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.
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
This programme sits within our Religious Studies research cluster which aims to provide a context in which postgraduate research can flourish. It draws upon the expertise of academic staff across a variety of disciplines and offers a vast array of research methods and approaches to a range of religions. It also has substantial links with other departmental research clusters, which means your postgraduate research will take place in a fully supported, fully integrated environment.
What’s more, Birmingham is an ideal place to study this subject; it is one of the most racially, culturally and religiously diverse communities in the UK (including the local Jewish community) - and with the excellent relationships we have with many of the city’s faith communities, you will gain a first-hand insight into many significant religious traditions. We host regular outreach seminars in the area of Jewish Studies in conjunction with Mosaic: The Birmingham Society for Jewish Studies as well the annual Rabbi Leonard Tann Memorial Lecture delivered in 2009 by Prof. Michael E. Stone (Hebrew University, Jerusalem), the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks (2010), Prof. Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt Divinity School, Nashville, 2011), Prof Gary Rendsburgh (Rutgers University, New Jersey, 2012), and Prof. Martin Goodman (University of Oxford, 2013).
Fees and funding
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are currently as follows:
Home / EU £4,090 full-time; £2,045 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.
Applicants for research degrees should normally have a first- or upper second-class Honours degree in Theology, Religious Studies or a related discipline.
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 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:
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