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Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck is a global elite university, a centre of world-class research and part of the prestigious University of London. We are London’s only specialist provider of evening postgraduate education.

Birkbeck offers nearly 300 taught and research postgraduate programmes across arts and humanities, business and economics, law, science and social science. As an evening teaching specialist, we offer taught postgrad courses between 6-9pm, with some courses available through distance learning. As with undergraduate courses, postgrads can study full-time or part-time.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed us 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent. Home to 44 research and specialist institutes, Birkbeck is the sixth largest provider of taught postgrad courses for UK and EU students - some 30% of its 12,000-plus students are on postgrad programmes. Around 90% of its academics are active in research, and many are renowned in their fields.

Birkbeck, University of London

Our unique academic environment gives you the opportunity to make valuable professional contact with working professionals based in a global capital city. This is an exceptional opportunity to progress your career and transform your life - and is a unique advantage of studying at Birkbeck.

Many of our postgraduate students are working around their full-time jobs and are studying to improve their careers. Our students tell us they would not have the careers they have if they hadn't come to Birkbeck. As diverse and cosmopolitan as London itself, Birkbeck students are hardworking, driven and committed to achieving - and excited about being in a Birkbeck classroom. They bring their expertise and experience with them, and you'll be able to hear from professionals with experience in your subject and learn to apply this real-life knowledge to your own studies.

As a postgraduate student, you’ll be able to use our Careers and Employability Service to obtain one-to-one appointments, workshops and events while you’re studying. You can also use it once you’ve graduated from your course. Alongside this, Birkbeck also offers Birkbeck Talent, an in-house recruitment agency, which works with more than 150 of the UK’s best companies and employers to help students find work while studying and after graduating. Bespoke support is offered to students interested in enterprise and entrepreneurship, while there is also an extensive mentoring programme with corporate partners from business, law and beyond.

Birkbeck, University of London

We are committed to providing advice and support to help you finance your postgraduate studies. The government has introduced new loans for postgraduate students and alongside, we also offer flexible payment options and a hardship fund to support students who experience a change of circumstances while studying.

Birkbeck was created 200 years ago to provide university education for working Londoners. We still believe in the power of knowledge to transform lives, so we go out of our way to make education accessible to as wide a community as possible. If you have the commitment and ability to study, we’ll find a way to make it happen for you.



Department / School information and available programmes:

The Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication, which is housed within the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy, was established in 1965 by Professor Michel Blanc, making us the first department in England to focus on the study of applied linguistics. We remain the only Department of Applied Linguistics in the University of London.

Our research focuses on the diverse phenomena of multilingualism, which we believe is the rule rather than the exception in today’s world. We adopt a very broad and interdisciplinary approach, and believe that it is through rigorous, critical examination of these phenomena that the nature and functions of language and communication can be understood more holistically.

In the results of the most recent Research Excellent Framework (REF) 2014, the Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication, in its joint submission with the Department of Cultures and Languages, achieved 100% at the highest ratings for research environment and is deemed as a place most ‘conducive to producing research of world-leading and internationally excellent quality, in terms of its vitality and sustainability’.

We are an institutional member of the British Association of Applied Linguistics and IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) and an affiliated member of the International Association of Applied Linguistics

We offer an exciting, innovative range of Masters courses, all of which can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis:

Applied Linguistics and Communication (MA)
Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions (MA)
Language Teaching (MA)
Social Research and Applied Linguistics (MRes)
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) (MA)

Our staff have expertise in a variety of fields, and our research explores the diverse phenomena of multilingualism.

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Working closely with the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology (ISMB), the Department of Biological Sciences is renowned for the quality of its research.


Why study with us?

- We have a great choice of courses, including the opportunity to pursue MPhil/PhD research
- Flexible learning opportunities
- Expert help and support, including high-quality labs and research facilities, and access to world-class libraries


About us

Formed in August 2009 (through a merger of the former Schools of Biological and Chemical Sciences and Crystallography) the Department of Biological Sciences continues to build on the many strengths of these schools so as to allow sustained future growth in all areas. The Head of Department is Professor Carolyn Moores.

Our research programmes are part of the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, a joint institute between Birkbeck and UCL that seeks to integrate techniques from the chemical and physical sciences to provide insight into the molecular basis of biological processes. In 2008, the Research Assessment Exercise rated 85% of our research as having international impact, with 15% receiving the highest possible rating of world-leading.

The ISMB provides a vibrant environment for interdisciplinary research and in 2010 academic staff in the department of biological sciences were in receipt of £15.5 million research grant funding.

