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Step up to Postgraduate Study in Arts

Step Up to Postgraduate Studies in Arts is an award-winning, blended learning module to help postgraduate students in the School of Arts make the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study. 

This summer the Step Up module is free of charge and open to any student in the School of Arts who has applied for a postgraduate course beginning in October 2020 or January 2021. This includes anyone who has been offered, or has already accepted, a place on a postgraduate certificate, diploma, or MA course in the School of Arts.

Step Up is an academic skills module designed to help you improve your skills and gain confidence in your abilities before the start of your postgraduate course. It is relevant to all arts subjects and complements the kinds of academic skills you will learn on your course. You will have early access to Birkbeck Library and valuable e-resources, such as bibliographic databases.

Most of your learning is done online via Moodle, our virtual learning environment, so you will need a device with internet access. The course will open on Monday 10 August and close on Monday 5 October 2020. Most of the module is flexible and can be completed at any time over the summer period.

There are two face-to-face (online) sessions: Monday 10 August 2020 and Monday 14 September 2020, from 6pm to 8pm. Both will be held using an online classroom via Moodle. If you are unable to participate in the online events, you are still most welcome to participate in the course at your own pace. 

The Step Up module consists of the following six units: 

  • Critical Thinking
  • Seminar Skills
  • Using Research Materials
  • Plagiarism, Referencing and Bibliography
  • The Language of Academic English
  • Planning and Structuring your Writing

The sample materials and exercises are built around the theme, The City in Arts/Arts in the City. Each unit contains text-based and visual materials and provides a creative approach to building the skills you need to work with a variety of methods and subjects. This allows you to get a taste of some of the kinds of materials and ideas you will be working with on a postgraduate programme in the School of Arts. 

You will also have the opportunity to engage with your fellow students and staff throughout the summer via the module’s online Arts Café. In each week one of the module tutors will be available to address questions and participate in conversations.

This module is non-accredited and carries no credit points.

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students. You may have to fulfil specific prerequisites for some intermediate-level or advanced-level courses, but these will be specified where relevant.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months' duration.
    • Courses of less than six months' duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our full-time courses (with the exception of modular enrolment certificates of higher education and graduate certificates), as these qualify for Tier 4 sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You enrol directly onto the classes you would like to take, using the Enrol Now link below. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then enrol onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.

First class: Mon 10-Aug-20 6pm-8pm

Class code ARAR001N0AAA

Information about this class has yet to be confirmed.


This class has already started. You can no longer enrol on this class.