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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study History at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study History at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

The MA by Research in History is a research degree pursued over one year full-time or two years part-time. Students on the History research programme undertake research under the supervision of History staff, and produce a thesis that makes an original contribution to knowledge and understanding of some aspect of the past.

Key Features of the MA by Research in History

The expertise of the Department of History and Classics spans from the ancient cultures and languages of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to the history of late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century Europe. The research of our staff and postgraduates is integral to the life of the Department of History and Classics, and it means that Swansea is a dynamic, exciting, and stimulating place to study.

History and Classics is part of the Research Institute for the Arts and Humanities (RIAH: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/riah/), which organises a large number of seminars, conferences, and other research activities. There are also a number of research groups which act as focal points for staff and postgraduates, including: the Richard Burton Centre for the Study of Wales, Centre for Ancient Narrative Literature (KYKNOS), Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research (MEMO), and the Centre for research into Gender in Culture and Society (GENCAS).

As a student of the History research programme you have access to skills and training programmes offered by the College of Arts and Humanities and the University.

The MA by Research in History is ideal for those who would like to do an initial research degree, either as a stand-alone culmination to their studies or with a view to further, subsequent research, e.g. in form of a PhD. Research proposals are invited on any topic in medieval, early modern, or modern history for which staff can provide supervision.

For informal enquiries regarding the MA by research in History programme please contact: Dr Fritz-Gregor Herrmann ().

Research Interests

Research interests in the Department of History and Classics include:

Medieval History

• The Anglo-Norman ‘Realm’ and the Angevin Empire

• Capetian France, especially the monarchy, aristocracy, and religious orders

• The Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade

• Charters and the documentary records of medieval France and England

• The Mediterranean world, especially the Crusades, later medieval Italian society and politics, and the Italian Renaissance, including art history

• England and Wales in the central and late Middle Ages, including the aristocracy and gentry, the Welsh Marches, urban history, law and crime, women and the law, religious belief and practice, and education and literacy

• Gender and the life cycle in late medieval Europe

• Medieval frontier societies and borderlands, and concepts of frontiers from the late Roman Empire to the present day

Early Modern History

• Most aspects of British history between 1500 and 1800, especially religious, scientific, cultural and gender history

• The history of health and medicine in early modern Britain

• History of Disabilities

• The Portuguese Empire

• The Reformation and Counter-Reformation

• Science, intellectual life, collecting and museums in early modern Europe

• The social history of early modern sex and marriage

• Crime and witchcraft

• The Enlightenment, republicanism and international relations in the eighteenth century

Modern History

• Most aspects of Welsh history, especially industrial society

• The cultural, intellectual and urban history of nineteenth-century and twentieth-century Britain

• Modern international history

• The United States since 1750, in particular slavery, the South and the Civil War

• The economic and imperial history of Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

• Emigration and urbanisation in the British Isles between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries

• The political history of the UK since 1800

• Military and society in Europe between 1750 and 1815

• Austrian and German history in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

• Austrian, German and Central European history, especially in the fields of urban, labour and post-1945 history

• Modern economic history

• Quantitative aspects of British economic growth from the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries

• Anti-capitalist and socialist political economy

• Policing and police forces in twentieth-century Europe

• Italian fascism

• Allied Occupation of Italy

• Contemporary French and Italian social an d cultural history

• Memory studies and oral history of twentieth-century Europe

• History of protest and activism in the 1960s and 1970s

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The MA in Imperial History will be administered by the School of History and convened by Dr. Giacomo Macola, Senior Lecturer in African History. Read more
The MA in Imperial History will be administered by the School of History and convened by Dr. Giacomo Macola, Senior Lecturer in African History.

This programme allows you to examine key themes and regions in the making of world history, from the 18th century to the present day.

Imperial history is a rapidly growing and innovative field of historical research, which offers you the opportunity to explore the origins, workings and legacies of empires. By critically engaging with a range of theoretical and empirical literatures, as well as conducting original research, you use historical data to tackle momentous questions relating to violence, development and global inequality.

Led by five specialists in the School of History, the programme takes a broad interdisciplinary approach which also encompasses renowned academics from other departments. The team offers particular expertise in African political history, the history of military technology and conflict, global histories of religion and the newly-emerging field of children and childhoods. You also have the opportunity to participate in the activities of the Centre for the History of Colonialisms (http://www.kent.ac.uk/history/centres/colonialisms/index.html).

This programme offers an ideal launching pad for students who envisage careers with an international dimension or plan to embark on doctoral work.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/360/imperial-history

The School of History at the University of Kent offers a great environment in which to research and study. Situated in a beautiful cathedral city with its own dynamic history, the University is within easy reach of the main London archives and is convenient for travelling to mainland Europe.

The School of History is a lively, research-led department where postgraduate students are given the opportunity to work alongside academics recognised as experts in their respective fields. The School was placed eighth nationally for research intensity in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, and consistently scores highly in the National Student Survey.

There is a good community spirit within the School, which includes regular postgraduate social meetings, weekly seminars and a comprehensive training programme with the full involvement of the School’s academic staff. Thanks to the wide range of teaching and research interests in the School, we can offer equally wide scope for research supervision covering British, European, African and American history.

At present, there are particularly strong groupings of research students in imperial and African history, medieval and early modern cultural and social history, early modern religious history, the history and cultural studies of science and medicine, the history of propaganda, military history, war and the media, and the history of Kent.

Course structure

The MA in Imperial History is available for one year full-time, or two years part-time study

Students take four modules: two compulsory and two additional specialist modules (to be chosen from a menu of at least five variable yearly options). 60 further credits are earned through a final 15,000-word-long dissertation.


Compulsory modules

- Methods and Interpretations in Historical Research
- Themes and Controversies Modern Imperial History
- Dissertation of 15,000 words

Optional modules

- Liberation Struggles in Southern Africa
- War in the Hispanic World since 1808
- Colonial Childhoods
- An Intimate History of the British Empire
- Europe in Crisis, 1900-1925
- No End of a Lesson: Britain and the Boer War
- Writing of Empire and Settlement
- Colonial and Postcolonial Discourses


This is by coursework and a 15,000-word dissertation, which counts for one-third of the final grade.

Study support

Postgraduate resources
The resources for historical research at Kent are led by the University’s Templeman Library: a designated European Documentation Centre which holds specialised collections on slavery and antislavery, and on medical science. The Library has a substantial collection of secondary materials to back-up an excellent collection of primary sources including the British Cartoon Archive, newspapers, a large audio-visual library, and a complete set of British Second World War Ministry of Information propaganda pamphlets.

