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Entry requirements

A good honours degree with a Japan-related subject as a main component.

Graduates in other subjects may be asked to take a qualifying examination.

You will need to submit a 2000-word research proposal prior to interview.

Months of entry

January, October

Course content

An MPhil/PhD is an advanced postgraduate research degree that requires original research and the submission of a substantial dissertation of 60,000 to 100,000 words. 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.

Our aim is to assist you with the transition to become a fully fledged, independent academic researcher. Our doctoral programme is geared towards enabling you to produce top-quality work that questions the boundaries of the disciplines we work in and seeks to bring new materials, theories and methods into them. Becoming a successful academic researcher is achieved on the basis of a full appreciation of the hallmarks of good scholarship, such as original thought, the proper use of references and background material, appropriate use of methodology and reporting procedures, and it is these priorities that we aim to impart to our students.

Once equipped with the generic and discipline-specific tools for carrying out research, you will pursue your particular research interests, supported by regular meetings with your supervisors and attendance at the MPhil/PhD seminars. We seek to create a mutually supportive environment, informed by discussion and dialogue.

MPhil students may be required to take appropriate courses from MA programmes offered by the School of Arts in their first year.

Highlights
  • Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent; 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.
  • 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.

Birkbeck has a longstanding academic partnership with the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, which aims to promote the study of Japanese culture and history in UK higher education. Prospective PhD students in this area are able to apply for one of 30 studentships awarded nationally by the GBSF each year, worth £10,000 per year. If you need further information, contact .

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
    24-84 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