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Masters Degrees (Balkan)

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A research degree offers you the opportunity to acquire a highly advanced set of conceptual skills developed in the pursuit of new knowledge, which can be applied within or beyond an academic or scholarly context. Read more
A research degree offers you the opportunity to acquire a highly advanced set of conceptual skills developed in the pursuit of new knowledge, which can be applied within or beyond an academic or scholarly context. Research training in any academic discipline helps to channel creativity into critical innovatory reasoning. The legitimate authority of original, independent research depends upon persuasive analytical arguments supported by critically evaluated evidence.

We provide a supportive context for research in the following areas: ancient Greece and Roman social and cultural history; late antiquity; history of medieval societies and cultures; British social, cultural and political history since 1400; French history since 1400; Italian history since 1500; the cultural history of early modern cities, especially London and Venice; the history of ideas from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries; Russian history since 1800; nineteenth- and twentieth-century American social and cultural history; Balkan history and the history of the Ottoman Empire and its successor states; West and Southern Africa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; the history of Japan and East Asia; the history of modern Germany, France and Italy; the history of science, medicine and psychoanalysis in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and the cultural history of death, warfare, race, gender and sexuality.

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.
The Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is internationally recognised for innovative research, focusing on the interaction between cultural, social and political history, ranging from antiquity to the twenty-first century, and covering Britain, Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. View the department's full-time academic staff.
Birkbeck welcomes all students interested in beginning a research degree. We combine a unique expertise in catering for part-time students with considerable success in attracting full-time students from the UK and overseas.
You will gain from contact with leading specialists in your chosen field of research. You will broaden your range of academic and intellectual contacts. You will significantly widen your general experience of academic life and institutions.
Working with a supervisor who is an internationally renowned specialist in the field should be a major stimulus to developing your work and infusing it with fresh ideas and new approaches.
The School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy is an exciting, cosmopolitan and intellectually stimulating environment in which to pursue research. Our community of research students includes full-time and part-time students.
In recent years, a number have successfully applied for funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as well as other sources. Many of our students come from outside the UK. Some are studying for a research degree out of personal interest, while others are undertaking research with the aim of pursuing an academic career in due course.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), History at Birkbeck was ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent. 94% of our eligible staff submitted research and we achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.

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This Second Cycle Degree Programme provides advanced knowledge of the languages, literatures and cultures of European, American and postcolonial countries, promoting cross-cultural perspectives within a solid background in humanities. Read more

Learning outcomes

This Second Cycle Degree Programme provides advanced knowledge of the languages, literatures and cultures of European, American and postcolonial countries, promoting cross-cultural perspectives within a solid background in humanities.

Languages available:

Albanian, Anglo-American, Czech, English, French, German, modern Greek, Polish, Portuguese and Brazilian, Romenian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish.

Curricula available

English and American Literary and Cultural Studies

The sub-curricula available are:

• Literary Studies
• Cultural Studies (Joint degree)
Literatures and Cultures
The sub-curricula available are:
• Anglo-American Studies
• English Studies
• French Studies
• German Studies
• Iberian Studies
• Slavic and Balkan Studies

Estudios Ibéricos e Iberoamericanos (Double degree)

Master européen en Etudes Françaises et Francophones (Double degree)

Occupational profiles

Second-cycle graduates, thanks to the skills acquired and their possession of critical knowledge giving them independent judgment in carrying out their activities, will be able to pursue their studies in the research field and to hold leading positions in national and international businesses and within public and private institutions and organisations.

Attendance

Attendance is open, but strongly recommended.

Examination assessment and graduation

Educational activities include classroom teaching, workshops and internships, in order to acquire wide-ranging skills that can be readily transferable into the world of work.

Knowledge gained by students will be assessed through written and oral exams during their entire university career.

The final exam consists in writing a thesis, which must possess the characters of originality, exhaustive documentation and scientific investigation [IT] and which will be discussed with a committee of university professors and experts.

Access to further studies - Specialist Master’s Programmes (1st and 2nd level) and Research Doctorates

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The MA in War. History and Politics is an interdisciplinary programme that focuses on modern history. It brings together current scholar debates from a range of specialist areas, exploring the causes, experience, effects, and memory of all important wars and conflicts of the last hundred years. Read more
The MA in War: History and Politics is an interdisciplinary programme that focuses on modern history. It brings together current scholar debates from a range of specialist areas, exploring the causes, experience, effects, and memory of all important wars and conflicts of the last hundred years.

Looking at political, cultural and social history, this MA is for those who want to study war in all its multi-faceted complexity, from the everyday and the personal, to the national and the global. We offer expert teaching and supervision on British, European, American and Middle Eastern modern and contemporary history.

The main conflicts you will cover are: the First World War and the Second World War; the Balkan Wars of the 1910s and the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s; the wars of Decolonization and those of New Imperialism; the Cold War and its ‘side-wars’; the War on Terror and the current conflicts in the Middle East.

Why study with us?

Studying this degree you will acquire expertise on:

• War and conflict studies
• Modern international history
• Interdisciplinary learning and researching

You will be taught in a truly interdisciplinary manner, utilising a number of disciplines: cultural and social history, politics and international relations. You can build the degree structure that suits best your interests and future plans.

You can specialise in particular disciplines, or you can explore a wide range of new methods. You will also have the choice of three different types of elective work (e.g. extended essays or primary-source based seminars). Our students can also use the nearby world-famous Mass Observation archive. They also tend to be involved in the events and research projects run by the University of Brighton’s Understanding Conflict cluster, such as our latest initiative on ‘Contesting Britain at War’.

