University of Buckingham

Degree level: Postgraduate

Biography (Research)

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

TEF Gold

University of Buckingham has opted into the TEF and received a Gold award.

Find out more about the TEF.

The cutting-edge Taught MA in Biography was founded in 1996, remains unique to Buckingham and is consistently rated ‘excellent’ by external examiners and inspectors. Since then, in response to student demand, the available options have been extended to include postgraduate research degrees at three levels: MA by Research or PhD level. Study can be on either a full-time or a part-time basis. Course structure For their first year of study students on all these courses attend the same weekly seminars as students taking the Taught MA in Biography. These provide the critical awareness of the subject which is an essential prerequisite for dissertation work and they are one of the most distinctive and valuable elements of the MA. They take place as follows:

  • Autobiography (September to December)
  • Special Paper in Biography (January to June)
  • Research Methods (January to June)
The modules on Biography and Autobiography are designed to combine the study of classic biographies and memoirs with contemporary writing. In addition, the Research Methods module provides an invaluable and innovative training, especially devised for biographers. Guest seminars on the course are led by leading biographers, critics, publishers and agents. Teachers and speakers on the course have included Andrew Motion, Kathryn Hughes, Frances Wilson, Frances Spalding, Jeremy Lewis, Rupert Shortt, Caroline Dawnay, Andrew Lownie and Miranda Seymour. Research students are expected to produce, as a valuable preliminary to their own research project, written coursework for the Research Methods module (an annotated bibliography and a short biography, with supporting material, produced according to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography format), and one other piece of written work, but the full amount of termly written work required for the taught course is not compulsory. During the early part of the course, research students refine their research proposal under the individual supervision of the course director for eventual discussion with the Research Officer. Once the research proposal has been accepted students concentrate on individual research and the preparation of a dissertation, under the supervision of the course director.

Course details

Modules

The modules on Biography and Autobiography are designed to combine the study of classic biographies and memoirs with contemporary writing. In addition, the Research Methods module provides an invaluable and innovative training, especially devised for biographers.

Assessment method

These are degrees by research which require an original contribution to the body of knowledge in a particular academic or professional discipline. PhD: Dissertation of 80,000 – 100,000 words.


How to apply

International applicants

With staff and students from over 90 countries around the world, the University enjoys a wonderful and culturally diverse atmosphere. Voted top for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey since 2006, we provide support for students from outside the UK including: assistance with visa application and renewal; guaranteed accommodation in halls of residence; and a personal tutor to support your academic studies. Academic staff are available to help and advise, and operate an open-door policy. We have the best staff to student ratio of any university in the UK. Our students have formed a number of overseas clubs, and there is a sports and social programme each term to ensure you enjoy your time with us. Our idyllic setting between Oxford and Milton Keynes offers access to a range of cultural and social activities and Bicester Village, the renowned shopping outlet is a short bus ride away. English Language requirements: it is very important that your English level is of a good standard for you to be successful in your studies. All applicants must achieve specific requirements in all four components (listening, reading, speaking and writing). Please check our website for more details of the undergraduate or postgraduate language requirements for your course. https://www.buckingham.ac.uk/international/english-language-requirements/

Entry requirements

1st or 2nd class Honours degree or relevant experience; applicants whose 1st language is not English require IELTS 6.5 (with 6.0 or above in each component).


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £3780 Year 1
England £3780 Year 1
Northern Ireland £3780 Year 1
Scotland £3780 Year 1
Wales £3780 Year 1
Channel Islands £3780 Year 1
International £6615 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.

Sponsorship information

The University would like to encourage students – both undergraduates and postgraduates – to come to Buckingham regardless of their financial circumstances. The bursaries and scholarships we offer are awarded on merit and/or on financial need. You may only accept one University award. All awards are subject to your meeting the University’s academic entry requirements and abiding by the University’s rules and regulations. To be eligible to apply for a scholarship you will need to have been offered a place to study at Buckingham. For details of our current range of scholarships and bursaries please see our website: https://www.buckingham.ac.uk/admissions/scholarships

Biography at University of Buckingham - UCAS