birmingham, when I finish my undergraduate. I was just wondering, since this is an NHS funded course and it will be paid placement in an IAPT service as a band 6. Would that be the annual salary pay for a band 6, which is roughly £31k? Also I was wondering once I qualify, would I be able to work as a counselling psychologist in CBT in a variety of trusts or would it only be limited to IAPT services? I also want to eventually do my doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Do you think I would be able to get into the doctorate course straight after completing my CBT postgrad, or would I need to work as a CBT therapist for a while and gain experience then apply for the doctorate? Thank you so much.

Hi! I’m afraid I’m not an expert in the CBT course – have you tried getting in touch with the department? You can use this enquiry form; it will send your question to a member of the Clinical Psychology team who will be able to give a better answer than me:

I do know a little about getting onto the Clinical Psychology Doctorate. To qualify for application, you have to meet quite a lot of requirements (you can read more here: One of them is that you need ‘at least one year’s full-time clinically relevant experience (which can include placement experience from a clinically relevant Master’s degree) at the time of applying. This experience could come from a variety of roles, including Assistant Psychology and research posts, and graduate roles within IAPT services’. So your CBT high intensity course would count towards that, but you would need more experience to meet the ‘one year full-time’ part of it as looking at the CBT course, you are only on placement 3 days a week.

I hope this helps a little – sorry I can’t give you much more detail! Hopefully the CBT team will get back to you quickly with more information.


Hello Emma, I was wondering what the specific requirements for a successful application for the MSc in Mental Health? I met all the entry requirements but I’m a bit afraid I won't get a place because of how competitive the course might be.

Hi – thanks for getting in touch! I didn’t complete the MSc Mental Health, I did the MSc Psychology but I can hopefully give some advice about applying in general.

First of all, try not to be too worried about applying! If you meet all the entry requirements that’s a great start, and by making your application the best it can be you will hopefully have a good chance of getting a place. I definitely wouldn’t let it put you off applying (if nothing else, what do you have to lose?). The fact that it’s still accepting applicants is positive as well – it means there are still places left on the course.

The Uni has some good advice about writing a personal statement, here:

To make the advice specific to Psychology, I would emphasise any relevant work experience you’ve done and talk about how you want to use the degree in your career (even if you aren’t sure yet, showing some long term goals make it clear to the admissions team that you are serious about doing that specific Masters). I would also try and be really passionate about the course itself – what interests you about it, maybe a module you’ve seen on the website that you are particularly looking forward to.

Best of luck with your application,

Hi Emma! I am currently in my last stage of my BSc Clinical Psychology degree. I have few questions for you as I'm interested in applying to the University of Birmingham for the MSc in Neuroscience this summer; 1) What if i cannot decide which area is the best for me i.e. if I am equally interested in Forensics, Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology? 2) To what extent can my final semester research help me in getting a fully funded University of Birmingham scholarship as I have always worked hard but I can't afford all the funds?

Hi – thanks for getting in touch!

1) Unfortunately, when you get to postgraduate level, Psychology courses do get more specialised. Clinical and Forensic courses lead directly into Clinical and Forensic Psychology careers as they qualify you to practice Psychology in a clinical or forensic setting. On the other hand, neuroscience is a lot broader – you can go into research, academia or industry with the skills you gain from an MSc. I would have a good look at the courses on the Birmingham website to see what they involve and have a think about what career you might want to go into.

2) UoB has a funding database (( that lists scholarships, but there aren’t many fully funded MSc scholarships around. If you are a UK student, you can get the government Masters loan, or if you are international then there is some info on the website about any International scholarships that are offered. To improve your chances, I think my advice would just to be to work as hard as you can and to really emphasise your enthusiasm in the course.

Best of luck!

Hi Emma, I was wondering what the differences are between doing a research PhD through distance learning, versus doing it in person? Also, is it possible to work while you study? And to combine your work research with your thesis?

