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Public History - MA


Course Description

The MA in Public History offers students cutting edge interdisciplinary academic training together with exciting opportunities for hands-on experience in the cultural sphere through a placement in the heritage sector. The programme is designed to give students an understanding of the critical issues in public history and to analyse the variety of changing ways that the public engage with the past through not only traditional media, but also new digital and rich media products.

Programme of study

The programme consists of three taught modules (20 credits each), a public history placement (20 credits), a 20,000-word dissertation (90 credits), and a Research Training module (10 credits). These make up the 180 credits that is normal for an MA in the UK higher education system. For students registered for full-time study, the programme is as follows:

Autumn Term (October-December)
-Core Module: Public History I: Meanings and Values in Public History
-Option Module
-Research Training (taught content)
All students take one core module taught by weekly seminar. Public History I: Meaning and Values in Public History introduces students to a broad range of conceptual and methodological frameworks for understanding the relationship between the past and its manifestations in contemporary society. Students also take an option module chosen from a list approved by the MA Convenor. Additionally, all students participate in the research training module which prepares them for independent work on their dissertation later in the year.

Spring Term (January-March)
-Core Module: Public History II: Methodologies and Practices in Public History
-Public History Placement
-Research Training (independent writing of dissertation proposal)
All students take one core module taught by weekly seminar. Public History II: Methodologies and Practices in Public History introduces students to the deployment of the past in the public realm, and particularly the means by which it is put into practical use in a wide variety of contemporary social contexts. Students undertake a Public History Placement, which gives them hands-on experience of working in the field and allows them to reflect on the theory and practice of public history. Students also continue to participate in the research training module.

Summer Term and Summer Vacation (April-September)
-Research Dissertation
During the summer term and over the vacation, all students will write a Research Dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a subject of their own choosing, which may arise from their placement or one of their taught modules, under the supervision of a member of staff that is submitted at the end of the academic year.

Part-time students
Part time students on the MA in Public History will take in Year One the Core (Public History I, Autumn Term; and Public History II, Spring Term), and in Year Two, the Public History Placement and an Option. The Research Dissertation will be spread over two years, with preliminary work undertaken in Year One, and significant work undertaken in Year Two.

Visit the Public History - MA page on the University of York website for more details!

Entry Requirements

We welcome applications from both home and international students who wish to pursue postgraduate study in History. Candidates should normally have, or be expected to obtain, a good honours degree or its equivalent in an appropriate subject at undergraduate level. Doctoral candidates are also expected to have completed or be pursuing a Master's course.

Last Updated

17 February 2017

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