MA/Diploma/Certificate Humanities

This new interdisciplinary programme draws on expertise in the Humanities from across the College of Arts and Law, allowing you to select modules from a range of disciplines in order to complete a Certificate, Diploma or Masters level qualification.

The programme’s core modules will enable you to develop challenging and original approaches to significant topics in which no one discipline has all the answers, which you can go on to apply to your choice of optional modules.

The flexibility of this programme, and Birmingham’s unparalleled menu of optional modules, will enable you to develop high level skills within selected areas of expertise.

All students must take one core research module offered by the School they are majoring in. 

The remainder of the programme is made up of your choice of optional modules - two modules to complete the Certificate, or four modules to complete the MA or Diploma. These can be chosen from a wide range across the College in the following subject areas:

  • Archaeology
  • Classics and Ancient History
  • Drama
  • English Language and Linguistics
  • English Literature
  • Film Studies
  • Heritage
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Sexuality and Gender Studies
  • Shakespeare Studies
  • Theology and Religion

We also offer a range of theory and skills modules across a variety of disciplines. Some modules will be available to study by distance learning as well as on campus. Additional module information is available below (see ‘modules’).

MA students must also complete a 15,000-word dissertation. This provides an ideal opportunity to complete an in-depth research project that reflects your personal interests; this could be interdisciplinary - based on a topic or theme that runs across your modules and/or is relevant to your prior experience - or focused on a particular disciplinary area.

Why study this course

  1. Taught by experts – you will study alongside some of the finest minds. The College of Arts and Law is home to outstanding academic staff who are leading in their fields and willl support you throughout your time at Birmingham. 
  2. Small classes – teaching on the masters-level modules involve mainly small-group seminars allowing you to really get to grips with the learning material.
  3. Friendly and relaxed atmosphere – staff are always happy to talk through work and provide additional feedback on academic performance. 
  4. Be a part of an active postgraduate community – you will join a lively and stimulating community where you can contribute to on-going research activities, including research seminars, events, workshops, reading groups and conferences throughout the year. 
  5. Access to a wide range of services – as a postgraduate student you will have access to services such as the Academic Writing Advisory Service and the Bank of Assessed Work. You will be supported throughout your time at Birmingham – if that be aiding your transition from undergraduate to postgraduate level, or back into academia after a time away and making sure you develop as an academic writer. 


All students must take one core research module offered by the School they are majoring in. 

Optional modules

The remainder of the programme is made up of your choice of optional modules – two modules to complete the Certificate, or four modules to complete the MA or Diploma. These can be chosen from a wide range across the College; for more information, download the indicative module list (PDF - 550KB). Please note that not all modules may be available in a particular year.

Related staff

Fees and funding

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


  • Home / EU: £6,570 full-time; £3,285 part-time
  • Overseas: £14,850 full-time


  • Home / EU: £4,380 full-time; £2,190 part-time
  • Overseas: £9,900 full-time


  • Home / EU: £2,190 full-time or part-time
  • Overseas: £4,950 full-time

For part-time students studying an MA or diploma, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in year two 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

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

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

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

You will be supported by staff across the College who are experts in their respective fields.

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.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support through the English for International Students Unit (EISU).

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.

On completing this programme, you will be equipped to enter a wide range of sectors, such as heritage, cultural, public, education or voluntary. This programme can also provide a foundation for those who wish to proceed to doctoral study.

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.