One year full-time or two years part-time
Three evenings a week full-time or one to two evenings a week part-time (plus occasional Saturdays), October to June
This programme in cultural enquiry offers the chance to research a diverse range of objects and themes from multidisciplinary perspectives. Working at the intersections of cultural studies, humanities and creative practice, the course asks you to consider where and how culture happens. With visits to cultural organisations, lectures from practitioners and a focus on practices of writing, curating and presentation, this MRes is ideal for students interested in taking an active role in cultural production and intellectual enquiry.
The programme is taught by academics from across the School of Arts and is designed to prepare you to undertake MPhil or PhD study in arts and humanities, including practice-led approaches to research and development of approaches to cultural production beyond academia. Helping you to broaden your research methods and interests, whilst supporting you in the development of distinctive projects, this programme aims to foster and support the practice of research and writing in order to challenge divisions between theory and practice, criticality and creativity.
The course aims to:
- encourage multidisciplinary enquiry into, and engagement with, a diverse array of research objects
- develop your writing and other methods of cultural enquiry that will allow you to participate critically in the development of creative practice in and beyond academia
- develop curiosity in subjects and objects inside and outside of the traditional boundaries of arts scholarship
- foster a critical understanding of research practice and disciplinary discourses
- engage with the current and historic landscape of cultural practice and its institutional formations.
- 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.
- Gain a postgraduate, multidisciplinary research degree in preparation for further independent study within cultural studies, humanities and the arts.
- Explore themes and practices relevant to contemporary cultural production, curating and cultural programming.
- Be part of an innovative programme of study working with creative practitioners and cultural institutions within and beyond academia.
- Develop your own creative practices and skills as a writer and researcher.
- Be taught by academics within their current areas of research.
- Our School of Arts is among the top five in the UK and comprises many academics and subject areas, from English literature and history of art, to digital media, mediated geographies and practice-led research. You will have the opportunity to find out about the breadth of this research and take part in research events at our research centres in areas including film, theatre, media and creative practice, humanities, poetics, photography and digital media.
- You will also have access to a programme of events in the School’s exhibition space (the Peltz Gallery) and cinema, as well as the opportunity to work with the Derek Jarman Lab. In addition to academic-led events there are a large number of activities, including a range of reading groups, organised by our thriving postgraduate research community.
- In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 91% of eligible staff submitted research, of which 75% was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.
- The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.
This course consists of six compulsory modules and a dissertation.
- Curating Film, Sharing Passions
- Lost in the Archive
- MRes Cultural Enquiry Research Method
- The Inside Out of Culture: Theories and Institutions
- Theory of Clouds
- Writing Not Writing
MRes Cultural Enquiry dissertation
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
A 2:1 or above at undergraduate honours degree level.
In addition, prospective students will be asked to submit a 500-word outline of their current research interests and one example of written work.
All candidates will be interviewed.
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 7.5, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests and at least 7.0 in writing.
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.
Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)
If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.
We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students.
Fees (2017/8)Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 pa
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.
Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.
Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.
In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.
Methods of teaching on this course
You will learn through group work, individual research, site visits, attending classes/lectures and talks, viewing films and other media, and by exposure to a wide variety of approaches to cultural enquiry.
Teaching will take the form of lectures, workshops, facilitation of discussion, critical feedback (in research juries, one-to-one and written form), and guidance through contemporary and historic case studies.
Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).
Indicative class size
Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.
Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:
- academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
- written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
- numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).
Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.
Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.
Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.
Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.
Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.
Methods of assessment on this course
Coursework essays, presentations and a dissertation.
As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.
Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.
Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.
Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
Graduates go in to careers that require advanced communication skills, critical thinking and independent research. Possible professions include cultural programming, cultural researcher, or creative and critical writing. This degree can also be useful when engaging in further study, or in becoming an arts administrator or museum/gallery curator.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
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.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.
Application deadlines and interviews
Interviews take place on an ongoing basis.
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