Hi, thanks for your question.

The main difference between completing a PhD on campus or distance learning is that you can do the DL option anywhere you want. If for example you found a member of staff who was perfect for your research, but you lived on the opposite side of the country (or world!) then you could still be a UoB student and be supervised by them, but not have to come to Birmingham campus. However, it really depends on your research – it would have to be possible without the use of the labs etc at Birmingham. If it can be done anywhere (e.g. interviews or online tasks) then distance learning would work, but if you wanted to use EEG, eye-tracking, MRI, or other specialist equipment at the university, it probably wouldn’t be possible.

I don’t know if you’ve seen it but this website has some good info from Psychology:

Full-time students can work up to 15 hours a week alongside their studies, but this is the upper limit to make sure it doesn’t impact you! Part-time students can work as much as they want, but it takes double the amount of time to complete.

Yes, combining your work with your research is possible! Lots of Psychology PhDs are advertised as completed ideas which people apply to, but you can also come up with your own idea and find supervisors to support you. I came up with my PhD project with my two main supervisors, and found funding for it after we came up with the proposal, so it’s definitely possible 🙂

Let me know if you have more questions!

Hi! Do you offer any postgraduate courses apart from Masters and PhDs? For example a specialization?


This webpage has all of our Psychology postgraduate courses on it:

There are a couple of more specialised courses – there’s a Clinical Psychology MRes or a PG diploma in CBT, but that is the full list I’m afraid.

Best wishes,

Dear Emma, I am a Sri Lankan citizen, working as a Management Consultant specializing in Organizational Design (OD) and Development with over 15 years of experience. As an OD Consultant, I am keen on further pursuing postgraduate studies (MSc) in Organizational Psychology to learn and understand how businesses affect individual behaviour and to learn the principles and research methods to solve workplace problems and improve productivity. I completed my MBA from the University of Durham UK (full time student in 2013, degree completed in 2016) and the Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from The Chartered Institute of Marketing UK. Since I don't have a bachelors degree and the Psychology background, I would appreciate if you could provide me the entry criteria for the above program (2021 entry) for Experienced Professionals.


Apologies for the delay in replying to you. Unfortunately Birmingham Uni doesn’t offer an MSc in Organisational Psychology – the Psychology courses we offer are more science/research based and as much as I’d love to recommend UoB, from your background I don’t think any of them would suit what you want to do!

Best of luck for the future – I hope you can find a relevant course somewhere else 🙂

Good afternoon Emma! I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas! I am currently doing my BSc in Psychology and was interested in applying for Clinical and Health Psychology MSc at UoB. However, I am worried about the costs and I was wondering what funding opportunities are available?


It’s great to hear you’re interested in a Psychology MSc. However, we don’t offer a Clinical and Health Psychology MSc at Birmingham – we do a Clinical Psychology MRes ( or there’s a Health Psychology MSc at Birmingham City University ( that you might have been thinking of?

In terms of funding for Masters – I know it can be scary but there are lots of options. Definitely take advantage of the Government loan, if you’re a UK student. If you’re looking at UoB, then you can use our funding database to look for potential scholarships:

I would then start looking at charities and trusts, that help fund PG study. This page is a good place to start:

Try and get onto the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding if you can – it was so so helpful for me!

Once again, apologies for the delay but best of luck for your application.

Due to the current situation of Covid-19 with everyone being in lockdown, are students being taught online? If yes, can I take only one class?

Hi, thanks for your question. Yes, currently, as per UK Government guidelines, all classes are being taught remotely for the time being. I’m not sure whether you would be able to take one module on its own – some courses will allow it but some won’t! Your best bet is to get in touch with the relevant department (this is the website for Psychology: They should be able to help further 🙂
Best wishes,

Hey Emma, just wondering if it's possible to start the PhD without the MSc?

Hey 🙂 it is possible to move straight from a BSc to PhD, but if you are applying for a funded project a Masters would put you in a better position for it as they are usually very competitive.

