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Past Questions

  1. Hi Appy, Is it best to apply for MSc or MRes after doing a BSc in Biotechnology (3 year Bachelors) in India?

    Hi there! MRes is definitely better in my opinion, since it gives you extensive hands on research experience as part of your degree. Since you did a BSc in Biotechnology, it would probably be useful for you to get this experience under your belt.

  2. Hi Appy. I am interested in the Natural Computing MRes degree. Could you please tell me if I need to contact the supervisor in advance before applying on the official website?

    Hi! I didn't pursue a degree in Natural Computing myself, but since it is a research Masters, I would advise definitely contacting the course supervisor to get an idea of what you need to do to apply for the course.

  3. Hi, I am from India and I'm planning to apply for the Molecular and Cellular Biology MRes course for the 2022-23 intake. I would like to know more about the course and your experience with the course. Also, please could you guide me in the right direction to find details on the funding/scholarship available for me to support my studies?

    Hi there,

    If you go through the Q&A on this website, I have answered pretty much all questions regarding my experience with the MRes course. Feel free to go through it and let me know if you have any specific questions in addition.

    For scholarships, just search the website and you will see options although they are limited for international students: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/support/postgraduate-scholarships.aspx https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/international/students/finance/scholarships/index.aspx

    Hope this helps!

  4. Hi, I am interested in the field of molecular biology and genetics, however I am not sure if I want to pursue a PhD. What are the work prospects in terms of salary after the completion of this course? What sort of sectors and what kind of jobs will I be able to get after I graduate as an international student in the UK?

    Hey there,

    In my limited knowledge and experience with the MRes alone, job options exist for you but are limited in scope. The most common positions to apply for are academic or lab based research technician, research assistant or research associate positions that often pay between 20-30,000 GBP per year, which is a mediocre amount of money. I would encourage you to think deeply about how doing a PhD in the future will open up a lot more career options for you.

    I wish you all the luck!

    https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/combined/biosciences/molecular-cellular-biology.aspx#EmployabilityTab

    Appy

  5. Hi Appy, I'm interested in the course but wanted to know when the teaching days are and how many hours of teaching I should expect. For the part time Masters are lectures ever in the evenings or on the weekend? and if so what time? For the full time Masters when typically were your teaching days and what time roughly were the lectures? The reason I'm asking is so I can schedule my part time work to fit around my studies. It will help me decide whether full time or part time is more convenient.

    I am not sure what you mean by teaching days? I did not have any teaching requirements when I pursued my Masters. From what I see on the website, it still isn't something that is part of the course. Lectures were always during the day time so I am sure you can fit your part time work around the classes. Besides, from what I understand, there isn't a part time degree option. However, you can double check this with the department. The course director used to be Dr. Peter Winn (p.j.winn@bham.ac.uk) and you can email him and see if he can give you more info or direct you to someone who can.

  6. Hello, I am interested in applying for MRes Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2022 and would like to get a clarification regarding one module. I was wondering if the Techniques in Molecular and Cellular Biology module involves any practical classes or just theoretical knowledge about specific techniques. I would be more than grateful if you could help me with my query. I am looking forward to your reply.

    Hello! Techniques in MCB module involves practical demonstration as well as theory about specific lab techniques. However, it is the research projects portion of your degree that actually helps you learn specific techniques you are further interested in.

  7. Hello Appy, I'm interested in joining the MRes Molecular Cellular Biology course. What are the chances of getting a job as an international student in UK? And how are the chances of getting into a PhD program after MRes at the University of Birmingham?

    Hi there!

    You could apply for research technician or research assistant positions in various labs once you are done with your MRes. The chances depend on how well connected you are and how strong your research experience was. Chances of getting into a PhD program are definitely going to skyrocket once you finish the program successfully!

    Appy

  8. Hi, I am from India and I have a Computer Science background. I'm planning on doing a Masters in Bioinformatics. Could you tell me about the course structure and your university experience?

    Hi, unfortunately I don't know anything about a Masters in Bioinformatics. My Masters was in Molecular and Cell Biology.

  9. Hi Appy, I'm applying for an MSc in Clinical Oncology but I don't know if my University's certification will be recognized or accepted. Can you help me find out how I would check this? Thank you so much.

    Hello! I am not sure if you are domestic or international. Check here: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/International/students/country/index.aspx

  10. Hello, I am interested in the Masters in Molecular Biotechnology, but I am a bit confused about the degree requirement. I am from Iraq and I have 69.96 out of 100 in the field of Biology. Is my degree eligible for this course?

    Hello,

    Unfortunately it looks like you don't meet the minimum international student requirements for the course, per this link https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/taught/biosciences/molecular-biotechnology.aspx#EntryRequirementsTab :

    "Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in Iraq will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of a Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3.0/4 or 75% for 2:1 equivalency, or 2.8/4 or 70% for 2:2 equivalency."

    Unfortunately, I don't have more information regarding flexibility on the requirements.

    Appy

  11. Hi! I want to do my Postgraduate degree in Clinical Research and to then go further into clinical research. Which is the better choice, an MSc or an MRes?

    Hi! I would need more details of which exact courses you are comparing to make a fair assessment. Both an MSc and a MRes could be useful toward areas of clinical research.

  12. Hi, I am currently applying to the MRes Molecular and Cellular Biology course. I'm just a bit confused about what the 'research details' portion of the application section means? Did you have to do a research proposal or identify supervisors at the point of application?

    Hello! Back when I applied for MRes in MCB, I did not have to fill out the research details portion of the application. However, from what I understand, you have to now write a research proposal and also identify supervisors whom you may be interested in working with.

