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Taught jointly by the Leo Baeck Institute and the Department of History). (MA title is subject to approval). The Leo Baeck MA is the only taught postgraduate programme in the UK focusing on the rich field of European Jewish History. Read more
Taught jointly by the Leo Baeck Institute and the Department of History)

(MA title is subject to approval)

The Leo Baeck MA is the only taught postgraduate programme in the UK focusing on the rich field of European Jewish History. It trains scholars towards undertaking independent research on Jewish history, culture and thought in Europe. You will consider patterns of inclusion and exclusion and questions of citizenship and emancipation. The MA will introduce you to a wide range of sources for European Jewish studies. Particular attention will be paid to the Jewish response to modernity and problems around issues of assimilation and identity. The role of antisemitism and the origins of the holocaust are central, as is Jewish intellectual history, in particular the ideas of eminent Jewish thinkers about the place of Jews and Judaism in premodern and modern society.

Programme outline
The MA consists of the core module, three modules chosen from a series of options and an individually supervised dissertation. Students will also take a non-assessed research methods module. Part-time students
take the core module and one option in the first year, and two options and dissertation in the second year.

Optional modules may include:

Modern Jewish History and Culture
Christians and Jews in Europe: Perceptions and Encounters, 1100-1600
Jews, Power and Intellectual History
Antisemitism and the Holocaust
Modern European Jewish Literature
Hollywood and the Second World War
Understanding Religion Historically
Overcoming Nazism

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History is practised everywhere. by governments, private corporations, universities, museums and galleries, in the tourism and heritage industries, on television programmes and in newspaper columns, and through local history societies, community development projects, and genealogical associations. Read more
History is practised everywhere: by governments, private corporations, universities, museums and galleries, in the tourism and heritage industries, on television programmes and in newspaper columns, and through local history societies, community development projects, and genealogical associations. History and historians play important roles at the level of the both the nation and the neighbourhood, contributing to public debates, policy decisions and popular education and entertainment.

Public history is concerned with the practice of history outside of academia in all its myriad forms and public historians come in all shapes and sizes: they are consultants, museum professionals, archivists, preservationists and curators, cultural resource managers, policy specialists, and community activists, among many other roles. What they share is a commitment to making history relevant, beneficial, informative and instructive within the public sphere. The practice and significance of ‘public history’ has grown significantly in recent years, as historians become more aware of audiences beyond the academy, of the role of history in politics, of the need for their research and analysis to have an impact in the real world, and of the growing public and media interest in popular history and heritage.

This MA will introduce you to key aspects and issues of the practice of public history. It will provide you with the necessary theoretical and practical skills to undertake critical assessments of public history projects and interventions - as well as to create your own. Its focus on public history in practice will provide you with a wide range of examples of different types and methods of public history, from museums and material culture, to public history in the media, to the role of history in policy making. This MA aims to give you a sense of the wide range of public history, the variety of roles played by historians in public, and the importance and impact of public history in politics, culture, and society.

The compulsory modules will introduce you to the systematic study of historiography, the methodologies used in the analysis and interpretation of historical source material, and the contemporary practice of public history. You can explore the enormous breadth of research interests in the Department via the 2 option modules you choose, which are drawn across disciplines including archaeology, classics, the history of art and museology. Finally, the dissertation gives you the chance to pursue your own interests and undertake your own research and critical thinking under the supervision of a member of staff with relevant expertise.

The MA Public Histories provides relevant training for careers in media, education, museums and heritage, publishing, and policy, and it also provides rigorous training in the historical discipline suitable to prepare you for further personal or professional research, or research at MPhil/PhD level.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
Many Birkbeck historians take very active public roles as policy consultants, columnists in newspapers, editors of digital history websites, and leaders in community history projects. Students on the MA Public Histories will be given the opportunity to benefit from their expertise.
Tutors and potential dissertation supervisors on the course could include Dr. Julia Laite, whose work focuses on aspects of women's history and policy and who is an expert in history online; Professor Matt Cook, who works extensively in community history, oral history and queer history and is a Director of the Samuel Raphael History Centre; Professor David Feldman, who has worked extensively in history and policy related to migration and minorities and is Director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism; Professor Orlando Figes, an expert in oral history and the history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russia; and Dr. Fiona Candlin, an expert in museum studies, whose work focuses on small museums and public heritage.
MA Public Histories will be taught in Bloomsbury, at the heart of academic London, which contains one of the world's greatest concentrations of first-class library facilities, archives, museums, and heritage and public history organisations.
Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is one of the leading research and teaching departments for history in the UK. It is ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their fields, delivering stimulating, research-led teaching.
Our Department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
We are located 5 minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. The Institute of Historical Research is located in Bloomsbury, near the main Birkbeck campus, and has an internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend.
Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

