Dept of History, Classics and Archaeology | Study here | Short courses and modules | What is it like to study a short course or module?
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What is it like to study a short course or module?

On this page you will find answers to common questions about what it's like to study a short course or module with us.

What is a 'module'?

  • A module is a unit of study that is typically taken over a period of 10 weeks. A module can be taken either as a stand-alone short course (for interest) or as part of a Certificate of Higher Education.

Are modules assessed?

  • Most modules are equivalent to undergraduate first-degree level and you will be expected to submit coursework.
  • Although they can be used for personal interest, we must stress that the majority of our modules (except the one-day schools) are academic courses. The number of assessed pieces ranges from one to four pieces of work per module.
  • Our one-day short courses do not have any assessment attached to them and do not count towards an award.

How much does a module cost?

  • Each module description carries details of fees. Check our online listings External Birkbeck Site for information on fee costs.

How long is a module?

  • A full module usually lasts for two terms (view term dates). Each term is usually 10 weeks long. You attend the module once a week, usually for two hours. The total amount of time you spend in class is 40 hours.
  • A half module lasts for one term. Again, you attend the module once a week, usually for two hours. The total amount of time you spend in class is 20 hours.
  • Some students choose to take more than one module a year. We would advise any student who intends to do this to discuss the workload involved with our subject staff.

Where are modules taught?

  • Modules are held at a number of venues throughout Central London as well as the greater London area. You will find venue details in our online course descriptions External Birkbeck Site.

Are modules held in the daytime or evening?

  • Most of our modules are held in the evenings. A few are held in the day, usually from 2 to 4pm. Modules may start in September, January and April. Modules starting in January and April will be 10-week one-term modules.

Who teaches modules?

  • Modules are taught by associate lecturers with a wide range of experience, both practical and theoretical.

How are modules taught?

  • Classes normally take the form of lectures and discussion, and sometimes include a variety of exercises and group work. External visits may also be included as part of the teaching schedule.

How much work is involved?

  • In addition to the time you spend in class, you need to put aside two to four hours of study time per week for each module you take (for your own reading) and further time when preparing for coursework.

What happens after I apply?

  • Once you have applied, you will get a copy of the course outline and syllabus, which will tell you more about the individual module.
  • Once you have enrolled on a course, we will send you a student handbook, which will provide an overview of each award and the resources available to you.
  • Course outlines give you a basic reading list for each module, although your tutor will give you more specific advice when the class starts.

Will I have access to Birkbeck's library?

  • All short course and certificate students may join Birkbeck library free of charge.
  • If you are taking classes where enrolment is taken by Birkbeck, you will automatically be issued a library card.
  • If your classes are enrolled at a partner institution, you will need to apply for a library card when completing your registration form.
  • Visit our library website for more information.

Will I need to buy course books?

  • You may want to buy one or two basic books which are available cheaply in paperback - your tutor will be able to advise you on which books to buy.
  • Alternatively, you may wish to order books from your local library. Your local library will normally need about 4 weeks' notice to order books.

Where can I get more help and support?