MRes Byzantine Studies

This programme is intended for students who have a background in Byzantine Studies and, normally, some knowledge of Greek.

It comprises a major individual research project, supervised by a specialist in the field of study, and taught elements which provide the opportunity to deepen your knowledge of Byzantium through a range of modules in archaeology, art, history, literature and numismatics. 

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”

MRes programmes offer a unique opportunity to deepen and develop your knowledge of the subject by combining taught elements with research training and an independent research project.

The MRes Byzantine Studies features three taught modules which will prepare you for your research. All students take a core module in Methodologies of Byzantine Studies, and your remaining two modules are optional so you can focus on areas of specific interest.

Topics available to study and research include art, history and archaeology. Full details of available modules can be found in the Modules section below.

Assessment

Taught modules are typically assessed by written assignment. You will also complete a 20,000-word thesis on a topic of your choice, with support from a supervisor.

Why study this course

  • The Byzantine Studies MRes forms part of the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies (CBOMGS) which 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 which has its own forum (GEM, Gateway to the Eastern Mediterranean) and programme of meetings. The postgraduates organise an annual international postgraduate colloquium. They also participate in the bi-weekly General Seminar of the Centre and in the Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies. 
  • The Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies has a historical focus, and History at the University of Birmingham was ranked first in the country in the latest Research Excellence Framework results: 45% of research at the University of Birmingham for History was top 4* rated ‘world-leading’. A further 42% was rated 3* ‘internationally excellent’.

Modules

All students will take the following core module:

Methodologies in Byzantine Studies

This module provides an introduction to predominant research methodologies in Byzantine studies. You are given introductory training in a variety of subject areas, such as historical writing, charters and documents, art history, numismatics, epigraphy and sigillography. Emphasis is placed on the primary sources and the analytical and bibliographical skills required for interpreting narrative, documentary and material evidence relating to the Byzantine past.
Assessment: Four 1,000-word essays

You will then choose two optional modules from a range which typically includes the following:

Aspects of Byzantine History

Topics covered vary from year-to-year. Previous modules have included: Byzantine Society; The Construction of Narrative: the coup of John Komnenos ‘the Fat’ (AD 1200); and The Fourth Crusade.
Assessment: Written assignment

Byzantine Art and Architecture

This module ensures a thorough grounding in the monuments of Byzantium, and an understanding of the methodological issues and problems confronting modern scholars. Lectures provide a chronological survey of the monuments from the foundation of Constantinople in 324 until the end of the Byzantine empire (1453).
Assessment: Written assignment

Byzantine Archaeology and Material Culture

The module surveys the history of archaeological practice as it concerns the post-Roman East, and explores key aspects of the Late Roman and Transitional (‘Dark-Age’) archaeological record, different archaeological strategies, and how archaeological literature can be used to understand some of the major long-term changes that characterise the period AD 300-800. It focuses in particular on interpretative themes such as Christianisation, invasions, demographic changes, the transformation of urban culture, and changes in rural settlement, agriculture and artisanal production.
Assessment: Written assignment

The Economies of the Late Roman, Byzantine and Frankish East

This module surveys the economic history of the post-Roman East (4th – 15th c.) Lectures first review critically a range of approaches to pre-modern economies and explore their value for historical enquiries. Subsequent topics include: the study of parameters of long- and short-term changes; key trajectories; evolving forms of land tenure and taxation; the state’s involvement in the economy; the roles of the Church and the law; and the impact of the Italian mercantile republics.
Assessment: Written assignment

Greek Graduate Linguistic Skills 1 and 2 (Beginner)

These modules are an intensive introduction to either Greek or Latin. They aim to provide you with the basic linguistic skills needed to acquire a reading knowledge of Greek/Latin for the purposes of research.
Assessment: Take-home paper (1) and written examination (2)

Greek Graduate Linguistic Skills 1 and 2 (Advanced)

These modules consolidate linguistic skills to enable you to work independently on Latin/Greek texts in the original language, building upon existing knowledge. They develop analytical and critical skills by means of advanced grammar and reading classes focusing in detail on a text or texts.
Assessment: Take-home paper (1) and written examination (2)

You also have the option of taking a Modern Language, chosen in consultation with the Programme Convenor.


Please note that the optional module information listed on the website for this programme is intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2018/19 are as follows:

  • UK/EU: £5,850 full-time; £2,925 part-time
  • International: £16,320 full-time

The above fees quoted are for one year only; for those studying over two or more years, tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

Fee status

Eligibility for for UK/EU or international fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students

We can also confirm that EU students who are already studying at the University of Birmingham or who have an offer to start their studies in the 2018-19 academic year will continue to be charged the UK fee rate applicable at the time, provided this continues to be permitted by UK law. The UK Government has also confirmed that students from the EU applying to courses starting in the 2018-19 academic year will not see any changes to their loan eligibility or fee status. This guarantee will apply for the full duration of the course, even if the course finishes after the UK has left the EU.

Paying your fees

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

Our requirements for postgraduate research are dependent on the type of programme you are applying for:

  • For MRes and MA by Research programmes, entry to our programmes usually requires a good (normally a 2:1 or above) Honours degree, or an equivalent qualification if you were educated outside the UK.
  • Applicants for a PhD will also need to hold a Masters qualification at Merit level or above (or its international equivalent).

Any academic and professional qualifications or relevant professional experience you may have are normally taken into account, and in some cases, form an integral part of the entrance requirements.

If you are applying for distance learning research programmes, you will also be required to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study by distance learning.

If your qualifications are non-standard or different from the entry requirements stated here, please contact the admissions tutor.

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

International students requiring visas

Monday 2 July 2018 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2018 made after this date - a new application should be made for September 2019. Applications will reopen for 2019 entry by 21 September 2018.

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, which includes detailed advice on research proposals and how to write them.

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

The Byzantine Studies MRes forms part of the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies (CBOMGS) which 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 which organises an annual international postgraduate colloquium. Postgraduates also participate in the bi-weekly General Seminar of the Centre and in the Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies. A Medieval Greek Summer School, the only one of its kind, takes place at Birmingham, end of July-August.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively 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.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive 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.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies

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. Many graduates have gone on to pursue academic posts at institutions such as Dumbarton Oaks (Harvard University), University of Birmingham and University of Warwick.

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.

Accommodation

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.

Support in your studies

We offer an Academic Writing Advisory Service, which aims to help your transition to postgraduate research. The service offers guidance on organising your ideas and structuring an argument, referencing and avoiding plagiarism, being clear and coherent and editing your work for academic style and linguistic accuracy. Individual support is provided by a professional academic writing advisor via tutorials or email, as well as through the provision of online materials.

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.