Many of our achievements have led to greater understanding of the biological processes that lead to human disease and have potential applications in drug design. Find out more about our research programmes and our recent discoveries.

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The Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at Birkbeck traces its roots back to 1946 when the College's first computer was built in the Computer Laboratory founded by Dr Andew Booth. The Department of Computer Science was established in 1957 and today the Department continues as a leading centre of computing expertise, specialising in information and knowledge management, web and pervasive technologies, computational intelligence and information systems development.

We welcome applications from international students for full-time taught Masters and research degrees. Our postgraduate degrees are available both full-time, and part-time by flexible evening study. Situated in Bloomsbury in the heart of London, students are ideally placed to experience the capital’s places of education, culture and business. Our taught programmes emphasise the use of information technology in organisations, and aim to empower people with the technical and management skills required to succeed in a competitive market place.

We have research collaborations with many industry partners and academic institutions in the UK and abroad, which complement and inform our taught programmes. In REF 2014, almost all of the Department's research activity was judged as being of international significance, with 21% being world-leading, 47% internationally excellent, and 20% internationally recognised. For research outputs specifically, 32% were judged as being world-leading, 45% as internationally excellent and 16% as internationally recognised, placing us in the top 25% of Computer Science departments in the UK.

In 2004 the Department set up the London Knowledge Lab, in collaboration with our neighbouring Institute of Education. The Birkbeck Knowledge Lab established in 2016 extends the legacy of the London Knowledge Lab, drawing on multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives and methodologies from across the Sciences, Social Sciences and Arts to investigate how digital technologies and digital information are transforming our learning, working and cultural lives. The Birkbeck Institute for Data Analytics was founded in 2016 to develop interdisciplinary research in data analytics and data science between computer scientists at the Department and members of Birkbeck's other departments, across the sciences, social sciences, economics, law and humanities. The Department also participates in the Institute of Structural Molecular Biology, in collaboration with the Departments of Biological Sciences at UCL and Birkbeck, and the Centre for Cognition, Computation and Modelling in collaboration with Birkbeck's Department of Psychology.

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The Department of Criminology at Birkbeck has a proud tradition of critical scholarship. We are committed to social and racial justice, with research based in real-world events and experiences: identities, communities, policy and practice. The department is home to world-leading academics whose research covers contemporary social problems, from prison abolition, migration and deportation and social welfare, to gendered violence, terrorism, organised crime and drugs. We contribute to these debates using different theoretical approaches including political economy, psychosocial approaches, feminist, critical race and queer theory.

We have an enviable reputation as a centre of innovative scholarship, teaching and learning. Our academic staff are recognised as experts in their fields and approach criminology using critical and multi-disciplinary approaches. You can hear from scholars within and beyond Birkbeck at our Criminology Research Seminars. These events showcase prominent academics carrying out path-breaking research on crime, criminal justice and related themes.

The Institute for Crime and Justice Policy Research (ICPR) is affiliated to the Department of Criminology and contributes to our teaching programmes. ICPR is a centre of world-class legal research and scholarship, undertaking academically-grounded, policy-oriented research on criminal justice. Led by principles of justice, fairness and human rights, ICPR is committed to bringing about improvements in criminal justice policy and practice.

Our part-time programmes, flexible timetabling and evening teaching attract people who want to combine higher education with professional and care commitments. This is our strength; students have the opportunity to learn alongside people from diverse professional experiences and backgrounds.

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The Department of Cultures and Languages at Birkbeck brings together a community of scholars with shared interests in interdisciplinary topics and transnational phenomena, covering French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish-speaking cultures from the Renaissance to the 21st century.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent. Particular research themes pursued by staff in this department include:

- aesthetics and media
- histories and philosophies
- community and identities.

If you are interested in doing a PhD with us in any of these areas, email culturesandlanguages@bbk.ac.uk.

Our interdisciplinary research centre, the Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community (BRAKC), attracts colleagues from across the School of Arts, from other Birkbeck Schools and from the wider academic community.

Just as BRAKC attracts colleagues from across the School and from other schools, so we participate in a variety of interdisciplinary research and teaching ventures, which include:

- film studies
- postcolonial studies
- museum studies
- Renaissance studies
- 18th- and 19th-century studies.

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The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences has been teaching part-time evening geology degrees from a central London location since 1840. We currently have over 250 students, based in London and around the world, studying on our courses. These students are all ages and from all backgrounds. They may be looking to change or improve their careers, realising a long-held dream to study in this field or developing a personal interest in geology or planetary sciences.

