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History, Philosophy and Culture

PhD or MA by Research

Key facts

Start dates

June 2022 / September 2022 / January 2023

Application deadline

It typically takes up to four months (five months for International and EU applicants) from application to enrollment on your programme. This is subject to all the necessary documentation being in place.

Location

Headington

Funding status

Self-funded

Overview

We pride ourselves on the quality of our research and the support that we give to our postgraduate research students. The School has an excellent track record of supervising PhDs and MAs by Research. In the last ten years, more than eighty students have graduated from the School with a research degree.

We are currently home to a cohort of 30+ research students, all of whom are members of the Faculty’s Doctoral Training Programme and the University’s Graduate College. As a research student, you will be encouraged to become involved in the School’s research activities and will have the opportunity to work alongside academics who are at the forefront of a number of world-leading research projects.

We offer supervision across the range of subject areas contained in the School and welcome inquiries in all of them: communication and media; criminology; history and history of art and philosophy.

Student reading a book

Research expertise

We are home to a vibrant and inclusive research community whose work has been, and continues to be, supported by a variety of research councils, charities and international agencies, among them the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust and the Wellcome Trust.

We strongly recommend that prior to submitting a full application you identify and make contact directly with a potential Director of Studies. Please look at our research group pages and individual staff profiles to help you identify the appropriate member of staff and to find out whether your proposed research focus is one that we can supervise.

The School comprises two internationally recognised research centres and several research groups. All support the work of our research students in an environment that encourages collaboration, critical dialogue and intellectual creativity.

Degree routes

All students enrol as probationer research students. During the first year you will formally register your research proposal for one of the below routes. 

The degree for which you register will depend on your academic qualifications and research experience. 

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Each research student in the Faculty will be allocated £630 towards the costs associated with specific research activities during the research programme.
  • Close supervision from experts in your chosen research area, including joint supervision across departments for interdisciplinary projects. 
  • Plentiful opportunities to present your work. Depending on your chosen subject you may have the opportunity to attend:
    • research seminars with presentations from high profile external guest speakers
    • specialist seminars organised by individual research groups and clusters
    • methodology workshops.
  • You will also be encouraged to submit publications to leading research journals.
  • You may have the opportunity to develop your teaching, mentoring and demonstrating skills by undertaking paid teaching activities for up to six hours a week. You may also be required to attend the Associate Teachers course which is run by the University Oxford Centre for Academic Enhancement and Development.
  • As a core part of the Faculty’s Doctoral Training Programme, the School offers also high quality research training and study facilities that can be accessed by both full-time and part-time students, including use of the Bodleian Library.
  • All our research students also become part of the University’s Graduate College, which runs a comprehensive programme of training sessions and workshops.

After you graduate

Career prospects

We are passionate about fostering the careers of our researchers and ensure that they gain research skills training, leadership experience and teaching practice as part of the doctoral programmes we offer.

Bespoke careers advice is also embedded into our programme as we think this is a key element of your personal and professional development during your time with us.

As a graduate from the School of History, Philosophy and Culture you will go on to a range of careers. Recent graduates have gone into professions including:

  • IT
  • advertising
  • publishing
  • teaching
  • business
  • the civil and diplomatic services
  • public relations
  • law
  • sales and marketing
  • the heritage industry.

How to apply

Entry requirements

Please see the specific entry requirement details in the degree routes section above.

If you choose to study full-time you must be able to devote a minimum of 35 hours per week over a 44-week year to your research. You should not undertake more than 20 hours per week paid employment or other commitments (including a maximum of six hours per week teaching, demonstrating, or other paid work directly related to your research training).

If you choose to study part-time you must be able to devote a minimum of 15 hours per week over a 44-week year to the programme of research.

You must also meet our residence requirements.

English language requirements

Applicants whose main language is not English must meet the Faculty’s English language requirements. The minimum IELTS score required for entry to the research degree programme is 6.5–7 overall.

In addition, we require a minimum of 6.5 in each component of the test. We do not accept IELTS certificates that are over two years old.

Application process

It is essential that you first check whether your specific research interests can be adequately supervised before submitting a full application. To do this please email the Research Administrator (hss-researchdegrees@brookes.ac.uk) your provisional research proposal. This should be 1500–2000 words in length and should include a title and a summary of the proposed subject area.

There is no specific format for research proposals but the following areas are usually covered:

  • introduction
  • evidence of background reading and knowledge/previous experience of research area
  • details of research methods proposed to carry out the project
  • the aims of the research project and any proposed hypotheses/outcomes
  • literature review
  • how your research project will make an original and independent contribution to knowledge.

If your area of research can potentially be supervised you will be encouraged to submit a full application via our online application system.

The Research Administrator will acknowledge receipt of your application by email. We strive to make a decision within one month of receiving your application. Please note, however, decisions may take longer during busier periods of the academic year.

Supporting documents

Please read through the list of supporting documentation must be uploaded along with your application or emailed separately.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees

Find out more about fees and funding opportunities by visiting our finance web pages: 

Fees increase by approximately 4% each year and apply to all MPhil, MPhil/PhD, PhD, MA by Research, MSc by Research and LLM by Research programmes.

If you have any questions about fees get in touch with the Research Degrees Team at rd-enquiries@brookes.ac.uk

Funding

Find out about funding options for UK studentsEU students and international students.

Please also see the UK Government information about funding Postgraduate study.

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