Cultural Heritage MA by Research/PhD (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)

Start date
Flexible – September or January encouraged
Duration
Full time: PhD – 3 years, MA by Research – 1 year
Course Type
Postgraduate, Distance learning, Doctoral research
Fees

Full-time annual tuition fee 2020/21:
UK/EU: £4,380
International: £17,880
More detail.

Carry out postgraduate research in Cultural Heritage at the Ironbridge International Institute of Cultural Heritage (IIICH); a unique partnership between the University of Birmingham and Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. 

You will benefit from the IIICH’s interdisciplinary approach, with the opportunity to carry out research in all aspects of cultural heritage, heritage management and related areas.

 

AHRC funding for UK/EU PhD students

The University of Birmingham is part of the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (M4C DTP), offering Arts and Humanities Research Council PhD studentships for campus-based programmes across the eight M4C DTP partners. These include a number of Collaborative Doctoral Award opportunities. Each studentship includes full research fees, a substantial maintenance grant and additional research training support. Applications are open until 12 noon, 14 January 2020.

Find out more

We offer two options for postgraduate research, whether you are looking to complete your academic studies with a PhD or to pursue an MA by Research following an undergraduate degree a related field. To find out more about what to expect from a PhD and MA by Research, please read our detailed guidance.

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.

You can study both programmes on campus or by distance learning. Our distance learning website contains useful information, including frequently asked questions, student experiences and details of the funded visit to Birmingham.

As a part time student I’ve really valued the flexibility of long library opening hours, the research room in the library and flexibility from my supervisor with regards to meetings and submissions. I’ve had a lot of encouragement to be brave, explore my ideas and develop my own concepts.

Hannah

Why Study this Course?

  • Developing discipline: The field of cultural heritage is an important and growing field of interest. It is multi-disciplinary in its approach, global in scope and covers a diverse range of issues. As an active member of the IIICH, your research will be at the cutting edge of this developing discipline.
  • Excellent facilities: You will have access to collections, archives and exhibitions of national and international significance. For example, specialist archives through the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust Library, with its international collections relating to industrial heritage and the decorative arts, and the University’s Special Collections and Archives, which consist of approximately 120,000 pre-1850 books dating from 1471 and some 3 million manuscripts.
  • Global networks: As researchers of the IIICH you are encouraged to get involved in the organisation of research related events and to benefit from our global networks of academics, policy makers and practitioners. You will have the opportunity to organise and attend international conferences hosted by the IIICH and its staff, and to get involved with our in-house online journal Furnace, which is managed and edited by our graduate researchers.

The postgraduate experience

The College of Arts and Law offers excellent support to its postgraduates, from libraries and research spaces, to careers support and funding opportunities. Learn more about your postgraduate experience.


Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

  • UK/EU: £4,380 full-time; £2,190 part-time*
  • International: £17,880 full-time; £8,940 part-time

The same fees apply to both campus-based and distance learning study. The distance learning programme fee also includes a fully-funded visit to campus for each full year of the programme.

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.

* For UK/EU postgraduate research students the University fee level is set at Research Council rates and as such is subject to change. The final fee will be announced by Research Councils UK in spring 2020.

Fee status

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


For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

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.

How To Apply

Application deadlines

Postgraduate research can start at any time during the year, but it is important to allow time for us to review your application and communicate a decision. If you wish to start in September, we would recommend that you aim to submit your application and supporting documents by 1 July 2020.

Distance learning students will attend a residential visit in September or January, and those students wishing to attend the September residential are also encouraged to apply by 1 July 2020. The visit will take place at the end of September/beginning of October and you will receive further details once you have accepted your offer.

Before you make your application

Full details of our requirements can be found on our Applications page.

As part of the application for admission onto our MJur, MPhil and PhD programmes, you must prepare a research proposal outlining your proposed area of study. For more information, please see our guidance on how to write a research proposal.

Please also see our additional guidance for applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study mode.

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

Our Standard 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, usually in a relevant area.
  • Applicants for a PhD will also need to hold a Masters qualification at Merit level or above (or its international equivalent), usually in a relevant area.

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

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries - use our handy guide below to see what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements: standard language requirements apply for this course - IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band. If you are made an offer of a place to study and you do not meet the language requirement, you have the option to enrol on our English for Academic Purposes Presessional Course - if you successfully complete the course, you will be able to fulfil the language requirement without retaking a language qualification.

IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 21 Listening, 22 Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced - minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

Learn more about international entry requirements

International Requirements


Our research themes, in which we are able to offer expertise, are not intended to be rigid as we recognise the wide spectrum of interpretations of cultural heritage, its cross-disciplinary nature and its international relevance.

We welcome ideas for research which are innovative, challenging and which push at the boundaries of the many dimensions of cultural heritage. We will work with you to ensure that your research topic is ‘do-able’ and will provide maximum interest and impact for you, in line with your future career aspirations. 

For details of potential supervisors, please browse the profiles of our academic staff.

You may also like to browse our research themes of interest. These are broad in scope and allow for your interests to be developed:

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for your future career, but this can also be enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University and the College of Arts and Law.

The University's Careers Network provides expert guidance and activities especially for postgraduates, which will help you achieve your career goals. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated  careers and employability team who offer tailored advice and a programme of College-specific careers events.

You will be encouraged to make the most of your postgraduate experience and will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive one-to-one careers advice, including guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique, whether you are looking for a career inside or outside of academia
  • Meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs and employer presentations
  • Attend an annual programme of careers fairs, skills workshops and conferences, including bespoke events for postgraduates in the College of Arts and Law
  • Take part in a range of activities to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers and enhance your CV

What’s more, you will be able to access our full range of careers support for up to 2 years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Cultural Heritage

Graduates from the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage can boast a wide combination of skills that can be applied to a number of careers, including museums work, conservation and regeneration, the management of historic buildings and landscapes, and cultural tourism.

Over the past 5 years, 85% of our postgraduates were in work and/or further study 6 months after graduation (DLHE 2012 - 2017). Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include Birmingham Museums Trust, National Trust, Canal and River Trust, English Heritage, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.