MRes Byzantine Studies

This programme is intended for students who have a background in Byzantine Studies and, normally, some knowledge of Greek.

It comprises a major individual research project, supervised by a specialist in the field of study, and taught elements which provide the opportunity to deepen your knowledge of Byzantium through a range of modules in archaeology, art, history, literature and numismatics. 

Jeff Brubaker

Jeff Brubaker

“The Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies offers an environment unlike any other. The continuous interaction between professors and students creates a living dialogue about research and methodology that always informs your own studies. One venue for the exchange of ideas is the student society, Gateway to the Eastern Mediterranean, which offers a regular forum for students to present their research. Another is the CBOMGS General Seminar, which brings in academics from near and far to discuss their latest findings”

The course can be pursued in the following pathways:

  • Byzantine Art
  • Byzantine Gender
  • Byzantine History
  • Late Roman and Byzantine Archaeology

Each pathway consists of 60 credits of coursework and 120 credits achieved through a 20,000 word supervised research project on topic of your choice in Byzantine Studies. We recommend that you discuss your proposed research project with a potential supervisor before applying.

Why study this course

  • The Byzantine Studies MRes forms part of the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies (CBOMGS) which is the only centre in the UK to bring all of these subjects together within a single unit. CBOMGS aims to provide a stimulating environment for cross-disciplinary research and inter-cultural dialogue for the wider research community. You will benefit from the insight of academic staff and peers from across the College of Arts and Law.
  • The Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies has a large postgraduate community which has its own forum (GEM, Gateway to the Eastern Mediterranean) and programme of meetings. The postgraduates organise an annual international postgraduate colloquium. They also participate in the bi-weekly General Seminar of the Centre and in the Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies. A Medieval Greek Summer School, the only one of its kind, takes place at Birmingham, end of July-August.
  • This area has a historical focus, and History at the University of Birmingham was ranked first in the country in the Research Excellence Framework 2014: 45% of research at the University of Birmingham for History was top 4* rated ‘world-leading’. A further 42% was rated 3* ‘internationally excellent’.

Modules

Byzantine Art pathway

Co-ordinator: Professor Leslie Brubaker

This pathway focuses on Byzantine visual culture, the form of communication available and responsive to all Byzantines (urban and rural, rich and poor, female and male, religious and secular). It allows you to understand the ways different media were adapted to different audiences; to critique the relationship between visual and verbal (written) communication; and to evaluate the power of the image in the Byzantine world.

Compulsory modules:

  • Byzantine Art and Architecture
  • Methodologies of Byzantine Studies

Optional modules:

  • Aspects of Byzantine History (depending on availability, either Byzantine Society or The Fourth Crusade or Court Ritual)
  • Gender in Byzantium: women, men and eunuchs
  • Greek language (intensive course for beginners)
  • Late Roman and Byzantine Archaeology
  • The Economies of the Late Roman, Byzantine and Frankish East Mediterranean
  • A modern language or other course chosen in consultation with the co-ordinator
  • Dissertation in Byzantine art/architecture

Byzantine Gender pathway

This pathway focuses on Gender in Byzantium: the role of women, men and eunuchs in Byzantine society and culture, and how concepts of masculinity, femininity, and ‘eunuch-ness’ developed, and were used and manipulated in the Byzantine world.

Co-ordinator: Professor Leslie Brubaker

Compulsory modules: 

  • Gender in Byzantium: women, men and eunuchs
  • Methodologies of Byzantine Studies

Optional modules:

  • Aspects of Byzantine History (depending on availability, either Byzantine Society or The Fourth Crusade or Court Ritual)
  • Byzantine Art and Architecture
  • Greek language (intensive course for beginners)
  • Late Roman and Byzantine Archaeology
  • The Economies of the Late Roman, Byzantine and Frankish East Mediterranean
  • A modern language or other course chosen in consultation with the co-ordinator
  • Dissertation in Byzantine gender

Byzantine History pathway

Within this pathway, particular themes, periods and events are analysed through a critical reading of the primary sources and an examination of the way in which the sources are used to construct modern narratives.