Some of our postgraduate courses are offered via distance learning, complete with videos of face-to-face lectures and full lecture notes. Students can therefore study from overseas, or if they can travel to London, they can also take part in lectures and practicals. It is common for students based in the UK to study through a mix of face-to-face and distance learning.

Research in our department ranges from earthquake hazards, volcanic activity and the study of paleoenvironments to astrobiology and planetary geology on the Moon and Mars. Our researchers benefit from working with the facilities and expertise of UCL in the joint Institute of Earth and Planetary Sciences (IEPS). In our joint submission with UCL, Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences at Birkbeck were rated sixth in the UK in 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

The Department is a member of University Geoscience UK, the subject association for geoscience departments, linked with the Geological Society.

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The Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics has an excellent reputation for the quality of its academic research and teaching. We offer a full range of academic programmes in economics, finance, mathematics and statistics, at both undergraduate and postgraduate (up to PhD) level, as well as a range of shorter introductory courses. We also regularly provide customised training to various public and private sector organisations.

The Department is at the cutting edge of research in four key areas: econometrics and statistical sciences, macroeconomics, microeconomics and mathematics. Our academics, researchers and MPhil/PhD students work together via research centres, networks, groups and societies. These cut across departments, subjects and areas of expertise, to encourage and enable innovative, interdisciplinary research.

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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.

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One of the newer departments in the College, the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies combines a long tradition of teaching and researching cultural studies at Birkbeck with the latest ideas and techniques across film studies, journalism, screenwriting, arts management, digital media and more.

Teaching and supervision are delivered by leading film and media academics, including Drs Mike Allen, Janet McCabe, Silke Arnold-de Simine, Dorota Ostrowska, Emma Sandon and Michael Temple, and Professors Laura Mulvey, Ian Christie and Catherine Grant.

The award-winning Birkbeck Cinema is central to many of our courses; the 70-seat cinema is equipped with 35mm and state-of-the-art DVD projection. Our Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI) runs a busy, intellectually stimulating programme of events, including conferences, screenings and film-related events of all kinds, and our Derek Jarman Lab offers practical film-making opportunities.

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Birkbeck’s Department of Geography is an interdisciplinary, diverse department led by internationally recognised research-active academics. We offer high quality teaching across a range of programmes, including human and environmental geography, physical geography, international development, community studies and social sciences - providing a range of option modules in addition to the core modules for our programmes. Our field trips explore diverse social and ecological environments in the UK, India and the Mediterranean.

We offer small, student-focused classes, facilitating more interaction with lecturers and fellow students. Our evening teaching (6-9pm), and the option to study full- or part-time, make our degrees accessible to working professionals. As a result, in class you may meet peers already active in the jobs or sectors you’re aiming to get into. We welcome students from diverse backgrounds, and provide extensive support for learning including Foundation year studies, personal tutors and disability services.

Our locations in Bloomsbury (central London) and Stratford (east London), offer students the chance to explore one of the world’s great multicultural cities, as well as providing attractive and stimulating environments for research and student life. We offer access to world-class libraries and the activities of the other University of London colleges. Our campuses are easily accessible via public transport, and surrounded by a diversity of shops and world famous institutions like the British Museum, the Wellcome Collection and the British Library.

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Established almost half a century ago, the Department of History of Art at Birkbeck is well respected with an excellent reputation, both national and international, for the quality of our research.

All of our courses are offered by part-time evening study and at postgraduate level we offer an increasingly wide choice of full-time courses, with the result that the number of international students who choose to study with us is increasing year on year.

As one of our students, you'll get access to world-class research resources as well as specialist resources, to help you get the best out of your studies. You can also expect a great range of help and support. You'll be invited to a dynamic range of events, giving you access not only to some of the best minds this discipline offers, but also insight into the most recent and up-to-date work in our field.

Not only are we close to museums and galleries, which you will visit as part of your studies, but every year we organise a field trip for all of our students and staff, which is a great opportunity to find out more about well-known art centres.

Our staff are engaged in a fascinating range of research projects, and regularly receive funding from research bodies such as the AHRC and the Leverhulme Trust.

Both our staff and students have received formal recognition of their achievements through the award of research grants, and awards and prizes.

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The Department of History, Classics and Archaeology has a distinguished tradition as an international centre of excellence. Known for research and teaching alike, our faculty and students explore an unusually broad range of historical periods and societies.

