Sociology (MPhil / PhD)

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018, January 2019 or April 2019

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

2017

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 not only within the School, but 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.

Highlights

  • 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.
  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    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.

  • Fees

    Fees(2017/18)

    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

    Please note: the tuition fee indicated here is for 2017/18. The tuition fee for 2018/19 is subject to an inflationary increase.

    Fees and finance

    From 2018-19, PhD students resident in England can apply for government loans of up to £25,000 to cover the cost of tuition fees, maintenance and other study-related costs.

    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 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

    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

    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 research proposal 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 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.