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History & Archaeology×

Full Time MA Degrees in History & Archaeology, Durham, United Kingdom

We have 24 Full Time MA Degrees in History & Archaeology, Durham, United Kingdom

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Durham University Department of Archaeology
Distance from Durham: 0 miles
The MA in Archaeology can be studied on a full-time and part-time basis. Read more

The MA in Archaeology can be studied on a full-time and part-time basis. Through sets of specialist modules, skills-oriented classes and workshops, and dissertation research it provides the opportunity to advance your skills and knowledge in archaeology with a view to progressing to doctoral level research, or to pick up vital transferable skills ready for working in commercial archaeology or in the wider employment market.

A unique feature of our MA is the provision of specialist strands within which you will study, allowing you to gain breadth and depth in your understanding of particular periods, areas and topics. The current strands are:

  • Prehistory
  • Egypt / Ancient India / Near East (EAINE)
  • The Classical World
  • Medieval and Post Medieval Archaeology

By the end of this course, you will have had a chance to engage in advanced collection, management and analysis of archaeological data and materials; to develop a sound understanding of current archaeological approaches, concepts and practice; and to acquire specialist skills and knowledge related to their strand from our team of leading experts in the field.

Course Structure

The MA in Archaeology is a 180 credit programme comprising

  • Two 15 credit modules in research and practical skills training in the first two terms (one per term)
  • Two 30 credit specialist research topic modules in the first two terms (one per term)
  • One 90 credit research dissertation of 20,000 words (developed in term 3 and summer)

Students can take a 20 credit language module from the Centre for Foreign Language Study in lieu of the practical skills module. 

There is also the option of substituting a specialist research topic module with another MA module on offer in the department, and in some instances one offered by another department in the University. See below of other modules offered in the department.

Part-time students are expected to complete the course in 2 years. Typically part time students complete the two 15 credit and two 30 credit modules in the first year and the dissertation in the second year.

Course Learning and Teaching

The programme is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops or practical classes. Typically lectures provide key information on a particular area, and identify the main areas for discussion and debate among archaeologists in a specific area or on a particular theme. Seminars then provide opportunities for smaller groups of students to discuss and debate particular issues or areas, based on the knowledge that they have gained through their lectures and through independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. Practical classes and workshops allow you to gain direct experience of practical and interpretative skills in Archaeology. Finally, independent supervised study enables you to develop and undertake a research project to an advanced level. Throughout the programme emphasis is placed on working independently outside the contact hours, in order to synthesise large datasets and to develop critical and analytical skills to an advanced level.

The balance of activities changes over the course of the programme, as you develop your knowledge and abilities as independent learners and researchers, in order to prepare them for work or advanced study once they have completed the programme. In the first two terms students typically attend around four hours of lectures and two one hour seminars per week. These are supplemented with two hours a week of workshops or practical classes. The practical work complements desk-based analytical skills, and are intended to develop skills applicable within and outside the field of Archaeology. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake your own independent study to prepare effectively for your classes, focus your subject knowledge and develop a research agenda. During these first two terms you have the opportunity to do one or two formative essays or practical projects in preparation for summative (assessed) work. Typically you will submit around three to four pieces of summative work per term (essays of c. 3,000 words; practical projects such as photographic portfolios or posters).

Over Term 2 and into Term 3 the balance shifts as you develop your abilities as independent researchers. The lectures and workshops already attended have introduced them to and given them the chance to practice archaeological research methods in specific fields of study. You will also engage with academic issues, archaeological datasets and their interpretation, which are at the forefront of archaeological research. The dissertation is regarded as the cap-stone of the taught programme and as an indicator of advanced research potential, which could be developed further in a professional or academic field. Under the supervision of a member of academic staff, with whom they will typically have up to ten one-to-one supervisory meetings, students undertake independent, detailed study of a particular theme, area or research problem, and produce a substantial piece of academic written work of around 20,000 words.

Throughout the programme, all students also have access to an academic adviser who will provide them with academic support and guidance. Typically a student will meet with their adviser two to three times a year. In addition, all members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet with students on a ‘drop-in’ basis. The department also has an exciting programme of weekly research seminars which postgraduate students are strongly encouraged to attend.

Career Opportunities

Many of our postgraduates move into an academic career, either teaching or by taking up post-doctoral research positions in universities. Others join museums or national and regional heritage organisations. Some work in professional archaeology, in national or local planning departments, while others elect to use their analytical and presentation skills to gain positions in industry, commerce and government.



