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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.
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 ([email protected]).
Research interests in the Department of History and Classics include:
• 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
• 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
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.
You take the following two compulsory modules:
You also take two thematic option modules. You could:
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.
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.
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:
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.
- 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 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.
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.
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.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.