  13. Hi Appy, I am currently pursuing a Masters in Biotechnology from Presidency University, Kolkata, India. I want to apply for the MRes in Molecular and Cellular Biology at UoB, but I am sceptical regarding few issues such as scholarships, work permits, and if after completion of this course I can pursue a PhD at this university. What is the selection procedure for this course like and how are the interviews? I will be extremely grateful if you can help me out with these.

    Hello!

    There are a few websites that can give you information on scholarships: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/support/postgraduate-scholarships.aspx https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/international/students/finance/scholarships/index.aspx There is also the Darwin scholarship that one of my friends won, but it is competitive. I am honestly not the right person to speak on the work permit situation as I graduated many years back and the immigration laws have changed many times since. During my time, I had a hard time finding a job and so I had to move on soon after finishing my degree. This may not be the case any longer, but you will have to speak to someone more current to get a better idea. Besides, the selection criteria is pretty holistic: your GPA/grades, your work/research experience, a solid personal statement, and lately they require a research statement as well. I don't remember having an interview, if my memory serves me right. I just remember applying and essentially summarizing my accomplishments as well as my goals (what I wanted to achieve through the program) in my personal statement. Oh, and it would also be helpful to have really good letters of recommendation.

    You can certainly apply for a PhD at UoB and a lot of competent students end up continuing their research there after finishing their MRes.

    I wish you luck with this process!

  14. Hi Abby, I am bachelors student in India. I am interested in Genetics and Oncology research. I wanted to know what the requirements are when applying to a MRes course. Also, are there any scholarships available for Indian students? And are there job opportunities for international students?

    Hello, thank you very much for your question and apologies in the delay getting back to you. My name is Emma from the Postgraduate Recruitment team, and I am replying on behalf of the mentor as they have not yet answered it.

    You can find all of our MRes courses related to your interests here: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/university/colleges/mds/postgraduate/postgraduate-combined.aspx

    The entry requirements are listed on each course page. Please visit these webpages for help on how to apply: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/apply-pg/index.aspx

    There are various funding opportunities available for both home and international students. Please refer to our funding database (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgfunding) for possible funding opportunities. You may also find information on our international pages useful, including our page on international scholarships (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/International/students/finance/scholarships/index.aspx).

    Our on campus Careers Network can help with CV writing, interview prep and 1-2-1 meetings to discuss career options, as well as running careers fairs throughout the year on campus with employers from all over the UK. The UK government has also recently reintroduced their post-study work visa, allowing you to work in the UK for 2 years after you graduate: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/International/students/careers/psw.aspx

    Best of luck, PG Recruitment

  15. Dear Appy, Hope you are okay and keeping safe! I have completed my bachelors in Physiotherapy in India and I have now migrated to the UK, I am married to a British national .

    I am not yet a citizen here but I want to do an MSc in Physiotherapy. Can I apply for any loan or scholarships for this course? Do I have to apply as an international student?

    Thank you.

    Hello, thank you very much for your question and apologies in the delay getting back to you. My name is Emma from the Postgraduate Recruitment team, and I am replying on behalf of the mentor as they have not yet answered it.

    I'm afraid we are not able to answer admissions or student status queries on this platform - please email pgadmissions@contacts.bham.ac.uk to speak to the admissions department as they will be able to give you a more detailed and accurate answer.

    Best wishes, PG Recruitment

  16. Hi Appy! I am currently applying to the MRes Molecular and Cellular Biology course. I'm just a bit confused about what the 'research details' portion of the application section means? Did you have to do a research proposal or to identify supervisors at the point of application?

    Hello, thank you very much for your question and apologies in the delay getting back to you. My name is Emma from the Postgraduate Recruitment team, and I am replying on behalf of the mentor as they have not yet answered it.

    If you haven't found an answer to your question already, then I would suggest you get in touch with the Biosciences team as they will have detailed knowledge of the application process. You can do that here: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/enquiries/pgr/register-biosciences.aspx

    Best wishes, PG Recruitment

  17. Hi Appy. I'm hoping to apply for the MRes in Molecular and Cellular Biology. It says there will be two project placements. Should I organise who I do these with before I apply for the MRes? The application asks me to state who my supervisors are. Thanks, and best wishes.

    Hi!

    Hope all is well with you! That's exciting to hear that you're planning to apply for the MRes in MCB program at UoB! For the application, I would highly recommend having a strong idea of the two labs you would want to work in for your MRes program. To solidify the placements or get a better idea of whether the labs are a good fit for you, you can email the various principle investigators who's labs you seem to have the greatest interest in. Having said that, the placements are not set in stone and can be changed during the course of your program.

    I hope this helps! Feel free to ask more questions and I will do what I can to be of help!

    Good luck and best wishes to you too!

    Appy

  18. Dear Appy,

    Hope you doing good. I have applied for the MSc in Clinical Trials. Could you please share with me a bit of information about your experience of university life? What can I do after Birmingham? Is placement applicable to international students?

    Hello!

    Hope all is well with you! Great to hear that you have successfully applied to the MSc in Clinical Trials program at UoB! I will keep my fingers crossed for you!

    If you go through my other Q&A's you will notice that I have written a bit about university life, which can be as vibrant as you would like to make it or have the time for. However, given the era of the pandemic we are living in, I highly doubt it will be nearly as vibrant in the coming year or so. I can imagine there being a lot of Zoom meetings or events being offered online for students in the postgraduate programs. There isn't a placement program necessarily for internationals, but there is a lot of help and support offered by the Career services, as well as the International office. You would need to reach out to them and make your needs known so they can help you with things ranging from reviewing your resume/CV, to helping you network or prepare you for interviews and inform you of job forums where you have your best shot. Life after Birmingham depends on what you want to do next. You could continue to work on campus if you can find a full-time position at the university as a researcher, or perhaps look into jobs around the UK or even around Europe. You could also apply for PhD programs, which is the route I took. I hope this helps a bit.

