Rose Parkinson

Subject History
Course MA Global History
Country United Kingdom
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Rose, I am a mature student looking for some sort of funding to study a PhD in law at the University of Birmingham. I fully understand the application process, ie research proposal etc. The real question is when will the new batch of funding opportunities be made available, deadline dates. Please do not suggest applying for a Government loan, I am too old!! Regards Peter

Hi Peter!

Most funding opportunities for 2020 entry will now be advertised from late September/early October.

You can start reading up about Research Council Funding opportunities and other opportunities via our funding database. This will be updated with working links and accurate information for next year, when these are announced.

For Law, you could consider making an application for the Arts and Humanities Research Council Funding. The College of Arts and Law also tends to have Doctoral Scholarships that you could apply to!

Deadlines for Research Council funding is typically mid January, and you need to have made a PhD application prior to this. The Doctoral Scholarships tend to close a little later, around March, however this obviously varies depending on which scholarship and can change each year!

I hope that helps!

I am applying for a Chevening Scholarship and I need at least a conditional offer of admission before 30th October, 2019 to be successful. How do I go about it, please?

Hi! Thanks for your question. To apply for a course for 2020 entry you will need to apply via the course pages, when the link for 2020 entry is opened, which is usually the end of September. You may want to prepare you personal statement in advance so that it’s ready to submit when this opens.

Most courses require a 5000 character personal statement as well as supporting references. You can find out more information on applying here.

It will be a tight turn around to get a conditional offer by that deadline so I advise you get your references and application prepared in advance!

Hi Rose, Hope this email finds you well.I have applied for MPA (Human Resources) and my application is currently under review. I needed your advise on accommodation. My cousin is living in Birmingham and his apartment is 35 min far (by car) from University. He has invited me to stay with him in his apartment for free. If opt to not stay in Univ provided hostel and I stay with my cousin what are the pros and cons? I am asking in terms of transportation, community, study etc. Thank you for your support


Thank you for your question!

I would say don’t be put off by the thought of commuting, as lots of postgraduate students opt to live at home or with family and commute in for classes and study. Postgraduate study can be expensive, so this could be a great way to save some money. The Guild of Students has a dedicated Postgraduate society, which puts on events for postgraduate students and some events for commuting students specifically, which means that there are tonnes of opportunities to meet people. This is really useful especially if you’re worried about the community aspect of postgraduate study as a commuter. The University has great transport links with a train station on campus, which makes it very easy to get to us for your classes and study.

If you do wish to find out more about University accommodation, you can contact Living, the University’s Accommodation service, or also have a read through of their accommodation brochure which outlines the different postgraduate halls. Accommodation in our postgraduate halls is not guaranteed, however there are also options to live in private rented accommodation in Selly Oak or Harborne, which are nearby to the Edgbaston campus.

I hope that helps!

I got an application acknowledgment mail from Birmingham in the 4th of April. But, my referees have not received any message to submit their references yet. How long does it take to reach the referees?

Your referees should expect an email from the University of Birmingham, requesting them to write a reference, however I am not entirely sure of the timescale for this. If they haven’t received anything yet, I would recommend contacting to enquire, just to make sure that there aren’t any technical issues!

I hope that helps!

What topic did you complete your postgraduate dissertation in and which modules did you enjoy on the course?


I completed my dissertation in modern Indian history, supervised by Dr Manu Sehgal. I specifically looked at health care and gender in the city of Bombay, looking at how it was funded, and the gender dynamics which shaped health care policy.

I really enjoyed the two core modules of the course, which covered a huge time span and allowed us to explore topics I’d never covered in my undergraduate degree. The course approaches history from a really different angle to what I was used to, and it really changed my perceptions of notions and concepts that I thought were certain like our understanding of historical time and geography!

I also really loved one of my optional modules I took, called Latin America through Film. This looked at Latin American history in the 20th and 21st centuries through cultural history and films and was amazing because I’d never done any Latin American history before.

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any other questions about the course!

Hi Rose, Is there any deadline for submitting references while applying for PG courses?


Thanks for your question!

