The Public History degree looks at how historical knowledge is produced, mediated and consumed in public spaces beyond the formal education sector.
Why study Public History?Most people's sense of the past comes from public history, through film and television, fiction, museums, heritage sites and memory work.
This course looks at the kinds of pasts that are produced in these popular forms. It examines how they are made and the ways in which they are consumed and understood.
As part of your study you will be able to gain practical experience of working in a cultural heritage site, museum, gallery or archive.
The degree will help to prepare you for a career in public history related fields. It will also show you why the uses we make of the past are not just matters of academic interest.
Why St Mary's?This is the only degree in the UK that is taught in partnership with The National Archives, which is a leading national and international site not just for archiving government documents, but also for engaging with the past in other forms.
You will attend workshops at The National Archives, delivered by their highly experienced staff and drawing on their wealth of original materials.
With the St Mary's campus located in South-West London, we also have excellent opportunities for field visits, and unrivalled links for volunteering and work experience with Hampton Court Palace, Strawberry Hill House, Turner's House, Sir John Soane Museum and Orleans House Gallery.
The degree is taught by historians with a strong record of publication and high-quality teaching.
Course ContentWhat you will study
› Public History
› Making Histories
› History: Spaces and Places
› Memory, History, Testimony
› Research Methods and Dissertation
› Professional Attachment
Please note: All information is correct at the time of publication. However, course content is regularly updated and this may result in some changes, which will be communicated to students before their programme begins.
Teaching and AssessmentModules will be taught using a variety of modes – classroom-based discussions, field work, distance learning, work placements (where appropriate). You will write essays, produce project work, critique different types of source material, and learn to create work using a variety of digital tools. You will also design and deliver presentations about your work. In order to complete the MA, you will produce an extended, independent research project. This will either be a project based on your work placement or a text-based piece of academic research.
This course is designed to help you find a career in fields such as cultural heritage, archives, education and media. It can be used as part of your professional development if you are already employed in these sectors. It will also provide a critical and methodological platform for you if you wish to progress to doctoral level research.