Co-ordinator : Dr Ruth Macrides

Compulsory modules:

  • Aspects of Byzantine History (depending on availability ,either Byzantine Society or the Fourth Crusade, or Court Ritual)
  • Methodologies of Byzantine Studies

Optional modules:

  • Greek language (intensive course for beginners)
  • A modern language or other course chosen in consultation with the co-ordinator
  • Byzantine Art and Architecture
  • Gender in Byzantium
  • The Economies of the Late Roman, Byzantine and Frankish East Mediterranean
  • Late Roman and Byzantine Archaeology
  • Dissertation in Byzantine History

Late Roman and Byzantine Archaeology pathway

This pathway provides an opportunity (unique in the U.K.) to study the archaeology of the Late Roman to Late Byzantine eras, within a variety of frameworks - theoretical, practical, and historical. It encourages you to explore important aspects of history for which texts offer an insufficient documentation. Lectures introduce the settlement-archaeology, monuments, and all other major kinds of artefacts, in four major chronological divisions; the discipline’s origins and development, and its interface with environmental and comparative archaeologies. The focus is on the Balkans, Greece, the Aegean, and Anatolia.

Co-ordinator: Dr Archie Dunn

Compulsory modules

  • Byzantine Archaeology and Material Culture
  • Methodologies of Byzantine Studies

Optional modules

  • The Economies of the Late Roman, Byzantine and Frankish East Mediterranean
  • Greek Language (intensive course for beginners)
  • Other courses in practical archaeology or in Byzantine Studies chosen in consultation with the co-ordinator
  • Aspects of Byzantine History (depending on availability, either Byzantine Society or The Fourth Crusade or Court Ritual)
  • Byzantine Art and Architecture
  • Gender in Byzantium
  • Dissertation in Late Roman or Byzantine Archaeology or economic history

Related staff

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2016/17:

  • Home / EU £4,121 full-time; £2,061 part-time
  • Overseas: £13,680 full-time

For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Entry requirements

Our requirements for postgraduate research are dependent on the type of programme you are applying for:

  • For MRes and MA by Research programmes, entry to our programmes usually requires a good (normally a 2:1 or above) Honours degree, or an equivalent qualification if you were educated outside the UK.
  • If you are applying for a PhD then you will usually also need to hold a good Masters qualification.

Any academic and professional qualifications or relevant professional experience you may have are normally taken into account, and in some cases, form an integral part of the entrance requirements.

If you are applying for distance learning research programmes, you will also be required to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study by distance learning.

If your qualifications are non-standard or different from the entry requirements stated here, please contact the admissions tutor.

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Before you make your application

Please refer to our six step process on applying for PhD, MA by Research and MRes opportunities for Arts subject areas.

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Additional Guidance for applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study mode.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

The Byzantine Studies MRes forms part of the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies (CBOMGS) which is the only centre in the UK to bring all of these subjects together within a single unit.

CBOMGS aims to provide a stimulating environment for cross-disciplinary research and inter-cultural dialogue for the wider research community. You will benefit from the insight of academic staff and peers from across the College of Arts and Law.

The Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies has a large postgraduate community which organises an annual international postgraduate colloquium. Postgraduates also participate in the bi-weekly General Seminar of the Centre and in the Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies. A Medieval Greek Summer School, the only one of its kind, takes place at Birmingham, end of July-August.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the vibrant international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

The University has been recognised for its impressive graduate employment, being named ‘University of the Year for Graduate Employment’ in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016.

In addition, the global edition of The New York Times has ranked the University 60th in the world and 9th in UK for post-qualification employability. The rankings illustrate the top 150 universities most frequently selected by global employers and are the result of a survey by French consulting firm Emerging and German consulting firm Trendence.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School. The University also offers a wide range of activities and services to give our students the edge in the job market, including: career planning designed to meet the needs of postgraduates; opportunities to meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs, employer presentations and skills workshops; individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

University of the Year for employability

Graduates with a postgraduate degree in Byzantine Studies can boast a wide combination of skills that can be applied in many types of work and which employers regard very positively. That is why over 92% of Byzantine postgraduates have been in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

Birmingham has been transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Get involved

In addition to the student groups hosted by the Guild of Students, each school runs its own social activities, research fora, seminars and groups for postgraduates.

Accommodation

Coming to Birmingham to study might be your first time living away from home. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your new-found independence in safe, welcoming and sociable surroundings.

Support in your studies

We offer an Academic Writing Advisory Service, which aims to help your transition to postgraduate research. The service offers guidance on organising your ideas and structuring an argument, referencing and avoiding plagiarism, being clear and coherent and editing your work for academic style and linguistic accuracy. Individual support is provided by a professional academic writing advisor via tutorials or email, as well as through the provision of online materials.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and cultures, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work. Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.