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Contemporary History and International Politics - MA


Course Description

The world needs better politics: better ways of resolving conflicts and distributing resources more efficiently and equitably. How do we improve policy and forge an effective international system when our traditions of political participation are local and national? The politics of the future is encumbered by the problems of the past.

This interdisciplinary MA seeks to address these problems by bringing together politics and contemporary history, with a particular focus on transnational ideas and institutions. Since the history of international politics has been shaped by longstanding, path-dependent effects, an understanding of contemporary history must underpin national and international public policy decisionmaking. This MA investigates the immediacy of present day politics and the collective memory of politics in the past, its successes and failures.

Programme of study

The programme consists of 180 credits: four taught modules (20 credits each), a 20,000-word dissertation (90 credits), and a Research Training module (10 credits).

In the Autumn Term (from mid-October to mid-December) you will take an interdisciplinary Core Module, The Making of the Contemporary World: History, Politics and Ideas since 1945, and a single-discipline Option Module from either department. All students follow a Research Training module across the Autumn and Spring Terms.

In the Spring Term (January to mid-March) you take two single-discipline Option Modules, and undertake preliminary scoping work for your dissertation. All students follow a Research Training module across the Autumn and Spring Terms.

During the Summer Term and over the Vacation, all students will write a research dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a subject of their own choosing and under the supervision of a member of staff, and submitted at the end of the academic year.

Research expertise at York

Staff in the History department are engaged in world-leading research in international and transnational history, with particular expertise in the history of the British Empire, American History, and History and Policy.

In Politics, staff members have produced world-class research in international political economy, international political theory, the politics of development, comparative European politics, international security, Indian politics, African politics, and global governance.

There are also numerous centres and institutes at York that offer seminars, workshops and conferences, including the Centre for Global Health Histories, the Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit, the Centre for Applied Human Rights, and the Centre for the Evolution of Global Business and Institutions. The activities of these centres will inspire you and create new opportunities for advanced research after the MA programme.

Visit the Contemporary History and International Politics - MA page on the University of York website for more details!

Entry Requirements

We welcome applications from both home and international students who wish to pursue postgraduate study in History. Candidates should normally have, or be expected to obtain, a good honours degree or its equivalent in an appropriate subject at undergraduate level. Doctoral candidates are also expected to have completed or be pursuing a Master's course.

Last Updated

17 February 2017

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