Liam BrolanLiam Brolan is a PhD student at the School of Social Sciences. His research in Criminology looks at the impact, extent and law enforcement implications of Britons murdered abroad.

PhD courses

Birmingham City University

Liam's PhD will take three years and because it is purely research based he had to quickly learn to enjoy working independently. "There are no lectures or seminars, as there would be with an undergraduate or masters degree. Instead, I have regular meetings with my PhD supervisor, Professor David Wilson, to make sure my work is progressing well."

By the end of the three years, Liam will complete a whopping 80,000 word thesis which he hopes will make a genuine contribution to knowledge in his field. "I spend the majority of my time identifying and reading key pieces of research in order to produce a comprehensive literature review. "

Liam says there are lots of benefits to studying at a postgraduate level: "Choosing to study for an MA encouraged me to deepen my understanding of Criminology and encouraged me to think critically about the topics I was studying. Continuing into PhD study allows me to explore in great detail a specific topic that interests me."

A year in, Liam has realised the impact his research can have on society as a whole and enjoys working with his academic colleagues. "Being a postgraduate student allows me to build networks with academic colleagues and also with professionals in relevant industries - something which can be very valuable in my early career."

Liam's tips for postgraduate study

  1. Set aside enough time to dedicate to your studies. If you manage your time well from day one, you are setting yourself up to succeed.
  2. Be prepared to work hard. Postgraduate study requires dedication but if you are passionate about your subject and want to continue building on your knowledge, then it is definitely the right way to go!