StudyQA — PhD: German Studies — University of Birmingham


German Studies

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
107 place StudyQA ranking:1863 Duration:36 months

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We offer two types of research degree: the MPhil and PhD degrees are taken by research with a coursework element. Applications to study for research degrees on either a full- or part-time basis are welcomed.
We are particularly interested in receiving applications on the modernisation agenda, changing patterns of local governance, the impact of public policy changes, democracy, public participation and community involvement.
We have some 15 research students, and more than 400 taught postgraduates, most of whom are practitioners registered with us on part-time programmes.
You will meet your supervisor approximately fortnightly (monthly for part-time students) over the course of your study. Supervisors are experienced in managing the research process and are chosen to complement your area of interest. You will discuss your research with a panel every six months (part-time: every 12 months). The panel is chaired by an experienced researcher from the department, and includes your supervisor and another member of staff. It provides an important opportunity to present progress on your research and to have a wider discussion about your work.
Your supervisor will read and comment on drafts of your thesis before it is finally submitted. An external and an internal examiner (who will not be your supervisor) will then examine it, and will normally meet with you for a viva. They will judge whether your thesis demonstrates:

* Knowledge of the relevant academic literature
* Skill in use of research methods
* Independent investigation
* Clear presentation of information
* Arguments presented in a coherent and appropriate form

MPhil students must show original work of merit that is worthy of publication. The requirement for PhDs is that the work is an original contribution to knowledge that is worthy of publication.

Key facts

Type of Course: Doctoral research, continuing professional development

Duration: PhD 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time; MPhil 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time


