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 our academic staff. You can study for a PhD on campus or by Distance Learning .
PhD researchers are normally supervised by teams of two academic staff attached to the Institute but we are able to call upon a wide-range of University staff expertise and external advisors in order to provide the best possible support.
A programme of research training is provided through our College Graduate School, which involves an induction course, introduction to information technologies and the use of library and bibliographic resources, basic training in qualitative and quantitative research methods, and sessions on research planning, presentation skills and ethics.
Our PhD researchers are able to participate in our guest lecture programmes, seminars and events and are encouraged to participate in national and international conferences.
PhD Study as a Visiting Scholar
Researchers undertaking PhDs from Universities elsewhere in the world are able to spend short periods of time at the IIICH through our Visiting Scholar’s Programme.
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.
Why study this course
The field of cultural heritage is an important and growing field of interest. It is multi-disciplinary in its approach and international in scope and covers a diverse range of issues. Studying for a PhD with us allows you to examine a subject in depth while gaining necessary research skills and becoming an active member of the IIICH.
Our PhD researchers come from all over the world and play an important role in developing our collective understanding of the field of cultural heritage. Career opportunities in the cultural heritage field are varied and destinations for researchers include museums, galleries, government heritage departments, heritage NGOs, site management, tourism and the wider cultural sector and post-doctoral research and academia.
We have excellent facilities to support our PhD researchers. The University of Birmingham library is one of the UK’s foremost libraries and is an incredible resource offering links with many more international libraries. An ever growing electronic collection of resources – books, periodicals, databases - is available via the campus network and externally through the internet. Because we have been active in the study of cultural heritage for many years now, we offer an excellent specialist collection.
For PhD researchers undertaking archive work, the IIICH through its partners, has access to specialist archives through the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust Library, with its international collections relating to industrial heritage and the decorative arts, the University’s Special Collections and Archives which consist of approximately 120,000 pre-1850 books dating from 1471 and some 3 million manuscripts. Through our networks we also have links with many museums and archives around the world.
As PhD researchers of the IIICH you are also encouraged to get involved in the organisation of research related events and to benefit from our global networks of academics, policy makers and practitioners. Not only does such an approach assist you in developing relevant skills it also opens up opportunities for future employment.
Fees and funding
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2014/15 are currently as follows:
Home / EU £3,996 full-time; £1,998 part-time
Overseas: £12,565 full-time; £6,282.50 part-time
Learn more about 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 these research programmes will already have undertaken postgraduate study.
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
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