    Good luck with your journey!! Appy

  19. Hello! Can you please let me know how many days in a week did you have to attend classes on campus during your Masters at the University of Birmingham? Thanks!

    I had to go to class once or twice a week for a short amount of time for the Master's program.

  20. Hey Appy, I am planning to pursue this course. 1. I wanted to know how easy is it to find a job after graduating especially as an international student? 2. Are there any funded PhD projects? 3. Are there good scholarships available as well? 4. How easy is it to get a residence permit? Also for the visa, do I need to renew it every year?

    1. Finding a job as an international student with a MRes was not super easy for me. You may end up having better luck as I graduated many years back. Depending on how successful your MRes was, for example, if you got a publication or presented at a conference using the data that came out of your MRes projects, this will heighten your chances of landing a position. 2. From what I understand, there are many funded PhD projects, but you will have to do some research by writing to PI's who's lab work you are interested in. 3. There are not much scholarships for the Masters program. I would look here: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/international/students/finance/scholarships/index.aspx 4. I don't know much about the residence permit.

  21. Hi, I want to apply for MRes Molecular and Cellular Biology because I want to enhance my practical research capabilities. At first, I did not really want to choose the UK for a Masters since I thought that one year could not be enough to learn practical things, while doing research in the lab along with all the other stuff that I need to complete. But I think the MRes is different from the MSc in terms of practical applications in the lab. My question is, do you think an MRes is sufficient enough to gain great research skills before a PhD, and does this program make you a strong candidate for the best universities?

    Hi there,

    In my personal experience a MRes program in the UK gives you very extensive practical experience in lab work performing science. I consider it like a mini PhD whereby you get to perform rotations in two different labs and gain two different sets of experiences. In my opinion, it definitely makes you a very strong candidate for PhD and other grad programs in the best universities. At least that is why I ended up doing my MRes and it has more than paid off!

    Hope this helps! Good luck! Appy

  22. Hello Appy, I've applied to the University of Birmingham for an MSc in Microbiology and Infection. I wanted to ask, what are the job prospects after I complete my degree in this course. Can I work at biotech industries in the UK? What are the visa conditions for that? Does a 2 year post study work visa help at this time? Also, Is it easy or tough to get a job in UK?

    Hi there, Hope the following paragraph help (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/taught/biosciences/microbiology-infection.aspx#EmployabilityTab): The course will give you a thorough grounding in this important and topical area of biomedical science, enabling your entry into employment in health-related positions including hospital and public health laboratories, industry (biotechnology, pharmaceutical and other sectors) and regulatory or quality assurance functions in the public sector or industry. It will also prepare you to work in an academic research setting, or studying for a PhD as the next step on a research-based career path.

    I am not sure about the visa requirements. It would likely depend on your country of origin, nature of your job and sponsorship.

    Thanks, Appy

  23. I am about to start my MRes in Cancer and Genomics. I wanted to know how is the 1 year of this course divided? Which months are allocated to the taught lectures and which months are going to be the research related months? And are there any breaks in the year?

    Hi there!

    Congrats on starting your MRes course at University of Birmingham soon!

    Your coursework usually takes place in conjunction with your 30-month MRes thesis project work. You usually work those details out with your project advisor by sharing your course schedule with them and letting them know your weekly availability. Alternatively, you can space these modules out by starting your coursework first and then eventually transitioning over to lab work as courses come to an end. Once you are done with your courses, you can be at the lab full-time. Check out your course details under the Modules tab here: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/combined/med/cancer-sciences.aspx#CourseDetailsTab

    As far as breaks are concerned, there is the winter break and there are holidays here and there. Additionally, you can always talk to your projector advisor to work out time off to go home or for other reasons.

    Hope this answers your questions.

    Appy

  24. Hi there,

    I understand that the answer might not be the same for different MRes projects, but just to get an idea, how much time did your MRes work take you? Would I be able to have a 9 to 5:30 job alongside undertaking the MRes program full-time? What other work is there besides the 40,000 words dissertation?

    Hi!

    Looks like you already have a good idea of the expectations. I am assuming that by a job, you mean your MRes project? Often for a Masters project, that kind of time commitment is more than enough. You can always run it by the PI during your interview as well, and make sure it works for their project.

    There are also a few classes you will have to take during your MRes MCB program, including a grant-writing project that you will need to execute as a team: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/combined/biosciences/molecular-cellular-biology.aspx -- (Look under Modules for details)

    Hope this helps!

  25. I an currently pursuing my BSc in Biotechnology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics in India. I want to apply for an MRes in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University Of Birmingham. Can you help me find out about eligibility and the application process? I also would like to know about the potential for a placement year, if the university provides it?

    Hello,

    Please check out the following links to help figure out your eligibility: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/International/students/country/india/index.aspx#EntryRequirementsTab https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/combined/biosciences/molecular-cellular-biology.aspx#EntryRequirementsTab

    Application process: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/combined/biosciences/molecular-cellular-biology.aspx?OpenSection=HowToApply https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/apply-pg/application-guidance-notes.aspx

    There isn't campus placements in the west, unlike schools in India. However, there is a career and employment center which can help guide you with your resume, job applications and helping you with the interview process.

    Hope this helps!

  26. Hi Appy,

    As an international student pursuing a full time Masters in the UK, how easy is it to find a part-time job and what is the average sort of salary? Will I be able to meet my living expenses from working part-time?

