Evening study explained

Birkbeck is London’s only specialist provider of evening higher education. With classes held between 6pm and 9pm, your days are free for you to study, work, volunteer, or just do your own thing.

Our academics are very experienced at supporting students who juggle busy lives and our facilities and support services stay open late.

So, if you want a different university experience, with a schedule that suits you, Birkbeck is the perfect choice.

Commitment and flexibility

When deciding which type of course to take, you should consider the time commitment for attending classes and undertaking home study into consideration.

How much time will this take?

  • It is expected that a large chunk of your time will be spent on self-directed study. Academics who teach on our courses usually recommend spending two hours on self-directed study for every hour spent in class.
  • Students often choose to do their self-directed study at the weekends, in the morning/evening or during their commute.
  • It should be noted that everyone is different and will therefore require a different amount of time. However, students often spend a considerable amount of time per week on reading and revising.
  • Every class will have a reading list; some lecturers will provide a detailed breakdown of the readings for each class at the start of the year (in your module guide).
  • Students have found reading lists useful to make a head start and read as much as possible before their first assignment(s).
  • Lecturers may also post links to articles or videos via Moodle (the online learning environment); it is therefore a good idea to have some spare time allocated each week for unexpected studying/reading.
  • There will usually be required and additional reading.
  • Self-directed study, preparation for exams and dissertation can be a lonely experience which often means that you can lose your motivation.
  • How to improve your experience: Some students find it useful to organise group study meetings. Even if you are reading about different things you can still have coffee together, gossip, exchange study tips and build/cement friendships.

Which qualification?

All graduates of Birkbeck receive the same University of London qualification

Depending on your previous qualifications and academic goals, you can choose from the following qualifications at Birkbeck:

BA/BSc/LLB degrees

  • We offer nearly 80 BA/BSc/LLB degrees in Arts; Business, Economics and Informatics; Law; Science; Social Sciences, History and Philosophy. In many subjects you can choose to complete your studies over three, four or six years, all by studying in the evening.
  • To gain an award, you must successfully complete the required number of credits and modules. (Credit points for BA/BSc/LLB degree: 360)

Master’s degrees

  • You can choose from over 150 courses, most of which are taught face-to-face, but a few of which (MRes courses) allow you to concentrate on your research.

PhD research

  • We recognise that different candidates have different needs, objectives and experience, and offer 3 qualifications at this level.
    • The MPhil degree: Research applicants will normally be registered for a University of London MPhil in the first instance, unless they are exceptionally well-qualified. (Your supervisor will decide whether you can enrol directly onto a PhD.) At the end of your first year, you will be expected to make a progress report to your supervisor and possibly other members of your research group. Your supervisor will then begin to assess your suitability for transfer from MPhil to PhD registration.
    • The Integrated PhD: The Integrated PhDs are the same as conventional PhDs but with enhanced structured learning (i.e. taught modules). These taught modules will provide you with the latest knowledge of a subject and cover a wider range of topics to assist you in choosing an appropriate topic for your dissertation. The required length of the dissertation will be shorter than that of a conventional PhD.
    • The conventional PhD: Conventional PhDs are by research only. You receive personal supervision whenever appropriate from your PhD supervisor, a member of academic staff. You are not required to take any taught courses, although your supervisor may recommend some courses for you to audit.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching in class may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. As a student, you will engage in individual and group projects, problem-solving exercises and case studies.

How will I be taught?

  • Formal lectures give an overview of a particular field of study, subject or topic and provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.
  • Discussion classes and seminars give you the chance to explore a selected aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. These typically require preparatory study.

      Moodle – our online learning environment

      • Moodle supports your study and learning by allowing you to view course materials and learning resources online. You can also chat online with your lecturer and other students about classes and topics that have come up for discussion. If you miss a class, you can access lecture and seminar material, and join the discussion, online.