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We have a national and international reputation as a centre of excellence and provide wide and varied opportunities for students to undertake research. Our academic expertise covers a broad range of disciplines grouped into four main departments:
* Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs
* Education and Social Justice
* Language, Discourse and Society
* Professional Learning and Development
We also have a number of highly successful research centres:
* Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER)
* Centre for International Education and Research (CIER)
* Centre for Research in Medical and Dental Education (CRMDE)
* Centre for Research into Organisations and Pedagogy (CROP)
* Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Histories of Education and Childhood (DOMUS)
* Centre for Research on Multilingualism (MOSAIC)
* Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR)
Our strategy towards research and research degrees is centred on three key principles:
* Research should seek to combine scholarly and empirical work on fundamental issues with a concern for development work linked to practice; a dialogue between fundamental study and development work can enrich both
* Research should recognise the importance of professional practice and be pursued through active collaboration with schools, colleges, LAs, and voluntary and other professional bodies in the UK and internationally
* Research is often a multidisciplinary activity and strong links across specialisms must be encouraged and supported
The interdependence of research with development and professional practice means that we particularly welcome the contribution of research students to our work. We provide a comprehensive programme of research training, together with opportunities to take part in research seminars where speakers with national and international reputations present work that is at the forefront of current debates within the field.
As a full-time research student you have access to work space in our research suite, where there are computer and telephone facilities. You also have access to the University's libraries and computer facilities, as well as other entitlements such as grants towards conference attendance and photocopying. Many of our research students work with supervisors in publishing articles and making their work public.
A PhD requires a minimum period of study as a registered student of normally three years full-time or six years part-time. Exceptionally, the School at its discretion may in individual cases reduce at the time of admission the period of study required of a student on a full-time PhD programme by up to one academic year or its equivalent.
It is a requirement that students without an MPhil degree begin at the Masters level (MPhil) before transferring to PhD level. PhD registration is then backdated to the commencement of the study. This process helps to ensure that student and supervisor are clear that a PhD is possible before formally registering - no time is lost and no more expense incurred than by direct entry to PhD.
The PhD is by thesis only, and is examined by a work of 80,000 words maximum and an oral examination. Students are required to complete a research training programme, normally in the first two years of registration. One to one supervision is provided throughout the length of the formal registration. Students who are involved in similar areas may also have some group supervision.
Types of research programme
Research degrees can be taken in a number of different ways full-or part-time, through individual supervised research, or with credit accumulation. The successful completion of a programme of research can lead to the award of MPhil and PhD. Those taking the MPhil are encouraged to complete a research training programme, and submit a 40,000-word thesis. PhD students without an MPhil degree begin at Masters level before applying to transfer.
PhD registration is then backdated to the start of your study. This process helps to ensure that you and your supervisor are clear that a PhD is possible before formal registration; no time is lost, and no more expense incurred, than by direct entry to PhD. It is worth noting that in exceptional circumstances it is possible to reduce the period of study required of a student on a full-time PhD programme by up to one academic year or its equivalent.
The PhD is assessed by thesis only, and is examined by a work of a maximum of 80,000 words and an oral examination. You are required to complete a research training programme, normally in the first two years of registration. One-to-one supervision is provided throughout the length of formal registration. Students who are involved in similar areas may also have some group supervision.
Applying for PhD and MPhil programmes
When applying for a PhD or MPhil programme you are required to submit a three-to four- page (A4) typed research proposal, which outlines the nature of your proposed study. This proposal will not be held as a final contract and may change in negotiation with your supervisor. However, it is an indication that you have the background ideas and knowledge to begin independent research in the broad area of your interest. It also enables us to send your application to appropriate members of staff for consideration.
To gain admission to a research programme an applicant must comply with the following entry requirements:
* (i) attainment of a good Honours degree (normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree) awarded by an approved University in an appropriate subject, or the equivalent thereof
* (ii) attainment of an alternative qualification or qualifications and/or evidence of experience judged by the School as indicating a students potential for research and as satisfactory for the purpose of entry to a research degree programme.
Admission may be subject to preliminary study, which may include assessment. In such cases, registration for a programme leading to a research degree will be subject to satisfactory completion of the preliminary study. The time taken for the preliminary study will not be counted towards the period of registration.
Applications from international students will also be subject to evidence of proficiency in English Language. The School of Education requires 600 TOEFL plus TWE 4.0 (250 computer based TOEFL) or 7.0 IELTS (with no less than 6.5 in any band) or an equivalent qualification, which should not be less than two years old at the time of admission.
Applying for MPhil/PhD
For these awards you are required to submit a research proposal which accompanies your application form. This should be about three sides of A4 in length, preferably typed, and should outline the nature of your proposed study. This outline should include:
* The aims or objectives, and research questions if possible.
* The justification for the study or the area.
* An outline of the research design (approach, population, methods, time scale).
* An indication of related literature.
* Any previous work you have done in the area.
* Any facilities available to you for the research or access to the research site, and research subjects.
* The amount of time per week you are able to devote to the study.
You are advised to have a preliminary discussion with a member of academic staff before submitting your proposal. If you have had such a discussion and if you would like that member of staff to be involved in considering your application, please ensure that you enter their name in the relevant section of the application form.
This proposal will not be held as a final contract and may well change considerably in negotiation with your supervisor. However, it is an indication to the School that you have the background ideas and knowledge to begin independent research in the broad area of your interest. It also enables the School to send your application to relevant members of staff for consideration.
English Language RequirementsIELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL paper-based test score : 600
IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa.
The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.
Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
See the University of Birmingham Website for more details on fees and funding.