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Durham University Department of History
Distance from Durham: 0 miles
The programme is designed as a research preparation masters. It is intended to encourage students to be intellectually ambitious by inducting them into the community of historians. Read more

The programme is designed as a research preparation masters. It is intended to encourage students to be intellectually ambitious by inducting them into the community of historians. It invites students to understand the relationship between their own specialist field and the historical discipline in general as well as to communicate with wider audiences. Students will feel sufficiently confident in their own disciplinary identity and mastery of the subject to be able to converse with those in other fields. The programme is a taught course with an emphasis on disciplinary training supplied by the department’s subject specialists with expertise in an outstanding range of areas (Europe, Britain, North America, Africa, China and Japan) and inter-disciplinary engagement, while offering opportunities for supported independent study. Students will be able – and are indeed encouraged – to access and use Durham’s exceptional cluster of libraries, archives, and special collections.

All students on the MA in History are required to take the team-taught Core Module Themes, Reading and Sources (30 credits) which runs throughout Michaelmas and Epiphany terms. Depending on whether they opt for the 60-credit Dissertation pathway or the 90-credit Dissertation pathway, they also take either 3 or 2 Optional Modules (each worth 30 credits) which run either in Michaelmas or Epiphany or throughout both terms. The options may also be language, skills and content modules, provided by other centres, programmes and departments with the consent of all parties concerned. All these elements have embedded within them a range of content, subject-specific skills, and key skills.

Core Modules

This module is compulsory for all MA students and provides them with the bulk of the disciplinary training providing specific and direct training in disciplinary practices, theories, approaches and methodologies. It is intended to guide all students regardless of their period specialism from a more tutor-led to independent learning on to their dissertation by combining a focus on primary sources across periods with thematic and historiographical approaches. The module will run throughout the entire academic year combining from the outset a focus on hands-on work with primary sources and discussion of related pieces of historiography (social, cultural, political etc.) and theoretical readings concerning specific themes, concepts and theories (gender, power, class, the state, transnationalism, globalization etc.). The module is taught in a series of seminars and familiarises students with the skills and problems integral to advanced historical work. It develops their capacity for independent research, their ability to effectively present oral and written results, as well as their organizational and leadership skills in chairing discussions. TRS provides a context in which students assess and comment critically on the findings of others, defend their conclusions in a reasoned setting, advance their knowledge and deepen their understanding of history.

Assessment is by 4,000-word essay centring on particular primary sources or an archive (80% of the module mark). The remaining 20% of the module mark comes from a 20-minute presentation on students' dissertation topics plus 10 minutes Q&A at the MA Conference in the Easter term.

Optional Modules

These modules focus on a specific theme or problem within various areas of History, and provide subject-specific knowledge and skills. They are taught by the department’s subject specialists in a series of seminars with an emphasis on work with primary sources providing a 'step up' from L3 in terms of disciplinary engagement with historiography, approaches, methodologies, concepts and theories.

Optional modules might include:

  • Anglo-Saxon Societies and Cultures: interdisciplinary approaches to early medieval England
  • The Liberal Arts – Learning, Knowledge and Power in the High Middle Ages (c.1100-c.1300)
  • Feudalism: The Uses and Abuses of a Historical Model
  • The Archaeology of the Book: codicology from antiquity to the Renaissance
  • What was religion? Interdisciplinary approaches to religious history
  • The Public Sphere in Britain, 1640-1715
  • Work and Play in Early Modern Europe
  • Intellectuals and Public Opinion in Global History
  • Elections in Africa: a cultural and political history, c. 1950-2016
  • Time, Culture and Modernity
  • Serious Fun: A History of Sport from the Late Middle Ages to the Present
  • A Safe Democracy? Constitutionalism, Extremism, and Political Violence in Modern England, c. 1890-1939

Assessment is by 5,000-word essay.

In order to facilitate cross- and interdisciplinary engagement, students may opt to take modules from cognate MA programmes such as those offered by Centre for Visual Arts and Cultures (CVAC) and the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS) with the consent of all parties concerned.

Students may also opt to take a language or skills module or both (Modern Languages; Latin; Greek; Old Norse, Paleography), generally taught in seminars and assessed by an unseen examination.



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The . MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies.  is an interdisciplinary MA associated with Durham's . Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Read more

The MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies is an interdisciplinary MA associated with Durham's Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS), and is currently run from the History Department. The programme is suitable for students whose undergraduate training is in Archaeology, Classics, History, Literature/Languages, Philosophy, Theology, or other related disciplines. The main aim of the programme is to prepare students for doctoral research in the study of the medieval and early modern past by offering outstanding interdisciplinary training to equip students with the skills they need for their future careers. It is taught by specialists who are members of IMEMS, primarily from the departments of ArchaeologyClassicsEnglishHistoryModern Languages and CulturesPhilosophy and Theology.

