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Course content

This distinctive full-time MA programme provides you with an opportunity to study the history and historiography of warfare from a multi-disciplinary and multi-period perspective.

A thorough grounding is provided in research methods and in the historiography and economics of warfare, while a wide choice of options complements the broad range of possible dissertation subjects that can be supported by our staff.

Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History first in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Course details

All students will study three core modules:

  • Historical Methods
  • Research Skills: Dissertation Preparation
  • Economics of War

Students who did not take the BA War Studies degree at the University of Birmingham will also study an additional core module: Writing the History of Warfare.

Those who did not take the BA War Studies degree will then take 40 credits of optional modules, while University of Birmingham BA War Studies graduates will take 60 credits of optional modules. These are chosen from:

  • 40-credit special subject modules (which run across the autumn and spring semesters)
  • 20-credit advanced options (taken in the autumn or spring semesters)

See modules tab below for more information on available options.

Assessment

Modules are assessed by written assignment and you will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation.

Learning and teaching

This programme is delivered through our Centre for War Studies, so you’ll be taught by academics who are experts in their field., so you’ll be taught by academics who are experts in their field.

Learning and teaching takes place via seminars, tutorials, work on primary sources, and reading texts on theory and methods.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: History

Birmingham’s History graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills that are highly valued by a range of employers. These skills include: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Some of our History postgraduates go on to use their studies directly, for example in heritage, museums or the armed forces; others use their transferable skills in a range of occupations from finance, to publishing, to fundraising. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: Royal Air Force; Ministry of Defence; University of Birmingham; Big Lottery Fund; Royal Air Force Museum; and University of Oxford.


Visit the History of Warfare - MA page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

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