Advice from the Postgraduate Recruitment team

This series of Postgraduate Virtual Open Days offers you the chance to talk to members of the Postgraduate Recruitment team at the University. They will take place regularly from 14:00-15:00, so please see the events schedule for additional dates.

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

  • Seeking sources of funding
  • The differences between different types of PG course
  • The application process
  • Finding a supervisor
  • Writing a research proposal

Find out more about postgraduate study at Birmingham

View related Virtual Tour

Speaker profiles

  • Dr Emily Rozier

    Emily completed a Masters and a PhD at the University. She manages our UK recruitment. (Live Q&A 14:00-15:00)

  • Dr Ruth Léger

    Ruth has completed a PhD at the University. She is a postgraduate recruitment advisor and mentor. (Live Q&A 14:00-15:00)

    Ruth Leger

Q&A Archive

These were the questions asked during the Advice from the Postgraduate Recruitment team live event.

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 virtual open day 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 Wednesday 22 November 2017. We also run bespoke campus tours throughout term time and Cafés at which you can meet current students.

Thomas asked:

There is a faculty member that appears to match my research interests. Is it acceptable for me to reach out to them directly.

Ruth replied:

Hi again Thomas,

Yes, we recommend you reach out to our staff before you submit your formal application. It will allow you to discuss your ideas and shape your research proposal before you submit it.

It is a good idea to have some ideas, clearly outlined to give to the academic as a starting point.

I hope that helps,


Thomas asked:

Local government. It looks from their website they do offer distance learning.

Ruth replied:

Hi Thomas,

Yes, Local Government offers a PhD by Distance Learning.

Applicants for the distance learning PhD/MPhil must provide evidence of prior research experience and/or training suitable for their intended programme of study. When they apply, they are expected to consult with their supervisor who can assess their skills, background and capacity to undertake independent study at a distance.

You will contact your supervisor approximately monthly (every 2 months for part-time students) over the course of your study. Supervisors are experienced in managing the research process and are chosen to complement your area of interest. You will discuss your research with a panel annually. The panel is chaired by an experienced researcher from the department, and includes your supervisor and another member of staff. It provides an important opportunity to present progress on your research and to have a wider discussion about your work.

The supervision you will receive is of the same high standards as that of an on-campus student, but just takes place over skype/facetime etc. You can find out more about distance learning here.

I hope this helps,

Emelie asked:

How many students tend to be in the EdD cohort? Do they start more than once per year?

Ruth replied:

Hi Emelie,

I am afraid I can’t answer how many students tend to start the EdD per year, that would be best directed to a member of staff in the School.

For the start date again, please contact the School. With a research programme the general rule tends to be that you can start at the first of every month (apart from July and August).

I hope this helps,

Joseph Mullane asked:

What would entitle one to a scholarship for a masters? Also when applying how much detail should we give into the dissertation we will cover?

Ruth replied:

Hi Joseph,

Thank you for your question. It depends on the scholarship you are applying for. There are various funding opportunities available for both home and international students. Please visit the fees and funding pages for details and refer to our funding database for possible funding opportunities. You can filter the database by fee status, level of study, subject and nationality so you can search for awards you may be eligible for. Please not that the database will be updated in the coming weeks for awards for 2018-19.

When applying for a masters degree (taught) you don’t have to provide a lot of detail on the dissertation. The topic will be developed over the first few weeks of your programme. Obviously, if you have some ideas, you are welcome to mention them. But the focus for the supporting statement should lie on who you are, how you have prepared for the masters (what you have done before), why it is of importance to you to do this masters and why you would like to do it at Birmingham.

I hope this helps, good luck!