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How to write an academic CV

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An academic CV is an essential part of your application for online postgraduate study. It is designed to showcase your scholastic qualifications and achievements, and to demonstrate your suitability as a student, rather than an employee.

To help you write an effective academic CV, here are some top tips from our Admissions Team:

1. Think about spacing and layout

Including too much detail and trying to cram everything you want to include onto a single page risks making an academic CV look cluttered and chaotic. Remember that your academic CV will be seen by our Admissions Team and the directors of the programme you’re applying to.

Ideally, your CV should be no more than two pages in length, neatly spaced and laid out clearly in sections. Keep it relevant and think of it as a framework of your academic experience; you can use your personal statement to go into a bit more detail about your professional experience and career aims.

Recommended read: Your personal statement says a lot about you – here’s a helpful guide for writing it!

2. Demonstrate how you meet all the entry requirements

Each of our online programmes has a set of entry requirements, and our Admissions Team will look to your academic CV to make sure that you meet them. List all your academic qualifications, certificates and diplomas in reverse chronological order and make sure you include institution, subject, qualification level and grade.

You can briefly outline your career experience, with dates and bullet points to describe key responsibilities and accomplishments – this is especially important if your chosen programme requires a minimum level of experience. Start with your current or most recent position, making it clear if you have held more than one position at any organisation.

If you are not a native English speaker but you are fluent in English, make sure to include this and any relevant English language qualifications.

3. Leave out unnecessary detail

Your suitability for online postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham will be based on how well you match the entry requirements and what you hope to achieve with a new degree qualification.

Unlike the application process for many job roles, we don’t need to consider your suitability from a personal perspective, so you don’t need to include information such as marital status, hobbies and interests, whether you hold a driver’s licence, or a photo of you.

Instead, save this space on your academic CV for details that will bolster your academic credibility and suitability.

For more information and advice on putting together your academic CV or any other aspect of your University of Birmingham application, please fill out a request information form or speak to a member of our Admissions Team.

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