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Masters Degrees (Witchcraft)

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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

Modules

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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The. MRes in Economic and Social History. will allow you to focus specifically on economic and social history and its methods of analysis, while giving you the opportunity to study other topics in international history, religious and cultural history, political history, naval or gender history. Read more

The MRes in Economic and Social History will allow you to focus specifically on economic and social history and its methods of analysis, while giving you the opportunity to study other topics in international history, religious and cultural history, political history, naval or gender history.

You can select from option modules that include subjects such as ritual in the Middle Ages; witchcraft and the supernatural in the 16th and 17th centuries; 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 MRes provides essential training for PhD study in History, as well as an opportunity to develop particular interests in the history of different countries and periods through taught modules and a 25,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choosing within the MRes programme subject area.

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.

Optional modules

Some examples of the optional modules which may be available are; Qualitative Methods in Social Research; Applied Quantitative Data Analysis; Philosophy of the Social Sciences ; Gender, Society and Culture in Early Modern England; Medieval Research Skills; Interpreting the Middle Ages; Supervised Independent Study in the Humanities; Supervised Independent Study in the Humanities; British Naval Power in the Era of Sail 1660-1815; Approaches to War and Society in the Twentieth Century; Medicine in Medieval and Early Modern England; Everyday Life in the Soviet Union; War 1450 to the Presen and Empires and Globalisation, c.1800-2000.

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand



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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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Whether you’re interested in the making of the modern world or witchcraft through the ages, at Essex we give you the freedom to explore the history that excites you. Read more
Whether you’re interested in the making of the modern world or witchcraft through the ages, at Essex we give you the freedom to explore the history that excites you. Our geographic spread, topic diversity and social reach give you an unrivalled opportunity to pursue your historical passions and discover new ones.

Our MA History is rigorous, flexible and wide-ranging, so that you can to choose the modules and thesis topic which best suit your interests.

Alongside four optional modules which enable you to explore the latest in historical research in our specialist areas, you also study a practical module in research techniques, and write a 20,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Historical research at Essex concentrates on the period from 1500 to the present, and covers a wide geographical area that includes British and European history, as well as Latin America, the USA, China, Russia and Africa.

Our Department of History has developed a strong research and teaching profile, with the majority of our research rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014). We provide you with opportunities to explore local history, and have strong links with the Essex Record Office, one of the best county record offices in the UK.

Alternatively you can focus your study on a more specific area by following one of the following pathways:

Public History Pathway
Further your understanding of, and expertise in, a variety of public history contexts, ranging from museums and documentary films to conflict resolution and computer games.

This pathway makes the most of our status as an institution at the cutting edge of communicating history to the general public, and will involve classes led by scholars who are currently involved in documentary, heritage, oral history and school curriculum projects.

You will be given the opportunity to create, participate in, and/or critique a current piece of public history as part of your coursework assessment on the Public History Workshop module, and your dissertation will demonstrate an engagement with the methods and/or theories of public history, analyse an example of public history, or be an example of public history.

Cultural and Social History Pathway

Explore the varied ways in which understandings of the relationship between evidence and interpretation, language and the material world, economies and identities, have been challenged and changed by the ‘cultural turn’.

This pathway offers you modules which deal with a range of areas, themes and periods, placing you at the cutting-edge of historical thought on issues such as gender, race, class, consumption, modernity, mentalities and identities.

Local and Regional History Pathway
Local (or micro) history, as well as community and family studies, has played an increasingly important part in the development of historical analysis.

We reflect on these developments, drawing on the rich national and comparative literature in these fields, with a primary focus on the period from 1800 to the 20th century.

You also design and conduct a substantial independent study on a chosen historical topic or in the field of local, community or family history.

Our expert staff

Our staff are among world leaders in their field, and our enthusiasm for our subject is infectious. Our flexible course is combined with a supportive structure which helps you to pursue the modules best-suited to your interests.

We take the time to get to know you as an individual, welcome you into our scholarly community, and value your views.

Specialist facilities

-We have several Special Collections in history, including the Essex Society for Archaeology and History Library, the Harsnett Collection, the Hervey Benham Oral History Sound Archive, the Bensusan Collection, and the Colchester Medical Society Library
-Access the UK Data Archive, a national service provider digital resources for historians, which is particularly strong in 19th and 20th-century economic and social history
-Attend an exciting programme of events
-Access a variety of textbooks and journals in our Albert Sloman Library which houses materials on Latin America, Russia and the US that are of national significance

Your future

We have excellent links with the research community, both in the UK and worldwide, so many of our students have gone on to teach in higher education institutions. Others have found employment in archives, research, managing research funds, other forms of educational provision, the Civil Service, the National Health Service, and management.

Within our Department of History, we offer supervision for PhD, MPhil and MA by Dissertation. Themes of particular research interest include:
-Class, race and gender formation
-Nationalism
-Wars and revolutions
-International relations and oil diplomacy
-The history of medicine
-The history of crime
-Popular culture and consumption
-Slave societies
-The history of ideas and print culture
-The history of the Roma and Sinti in Europe
-Historical censuses and surveys

Our University is one of only 11 AHRC-accredited Doctoral Training Centres in the UK. This means that we offer funded PhD studentships which also provide a range of research and training opportunities.

