Funding and Application advice for PhD students

Welcome to this Funding and Application advice session for PhD students with the Postgraduate Recruitment Team. During this online chat event you can get advice from the postgraduate recruitment team on making an application.

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

  • The different postgraduate taught courses offered by the University of Birmingham
  • Seeking sources of funding
  • Finding a supervisor
  • Writing a research proposal

Doctoral Loans

You can borrow any amount up to £25,000 [2018-19] with the new Doctoral Loans system in the UK. The money is not means-tested, and can be used towards fees, maintenance or other costs, the choice is up to you. For more information, please visit this webpage.

There are certain requirements that you need to meet to be eligible for the loan. For example, the course needs to be a full, standalone doctoral course, you need to be a UK/EU resident and you must be under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your course.

Find out more about this opportunity by watching the videos and by participating in the live Q&A. Members of the Postgraduate Recruitment team will be available 15:00-16:00 to answer any questions you might have.

PG funding database

View related Virtual Tour

Speaker profiles

  • Lindsay Smith

    Lindsay is our Postgraduate Recruitment Manager (UK). (Live Q&A 15:00-16:00)

Q&A Archive

These were the questions asked during the Funding and Application advice for PhD students live event.
Shukri asked:

Who do I best speak to regarding a Phd in Computer science and how to go about it? I am UoB MSc Computer science graduate.

Emily replied:

Hi Shukri,

There are a few different avenues that you should explore. Firstly I would take a look at our advertised PhD projects. These are projects that have already been devised and for which we are looking for a PhD student to undertake the research. If you filter to Computer Science there are two opportunities in there at the moment but we add to this list on a regular basis, so it is worth keeping an eye on it.

You can also use our staff search to find prospective supervisors in Computer Science. Their profiles will let you know what their specialism is so you can find someone whose research interests match your own.

As you have experience of studying at Birmingham you could also try getting in touch with your dissertation supervisor or personal tutor to see if they have any PhD opportunities that might be suitable for you.

You can learn more about the PhD programme through our website.

I hope this helps!


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.

Thea asked:

What happens if I finish my PhD thesis earlier than anticipated when the programme runs for typically 3 or 6 years?

Emily replied:

Hi Thea,

In normal circumstances you are expected to submit your research thesis after the completion of your minimum period of study (3 year full time or 6 years part time for our standard PhD programmes) and before your maximum period of study (4 years full time or 8 years part time). Regulation 6.2.3 sets out the minimum and maximum periods of study for each research degree.

In exceptional circumstances, and with the approval of the Research Progress and Awards Sub Panel, postgraduate researchers may be permitted to submit their thesis before completing their minimum period of study. Each request is considered on its merits and requests are normally only considered on academic grounds. Financial difficulties, work commitments or taking up employment are normally insufficient reasons for requesting early submission.

It is really rare that someone could complete their doctoral studies in less than the minimum period of study. Three years may seem like a long time but it goes really quickly!

Best wishes,


Lexie asked:

I’m looking to study a PhD in crative writing, and Birmingham Uni offers a distance online version. Who can I speak with to determine if this is a suitable option for me? I’m currently in Canada and just recently completed my Masters from Edinburgh Uni.

Rose replied:

Hi Lexie,

Thanks for your question!

The best person to talk to for specific information would probably be the admissions tutor for the course, Richard House He in turn may be able to put you in touch with some academics who supervise PhD Creative Writing by DL students, or even other DL students who would be happy to answer any questions from a student perspective. There is also more information about the course here. This page also includes informative about distance learning courses, including the fully-funded annual visit to campus for each full year of your programme (every two years for part-time students).

I hope that helps!


Lexie asked:

Do you offer guaranteed accommodation for international PhD students?

Emily replied:

Hello Lexie,

The Postgraduate Guarantee Scheme guarantees a place in university or partner accommodation to all first year postgraduate international and non-UK students providing you have applied before 31 July 2019. You can find out more information about this on our page about our guarantee schemes.

Best wishes,