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Course content

The MRes in Historical Research equips students with a range of specialist and transferable research skills, as well as an understanding of theoretical approaches to history.

Students undertake both assessed work and independent research in the historical issues and controversies that interest them most. The core of both programmes consists of dedicated research skills training on a wide range of sources, methods and disciplines, including architecture, material culture, archaeology and literature. Field trips and museum, library and archive visits form a key part of the training programme.

The programme offers a combination of taught components and supervised independent research designed to provide graduates with a foundation for a range of careers, within and beyond academia.

They provide an ideal platform for entry to a PhD programme and research-based careers such as library and information sciences. The 30,000-word dissertation of the MRes allows students to undertake more in-depth research on a subject of their choosing.

The courses are based at the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) in central London. The course director is Dr Mark Merry (Centre for Metropolitan History, IHR).


Credit value: 180

Module 1: Historical Research Skills
Module 2: History in Context
Module 3: Research Pathway
Supervised Dissertation (30,000 words)

Students take the core ‘Historical Research Skills’ and ‘History in Context’ modules, which introduce them to ideas and methods involved in historical research from the medieval period to the twenty-first century.

Further skills-based training is provided by specialised courses at the Institute. Module 3 involves the selection of a research pathway that will prepare students for the dissertation through a series of classes discussing research design, sources, historiography and methodologies. Module 4 is a 30,000-word dissertation.

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


The MRes is assessed through essays, a short report on a research training course, a 15-minute oral presentation and a dissertation.

Mode of study

12 months full-time or 24 months part-time.

Visit the Historical Research (MRes) page on the University of London, School of Advanced Study website for more details!





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Recipient: University of London, School of Advanced Study

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