    Hi there,

    There a number of resources to secure a part-time job while you pursue your Masters in the UK. Birmingham's cost of living is relatively low compared to other big cities like London, so that is helpful. I am not sure if you will be able to meet all your living expenses from working part-time as it depends on a lot of factors such as: your current skill set/hireability, the amount of time your studies allow you to work part-time, the number and kind of jobs in the market and the number of hours they are able to let you work (especially keeping coronavirus-related economic effects in mind), and lastly the quality of life you would be pursuing. This includes rent, bills, food, travel, entertainment, shopping and so on. I would recommend you to err on the side of caution and be prepared to cover at least 50% of your total expenses out of your own pocket. It may be possible for you to work 10-12 hours per week, but it is usually harder to secure a job that offers 20 hours/week. I wish you luck with your endeavors and hope this was helpful! Take care, Appy

  27. Hi Appy.

    I am looking at applying for the MRes in Molecular and Cellular Biology, but I am slightly confused about the application process. When applying, it requires me to state a project that I want to do. Does this mean I should be contacting professors now, to discuss what research they are currently conducting?

    In addition to this, I wondered what sort of projects are available? My final year project was looking at autophagy in CLN7 disease cells, so involved western blotting and quantitative real time pcr. I loved doing this and would like to continue in neurodegenerative disorders, but I am open to anything similar. Do you think this is possible?

    Thanks.

    Hello, thank you very much for your question and apologies in the delay getting back to you. My name is Emma from the Postgraduate Recruitment team, and I am replying on behalf of the mentor as they have not yet answered it.

    Unfortunately I cannot answer Appy's question as I don't know their course in detail, however if you want specific information on course content and available projects, find the course page on our website (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/combined/biosciences/molecular-cellular-biology.aspx) then at the bottom of the page there should be a 'Make an enquiry' button. You can then send an email to someone on the relevant team, who should be able to help!

    Best of luck, PG Recruitment

  28. Hello, I am a student from India and I am applying for the MRes in Molecular and Cellular Biology program for the 2020 September intake. Since you have gained the same degree I would like to know about your experience working at Birmingham. Being an international student how did you manage your tuition funds? Did you apply for any scholarships or work part-time while pursuing the course? Did you get the opportunity to write research papers based on your topic and were there conferences where you presented your work? Looking forward to hearing back from you. Thank you.

    Hello, thank you very much for your question and apologies in the delay getting back to you. My name is Emma from the Postgraduate Recruitment team, and I am replying on behalf of the mentor as they have not yet answered it.

    I can't speak for Appy's experience specifically but in terms of funding, please refer to our funding database (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding/index.aspx) for possible funding opportunities. You may also find information on our international pages useful, including our page on international scholarships (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/International/students/finance/scholarships/index.aspx).

    Whether you can write research papers or present your projects in conferences may depend on your thesis project. If you want further clarification, I would advise that you make an enquiry to the relevant team. At the bottom of the course page (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/combined/biosciences/molecular-cellular-biology.aspx) there is a 'Make an enquiry' button. Submitting a question there will send it to someone on the team, who will hopefully be able to help!

    Best wishes, PG Recruitment

  29. Hey, I have applied for the course Food Safety, Hygiene and Management. I would like to know about the scope of this subject in the UK. I am also keen to know about how hands-on the University of Birmingham is in regards to the students jobs and employability?

    Hello!

    Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, Food, Safety and Management isn't my area of expertise so I am unable to be very helpful in this regard. As for job and employability opportunities, there are numerous career fairs held on the through the year. In addition, the career office is able to help you build your resume and give you guidance on interviewing well. However, my experience tells me that you have to do the work yourself to land yourself an interview and a position eventually. The university doesn't do campus placements, if that is what you are implying.

    Appy

    https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/alumni/careers/graduate-careers/index.aspx

  30. Hello, I would like to apply for the MRes in Molecular and Cellular Biology, however I have a BSc in Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering. Do you know if Birmingham will allow a transfer from Engineering to Biology, or if perhaps there is a similar programme that is more suited for someone with an Engineering background?

    Hi,

    Honestly, I don't have an idea about your special situation. I think it may be okay but you should email the course director Dr. Peter Winn (p.j.winn@bham.ac.uk), and see what he says before you begin planning your application.

    Hope this is helpful.

    Appy

  31. Hi, since this course is a 1 year program, and Indian companies or PhDs prefer 2 years programs, will this effect my job or research opportunities?

    Hi again, I am not sure about Indian companies. If they base your qualifications based on your number of years in academia, then yes they may judge you negatively because you did a one year program, rather than two. However, it won't affect your prospects of doing a PhD or other research opportunities. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  32. Hi, I am a undergraduate student from India, and I got an offer for Molecular Biotechnology. I wanted to know if there are any campus placements from the University of Birmingham? Does Birmingham have any links with companies or industries?

    Hi there! Congratulations on your offer from UoB! Since you didn't mention which course you're being accepted into, I will assume it is a Masters in Molecular Biotechnology. From what I know, no campus in the UK including Birmingham does campus placements. The best way to land a job is to start looking for openings on various websites and to apply for them online, using your resume tailored to the job description. If they call you in for an interview, then you prepare for the interview and try to do your best. The greatest caveat in working in the UK after your Masters there, especially in the industry, is the lack of work visa sponsorships because it's easier for the company to hire someone more local. Something to keep in mind as you plan your future in the UK. Its probably a bit easier to land an academic job, especially if it is in a field of your speciality/degree. Just search for jobs in the university websites (some of these may only be available to you once you have a university userID/password)

  33. Hi Appy, how are you? I have a Masters of Science (Botany) from India and I now live in the UK. I want to do an MPhil in my subject. Can you help me find out what the first step is to join the University?

