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 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. We aim to provide advanced knowledge and understanding of selected topics in history, as well as enhancing skills in independent research, critical analysis, and both oral and written presentation.
All of our teaching is divided into themed weeks. The method of teaching will vary from course to course and may include podcast lectures, group work and reflective diary posts. Each course has a dedicated lecturer responsible for running it and you can expect to receive regular feedback on your discussion posts and all written assignments from them.
This programme can be taken at your own pace and can be completed in a period of between one and six years. You can exit the programme at any stage with the qualification you have earned which is determined by the number of credits successfully achieved at the required level. You will be examined through a combination of coursework and discussion forum tasks, source reviews, article reviews or recordings of oral presentations. To complete the MSc you will complete two compulsory courses and select a further four options from a wide range on offer, followed by independent research in the form of a supervised dissertation.
Many students balance their studies alongside other commitments and the programme’s flexible structure supports this, allowing part-time students to take up to two fallow semesters, in which you remain on programme but do not register for courses.
Option courses previously offered include those listed below. Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown in the list:
Our students view the programme and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced qualification valued and respected by many employers. Others are interested in long-term academic careers and consider the MSc 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 while others build their transferable skills to enter business, media, public administration or marketing.
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.