UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies


MPhil & PhD Research Degrees

The MPhil and PhD are research degrees for candidates with a suitable academic background who wish to pursue independent research under the supervision of a specialist in the field.  The department admits candidates only if there is a member of staff who can provide the requisite supervision and assistance. In the first instance, potential applicants should consult with the Graduate Tutor.

PhD study is three years full-time or five years part-time. Candidates are expected to carry out an independent research project, based in part on primary source material. MPhil candidates ordinarily submit their qualifying work in the form of a thesis of approximately 80,000 to 100,000 words in length.

The PhD dissertation should be based substantially on primary source material and must make a substantial and original contribution to the candidate's area of study.

Research Areas

We are a multi-disciplinary department with expertise across the whole field of Jewish studies, ranging from history (ancient to modern) and political science to language (all phases of Hebrew, several other Semitic languages and Yiddish), literature, and gender issues. Research activities in the department include:

  • Arab-Israeli conflict
  • Eastern European Jewish history and culture
  • Gender issues in modern Israeli literature
  • Israeli studies
  • Itzik Manger: Balladeer
  • Grammar of 19th-century Hasidic Hebrew
  • Jewish Science and Technology
  • Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Jewish Calendar
  • Perceptions of ‘Jewish criminality’ in Germany
  • The Jewish mystical tradition.


Entry requirements

A Master's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, and a demonstrated knowledge of Hebrew or Yiddish, or another language appropriate to the research proposal.

English level expected: Good


Applicants are accepted in the first instance for the MPhil degree only. The Graduate Tutor, in consultation with the candidate's thesis Supervisor, will decide when and whether or not to convert the registration to the PhD category.

Applicants should have an arts or social science degree with at least upper second-class Honours from a UK university (or an equivalent overseas qualification), and a demonstrated knowledge of Hebrew or Yiddish, or another appropriate language.

Candidates for research degree may begin their programme at the beginning of either of the two teaching terms (i.e. September/October or January). Prior to applying for a research degree, candidates should consult with the Graduate Tutor, who will advise them on the availability of research supervision within the department.



Three Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarships in the Humanities will be available for PhD students starting in 2014 in the area of literature, language and history

Scholarships available

Rothschild Scholarship, Hester

For research students in their final year of study in the Department of Hebrew & Jewish Studies. This award is based on academic merit. There is no application procedure; all eligible students will be automatically considered by the Department of Hebrew & Jewish Studies.

Arnaldo Momigliano Scholarship in Arts

For students of the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa who wish to apply to UCL as an affiliate student for a graduate research programme in any Department of the Faculty of Arts & Humanities. Students must contact authorities of the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa in order to be nominated. This scholarship is based on academic merit. This award was founded in 1989 to commemorate the work of Arnaldo Momigliano, KBE, FBA, Professor of Ancient History at UCL (1951-75) by his daughter, Professor Laura Lepschy.

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website



Our graduates find a wide range of career paths open to them and consequently can be found in most industries in the UK and overseas.


The department has a strong culture of collaborative research and brings together researchers (whether staff or students) from across UCL as well as other institutions and organisations. Crucial to this are our research groups and centres, which provide a focus for our research activity, including doctoral students, post-docs and staff with specific research interests. Most doctoral students are attached to one (or more) of these groups and will be encouraged to get involved in the research seminars, visiting speakers, annual lectures, visits and other activities which these centres organise regularly. The centres also facilitate online interaction through blogs and Twitter feeds.


In recent years, several students who have graduated from our research programmes have embarked on careers in academia. Others have taken jobs in journalism, for the United Nations, with non-governmental organisations, international think-tanks in Brussels and London, and in the diplomatic service.


Under exceptional circumstances, members of the UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies can direct the research projects (towards either the MPhil or PhD programmes) of students who are not resident in the United Kingdom. This is called the "Non-Resident Programme" (NRP).


To enroll in the NRP, candidates must satisfy a number of criteria:

  1. They must possess a First Class or a good Upper Second Class British degree in an appropriate subject, or a foreign equivalent (for example, an American GPA of A-)
  2. They must demonstrate knowledge of the appropriate language(s) they will require to pursue their research.
  3. Applicants who are non-native speakers of English must demonstrate proficiency in English.( View UCL Language Proficiency Requirements).
  4. They must demonstrate that they have access to the resources necessary to carry out their research. Ideally, they should be able to access to the facilities of an appropriate research institution, for example, a national library or archive, or a university research library.
  5. They must submit a detailed programme of research to their prospective research director.
  6. The candidate is required to meet in person with their research director (at any venue) at least once a term, or twice an academic year.
  7. The candidate must maintain the UCL Graduate Research Log.
  8. The degree can only be pursued on a part-time basis. This is normally five years in length for both the MPhil and PhDs. The upgrade from MPhil to PhD status normally takes place in the third year.
  9. Students are not able to claim Continuing Research Status (CRS--non-fee paying status) at the end of five years.
  10. In all other respects, students registered in the NR Programme are subject to the same regulations as all other internal students of UCL.
  11. Students may begin their programme of research at the start of either the first or the second academic term, but not the third.
  12. Fees for the programme are the same as for part-time resident research students, depending on their status as UK/EU or non-UK/EU students


Prospective candidates should ensure that they meet all of the above qualifications for this degree, because no exceptions can be made to the regulations.

If they wish to explore the possibility of NRP status, they should contact the Graduate Tutor at jewish.studies@ucl.ac.uk using the Subject Line: "Graduate Tutor - NRP"

The Graduate Tutor will decide if the applicant meets the requirements and will put them in touch with a prospective supervisor.