    Hello

    Thanks for reaching out. Your first step would be to decide what field you want to get into and based on that, you would have to narrow down the program you are interested in applying for (there are only a handful of MPhil programs offered at Bham: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/research/search.aspx?CurrentTab=Search&CourseKeywords=MPhil)

    Check these out:

    https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/research/gees/earth-sciences.aspx https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/research/social-policy/health-services-management.aspx

    Once you have decided on the course you want to apply for, just follow the instructions for Application Requirements on the relevant web page and you should be okay.

    Hope this helps you get the ball rolling. Good luck!

    Appy

  34. Hi, I am applying for an MRes in Molecular and Cellular Biology and I wanted to know as this is research based, after my tuition fees do I have to pay extra money for my research projects or pay any extra money for materials?

    Hello,

    Your tuition covers all your fees, including research project-related materials.

    Appy

  35. Have you joined any clubs or societies, gone on any research trips or done any volunteering?

    I have been working part-time during the entire duration of my stay here, in addition to full-time research work, followed by full-time thesis writing currently. I went to an RNA Conference at the University of Exeter along with my lab group a couple of months back.

  36. What, for you, are the best things about the course?

    Well, academically, the opportunity to work in two very different labs under two supervisors with very different styles of research and supervision has opened my mind to the scope of research, and given me an invaluable understanding of the research world, that would have never been possible without my experience here.

  37. What has been the highlight of your time at Birmingham?

    Outside of study, the cultural exposure to British and non-British values all conglomerating within a small space has really broadened my horizons, helped me push my comfort zone and given me a large number and variety of new friends here in the UK.

  38. Why did you choose the University of Birmingham?

    I picked the University of Birmingham because of its location within the second city of the UK and its closeness to London and because of its extremely high international ranking and reputation in Biosciences and research work. Once I was admitted, it was the most obvious choice for me, honestly.

  39. What was your motivation for undertaking postgraduate study?

    The reason I applied for postgraduate study was so I'd be able to get into a PhD programme of my choice, within the realm of Molecular Biology. I picked this program because it’s similar to a mini PhD programme and gives students a taste of what it feels like to be full-time research student, and an idea of different projects one could get involved in during their postgraduate study.

  40. How will your degree prepare you for what you want to do afterwards?

    This degree laid the groundwork for a PhD programme so I can further train as a scientist in the future.

  41. Do you have anything lined up for once you have completed your degree?

    Following the completion of my Masters degree, I started a fully-funded PhD program in Molecular and Cellular Biology at State University of New York Medical Center.

  42. Dear Appy, I would like to ask you about the types of assessment at Birmingham University for the MSc in Molecular Biotechnology. Are these examinations or assignments? Thank you.

    Hi! The short answer is that you would encounter a mix of both forms of assessments when you start the MSc Molecular Biotechnology course at University of Birmingham.

    Here's a description of the kinds of exercises, right from the course website -

    Assessments:

    • Project reports and project talks, oral presentations, extended essays, written reports, practical reports -- assignments
    • Class tests on data-handling and data interpretation -- examinations
    • Written grant application or business plan -- assignments

    Hope this answers your question. Let me know if you need any other information.

  43. What is the cost of living like in Birmingham; is it high or low?

    Good Day!

    The cost of living in Birmingham is quite moderate relative to other big cities in the UK. The student housing area named Selly Oak, which is within walking distance of the university campus has a lot of inexpensive housing for rent. Also, to get around, trains are very affordable (approx. £3 per round trip to city center, for instance), especially if you have a rail pass and you can get a student discount on all train tickets. Lastly, as a student, you are able to avail a large number of student discounts in shopping, restaurants, food, going out, as well as travel.

    The following link gives you a (generous) estimate of living expenses at Birmingham:

    http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/undergraduate/support/moneyadvice/living.aspx

    Keep in mind that the cost of living here is nearly half that of the living expenses in London, which is quite good for the second city of the U.K. However, I will say that 'high' and 'low' are very relative terms, depending on where you are coming from and what your personal budget is going to be like.

    Hope this covers everything. Let me know if you have other questions.

    Cheers!

  44. Thank you for your previous answers. Can the University permit someone to set up a small scale business or work whilst studying? If yes, what is the process like when coming to the UK?

    You're welcome. I am assuming that you're planning to come to the UK as an international student. If so, I must let you know that all non-EU students come here on a student visa, also known as the tier 4 visa, that in turn, allows you to work part-time (upto 20 hours/week) on or off-campus, while you're in school and full-time (upto 40 hours/week) during breaks. To answer your other question - you are not allowed to begin your own small scale business, or any business, for that matter, while you're on a student visa. This permit is strictly meant only for individuals whose primary intention of coming in to the UK is studying and nothing more. Since you have given me no details of where you're from and what exact course you are interested in, I am going to go ahead and give you a general idea of what the procedure to get into the UK is like. Basically, you're required to first apply and get officially/unconditionally accepted into your course of your interest and then you'd need to apply for a Tier 4 visa in your home country's British High Commission. Go to your course's webpage for the school's application details. Additionally, here is a link detailing the basics of the student visa application:

    https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/overview

    http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/welcome/international/visas/student.aspx

    Hope this is helpful! Good Luck!

  45. Hi! I am really interested in this course. I am from Nigeria and I studied Industrial Physics at Imo State University in Nigeria. I have obtained a BSc in Pure and Industrial Physics. I want to do my MSc and PhD in any Physics related courses. I don't have any intension of establishing something over in the UK, but I would like to engage myself with work to help with my further study.

    I understand. Go ahead and have a look at the below links:

    http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/physics/postgraduate/physics-pg-contacts.aspx http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/apply-pg/index.aspx

    in order to contact the Physcis department for postgraduate admission and to find out how to apply. The sooner you start the process, the better because visa application will consume some time as well.

    Best wishes,

    A

  46. I am a postgraduate student of Environmental Management in Nigeria and I have applied for a PhD In Environmental Science. What are the sources of funding available for a PhD program, as i am looking at doing a PhD studentship in Birmingham?

