Postgraduate Research Degrees

We work with the University of Birmingham to offer two types of research degree: MA by research and PhD. We can accept viable, original proposals in all areas of Quaker Studies.


These research programmes are ideal if you already have some training in research methods, have a topic you are passionate about, and enjoy working independently within a clear structure.

You can complete a research degree by distance learning. Supervision for distance learning study is by e-mail or Skype and instead of a residency requirement all distance students come to the University three times during their period of study; this will be annually for full–time students and every other year for part-time students. These compulsory visits give a sense of community, a chance to share your work, and an opportunity to take important research methods classes.

The visit is two weeks in length for PhD students and one week for MA by Research students and usually takes place in September or January. The course fees include the cost of flights and accommodation for your three visits, and the final viva.

The MA by Research lasts 1 year full-time (2 years part-time). To complete it, you write a 40,000 word dissertation which must offer some new insights into an existing field or body of literature. This is ideal for exploring a specific topic, answering a particular question, or following up a personal interest.

In the first instance, it would be best to discuss your application with a potential supervisor. You are welcome to approach members of CRQS staff if their work is in the area you would like to explore, or for general advice please contact Professor Ben Pink Dandelion at b.p.dandelion@bham.ac.uk.

The PhD last 3 years full-time (6 years part-time). You achieve the award through an 80,000 word thesis which makes an original contribution to knowledge. This is ideal for exploring a topic in detail or discovering the answer to a complex question.

In the first instance, it would be best to discuss your application with a potential supervisor. You are welcome to approach members of CRQS staff if their work is in the area you would like to explore, or for general advice please contact Professor Ben Pink Dandelion at b.p.dandelion@bham.ac.uk.

Prospective research students need a clear idea of what the research topic is. It needs to offer a viable and original thesis and provide enough motivation for the 2-6 year registration period. If you have this, the next stage is to prepare a 1500 word (only) proposal outlining a draft title, aims, area of research, how it fits with previous research, and a plan of work. The Centre and the University use this to understand what you are interested in and the extent to which we could offer appropriate supervision.

If English is not your first language, please check you fulfil the requirements of the university.

Registration is normally in October. We recommend application at least six months ahead of registration although later application is possible. In the first instance, please contact us to discuss your proposal.

Please contact Professor Ben Pink Dandelion at the Centre for Research in Quaker Studies (b.p.dandelion@bham.ac.uk) if you require any further information about the courses.