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Entry requirements

A good honours degree in French or equivalent.

Specific indication of research interests or outline of proposed research prior to interview.

Months of entry

January, October

Course content

At MPhil/PhD level we aim for students to make the transition into fully fledged, independent academic researchers, with the skills necessary to present their research orally as well as in writing, in addition to pushing back the frontiers of knowledge. Such independence is achieved through good scholarship, which includes original thought, the proper use of references, background material, methodology and accountable reporting procedures; it is these priorities that we aim to impart to our students.

An MPhil/PhD is an advanced postgraduate research degree that requires original research and the submission of a substantial dissertation. The MPhil thesis is not more than 60,000 words; the PhD thesis is not more than 100,000 words. The thesis requirements for a practice-based project vary according to the nature of the research and can be discussed with the admissions tutors. Both the MPhil and the PhD are assessed by a viva voce examination.

At Birkbeck, you are initially registered on an MPhil and you upgrade to a PhD after satisfactory progress in the first year or two. You need to find a suitable academic supervisor at Birkbeck, who can offer the requisite expertise to guide and support you through your research. Find out more about undertaking a research degree at Birkbeck.

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent. We are able to provide supervision in most aspects of French language, literature and culture, including: the Renaissance; classicism; the Enlightenment; literature from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century; travel literature; the fantastic; literature and the visual arts; literary criticism; gender studies; history of French thought; contemporary literature; French linguistics; bilingualism; French cinema; colonial and contemporary French history. Supervision in interdisciplinary subjects is also possible.

Highlights
  • Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the most recent Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • Once equipped with the tools for carrying out research, you pursue your particular research interests, supported by regular meetings with your supervisor and attendance at MPhil/PhD seminars.
  • As a research student, you will be given help to establish contacts in France with institutions such as the Institut Mémoires de l'Édition Contemporaine in Paris, as well as with individual scholars.
  • The School of Arts is an official partner of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Opportunities for students have included a year’s free membership of the ICA, private views, discounts on all talks and events, free members' screenings and £3 cinema tickets on Tuesdays, up to 25% off ICA Artists' Editions and a monthly e-newsletter.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Fees and funding

PhD students resident in England can apply for government loans of over £26,000 to cover the cost of tuition fees, maintenance and other study-related costs.

Outstanding MPhil/PhD researchers are encouraged to apply for our competitive scholarships and studentships, which cover fees and maintenance. Read more and apply now.

Find out more about other research funding opportunities at Birkbeck.

Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

Fees discounts: If you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil/PhD
    part time
    84 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Student Advice Service
Email
studentadvice@bbk.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)20 3907 0700