PhD support during the coronavirus outbreak

There is a range of PhD support available while you work remotely due to the coronavirus outbreak.

At Birmingham City University, we are committed to ensuring you receive the right PhD support during these uncertain times.

To ensure you get all the information you need, we have compiled a range of useful links and facts to help you keep in the know during the coronavirus outbreak.

Online library resources and support

BCU’s Library and Learning Resources team have been working hard to minimise the disruption caused by coronavirus.

The team are still on hand to provide advice, whether it be through booking an online session or using the 24/7 chat service.

A number of new online services have also been created, including a series of help guides and a discipline-focused subject guide.

For further news and useful links, visit the iCity news page on library resources (BCU login required).

Thesis submission and viva dates

Many of you may have been preparing to face your viva or to submit your thesis. While you won’t be doing either physically at present, the University has ensured you can still submit both virtually.

Your thesis can now be emailed as a PDF, or via WeTransfer if it’s a large file, to You will still need to provide details of the submission when you complete the Candidate’s Declaration Form.

Viva examinations will now take place online via Microsoft Teams, with a number of vivas already successfully completed.

Staying focused while working remotely

Working from home can be a challenging and lonely experience. To keep you focused and healthy during these uncertain times, we have compiled ten top tips for studying your PhD from home.

In here, you will find guidance on sticking to a routine, what areas of your research to focus on and how to stay in contact with your peers.

PhD support for mental health

The current climate can easily affect your mental health. Whether you are worried about your research, concerned about the coronavirus outbreak or feeling lonely, the University’s wellbeing is offering online support and counselling.

Email to book a virtual face-to-face appointment.

Keeping fit at home

Working in isolation can be a strain on both your mental and physical health. To keep you active, Sport England has launched the #StayInWorkOut initiative, compiling a range of creative and fun ways to keep fit in your own home.

There's also the latest advice around getting outside, with tools to help you make the most out of the fresh air during your daily walk, run or cycle.

Staying in contact with supervisors and colleagues

It’s important that you keep a regular dialogue with your director of studies, your supervisors and your fellow PhD students.

You will be able to access the latest information on iCity, with any individual communications being sent directly to your university email.

Faculties and schools have all set up PGR groups in Microsoft Teams, in which you can contact fellow PGRs and staff, ask questions, discuss issues and share ideas.

The Doctoral Research College will continue to support you with regular updates and information.

To access further PhD support, more in-depth information can be found via our lockdown guide for postgraduate researchers (iCity login required).