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The History MA offers the best of both taught and research-focused postgraduate courses, enabling students to concentrate on their chosen assessments and individual interests while teaching them the practical skills involved in History and Humanities research, ranging from first-hand experience of conference management, presenting work and writing for publication. It is an ideal stepping-stone to either research at PhD level or a career in teaching, publishing, research or event management. The focus on individual choice, developing your own specialisms, enables you to produce your best possible work.

The staff who teach History here are prominent figures whose research has been featured on numerous media programmes, including the BBC’s My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947. In addition, many of the History team have links with Museums and Galleries and provide consultancy for policy makers, most recently for the House of Lords.

Module detail

Historical Methodology

This module provides an introduction to advanced historiography. It will develop students’ knowledge of traditional historiographical concerns alongside current trends and new directions in writing and thinking about the past. It also aims to enable students to think critically about the way historians have formulated research questions, used sources, and written history, across time and place. It will help students to build up an informed knowledge of recent developments in historical thinking as well as a history of the discipline of History itself. There will be a strong global element to the curriculum.

Topics to be covered will be drawn from the following: nation and state in History; global and transnational histories; empires and colonies; orientalism and occidentalism; social history, structuralism and the Annales; history from below; history in numbers; cultural history and postmodernism; materiality and visual history; gender history; and migration history.

Public History and Heritage

This module provides an introduction to Public History and Heritage. It will develop your knowledge about the debates, theoretical underpinnings and development of public history and heritage in both the UK and the wider world. It will enable you to engage in debates around how public history is constructed, contested and represented in society. It examines the growth in the heritage industry and considers the ways in which the digital age has impacted upon the development and growth of this sector. The module also brings together industry specialists to provide a practical and theoretical approach to teaching and learning on this module.

Conference Training and Presentation

The module is designed to train students in the skills involved in event organisation and presentation. It will involve collaborative as well as individual research skills. Students will be guided through the necessary training in organising a conference, choosing a topic and delivering a relevant paper. Students will be assigned roles (treasurer, programme developer, marketing manager, website designer) and will also present a paper at the conference. Students will be assessed on a reflective essay, outlining their contribution to the management of the conference and a written version of their presentation (including slides).

Project Research Training Module

The module is designed to train students in the skills to design and manage a research project in history, locate relevant primary and secondary sources, devise methodologies to analyse sources and prepare a research proposal. It commences with taught sessions on the nature of sources and archives, and specific methodologies in primary research that will be tailored to the students’ research interest but may include oral history, digital resources, quantitative sources and methods, print and broadcast media, political history archives, local and family history, visual and material histories. Then, it moves on to project preparation skills which include the compilation of bibliographies, critical evaluation of secondary literature and project design. The final outcome will be a detailed project proposal and plan for the dissertation. There will be field visits to local archives and depositories.

Dissertation

The final project will be a sustained piece of writing, amounting to 15,000 words. The piece will draw on research undertaken throughout the year but will provide a new and sustained argument.

History

The aim of the masters programme is to develop your skills from module to module, ensuring that each module develops skills that will contribute to the following module. The course consists of 180 credits with four 30-credit modules followed by a 60-credit dissertation, moving from taught to research-based study. You commence the course with two taught modules, in History research methodologies and in Public History and Heritage. In the second term, you are trained in conference planning and presentation in which you will participate in the organisation and delivery of a Humanities conference in which you may have the opportunity to present your work. Following from these opportunities to present and receive feedback, you will focus on independent work in which you will lay the groundwork for your dissertation. The final part of the course will be devoted to a dissertation of 15,000 words.

The programme is designed to provide for intense immersive learning for those who wish to complete in a year, and for those who want to study part-time over two years, to fit their study around busy and demanding professional and personal lives. 

Graduate careers

An MA is highly respected by employers. Students who have completed a History MA typically have gone into a range of careers, including teaching, marketing and PhD research


Visit the History MA page on the De Montfort University website for more details!

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