The School has a dedicated Centre for the Study of Propaganda and War, which has a distinctive archive of written, audio and visual propaganda materials, particularly in film, video and DVD. Locally, you have access to: the Canterbury Cathedral Library and Archive (a major collection for the study of medieval and early modern religious and social history); the Centre for Kentish Studies at Maidstone; and the National Maritime Collection at Greenwich. Kent is also within easy reach of the country’s premier research collections in London and the national libraries in Paris and Brussels.

Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Journal of Contemporary History; English Historical Review; British Journal for the History of Science; Technology and Culture; and War and Society.

Global Skills Award
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme (http://www.kent.ac.uk/graduateschool/skills/programmes/gsa.html). The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.

Research areas

Medieval and early modern history
Covering c400–c1500, incorporating such themes as Anglo-Saxon England, early-modern France, palaeography, British and European politics and society, religion and papacy.

Modern history
Covering c1500–present, incorporating such themes as modern British, European and American history, British military history, and 20th-century conflict and propaganda.

History of science, technology and medicine
Incorporating such themes as colonial science and medicine, Nazi medicine, eugenics, science and technology in 19th-century Britain.


As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, postgraduate qualifications are becoming more attractive to employers seeking individuals who have finely tuned skills and abilities, which our programmes encourage you to hone. As a result of the valuable transferable skills developed during your course of study, career prospects for history graduates are wide ranging. Our graduates go on to a variety of careers, from research within the government to teaching, politics to records management and journalism, to working within museums and galleries – to name but a few.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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A research degree offers you the opportunity to acquire a highly advanced set of conceptual skills developed in the pursuit of new knowledge, which can be applied within or beyond an academic or scholarly context. Read more
A research degree offers you the opportunity to acquire a highly advanced set of conceptual skills developed in the pursuit of new knowledge, which can be applied within or beyond an academic or scholarly context. Research training in any academic discipline helps to channel creativity into critical innovatory reasoning. The legitimate authority of original, independent research depends upon persuasive analytical arguments supported by critically evaluated evidence.

We provide a supportive context for research in the following areas: ancient Greece and Roman social and cultural history; late antiquity; history of medieval societies and cultures; British social, cultural and political history since 1400; French history since 1400; Italian history since 1500; the cultural history of early modern cities, especially London and Venice; the history of ideas from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries; Russian history since 1800; nineteenth- and twentieth-century American social and cultural history; Balkan history and the history of the Ottoman Empire and its successor states; West and Southern Africa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; the history of Japan and East Asia; the history of modern Germany, France and Italy; the history of science, medicine and psychoanalysis in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and the cultural history of death, warfare, race, gender and sexuality.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
The Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is internationally recognised for innovative research, focusing on the interaction between cultural, social and political history, ranging from antiquity to the twenty-first century, and covering Britain, Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. View the department's full-time academic staff.
Birkbeck welcomes all students interested in beginning a research degree. We combine a unique expertise in catering for part-time students with considerable success in attracting full-time students from the UK and overseas.
You will gain from contact with leading specialists in your chosen field of research. You will broaden your range of academic and intellectual contacts. You will significantly widen your general experience of academic life and institutions.
Working with a supervisor who is an internationally renowned specialist in the field should be a major stimulus to developing your work and infusing it with fresh ideas and new approaches.
The School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy is an exciting, cosmopolitan and intellectually stimulating environment in which to pursue research. Our community of research students includes full-time and part-time students.
In recent years, a number have successfully applied for funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as well as other sources. Many of our students come from outside the UK. Some are studying for a research degree out of personal interest, while others are undertaking research with the aim of pursuing an academic career in due course.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), History at Birkbeck was ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent. 94% of our eligible staff submitted research and we achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.

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The MA in History is innovative, creative, free-thinking, stimulating, diverse and challenging – everything that is distinctive about history at Goldsmiths. Read more

The MA in History is innovative, creative, free-thinking, stimulating, diverse and challenging – everything that is distinctive about history at Goldsmiths.

The Department of History’s approach is thematic and interdisciplinary, with staff expertise spanning the histories of Britain, East and West Europe, South Asia and Africa.

We are on the cutting-edge of our fields and the student-teacher ratio allows us to devote an unmatched amount of time to individual supervision.

Our focus is primary research and we encourage students to follow their own historical interests.

The MA in History aims to develop your research skills, and your understanding of key debates and methods in historiography. In addition, it allows you to develop their specific subject interests through a range of option modules and the dissertation.

Consequently, in addition to the compulsory core module (Explorations and Debates) and the Research Skills modules, you choose two options, one of which, if you wish, can be from another department at Goldsmiths or from the wide-ranging intercollegiate list (a list of MA modules available at other colleges of the University of London).

You'll end the programme by writing a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic of your own choice, based on primary research. The process of writing the dissertation includes participating in organising, and presenting at, the department's dissertation conference.

Modules & structure

Compulsory modules

You take the following two compulsory modules:

Option modules

You also take two thematic option modules. You could:

  • choose both options from those offered by the Department of History
  • choose one departmental option and another from a different Goldsmiths department
  • choose one departmental option and another from the list of 30+ options available each year in other History departments that participate in the University of London MA Intercollegiate Sharing Scheme

The Department of History options encompass a diverse regional, conceptual and methodological range to investigate religious, cultural and political history in both the Western and non-Western world from the 15th century to the present. All options are based on the tutors’ current research, and currently include:

You also undergo training in Research Skills, which develops expertise in a variety of methodologies including the use of oral, visual and material, as well as textual, sources.

There will be a one-day, student-led, interdisciplinary research workshop to share ideas about projects and methodologies, and gain experience in event organisation.

And you'll complete a 10,000-word dissertation, based on primary research.


This MA develops a range of transferable skills which are highly valued in the jobs market. These include advanced research and analytical expertise; increased independence of thought; the ability to marshal, evaluate and communicate, in written and oral form, complex information and ideas; project management; teamwork and workshop organisation.


Graduate students from the department have continued to careers in museums and galleries, archives, journalism, charities, university and arts administration, local government and teaching as well as doctoral research.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

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As one of the largest History Departments in the UK we are able to offer a depth of subject expertise rarely matched by other institutions. Read more

As one of the largest History Departments in the UK we are able to offer a depth of subject expertise rarely matched by other institutions. This means that we can offer a breadth of study with a large chronological range from medieval to modern covering global history from Britain, Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. Our students have excellent access to top academics in specialist fields, including one to one supervision sessions.

Within the department we have experts in topics including economic and social history, political history and religious and cultural history, which link to our six dedicated research centres. There are distinct opportunities on this course including, a supervised independent study module to enable you to follow your own interests.

The University library has extensive holdings, audio-visual collections and medieval manuscripts in our Special Collections. Exeter Cathedral Library Archives and the Devon Heritage Centre contain further significant medieval manuscripts, documents and early printed books. 

