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Which level of study is right for me?

Our courses could take you to the next stage of your education or career. The guide below will help you choose the right university course at the right level for you.

Birkbeck offers a research-led teaching environment at our central London campus, combined with interactive, online learning materials which can be accessed on campus, at home, at work or on the move. You'll find more information about all our courses in our online prospectus.

Non-degree study options

We have several non-degree study routes if your situation matches one of these:

  • I'm not ready to study for an undergraduate degree: try our short courses or certificates of higher education.
  • I want to study for a degree, but I don't have formal qualifications and think I'd benefit from extra support: try our foundation degrees.
  • I already have an undergraduate or postgraduate degree and I'd like to study something new: check out our short courses to see what catches your interest.

Short courses

  • We offer over 200 introductory short courses. Most are taught on just one evening a week, so they are easy to fit into your busy schedule, and the majority have no formal entry requirements.
  • Many short courses modules form part of a certificate of higher education, so you can build up credits to complete a full certificate if you wish. Nearly all of our certificates of higher education offer a route onto an associated undergraduate degree or degrees.
  • Read more about our short courses.

Certificates of higher education

  • Certificates are stand-alone University of London qualifications, which also offer a flexible route into university. They are taught at first-year degree level, comprising a mixture of compulsory and option modules, and they are usually taught on just one evening a week.
  • Nearly all of our certificates of higher education offer a route onto an associated undergraduate degree or degrees, so you can build up your credits to progress to degree study at Birkbeck, if you wish.
  • Read more about our certificates of higher education.

Foundation degrees

  • Foundation degrees offer a route into university for those with no formal qualifications who want to develop the professional knowledge and skills to work in a particular field.
  • Taught in the evenings, they don’t usually have any entry requirements, but it is advisable that you can read, write and speak English fluently.
  • You can complete a foundation degree in two years full-time or two years and two terms part-time.
  • Many include a top-up element that allows you to go on to complete a full BA/BSc degree with one extra year of study.
  • Read more about our degrees with foundation year.
  • Browse our degrees with foundation year.

Get Started - try an undergraduate course

  • Our Get Started taster courses are a free programme of courses that give people without experience of studying at a UK university an opportunity to try out a university-level course.
  • Each taster course focuses on an academic subject, but also includes a reflection session where participants are supported to think about their next steps in their education and receive more information about other informal and formal learning opportunities.
  • Read more about Get Started and book your place

Degree study options

We have two main routes for degree study if your situation matches one of these:

  • I want to study for a first degree and have the necessary entry requirements: try our undergraduate degrees.
  • I don't meet the entry requirements for my degree and I want more support to help me succeed with my studies: try our undergraduate degrees which include a foundation year.

Undergraduate degrees (BA, BSc, LLB)

  • We offer over 100 BA, BSc and LLB evening study degrees and, in many subjects, you can choose to complete your studies full-time over three years or part-time over four years. We also offer some degrees part-time over six years as well.
  • Full-time undergraduate degrees carry a UCAS tariff, which can range from 96 points (A-level grades of CCC or equivalent) to 120 (A-level grades of ABB/BBB or equivalent).
  • Part-time undergraduate degrees usually have fewer formal entry requirements, although there may be GCSE or A-level requirements on some courses. You will need to demonstrate the ability and willingness to undertake a degree.
  • Browse our undergraduate degrees across all subjects.
  • Read more about undergraduate study at Birkbeck

Undergraduate degrees with a Foundation Year (BA, BSc, LLB)

  • The majority of our BA, BSc and LLB degrees include a foundation year route, to prepare you for the first year of a full-time undergraduate degree.
  • They are ideal if you don't meet the entry requirements for your chosen undergraduate degree: the UCAS tariff for a degree with foundation year ranges from 48 to 64 (A-level grades of DD/DDE or equivalent).
  • These courses are also suitable if you feel you need extra help and support to succeed at university.
  • You'll spend one year undertaking compulsory modules to prepare you for studying a full undergraduate degree, before advancing onto the first year of a full-time undergraduate degree at Birkbeck.
  • Some degrees with foundation year offer progression onto a wide range of undergraduate degrees, while others offer routes onto one or two specific, associated degrees.
  • Read more about our degrees with foundation year.
  • Browse our degrees with foundation year.

options for adding to Your subject knowledge

We have various postgraduate study routes to help you add to your existing subject knowledge, if one of these matches your situation:

  • I've already got a university qualification and I want to gain some further knowledge: try our graduate certificates and diplomas.
  • I've significant work experience in the subject and I want to add to my subject knowledge: try our graduate certificates and diplomas.
  • I want to study at postgraduate level, but don't want to complete a dissertation: try our postgraduate certificates and diplomas.
  • I want to study for a full master's degree: try our master's degrees or, if flexibility in course delivery is key for you, try our flexible master's courses.

Graduate certificates and diplomas

  • These courses are taught at final-year undergraduate level and are typically used as a qualifying or refresher course before you embark on a full master’s degree.
  • They also provide a useful entry route to postgraduate-level study if you have significant work experience or a professional background that is relevant to a particular course of study.
  • Browse our graduate certificates and diplomas.

Postgraduate certificates/Diplomas

  • Taught at a higher level than graduate certificates/diplomas, these courses are ideal if you want to undertake master's-level study without completing a dissertation.
  • You will usually take exactly the same modules that form the equivalent master's degree, but you complete fewer modules and don't write a dissertation.
  • Browse our postgraduate certificates/diplomas.

Master's Degrees (MA, MSc, LLM)

Flexible Master's

  • Experience the best of Birkbeck teaching wherever you are based in the UK. The heart of Birkbeck teaching is in the classroom, on campus, but our virtual classrooms now give you the means to learn, study, network and get support as part of a vibrant learning community no matter where you are.
  • From October 2022, a range of our master's programmes will form part of a new Birkbeck flexible master's UK - on campus/at home/at work portfolio.
  • Read more about our flexible master's UK courses.

options for further research

If you're keen to take your subject research to a higher level, try our research degree options:

Research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD)