Japanese (MPhil / PhD)

Year of entry

2017

Start date

October 2017 or January 2018

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

Up to four years full-time or seven years part-time

Attendance

Regular meetings with your supervisor(s)

Other entry years for this course

2018

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.

Our aim is to assist you with the transition to become a fully fledged, independent academic researcher. Our doctoral programme is geared towards enabling you to produce top-quality work that questions the boundaries of the disciplines we work in and seeks to bring new materials, theories and methods into them. Becoming a successful academic researcher is achieved on the basis of a full appreciation of the hallmarks of good scholarship, such as original thought, the proper use of references and background material, appropriate use of methodology and reporting procedures, and it is these priorities that we aim to impart to our students.

Once equipped with the generic and discipline-specific tools for carrying out research, you will pursue your particular research interests, supported by regular meetings with your supervisors and attendance at the MPhil/PhD seminars. We seek to create a mutually supportive environment, informed by discussion and dialogue.

MPhil students may be required to take appropriate courses from MA programmes offered by the School of Arts in their first year.

 

Highlights

  • 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 (REF), which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • In the 2014 REF, Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    A good honours degree with a Japan-related subject as a main component.

    Graduates in other subjects may be asked to take a qualifying examination.

    You will need to submit a 2000-word research proposal prior to interview.

    International entry requirements

    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 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.

  • Fees

    Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £2226 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £4195 pa
    Part-time international students: £6050 pa
    Full-time international students: £11995 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

    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.

    Research funding

    The School of Arts attracts funding for studentships that ensure researchers of the highest standard can pursue their research with us.

    In 2017 we are offering up to 12 fully funded Postgraduate Research Scholarships, and Arts Research Studentships (ARS - full or partial fee waiver for MPhil/PhD study).

    Birkbeck has a longstanding academic partnership with the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, which aims to promote the study of Japanese culture and history in UK higher education. Prospective PhD students in this area are able to apply for 1 of 30 studentships awarded nationally by the GBSF each year, worth £10,000 per year. If you need further information, contact Dr Tim Markham.

    For further details please visit the school's funding pages and find out more about research funding opportunities at Birkbeck.

  • Our Research Culture

    Our Research Culture

    Research students collaborate through departmental research seminars and are encouraged to participate in academic conferences. In your first year you will undertake research methods training, and in subsequent years there are opportunities to develop your skills in academic teaching.

    As a research student, you will be given help to establish contacts in Japan with universities and individual scholars working in your subject area. We encourage our research students to carry out fieldwork and research in Japan, and to that end, provide support for grant applications. Our students have studied in such prestigious universities as University of Tokyo, Meijigakuin University, Hitotsubashi University and Waseda University, among others.

    Current research topics within the department include:

    • Media Mixes and Global Flows: Rethinking Japanese Entertainment and Globalisation through the Italian Mediascape
    • Cultural Identity in Post-Redress Canadian Nikkei Cultural Productions
    • Representations of South Asians in Contemporary Japanese Popular Culture
    • Yaoi and Online Fan Practices: A Netnographic Approach to an Online Yaoi Manga Fan Community
    • The Evolution of Female Identities in Japanese Television
    • An Analysis of Production, Circulation and Consumption of J-dorama.

    You are expected to participate in the department's research events, including attending lectures, research skills sessions and other classes/workshops as appropriate.

    Read more about our vibrant research culture.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course.

    If you are considering applying for MPhil/PhD research in any of these areas, you are advised to contact the department about your research plan before making an application and finding a supervisor.

    For information about applying as a research student, read our guide for applicants.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    You can apply at any time during the year. Entry months for the programme are October and January of each year.

    If you wish to apply for funding, you will need to apply by certain deadlines. Consult the websites of relevant bodies for details.

  • Finding a supervisor

    Finding a supervisor

    A critical factor when applying for postgraduate study in Japanese is the correlation between the applicant’s intellectual and research interests and those of one or more potential supervisors within the Department.

    The expertise of our academic staff covers a range of subjects in Japanese:

    • Popular culture in Japan and East Asia
    • National, transnational, racial/ethnic, or cultural identities in Japan and East Asia
    • Japanese and East Asian new media
    • Gender and sexuality studies
    • Japanese and East Asian creative industries
    • Japanese theatre and performance
    • Japanese visual arts.

    Joint supervisions for interdisciplinary projects can be arranged with other academic Schools at Birkbeck.

    • Nobuko Anan, PhD: contemporary Japanese theatre and performance; contemporary Japanese popular culture; gender and sexuality theory.