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History (Graduate Certificate)

Course Description

Exploring the past is exciting, thought-provoking and sometimes revelatory. This postgraduate course in history will help you develop the skills needed to become a historian, with a taught foundation module in the first term that will acquaint you with the theory, tools, techniques and research skills of historical analysis. We will look at the varied primary sources through which we study the past, from laws and official reports to diaries, letters, memoirs, newspapers, oral testimony, paintings, cartoons, music, film, architecture, landscape, archaeological remains and the internet. We will consider how a secondary source differs from a primary one and the problems involved in interpreting a source and ascertaining its truthfulness and reliability.

Thereafter, the course offers 2 routes for you to choose between: the first route is research focused and will support you in producing a dissertation of 7000 words on the historical subject that most interests you; the taught route lets you select 1 module from any of the extensive range of option modules offered by the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology.

This programme is ideal for those who wish to pursue their passion for the past, those who want to experience postgraduate historical study without committing to a full Master’s degree, and those who are changing direction and moving to history from a different undergraduate subject.

Visit the website http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/2016/postgraduate/programmes/GCGHISTO_C/

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/news/ref-results/), which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), History at Birkbeck was ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent. 94% of our eligible staff submitted research and we achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.

Read about Birkbeck research that crosses disciplines and focuses on pressing questions within the social sciences and humanities (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/sshp/research).

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

- Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.

- This postgraduate course in history provides the opportunity to pursue your passion for history and undertake independent study and research in the time periods and subject areas that most interest you.

- If you have a degree in a subject other than history, but would like to study history at postgraduate level, this course is ideal for making the conversion between subjects.

- We are located 5 minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. Other nearby specialist centres of research include the Institute of Archaeology, the Institute of Classical Studies and the Institute of Historical Research, all of which have internationally renowned library collections and run seminars that you can attend.

- Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/history/) is ranked in the top 20 nationally and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.

- Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, delivering stimulating teaching.

- The department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.

- Find out more about why you should study with us (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/history/prospective-students/why-study-with-us).

- Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

- Watch videos of our postgraduate students discussing their experience of studying at Birkbeck (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/mybirkbeck/get-ahead-stay-ahead/student-experience-videos).

Course structure

To gain the graduate certificate, you must successfully complete modules worth 60 credits.

You take the module Foundations of History: Sources and Debates (worth 30 credits), and then choose either the:
- Research route: work towards a dissertation of 7000 words (worth 30 credits), or the
- Taught route: take 1 undergraduate module from those on offer from the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology (worth 30 credits).

Foundations of History: Sources and Debates

Teaching and assessment

This programme aims to encourage and support students in independent learning and original research. This will be facilitated through a mixture of seminars and one-to-one supervision supporting independent study.

Assessment for Foundations of History: Sources and Debates consists of 1 essay of 2500-3000 words and either a second essay of 2500-3000 words or a literature review essay of 2500 words. Students on the research route submit a dissertation of 6000-7000 words.

Careers and employability

Graduates can pursue careers in research and archiving, education, the heritage industry, publication and the media, the charity sector, and journalism. Possible professions include historian, higher education lecturer, or archivist. This degree provides a range of transferable skills, which may be useful in becoming a journalist, heritage manager, politician’s assistant, academic librarian, or museum/gallery curator.

Find out more about these professions (http://www.prospects.ac.uk/options_with_your_subject.htm).

Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/prospective/careers-and-employability/department-of-history-classics-and-archaeology).

We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bbk.ac.uk/prospective/postgraduate/apply

Visit the History (Graduate Certificate) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Open to students who have a first degree (BA/BSc). If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

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