    Hello!

    I regret to say that Environmental Risk management is not my area of expertise but here is a list of scholarships that may apply to you:

    http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding/FundingFilter.aspx?levelOfStudy__taxonomyDropDownList=0%2f1%2f3112%2f3113%2f3119%2f3123&subject__taxonomyDropDownList=0%2f1%2f3112%2f3114%2f3134%2f3193&feeCat__taxonomyDropDownList=0%2f1%2f3112%2f3115%2f3130&country__taxonomyDropDownList=0%2f1%2f3112%2f3115%2f3130%2f3363&applicantStatus=Prospective

    Here is another website that you might find useful:

    http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/dr-fees/index.aspx

    You should check with your local government for more PhD funding options as well.

    Feel free to email the department directly and ask them about your funding options as an international student.

    Best wishes.

     

  47. Hi Appy, I'm about to start an MRes in Cancer Sciences this year and I was interested in taking part in an extracurricular sport. What was your timetabling like on Wednesday afternoons? Did you have some flexibility with your research project to allow you to participate in activities during your MRes?

    Hi!

    It really all depends on your project and YOUR schedule, which could be different from what I had. Usually, people are quite flexible with their schedule in the lab and unless you have a meeting with your supervisor, you are able to leave for a short bit (say, an hour) and come back and work late, if you like. As long as you get the work done, while you are multitasking, that is all that ultimately matters.

    So, in short, yes, you will be able to pursue extracurricular sports, along with the MRes program and practice on, say, Wednesday afternoons. Just make sure you communicate that to your labmates and your supervisor.

    Hope this helps!

  48. Hi Appy, I am from India and I am doing my undergraduate in Advanced Zoology and Biotechnology. I would love to pursue something in Neurosciences for my Masters. Since Birmingham is my first choice, what course would you advise me to take that sort of covers my passion?

    Hi there! I am glad to hear that Birmingham is your top choice for pursuing your Masters study abroad.

    I did a simple search and the following postgraduate courses popped up under 'Neuroscience' :

    Course Name Level Course type Neuroscience and Neurophysiology PhD/MSc by Research Postgraduate Doctoral research Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience MSc Postgraduate Taught Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics MSc Postgraduate Taught Psychology PhD/MSc (Research) Postgraduate Distance learning, doctoral research Psychology MSc Postgraduate Taught

    ( http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/search.aspx?q=neuroscience&MultipleSearch_courselist_coursefilterbuttons=Postgraduate)

    Click on the links to learn more about the courses and you can contact the departments directly by sending them your enquiry via emails as well.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Good luck on your journey!!

    Appy

  49. Hi Appy! I'd like to know more about the employability after completing a Masters from the University of Birmingham? Since students put in a lot of capital for the one year study and time there, what are my chances of being placed in a reputed firm after graduating? I plan to take up either an MSc in Toxicology or Molecular and Cellular Biology. Thank you.

    Hi!

    Here's what the University of Birmingham website says about employability in the two fields that you've enquired about:

    http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/taught/biosciences/toxicology.aspx#EmployabilityTab --

    What can I do with an MSc in Toxicology?

    The success rate of students on the MSc in Toxicology programme is approximately 95% and the career opportunities are excellent. Even in times of economic hardship toxicology remains a necessary and important area for funding. The current concern over environmental safety adds to these opportunities.

    Those completing the programme in recent years have been employed, for example, in:

    • the pharmaceutical industries
    • contract research laboratories
    • government bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive, Health Protection Agency, Food Standards Agency
    • NHS Poisons Units
    • water research establishments in pollution control
    • hospital and research laboratories

    http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/combined/biosciences/molecular-cellular-biology.aspx#EmployabilityTab --

    Graduates of the  Molecular and Cellular Biology MRes typically proceed to PhDs in a variety of institutes in the UK and abroad, although a few have become lab technicians in academic research groups. Since the MRes involves working in two different research groups, this allows our students to get experience with a broad range of laboratory techniques. These practical skills together with the critical thinking developed in the lab and via the taught modules gives our graduates a strong CV for PhD applications.

    As far as my personal experience is concerned, most of my friends in my MRes program ended up gettung accepted into PhD positions, and others ended up doing things like working on cancer research for NHS, working as research assistant/associates in various universities and research labs in the UK and/or back in their home country, working in the pharmaceutical companies such as Sigma Aldrich and one of them got hired as a junior scientist by a pharma company in India. Because of Birmingham's high ranking and great international academic reputation, particularly in the Biosciences, employability is usually almost 100%.

    Hope this helps!

  50. Hi Appy, I'm currently applying for a MRes in Molecular and Cellular Biology. How detailed does the research proposal need to be which I need to write for the application? Thank you

    Hello!

    To be honest, when I applied for my MRes program in 2012, I didn't have to do a research proposal, so I am assuming things have changed now. I just had a look at the website and this is what it says:

    *Research summary (maximum 2000 characters)

    Provide a brief outline of your likely topic of research or which research group you wish to be attached to. A scanned copy of your full research proposal will be required at the upload documents section of the application.

    So, I'd say don't go overboard. Keep it succinct. Also, it might not hurt to email the admissions person or even the program director directly for specific instructions before you go on to write your research proposal.

    Hope I could be of some help.

    Good Luck,

    Appy

  51. Hello Appy, I am planning to apply for a PhD course in Molecular Biotechnology. What I want to ask you is whether the projects available are structured ones or are they independent projects? Also, regarding funding other than tuition fees and admission fees, do we get any monthly allowance for living costs etc.?

    Hello!

