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Course content

An MA in International History will equip you with knowledge and a skill set which will improve your ability to function within an increasingly interconnected world, and as such it is likely to improve your employability, particularly with respect to foreign-service, non-governmental organisation, and inter-governmental organisation careers, in a way that traditional history postgraduate qualifications will not. You will be taught by staff with a broad range of expertise and research interests in international history, in accordance with a philosophy that emphasises the development of students as practising historians. The programme includes access to a visiting speaker series given by notable historians on campus, and opportunities for you to contribute your own work to various forums, including an integrated MA International History seminar series.

Full Time is for a duration of 12 months; Part Time is for a duration of 24 months.

Contact hours: Full-time: 6 hours per week during terms 1 and 2; Part-time: 3 hours per week during terms 1 and 2; no weekend teaching.

Course structure

You will study for the MA in International History through a combination of taught modules, independent study, writing and research. Throughout the programme you will have the opportunity to emphasise your particular interests in international history through your choice of seminar and coursework assignments, and through the selection and development of an extended piece of independent research and critical writing on a topic of your choice. This will enable you to demonstrate the full range of attributes required of the professional historian short of the PhD. While the writing-up of this project will take place at the end of your programme, you will begin the process of topic selection and preparation much earlier, and your research for the dissertation will take place in train with your other modules. Taken as a whole, the programme will enable you to better understand this seminal period in international history, offer you a window on the contemporary world, and foster the development of high-order generic transferable skills.

How will I study?

You will experience an integrated mix of contact teaching, supported open learning and independent study. In the classroom you will take part in small seminar discussion groups and one-to-one tutorials with your lecturers. You will prepare for these sessions by examining specified bodies of relevant material, much of which will be made available via a Virtual Learning Environment; this will provide you with a shared launching point for discussion in the seminars.

You can take our MA in International History as either a full-time or a part-time programme, whichever suits you best. The programme is designed to provide you with a continuity of learning and teaching whichever route you choose to take. If you choose the full-time programme, you take two modules per term, alongside the dissertation, over one academic year. If you prefer to study part-time then you will take one module per term, alongside the dissertation, over two academic years.

Teaching and learning

On all of the taught modules on the MA International History students will be taught in small three-hour student-led workshops. Students will be required to read a number of essential readings as well as primary documents in preparation for each workshop. Moreover, selected students will be assigned tasks to prepare in advance of the workshops and then they will lead discussions on the topic under scrutiny. Time in each workshop will also be devoted to discussing student coursework and one-to-one tutorials will be offered to students. For the Research Dissertation students are assigned an expert supervisor with whom they will meet regularly during Terms 2 and 3.

Assessment and feedback

Main Currents in International History

Historiographical Essay (2500 words): 50% of assessment

  • Oral Presentation: 25% of assessment
  • Written Proposal (2000 words): 25% of assessment

Imperial Crisis; Decolonisation and the Post-colonial World; Peril and Progress : Security in the Post-1945 World

  • Research Essay (5000 words): 100% of assessment

Research Dissertation

  • Research Dissertation (15000 words): 100% assessment

For all modules written feedback is provided on Moodle three weeks after the submission deadline. You are also invited to book tutorials with the Module Director.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Learning support

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of learning support services to assist students throughout their studies.


Visit the International History (MA) page on the York St John University website for more details!

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