Specialist pathways

Exeter Historians have a diverse range of interests and we pride ourselves on our flexible approach to learning that includes part-time options and plenty of interdisciplinary collaboration such as with Classics, Theology, and Archaeology. You might for instance choose a Latin module or a module on Medieval Archaeology to complement your main path of study.

You will be taught mostly in small group seminars as we believe this is the best way to allow our students access and interaction with academic staff. In your seminars you will contribute to discussions and debates as well as present findings, research and interpretations of readings.

At the end of your programme you will complete a dissertation up to 25,000 words long on a topic of your choosing, something which may later form part of a PhD research proposal. Some of the topics our students have covered in the past include:

  • Early modern views of the reproductive organs, sex and conception, circa 1650 to 1850
  • The Labour Party’s relationship with the British forces in the Inter-War Years
  • Health and the seaside: Sea bathing in the Nineteenth Century
  • Exeter Cathedral in the 14th Century
  • 'Medicinable or Mortal'? Astrological Figures and the Practice of Physick
  • British Media Reporting of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide
  • Medieval Martial Arts (1300-1600)
  • Terminal illness, suicide and euthanasia in Early Modern England


A wide range of optional modules are available which reflect the varied research interests of academic staff. These interests range widely from the early medieval period to the twentieth century and cover Britain, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. All aspects of the discipline are represented, from social, religious, cultural and gender history to the study of politics, economic development, international relations, and military conflict in a variety of contexts and eras. Particular areas of strength include early modern history, naval and maritime history, medical history, and the history of the connections between war, state and society.

Your choice of optional modules may include subjects as diverse as ritual in the Middle Ages; witchcraft and the supernatural in the 16th and 17th centuries; maritime and naval history; sexuality; health, medicine; gender and the body; party politics and international diplomacy; and the impact of modern wars on culture, economy, society and memory.

The programme

- offers an excellent education in a very wide range of historical subjects and geographical locations over a broad time-span from Anglo-Saxon England to modern Western and Eastern Europe, some parts of Asia, North and South America, and Africa;

- produces graduates who are highly competent in subject-specific, core academic, and personal and key skills that are both relevant and transferable to employment;

- draws on the expertise of a number of highly respected research centres which are at the forefront of their respective disciplines;

- participation in joint seminar programmes offering insights into a very wide range of research cultures and specialisms;

- excellent preparation for students intending to continue on to doctoral-level research with a good track record in obtaining funding for further study.

Research Areas

Research is at the heart of History and our students are encouraged to come to Departmental Research Seminars and become an active part of wider research community. Our research centres regularly hold seminars and other research events which MA students are welcome to attend.

Our current research centres include:

As well as our History specific research centres you are also welcome to get involved in of the other research centres across the College of Humanities or the University. You can find out more about our Academic Staff and their research interests on our Research pages.

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Would you like to participate in a dynamic and flexible course that can be tailored to meet your own individual interests and career aspirations?. Read more
Would you like to participate in a dynamic and flexible course that can be tailored to meet your own individual interests and career aspirations?

The MA History course consists of broad, thematic taught modules that focus on the middle ages through to present day.

Offering an extremely flexible approach to study, this course incorporates three core modules - historical contexts, digital history and dissertation preparation - which you will study alongside two modules of your own choice, in subjects such as American history, British history, European history and early modern history.

In addition to the taught modules of this course you will also complete a dissertation that will be conducted under the careful guidance of our specialist academics.

Throughout your studies you will have access to our leading learning facilities and new Institute for the Humanities.

Northumbria has just launched its first MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) exploring the fascinating history and culture of the American South from colonial times to the 21st century.

Experience for free Northumbria's excellence in teaching and research with the University's Institute of Humanities, all from your own home.

This course has several available study methods - for more information, please view the relevant web-page:
2 years part time: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/study-at-northumbria/courses/history-dtphtr6/

1-2 years full time distance learning: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/study-at-northumbria/courses/history-ma-ft-dl-dtdhtr6/

2 years part time distance learning: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/study-at-northumbria/courses/history-dtdhty6/

Learn From The Best

Throughout your studies you will benefit from working with our team of specialist academics who were recently ranked in the UK’s top 20 for the quality of their history publications (REF 2014).

Our academics are not only teaching their specialist subjects but also writing textbooks and adding new knowledge and perspectives to our understanding of the past.

When undertaking your dissertation you will be assigned a dedicated supervisor with specialist knowledge of your chosen subject area. They will guide you through your project with the help of our team of support staff.

Boasting doctorates, awards and extensive academic knowledge in their particular specialism, you can rest assured you are learning from the best.

Teaching And Assessment

The MA History course offers a programme of study that will empower you to problematise the past, set your own field of enquiry and test your ability to manage a yearlong project.

This course is primarily delivered via a classroom setting, with regular face-to-face supervision. This course can also be undertaken as a distance-learning course through a Virtual Learning Environment (VLR).

The assessment methods employed on this course include historical and historiographical essays, oral and written presentations, critical reviews and portfolios of work.

Your dissertation will form a large part of the assessment process and will be overseen by a supervisor who specialises in your subject area.

Module Overview
EF0126 - E.S.A.P. in FADSS Level 7 (Optional, 0 Credits)
HI7001 - Historical Contexts (Core, 30 Credits)
HI7004 - War and Peace in Historical Perspective (Core, 30 Credits)
HI7005 - Digital History and Research Methods (Core, 30 Credits)
HI7007 - The British Empire and its Imperial Rivals (Core, 30 Credits)
HI7010 - History Dissertation (Core, 60 Credits)

Learning Environment

Throughout the duration of your course you will have access to state-of-the-art facilities to support your learning experience.

Further facilities are available at the Institute for the Humanities, a special research space in the University’s Lipman Building. These include a resource room, specialist computing equipment and interview rooms. You will also have access to a designated Humanities Student Hub, providing space for self-study, group work or a rest in between teaching sessions.

You will receive support at every step of your learning journey through our on-campus facilities and innovative e-Learning Portal, Blackboard, which will allow you to access electronic versions of your course’s supporting documentation.

We provide a supportive and informal learning environment, offering feedback at all key stages of your course.

Research-Rich Learning

The MA History course is centred around research-rich learning and delivery.

Delivered by our team of renowned academics, you will be learning from research-active experts who boast specialisms in all aspects of history including the British co-operative movement, eighteenth and nineteenth century British political and imperial history, the British empire and modern Irish political history.

Many staff are qualified to professorial level and engaged in collaborative research projects, which are often part of national or international research networks.