We also work with our Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Dissertation
-Research Methods in History
-Race and Class in the United States, South Africa and Britain: Select Topics (optional)
-Illness and Culture in 18th-And 19th-Century Europe (optional)
-The Public History Workshop (optional)
-Gender in Early Modern Europe c.1500- c.1800 (optional)
-Approaches to Cultural and Social History (optional)
-A Global History of Food, c.1400 - c.1750 (optional)
-The Making of Consumer Culture: Britain 1780-1960 (optional)
-Narcotic Culture: A History of Drugs (From the Sixteenth to the Twenty First Century) (optional)
-Decency and Disorder: Institutions in Essex 1700-1900
-The Patterns of Victorian Life: Reconstructing Nineteenth-Century Communities (optional)
-The Uses of Space in Early Modern History (optional)

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Continue your studies with a top history department and develop under the guidance of world leading academics. Read more

Continue your studies with a top history department and develop under the guidance of world leading academics.

We are officially ranked first among all History departments in the country for the social and cultural impact of our research. Our world leading experts publish widely, have won prizes for their work, and actively contribute to national and international television and radio. Our most recent publications include The Oxford Illustrated History of Witchcraft and Magic (Oxford University Press), Harnessing the Power of the Criminal Corpse (Palgrave) and Maladies and Medicine, 1540-1740 (Pen & Sword).

Our MA programme takes an innovative approach by connecting the local to the global. The study of everyday life is central to the identity of the History Group, and this is reflected in the range of modules that we offer. Covering the period from 1550 to the present, you will explore the impact of big historical forces on everyday lives.     

You will take two subject modules in the first semester.  Money-makers, Murderers, Medics and Mothers uncovers the multifaceted nature of women’s lives in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In Local and Global you will examine the impact of the development of consumer societies on communities and cultures from the 18th to the 21st centuries. In the second semester, you will explore the effects of major changes in global history on individual lives and communities in Britain and other parts of the world in History from the Street

Alongside these subject modules, you will take two research methods modules. Semester A will support you as you transition from undergraduate to postgraduate studies. Semester B will train you to write for different audiences and help you prepare for your dissertation. 

The Taught MA programme culminates with a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice, supervised by an expert in the field. 

If you choose to study part-time over two years, you will take one subject module and one research methods module in semester A and one subject module in semester B of year one. In year two, you would take one subject module in semester A and one research module, as well as writing your dissertation.

Employability underpins what we do. You will further hone the transferable skills that you have begun to develop as an undergraduate. We also train you to write for different audiences, helping to diversify your writing style. There is also the opportunity to work with our renowned staff-student Oral History team, which has taken students to Australia and produced a BBC Radio 4 documentary. The documentary was commended at the 2018 Royal Historical Society Public History Awards. 

As one of our MA students you will benefit from being part of a diverse and active academic community. We see our postgraduate students as fellow researchers, and we place a great deal of importance on sharing and developing skills. You will have access to our ‘History café’, an informal get together before classes at which you can socialise with other postgraduates in Humanities. There is a vibrant PhD and Early Career Researchers Network attached to our Everyday Lives in War engagement centre. We hold a dedicated postgraduate session at our annual staff-student weekend at Cumberland Lodge, a former royal residence in Windsor Great Park. We encourage our postgraduates to attend IHR seminars that are convened by members of the History Group, and the Group also has institutional membership of the IHR.

Why choose this course?

Top 5 reasons to study the MA History at the University of Hertfordshire

We give you:

  1. An exceptional academic team, conducting world-leading research,
  2. Access to established links to heritage organisations and history groups through our renowned Heritage Hub, award-winning Oral History Team, and AHRC-funded Everyday Lives in War public engagement centre,
  3. The opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic about which you are passionate,
  4. CV-building potential through developing new writing styles and extra-curricular activities.
  5. The option to study part-time.

Careers

Our graduates in History go on to pursue a variety of careers, including teaching, law, the heritage industry and museums, and the civil service. The History Group has good connections with several school and sixth-form teachers of History, both from amongst our alumni and our collaborators on pedagogical research projects. Through the Heritage Hub and also the Professional Doctorate in Heritage, we also have established connections with heritage organisations and employers such as John Lewis.

Teaching methods

Teaching will be in small group seminars on weekday early evenings, led by members of the History group with expertise in the field. We may also offer some Saturday sessions for the Research Methods II module.  We also hope to offer a 'History cafe' before seminars for all postgraduates to meet and discuss study skills.

Presentation of research in different formats will be an essential part of the Research Methods modules, offering a ‘hands on history’ approach that develops students’ skills in presenting to the public in accessible formats as well as in standard academic formats. This is a distinctive feature of the programme that will enable employability skills for those looking to use the MA as a stepping stone in their professional career and who may not be going on to further postgraduate study.

Is this course for me?

We have all sorts of students studying our MA programmes here in the School of Humanities such as:

  • graduates who have just finished their BA degree,
  • people looking for a career change or break,
  • teachers looking to upskill their subject knowledge,
  • people looking for intellectual fulfilment upon retirement,
  • professionals in the heritage industry interested in deepening their knowledge and transferable skills (if that's you, you can also then consider our unique Professional Doctorate in Heritage).

Work Placement

Work placements are not part of the programme, although extra-curricular opportunities available to students also include participation in the Oral History team, Heritage i-teams, Heritage Hub activities with a range of employers in the museums and heritage industry, and relevant training, including that currently provided by the Share Museums East programme.



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