This course focuses on the history of Britain, Europe and the wider world between c.1500–1800, highlighting themes of political, cultural, religious and social history. The course is taught by experts in the histories of the Reformation and the Enlightenment, gender, the material world of the Renaissance, race and racism, and on Britain, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and the Iberian world, offering you the opportunity to choose from a wide range of modules.
Leads to further research or careers in museums, journalism, finance and the cultural sector.
Our Early Modern History MA bridges the division between British and European history that exists on many courses, focusing on ways in which cultural, political and social themes stretch across the period c.1500–1800.
The course is taught by experts in the histories of the Reformation and the Enlightenment, gender, the material world of the Renaissance, race and racism, and on Britain, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and the Iberian world. Their research connects the political and the social, the cultural and the religious dimensions of the early modern world, and our course will give you interdisciplinary perspectives on early modern history.
You will write a dissertation at the end of your course, but you will begin by testing concepts such as identity, mentality, religion; by challenging models of change including modernization, state-building, the civilising process, reformation, enlightenment and revolution; and by trying out different methodologies such as cultural history, gender, thinking with material objects, global history, using digital data.
Our optional modules offer you different perspectives on religion, society, politics and culture, by examining primary sources of all kinds alongside the most recent historiographical interpretations. We will also develop your practical skills through modules such as advanced historical skills, including palaeography, Latin from beginner to advanced levels, and offer the chance to learn a European language. The flexibility of the course means that you can also take relevant modules from other departments in, for example, early modern English or French literature, the Iberian world and Digital Humanities. You can also attend relevant undergraduate lecture series such as Power, Culture and Belief in Europe 1500–1800 and Early Modern Britain 1500–1750.
You will have access to an excellent range of library resources. Our long-standing expertise in the early modern period means our library has an extensive collection of journals and books in this field. You can also use the British Library, Senate House Library (University of London) and the Institute of Historical Research. We provide access to the most significant online collections of primary printed material, Early English Books Online and the Eighteenth Century Online and to JSTOR and other online resources for secondary material.
The MA Early Modern History course offers a rigorous introduction to the advanced study of early modern history, providing training in the historiographical and technical skills necessary for doctoral study, but is also designed for those who want to deepen their knowledge of the period.
We teach our modules through small seminar groups where we will debate and discuss ideas based on extensive reading.
If you are a full-time student, we will provide you with six to nine hours of teaching each week, and we will expect you to undertake 32 to 34 hours of independent study.
If you are a part-time student, we will provide you with two to six hours of teaching each week, and we will expect you to undertake 14 to 18 hours of independent study.
For your dissertation we will provide you with six hours of one-to-one supervision and we will expect you to undertake 574 hours of independent study.
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
We will assess your performance through coursework and occasionally exams. The majority of the history modules are assessed by coursework essay; other optional modules may differ.
King’s College is regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
This programme offers a unrivalled range of courses that explore Scotland’s past across a broad chronological period – from the early medieval period to post-Union through to Scottish diaspora and contemporary developments – and Scotland’s place in a comparative and global context.
The examination of Scotland’s past has been at the centre of history teaching at the University of Edinburgh since the prestigious Sir William Fraser Chair of Scottish History and Palaeography was established in 1901. You’ll have access to some of the most impressive archival collections in the UK, both within the university and nearby. Taught by one of the largest groups of specialist Scottish historians found at any UK university, Edinburgh’s Scottish History programme is world-leading.
You take two compulsory courses that are common to all history students,and then choose four option courses from a wide range of subjects. You will also complete an independently researched dissertation.
The compulsory courses are:
Option courses previously available include:
On successful completion of this programme, you will have gained:
Our students view the programme and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced qualification valued and respected by many employers. Those students interested in long-term academic careers consider the MSc as preparation for a PhD.
The combination of specialised skills training courses and seminars, and the opportunity for independent research provides you with transferable skills that will be beneficial whatever path you choose. Graduates pursue work in related areas such as museums, policy think-tanks, national and international civil services, non-governmental organisations, galleries, libraries and historic trusts whilst others build on the transferable skills gained and enter areas as diverse as business, media, public administration and marketing.
King’s is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for the study of medieval history, with expertise in the study of Anglo-Saxon England, Britain in the central Middle Ages together with early and later medieval Europe.
