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    Department of History, Classics and Archaeology Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    History & Archaeology

  • Start Date

    October

  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2 years

  • Course Type

    MA

  • Course Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £4175 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £8350 pa
    Part-time international students: £7600 pa
    Full-time international students: £15200 pa

  • Last Updated

    26 September 2019

This Master's degree in the history of ideas is concerned with excavating and understanding the lived reality of ideas. We consider how the study of the history of ideas can help us to interpret individual thinkers and their ideas and how these have shaped past societies.

The history of ideas is a dynamic and expanding field and this programme enables you to pursue an exciting programme of study, exploring ideas comparatively and in their geographical, social and historical contexts. If you want to understand and investigate the relationship between ideas and actions across a wide variety of historical periods, geographical places, and theoretical and methodological perspectives, then this is the degree for you.

The introductory compulsory module explores key topics and questions within the history of ideas and will introduce you to the conceptual background needed for the historical study of ideas at postgraduate level.

We offer a wide range of option modules, covering topics in periods from classical antiquity to the present day, including ancient philosophy, politics and ethics, Judaism and antisemitism, early modern politics, Darwinism and race in the nineteenth century, psychoanalysis, modernity and technology, and Islam and the politics of fundamentalism. You will also receive training in research skills to enable you to undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the topic of most interest to you.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Arts and humanities at Birkbeck are ranked fifth best in London, 18th in the UK and 87th globally in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), History at Birkbeck was ranked sixth in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent. Of our eligible staff, 94% submitted research, and we achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.
  • Eric Hobsbawm Scholarships are available for Home, EU and Overseas Master’s students in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology.
  • Our 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. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
  • We are also at the heart of academic London with access to world-class research resources. We are five minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, and the Institute of Historical Research - with its internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend - is nearby. The Museum of London is a short tube ride away.
  • Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

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

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