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Contemporary British History MA

Course Description

Our MA in Contemporary British History offers you the chance to study twentieth-century British history at an advanced level in an outstanding research environment, located in central London. You can choose from a wide range of options taught by well-known experts in the field. Our course is wide-ranging and includes British economic, social, cultural, political, military, imperial, and diplomatic history, as well as the history of British science, technology and medicine.

Key benefits

•One of the best history departments in the world, ranked 5th in the UK (REF 2014) and 17th in the world (QS 2016) for History
•Wide-ranging and multi-faceted approach to contemporary British history, working across and between disciplines, with leading practitioners
•Our unique location in the heart of the British administrative centre with unrivalled access to library and archival resources and easy access to resources in Europe, as well as a wide range of experts (within and beyond the university) in contemporary history and politics
•Opportunity to attend regular research seminars in contemporary British history within the Department and at the Institute of Historical Research, and engage with other public-facing initiatives such as History & Policy, Historians in Residence, and the Strand Group
•Our specialist historiography and methodology course for MA students, including oral history and archival training, and access to an extensive range of expert dissertation supervision in an unrivalled range of topics

-Visit the website: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught-courses/contemporary-british-history-ma.aspx

Course detail

- Description -
Our programme provides training in and experience of historical analysis of issues of importance for the understanding of contemporary Britain. It focuses upon the study of British history across the twentieth century, but assumes that British history must be understood in relation to other countries and regions, and in many dimensions.

Alongside the development of techniques, skills and knowledge relevant to your interests and research needs, the programme aims to equip you for both independent research and analysis in primary and secondary material, and writing at an advanced level, thus fostering your intellectual development and independent learning ability required for your continuing professional and personal development.

It is principally taught by staff within Department of History and includes teaching staff who between them offer expertise in political history, social and cultural history, gender history, religious history, the history of warfare, economic history, imperial history and the history of science, technology and medicine. Students can also apply to take relevant modules from other King’s MA programmes, for example from English, Political Economy, and War Studies, drawing on more specialised approaches to understanding British politics and society in the twentieth century.

- Course purpose -
To provide you with a distinctive programme with which to proceed on to a PhD and to study contemporary British history at an advanced level, preparing you for a career both in academia and/or in journalism, the civil service, consultancy, teaching, publishing and elsewhere.

- Course format and assessment -


If you are a full-time student, you will have six hours of teaching each week through seminars, where you will contribute to the discussion and deliver presentations, and we will expect you to undertake c.34 hours of self-study.

If you are a part-time student, you will have two to four hours of teaching each week through seminars, where you will contribute to the discussion and deliver presentations, and we will expect you to undertake 12 to 24 hours of self-study.

For your dissertation, you will have six hours of one-to-one supervision, and we will expect you to undertake between 500 and 600 hours of self-study.


We will assess you mostly through coursework, although some optional modules may differ. For your dissertation you will write a 15,000-word essay on a research a topic of your choice, working one-to-one with an academic supervisor.

Career prospects

Research in our department or elsewhere; civil service; teaching, journalism and politics.

How to apply: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/taught-courses.aspx

About Postgraduate Study at King’s College London:

To study for a postgraduate degree at King’s College London is to study at the city’s most central university and at one of the top 21 universities worldwide (2016 QS World University Rankings). Graduates will benefit from close connections with the UK’s professional, political, legal, commercial, scientific and cultural life, while the excellent reputation of our MA and MRes programmes ensures our postgraduate alumni are highly sought after by some of the world’s most prestigious employers. We provide graduates with skills that are highly valued in business, government, academia and the professions.

Scholarships & Funding:

All current PGT offer-holders and new PGT applicants are welcome to apply for the scholarships. For more information and to learn how to apply visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/funding/sources

Free language tuition with the Modern Language Centre:

If you are studying for any postgraduate taught degree at King’s you can take a module from a choice of over 25 languages without any additional cost. Visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/mlc

Visit the Contemporary British History MA page on the King’s College London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent overseas qualification) in history, politics or a relevant discipline, e.g. public policy, law or social science.Evidence of achievement of an academic level comparable to at least 2:1 honours standard through past studies, and where previous study, work or experience (for example, in government or NGO service) has made the applicant a suitable candidate, will also be considered. Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements: View Website

Last Updated

06 February 2017

Course Fees

(2017/18) Full time: UK/EU: £9,450. Overseas: £18,420. Part time: UK/EU: £4,725. Overseas: £9,210

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Recipient: King’s College London

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