This MA course gives you the skills and analysis you need for medieval historical study and delving into the significant topics of the period, from Magna Carta to the history of medieval women. It will also introduce you to the burgeoning field of digital humanities through collaboration with the Department of Digital Humanities where the digital and historical worlds meet.
King’s is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for the study of medieval history, with traditional expertise in the study of Anglo-Saxon England, Britain in the central Middle Ages together with early and later medieval Europe, recently strengthened by the arrival of new members of staff.
The MA programme is amongst the most successful of its kind worldwide, teaching students the skills and analysis required for medieval historical study and delving into significant topics of the period, from Magna Carta to the history of medieval women.
The History department has traditional expertise in Anglo-Saxon England, Britain in the central Middle Ages together with early and later medieval Europe. Major research projects in medieval history currently being undertaken by MA teaching staff include the AHRC-funded online databases Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England (PASE) and Henry III Fine Rolls, an AHRC-funded project The Making of Charlemagne’s Europe and the Leverhulme Trust funded project Profile of a Doomed Elite: The Structure of English Landed Society in 1066.
Institute of Historical Research (IHR)
We will encourage you to make full use of the opportunities available through the Institute of Historical Research (IHR). Many members of the Department prepare and deliver its period-based seminars, including the flourishing Early Medieval History and European History 1150-1550 seminars. In addition, the IHR offers a wide range of other events: from student-run workshops to specialist training days. This intersection between Department, School and the IHR means we have a uniquely productive environment for graduate study in History.
To train scholars moving into academic work after completing an undergraduate degree, but also for those who want to deepen their knowledge of the period.
Students will take modules worth a minimum of 180 credits. Taught compulsory and optional modules assessed by coursework and/or examination plus a compulsory dissertation.
If you are a full-time student, we will give you four to eight hours of teaching through seminars, where you will contribute to the dicsussion and prepare presentations.
If you are a part-time studnet, we will give you two to six hours of teaching each week through seminars.
For your dissertation, we will give you six hours of supervision.
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
The majority of our modules are assessed through coursework. Your dissertation will be a 15,000-word essay.
Our graduates continue to further research or transfer their skills and knowledge to careers in teaching, archives, the media, finance, politics and heritage industries.
The MSc by Research in Economic & Social History is aimed at students who have a specific topic of interest into which they wish to conduct their own research.
The programme provides structured research training while at the same time enabling you to pursue a research project that you design yourself, in consultation with supervisors. It serves as both a self-contained research degree and a preparation for further study for the PhD degree.
Economic and social history addresses the historical processes underlying the evolution of modern society by employing a range of insights and approaches from the social sciences, including economics, sociology and social anthropology.
Edinburgh has a large and distinguished group of academics in this research area. Their specialist fields provide students with an outstanding range of options, both in terms of historical period and areas of the world.
Our home is the William Robertson Wing, an A-listed building on the southern edge of Edinburgh’s Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Designed by the distinguished 19th-century architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, the building – part of the University’s Old Medical School – has recently been refurbished to an exceptional standard, providing state-of-the-art facilities for research, teaching and study.
Graduate students are able to use two further large School study and resource rooms, which are open to all staff and students. There is access to lockers equipped with laptop charging facilities as well as standard lockers.
The building is wireless enabled and includes state of the art teaching rooms, meeting rooms, a common room, a refreshment area, and open social/breakout areas.
The programme combines lectures, seminars, tutorials, and computer-lab sessions. The skills and theory imparted in the research-training courses, along with many of the assignments, are designed to feed directly into the final dissertation work.
You will be examined through coursework and a dissertation totalling approximately 30,000 words.
The programme focuses on civil society, material culture, youth, gender, crime, cinema, economic growth and energy policy in a variety of historical contexts.
You take four compulsory courses and complete a dissertation. Each course is assessed by essays, usually of around 2,500 words.
Historical Research: Skills and Sources
Historical Methodology and Historiography
Economic and Social Theory for Historical Analysis
Supervised Reading Course
Option courses may include:
Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain
Material Culture of Gender in Eighteenth-Century Britain
Cinema and Society in Britain
Slavery in the Atlantic World
British at War: 1939–45
Cinema and Society in South Asia
Clothing and Culture in Comparative Historical Contexts
This programme is specifically designed for students who anticipate progressing to a doctoral programme, but it can also function as excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers.