Up to four years full-time or seven years part-time
Regular meetings with your supervisor(s)
Other entry years for this course2018
As a research student, you will be interested in your own development as a lifelong learner and will seek to engage in critical debate and key issues of education and lifelong learning. You will develop your skills as an independent and active learner, and apply your research skills with theoretical perspectives and understandings of lifelong learning. On completing an MPhil/PhD degree you will have developed advanced skills in research and scholarly writing, and will be able to use these to embark on, or further, a career in research.
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.
We have academic experts in education after the compulsory phase, including adult, community, further and higher education as well as professional learning, and supervision is offered in a range of areas. These include:
- lifelong learning
- higher education policy and practice
- lifelong learning and widening participation policy and practice
- workplace learning
- transitions from learning to working
- the academic workplace
- professional learning and education
- post-compulsory education
- adult education
- continuing education
- gender and education
- education in later life
- education and social class
- community-based learning.
- Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings.
- Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.
- In the 2014 REF, Sociology at Birkbeck was ranked 13th in the UK.
- The School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy and the Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication, which hosts this degree, offer committed, enthusiastic and dynamic research-based teaching. Our approach is interdisciplinary and is designed to foster a creative environment for graduate research.
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
Good degree in a relevant subject.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, 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.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
We are committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies.
FeesPart-time home/EU students: £ 2226 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 4195 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 6050 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 11995 pa
Fees and finance
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.
The School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy attracts funding for studentships that ensure researchers of the highest standard can pursue their research with us. Find out more about research funding opportunities at Birkbeck.
Our Research Culture
Birkbeck is a world-leading research university with a vibrant, interdisciplinary research culture and a welcoming, supportive community of researchers.
Our Research Culture
Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.
We have a range of links with other Schools and Departments, both in Birkbeck and at other universities, and arrangements for joint supervision according to your interests are therefore possible. You will be able to attend relevant modules run within the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy, as well as other courses for research students.
You will be immersed in an academically stimulating and challenging environment, with easy access to high-quality research resources. Read more about our vibrant research culture.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link. Please refer to departmental procedures for further details.
Before submitting an online application you must submit an initial enquiry. This will assist with the process of finding academics with relevant research interests and experience to supervise your project.
Please note that we are unlikely to have the experience to supervise your project if your main focus is school education.
Identifying a supervisor
- Email a short summary of your proposed research project (one or two paragraphs) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your project summary will be used to identify appropriate supervisors.
- If potential supervisors with relevant research interests are available, you will be asked to provide a more detailed project proposal of approximately 2000 words.
- We will take a decision as to whether or not to invite you to submit a formal application and for interview when we have read your more detailed project proposal. We will notify you as soon as we can about the outcome of this informal stage.
Application deadlines and interviews
You can apply at any time during the year. Entry months for the programme are October, January and April of each year.
If you wish to apply for a scholarship, you will need to apply by certain deadlines. Consult the websites of relevant bodies for details.
Finding a supervisor
Finding the right supervisor for your research is important: we offer supervision in over 40 subject areas and in interdisciplinary combinations.
Finding a supervisor
A crucial factor when applying for postgraduate study in education and lifelong learning is the correlation between the applicant’s intellectual and research interests and those of one or more potential supervisors within the Department.
Find out more about the research interests of our academic staff:
- Professor Claire Callender, BSc, PhD: higher education policy; funding and finances of higher education students, both in the UK and internationally; widening participation; part-time students.
- Kerry Harman, BA, MCom, PhD: workplace learning; assessment practices in higher education; work-higher education intersections.
- Professor Miriam Zukas, BSc: professional learning and work; doctors’ transitions in learning; transitions in learning and work; academics’ learning and the academic workplace; adult higher education.
Fees and payment
With government loans for undergraduate and postgraduate study, fantastic financial support packages and flexible payment options, there’s never been a better time to study at Birkbeck.
Evening study explained
Birkbeck is London’s only specialist provider of evening higher education. With classes held 6pm-9pm, your days are free to study, work, volunteer, or just do your own thing.
Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research universities. Discover more about our vibrant, intellectually challenging and exciting research culture.
Birkbeck is committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies. Find out about what is available, how to apply and the advice and support we provide.
The Birkbeck experience
Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing.
Careers and employability
Our free Careers and Employability Service provides comprehensive careers advice, events and information services for current students, both in person and online, and for recent Birkbeck graduates.
Life at Birkbeck
Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities.
Birkbeck Graduate Research School (BGRS)
The Birkbeck Graduate Research School (BGRS) offers support, training and a warm welcome to Birkbeck's vibrant community of MPhil/PhD researchers.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck. We can give you the advice and support you need.
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