Our research and teaching spans the whole of human history. We are one of very few departments in Britain to include archaeologists, classicists and historians investigating every period from prehistory to the early twenty-first century. Our research covers ancient Greece and Rome as well as medieval, early modern and modern societies. Our expertise also encompasses much of the globe. We have more than 40 specialists in, for example, medieval Byzantium, colonial India, and modern China, as well as ancient Rome, Tudor London, Nazi Germany and more.

The Department is renowned as a centre of original and influential research. We are consistently ranked among the top ten departments in the UK in official research assessments. In REF 2014 we were ranked seventh nationally (Times Higher Education research intensity table), with 85 per cent of our research portfolio deemed world-leading or internationally excellent. Our academic staff are widely recognised authorities in their field. We are regularly awarded major research grants to pursue our diverse investigations of the past. We collaborate with other colleges of the University of London in running research seminars at the Institute of Historical Research and the Institute of Classical Studies, in addition to hosting events, conferences, public lectures and workshops.

We are intensely proud of our role in a university dedicated to providing world-class evening teaching to people from all walks of life. Our flexible model attracts working, mature, part-time and first-generation students, along with many others. By offering training in history, classics and archaeology for both traditional and non-traditional students, we advance our mission that the past matters for everyone.

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The Department of Law is among the top law schools in the UK and is ranked in the top three in London in the most recent Times Higher Education Research Excellence Framework (REF) rankings for research intensity.* Founded in 1992, the department has grown from three members of academic staff to a body of 38 and an annual student intake of around 1000 students. Our reputation in the field of critical legal theory, philosophy and socio-legal approaches to law, attracts graduate students from a wide range of jurisdictions. As a student at the Department of Law you will benefit from a busy programme of activities during term time, including reading groups, mock trials and regular seminars. We have strong links with the legal profession, attracting academic visitors from leading law firms, chambers and prestigious law schools across the globe.

A global top-150 research institution, Birkbeck prides itself on giving students the very best education in an institution where the teaching is informed by our outstanding research excellence. Not only will you be taught by academics who are leading experts in their fields, you’ll also have the opportunity to study alongside students who bring professional work experience in the subject being studied. The College has the highest proportion of research active staff of any college or University in the Greater London area. Founded in 1823 Birkbeck is a unique college of the University of London. The majority of our students study part-time and many combine study with a career or family commitments.

The College is located in Bloomsbury in the centre of London and surrounded by many other University of London Colleges. Students have access to the College library, the University of London's Senate House library and the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, all of which are a short walk from the Law School. The College's central London location is well served by most of the main Underground, main line and bus routes. The Birkbeck and University of London Student Unions are also situated nearby in Malet Street.

Our department has a vibrant research culture with regular visiting scholars. We have twice hosted the Critical Legal Conference, host an annual Law on Trial event, and support an annual three-week writer-in-residence programme, offering masterclasses in critical theory to our research students. Our reputation in the field of critical legal theory and philosophy, and socio-legal approaches to law, attracts graduate students from a wide range of jurisdictions.

Our postgraduate portfolio of degrees includes our flagship programmes in Human Rights and International Economic Law, Justice and Development, both of which are also offered in intensive form. We are distinguished from other law departments by our triple-track qualifying law degree programme, enabling our students to study the academic stage of the legal profession over two, three or four years.

Uniquely among law providers, we offer a full-time law degree by evening study alone, which increasingly attracts international students. For access students from a variety of educational and cultural backgrounds we offer Certificate-level programmes in Legal Studies and Criminology and Criminal Justice providing exciting skills-based and specialist modules.

*Times Higher Education 2014 Research Intensity rankings.

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Based in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics, the Department of Management is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in teaching, research and consultancy in the broad field of management.

If you are looking to enhance your career, to investigate the options for a career change, wish to return to employment, or are simply interested in exploring the intellectual depths of your chosen domain, the Department offers a great environment in which to work.

- We offer students of all ages and backgrounds a chance to gain a respected University of London qualification

- We have particular research strengths in management, marketing, international business, accounting and financial
management, business innovation, corporate governance and business ethics, human resource management, and
sport management.

- We combine the academic strengths and international reputation of a major graduate school in one of Britain's top
universities with the practical benefits of evening teaching

- All of our academic staff are active researchers as well as enthusiastic teachers, and regularly publish cutting-edge
articles in the world's leading journals.

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21st century organisations and businesses of all kinds are evolving and changing more rapidly than ever. Understanding and managing those changes effectively is at the heart of Organisational Psychology.

