Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies PhD/MA by Research (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)

We offer promising candidates the opportunity to carry out research in a range of Eastern Mediterranean and Balkan history and culture from the Byzantine to the modern period, whether your interests are historical, art historical, archaeological or literature-based.

Research in Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies has a historical focus, and History at the University of Birmingham was ranked first in the country for the quality of research in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Major funding opportunity for Home/EU applicants to this PhD programme

We are part of the Midlands3Cities consortium, offering up to 89 Arts and Humanities Research Council funded studentships. This includes full research fees, a substantial maintenance grant and additional research training support. Applications are now open. Find out more detailed information on this scheme.

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 MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff.

You can study an MA by Research or PhD programme on campus or by distance learning. Please note that if you are studying with us by distance learning, there is a compulsory annual visit to campus (every two years for part-time PhD students) - please see our frequently asked questions about distance learning to find out more.

These degrees have no taught components, but relevant taught modules may be attended by arrangement to develop appropriate research skills, including the study of ancient languages, which, subject to programme requirements, you can access training in:

  • Classical Greek and Latin
  • Byzantine Greek
  • Ancient Egyptian
  • Languages of the Ancient Near East

We encourage you to attend conferences on subjects related to your research interests and to participate in our lively interdisciplinary seminar series (some of which are run by our postgraduates).

You are able to broaden your skills through appropriate training in teaching skills and, where possible, have the chance to gain experience in teaching. In addition, our annual postgraduate colloquia provide training in oral presentation skills and the professional dissemination of research within an interdisciplinary environment.

At Birmingham you also have the option of studying languages, free of charge. Almost no other UK University offers you the opportunity to learn the intense graduate academic language skills which you may need to pursue your research.

Profiles of our current Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek doctoral researchers

Why study this course

  • Graduates with a postgraduate degree in Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies can boast a wide combination of skills that can be applied in many types of work and which employers regard very positively. That’s why historically, over 92% of our Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies postgraduates have been in employment or further study within six months of graduating.
  • The Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies (CBOMGS) 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 that has its own forum (GEM, Gateway to the Eastern Mediterranean) and schedule of meetings at which postgraduates present their research.  Postgraduates also organise an annual international postgraduate colloquium. They participate in the bi-weekly General Seminar of the Centre and in the Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies.
  • 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

Related staff

Fees and funding

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

  • Home / EU £4,110 full-time; £2,055 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.

* For UK/EU postgraduate research students the University fee level is set at Research Council rates and as such is subject to change. The final fee will be announced by Research Councils UK in spring 2016.

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 tuituion fees and funding.

Entry requirements

Typically, applicants for the PhD programme will already have undertaken postgraduate study, while applicants for the MA by Research will have an adequate specialised foundation at undergraduate level.

Learn more about entry requirements

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 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, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies can boast a wide combination of skills that can be applied in many types of work and which employers regard very positively. That’s why historically, over 92% of our Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies 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.


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.

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.