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The MA History is innovative, creative, free-thinking, stimulating, diverse and challenging – everything that is distinctive about history at Goldsmiths.

Why study MA History at Goldsmiths?

  • The Department of History’s approach is thematic and interdisciplinary, with staff expertise spanning the histories of Britain, East and West Europe, South Asia and Africa.
  • We are on the cutting-edge of our fields and the student-teacher ratio allows us to devote an unmatched amount of time to individual supervision.
  • Our focus is primary research and we'll encourage you to follow your own historical interests. You'll be able to develop your specific subject interests through a range of option modules and the dissertation.
  • You'll develop your research skills and your understanding of key debates and methods in historiography.
  • In addition to the compulsory core module (Explorations and Debates) and the Research Skills modules, you'll choose two options, one of which, if you wish, can be from another department at Goldsmiths or from the wide-ranging intercollegiate list (a list of MA modules available at other colleges of the University of London).
  • You'll end the programme by writing a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your own choice, based on primary research. The process of writing the dissertation includes participating in, organising, and presenting at, the department's dissertation conference.

Compulsory modules

You take the following two compulsory modules:

  • Explorations and Debates in History
  • Research Skills

Option modules

You also take two thematic option modules. You could:

  • choose both options from those offered by the Department of History
  • choose one departmental option and another from a different Goldsmiths department
  • choose one departmental option and another from the list of 30+ options available each year in other History departments that participate in the University of London MA Intercollegiate Sharing Scheme

The Department of History options encompass a diverse regional, conceptual and methodological range to investigate religious, cultural and political history in both the Western and non-Western world from the 15th century to the present. All options are based on the tutors’ current research, and currently include:

  • Ethnic Conflict and Reconciliation in Modern Europe
  • Italian Terrorism in the 20th Century
  • Islam and Christianity in Modern Africa
  • The History of Emotions
  • Visual Culture and Empire in Early Modern Venice
  • Religious and Political Controversies in Early Modern Europe
  • Life in the Trenches: Perspectives on British Military History, 1914-18
  • Healing, Magic and Mindfulness on the Silk Roads
  • A History of Violence
  • Religious and Political Controversies in Early Modern Europe

You also undergo training in Research Skills, which develops expertise in a variety of methodologies including the use of oral, visual and material, as well as textual, sources.

There will be a one-day, student-led, interdisciplinary research workshop to share ideas about projects and methodologies, and gain experience in event organisation.

And you'll complete a 15,000-word dissertation, based on primary research.

Download the programme specification, for the 2019-20 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.


This MA develops a range of transferable skills which are highly valued in the jobs market. These include advanced research and analytical expertise; increased independence of thought; the ability to marshal, evaluate and communicate, in written and oral form, complex information and ideas; project management; teamwork and workshop organisation.


Graduate students from the department have continued to careers in museums and galleries, archives, journalism, charities, university and arts administration, local government and teaching as well as doctoral research.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Visit the History - MA page on the Goldsmiths, University of London website for more details!





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