Chat to our students

Welcome to this online chat session where you can ask our current postgraduate students any questions you have about postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. Current Masters and PhD students will be online to chat about their experience of undertaking a postgraduate degree.

If you are starting in September, or considering applying for a postgraduate course, our students will be able to chat about applications, student life, pre-arrival information, top tips and any other questions you might have.

Our students are happy to answer questions on all aspects of postgraduate study, which might include:

  • Funding
  • Student experience
  • Wellbeing
  • Accommodation
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Writing an application or research proposal

Find out more about this opportunity by watching the videos and by participating in the live Q&A. Current postgraduate students will be available 11:00-13:00 to answer any questions you might have.

Postgraduate study at Birmingham

View related Virtual Tour

Speaker profiles

  • Natasha Keen

    Natasha is an Human Geography masters student (Live Q&A 11:00-13:00)

  • Connor Welch

    Connor is an MRes Biomedical Research student (Live Q&A 11:00-13:00)

  • Andrea Davis

    Andrea is a PhD student in the School of Education (Live Q&A 11:00-13:00)

Q&A Archive

These were the questions asked during the Chat to our students live event.
Martin Leonard asked:

Cheers Connor. Is there any evidence for the success rate of mature students at UOB? Is age treated as a separate variable and if so, how?

Connor replied:


Age should not be taken into consideration during the application process. The only courses which tend to take into consideration the age of the application would be medicine (but this is a very specific case).

Unfortunately, I am unable to provide statistics on this area as it is a very specific ‘niche’. For PhD programs, it seems that experience is highly valued (in many cases….more than education). If you would like more specific information, I would recommend contacting the college / department you are looking to apply to. Each department/course should have a PGR contact – these guys should be able to help out.

I can recall (at some other outreach events) that there are other individuals who had retired who wished to compete a PhD (one particular case of this was in history) – I hope this helps to resolve some of your reservations.

I am sorry that I cannot be of more help.

We’ve come to the end of our Q&A session today. Thank you very much to everyone who took part – I hope we managed to be of assistance and provide the information that you were looking for.

We will hold many more of these online chat events over the coming months so please check now and again to see what we’ve got lined up for the future. If you’d like to visit our campus (in real life!), our next Postgraduate Open Day will take place on Saturday 23 November 2019. We also run bespoke campus tours throughout term time and Cafés at which you can meet current students.

Houda Kajji asked:

Thank you very much everybody!

Andrea replied:

Your welcome from all of us! We wish you the best with your application and definitely reach out if you have any other questions.

Martin Leonard asked:

I am retired now. I did my MSc more than twenty years ago. I want to do a PhD. How many Students like me, are there at UOB?

Connor replied:


There are many PhD students who come from a variety of backgrounds (be it working, having a family, or studying post-retirement) – so for sure your case will not be unique.

On campus we have Westmere, a dedicated post graduate research hub designed to connect postgraduate researchers from different areas/colleges. Also, there is the Post Graduate Mature Student Association (PGMSA) based within the Guild of Students (also on campus) – This society also helps connects post grad / mature students.

However, this will vary between departments so whilst there are many mature PhD students, we cannot comment on individual colleges / departments.

I hope this helps 🙂

George Yiannakopoulos asked:

Does anyone have any experience relating to a Distance learning Masters and how did you find the application process? Also is it a good idea to have a chat with the course leader before applying?

Tasha replied:

Hi George,

Unfortunately none of us are currently undertaking a distance learning masters. However, the application process is the same – so feel free to ask us any specific questions you have to this.

It’s always a good idea to talk to the course leader before applying – they will be able to help answer any questions you have, and will have specific knowledge about the course.