Book History is a dynamic and rapidly growing area of interdisciplinary study that examines the book as an artefact in material culture. This programme brings together theory and practice in new and innovative ways. We study the production, circulation and reception of books from manuscript to e-books, paying attention to the histories of reading and authorship.
The programme integrates traditional bibliography, advanced theoretical approaches, training in special collections, and hands-on experience. You will be taught by leading experts at the University’s renowned Centre for the History of the Book. Field trips and work placements will allow you to take advantage of the exceptional collections in Edinburgh.
The programme attracts outstanding students from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. The degree is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.
You will complete two core and two option courses, along with training in research methods. You will then complete a supervised, independently-researched dissertation on a topic of your choice.
Option courses may include:
Work placements allow students to take advantage of the exceptional resources in Edinburgh for the study of books in order to gain hands-on experience that will be beneficial in their future careers.
Placements may take place internally, for example in the Centre for Research Collections at the University Library, or externally with several partner organisations.
You will receive training from the placement supervisor, and will undertake well-defined projects in the course of your placement, such as cataloguing, conservation, collation, digitisation and other kinds of work.
You will reflect on your placement in a poster presentation, and it will provide material for an academic essay. Regular academic oversight of the work placement will be provided by the Course Organiser.
By the end of the programme, you will have a firm grasp of:
This programme will equip you with the detailed knowledge and research skills you need to progress to a research degree and continue a career in academia; or you may pursue a career in publishing, libraries, and the cultural heritage sector. You will graduate with a number of highly transferable skills in communication, project management and analysis that will give you an advantage, whatever your chosen career.
The MLitt in Book History is a taught postgraduate programme run by the School of History.
The MLitt course comprises two semesters of taught courses followed by a dissertation (15,000 words) completed during the summer on a subject of the student’s own design.
The optional components of the course are carefully designed to meet each student’s intentions: structured preparations for undertaking a PhD, professional development, or personal scholarly interests.
Teaching methods include fortnightly seminars and practical classes. Class sizes range from individual supervision up to 12 students. The modules are assessed by coursework only; there is no final exam.
Each module typically comprises:
For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017-2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.
The Early Modern Studies pathway invites you to study the vibrant culture of Europe between 1300 and 1700. Our approach is interdisciplinary, drawing on aspects of history, religion, and visual culture from the period as well as on its literature. In order to develop your understanding of pre-modern documentary and material culture, our teaching involves close study of original manuscripts and early printed texts and of early objects.
Working alongside distinguished scholars in English Literature you will be asked to think about what we mean by the terms ‘Medieval’ and ‘Early Modern’, and to formulate conclusions using a profoundly interdisciplinary approach: you will examine the literature, history, religion, visual culture, social relations, and politics of the period. Imaginative and ambitious themed modules enable you to study some of the most influential writers working between the 14th and 17th centuries within their cultural and historical context: Chaucer, Erasmus, Shakespeare, Machiavelli, Montaigne, Donne, and Milton amongst others. You’ll construct a historical understanding of the key movements, debates, and ideas that shaped the period in preparation for researching and writing your dissertation.
Queen Mary’s strong early-modern cluster is widely recognised for its vibrant teaching and research strengths. The early-modern MA programme offers core study in medieval and early-modern historiography, and archival, bibliographical, and research skills. The optional modules draw on the interests of our leading researchers and vary from year to year. We have particular concentrations in globalisation, trade, the exotic, and cartography (Jerry Brotton, Alfred Hiatt); book history, the material text, and editing (David Colclough, Joad Raymond, Claire Preston, Julia Boffey, Tamara Atkin, Jaclyn Rasjic); epistolarity, early newspapers, news networks, the circulation of books and manuscripts (Ruth Ahnert, Joad Raymond, Warren Boutcher); and women’s writing (Andrea Brady).
Other research specialisms include prison writing, network theory, the history of reading, late-medieval London literary production, forgery, early-modern political thought, literary-scientific relations, medieval chronicles, prison writing, pre-Shakespearean drama, John Donne, John Milton, Thomas Browne.
You will be trained to a very high level in research skills and you’ll get hands-on experience of working with a variety of early modern items, with access to otherwise uncatalogued and unexplored materials. You’ll work with rare books and manuscripts during this training. Throughout, you’ll be considering the impact of developments in manuscript culture and the new technologies in printing and publishing in the period.
The optional modules draw on the interests of our leading researchers and vary from year to year. We have particular concentrations in globalisation, trade, the exotic, and cartography (Jerry Brotton, Alfred Hiatt); book history, the material text, and editing (David Colclough, Joad Raymond, Claire Preston, Julia Boffey, Tamara Atkin, Jaclyn Rasjic); epistolarity, early newspapers, news networks, the circulation of books and manuscripts (Ruth Ahnert, Joad Raymond, Warren Boutcher); and women’s writing (Andrea Brady).
You choose two modules from a list of options that changes from year to year (one can be from the range of modules offered across the MA English Studies curriculum). In 2017-2018 we hope to offer the following. If members of our specialist research staff win research funding it will mean that their module won’t run, so for that reason this list is indicative only.
