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History & Archaeology×

University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in British & Irish History

We have 4 University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in British & Irish History

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Have you ever wondered how the cities, towns and counties of the West Midlands developed? . Do you want to find out about the changing experiences of men, women and children and how they influenced the history of Britain as well as their locality? . Read more

Have you ever wondered how the cities, towns and counties of the West Midlands developed? 

Do you want to find out about the changing experiences of men, women and children and how they influenced the history of Britain as well as their locality? 

Our part-time MA in West Midlands History provides an opportunity for study if you are interested in any aspect of the region such as, for example, religious change, the Civil War, industrialisation and women’s history. The course is delivered by Saturday schools and taught by leading scholars. Students come from many different backgrounds and previous knowledge of history is not required. It is suitable for recent graduates and those who are retired, semi-retired, experience disabilities or have family and work commitments which make full-time study difficult.

Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History first in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Course details

The programme is broadly chronological and covers the history of the region from the 11th century to the end of the 20th.

It does not aim for a complete century-by-century coverage but will allow you to gain a  detailed knowledge of key aspects of social, political, industrial, religious and cultural history.

You will study six core modules (full descriptions available below):

  •  People and Places in the West Midlands c. 1000-1500
  •  Reformation, Social Change and Civil War: The West Midlands in the 16th and 17th Centuries
  •  Transforming the Region: Economy, Society and Politics in the West Midlands in the 18th and 19th Centuries
  •  Turmoil and Change: Economy, Society and Politics in the West Midlands in the 20th century
  •  Sources and Research Techniques for the History of the West Midlands in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods
  •  Sources and Research Techniques for the History of the West Midlands in the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries

To achieve the MA, you will need to complete all of these elements, totalling 180 credits; each module is worth 20 credits (120 in total) and the dissertation is worth 60 credits. However, if you wish to leave the course early, upon successful completion of 60 credits you will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate, and for 120 credits you will receive a Postgraduate Diploma. 

Assessment

You will take three modules per year, each of which is assessed by a 4,000-word essay. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice, under the supervision of one of the members of the Centre, using the many archival resources available to the region.   

Learning and Teaching

The course is delivered through the Centre for West Midlands History, which promotes research into the history of the West Midlands, the publication of books, articles and electronic media which explore the region's past and the sharing of knowledge between academics, independent scholars and heritage professionals. 

Members of staff in the Centre have expertise in archaeology, history of art, social science, the history of medicine, education and heritage as well as history, so you’ll be taught by experts in the field.

The course is delivered as Saturday schools (three per term), from 10.00am to 5.30pm, organised around lectures, seminars, small group workshops and field trips. A variety of ways of learning are pursued to help students develop the knowledge and study skills needed for success. Opportunities for individual tutorial support are provided outside of the times of the day schools.  

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: History

Birmingham’s History graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills that are highly valued by a range of employers. These skills include: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Some of our History postgraduates go on to use their studies directly, for example in heritage, museums or the armed forces; others use their transferable skills in a range of occupations from finance, to publishing, to fundraising. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: Royal Air Force; Ministry of Defence; University of Birmingham; Big Lottery Fund; Royal Air Force Museum; and University of Oxford.



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The MRes degree is a research programme with some provision for taught modules. Read more

The MRes degree is a research programme with some provision for taught modules.

It is aimed at those who wish to move beyond taught work and are prepared to engage in research in depth for a substantial postgraduate thesis, but who also wish to take modules that help develop research and related skills, and to study broader historical subjects with other postgraduates.

Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History first in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Course details

After consultation with your academic supervisor, you can pursue a research thesis in any aspect of British or European history, including European discovery of the wider world, political, military or diplomatic history, or the history of early modern religion, culture, society or ideas.

You willl study three taught modules:

  • Historical Methods
  • Writing Early Modern History: Sources and Approaches 
  • Research Preparation 

You will then complete a 20,000-word thesis on an agreed topic which relates to early modern history and which can be appropriately supervised by a member of academic staff.

Assessment

Modules are assessed in various ways – by examination, coursework, presentation, transcription and attendance. 

Learning and teaching

Past and current MRes topics for the 20,000 word thesis have included:

  • Hunting for hidden meaning: an analysis of the history, interpretation and presentation of seventeenth-century plasterwork at St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall
  • Colonial failure in the New World: A French and German comparison
  • Dutch and English competition for the Muscovy Trade in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
  • Harnessing Nature: Gardens and Science in John Evelyn’s England
  • Susan Countess of Denbigh and Women at the Caroline Court
  • "Lioness”: Ladies-in-Waiting and their careers at the Tudor Court, 1509-1547
  • The “Black Book” and the politics of Elizabeth Warwick
  • Commercial theatre management in the age of Shakespeare
  • Religious Persecution in Henrician England

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: History

Birmingham’s History graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills that are highly valued by a range of employers. These skills include: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Some of our History postgraduates go on to use their studies directly, for example in heritage, museums or the armed forces; others use their transferable skills in a range of occupations from finance, to publishing, to fundraising. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: Royal Air Force; Ministry of Defence; University of Birmingham; Big Lottery Fund; Royal Air Force Museum; and University of Oxford.



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Twentieth century Britain is one of the most exciting areas of modern history. With new documents being released every year and new archives being added to all the time, new researchers are finding an incredible range of topics to explore, examine and reassess. Read more

Twentieth century Britain is one of the most exciting areas of modern history. With new documents being released every year and new archives being added to all the time, new researchers are finding an incredible range of topics to explore, examine and reassess.

Ideal for students interested in questions about Britain’s recent past, this course is designed to develop skills in critical analysis and academic research, enabling you to acquire research skills, as well as understand and apply research methodologies to the study of twentieth century British history.

Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History first in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Course details

MRes programmes offer a unique opportunity to deepen and develop your knowledge of the subject by combining taught elements with research training and an individual research project. They can lead to doctoral research, and will also provide the chance for you to undertake scholarly research as an enrichment of undergraduate study or for career development purposes.

The Twentieth Century British History MRes includes three taught modules:

  • Historical Methods 
  • Sites and Sources in Modern British Studies 
  • Postgraduate Research Skills: Historical Studies

You will then complete a 20,000-word thesis on an agreed topic which relates to the history of twentieth century Britain and which can be appropriately supervised by a member of academic staff. If you are interested in studying for this degree, you should contact the Department of History with a proposed topic of research so that a suitable supervisor can be found. We strongly encourage you to do this in advance of making your formal application, if at all possible: the sooner you have a clear idea of your basic research field, the better. The research interests and areas of supervision offered by staff in twentieth century British history are broad and embrace all aspects of modern Britain.

Learning and teaching

The Twentieth Century British History MRes is taught by members of the Birmingham Centre for Modern and Contemporary History (BCMCH) and the Centre for Modern British Studies, which provides an intellectual forum for academic staff and postgraduates working within the field, and provides a base for research both for its members and in collaboration with other institutions.

BCMCH draws together the expertise of the School of History and Cultures, the Modern Languages Department, American and Canadian Studies and the Centre for Russian and East European Studies (CREES) meaning that you’ll be able to gain insight from a range of academics and peers from across the University. It also supports a research seminar series of invited speakers throughout the academic year as well as an annual lecture series and various informal reading groups. 

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: History

Birmingham’s History graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills that are highly valued by a range of employers. These skills include: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Some of our History postgraduates go on to use their studies directly, for example in heritage, museums or the armed forces; others use their transferable skills in a range of occupations from finance, to publishing, to fundraising. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: Royal Air Force; Ministry of Defence; University of Birmingham; Big Lottery Fund; Royal Air Force Museum; and University of Oxford.



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This programme provides an intellectually rigorous introduction to Modern British Studies through two core modules and your choice of optional modules. Read more

This programme provides an intellectually rigorous introduction to Modern British Studies through two core modules and your choice of optional modules.

You will benefit from the expertise of a large number of British historians at Birmingham, who will both teach on the programme and provide expert supervision for your dissertation.

Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History first in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Course details

You will study four core modules [see full descriptions below]:

  • New Directions in Modern British Studies
  • Sites and Sources in Modern British Studies
  • Historical Methods: Research Skills
  • Research Skills: Dissertation Preparation

You will also choose optional modules to the value of 40 credits (two single modules or one double module). These can be taken from the Department of History or from other programmes offered in the School of History and Cultures, with the approval of the Programme Director. An indicative list of options within History can be found below.

Assessment

Modules are typically assessed by written assignment. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Learning and teaching

Learning and teaching on this course takes place via seminars, tutorials, reading texts on theory and methods and your own research on primary sources.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: History

Birmingham’s History graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills that are highly valued by a range of employers. These skills include: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Some of our History postgraduates go on to use their studies directly, for example in heritage, museums or the armed forces; others use their transferable skills in a range of occupations from finance, to publishing, to fundraising. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: Royal Air Force; Ministry of Defence; University of Birmingham; Big Lottery Fund; Royal Air Force Museum; and University of Oxford.



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