With military history one of the fastest-growing areas of academic study, the University of Buckingham introduced a one-year MA in Military History, by research, in 2009. This is a groundbreaking programme: the first one-year Research MA in Military History, and the first with an integral course of seminars by visiting lecturers of international repute. The programme was enthusiastically reviewed by The Financial Times, which noted that “Intellectually curious professionals are signing up for a new course that gives them the opportunity to exchange thoughts on security, diplomacy and the armed forces over dinner with stellar historians and military top brass.”
The programme is London-based and directed by one of the country’s finest military historians, Professor Saul David. The lectures offered by the Course Director will be supplemented by a series of ten guest seminars by some of the most eminent scholars and authors in the field, including Professors N.A.M. Rodger, Hew Strachan, Richard Overy, Tim Blanning and Gary Sheffield, Antony Beevor and Sir Max Hastings.
The programme will run from October to September, with thirteen research seminars – three on research techniques and ten by guest lecturers.
The MA does not offer systematic instruction in the facts of history; instead, the emphasis is on independent research.
At the heart of the Buckingham MA is the close working relationship between student and supervisor. While the final thesis must be an independent work, it is the supervisor who offers advice on refining the topic (if necessary), on primary sources, on secondary reading, on research techniques and on writing the final text (which should be not less than 20,000 words). Supervisors and students will meet frequently throughout the year, and not less than twice a term; and the supervisor shall always be the student’s primary contact for academic advice and support.
This is a London-based course. The seminars in 2016-17 will be held at Caledonian Club, 9 Halkin Street, London SW1X 7DR (http://www.caledonianclub.com). The nearest London Underground stations are Hyde Park (Piccadilly Line) or Victoria (Victoria, District and Circle Lines). The introductory classes will be at the University’s London headquarters in Gower Street (details below).
Each seminar (approximately 90 minutes, 18:45-20:15) is followed by a post-seminar dinner, also at the Cavalry and Guards Club, for those who wish to attend, where there will be an opportunity to continue the seminar discussion in an informal environment. Attendance at these dinners is entirely at the choice of the student, and their cost is not covered by the tuition fee.
For those wishing to attend the evening research seminar programme, but unable to devote the time to the coursework or to register for the MA degree, there is the option of becoming an Associate Student. This status will enable the student to attend the ten research seminars and to meet the guest lecturers, in the first six months of the programme, but does not require the submission of written work. Associate Students are not registered for, and do not receive, the MA degree.