If you have any queries about applying for a PhD, your research proposal and more you can contact us via the information below. Remember to check our FAQs first to see if we've already answered your question.
If you're interested in applying to do a research degree, it's best to discuss your goals and proposal with the Doctoral Research College of your chosen faculty. For general enquiries, please contact the central Doctoral Research College or Research Office.
Doctoral Research College
For general enquiries about research degrees, please use the contact details below:
Phone: 0121 331 4314
Business, Law and Social Sciences
Phone: 0121 331 7721
Health, Education and Life Sciences
Contact for queries concerning PhDs in Health and Education:
Phone: 0121 331 6103
Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Phone: 0121 331 4354
Arts, Design and Media
Phone: 0121 331 5517
What are the fees for the forthcoming academic year?
Current and previous fees for the academic year are listed here.
How to apply
How it works
Applications for Research Degrees are processed through our online application portal. You will need to upload your qualifications, entry certificates, transcripts and a research proposal (or research concept, if you are applying for a professional doctorate).
If you are an overseas student you will also need to upload proof of English, passport and any UK visas you might hold or have held. General guidance for application deadlines are below:
Final date for submission of online research degree application
Final date for acceptance of form
Start date of course
First Monday in September
First Monday in February
If you are planning to apply for a PhD in the Faculty of Art, Design and Media you are welcome to send us an initial PhD enquiry.
Where/how to upload my research proposal?
Your research proposal (or research concept if you are applying for a professional doctorate) must be uploaded as a PDF document in the Personal Statement section of the online application and clearly named as Research Proposal (or Research Concept if you are applying for a professional doctorate).
Do I need to submit a research proposal if I am applying for a funding opportunity?
Yes. If you are applying for internal or external funding you still have to upload your research proposal when you submit your online application.
Your research proposal contributes to matching your research topic to potential supervisors and assess supervisory capacity, as supervisors have limited capacity to supervise doctoral students.
What to include in the research proposal?
The research proposal should provide an outline of the research area that you are interested in. Please include how your proposal relates to any previous work you have done. It should also include a proposed title, clearly formulated research aims, details of the research methodology you intend to use and a bibliography/alphabetical list of references cited. You should also include details of any proposed collaboration, if applicable.
What happens after I apply online?
Your application is processed and at least one academic expert in your field will assess your application and all submitted documents, including your research proposal. You will receive emails throughout the process to inform you of the stage of your application and an expected timeline.
Also, you might receive emails asking for further documents to be uploaded to your online application. To upload the documents, follow the link provided in the email or log into your online application portal and upload the documents requested.
Timescales - Application to offer
Your completed application will be sent to the faculty for consideration. You should allow up to six weeks for a decision to be reached. The faculty will contact you directly to confirm the outcome and to invite you for an interview if the faculty is in a position to proceed with your application.
Any funding opportunities are advertised in our fees and funding section.
Do I need to find my supervisor before applying?
You don’t need to propose a supervisor before you apply but you are welcome to contact our academics to discuss your research informally if you wish.After your online application is submitted a potential supervisor with expertise in your discipline will be assigned to assess your submission.
What is accepted as evidence of English language ability for research degree study?
- Valid Academic IELTS certificate with overall score 6.5 with no band below 6.0 or equivalent
- However, some courses may require a higher IELTS score. Please see individual course pages for more information.
- Equivalent qualifications can be viewed here
Do I need an ATAS certificate?
The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) requires all international students subject to existing UK immigration permissions, who are applying to study for a postgraduate qualification in certain sensitive subjects, knowledge of which could be used in programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) or their means of delivery, to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before they can study in the UK. Find out more.
The ATAS application is independent to the Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS) process.
The website above will guide you on whether your subject area will require an ATAS certificate. If you are to be made an offer to a programme which requires an ATAS certificate, this would be clarified in the offer letter.
International applicants who are not applying for a Tier 4 visa will still be required to submit an ATAS certificate to be able to enrol on their course.
Distance learning applicants
Do I need to travel to the UK at any point if my mode of study is Distance Learning?
Our regulations require that our distance learning students spend a minimum of six weeks per year studying full-time at the University in the UK.
How do I meet with my supervisors?
You are required to have regular meetings with your supervisors in the UK. Different ITC modes of communication can be used for this purpose.
The distance learning mode is and you are required to have a local supervisor based in your residence country to meet with periodically. This local supervisor must be approved by the faculty before an offer may be made.
Do I need to apply for ATAS?
The requirement for an ATAS certificate is independent of the mode of study and if you are applying to study for a postgraduate qualification in certain sensitive subjects you must apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before they can study in the UK including distance learning courses. (Please see on ATAS certificate above).
Doctorate of Business Administration
Years one and two for the DBA are the structured phase and require attendance for three full week blocks, one in May, September and January. Years three and four are practice-based and have no taught sessions.
You can find more information on the DBA here.
Doctorate of Education
The EdD programme is undertaken in three phases.
Phase 1 - you will undertake the first two Critical Perspectives modules through which you are introduced to key concepts in educational research methodology within the policy and political contexts of educational practice.
Phase 2 - in the second phase you will extend your experience of research methodologies and engage with a range of contemporary and experimental approaches and undertake a pilot project in an area of your choice. In phase 2 you will also undertake the university-wide PG Certificate in Research Practice which provides the opportunity to discuss and write a research proposal for the EdD thesis.
Phase 3 - you will complete a thesis in an area of your choice.
You can find more information on the EdD here.