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This Master's degree in history and politics will give you a deep understanding of the recent past and the contemporary world and help you develop the approaches, techniques and skills of the professional historian. Read more
This Master's degree in history and politics will give you a deep understanding of the recent past and the contemporary world and help you develop the approaches, techniques and skills of the professional historian. Using an interdisciplinary combination of historical and political approaches, it lays a strong emphasis on the critical analysis of the recent past, with the overall aim of giving you specialist knowledge of particular regions and themes. You will study the complex interplay between national, international and global political, social and historical forces that have produced the contemporary world.

The introductory core module offers an in-depth exploration of the methodological, conceptual and theoretical background necessary for historical study at postgraduate level. It also considers specific topics and questions in contemporary history and politics. You will undertake training in research skills to prepare you for researching and writing a dissertation on the subject that most interests you.

You can choose from an impressive range of option modules, selecting from those offered by the Department of Politics and by the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology. These options cover a wide sweep of political ideas and systems, historical periods and geographical places, including the United States, China, the Middle East and Europe. Options modules are usually available in topics including the post-war reconstruction of Europe, Islam and the politics of fundamentalism, American global supremacy and foreign policy, national and transnational structures for ensuring global order and justice, and the rise of China as a superpower, among others.

Key teaching staff on this programme

Course directors: Dr Sarah Howard and Professor Naoko Shimazu
Professor Joanna Bourke
Professor Orlando Figes
Professor Daniel Pick
Professor Frank Trentmann
Dr Hilary Sapire
Professor Naoko Shimazu
Professor Chandak Sengoopta
Dr Jan Rueger.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
This interdisciplinary Master's degree in history and politics provides a unique perspective on the modern world and gives you the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects in depth.
The course allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is one of the leading research and teaching departments for history in the UK. It is ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their fields, delivering stimulating, research-led teaching.
Our department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
We are located 5 minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. The Institute of Historical Research is located in Bloomsbury, near the main Birkbeck campus, and has an internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend.
Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

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This Master's degree in history explores early modern European societies in the period from the Renaissance to the Reformation and on to the Enlightenment and the outbreak of the French Revolution. Read more
This Master's degree in history explores early modern European societies in the period from the Renaissance to the Reformation and on to the Enlightenment and the outbreak of the French Revolution. One of its most exciting and distinguishing features is that it considers developments in Britain, continental Europe (notably France and Italy) and the wider world (particularly the Americas) in comparative perspective, which brings into question the idea of the distinctive nature of national histories.

Some of the key themes you will study are the impact of religious conflict, economic and social developments, government and social order, the growth of urban settlements, population and demographic change, the mutual interactions between Europe and the Americas, and the growth of state power. You will be able to choose option modules in early modern history from across the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology and you will receive training in historical methodologies and research techniques to help you research and write a dissertation on the subject that most interests you.

You will read widely in both secondary works and translated primary sources, but there is no language requirement.