More than three quarters of Northumbria University’s History department’s research outputs are rated as being world-leading or internationally excellent, placing us in the upper quartile for history research in the UK. We have also been ranked among the top 20 universities in the UK for research power in History, according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

Give Your Career An Edge

On completion of this course you will possess expert research skills thanks to your ability to collect, sift through and organise historical data. You will also be able to confidently use state-of-the-art digital researching tools.

Employability skills are embedded throughout all aspects of this course and, on completion, you will possess a range of attributes that are highly valued in today’s competitive job market. These skills include effective workload management, IT, problem solving, communication, teamwork and self-motivation.

Your Future

Your previous qualifications and the specialist nature of this course will provide a strong foundation for your future work or study.

The MA History course has been designed to form the basis for those wishing to progress to PhD level and we offer advice in writing PhD and funding applications should you decide to take this route.

The broad range of skills and knowledge acquired on this course can help to enhance promotion prospects in many professions, most notably teaching, professional research, museums or archives, public policy and project management. It should also enhance your prospects of employment should you wish to move into such vocations.

You will also leave prepared for a career as a researcher or employment within a broader business environment.

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The MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History is aimed at students who have an interest in both the theory and history of political thought (including those wider intellectual idioms which provide the context for its development). Read more
The MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History is aimed at students who have an interest in both the theory and history of political thought (including those wider intellectual idioms which provide the context for its development). It also welcomes students whose previous study had a more specialised historical or theoretical (or philosophical) bent, provided that while doing this course they are willing to engage themselves with both approaches to research.The MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History is aimed at students who have an interest in both the theory and history of political thought (including those wider intellectual idioms which provide the context for its development). It also welcomes students whose previous study had a more specialised historical or theoretical (or philosophical) bent, provided that while doing this course they are willing to engage themselves with both approaches to research.

This MPhil attracts students from all over the world, and its training provides an ideal foundation from which to proceed to doctoral research, not only in the United Kingdom, but in North American, European, Asian and Southern Hemisphere university systems.

Priority is given to the pursuit of the individual student’s research: all examined work derives from this research. Classes are provided in Methodology, in the reading of selected texts, and in selected concepts: these are intended to be ‘exemplary’, offering opportunities to explore different methods used in the field, different approaches to reading texts, and a variety of political concepts. Work done in classes is not examined.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hihimppth

Course detail

The MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History offers students a rounded and flexible Masters programme that provides them with an introduction to all three of the fields contained within its scope (History of Political Thought, Political Theory, Intellectual History), while allowing them to specialise in their own area of particular interest. It offers a thorough training in the key techniques of higher-level academic study and research.

The MPhil is inter-Faculty: History, Politics, and Classics are the participating departments. The teaching staff, and examiners, have diverse disciplinary backgrounds, as do students on the course.

Learning Outcomes

After completion of the MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History, students should have:

1. acquired an enhanced understanding of the history of political thought as well as an appreciation of the broader theoretical approaches and intellectual idioms that inform its study.
2. acquired the analytical capacity to pursue independent study of primary texts in the history of political thought and to evaluate the findings of secondary commentators
3. acquired the ability to situate their own research findings within the context of previous and current interpretative scholarly debates in the field of political thought and intellectual history


The course comprises two kinds of work: group study and individually tailored supervised research training. Both persist simultaneously throughout the year, so that students are expected to attend the course classes, research seminar, and lectures while at the same time researching their essays. While there are no fixed course classes in Easter Term when students will be concentrating on their dissertation, they will be required to present their work at a Dissertation Seminar and encouraged to continue attending lectures and the research seminar. Postgraduate students in Cambridge are expected to work continuously throughout the year with the exception of a few days’ break at a time, so that the ‘vacation periods’ are in fact periods in which required work must be completed.

Students will receive the following feedback:

- oral supervision feedback
- writen termly CGSRS reports
- written essay feedback
- oral dissertation workshop feedback
- formal written feedback from two examiners after the submission and examination of their dissertation.


A thesis of 15,000 - 20,000 words is submitted at the end of the course. An oral examination will only be required in cases where one of the marks is a marginal fail.

Two essays of not more than 6,000 words each, one submitted at the end of Michaelmas Term, the second at the end of Lent Term. These essays constitute Part I of the MPhil, and contribute to the final overall mark.


In order to be considered for continuation to the PhD, and always subject to satisfactory supervision arrangements being in place, students are expected to obtain an overall mark of 70 for the MPhil and a mark of at least 70 for their dissertation.

Please see the Faculty website for more information:


How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

Please see the History Faculty’s Funding Guide via the History Faculty’s weblink below:


General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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At the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, we conduct research and offer MPhil supervision in all major fields of politics, including. Read more
At the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, we conduct research and offer MPhil supervision in all major fields of politics, including: international and global politics, governance and political organisations, and political theory.

We can offer you excellent supervision for your Politics MPhil, in a vibrant and supportive research environment.

We have a Politics Postgraduate Society, which organises:
-The 'New Voices' seminar series, with both internal and external presenters
-Round table discussions on topical issues
-Professional development workshops led by politics staff

You are encouraged to attend conferences to present papers, partial funding for this is available from the School.

Our main research themes are:

The politics of difference

We examine the issues thrown up by the social and political differences of humanity from a variety of perspectives including: analytical and continental political philosophy; comparative politics and international politics; post-colonialism. Our work includes research on:
-Multiculturalism and issues of identity
-Inequality and social justice
-Competing discourses of national identity
-Political violence
-Socio-political exclusion and discrimination
-Global norms and cultural difference
-Free speech - toleration and recognition

Popular culture and political communication

Our research addresses various key issues including:
-Cultural political economy

We also assess the processes and depiction of political struggles, such as:
-Armed conflict
-Everyday life
-Political organising and identity formation

Political participation and elections

We examine the differing forms of political participation that link society to the political systems of the world. We look at both the formal electoral process and non-electoral politics (social movements, protest groups etc). Our research on the emergence of virtual political participation means that some of our work intersects with popular culture and political communication. We investigate:
-Citizen involvement and (dis)engagement
-Social capital
-The role of civil society

Political ideologies and political thought

We focus on the history of political thought as well as how these ideas are embedded in programmes for political action. Our research incorporates both historical and contemporary political thought prominent in the Western tradition as well as Asian philosophy and post-colonial thinking. This is an interdisciplinary theme, serving as a bridge between empirical political science and political theory.

