Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Arts and Humanities

This programme supports original research projects across different disciplines, media, or practice-based research, encouraging new ways of thinking on how to historicise, bridge and transcend disciplines. Working under the supervision of 2 scholars from different departments in the School of Arts, you will join a unique and innovative interdisciplinary graduate community working in literatures, languages, media and art historical studies, where new kinds of scholarship take their place in a larger academic conversation about cross-cultural transfer, cultural comparison and interdisciplinary interpretation. Current supervisors on this programme include Silke Arnold-de-Simine, Andrew Asibong, Luisa Cale`, Ben Cranfield, Patrizia Di Bello, Professor Esther Leslie, Ana Parejo Vadillo, Leslie Topp and Jo Winning. Further potential supervisors can be found via each department's pages. In addition to supervision, we support students' work through a programme of critical theory seminars, and research skills and methodologies classes. In your first year you are encouraged to think about how to frame research questions, what happens when research subverts disciplinary boundaries, and how these might be seen differently through alternative or historical divisions of knowledge. From the second year, you will take part in research-in-progress workshops and a range of other activities, including conferences, student-led seminars and reading groups. Throughout, your work will be enhanced by and contribute to the School's vibrant research culture and research centres.

Course modules

This programme supports PhDs in comparative studies (e.g. French and English literatures, Japanese and American film), multidisciplinary studies (e.g. English film and literature; photography and book history), theoretical approaches that cut across disciplines (e.g. cultural studies) and practice-based research. If your thesis involves studio-based, audio-visual or technological research, it may include a portfolio, exhibition or other audio-visual display. This must be original work, exemplifying and locating the ideas that are developed in conjunction with the written part of the thesis.

Sponsorship information

Our School attracts funding for studentships that ensure researchers of the highest standard can pursue their research with us. We offer a range of funding opportunities for 2017-2018 entry.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD Full-time October 2018 - 4 Years
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD Part-time October 2018 - 7 Years
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD Full-time January 2019 - 4 Years
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD Part-time January 2019 - 7 Years
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD Full-time April 2019 - 4 Years
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD Part-time April 2019 - 7 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus WC1E 7HX London

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Key information

Department of English and Humanties
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