Key teaching staff on this programme

Course director: Dr Brodie Waddell

Professor Julian Swann
Dr Filippo de Vivo
Professor Vanessa Harding
Dr Laura Stewart.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
This Master's programme offers a unique opportunity to study early modern European societies comparatively.
You will be able to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is one of the leading research and teaching departments for history in the UK. It is ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their fields, delivering stimulating, research-led teaching.
Our department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
We are located 5 minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. The Institute of Historical Research is located in Bloomsbury, near the main Birkbeck campus, and has an internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend.
Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

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This Master's degree in history offers you the chance to study at a department with world-renowned expertise in European history, including British, German, French, Italian, Balkan, Russian and Eastern European history, as well as international, transnational, global and comparative historical perspectives. Read more
This Master's degree in history offers you the chance to study at a department with world-renowned expertise in European history, including British, German, French, Italian, Balkan, Russian and Eastern European history, as well as international, transnational, global and comparative historical perspectives. The programme brings together these different fields and develops new approaches to the history of Europe from the early modern period to the present day. It aims to provide you with an appreciation of key debates that have shaped our understanding of Europe and the most important historical and methodological approaches to critically interpreting the European past. Rather than presuppose one all-encompassing definition of 'Europe', whether geographical, ideological or otherwise, the course highlights the different contexts within which the European past and present can be analysed.

Alongside a wide range of option modules covering many aspects of European history and politics from the early modern period to the Cold War, you will also receive training in research methods and undertake your own dissertation, which makes this programme an excellent entry point for more advanced study at either MPhil/PhD level or professionally.
Key teaching staff on this programme

Course Director: Professor Orlando Figes

Other staff who teach on this MA programme include:

Professor Joanna Bourke
Dr Filippo de Vivo
Professor David Feldman
Professor Daniel Pick
Dr Jessica Reinisch
Professor Julian Swann
Professor Frank Trentmann
Professor Nik Wachsmann.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
This Master's programme brings together Birkbeck's wide-ranging expertise in European history, covering a wide geographical and thematic spread.
You will be able to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is one of the leading research and teaching departments for history in the UK. It is ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their fields, delivering stimulating, research-led teaching.
Our department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
We are located 5 minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. The Institute of Historical Research is located in Bloomsbury, near the main Birkbeck campus, and has an internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend.
Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

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This Master’s degree in history will provide you with the advanced conceptual, theoretical and practical skills necessary for undertaking historical research, whether at PhD level, professionally or independently. Read more
This Master’s degree in history will provide you with the advanced conceptual, theoretical and practical skills necessary for undertaking historical research, whether at PhD level, professionally or independently. It will give you the intellectual foundations, practical techniques and confidence to pursue your own research in the historical subject or period that most interests you.

The core modules provide fundamental training in approaching and carrying out research at a postgraduate level, including locating, retrieving and managing historical evidence, contextualising and analysing textual, visual and material sources, and using qualitative and quantitative methods, including specialist software, to assess and analyse historical data. We will critically examine problems of historical theory and practice, with an emphasis on debates around key topics such as historical narrative, objectivity and relativism, causation, the relationship of history to other disciplines, the rise and impact of social and cultural histories, and new directions in historical research and writing. We will consider some of the key methodological and theoretical approaches to history of the past 100 years, including the Annales School, Marxist historiography and postmodernism.

As well as being able to choose option modules from the extensive range offered by the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, you will also be able to elect to undertake option modules offered by other departments. The culmination of the programme is the writing of an independently researched dissertation under the guidance and supervision of one of our research-active academics.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
This Master's degree in historical research is specifically aimed at providing intellectual and skills training for students considering future research at PhD level, professionally or independently.
Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is one of the leading research and teaching departments for history in the UK. It is ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their fields, delivering stimulating, research-led teaching.
Our department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
We are located 5 minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. The Institute of Historical Research is located in Bloomsbury, near the main Birkbeck campus, and has an internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend.
Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.
Find out more about why you should study with us.

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This Master's degree in history considers the culture and society of the medieval period, which is usually understood as stretching from the transformation of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance. Read more
This Master's degree in history considers the culture and society of the medieval period, which is usually understood as stretching from the transformation of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance. The programme will introduce you to a variety of topics within this broad span of time, including religion and heresy, philosophy and political thought, gender, the expansion of urban communities, power and kingship, and the dynamics of historical change. You will develop your ability to critically assess and analyse historical evidence and we will look at the archaeological record, documentary evidence, including parliamentary petitions, guild records and manorial court rolls, and literary sources by authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer and William Langland, among others. While the focus is on Britain, you will also study the British medieval experience comparatively alongside that of mainland Europe, in particular France and Italy.