Students are incorporated into the vibrant research communities within departments, IMEMS, and the university. Durham has a large and extremely active postgraduate community, and IMEMS supports the Medieval and Early Modern Student Association (MEMSA), whose members organise regular seminars and conferences. IMEMS has more than fifty staff members from arts, humanities, social science and science departments across the University, all active researchers, and is one of the largest gatherings of scholars in this area in the world. IMEMS is situated in the historic setting of the World Heritage Site, which includes Durham CathedralDurham Castle, and the surrounding area. Students of medieval and early modern studies at Durham benefit from the rich archival and manuscript resources in the collections of the University (at Palace Green Library and at Ushaw College) and in the Cathedral Library, while the wider regional resources for study of the period are also highly significant.

All students on the MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies take two core modules, Reading the Medieval and Early Modern Past, and Writing the Medieval and Early Modern Past (30 credits each); both of these run throughout Michaelmas and Epiphany Terms. Students also write a 15,000-word dissertation (60 credits), supervised by one of Durham's specialists, which allows them to focus on a specialist topic of their choice in the period AD 300-1700, which may be interdisciplinary or focused primarily on one of the individual disciplines which make up the programme. They also take two optional modules (30 credits each) which run either in Michaelmas or Epiphany or throughout both terms. These may be content, language or skills modules, and are drawn from the seven participating departments as well as Durham’s other centres and programmes. All elements of the programme have embedded within them a range of content, subject-specific skills, and key skills.

Core modules

The two team-taught core modules enable students to develop advanced skills in interpreting and usinga range of different kinds of source-material from the medieval and early modern periods, including textual, material and visual culture. They allow students to consider developments over the longue duree and enable a more rounded understanding of how a range of themes, ideas and institutions changed from the end of the classical world, through the Middle Ages and into the early modern era. These modules are intended to guide students whose backgrounds are in a range of disciplinary specialisms towards an understanding of how study of the medieval and early modern past can be nuanced and enhanced by approaches from multiple different disciplines used alongside each other. The modules also help students develop from a more tutor-led approach to independent learning, in order to support their work on their dissertations and their future careers. Reading the Medieval and Early Modern Past takes one key item or body of material (e.g. a text, a site, an archive) as a lens through which to explore different disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to studying the period 300-1700. Students are assessed by a 5000-word essay on a topic of their choice connected with the themes of the module. Writing the Medieval and Early Modern Past focuses on major themes, movements and institutions which can best be examined across the whole medieval and early modern period, and which can best be explained by close study of change and continuity over a long period of time. A number of these themes will invite interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approaches, and thus will allow students to develop their skills in bringing together different kinds of material for study of the past. Students are assessed for this module by a) a 4000-word essay on a topic of their choice, connected with the themes of the module, and b) a 15-minute presentation.

Optional modules

Students choose two optional modules offered by the departments participating in the programme. These modules are taught by subject specialists and usually involve a series of seminars with an emphasis on close study of original material from the medieval and early modern periods, and provide a ‘step up’ from the level of final-year undergraduate study. The breadth of modules available means that students can develop their skills and research interests according to their own tailored programme and with the advice of their dissertation supervisor, ensuring the best possible preparation for the future. There are also some modules focusing on particular skills-training such as medieval or modern languages or auxiliary skills (e.g. Latin; Ancient Greek; Old Norse; Old English; Academic French; Academic German; Palaeography).

The range of optional modules in each year varies according to staff availability and departmental provision, but as a representative sample optional modules may include the following:

  • Anglo-Saxon Societies and Cultures: interdisciplinary approaches to early medieval England
  • Archaeology of the Book
  • Christian Northumbria, 600-750
  • Contact and Conflict: Texts and Cultures
  • Courts and Power in Early Modern Europe and the New World
  • Latin for Research
  • Narrative Transformations: Medieval Romance to Renaissance Epic
  • Negotiating Life in the Early Modern World
  • Old English Language, Texts and Contexts
  • Old Norse
  • Palaeograpy: Scribes, Script and History from Antiquity to the Renaissance
  • Power and Society in the Late Middle Ages
  • Renaissance Humanism
  • Rewriting Empire: Eusebius of Caesarea and the First Christian History
  • Warrior Poets in Heroic Societies
  • Work and Play in Early Modern Europe


