University of Buckingham

MA in Biography by Research

5.0 excellent 2 opinions
University of Buckingham
In Buckingham (England)

Price on request

Important information

Typology Postgraduate
Location Buckingham (England)
Start Different dates available
  • Postgraduate
  • Buckingham (England)
  • Start:
    Different dates available

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, MPhil or DPhil level. Study can be on either a full-time or a part-time basis.
Course structure

Facilities (1)
Where and when
Starts Location
Different dates available
Hunter Street, MK18 1EG, Buckinghamshire, England
See map
Starts Different dates available
Hunter Street, MK18 1EG, Buckinghamshire, England
See map


Course rating
Centre rating

Reviews on this course

Student Reviewer
About the course: The University of Buckingham gave a unique experience with specialisation in taking care of students. The lectures and tutors are helpful. the course if justifying the fees. You can become a graduate in just 2 years.
Course taken: March 2019
Would you recommend this centre?: yes
Student Reviewer
About the course: Iam student of two year degree course and I found that it has got both pros and cons. Pros being it is very much affordable to pursue and con being ha sgot great socialisation to distract.
Course taken: March 2019
Would you recommend this centre?: yes
Reviews gathered by Emagister & iAgora

What you'll learn on the course

Part Time
Full Time
Professor Training
Full Time

Course programme

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.Programme directorProfessor Jane Ridley founded the Buckingham Biography MA in 1996. She is an Oxford-trained historian and biographer, and her publications include "The Young Disraeli" (1995); "The Architect and his Wife: A Life of Edwin Lutyens" (2002), which won the Duff Cooper Prize; and "Bertie: A Life of Edward VII" (2012), for which she was awarded a research fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust. She has contributed widely to the "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", and she is a regular reviewer for publications such as the "Spectator", the "Literary Review" and the "Times Literary Supplement".Watch a lecture by Professor Ridley on “The Thrills and Spills of Writing Biography”, given to the Swan and Pen Literary Society in June 2013.LocationTeaching takes place at the University’s London premises:
    51 Gower Street
    WC1E 6HJRecent news

    24 January 2017 Book based on Biography MA dissertation appears in The Mail on Sunday

    The Mail on Sunday on 22 January 2017 published a 2-page article by Claudia Joseph: “The not so shy Lady Di: An aristocratic beauty trapped in a loveless marriage whose scandalous affair gripped the nation.” Click here to read the … Read more >

    6 October 2015 Biography students shortlisted for prize

    Two Biography DPhil students have been short-listed for a prestigious literary prize. The Biographers’ Club awards the annual Tony Lothian Prize of £2,000 for the best proposal for a biography by an unpublished author. Five submissions were shortlisted. Two of … Read more >

    29 June 2015 Publication of the week: Professor Jane Ridley

    Ridley, J., Victoria (Penguin Monarchs): Queen, Matriarch, Empress (London: Allen Lane, 2015).  160 pp.  ISBN: 978-0-14-197718-8. This book is part of the Penguin Monarchs series which provides short, fresh, expert accounts of England’s rulers.  Queen Victoria inherited the throne at … Read more >

    TimescaleThe normal periods of study for achieving these research degrees are as follows:
  • MA Res – 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
  • MPhil – 2 years full-time or 4 years part-time
  • DPhil – 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time
  • Administrative arrangementsA system of preliminary registration for all research degrees is in operation to allow students to prepare a formal proposal during the early part of their course. Admission to research degrees is normally on a provisional basis while the candidate, with the help of the supervisor, refines the proposal for the research, including developing a work plan and identifying the requirements for support and resources and how these will be met. Students for the MA degree in Biography by Research are registered initially for the taught MA until the research proposal has been accepted. Postgraduate students wishing to register for the DPhil programme in Biography must first register for the MPhil and seek conversion at a later stage. Registration is upgraded to DPhil, normally between 12 and 18 months from first registration, once the student has demonstrated through the submission of draft written work that he or she has the ability to conduct research at the advanced level required for the award of the degree. All research students must also subject their work to an annual progress review.Changing the level of the research degree after the start of the course, although not impossible, can produce complications. Prospective students uncertain about the level or length of course best suited to them are strongly advised to discuss this with the course director before applying.