After the core module, you can choose option modules that will further extend your exploration of the period and engage your passion for particular topics. The dissertation allows you to pursue independent research in an area of personal interest under the expert supervision of one of our research-active academics. If you are interested in how societies develop over time, this course will give you a stimulating and complex perspective on this fascinating period.

Key teaching staff on this programme

Course director: Dr Caroline Goodson

Staff involved in teaching the MA include:

Dr Rebecca Darley
Professor Vanessa Harding
Professor John Henderson
Professor Matthew Innes.

Other medievalists at Birkbeck include:

Dr Alison Finlay, a lecturer in English, specialising in Old Icelandic sagas and heroic poetry, and Old English.

Professor Anthony Bale, a Reader in English who works on late medieval texts and culture.
Dr Isabel Davis, a lecturer in English who works on late medieval texts and culture.
Dr Zoe Opacic, a lecturer in art history, who works on late medieval art and architecture.
Dr Robert Maniura, a lecturer in art history who works on late medieval art and architecture.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
Birkbeck has research and teaching strengths in the medieval period and you will be taught by academics with expertise across history, English literature, cultural studies and interdisciplinary combinations.
This programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and writing a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is one of the leading research and teaching departments for history in the UK. It is ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their fields, delivering stimulating, research-led teaching.
Our department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
We are located 5 minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. The Institute of Historical Research is located in Bloomsbury, near the main Birkbeck campus, and has an internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend.
Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

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This Master's degree in history will expand and deepen your understanding of world history through the exploration of global perspectives and the interconnections that work across geographical and national boundaries. Read more
This Master's degree in history will expand and deepen your understanding of world history through the exploration of global perspectives and the interconnections that work across geographical and national boundaries. The course will introduce you to a wide range of approaches, including comparative histories of empires, nationalism and decolonisation, migration and diaspora, world culture and global archives. You will be encouraged to think expansively about connections between historical themes in world history and you can also focus on a particular region of the world, such as South and East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and the USA. Drawing on the wide spread of research and teaching expertise within the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology and other departments at Birkbeck, the programme features a wide range of comparative and interdisciplinary modules.

The core module explores specific topics and questions in world history and will equip you with the conceptual ideas and skills needed to study history at postgraduate level. You can then choose 3 option modules from a wide variety, opting, if you wish, to take a focused pathway through the degree by specialising in the history of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, or the imperial and postcolonial periods. You will be encouraged to develop both conceptual and theoretical approaches to understanding the historical development of the modern world, as well as learning research methods that will enable you to specialise in a particular topic of your choosing and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation.

The course is designed to offer you training to continue on to PhD research in topics in comparative and global history, if you wish, but it will also equip you with the specialist knowledge and transferable skills you need to work in a wide range of intellectually challenging environments, including policy research, media, NGOs and public history.

Teaching staff

Course director: Dr Julia Lovell

Other staff who teach on this MA programme include:

Dr Fred Anscombe
Professor David Feldman
Dr Julia Lovell
Dr Jan Rueger
Dr Hilary Sapire
Professor Naoko Shimazu
Professor Frank Trentmann.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
This Master's degree explores the making of the modern world from comparative, global perspectives.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and developing a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is one of the leading research and teaching departments for history in the UK. It is ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their fields, delivering stimulating, research-led teaching.
Our department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
We are located 5 minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. The Institute of Historical Research is located in Bloomsbury, near the main Birkbeck campus, and has an internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend.
Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

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Birkbeck’s MA Contemporary Literature and Culture offers you the opportunity to specialise in twenty-first-century literature and culture, as well as exposing you to the most important literary and theoretical developments of the last few decades. Read more
Birkbeck’s MA Contemporary Literature and Culture offers you the opportunity to specialise in twenty-first-century literature and culture, as well as exposing you to the most important literary and theoretical developments of the last few decades. This MA considers the legacy of postmodernism, the effects of new technologies on narrative form, and the aesthetic, spatial and political coordinates of writing produced in an increasingly networked and globalised world.

Through a range of literary and interdisciplinary options, you have the opportunity to pursue your own interests, whether they lie in contemporary poetics; in fiction from Britain, the US, Europe or postcolonial nations; in the changing forms of the book in a digital age; or in historical approaches to issues like nation, race, gender and sexuality. The MA's programme of study opens up the aesthetic, historical and political dimensions of contemporary literature and culture.

Key staff teaching on this programme

Grace Halden (Programme Director 2016-2017)
Caroline Edwards
Anna Hartnell
Joe Brooker
Roger Luckhurst
Carol Watts
Esther Leslie
Joanne Winning
Mpalive Msiska
Stephen Clucas
Peter Fifield.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
Introduces you to the cutting-edge of contemporary literature and culture, offering the unique opportunity to specialise in the post-2000 period.
Provides grounding in some of the key concepts that shape understandings of the contemporary world, including consideration of terms like hybridity, performance, trauma, memory and the uncanny, as well as wider cultural conceptualisations like globalisation and postcoloniality.
Exposes you to a wider community of scholars and thinkers via a uniquely rich and diverse research culture, involving graduate seminars, reading groups, guest lectures - including those by practising writers - and the wider arts network accessible in Central London.
In particular, this environment is fostered by close links between the MA and the Centre for Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck, which runs a wide variety of talks and conferences in this field.
You will also have access to a host of other relevant research centres in the School of Arts, including the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre, the Centre for Contemporary Theatre and the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre.
The School is also actively involved in a number of College-wide institutes specifically designed to foster work across disciplines at Birkbeck and beyond: Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck Institute for Social Research, Birkbeck Institute for Gender and Sexuality Studies and the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism. These institutes are driven by the work of world-class scholars including Laura Mulvey, Slavoj Žižek, Lynne Segal and David Feldman.
Birkbeck is at the geographical centre of London’s research library complex, a short distance from the British Library, the University of London Library and the Institute of Historical Research.

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This Master's degree in history will equip you with the advanced historical research skills needed to complete an individual, large-scale research project. Read more
This Master's degree in history will equip you with the advanced historical research skills needed to complete an individual, large-scale research project. Core modules will help you develop project management skills and extend your critical analytical skills through the planning and writing of a literature review. You will also learn practical skills and techniques, including locating and retrieving historical material, critiquing primary and secondary sources, and examining and organising historical information. These core modules are taught by experienced, research-active academics with a range of methodological research skills and publications, while your dissertation supervisor will be an innovator in their field of research.

The programme culminates in the researching and writing of a 30,000-word dissertation on the topic that most interests you, which will allow you to exercise and demonstrate your advanced historical research skills.

This course is ideal for self-motivated and committed students who wish to research and write on a complex, specialised area of historical knowledge that interests them, whether in preparation for historical research at PhD level, professionally or independently.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
This research Master's degree in history will train you in historical research skills if you wish to complete a substantial historical research project, such as a PhD.
You will be taught by, and work alongside, internationally renowned historians and researchers covering a wide geographical and thematic spread.
Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is one of the leading research and teaching departments for history in the UK. It is ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their fields, delivering stimulating, research-led teaching.
Our department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
We are located 5 minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. The Institute of Historical Research is located in Bloomsbury, near the main Birkbeck campus, and has an internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend.
Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

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This Master's degree in history explores how the formidable forces of science and medicine have fundamentally shaped who we are. Read more
This Master's degree in history explores how the formidable forces of science and medicine have fundamentally shaped who we are. The history of science and medicine covers the history of ideas, technologies and interventions, but it also takes into consideration the history of everyday experiences of health, illness and wellbeing. 'Ordinary' people turn out to be the extraordinary lens through which we can reflect on our past. Pain and illness change the way we look at the world: certain forms of suffering are increasing, with chronic pain, for example, now affecting around 40% of people in Britain and America. The provision of healthcare is also undergoing major shifts and history can teach us valuable lessons about how medicine and caregiving has been understood in the past.