Research interests of staff

* Procurement; contracting; supply management and sourcing; commissioning; partnerships; corporate governance; accountability; centrelocal politics; institutionalism and policy analysis; and dynamics of policy change. Contact: Dr Barbara Allen
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5039
* Working relations between politicians, managers and professionals. Contact: Mr Simon Baddeley
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 554 9794
* Governments social exclusion and child poverty programmes, nationally and locally; early childhood and cultural identity; family dynamics; research methodology training qualitative data and educational research; child psychology advisory consultancy. Contact: Ms Sophia Bokhari
Tel: +44 (0)121 415 8235
* The role of small parties; comparative politics; policy analysis; elections and quantitative methodologies. Contact: Dr Karin Bottom
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4972
* Performance management in the public sector; assessment frameworks for public and local governance; evaluation and monitoring of public programmes; strategic management of public organisations; marketing and quality management for public services. Contact: Professor Tony Bovaird
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 3955
* Local government politics; political management arrangements in local government; the organisation, structure and processes of political parties and the party group; citizen participation; the developing role of the councillor; directly elected mayors; local representative democracy and democratic innovation at the local level. Contact: Dr Colin Copus
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4988
* Partnerships and governance; economic and environmental strategies; waste management; role of agencies and arms-length companies in the development process; local government in Central and Eastern Europe; procurement; the modernisation agenda and local government scrutiny processes. Contact: Dr Andrew Coulson
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4966
* Local government politics; local democracy; councillors and representational roles and the modernisation agenda; participation at the local level; methods of public involvement; single-issue and local protest/campaign groups. Contact: Dr Alison Crow
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 7787
* Public, voluntary and community sector organisations; inter-organisational relations; partnership and collaborative working; local authority relations and organisational culture, development, leadership and learning; working with voluntary and community sector organisations and tenant participation. Contact: Mr Robert Dalziel
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4958
* Criminal justice; local authority decriminalised parking enforcement; goods and services; qualitative research support throughout the department; interviews, questionnaires, surveys, observation, literature and internet/media searches with particular interests in engaging with young people. Contact: Ms Eileen Dunstan
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4966
* Theory and practice of democracy including democratic discourse, particularly at local level; governance of policy processes and the effect of democratic influences on public policy; theory and analysis of discourse from a critical discourse analytic perspective. Contact: Dr Michael Farrelly
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 6749
* Information management; organisational change; e-government and its relationship to and transformation of local government services and democracy; the impact of ICT; modernisation and improvement of local government. Contact: Mr Martin Ferguson
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8395
* Politics of local government; local elections, electoral reform and electoral behaviour; party politics; political leadership and management; memberofficer relations; centrallocal relations; use of consumer and opinion research in local government; the modernisation agenda and the implementation of executive local government. Contact: Mr Chris Game
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4977
* Community governance; dynamics of policy change; public sector organisation in Europe; community participation and voluntary sector engagement in area-based partnerships; health policy organisation and change; mobilisation and development of political campaigns; dynamics and local protest. Contact: Dr Steven Griggs
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5005
* Politics of local government; political structures and management; party structures and organisation; mayoral and cabinet systems; members' allowances, support and expenses; citizens' juries and other forms of democratic innovation; overcoming barriers to public service; and the politics of US state and local government. Contact: Dr Declan Hall
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4960
* Governance and leadership; relationships between central and local government, and between government and the voluntary sector; civil society; social research and research methods. Contact: Dr Pauline Jas
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 7110
* Complex decision-making in infrastructure and urban restructuring; network management; public-private partnerships; trust in complex decision-making and networks; institutions and institutional design in governance networks; democratic anchorage of governance networks and complex decision-making. Contact: Erik-Hans Klijn
* Public sector marketing and its relationship with public policy and management; government and voluntary sector relationships; partnership working and the modernisation agenda. Contact: Ms Kathleen McLaughlin
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4988
* New management in local government; business planning and marketing; dealing with inadequate performance and performance management; management of regulation and inspection. Contact: Mr Ray Puffitt
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4997
* Criminal and civil justice, management and organisation; local government organisation and political structures; centrallocal relations; local authority parking enforcement. Contact: Professor John Raine
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8395
* Local governance and management; community leadership, planning and strategies; strategic management; organisational development and change; management training and development; member development; performance management and rural proofing. Contact: Mr Steve Rogers
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4994
* New forms of local authority accountability, management and government of public services; development of partnership working and service quality; quangos, partnerships, hybrids and appointed bodies; standards of conduct and the wider question of improvement in local authority performance. Contact: Professor Chris Skelcher
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4962
* Links with the voluntary and community sectors; public service management; partnerships and working relationships between local government and other public services and the Voluntary and Community Sectors; community engagement; contracting and commissioning and rural proofing. Contact: Professor Ken Spencer
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4964
* Public sector management and policy-making; the voluntary sector; local public policy and strategy; housing policy; democratic practice and the future of local governance. Contact: Emeritus Professor John Stewart
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5006
Email via Mary Furamera:
* Citizens' perceptions of the public sector; governmentcitizen relations, public sector performance; trust in government; comparative public administration; governance indicators; survey research. Contact: Dr Steven Van de Walle
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4647
* Scrutiny of finance and budgeting; Comprehensive Area Assessment; economics of contracting and procurement; local government finance and international comparisons; public sector efficiency and performance management; financial management; public choice theory; organisational review; risk management and quantitative techniques, statistics and econometrics. Contact: Dr Peter Watt
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4983
* Policy implementation studies; central and local government relations; regulation of local government; local authority corporate management scrutiny; public sector performance, procurement and efficiency; public consultation and participation; organisation dynamics. Contact: Mr Philip Whiteman
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 7491
* The development of effective leadership, strategy and service delivery to individuals, communities and citizens; user and community-focused evaluation of public service effectiveness and value for money; political and strategic leadership of whole-system networks and partnerships; inter-agency strategic and practice partnerships; commissioning and contracting; social and criminal justice management; monitoring and evaluating the impact of service delivery; financial management and inter-agency partnerships. Contact: Mr Martin Willis
Director of INLOGOV
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4961
* Service delivery within the local authority; power relationships between service users and providers; disabled people's involvement in service delivery; equality and diversity policy; person-centred services and innovative research methodology. Contact: Ms Lynne Wilson
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8236
* Managers and organisational models of management; organisation development; management and employee development; elected member development; policy implementation; leadership and action enquiry and action learning facilitation. Contact: Ms Carol Yapp
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 3662


Applicants for degrees by research should have at least a good Honours degree or equivalent academic qualification. Our normal policy is to register PhD applicants for an MPhil, and transfer them to PhD if their work is of an acceptable standard. If you have registered for the MSc you may, after nine months full-time (18 months part-time), apply to transfer to an MPhil or PhD. You will need to show evidence of satisfactory progress with your thesis, and have provided an acceptable programme of further research. MPhil students may apply to transfer to a PhD by meeting similar conditions.
International students We accept a range of qualifications from different countries

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL iBT® test: 93

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.


See the University of Birmingham Website for more details on fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships INLOGOV offers occasional teaching assistantships for those enrolled on a full-time research degree. These provide bursaries to cover living costs, payment of the fee and the opportunity to gain additional income through a limited amount of tutorial work. These awards are allocated on a competitive basis, and if you wish to be considered you are encouraged to contact Steven Griggs (| or +44 (0)121 414 5005) early in the year in which you wish to start your studies.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

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