Royal Holloway’s Holocaust Research Centre is the leading academic centre of its kind in Europe and we are internationally recognised for our research, teaching, public advocacy and creative work.
The Research Centre’s mission is to promote research into the Holocaust, its origins and aftermath, and to examine the extent to which genocide, war and dictatorship can be understood as defining elements in the history of the twentieth century. It is an international forum bringing together researchers working on different aspects of the Holocaust in a range of disciplines, including history, literary and language studies, film and media studies, philosophy and sociology.
The MA Holocaust Studies is taught by staff from several different Royal Holloway Departments, including English, Modern Languages and History. Courses are taught both at the Wiener Library in central London and the Royal Holloway Egham campus.
- The Holocaust Research Centre has a very active research culture which features lectures from the leading figures in the field. Recent speakers have included Robert Jan van Pelt, Ulrich Herbert, Reinhard Rürup, Dina Porat, Saul Friedländer, Geoffrey Hartman and Jeffrey Herff.
- We host several workshops each year on cutting edge research and regular international conferences.
- Our core staff, which includes internationally recognised scholars Peter Longerich, Dan Stone, Colin Davis, Zoe Waxman and Robert Eaglestone, have published over 30 books in the last five years with major presses and three books have won international prizes.
Department research and industry highlights
In responding to the Holocaust we research in a range of disciplines, including history, literary studies, theory film and media studies and philosophy, and welcome graduates in any of these areas. We especially welcome students with interdisciplinary projects.
The research of the members of the Centre has been supported by grants from Leverhulme, the AHRC, the British Academy, DAAD, Humboldt, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and elsewhere.
Course content and structure
You will study one core course unit, three elective units and undertake a dissertation.
Core course units: - History and Historiography of the Holocaust This unit will introduce you to the history of the Holocaust and will focus on major historical debates.
- Dissertation The dissertation must be between 14,000 - 16,000 words and is mainly written in the third term and the summer (deadline 1st September). Students are expected to develop a topic together with their supervisor(s) during the Spring Term. Topics can be taken from various areas, like history and presentation of the Holocaust or its impact on literature, culture, media and philosophy.
Elective course units: - Holocaust Literature You will consider various cultural representations of the Holocaust in British and American literature and in particular the relationship between history, testimony and literature.
- Post-Holocaust Philosophy This unit looks at the response in European philosophy to the murder of the Jews. To what extent does the Holocaust render previous philosophy redundant?
- Documents of the Holocaust You will study in depth crucial documents regarding the Nazi persecution of the Jews and the “Final Solution”. All documents will be presented in English translations.
- Faith, Politics, and the Jews of Europe, 1848-1918 This unit explores the emergence of conservative Jewish movements opposed to assimilation and the response to anti-Jewish movements and ideologies from the late 1870s onwards.
On completion of the course graduates will have advanced knowledge and understanding of: - the most important aspects of the history and historiography of the Holocaust - significant questions of schools of culture, philosophy and representation arising from the Holocaust - methods and concepts of various disciplines (historical, literary, philosophical and others).
Assessment is carried out by coursework and a dissertation.
Employability & career opportunities
Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different areas, including careers in academia, charities (such as the Holocaust Educational Trust) and the media. This course also equips you with a solid foundation for continued PhD studies.