Research course

English and Humanities

Institution
Birkbeck, University of London · English, Theatre and Creative Writing
Qualifications
MPhil/PhD

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Entry requirements

A good honours degree and preferably an MA in literary, historical or other disciplines of cultural studies.

Prior to interview you will need to submit a research proposal of 2000 words.

Months of entry

January, April, October

Course content

The Department of English, Theatre and Creative Writing offers committed, enthusiastic and dynamic research-based teaching, with a constantly evolving curriculum sensitive to developments in contemporary culture.

We actively foster the creation of a lively graduate intellectual community and our students' professional development. A large number of our recent PhD graduates have successfully obtained permanent academic posts in leading universities in Britain, the United States and other countries.

An MPhil/PhD is an advanced postgraduate research degree that requires original research and the submission of a substantial dissertation. 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, English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 91% of eligible staff submitted research, of which 75% was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent. We welcome applications for research in all areas of English, cultural studies and related areas, including: Old English, Old Norse, medieval literature and culture, the Renaissance and early modern periods, the Enlightenment, Romantic and Victorian studies, the modern and contemporary periods, literary and cultural theory, gender studies, theatre studies, poetics and creative writing (including practice-based research).

Highlights
  • With more than 100 students undertaking research for MPhil/PhDs, Birkbeck's Department of English, Theatre and Creative Writing has a large and thriving postgraduate community - the largest body of graduate students in English studies in the University of London. Supervision is available in literature from Old Icelandic to contemporary writing, and we are also well regarded for our work on interdisciplinary research topics in cultural history and theory.
  • 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.
  • We place great emphasis on ensuring that graduate supervision is thorough, professionally conducted and leads to the successful completion of a thesis. We offer a dedicated research skills course at the start of the degree with the option of a paleography course for those working on early periods. As well as observing strict guidelines on supervision, a senior member of staff acts as director of graduate studies and co-ordinates the monitoring of our students' progress.
  • A termly graduate forum allows students formally to discuss issues of graduate provision and resources with staff.
  • 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