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Guidance for prospective MPhil/PhD students

History of Art applicants: History of art at Birkbeck is an internationally respected centre for research and teaching, ranked as one of the top four universities in the UK for its Art and Design research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

Training and support:

  • Our twice-yearly postgraduate forums bring together MPhil/PhD students to discuss their research.
  • We run writing groups where we discuss a work-in-progress paper by one student and provide constructive criticism and feedback.
  • Our reading group enables academic and social contact between MPhil/PhD research students at Birkbeck.

Philosophy applicants: Philosophy at Birkbeck has a flourishing community of MPhil/PhD research students. Over the last 10 years and up to July 2020, 13 of our PhD graduates have obtained permanent academic positions, in the UK, Europe and further afield, while two more are currently on postdoctoral positions.

We warmly welcome enquiries from research students looking for supervision. If you would like help finding a supervisor, you can contact the Philosophy Admissions Tutor for Research Students, Dr Michael Garnett.

Training and support:

  • We offer our students first-rate professional philosophical training.
  • Each term we provide training sessions to our research students, covering researching, writing, presenting and teaching.
  • At our Approaches to Philosophy talks you'll hear philosophers from other universities discuss their work.

History, Classics and Archaeology applicants: You will work closely with a specialist supervisor(s) who oversees your work even before formally applying. They guide you through critical stages such as the upgrade from MPhil to PhD and preparing for submission.

The 2021 Research Excellence Framework ranked us third for world-leading outputs with 63% in the 4* category. Our membership of the AHRC-funded consortium CHASE and the ESRC-funded consortium UBEL offers you access to networks, training and funding.

Training and support:

  • The Graduate Research Symposium is a student-led event where you present your work in a relaxed, supportive environment.
  • In the Thesis-Writing Workshops you can submit 2,500 words of writing for the group to workshop (contact Adam Whittock for more information).
  • In Methodological Masterclasses you will hear historians discuss different methodological approaches.

Mphil/Phd Programmes


Your relationship with your MPhil/PhD supervisor will be vital to your success. Read about how it works.

Start your research journey