Our MRes in History offers a research-rich master’s programme for those students wanting to develop specialist knowledge and scholarly techniques, as the first step on the path to doctoral research or research-related career paths. We offer a unique combination of focused expertise and applied historical experience in a friendly, supportive graduate environment.
On this course, you will work closely with members of our History staff, who have internationally-recognised expertise in a wide range of subjects, periods and geographical areas. The programme would suit students who already have a well-defined research interest, and the course will help you to work at that higher level, primarily via research. You will engage with a broad range of research methods relevant for advanced historical research.
You will be closely supported in your research journey through informed, innovative and expert supervision, and receive training for doctoral work, particularly in the field of history. However, this course will also prepare you for a wide range of professional careers that require advanced level research and communication skills. Your training will consist of study in relevant methodological processes for research, including language skills, palaeography, quantitative methods, data presentation, and oral history.
Using these skills, you will gain experience of applied historical research in a range of working environments, via a tailored research internship. Students on this course will prepare an original, extended research project, engaging critically and creatively with historical texts, objects and images as well as extant research in historiography and history.
As part of having the opportunity to contribute to the national and international research profile of the University, as a student on the MRes in History, you will have access to opportunities for co-operation and collaboration with related institutions in the UK.
The core module of the course is a 30,000 word dissertation. This is an intellectually-stimulating and challenging experience, representing substantial independent research into a topic in any period of history, approved in concert with an appointed supervisor. In this module, students will apply their advanced research skills developed on the rest of the course.
Another key module on the course is the Research Project. It will provide a link between your academic training and practical research in cultural institutions such as museums, libraries, archives or archaeological sites. The placement will further develop your skills in critical and historical analysis and interpretation, and allow you to see them in use in your chosen area of employment. Students will come to understand and critically evaluate the range of possible career opportunities associated with the professional application of historical research skills, within an institutional setting in the private or public sector.
Other modules are designed to provide you with opportunities to engage with primary documents, and to use these to develop your research skills. There is an emphasis in these optional modules on developing a historiographical understanding of the study of history in areas such as the politics of health in recent Britain; Gender and Sexuality in Modern Europe; or in the History of the family.
This research-intensive masters is intended to develop key skills for those interested in further academic study, but it also provides excellent preparation for employment in the creative and heritage industries, e.g. publishing, museums and archives, the media, or in any sector that prizes effective research and communication skills.
This innovative online programme allows you to take advantage of Edinburgh’s remarkable range of historical expertise from the comfort of your own home. Thanks to our e-learning tools and extensive digital resources, you can gain a world-class postgraduate qualification without the expense of relocating. Our flexible structure allows you to fit your studies around work or family commitments and to develop your own specialised interests under the expert guidance of experienced academics.
The thematic breadth of this programme means you can choose from a diverse range of topics from American politics to modern Japanese history, from interwar Europe to medieval Scottish history, and you will be able to further your own specialised interests through the dissertation.
The online MSc History is delivered entirely online. Both the core and option units are taught through a combination of live virtual seminars and discussion board forums. All of our teaching is divided into themed weeks.
The method of assessment will vary from course to course and may include essays, short reports on primary or secondary sources, discussion forum activity and presentations.
Each course has a dedicated lecturer responsible for running it and you can expect to receive regular feedback from them.
You can choose to apply for the MSc either full-time (in one year) or part-time (between two and four years).
You can study for a single course, a certificate, a diploma or the MSc, with a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 60 credits being undertaken in any given semester.
The certificate requires one core training course and two specialist options, while the diploma requires both training courses and four options. If you wish to earn the full MSc, you will complete the requirements for the diploma before going on to produce a dissertation based on independent research.
Historical Research: Approaches to History
Historical Research: Skills and Sources
Option courses may include:
The Lords of the Isles: Clan Donald, c.1336–c.1545
From Consensus to Thatcherism: Government and Politics in Post-War Britain
Seeking 'Japan' in a Westernising World: Revolution, Romance and Imperialism 1868–1945
Scotland and Ireland, 1800–1945
The Rise of Modern American Conservatism
The American Civil War
The Shadow of Versailles: Interwar Europe, 1918–1939
Willingly to War: the Origins of the First World War
Photography and Irish Life, 1839–2000
Angels and Inverts: Sexuality, Gender and Power in Britain, 1837–1914
Athens of the North – The Origins and Ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment
The Crusades and the Euro-Mediterranean world
Diaspora, Migration and Exile: The History of the Global Irish since 1600
Mythology and the History of Scholarship
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 programme as preparation for a PhD.
The combination of skills training, specialised seminars, and independent research provides you with transferable skills that will be beneficial whatever path you choose. Graduates 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 their transferable skills to enter business, media, public administration or marketing.