We offer flexible modes of study for those with personal or professional commitments. After finishing the MA you will be able to pursue a wide range of careers as well as opportunities for further postgraduate research.

Areas of study

There are two Core Modules that you will have to take, one on the forms and one on the legacies of war. ‘Forms of Warfare and Violent Conflict’ examines the lead up to war and what is happening in wartime. It looks at: the political, ideological and wider structural causes of war; the human experience at the home-front and at the war-front; the politics and methods of warfare as they have evolved in time; the different modes of practical, political, and intellectual resistance against invasion and occupation. ‘Legacies of Warfare and Violent Conflict’ looks at the impact of war, at what is left after a conflict: the emotional and personal effects of war; how a conflict continues to exist on material and psychological landscapes; the multiple ways through which personal, collective and global memories of killing and sacrifice are constructed; the politics of what we decide to remember and what to forget; the activist, political and theoretical efforts to stop war from happening again.

Beyond the two Core Modules you can also pick a number of option courses that relate to you interests, for example: Public History and Heritage; Cultural Memory; ‘Race’, Nation and Ethnicity; Globalisation and Global Politics; Conflict, Security and Human Rights; Genocide; International Relations theory; Aesthetics and Philosophy; Cultural Theory; Philosophy and Critical Theory. Alternatively you might want instead to research and write a stand-alone extended essay, or you may opt for a more practical-based unit on teaching and learning higher education, offering you the opportunity to learn more about undergraduate teaching.

You will also take a Research Methods module that will help you develop the academic skills necessary to engage in the 20,000-word Dissertation, for which you are guided by one of our faculty with subject expertise.

Careers and employability

Our graduates are particularly well-equipped to follow career paths in sectors that deal with violent conflicts, their consequences and resolution, such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the Ministry of Defence, and international bodies (e.g. United Nations).

Much more broadly our degree opens the path to sectors that value critical research skills and a good knowledge of modern history and politics, such as media and journalism, politics and government, museums and archives, and publishing.

Working in schools and in academia are, of course, standard options. Alternatively, many of our students go on to study for Doctorates with one of the Research Centres in Brighton.

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We offer promising candidates the opportunity to carry out research in Eastern Mediterranean and Balkan history and culture from the Byzantine to the modern period, whether your interests are historical, art historical, archaeological or literature-based. Read more
We offer promising candidates the opportunity to carry out research in Eastern Mediterranean and Balkan history and culture from the Byzantine to the modern period, whether your interests are historical, art historical, archaeological or literature-based.

The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff.

Distance learning

You can study an MA by Research or PhD programme on campus or by distance learning. Please note that if you are studying with us by distance learning, the programme includes a fully-funded annual visit to campus for each full year of your programme (every two years for part-time students).

For more information on distance learning including answers to frequently asked questions, student experiences and funding opportunities, please see our distance learning website.

These degrees have no taught components, but relevant taught modules may be attended by arrangement to develop appropriate research skills, including the study of ancient and modern languages.

We encourage you to attend conferences on subjects related to your research interests and to participate in our lively interdisciplinary seminar series (some of which are run by our postgraduates).

You are able to broaden your skills through appropriate training in teaching skills and, where possible, have the chance to gain experience in teaching. In addition, our annual postgraduate colloquia provide training in oral presentation skills and the professional dissemination of research within an interdisciplinary environment.

At Birmingham you also have the option of studying languages, free of charge. Almost no other UK University offers you the opportunity to learn the intense graduate academic language skills which you may need to pursue your research.

About the School of History and Culture

The programmes in the School of History and Cultures offer students enquiry based learning within a rich and diverse environment to stimulate debate and challenge conventional thinking.
The programmes derive from departments which are all excellently rated by the QAA both in teaching and research terms (Medieval History 5, Modern History 5 and African Studies 5*). Our staff publish widely, and we are developing and consolidating a strong, supportive research culture in the School.
We are extremely proud to announce in June 2016, that History at Birmingham was ranked the top research department in the country by the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The national REF exercise assessed research publications and the public impact of research carried out in all universities in the UK between 2008-2014. Our department had an impressive 45% of its research judged to be ‘world-leading’.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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The distinctive emphasis of Goldsmiths' Department of History is a theorised, interdisciplinary and comparative approach to research. Read more

The distinctive emphasis of Goldsmiths' Department of History is a theorised, interdisciplinary and comparative approach to research.

The culture of the Department of History is open, friendly and accessible, and research students are encouraged to be innovative in their use of sources and methodologies.

Our staff is young and we are on the cutting-edge of our fields and the student-teacher ratio allows us to devote an unmatched amount of time to individual supervision. Find out more about staff in the department

MPhil and PhD topics in the department currently include:

  • The Song of the Pen: Penny Romantic Literature 1839-89
  • The Freak Show in Nineteenth-Century Britain
  • British Women and German Prisoners of War in the 1940s
  • Decoding Dress in Interwar Detective Fiction
  • The British Diaspora - Race Return Migration and Identity in 20th Century Britain
  • Atatürk and his Cult - A Visual History, 1918-1968
  • Another Balkan Myth? The Extreme Right Wing in Serbia: Indigenous Phenomenon or Foreign Adaptation?
  • London Schools and Children, 1870-1920
  • The Seekers Found: Radical Religion during the English Revolution

Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths

Assessment is by thesis and viva voce.

Research

Research in the Department of History is esteemed internationally. History staff publish books and articles with leading international publishers and journals and their research has been externally funded by the AHRC, the British Academy, the Panacea Society and Wellcome Trust.

Find out about individual Staff.

Skills & careers

Our PhD students have taken up academic posts in history and related fields around the world; others are employed in the media and as researchers and teachers.



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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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