A good degree in ancient history, archaeology, classical studies, classics, history or a related discipline. Students applying for the MPhil/PhD by distance learning will need a distinction at MA level (or equivalent) in history, classics, or archaeology.
Months of entry
January, October, April
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, History at Birkbeck was ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent. 94% of our eligible staff submitted research and we achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research. Our research areas include: Early and Later Prehistory, Classical Greek, Hellenistic and Roman Republican archaeology; Roman provincial archaeology; and late antique and early medieval archaeology, with a focus on the eastern Mediterranean and western Indian Ocean. Key specialisms include: archaeology of human evolution, archaeology of prehistoric architecture, archaeology of urban settlement, archaeology of cult and ritual, death and burial, port archaeology, social archaeology, archaeology and photography, attitudes to the past, post-colonialism and archaeology, and interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies in history and archaeology.
A research degree offers you the opportunity to acquire a highly advanced set of conceptual skills developed in the pursuit of new knowledge, which can be applied within or beyond an academic or scholarly context. Research training in any academic discipline helps to channel creativity into critical innovatory reasoning. The legitimate authority of original, independent research depends upon persuasive analytical arguments supported by critically evaluated evidence.
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.
This course is also available for distance learning, which makes it ideal if your work, family or personal commitments make coming into Birkbeck difficult, if you are living in another country, or if you live near an archive, museum or site that is central to your research. You can conduct all of your supervisions via Skype or other virtual meeting software. You will have to visit the main Birkbeck campus in Bloomsbury, central London at the end of your first year (full-time students) or your second year (part-time students), during MPhil/PhD Induction Week. You will also need to visit London for your upgrade from MPhil and to present a paper (these may be scheduled to coincide), and you will also usually need to be present in London for your PhD viva, at the end of your programme.
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 no less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests and at least 7.0 in writing.
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- Student Advice Service
- +44(0) 20 3907 0700