You may also opt to take a cognate elective module offered by the Schools in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and by other Colleges of the University of London.
The MLitt in Early Modern History is a one-year taught postgraduate programme run by the School of History.
The MLitt course lasts for one calendar year; taught modules run from September to April, followed by dissertation research and writing over the late spring and summer.
Teaching methods typically include fortnightly seminars, practical classes and tutorials. Class sizes range from individual supervision up to 12 students. The modules are assessed by coursework only; there is no final exam.
The early modern cohort is typically close-knit and friendly, but comprises a diverse, international group with a range of intellectual interests. Students work closely with each other, with early modern research staff, and also with students in parallel MLitt degrees such as Reformation Studies, Intellectual History, and Book History.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.
The MRes degree is a research programme with some provision for taught modules.
It is aimed at those who wish to move beyond taught work and are prepared to engage in research in depth for a substantial postgraduate thesis, but who also wish to take modules that help develop research and related skills, and to study broader historical subjects with other postgraduates.
Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History first in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.
After consultation with your academic supervisor, you can pursue a research thesis in any aspect of British or European history, including European discovery of the wider world, political, military or diplomatic history, or the history of early modern religion, culture, society or ideas.
You willl study three taught modules:
You will then complete a 20,000-word thesis on an agreed topic which relates to early modern history and which can be appropriately supervised by a member of academic staff.
Modules are assessed in various ways – by examination, coursework, presentation, transcription and attendance.
Past and current MRes topics for the 20,000 word thesis have included:
You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.
Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.
The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.
You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.
You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.
Postgraduate employability: History
Birmingham’s History graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills that are highly valued by a range of employers. These skills include: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.
Some of our History postgraduates go on to use their studies directly, for example in heritage, museums or the armed forces; others use their transferable skills in a range of occupations from finance, to publishing, to fundraising. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: Royal Air Force; Ministry of Defence; University of Birmingham; Big Lottery Fund; Royal Air Force Museum; and University of Oxford.
An MA in International History will equip you with knowledge and a skill set which will improve your ability to function within an increasingly interconnected world, and as such it is likely to improve your employability, particularly with respect to foreign-service, non-governmental organisation, and inter-governmental organisation careers, in a way that traditional history postgraduate qualifications will not. You will be taught by staff with a broad range of expertise and research interests in international history, in accordance with a philosophy that emphasises the development of students as practising historians. The programme includes access to a visiting speaker series given by notable historians on campus, and opportunities for you to contribute your own work to various forums, including an integrated MA International History seminar series.
Full Time is for a duration of 12 months; Part Time is for a duration of 24 months.
Contact hours: Full-time: 6 hours per week during terms 1 and 2; Part-time: 3 hours per week during terms 1 and 2; no weekend teaching.
You will study for the MA in International History through a combination of taught modules, independent study, writing and research. Throughout the programme you will have the opportunity to emphasise your particular interests in international history through your choice of seminar and coursework assignments, and through the selection and development of an extended piece of independent research and critical writing on a topic of your choice. This will enable you to demonstrate the full range of attributes required of the professional historian short of the PhD. While the writing-up of this project will take place at the end of your programme, you will begin the process of topic selection and preparation much earlier, and your research for the dissertation will take place in train with your other modules. Taken as a whole, the programme will enable you to better understand this seminal period in international history, offer you a window on the contemporary world, and foster the development of high-order generic transferable skills.
You will experience an integrated mix of contact teaching, supported open learning and independent study. In the classroom you will take part in small seminar discussion groups and one-to-one tutorials with your lecturers. You will prepare for these sessions by examining specified bodies of relevant material, much of which will be made available via a Virtual Learning Environment; this will provide you with a shared launching point for discussion in the seminars.
You can take our MA in International History as either a full-time or a part-time programme, whichever suits you best. The programme is designed to provide you with a continuity of learning and teaching whichever route you choose to take. If you choose the full-time programme, you take two modules per term, alongside the dissertation, over one academic year. If you prefer to study part-time then you will take one module per term, alongside the dissertation, over two academic years.
On all of the taught modules on the MA International History students will be taught in small three-hour student-led workshops. Students will be required to read a number of essential readings as well as primary documents in preparation for each workshop. Moreover, selected students will be assigned tasks to prepare in advance of the workshops and then they will lead discussions on the topic under scrutiny. Time in each workshop will also be devoted to discussing student coursework and one-to-one tutorials will be offered to students. For the Research Dissertation students are assigned an expert supervisor with whom they will meet regularly during Terms 2 and 3.
Main Currents in International History
Historiographical Essay (2500 words): 50% of assessment
Imperial Crisis; Decolonisation and the Post-colonial World; Peril and Progress : Security in the Post-1945 World
For all modules written feedback is provided on Moodle three weeks after the submission deadline. You are also invited to book tutorials with the Module Director.
Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.
York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of learning support services to assist students throughout their studies.