Our well-established Department – launched in 1962 as the first of its kind in the UK – is right for you if you want to develop your skills within Occupational Psychology or Organisational Behaviour, or to extend your knowledge of Human Resources, Management Consultancy or Coaching.

You may already be working within these fields, in which case our MSc programmes will broaden and challenge your understanding. Or you may be looking to branch out into a new area, and be interested in our undergraduate programmes, or a Mini MBA. We also offer a vibrant doctoral programme (MPhil/PhD) in Organisational Psychology.

Naturally, we are research-driven, leading the field in creating new knowledge and pushing boundaries in a wide range of specialist academic areas. But we’re also successful communicators. Through our teaching expertise we translate complex ideas to our students, ensuring they in turn are able to make their own valuable contributions.

That’s why, throughout our Department, we take great pride in nurturing and guiding students who become thoughtful, adaptable practitioners in the workplace and beyond.

Our programmes are delivered in the evenings, and we’re one of the first Departments at Birkbeck to offer distance and network learning at postgraduate level.

We’re part of Birkbeck’s School of Business, Economics and Informatics, and we look forward to welcoming you.

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The Department of Philosophy is one of the most distinguished centres of philosophy research in the United Kingdom. In the last two national research assessments (2008 and 2014), 100% of our research was classed as being internationally recognised. Our staff work in a wide range of fields.

Our staff provide students with a philosophical education of the very highest academic quality: the department was awarded the maximum score of 24 in the last Teaching Quality Assessment (AQA). Our teaching is based on lectures and seminars. We also ensure that students receive detailed comments on a significant proportion of their written work.

Our courses are designed to stimulate students to think for themselves about crucial topics in philosophy and its history. By study, analysis and criticism of philosophical texts and ideas, students will be equipped to develop and hone their own ideas and argumentative skills.

We are located in the centre of Bloomsbury within very easy reach of the Birkbeck Library, the Institute of Philosophy and Senate House which contains the University of London Library and where Aristotelian Society meetings are held. And we are a few minutes' walk from the British Library, and from the Royal Institute of Philosophy.

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Part of the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy, the Department of Politics is a centre of interdisciplinary research with an outstanding reputation for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

The department was founded in 1972 by Bernard Crick, author of In Defence of Politics, and George Orwell: A Life. The leading British sociology and political theorist, Paul Hirst, is also a key figure in our history.

We have a reputation for teaching excellence of which we are justly proud: we were ranked 12th in Britain in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) for 4* research - considered 'world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour - just beneath University of Cambridge. This places the department within the top quarter of research-active politics departments, higher if we include the many institutions that did not enter the REF. It also ranks 12th overall in 4* outputs, 17th overall for Grade Point Average. This confirms our status as a top-tier politics department within the UK and the world.

Our teaching recognises no intellectual boundary between politics, political history, political theory and sociology, and our degrees transcend any artificial divisions. This particular combination of expertise and course has no equivalent in any other Department in the UK.

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The Department of Psychological Sciences is a centre of vibrant research and teaching whose roots can be traced to the beginnings of the scientific study of the subject in the UK over a century ago.

Psychological Sciences at Birkbeck were rated fifth in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) and we achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to research of world-leading quality. Psychology at Birkbeck is also ranked third best in London, ninth in the UK and 85th globally in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject.

The department was established in the difficult period of the Second World War, but Psychology at Birkbeck has its roots in the beginnings of the scientific study of the subject in the UK over a century ago.

We are located within very easy reach of our research institutes, laboratories and the University of London Library, and a few minutes' walk from the British Library and other University of London Colleges.

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The Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck was founded in 2000 and aims to investigate interconnections between individual and group identities and historical and contemporary social and political formations. It seeks to link discussions of our precarious and increasingly interconnected collective histories with our ordinary, everyday, intimate and psychic life.

Staff members have a keen interest in developing new theoretical paths across a number of critical fields of inquiry as well as forging new, innovative psychosocial research methods. The department is genuinely interdisciplinary, with academics coming from backgrounds in anthropology, cultural and postcolonial studies, education studies, gender and sexuality studies, literary studies, critical psychology, psychoanalytic studies, sociology and urban studies.

Academic programmes in psychosocial studies, psychoanalytic studies, education studies, sociology and cultural and postcolonial studies sit alongside Counselling and Psychotherapy at Birkbeck, which is a cluster of programmes within the department designed for those who wish to train as a counsellor or psychotherapist putting theory and practice into dynamic relation.

Our department gained 100% for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2019 and 98% for teaching in the NSS 2019.

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