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AHRC Scholarships via Midlands 4 Cities

If you are a prospective UK/EU MPhil/PhD student, the Midlands 4 Cities consortium will be your first port-of-call for (AHRC) scholarships. Only if you are unsuccessful in securing AHRC funding via M4C will you then be entered into competition for other Warwick scholarships for which you may be eligible. The M4C site, which features comprehensive guidance, can be found here.

Some key things to note regarding the submission of your application:

The deadline:

The deadline for M4C funding is 14 January 2020 (noon) but anyone interested in this scheme must first contact the Department of Film and Television Studies at Warwick with a draft of their proposals no later than 30 November 2019. All applications are subject to internal approval. For enquiries and information related to PhD admissions, please contact Tiago de Luca at

Application process:

You will need to make your application via two routes:
You need to fill out (1) a Warwick University Swift application form as well as (2) the Midlands 4 Cities application form.

To submit your application with M4C you will need an applicant ID number from Warwick. This will be automatically generated once you begin your Swift application form with Warwick. (In order to see the number, you can log out of Swift then log back in; on the first screen you reach it is the number under ‘Folder Name’).

You are encourage to attend the upcoming M4C Application Writing Workshop that is taking place at Coventry University on 16 November 2019, details of which can be found here.

For (non-UK) EU applicants:

Unless they have been living in the UK for 3 years previous to the start of their studentship, EU applicants from other countries are awarded an EU fees-only studentship. It is possible, depending on M4C funds available, that EU applicants may be offered studentships comprising fees and full stipend. It is important to note that this is not guaranteed, but will be offered wherever possible.

Completing the Form:

The Midlands 4 Cities site is here. Their guidance to filling out the application form can be found here, and some sample completed forms can be found here.


M4C requires that you name at least two supervisors for your thesis. This is true even if you will be undertaking the PhD with us only (as opposed to a co-supervision with another of the M4C universities, or an external partner). You can still name one member of staff as your lead supervisor, and so need only approach one person in the first instance. After consulting with you they should be able to give a sense of who else might be appropriate to approach, so do ask them for advice if you are unsure. The Warwick Film & Television staff list is here.

The research statement

The research statement - in which you outline your proposed thesis topic/approach, its importance, and your suitability as a candidate - is the most important aspect of your proposal. You should work on your research statement independently, but it is recommended that you periodically share it with your prospective supervisor/s, who may be able to offer comments; our PhD Admissions officer Tiago de Luca can also help advise you on how to refine it.

The M4C form requires that your research proposal have this structure:

  • Please provide a project title for your proposed programme of research
  • Outline your proposed project and your preparation for study and previous experience (400 words)
  • Explain the context of the research, its aims and objectives, its potential application and impact. (400 words)
  • Please identify any ethical and intellectual property issues associated with the project and how these will be addressed

There is also 200-words available to discuss ‘study visits or fieldwork’, which is not essential, but useful as a spur to thought (see the final heading below). Ask your prospective supervisor if you have queries about any of these questions.

Awards applied for:

There is a section of the form that asks you to list the awards you are applying for. To see what other awards (in addition to M4C AHRC grants) you may be eligible for, see here.

Working with other institutions

While not essential, it is worth considering whether your project would benefit from developing links with another M4C university.

Those universities are Birmingham, Birmingham City, De Montford University Leicester, Leicester University, Nottingham Trent University, University of Nottingham, and Coventry. This could mean something as significant as co-supervision of your thesis with a member of staff from another university. However, it could equally involve your proposal demonstrating your awareness of staff research, available training, research centres, research groups, or other resources available at another M4C university, which you could benefit from accessing. (This could potentially be included in the ‘study visits or fieldwork’ section of the application form.) Again, this is by no means essential, and should not seem forced or be included merely for the sake of it. Nonetheless, linked above are relevant faculty profile lists etc. for film/TV within each university, and it would be worth perusing them, and potentially reaching out to members of staff at these institutions if appropriate. The M4C site also has a function that allows you to search for relevant staff members by keyword; see here. Your potential supervisor may also be able to offer ideas on this matter.