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Course content

This postgraduate course is designed for students who wish to develop their knowledge and understanding of history across a range of periods, regions and theoretical perspectives.

The MA in History provides students with opportunities to study the subject at an advanced level. It allows students to undertake detailed study of a range of periods and processes – from Britain’s experience of warfare to the material culture of the English country house. By studying particular topics in depth, students are encouraged to think not only about the diversity of the past, but also how history itself is constructed.

Students will develop the skills necessary to understand, critique, utilise and communicate concepts and theories used within the discipline of History. They will acquire methodological skills for historical research, particularly the selection, evaluation and interpretation of primary sources.

The course comprises 120 credits of taught modules and a 60 credit dissertation. Students must take the History Research Methods module and complete a dissertation. The remainder of the programme is made up from a selection of specialist modules (normally three 30 credit modules) which reflect staff research expertise.

Course content

The MA is taught on a full time and part time basis, with the opportunity to complete in one and two years respectively. The year is split into three trimesters.

Full time students take 60 credits in each of the first two trimesters, running from September to January and February to May. They then complete their dissertation over the spring and summer trimesters, from February to September.

Part time students take 60 credits of modules in their first year (normally two 30 credit modules in each of the first two trimesters) and 60 credits of modules in their second years, plus the 60 credit dissertation.

Modules are normally fourteen weeks in duration – alternating fortnightly between evening classes on campus (typically 6pm to 9pm on a weekday) and online learning activities. Students are also encouraged to attend the History Research Seminar, which runs monthly in the evening. All students must take History Research Methods before proceeding to their dissertation.

Course modules (16/17)

-History Research Methods
-British Colonialism and Islamic Politics, c. 1800-1970
-Men at Arms: Masculinity and War in Britain, 1756-1918
-Consumption and the Country House, 1660-1830
-Exploring English Society, 1500-1750
-Medicine and Healing Through the Ages
-Violence and the Law in English Society
-Britain and the First World War
-From Privilege to Pressure: English Landed Society, 1850-1950
-Breeding Supermen: Eugenics in Britain, America and Germany
-Narrating the Nation: Rethinking Modern British History
-Fascism and Anti-Fascism in Britain from 1945 to the Present Day

Methods of Learning

At Master’s level study, we aim to encourage student-led debates and exchange of ideas. Modules will typically alternate fortnightly between classes on campus and online learning activities. Each module incorporates a variety of teaching methods in class, including workshops, student presentations and discussions of primary and secondary materials (such as film, images, documentary sources and online resources). Online learning activities include online seminars, discussion boards, podcasts and blogs.

Full-time students get six hours of timetabled contact per week, part-time students will have three hours. This does not include individual tutorials or dissertation supervision.

Independent study and assessment time equate to approximately 18 hours per week full time or nine hours part time.


One year full time or two years part time.


Assessment is by coursework only, consisting of assessments such as essays, student presentations, book reviews and seminar portfolios.

For the award of Master’s, students must accumulate a total of 180 credits, including a 15,000 word dissertation, undertaken under the supervision of an appropriate member of the course team. A Postgraduate Certificate is awarded for 60 credits and a Postgraduate Diploma for 120 credits.

Facilities and Special Features

-Teaching takes place in evening classes, blended with online learning activities, providing a convenient programme for postgraduate learners.
-Students study a range of specialist topics in-depth with staff who are engaged in research and publication.
-Much of the teaching is centred on the use and interpretation of primary sources, giving students the opportunity to engage in active learning.

Visit the History MA page on the University of Northampton website for more details!





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Recipient: University of Northampton

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