Global economic and environmental challenges

We study the importance of political ideas such as sustainable development and globalisation, as well as the struggle to define the core problems that society faces. These challenges pose questions to the nature and reform of global governance, and generate tensions between the state and transnationalising forces in global politics and political economy. Our work has already led to findings on:
-The implications for global justice
-The policy challenge for governments and non-governmental actors
-The empowerment of various actors

Democracy, the modern state and political organisations

Our work examines the role of interest groups, social movements, political parties, third-sector actors and charities, community organisations and postcolonial nationalism in relation to the modern state. We draw from ancient and modern political thought to understand the interpretation of democracy (including democratic rights and the foundations of democracy). Our research interrogates the forms democracy takes, including:
-Elite theories of democracy
-Deliberative democracy
-Cosmopolitan democracy
-Democracy in divided societies

Political economy of development

Our research focuses on the interaction of economic forces and principles with political power in the development of societal economics and welfare, as well as on theories of development and post-development. We cover a range of geographic areas in Africa, the Americas, Europe and Asia. We explore questions such as:
-The impact of the ongoing financial and economic crisis
-The role of communities and individuals in the face of global political economic forces
-The impact of the emerging economies (for example Brazil and China) on the global political economy

Critical geopolitics and security

Our research focuses on thinking critically about the political dynamics, consequences and discourses of historical and contemporary geopolitics. We cover both historical and contemporary questions of security, including:
-The territorialisation/de-territorialisation of identity and political agency
-Political cartography
-The role of fear and identity in shaping geopolitics
-Sovereignty and nationalism - the role and impact of the military
-Notions of terrorism and the war on terror
-The geographies of international boundaries
-The war on the trade in illegal substances
-The city and security
-The threat of biological weapons and infectious disease
-The vertical dimension in geopolitical and security studies
-Visual culture and world politics
-Technologies and architectures of security and insecurity
-The human body and security

Theory of international relations

We take an active role in the global debate on the units, actors and structures that shape the dynamics of international politics. Our research covers the political consequences of the constitution of the international as a distinct kind of relation. We examine political concepts including:
-The world system
-International diplomacy
-Notions of empire
-Regional integration
-Non-governmental actors
-The (nation) state

Governance in Britain and wider Europe

Our research investigates the dynamics driving public policy-making at national, EU and international levels. We focus on the challenges multi-level governance offers for concerns about legitimacy and accountability. This includes the changing relationship between the governing and the governed over matters of politics and policy. Our geographic scope includes the United Kingdom, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia, and the Mediterranean

Global justice and human rights

Our work in political philosophy reflects the increasing need to tackle issues at a global rather than a state-only level. We cover issues such as:
-The formulation and justification of human rights
-The competing claims of relativism, particularism, and cultural diversity
-The extension of ideas of distributive justice from states to humanity as a whole
-Proposals to secure global democracy
-The application of just war theory to modern conflicts and to humanitarian intervention
-Environmental justice, especially climate change

We tackle questions of justice from an issue perspective as well as surveys of nationalism, statism, and various non-cosmopolitan theories of global justice.

Political research and methods

We conduct qualitative and quantitative research reflecting both empirical and critical political methodologies. We use quantitative methods, including rational choice theory and experiments, to make sense of topics as diverse as party systems and transitional justice. Our aim is to push innovation in research methods in ethnography, hermeneutics and discourse analysis. We use concepts that challenge traditional notions of politics to investigate methods for research into new challenges, including:
-The rise of life sciences
-The focus on the relationship between the human body and security
-Emergent forms of subjectivity and politics

Research skills development

The University's Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate School provides a full range of research training in the social sciences, which meets the requirements of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This training includes:
-Bibliographical techniques
-Philosophy of social science
-Quantitative and qualitative methods

The Graduate School also hosts postgraduate events, including open days, and supports personal development.

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This programme will allow you to take a broad approach to African, Indian, American, British and European history from the early modern period to the 21st century. Read more

This programme will allow you to take a broad approach to African, Indian, American, British and European history from the early modern period to the 21st century.

A core module will allow you to sharpen your research skills, and you’ll choose from a wide range of optional modules spanning nations, continents, periods and themes to explore topics that interest you. You could study black internationalism alongside early modern Europe, the Spanish state, Stalinism, political violence in India or apartheid.

You’ll be taught by leading researchers as part of a large and diverse School of History and Leeds Humanities Research Institute, supported by active research groups and extensive library resources. Our research interests range from social history and identity to political history, nationalism and internationalism, meaning this flexible programme offers plenty of opportunities to gain important skills while focusing on issues that suit your interests.

You’ll study in a supportive environment with a wide range of resources. The world-class Brotherton Library has one of the best history collections in the UK, ranging from monographs and journals to conference papers, theses and over 100 digital databases of primary sources and other materials for fundamental research. The Brotherton also has its own special collections including the Leeds Russian Archive and the Feminist Archive North.

The Alf Mattinson Collection is full of printed works and papers related to the history of the Labour Party, and the Romany collection and Liddle Collection offer insights into Romany culture and the First World War respectively.

This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months.

Course content

You’ll study one core module in your first semester, introducing you to different research methodologies in history and allowing you to develop your skills. You’ll also select from a wide range of optional modules throughout the year, allowing you to pursue topics that interest you such as the history of Yorkshire, the European Enlightenment or issues surrounding global security.

You’ll also have the opportunity to work collaboratively with partner organisations, such as the West Yorkshire Archive Service, by studying the ‘Making History: Archive Collaborations’ module.

This programme will equip you with in-depth subject knowledge, as well as high-level skills in research, interpretation and analysis. You’ll be able to demonstrate these when you complete your dissertation on a modern history topic of your choice, which you’ll submit by the end of the programme.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory modules

  • Research Methodology in History 30 credits
  • Dissertation (History) 60 credits

Optional modules

  • Making History: Archive Collaborations 30 credits
  • Secrecy and Espionage in Early Modern Europe 30 credits
  • Reformation(s): Belief and Culture in Early Modern Europe 30 credits
  • Approaches to Contemporary European History 30 credits
  • 'The continuation of war by other means? : Case Studies in Wartime Diplomacy 1931-1945 30 credits
  • Medicine and Warfare in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries 30 credits
  • Women, Gender and Sexuality: Archives and Approaches 30 credits
  • Defending the Nation: Britain during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1793 to 1815 30 credits
  • Stalinist Terror 30 credits
  • Black Internationalism 30 credits
  • India since 1947: Community, Caste and Political Violence 30 credits
  • Sexuality and Disease in African History 30 credits
  • Contesting Patriarchy: Debating Gender Justice in Colonial and Post-Colonial India.30 credits
  • The War on Terror 30 credits
  • Latin America and the Caribbean from Rebellion to Revolution, 1765-1845 30 credits
  • Guns and Global Security 30 credits
  • Britain and the Slave Trade 30 credits
  • Insurgency and Counterinsurgency 30 credits
  • The Fragility of the Spanish State: Identity, Conflict and Resistance, 1808-1939 30 credits
  • Anti-Apartheid: Cultures of the Struggle 30 credits
  • Race and Second Wave Feminism in the US30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Modern History MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Modern History MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods. The majority of your modules will be taught through weekly seminars, where you’ll discuss issues and themes in your chosen modules with a small group of students and your tutors. Independent study is also crucial to this degree, giving you the space to shape your own studies and develop your skills.