    I honestly don't understand your question. Let me clarify certain things: first, all PhD programs are independent projects, under the guidance of a mentor or PI, who has hopefully accepted them into your lab. There is some structure to the program obviously, but overall, you choose which lab you want to do your PhD in, and depending on their availability, you go from there. Besides, I am not sure if the university has a PhD specifically has a doctoral course in Molecular Biotechnology, per say. It has projects from different domains of Biosciences available for you to apply in, however. Please have a look at this link for more clarification:

    http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/research/bio/biosciences.aspx#ResearchInterestsTab

    Lastly, since you haven't mentioned whether you're an international, I am going to answer the question from my perspective as a non-EU student. A small number of PhD's come with funding for non-EU students. However, its best to look for your own funds, such as Darwin Scholarship. If you look into the projects available in the above link, you will get an idea of how they are funded.

    I only did a Masters in the UK, so I don't have a very thorough idea of the PhD application process in the UK. However, I hope this helps.

     

    Appy

     

  52. Hi, I've applied for the MRes Molecular and Cell Biology course, could you help me get in touch with supervisors in the cancer research department at the University of Birmingham?

    Hello!

    You can certainly apply to do one or both of your projects in the Institute of Cancer Sciences. Please have a look at the following links:

    http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/cancer-genomics/research/index.aspx

    http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/cancer-genomics/research/genetics-biology.aspx

    http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/cancer-genomics/research/genomics-statistics.aspx

    You can click on the blue hyperlinks and obtain information about the wide variety of ongoing cancer research, the names of researchers and if you click on their names, you'll be directed to their contact information as well.

    My advice would be to first create a list of all the researchers whose work you are interested in and then email them a short cover letter, letting them know of your interest and why you think you would be a good fit for their lab. Besides, make sure to send your CV or professional resume with the email and ask to make an appointment with the ones that get back to you.

    Emailing professors/supervisors is the best strategy to get a hold of them, to learn more about their work, and to gauge their interest in taking in MRes students for short projects.

    I wish you all the luck in your endeavour!

    Sincerely,

    Appy

  53. I'm hoping to do a the same MRes as you and was wondering how I go about doing the research proposal. Should I first find a supervisor and then create a research proposal or do I need to find a research gap myself?

    Hello!

    I am excited to hear that you're considering the Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) MRes program! Its really opened up some big opportunities for me.

    In addressing your question regarding the research proposal: when I applied for my MRes program in 2012, I didn't have to write one, so I assume things have changed now. Because the proposal is a summary of your intended topic of research, and since you are at the application stage (i.e. you are not accepted into the program yet), I'd recommend that you go through the website descriptions of labs you are interested in. Use this to guide your brief research proposal. Besides, you can always email research investigators directly expressing interest in joining their labs for short-term MRes projects for the upcoming year and ask them questions. It also doesn't hurt to clarify these things with the academic coordinator of the course, Dr. Peter Winn or the admissions in-charge for the program.

    Hope I could be of some help. Feel free to write back if you have any follow-up questions.

    Good Luck,

    Appy

  54. Hi Appy, how do I know if the Academics have the expertise for my chosen research subject?

    Hi there!

    I am glad you're considering applying to UoB. Usually a good measure of the expertise of professors comes from their academic credentials, such as their educational and research backgrounds. You may go to the website of the department of interest and look for names of professors that fall under that department. You may then go to their specific websites and research their bios to ensure that they have expertise in the subjects you're applying for.

    Hope this helps.

    Appy

  55. Hello, I hold an offer to study the MSc in Molecular Biotechnology. I would like to know the options or the various fields of research students undertake after getting their degree from the University of Birmingham? Also I would like to know if it is possible being an international student to apply for jobs in Biotechnological companies in the UK after completing my course? Thank you!

    Hello!

    First of all, congratulations on holding an offer of acceptance in the Molecular Biotechnology MSc programme at University of Birmingham! In my experience, the most common path that students take after getting a MSc in a field similar to yours is continuing education by doing a PhD in the same or similar field. While some students end up working as lab technicians or research assistants to gain more work experience, another lot end up working for Biotech companies in the UK or abroad. In addition, to address your second question, yes - you may apply for those companies after graduating from your program. However, you will have to secure sponsorship to stay and work in the UK from your future employer (since the student visa doesn't allow you to work after your program). You will have to bring this up during or after your job interview with a potential employer and see if they are willing to sponsor your stay in the UK.

    I'd also recommend checking out some of the following link:

    http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/biosciences/courses/postgraduate/careers.aspx

    Besides, note that:

    Who is this programme aimed at?

    • Those looking for a future in a biotechnology or an other life sciences related industry
    • Those interested in pursuing a research career in life sciences in industry or academia
    • Those returning from industry to obtain higher qualifications

    (http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/taught/biosciences/molecular-biotechnology.aspx#CourseDetailsTab)

    Let me know if you have any further questions and I hope the above information is helpful in your career planning.

    Cheers,

    A

  56. Hi, I'm thinking of applying for an MRes at the end of my time at university but I'm not sure on the exact subject I want to research. Is it compulsory to stick to the same topic in our research proposal or are we guided by our supervisors on what subject to continue in once we get a place? Also what is the interview process for applicants?

    Hi there!

    The way the MRes programs work is that you pick one from the list of available programs at University of Birmingham based on your future goals and its compatibility with your academic and professional profile, and apply to that specific program to be accepted first. Once accepted, you have a chance to communicate with a wide array of labs and potential mentors and see if there is an availability in their lab for a new MRes student. This is where you can choose from many different schools and from a list of labs working on a wide variety of research topics. Just make sure to do your research online first. The Birmingham website is very thorough and gives you information about all kinds of research taking place on campus. For the MRes in Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) program specifically, you get to choose two different labs in order to execute two different thesis-based research projects over the course of your one-year program. Its the equivalent of what we call 'lab rotations' in the United States.

