The MA History programme at Queen’s is designed around students’ research interests and provides the opportunity to choose courses relating to a variety of historical periods and locations. There are six strands (African and Asian; American; British; Irish; Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern and Religion, Identity and Conflict). Within each strand, students can opt to specialise in particular areas such as gender history, religious history, social history, political history or economic history. Or, they can create a more varied personal programme of study. The School has a host of world leading experts in all periods of time from Ancient to Contemporary History.
These strands share some common elements in research methods and historiography, but allow specialisation through separate taught modules and dissertation supervision. Applicants are requested to indicate which strand they intend to follow on the 'additional information' section of the application form. Students will take a number of compulsory and optional modules.
There are six main components within each strand:
plus a double-weighted dissertation module of up to 20,000 words.
Assessment and Feedback
Assessment is by coursework: essays, critical commentaries on primary sources; power point presentations; practical work on documents or internship-related assessment; and a 20,000-word dissertation.
Learning and Teaching
The MA can be regarded either as an end in itself, culminating in the distinction of having obtained a postgraduate degree and enhanced your employability skills as a researcher, or as a stepping stone to the higher research degree of PhD. Many graduates have gone on to PhD programmes both at Queen’s and other world-leading Universities. Others go into a wide variety of employment including careers in museums, archives or libraries; journalism or media related work; teaching; private and public administration; economic development and the voluntary sector.
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.
How to apply
Applicants for Postgraduate programmes are strongly advised to carefully read the important information and follow the steps set out here before submitting their application via the Postgraduate Direct Applications Portal.
This course offers you the chance to study Contemporary British History at an advanced level in a strong research environment in central London where you can choose from a wide range of options taught by experts in the field. It also includes economic, social, cultural, political and diplomatic history. Our unique course covering contemporary historiography and research methods leads to careers in research, journalism, the civil service, politics, teaching and finance.
Our Contemporary British History course will provide you with training in and experience of the historical analysis of issues that are central to understanding contemporary Britain. While we focus on the study of British history over the past century, we also recognise that you can’t understand British history without reference to other countries and regions, in particular the Empire/Commonwealth, Europe and North America.
Alongside teaching you the techniques, skills and knowledge relevant to your interests and research needs, we will equip you for both independent research and analysis in primary and secondary material, and train you to write at an advanced level. We will foster your intellectual development and independent learning ability, which you will need to continue your own professional and personal development.
To provide you with a distinctive programme with which to proceed on to a PhD and to study contemporary British history at an advanced level, preparing you for a career both in academia and/or in journalism, the civil service, consultancy, teaching, publishing and elsewhere.
If you are a full-time student, we will provide you with six hours of teaching each week through lectures and seminars. We will expect you to undertake 34 hours of independent study alongside this.
If you are a part-time student, we will provide you with two to four hours a week of teaching through lectures and seminars in your first year, and two to four hours in your second year. Alongside this we will expect you to undertake 24 hours a week of independent study in your first year and 12-24 hours in your second year.
For your dissertation we will provide six hours of supervision and we will expect you to undertake 500-600 hours of independent study.
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
We assess the majority of our modules through coursework, although modules from other departments may differ. We will assess your dissertation module through a 15-000 word essay.
King’s College London is regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
The programme is designed as a research preparation masters. It is intended to encourage students to be intellectually ambitious by inducting them into the community of historians. It invites students to understand the relationship between their own specialist field and the historical discipline in general as well as to communicate with wider audiences. Students will feel sufficiently confident in their own disciplinary identity and mastery of the subject to be able to converse with those in other fields. The programme is a taught course with an emphasis on disciplinary training supplied by the department’s subject specialists with expertise in an outstanding range of areas (Europe, Britain, North America, Africa, China and Japan) and inter-disciplinary engagement, while offering opportunities for supported independent study. Students will be able – and are indeed encouraged – to access and use Durham’s exceptional cluster of libraries, archives, and special collections.
All students on the MA in History are required to take the team-taught Core Module Themes, Reading and Sources (30 credits) which runs throughout Michaelmas and Epiphany terms. Depending on whether they opt for the 60-credit Dissertation pathway or the 90-credit Dissertation pathway, they also take either 3 or 2 Optional Modules (each worth 30 credits) which run either in Michaelmas or Epiphany or throughout both terms. The options may also be language, skills and content modules, provided by other centres, programmes and departments with the consent of all parties concerned. All these elements have embedded within them a range of content, subject-specific skills, and key skills.
This module is compulsory for all MA students and provides them with the bulk of the disciplinary training providing specific and direct training in disciplinary practices, theories, approaches and methodologies. It is intended to guide all students regardless of their period specialism from a more tutor-led to independent learning on to their dissertation by combining a focus on primary sources across periods with thematic and historiographical approaches. The module will run throughout the entire academic year combining from the outset a focus on hands-on work with primary sources and discussion of related pieces of historiography (social, cultural, political etc.) and theoretical readings concerning specific themes, concepts and theories (gender, power, class, the state, transnationalism, globalization etc.). The module is taught in a series of seminars and familiarises students with the skills and problems integral to advanced historical work. It develops their capacity for independent research, their ability to effectively present oral and written results, as well as their organizational and leadership skills in chairing discussions. TRS provides a context in which students assess and comment critically on the findings of others, defend their conclusions in a reasoned setting, advance their knowledge and deepen their understanding of history.
Assessment is by 4,000-word essay centring on particular primary sources or an archive (80% of the module mark). The remaining 20% of the module mark comes from a 20-minute presentation on students' dissertation topics plus 10 minutes Q&A at the MA Conference in the Easter term.
These modules focus on a specific theme or problem within various areas of History, and provide subject-specific knowledge and skills. They are taught by the department’s subject specialists in a series of seminars with an emphasis on work with primary sources providing a 'step up' from L3 in terms of disciplinary engagement with historiography, approaches, methodologies, concepts and theories.
Optional modules might include:
Assessment is by 5,000-word essay.
In order to facilitate cross- and interdisciplinary engagement, students may opt to take modules from cognate MA programmes such as those offered by Centre for Visual Arts and Cultures (CVAC) and the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS) with the consent of all parties concerned.
Students may also opt to take a language or skills module or both (Modern Languages; Latin; Greek; Old Norse, Paleography), generally taught in seminars and assessed by an unseen examination.
The MLitt in German Studies is a one-year taught programme run by the Department of German in the School of Modern Languages. The programme is aimed at those looking to expand their understanding and knowledge of the literature, culture and history of German or to continue at PhD level.
The taught portion of the course consists of five compulsory modules involving literary theory, research skills, and German literature and culture. Classes are delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and fortnightly tutorials, with class sizes ranging from individual one-to-one teaching up to 20 students. Modules are assessed through coursework; there are no final exams for this programme.
You will spend the summer months focusing on researching and writing a final dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.
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.