We use different types of assessment to help you develop a wide range of skills, including presentations, research proposals, case studies and essays, depending on the subjects you choose.

Career opportunities

This programme will heighten your cultural and social awareness as well as allowing you to build your historical knowledge. You’ll also gain high-level research, analysis and communication skills that will prove valuable in a wide range of careers.

Graduates have found success in a wide range of careers in education, research and the private sector. Many others have continued with their studies at PhD level.

We offer different forms of support to help you reach your career goals. You’ll have the chance to attend our career groups, meeting students with similar plans, or you could become a paid academic mentor to an undergraduate completing their final-year dissertation. You could also apply for one of the internships we offer each year.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

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This two-year, part-time Master’s programme is designed for those who wish to study at postgraduate level and are keen to develop high-level skills in historical research. Read more
This two-year, part-time Master’s programme is designed for those who wish to study at postgraduate level and are keen to develop high-level skills in historical research.

The course offers two thematic strands in which students specialise. The first, British local and regional history, is constant throughout all intakes. The second, which changes for each intake, is Politics and religion in Tudor and Stuart England for the 2016-2018 course. You will specialise in one of these two themes, studying taught modules and undertaking original research, culminating in a dissertation of 16,000 to 20,000 words.

Visit the website: http://www.ice.cam.ac.uk/mst-history

Course detail

The MSt is taught over two years in short, intensive study blocks, and begins in October 2016 (Michaelmas Term). It has been designed to be accessible to those in full- or part-time employment and to international students.

Successful applicants will become members of a Cambridge college and will join the wider graduate community, with full access to the facilities of the University.

By the end of the course students should have:

- developed an understanding of, and ability to apply critically, the main academic theories and concepts underpinning the study of history;
- extended and developed their analytical, evaluative and critical capacities;
- developed the ability to form independent judgements based on their reading, research and writing;
- demonstrable specific subject knowledge and analysis relevant to their dissertation;
- developed research skills required for further postgraduate research.


The MSt is structured around four residential modules that students must attend. All students take modules 1 and 3 together; modules 2 and 4 are subject pathway modules. In the first year, each of the four residential blocks is preceded by guided preparatory reading and other activities.

A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) offers learning support to students while they are on the programme, including learning resources, peer-to-peer and student-to-tutor discussion between modules, to build a virtual community of practice. Students are expected to have sufficient IT skills to engage with the VLE and all assignments are uploaded to the VLE for assessment.

Lectures, seminars and classes: c.75 hours in Year 1 (including some reading/prep time), c.18 hours in Year 2.

Supervision: 5 x 1-hour sessions in Year 2.

Year 1

The taught elements of the syllabus are offered during Year 1 in four intensive study blocks, usually scheduled inside Full Term, each of which is examined by an assessed essay. Sessions are offered in research training, and essay and dissertation writing.

Module 1: Theory, concepts and historiography (3 - 6 October 2016)*
Induction Day: Introduction to the course, tours of the University and Seeley History libraries, talk on Cambridge colleges.

The Annales School, international history, gender, feudalism, race, class and social status, nations and states, religion, essay workshop.

Module 2: (30 November – 2 December 2016)*
a) British local and regional history
Approaches to local history, manors and tour of medieval Cambridge, the parish, early modern culture, religion and belief, urban history, consumption, family and household, essay workshop.


b) Politics and Religion in Tudor and Stuart England 1520 - 1625
Parliamentary history, Reformation history, politics, religion and memory.

Module 3: Sources, methods and research skills (22 - 24 February 2017 )*
Using library resources and archives, the census, global and transnational history, micro-history, sources for early modern history, IT for historians, Excel for historians, practical, quantitative and economic history, oral history and its discontents, anthropology and history, essay workshop.

Module 4: (19 – 21 May 2017)*
a) British local and regional history
Disease, death and doctors, plague and venereal disease, why were towns the principal determinant of mortality change from 1600 to 1900?, the old Poor Law and charity, the new Poor Law, charity and the state, workhouse medicine and mortality, smallpox, childbirth, midwifery and the man-midwife, mutual aid and self-help, the ‘professionalisation’ of medicine, essay workshop.


b) Politics and Religion in Tudor and Stuart England 1625 - 1715
Sources for Tudor and Stuart political history, sources for Tudor and Stuart religious history.

* module content subject to change

Year 2

The second year is characterised by focus on the dissertation. Students will work independently on their chosen topic under the supervision of an expert in their chosen field with whom they will have regular contact. Students will be required to attend five supervisions between May 2017 and May 2018, at least three of which must be face-to-face and two of which can be online.

There will also be three day-schools at Madingley Hall, at which students provide short presentations on their research to date and at which there is some research training:

- Saturday 21 October 2017
- Saturday 2 December 2017
- Saturday 14 April 2018


- A dissertation of 16,000-20,000 words (including footnotes and appendices, but excluding bibliography)
- Four essay assignments, each of 4,000 words maximum.

Some assignments and the dissertation require literature reviews.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying


You may be interested to know that from 2016/17, Student Finance England (SFE) is introducing a postgraduate loans scheme for full-time and part-time Master’s courses. Information on eligibility, the amount of the loan and the level of repayment can be found in SFE’s The Student Room: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/content.php?r=5659-Student-Finance

Please note that SFE is planning to take applications via its main Student finance website, from summer 2016: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance

Sources of government funding and financial support - including Professional and Career Development Loans

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This intercollegiate programme draws on the expertise of academic staff in the fields of the history of political thought and intellectual history from across the Colleges and Institutes of the University of London. Read more
This intercollegiate programme draws on the expertise of academic staff in the fields of the history of political thought and intellectual history from across the Colleges and Institutes of the University of London. The programme is administered from Queen Mary, so you register as a Queen Mary student � once you complete the programme, your degree will be a joint University of London-UCL MA. The MA Programme as a whole offers advanced training in intellectual history, the history of political thought and the history of philosophy, spanning the period from the ancient world to the Twenty-First Century. You will also be provided with an essential grounding in the various methods and approaches associated with the study of the history of thought developed over the past quarter-century in Europe and the United States.

