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Course content

The aim of this course is to put something very big under the microscope. 

By expanding the scale at which historians would normally operate, our Global History MA will present you with an opportunity to think with growing confidence and imagination about your world, its origins, its complexities and continuous transformations across a uniquely broad geographical and chronological scope.

You will be taught the latest skills, concepts and approaches to the subject, and you will share in the imaginative challenges and intellectual vistas that this exciting new field of history is opening up. It is from this largest of historical perspectives that you will be invited to choose your own specialist research topic, culminating in a supervised 15,000-word 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 two course-specific core modules:

  • Global Histories: Comparisons and Connections
  • The Making of the World: Themes in Global History

Both of these modules are team-taught, drawing on the diverse regional and chronological expertise available in the Department of History. Tutors include: Dr Arezou AzadDr Jakub BenesDr Courtney CampbellDr Michelle ChresfieldDr Simon JacksonDr Christopher MarkiewiczDr Sadiah QureshiDr Daniel ReynoldsDr Lucie RyzovaDr Margaret SmallDr Kate SmithProf. Naomi StandenDr Frank UekotterDr Simon Yarrow; and Dr Shirley Ye.

You will also study two core modules focused on developing your research skills:

  • Historical Methods: Research Skills
  • Research Methods and Skills: Dissertation Preparation

Full descriptions of these four modules are available below.

You will also choose two optional modules, or a double special-subject module, from a wide range available across the Department of History.

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

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.


Visit the Global History - MA page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

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