On your application, you will be asked to supply contact details of two academic referees (or one academic reference if applicable to the course/programme applied for). Employment references may be acceptable for certain courses which require them.

Please make sure you tell your referee(s) to expect an email from the University of Birmingham, requesting them to write a reference. We recommend that the referee sends back the reference in a PDF format as it is preferred that:

  • The reference is on official headed paper with the organisation or institution’s logo and address
  • It includes the date, your details and the details of the referee
  • A summary of how they know you and confirm your suitability for studying on the course you have applied for
  • It should be signed by the referee with their official contact details.

The best place to ask about the deadlines for submitting references would be to email: who will be able to help you!

Hi Rose, I would ask you two inquiries. First, how can I undertake an MA Islamic Studies? Second, to what extent can I become a member of recruitment team ?


Firstly to address you query about MA Islamic Studies, the best place to look is at the course page, here. The entry requirements for the course are an Honours degree in a relevant subject, normally of an upper second-class standard. There are also certain academic and English language requirements which are stated in the ‘Entry requirements’ section of the web page.

This page will give you more information about modules, fees, teaching methods, student life and more.

To address your second query, there is a great way that you can assist the Postgraduate Recruitment team and that is by applying to be a Postgraduate Ambassador. This is a chance for students to get involved with the events we run such as the Open Day, Cafe Masters/PhD, external fairs, as well as helping as with other tasks such as office work, blogging, this platform and filming. You will be able to apply for this role from September next year if you end up joining us here at Birmingham!

I hope that helps!


how do you find the history department?


Thank you for your question!

I had a really great time as a student within the University of Birmingham History Department. One of my favourite things was the great calendar of events put on, which students, staff and the public were strongly encouraged to come along to. To see the kind of seminars, lectures and workshops the department puts on you can have a look through the events page:

I think this encouraged a real atmosphere of learning and you feel like you are part of the thriving research community.

As well as research, the department puts on lots of events to help with personal development and career progression which I found really useful!

Hope this helps!


What has been the highlight of your time at Birmingham?

The highlight of my time at Birmingham has been getting involved in the extracurricular elements of the department. The School of History and Cultures (and College of Arts and Law as a whole) host’s workshops and seminars throughout the year, in which students are actively encouraged to come and listen to the leading experts in respective fields discussing their work. Additionally, as a Birmingham Research Institute of History and Cultures (BRIHC) scholar, I also participate in assisting research, and writing contributions for the BRIHC blog about events and research going on in the department. This is really interesting work and also valuable experience, and the department actively encourages people to get involved beyond their teaching hours and research.

How have you funded your postgraduate studies?

I was successful in being awarded a College of Arts and Law scholarship, funded by the Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures. When applying for scholarships and postgraduate funding, it is important to apply early and ask your referees in plenty of time for them to write supporting statements. The deadlines are often in March/April, so you need to be preparing by January. In addition I was awarded a £2000 Distinguished Alumni Scholarship from the University, which is directly taken off your fees. If I hadn’t have been successful in receiving scholarships, my plan was to take out the postgraduate loan, recently made available by the government.

What was your motivation for undertaking postgraduate study?

I undertook postgraduate study with the aim of continuing on to a PhD. I think particularly for Arts students this is often a common motivating factor and pathway. However what I have found interesting is the range of career options that I am now considering, in part due to the promotion of opportunities by the history department and Careers Network. This service is provided to all students – undergraduates, postgraduates, and recent alumni – and offers a wide range of support. In my case, it has opened my eyes to the idea of pursuing a career in Higher Education administration and management, as well as offering help through my journey of considering applying for further postgraduate study.

Why did you choose the University of Birmingham?

I chose Birmingham primarily because of the quality of the course and the extent to which it matched with my specific research areas and historical interests. As I undertook an undergraduate BA in History at Birmingham from 2014-2017, I was familiar with the department and was impressed with the quality of teaching and research. I also chose to stay on at the university due to my sense of involvement in the academic community here. The college actively encourages student engagement, which creates a lovely sense of participation and contribution.