This programme explores the historical roots and the social and conceptual foundations of modern science and medicine, equipping you with a deep understanding of how scientific and medical ideas and institutions relate to their broader historical context. It offers you the chance to study this fascinating, expanding area of social and cultural history at a department in which teaching is research-led, delivered by core staff with world-renowned research expertise. This is a growing field in which exciting new questions are being asked and new methodological approaches are being created and applied. Birkbeck is at the forefront of these advances and, unlike similar MA programmes, we cover the period from the ancient world to the present, and from global perspectives.

The programme provides a framework within which you can develop your research techniques and prepare for doctoral, professional or other research, but the primary focus is on providing a rich and varied experience of studying history at postgraduate level, allowing you to satisfy and expand your passion for the subject. The programme will also appeal to healthcare professionals and caregivers who may benefit from knowing more about the history of medicine, health and care.

The compulsory core course will introduce you to the systematic study of historiography and the methodologies used in the analysis and interpretation of historical source material. You can explore the enormous breadth of research interests in the department via the 3 option modules you choose, which span from the ancient to the contemporary. Finally, the dissertation gives you the chance to pursue your own interests and undertake your own research and critical thinking under the supervision of a member of staff with relevant expertise.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
This Master's degree offers an innovative approach to an exciting area of historical and cultural study and is taught by renowned scholars, including Professor Joanna Bourke.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Birkbeck is home to several doctoral candidates and postdoctoral fellows, working in the areas of medical history and medical humanities, who are funded by the Wellcome Trust. Students on this programme are eligible to apply for Wellcome Trust studentships.
Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is one of the leading research and teaching departments for history in the UK. It is ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their fields, delivering stimulating, research-led teaching.
Our department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
We are located 5 minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. The Institute of Historical Research is located in Bloomsbury, near the main Birkbeck campus, and has an internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend.
Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

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This MA in the History of the British Isles will deepen your appreciation of the distinctive political, social and cultural aspects of the British and Irish historical experience, from the Reformation period to the present day, while also fostering your awareness of values and experiences the British and the Irish share with their European and global neighbours. Read more
This MA in the History of the British Isles will deepen your appreciation of the distinctive political, social and cultural aspects of the British and Irish historical experience, from the Reformation period to the present day, while also fostering your awareness of values and experiences the British and the Irish share with their European and global neighbours. This Master's degree considers the constituent countries of the British Isles - England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales - and asks how and why the geographical and political entities that are Great Britain, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland came into being.

The pressing current day issue of devolution is encouraging discussions about the formation of nation-states and national identities which feed into debates amongst historians about whether the territorial state is the most useful or constructive means of assessing historical developments and how the creation (and re-creation) of national identities relate to religion, race, gender and class.

The core module will introduce you to the systematic study of historiography and the methodologies used in the analysis and interpretation of historical source material. You can explore the enormous breadth of research interests in the department via the 3 option modules you choose, which span from the ancient period to the contemporary moment. This programme will enable you to engage with the most important and up-to-date themes, debates and historiographies in the study of the British Isles.

Finally, the dissertation gives you the chance to pursue your own interests and undertake your own research and critical thinking under the supervision of a member of staff with relevant expertise. By drawing on the expertise of staff directly engaged in English, Irish and Scottish research areas, the programme provides support and encouragement if you want to go on to pursue independent, professional or PhD research, develop new skills in relation to existing careers, or simply deepen your own understanding of the richness, diversity and complexity of the British historical experience in comparative perspective.

Key teaching staff on this programme

Course director: Professor Jerry White.

Other staff who teach on this MA programme include:

Dr Laura Stewart
Dr Sean Brady
Professor Joanna Bourke
Dr Jan Rueger
Professor Frank Trentmann
Professor Vanessa Harding
Professor David Feldman.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
This exciting, collaborative Master's degree offers you the chance to use the British Isles as a focus for the study of broad historical themes.
You can follow, further develop and enhance your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while improving your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is one of the leading research and teaching departments for history in the UK. It is ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their fields, delivering stimulating, research-led teaching.
Our department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
We are located 5 minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. The Institute of Historical Research is located in Bloomsbury, near the main Birkbeck campus, and has an internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend.
Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

Read less

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