Programme outline
The MA consists of the core module: Method and Practice in the History of Political Thought and Intellectual History, a selection of modules chosen from the list below, and an individually supervised dissertation. Below is a typical sample of module options that may be offered in a given year:

Democracy: Ancient and Modern Richard Bourke (Queen Mary)
Propaganda and Ideology in Rome Valentina Arena (UCL) [please note: not running 2011-12]
Languages of politics: Italy 1250-1500 Serena Ferente (KCL)
Political Thought in Renaissance Europe Iain McDaniel (UCL)
Early-modern theories of the state Quentin Skinner (Queen Mary)
The Public Sphere in Britain, 1476 - 1800 Jason Peacey (UCL)
Signs, Mind, and Society: Early Modern Theories of Language Avi Lifschitz (UCL)
Enlightenment and Revolution: Political Ideas in the British Isles 1688-1800 Ian McBride (KCL)
Selfhood, Sensibility and the Politics of Difference in the European Enlightenment Adam Sutcliffe (KCL) [please note: not running 2011-12]
From Hume to Darwin God, Man and Nature in European Thought Niall O'Flaherty (KCL)
Visions of Capitalism Jeremy Jennings (Queen Mary) [please note: not running 2011-12]
In the Shadow of the French Revolution: Political Thought 1790-1890 Gareth Stedman Jones (Queen Mary)
Theories of Empire: from Enlightenment to Liberalism Maurizio Isabella (Queen Mary)
Crisis and Future in Nineteenth-Century European Thought Axel K�rner (UCL)
Nationalism, Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism in Political Thought, 19th�20th Centuries Georgios Varouxakis (Queen Mary)

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The programme is designed for graduate students who wish to learn about the diverse strands of political thinking in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and the different approaches to comparison in political thought. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The programme is designed for graduate students who wish to learn about the diverse strands of political thinking in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and the different approaches to comparison in political thought. It is highly relevant to students who wish to embark on doctoral studies in the area of non-Western political thought. It is also relevant for practitioners working in or intending to work in governments, international organizations, think tanks and advocacy groups who wish to acquire deeper knowledge of ideas and values that inform political practices in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The MSc in Comparative Political Thought builds on SOAS’s wealth of regional expertise to offer a new approach to cross-regional comparison of political thinking. It reframes the study of political thought in Africa, Asia and the Middle East as a study of political ideas and political practices. The programme introduces students to the key approaches, debates, and questions in the emerging sub-discipline of comparative political thought. Covering a range of thinkers, traditions and texts, in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, it provides learning opportunities for students to compare ideas and values across regions and historical periods. The MSc in Comparative Political Thought will enable graduate students to undertake further advanced study and research in political thought, as well as enhance skills suitable for employment in multicultural and international professional contexts

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/programmes/msc-comparative-political-thought/

Programme Specification

Programme Specification (pdf; 126kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/programmes/msc-comparative-political-thought/file79323.pdf

Teaching & Learning

The MSc in Comparative Political Thought has two core compulsory half-unit courses that all students registered for the degree will undertake. Approaches to Comparative Political Thought is taken in Term 1, and Comparative International Political Thought in Term 2. Students then choose courses equivalent to two units from a list of optional courses (outlined below), and complete a dissertation based on independent study and research (equivalent to a further unit).

- Knowledge

1. Familiarity with the main approaches in the emerging sub-field of comparative political thought, including different understandings of ‘comparison’ and ‘thought’;

2. Advanced understanding of some of the philosophical, historical, political and linguistic issues that arise in the study of non-Western political thought;

3. In-depth knowledge of some key political concepts (eg. state, authority, individual, community), as understood by political thinkers in Asia, Africa and the Middle East;

4. An understanding of political thought not simply as articulated by elite intellectuals, but also as ideas in action, manifested in political practices at different levels of society.

- Intellectual (thinking) skills

1. To analyse and evaluate competing approaches to comparative political thought;
2. To conceptualise the main issues and problems that arise in the comparative study of political thought;
3. To develop in-depth understanding of aspects of non-Western political thought;
4. To develop intellectual initiative and skills to compare political ideas across cultural and historical boundaries, identifying and evaluating similarities and differences;
5. To formulate research questions and hypotheses.

- Subject-based practical skills

1. To identify, analyse and evaluate core arguments in theoretical materials from a variety of sources;
2. To develop skills to work creatively and flexibly across different disciplines and regional traditions;
3. To organise information in a lucid, coherent, concise, and clear form in written as well as oral presentations;
4. To develop initiative and capacity to work independently on research questions and to adjust hypotheses and approach in the light of work undertaken for the dissertation.

- Transferable skills

1. To retrieve, select, digest and analyse complex information from a variety of sources.
2. To structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing.
3. To work effectively in and contribute to meetings, by presenting, listening to and discussing ideas introduced during meetings.
4. To manage time effectively.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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Gain a detailed knowledge and understanding of historical methodology as you explore a range of subjects within British, European and world history, from the 15th century to the present day. Read more
Gain a detailed knowledge and understanding of historical methodology as you explore a range of subjects within British, European and world history, from the 15th century to the present day. Benefit from the history team’s specialist knowledge and links across the global historical community and develop the deep and systematic understanding of historical research to excel in further studies, or begin your career with confidence thanks to the professional-experience opportunities offered.

Key features

-Join a community of student-historians from a variety of backgrounds with a programme designed to appeal to a range of audiences, including recent graduates, teachers looking to enhance their professional qualifications and those in the local community with a long-standing passion for history.
-Explore history through a variety of means – with a combination of taught and self-led learning, regular research seminars run by -Plymouth University’s Centre for Research in Humanities and Performing Arts, and access to Peninsula Art’s history lecture series featuring world-leading academics.
-Work alongside internationally recognised researchers* and experienced professionals as you develop the skills that will allow you to choose how you progress upon graduation: take your studies further with a PhD, or enter the workplace with the confidence and skills to fast-track your career.
-Plot your own course through the centuries as you take the lead in your masters dissertation research project, and choose areas of study from the history team’s range of research specialisms.
-Explore history with your friends and colleagues by joining the History Society, a lively and supportive community hosting educational and social events.
-Discover the most up-to-date ways of studying history through our online resources including a vast eBook library. Build links with local record offices and archives, accessing opportunities to develop your expertise in the local and regional history of Plymouth and the South West.

* In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, 85% of History’s research outputs (primarily books and journal articles) were considered to be internationally recognised in terms of significance, originality and rigour.

Course details

You can study MA History full time over one year, or part time split across two years. Your studies will consist of four modules, two of which are core modules: key debates and research methods in history - an assessment of current trends and methodologies in the discipline of history, and the public history module - an examination of the theory and practice of how the past is presented to public audiences. You’ll supplement these with two option modules, where you select the areas of history that interest you the most as you select from the research specialisms of history team. The group’s areas of expertise include: imperialism, colonialism and de-colonisation in the modern period; the political and social history of 19th century Britain; Ireland since 1900; British military and diplomatic history during the 20th century; European integration; politics and society in the USA since 1900; amongst others. The programme culminates in an independently researched MA History dissertation.