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Durham University Department of English Studies
Distance from Durham: 0 miles
Our taught MA pathway in Medieval and Renaissance Literary Studies offers choice, flexibility and the opportunity to specialise within this field. Read more

Our taught MA pathway in Medieval and Renaissance Literary Studies offers choice, flexibility and the opportunity to specialise within this field. You can learn from the rich variety of research expertise in the Department and you also have the chance to concentrate on a particular area of literary study within the fields of Medieval and Renaissance studies. Our commitment to research-led teaching means that students are able to explore the cutting edge of the discipline - from Old Norse to Renaissance Tragedy, from medieval manuscripts to critical theory. The Medieval and Renaissance Literary Studies pathway includes the possibility of taking interdisciplinary modules involving other departments including History and Archaeology. We provide an intimate, dynamic and supportive environment for students of all backgrounds and nationalities.

Our programme offers up-to-date training in research methods and skills. You will choose three modules, at least two of which are from within the pathway, and you will write a dissertation on a subject related to Medieval and/or Renaissance studies.

An MA in Medieval and Renaissance Literary Studies is often the platform for further research at PhD level, as well as providing an excellent grounding for jobs in education, the arts and the media.

Course Structure

If you choose to take this named pathway, you will be expected to select at least two modules from those available within the pathway and to write your dissertation in an area related to it. Your third optional module may, if you wish, be chosen from the full list of MA modules on offer in the Department. Students may, with permission, take one module from other modules on offer elsewhere in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. All students must take the core Research Methods and Resources module and the dissertation alongside their three optional modules.

Core Modules

  • Research Methods and Resources
  • Dissertation

Optional Modules

Typical modules might include:

  • Warrior Poets in Heroic Societies
  • Old Norse
  • Old English Language, Texts and Contexts
  • The Anglo-Saxon World
  • Narrative Transformations: Medieval Romance to Renaissance Epic
  • Middle English Manuscripts and Texts
  • Issues in Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Renaissance Tragedy
  • Renaissance Humanism
  • John Milton: Life, Works and Influence
  • Lyric Poetry of the English Renaissance and Reformation.

Modules are subject to staff availability and normally no more then six of the above will run in any one year.

Please use the 'additional comments' section of the application form to indicate your choice of modules as well as to provide a personal statement.

Course Learning and Teaching

One of the distinctive features of the Durham MA in Literary Studies is that it permits both a broad-based, eclectic study of literary topics from the earliest periods of literature to the present and the possibility of specialisation through designated pathways in such areas as Medieval and Renaissance Studies or Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Studies. All students take 3 optional modules, taught in small seminar groups of up to 10, with each module generating 18 hours of contact time (9 seminars x 2 hours) over the academic year. A strong emphasis is placed on independent research, and seminars usually involve a considerable amount of preparation, including short presentations and workshop activities. Assessment for these modules is usually by coursework essay.

All students also register for the Research Methods and Resources module, which generates an additional 20 hours of contact time over the academic year. Again, a strong emphasis is given to independent research. Both pieces of assessed written work for the Research Methods and Resources module involve significant preparation for the MA dissertation (and in some cases for doctoral study later on). The MA dissertation is supported by 3.5 hours of dedicated individual supervision time. Drafts of the dissertation are read and commented upon by the supervisor.

Each MA student is assigned an Academic Advisor who can guide and support her or his progress during the programme of study.

Throughout the taught MA degree programme, all students are strongly encouraged to participate in a lively series of staff-postgraduate research seminars, usually involving invited guest speakers from the UK and beyond. 



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Durham University History of Medicine and Disease
Distance from Durham: 0 miles
The programme draws from an internationally recognised group of academics based in the Philosophy Department, the CHMD, and the School for Health. Read more
The programme draws from an internationally recognised group of academics based in the Philosophy Department, the CHMD, and the School for Health.

The programme combines historical and philosophical approaches to medicine and science. It provides students with a deeper understanding of historical, cultural and philosophical issues in science and medicine from Antiquity up to the present day. One of its primary aims is to show students how the humanities are relevant to a deeper understanding of past and present medical and scientific issues.

For further information, please see our webpage at http://www.durham.ac.uk/hpsm.ma

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The MA in Classics is our core research training degree, suitable for anyone wishing to pursue doctoral work in a branch of Classics. Read more

The MA in Classics is our core research training degree, suitable for anyone wishing to pursue doctoral work in a branch of Classics. The programme places a strong emphasis on language training, on theoretically informed approaches to Classical texts, and on practical engagement with your chosen specialism. The programme lasts for one year full-time (two years part-time).

