In accordance with the institution of which it is a part, we are a research-intensive department with a widening-access mission, which specialises in part-time educational provision for mature-age students; this continues to define our identity and unique agenda.
Birkbeck's national and international reputation for the highest quality research and teaching remains strong and has grown further with our expanded provision into new areas, in particular the areas of theatre studies and creative writing. Informing our guiding commitment to research-led teaching is a commitment to interdisciplinarity, to a broad, historicised and theorised understanding of literary studies.
Since our formation, our department has specialised in offering courses at all levels, including high-quality part-time undergraduate courses that attract a range of students, from those who are coming back to education after a long break, to those who are just starting out.
Over the last 20 years, however, we have also built up one of the UK's largest and most successful concentrations of postgraduate study in literature and related areas, including MA degrees and a substantial PhD programme. Postgraduate students in English at Birkbeck are roughly equivalent to undergraduate numbers, and many study full-time for their postgraduate degrees.