Up to four years full-time or seven years part-time
Regular meetings with your supervisor(s)
Other entry years for this course2018
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.
The School of Social Science, History and Philosophy supports research projects in sociology. Sociologically oriented research takes place within and across a number of the School’s six departments, particularly, but not exclusively, Psychosocial Studies and Geography, Environment and Development Studies. Sociological research takes a wide variety of forms depending on topic, and is frequently interdisciplinary in focus, but the common thread is a distinctively sociological perspective. Research students benefit not only from the advisory insight of leading academics, but also from a wider culture of support and advice from staff and other students undertaking social research.
The Birkbeck Institute for Social Research is a considerable resource, and provides a focus for social research within the School and across Birkbeck as a whole. It is a hub for the dissemination and discussion of critical and socially engaged social science in London and beyond. The Birkbeck Graduate Seminar, run by BISR, brings together PhD students working on empirical social research theses and aims to support and enhance the supervision students receive.
- 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, Sociology at Birkbeck was ranked 13th in the UK.
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
A good degree in sociology or 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 Science, History and Philosophy School attracts funding for studentships that ensure researchers of the highest standard can pursue their research with us. We offer a limited number of fully funded research opportunities.
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
We seek to teach and research issues of fundamental importance to humanity. The School offers an invigorating educational experience, built upon our international reputation for research excellence.
Our research spans a number of fields, spanning arts and humanities, social sciences and sciences, and is notable for its collaborative, interdisciplinary and innovative nature. In all our departments there is a particular focus on issues of social justice, on pressing questions of ethics and politics, and on making academic research important to the wider community.
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
Prior to submitting an application you should contact the prospective supervisor or the departmental research postgraduate director and discuss the proposed research topic.
Different departments may have different procedures and requirements. For further advice, contact the Academic Research Officer in the relevant department.
Candidates for PhD by research will need to submit a detailed with the form. Read more in our guide to writing a research proposal.
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 funding, 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 critical factor when applying for postgraduate study in sociology 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.
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.
Professor Bill Bowring awarded Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences
Professor Bowring is a leading expert in the UK on legal and human rights issues in Russia and the countries of the Former Soviet Union, and Eastern and Central Europe.
Professor Martin Paul Eve awarded Medal of Honour in the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Medal of Honour is awarded to laureates of exceptional academic or social distinction, who make a unique contribution to the mutual relationship between faculties and universities.
Public engagement with research
A grant from Research Councils UK will enable Birkbeck to build upon existing public engagement initiatives and enrich our culture of engagement.
Sunil Gupta: In Pursuit of Love
Peltz Gallery, 43 Gordon Square
VISA DROP-IN SESSION
Talkroom 2, Student Advice Centre
The Centre for Research on Race and Law - Strategic litigation: Anti-racism in the courtroom?
CLO B01, Clore Management Centre, Tavistock Square, London, WC1E 7JL
Performing under pressure
PhD student Emmanuel Ducrocq on his research about attentional control in sporting performance.
Public research funding
Is it still necessary? Dr Federica Rossi and Professor Aldo Geuna discuss.
A day in the life
of Birkbeck scientist Dr Emma Meaburn.