I found my Masters really helpful in developing my research skills in preparation for the PhD, but if you are keen to get started then go for it! Another option would be to start with an MSc by Research – if they go well these can often be used as the first year of a PhD.

I hope this helps!

I am writing with regard to the psychology departments postgraduate admission requirements (more specifically MSc Psychology). I have a first class BSc Psychology with Business degree from Birmingham City University and I would love to apply to the University of Birmingham, but I am worried that my degree will not be accepted as it is a mixed degree? (majoring in Psychology, minoring in Business)

Hi, thanks for getting in touch!

If it was a major in Psychology, I imagine you would be fine. Did you do a research dissertation in your final year? A big portion of the MSc is research based so the admissions tutors want to see that you have experience running and analysing an experiment. Similarly, as long as you can show that you have knowledge of statistics (which I imagine you did in your undergraduate) that will help too.

In terms of getting in touch with the department, at the bottom of the course page ( there is a ‘Make an enquiry’ button which will send an enquiry to the Psychology team. They will be able to confirm whether your undergraduate degree is eligible but I would be surprised if they said no 🙂

Best of luck and let me know if you have any more questions about the course itself!

Hello, I would be very happy to receive information about the PhD Psychology distance learning program (3 years). Do you have a module manual for me? Or can I see the contents as well as the study and examination credits? How is the content structured? What exactly am I learning?

Hi, thanks for getting in touch.

So our PhD programmes are 3 year long research projects with no taught components or modules. You pick a research topic and spend the 3 years researching it! Our Masters programmes would be where you have modules – you can view them here:

If you have an idea for a research project in mind, you then need to get in touch with one of our staff members to see whether they would be willing to supervise you. You would have to take into account whether your research could be done by distance learning (aka not on campus).

I hope this helps,

I want to study a Masters degree in Educational Psychology. Are there any options to study this at the University of Birmingham?

Hi – thanks for your question! Unfortunately Birmingham doesn’t offer a Masters in Educational Psychology – all of our Masters in Psychology can be found here:

I completed the MSc Psychology, and while there weren’t any modules specifically in Educational Psychology, there were a few available thesis projects from researchers looking into developmental and educational psychology.

The only other thing I can think of would be our Applied Educational and Child Psychology Doctorate ( which is a taught PhD programme.

I hope this helps!

What was your motivation for undertaking postgraduate study?

I loved the research project in my undergraduate degree, and at the end, while my friends were getting graduate jobs, I knew I wasn’t done with education just yet. The MSc Psychology at Birmingham was fantastic in developing my research skills and I had the opportunity to undertake a piece of research which was new and exciting in the cognitive psychology field.

I then took a break from studying to work for 2 years, but that only strengthened my desire to come back for more. So when I got the opportunity to come back to Birmingham to do a PhD, I knew I had to take it. I think I just loved the idea of being able to research something so thoroughly and in depth, that you would be an expert in it. My project has the potential to have real impact in the world too, which is definitely motivating when I’m reading for my literature review!

What, for you, are the best things about the course?

My supervisors have been so supportive in my PhD journey so far. They helped me develop my research proposal before I applied and helped with funding applications, and seem as invested in my project as I do, which is great. I’ve also met some amazing people from all over the world – when we’re in the office together we help each other with problems (and are often the first guinea pigs for each others experiments!)

What piece of advice would you give to anyone considering postgraduate study in your field?

A PhD is not an easy thing to complete so you need to be sure you want to do it. I really valued the time I had away from education; while it was nice to have a stable source of income, it made me certain I wanted to pursue a PhD. A panic Masters may be one thing, but a panic PhD would not be fun!

Also, if you are struggling with funding, have a look for charities and trusts online. I spent hours searching the internet for options but got money from a couple of trusts just by filling out an application form and sending a cover letter, which really helped this year as I’ve been self-funded.