    Additionally, you can certainly deviate from the original research proposal you submit and you can definitely seek help from the course supervisor to decide what area to work in.

    Lastly, back when I applied for the MRes in MCB program, there wasn't an interview process. There was an application process however, which included submitting one's academic portfolio as well as a detailed statement of purpose describing what your future goals are and how applying for the particular program fits into them.

    Let me know if you have any further questions. Remember that the more specific your question is, the better I will be able to answer it. I wish you luck with your application process!

    Appy

  57. Hello! I would like to apply for the MRes in Molecular and Cell Biology. I have several questions about this course before I apply. I love the area of immunology and cancer so would this area be available to study and research? I am in the process of writing my personal statement, do you have any advice on how to write one that stands out? Also do you know how many people are offered a place each year or how competitive it is? Thank you!

    Hello! It is wonderful to hear that you’re excited about immunology and cancer research. Yes, you have a chance to email and contact professors/labs from the area of your research interest, once you are accepted into the program. Since Birmingham is known for its world-class cancer research, there are some really good options that you can first research on the website. Here are a couple of links to get you started:

    https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/immunology-immunotherapy/research/index.aspx

    https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/immunology-immunotherapy/staff/staff-principal-investigators.aspx

    As far as your personal statement goes, I would recommend making a compelling argument, logical as well as passionate, convincing the admissions committee that you’d be a good candidate for the MRes program in Molecular and Cellular Biology. You should focus on making sure your future goals are clearly written, and that they are in alignment with your past academic and work experience so that the MRes looks like a connecting link between the two. Also, definitely make it a point to mention your interest in cancer and immunology. The more specific your short and long-term goals are, the better prepared it makes you look. This definitely makes a better impression on the AdCom.

    When I did my MRes program back in 2013, ours was a small group of fewer than 20 students. Since Birmingham has a world-class reputation in higher education, particularly in biomedical research, most of these programs are competitive but the admissions process is fair. If you make a strong case in favor of your career goals, you will definitely get in. Hope this helps! I wish you luck with the application process!

  58. Hello, I would like to know if BDS graduates can also apply for this degree? And do they need to provide a research proposal during applying?

    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out. As long as you meet the entry requirements for the MRes course, you should be eligible to apply for it.

    • Here is a link that goes over entry requirements:

    https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/combined/biosciences/molecular-cellular-biology.aspx#CourseDetailsTab

    "Typical offer: 2:1 or higher Honours degree in Biochemistry, Biology, or other life sciences

    A first- or upper second-class Honours degree. We would particularly welcome applications from those with a background in the physical sciences, as well as those with degrees in Biochemistry, Biology or other life sciences.

    International students:

    Academic requirements

    We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country."

    • More specifically, here are the entry requirements for Indian students:

    https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/International/students/country/india/index.aspx#EntryRequirementsTab

    In essence, based on the nature of your BDS degree (which I am not very familiar with), you should be able to apply. For more clarification, you may write to the course coordinator, Dr. Scott White at bio-pgradmin@contacts.bham.ac.uk

    Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck with your application process!

  59. Hi Appy, hope you are doing well. I wanted to know what the scope of the MRes in Molecular and Cellular biology is. If in the near future I chose not to do a PhD would this course help me in getting a job as a research associate? Can you work in the same university as a lecturer or researcher after completing an MRes?

    Hi there!

    The scope of the MRes program is that it will allow you to work toward your further studies or work as a research assistant in a lab and perhaps rise to the position of a lab manager over the years. However, its scope is limited in that most good/well-paid research positions are going to look for individuals with a PhD. You can possibly be a lecturer at a small university but I doubt you could do it at a large university such as University of Birmingham. I would recommend you to do your own research in this regard as well.

    Hope my answer helps inform your application process.

  60. Hey! I recently got a conditional offer for the MSc in Immunology and Immunotherapy. I want to know about the life of International students on campus. Also, how should I find projects that are suitable for me? How are the lectures and assessments for my course? Can I join social clubs during my course period? Thank you.

    Hi!

    Congratulations on receiving your conditional offer for the MSc program in Immunology and Immunotherapy! That's very exciting!

    The university of Birmingham as well as the city of Birmingham are full of opportunities for international students. Not only does the campus attract students from all over the world, but the city is one of the most diverse places in the UK. There are over 250 clubs and societies to choose from and become a part of:  https://www.guildofstudents.com/studentgroups/

    Usually, international students are able to meet students from their home country, other countries and make friends with students, based on their shared interests. Its a great way to socialize and make the best of your experience in Birmingham. You can and should definitely join social clubs during your course period. They will give you a more wholesome experience during your postgraduate program.

    As far as finding projects that are suitable for you, please email and contact professors/labs from the area of your research interest, stating your acceptance into the program. Since Birmingham is known for its world-class cancer research, there are some really good options that you can first research on the website. Here are a couple of links to get you started:

    https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/immunology-immunotherapy/research/index.aspx

    https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/immunology-immunotherapy/staff/staff-principal-investigators.aspx

    Lastly, assessments for your course are broken into the following:

    "Taught Modules Modules are assessed through a variety of means including extended essays (up to 3000 words), preparation of a research proposal, preparing and conducting a short presentation on a defined topic related to the module content, and unseen written examination (essays, short answer, MCQ).

    Dissertation This is defined as a substantial body of work containing some new findings or thoughts. It is envisaged that this will be 10,000-15,000 words in length. You will be assigned to a suitable supervisor and agree the nature of the research at the start of their programme."

    (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/taught/med/immunology-and-immunotherapy.aspx#LearningAndTeachingTab)

    Hope this is helpful! Good luck!