Hebrew and Jewish Studies MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

The MPhil/PhD programme draws on the wide-ranging expertise of UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies, the only department of its kind in the UK, and offers research supervision in most areas, periods, and aspects of Jewish studies. The programme prepares students for careers in academia and in the private and public sectors. UCL offers excellent networking opportunities for research students.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
3 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree in an arts or social science subject 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.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

We are a multidisciplinary department with expertise across the whole field of Jewish studies, ranging from history (ancient to contemporary) and political science to language (all phases of Hebrew, several other Semitic languages and Yiddish), literature, and gender issues. For more details of the specific research specialisations of our staff see the Hebrew and Jewish Studies website.

Who this course is for

This programme is designed for applicants with a research interest in one of the disciplines constituting Jewish Studies, and resonating with the research interests of a member of academic staff in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies. The programme is suitable for graduates in the Humanities or Social Sciences, with demonstrated language skills appropriate for the proposed field of inquiry.

What this course will give you

UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies is unique in the UK and Europe, with an outstanding international reputation for its research, teaching, and expertise. We are warm, friendly, and highly ambitious.

UCL is located in central London, within walking distance of the British Museum, the British Library, and other specialist libraries such as the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and the Warburg Institute. With its own specialist library in Jewish Studies, UCL has access to some of the best resources for academic research in the subject.

The foundation of your career

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.


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


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, postdocs and staff with specific research interests. Doctoral students will be encouraged to contribute to the Graduate and Research Seminar as well as the event programme of the UCL Institute for Jewish Studies.

Teaching and learning

Graduate students initially register for the MPhil degree, but upgrade to full PhD student status at the start of the
second year, if progress is satisfactory.

Research areas and structure

Research activities in the department include:

  • Eastern European Jewish history and culture
  • Grammar of 19th-century Hasidic and Maskilic Hebrew
  • Modern Yiddish literature
  • History of science and technology
  • Gender in Jewish history
  • Mediterranean and Middle Eastern studies
  • Israeli culture and politics
  • Jewish calendar
  • Antisemitism
  • The Jewish mystical tradition, and specifically the history of Hasidism
  • Jewish-non-Jewish relations in Christian Europe and the Muslim world
  • Jews and Visual Culture
  • Jewish migrations
  • Jewish culture in the English-speaking world
  • Babylonian Jewry
  • Aramaic Studies
  • Jews and Magic
  • Jewish history of medicine, history of the body

Research environment

The MPhil/PhD programme draws on the wide-ranging expertise of UCL Hebrew and Jewish Studies, the only department of its kind in the UK, and offers research supervision in most areas, periods, and aspects of Jewish Studies. The programme prepares you for careers in academia and in the private and public sectors. UCL offers excellent networking opportunities for research students.

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.

Applicants are accepted in the first instance as MPhil students only.

MPhil candidates upgrade by submitting an upgrade chapter of up to 10000 words after 9-12 (full-time) or 20-24 (part-time) months and successfully passing an upgrade viva, the date of which is agreed between the Graduate Tutor in consultation with the candidate's thesis Supervisor. The PhD thesis, of approximately 80,000-100,000 words in length, should be based substantially on primary source material and must make a substantial and original contribution to the candidate's area of study. 


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £5,860 £2,930
Tuition fees (2023/24) £26,200 £13,100

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

Additional costs may be required to fund research for PhD projects outside of London.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

The department advertises the Hollier Scholarship to the value of £1,000 to postgraduate research students in UCL Hebrew and Jewish Studies and across UCL annually. It is awarded on a competitive basis.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Hollier Graduate Studentship in Hebrew

Deadline: 15 September 2023
Value: £1,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

Next steps

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application, or inquiry with the Departmental Graduate Tutor about potential supervisors. For more information see our How to apply page.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.