The programme is available online and is fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), as well as study materials and help from academic staff. It allows you to study anywhere in the world and fit your studies around your other commitments.
The degree offers the flexibility to complete in one year, or up to five years depending on your desired study pace.
You will be able to access study materials developed by academics at Birkbeck including course handbooks, textbooks and recorded lectures or dedicated audio recordings, and you will have access to an extensive online library.
You will be able to discuss your work with fellow students and tutors using a conferencing system. You will discuss topics in tutor groups of normally around 30 students.
All study materials (articles and/or set texts) are included in the programme fee, with the exception of materials required to carry out the Dissertation.
The programme uses tutor supported computer conferencing as the main mode of communication between staff and students. Tutors oversee all modules; they respond to queries, monitor discussions and provide general guidance. When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources:
- The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enables access to course materials, resources, and activities.
- The Online Library provides access to over 100 million academic electronic items comprising E-books, E-journals, conference proceedings, etc. In addition, students can request items which are not held in the library via the library's Inter-Library loans service with the British Library.
- Senate House Library provides free reference access for all registered distance and flexible learning students.
We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students. You will have access to support through:
- The Student Advice Centre – provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
- TalkCampus – a peer support service that offers a safe and confidential way to talk about whatever is on your mind at any time of day or night.
Modules are offered across three terms of eleven weeks from Oct to Dec (Term 1), Jan to March (Term 2) and April to July (Term 3). This 11 week period includes 9 weeks of guided study followed by a personal study week. The assessment period for each module is in the final week of each term.
You can study at your own pace (provided you complete your qualification within five years). The MSc is made up of 180 credits and you should expect each credit to take up around 10 hours of study.
Each module is summatively assessed by a final assessment (worth 90% of the overall mark), with the exception of the Research Project modules (Research Proposal and Dissertation). The final assessment is typically a two-hour unseen written examination or 3,000-word written report/essay.
For each module (except for the Research Project modules), satisfaction of the minimum tutor supported computer conferencing requirements is worth 10% of the overall mark.
The Research Proposal module is assessed by a 3,000 word research proposal.
The Dissertation module is assessed by an 8,000-10,000 word dissertation.
Assessment is usually held in December, March and July (at the end of each term). Written exams are held at approved centres around the world (mainly Ministries of Education or the British Council). Each centre charges a fee for hosting exams.
More about assessment.
More about coursework.