Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement fixed by the University of London for postgraduate study is a second-class honours degree in an appropriate subject from a UK university, or an equivalent international qualification.

If the main subject of your degree is not directly relevant to your proposed postgraduate programme, you may be asked to complete a qualifying programme of study.

Find out more about entry requirements for international students and English language requirements for Birkbeck courses.

Alternative qualifications

  • At our discretion we may consider applicants with degrees of lower standard than second-class honours (or international equivalent), but we must be satisfied that they are as well prepared to enter the programme as a candidate with the standard qualifications. We will also take into account not only degree studies but also work and later training experience.
  • We will pay special attention to:
    • any extra knowledge of the proposed field of study gained through relevant work experience
    • skills acquired at work that will be of use in an academic context: for example, experience of computing, statistics, report writing or independent research.
    • you will need to include a summary of your relevant post-qualification experience on your application for and name a referee who can support your claims.

Professional qualifications

  • Certain professional qualifications are accepted for postgraduate entry, including MIBiol, GRSC (formerly GRIC), MBCS, GradInstP and Stages I and II of the Institute of Statisticians. These have all been specially approved by the University of London.
  • Other professional qualifications that we accept at our discretion (and usually subject to the completion of a programme of preparatory study) include the major accountancy qualifications (for entry to our MSc Economics programme) and the Final Diploma of the Institute of Linguists (for the MA Modern Languages programmes).
  • In all cases, the professional qualification must have been gained by written examination rather than ‘by exemption’ from the relevant professional examination.
  • If you hold a UK BTEC Higher National Diploma, you will usually be asked to show at least 2 years’ post-qualification work experience relevant to your proposed Master’s degree, and in most cases you will be asked to complete a year of qualifying study before admission.

Qualifying courses

  • You may be asked to complete a programme of qualifying studies in any of the following cases:
    • if the main subject of your first degree is not directly relevant to your proposed postgraduate programme
    • if you did not reach a high enough standard in your first degree
    • if you do not have a first degree and wish to move into academic study from a professional or technical qualification.
  • Qualifying programmes usually comprise 2 or more modules from the final year of the relevant BA or BSc programme. Modules are chosen to match the needs of the student.