Core modules
-MAHI700 Key Debates and Research Methods in History
-MAHI701 Public History
-MAHI702 MA History Dissertation

Optional modules
-MAHI703 Britain in the Sixties
-MAHI710 The Irish Revolution 1912-37
-MAHI718 Independent Research Project in History
-MAHI704 Piracy and Privateering, 1560-1816
-MAHI706 The Civil Rights Movement
-MAHI712 Empire of Law. Ruling the British Empire 1760-1960
-MAHI705 The African American Experience
-MAHI709 The French Wars of Religion 1558-1598
-MAHI714 Culture and Society. Britain c 1760-1914
-MAHI716 America and the United Nations 1945 to the present
-MAHI720 Key Debates in Post War Japanese History
-MAHI721 From Unification to Reunification: Key Themes in Modern German History

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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The MA in Queer History is a pioneering programme in one of the most exciting areas of historical enquiry, giving a voice to those who throughout much of history have been denied one. Read more

The MA in Queer History is a pioneering programme in one of the most exciting areas of historical enquiry, giving a voice to those who throughout much of history have been denied one.

This MA provides a comprehensive introduction to the themes and methods of Queer History as well as laying a solid foundation in general historical study. It offers a first-rate overview of important thought and methods from the fields of queer theory as well as the histories of gender and the body and sexuality.

This programme aims to historicise often binary categories, such as male/female, heterosexuality/homosexuality, active/passive, and uncover the processes through which these categories came to be seen as ‘natural’. It further pays close attention to questions of power, including how sexual orientation and race throughout history have often become interlinked in asymmetrical, oppressive ways.

Students conclude the programme with a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic of their own choice. The dissertation research is aided by access to the shared library and archival resources of the wider University of London and the city of London, one of the world’s queer capitals. Goldsmiths aims to build the Archive of Queer Life Histories and involve MA students in this process.

Modules & structure

The emphasis of the MA is in the Early Modern and Modern periods. Both the Western invention of ‘homosexuality’ in the 1860s and the emancipatory movements, especially of the post-1969, post-Stonewall period, figure prominently.

You will take 3 core modules, as well as optional modules to the value of 60 credits.

Core modules

Optional modules

Skills & careers

The programme will build skills in data gathering and analysis as well as effective written and spoken communication to prepare students for jobs in diversity administration in private business, government, National Government Organisations, the education sector and legal professions.

As opposed to primarily theory-oriented subjects the programme will lay a solid empirical foundation in queer history, arguably the best possible basis for sexual diversity jobs.

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The MA Modern History at Aberystwyth offers you the opportunity to study modern British, continental European, American and/or world history from the early 19th century to the present with a team of leading specialists in their fields. Read more

About the course

The MA Modern History at Aberystwyth offers you the opportunity to study modern British, continental European, American and/or world history from the early 19th century to the present with a team of leading specialists in their fields. The course embraces a range of perspectives including political, diplomatic, social, cultural and media history, and also provides you with intensive training in research skills and methods for modern history, including the opportunity to develop or enhance your knowledge of a European language.

Why study MA Modern History at Aberystwyth University?

Study just five minutes away from one of five UK copyright libraries, the National Library of Wales

History has been taught in Aberystwyth since 1872, making our department the oldest in Wales and one of the foremost in Britain

Aberystwyth University is a top 50 university for research power and intensity – REF 2014

All our lecturers are active researchers who publish their work

Benefit from small group teaching

Opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of this course with an institution that engages on a daily basis with history

Engage with a variety of paradigms, perspectives, methodologies, sources and interdisciplinary approaches to history

Develop your own research interests in the field of modern history (18th 19th, 20th centuries including the contemporary period) aided by the longstanding expertise of the Department of History and Welsh History

A wide variety of option modules are available as part of this course and staff expertise within the Department is varied and expansive

Course structure and content

When studied full-time, the first two semesters consist of six 20 credit modules. Students will take a core module that addresses the concept of political culture in the modern era and a research training module - Research Methods and Professional Skills in History.

Students will then take a further four optional modules. Option modules are varied and allow students to direct their study into a diverse range of topics. Students will also be able to undertake additional research training modules tailored to their own particular research interests (such as the use of public opinion data or private correspondence, visual and sound media, newspapers and broadcast sources, and oral history). Students on this course will also have the opportunity to study a modern European language at either beginners or advanced level.

In the final semester, students complete their MA dissertation, an original research project (15,000 words) undertaken under the close supervision of a specialist within the Department.

Core modules:

Dissertation *
Political Culture in Modern Britain, Europe and the Usa
Research Methods and Professional Skills in History

Optional modules:

Class and Community in Wales 1850 - 1939
Concepts and Sources in Heritage Studies
Heritage Organisations and the Presentation of the Past
Information and Society
Landownership and Society in Wales
Media History: An Introduction
Political Power and the Media in Britain
Politics and Culture of the Cold War in Southeast Asia
Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis
Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis (1120)
Science, Place and Victorian Culture
Sources for Postgraduate Research in the Modern Humanities and Social Sciences
The American Public, Washington and the World
The European Powers in the Age of World Wars
The Georgian Spa and Seaside Resort
The Making of Modern Wales
Understanding the Cold War
Working with History

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Contact time

Approximately 10 hours a week in the first two semesters. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.


Assessment for this course is largely essay based, with some optional modules also incorporating report writing and oral assessment.

The Research Methods and Professional Skills in History module will be assessed via an oral assessment of MA conference presentation, an assessed outline of an MA conference presentation, a critical assessment of a departmental research seminar, and a dissertation research proposal.

Successful submission of the MA dissertation in the final semester leads to the award of an MA.


This course will empower you to:

• Increase your critical faculties
• Develop study and research skills
• Develop strong writing and analytical skills as well as the capacity to work independently
• Develop your abilities in structuring and communicating complex ideas clearly, accurately, and authoritatively
• Interrogate historical practices at an advanced level
• Develop practical skills and hands-on experience in researching Modern History


Graduates from the Department of History and Welsh History at Aberystwyth University have expansive and varied careers.

Examples of pathways our previous graduates have taken include:

• Archivists
• Publishers
• Local and national politics
• Tourism
• Heritage administration
• Public administration
• Real Estate Development
• Law
• Civil Service
• Journalism
• Broadcast media
• Armed Forces
• Education
• Management
• Accountancy
• Entrepreneurs
• Academia/further study

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