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
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.
Fees and funding
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are currently as follows:
Home / EU £4,052 full-time; £2,026 part-time
Overseas: £13,195 full-time; £6,597.50 part-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.
Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments.
Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.
Learn more about postgraduate tuituion fees and funding.
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To be eligible for these awards, candidates must hold either an offer of a place to study or have submitted an application to study at the University. 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.
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
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
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.
Making your application
For research degree applications, we encourage you to contact potential supervisors in advance of applying. Prospective students should also explore the full range of academic research interests of individual staff.
For applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study mode only:
As part of the application process for the distance learning study mode, we will ask you to provide evidence to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study for a PhD by Distance Learning. Please be prepared to provide evidence, and details, of the following:
Examples of your postgraduate research experience and ability to work independently e.g. papers/presentations at professional and academic conferences or publications in professional journals or previous completion of an independent research project, etc.
Full reasons (academic and personal) for registering for the distance learning mode of study rather than by standard full or part-time on-campus options. In particular, how you will be able to carry out your project in your chosen location.
Access to local library facilities (where needed)
Access to IT facilities
Access to communications, including e-mail and visual communication media e.g. Skype and Facetime
Access to facilities to support any study-related disability (where appropriate)
You can upload this information at the time of application - when asked to provide supporting documentation - or via your applicant portal once you have submitted your application.
For all applicants:
Learn more about applying
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