Course Structure

You will take modules to a total of 180 or 190 credits. The structure of the course is as follows:

  • Core research training module (30 credits)
  • Language module in an ancient or modern language relevant to research in the area of Classics (20-40 credits)
  • 15,000-word Dissertation (60 credits)
  • Optional modules (60-70 credits).

MA modules are 30 credits; you may substitute two undergraduate (20 credit) modules for one MA module. You may also take up to 40 credits of modules offered by other Departments (subject to approval).

Not all modules will be offered every year, and new modules (both elective and core) are added regularly.

Core Modules

  • Classical Research Methods and Resources
  • Language module in an ancient or modern language relevant to research in the area of Classics
  • Dissertation.

Optional Modules

Optional modules are offered according to the current research interests of members of staff. In recent years, optional modules available in the Department have included:

  • Akkadian
  • Ancient Philosophers on Necessity, Fate and Free Will
  • Ancient Philosophers on Origins
  • Animals in Graeco-Roman Antiquity
  • Forms After Plato
  • Greek Text Seminar on Homeric Epic
  • Greek Sacred Regulations
  • Latin Love Elegy
  • Latin Text Seminar on Roman Epic
  • Life and Death on Roman Sarcophagi
  • Monumental Architecture of the Roman East
  • Religious Life in The Roman Near East
  • Rewriting Empire: Eusebius of Caesarea and the First Christian History
  • The Classical Tradition: Art, Literature, Thought
  • The Queen of the Desert: Rise and Decline of Palmyra’s Civilization
  • The Roman Republic: Debates and Approaches.

Course Learning and Teaching

The MA in Classics is principally conceived as a research training programme which aims to build on the skills in independent learning acquired in the course of the student’s first degree and enable them to undertake fully independent research at a higher level. Contact time with tutors for taught modules is typically a total of 5 hours per week (rising to 7 for someone beginning Latin or ancient Greek at this level), with an emphasis on small group teaching, and a structure that maximises the value of this time, and best encourages and focuses the student’s own independent study and preparation. On average, around 2 hours a week of other relevant academic contact (research seminars, dissertation supervision) is also available.

At the heart of the course is a module focused on the range of research methods and resources available to someone working in the field of Classics. This is run as a weekly class, with a mixture of lectures and student-led discussions. Three or four further elective modules deal with particular specialised subjects. You must choose one module involving work with a relevant language (ancient or modern; beginners modules in each language and specialised text seminars for those who have already studied Greek and Latin are offered every year). All the modules offered will form part of the current research activity of the tutor taking the module. Numbers for each module are typically very small (often no more than five or six in a class) . Typically, classes are two hours long and held fortnightly, and discussion is based on student presentations. (Modules for those beginning ancient Latin or Greek are typically more heavily subscribed, but their classes also meet more often: 3 hours per week.) All students write a 15,000-word dissertation, for which they receive an additional five hours of supervisory contact with an expert in their field of interest. 

All staff teaching on the MA are available for consultation by students, and advertise office hours when their presence can be guaranteed. The MA Director acts as academic adviser to MA students, and is available as an additional point of contact, especially for matters concerning academic progress. MA students are strongly encouraged to attend the Department’s two research seminar series. Although not a formal (assessed) part of the MA, we aim to instil the message that engagement with these seminars across a range of subjects is part of the students’ development as researchers and ought to be viewed as essential to their programme. In addition, MA students are welcomed to attend and present at the ‘Junior Work-in-Progress’ seminar series organised by the PhD students in the Department. Finally, the student-run Classics Society regularly organises guest speakers – often very high-profile scholars from outside Durham.



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Durham University Department of Philosophy
Distance from Durham: 0 miles
This one-year programme (two years part-time) is designed to give a deeper understanding of historical, philosophical and cultural issues in science and medicine from antiquity to the present day. Read more
This one-year programme (two years part-time) is designed to give a deeper understanding of historical, philosophical and cultural issues in science and medicine from antiquity to the present day. Research training includes historical methods, philosophical analysis and socio-cultural models, providing an interdisciplinary environment for those interested in progressing to a PhD or those simply interested in HPSM studies.

Former students have gone on to attract major doctoral funding awards and jobs in the media, government and NGOs. The core teaching staff are attached to the Department of Philosophy, the Northern Centre for the History of Medicine (co-run with Newcastle University) and the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health. Modules are taught via lectures, seminars, personal tutorials and workshops. The diversity of staff research interests allows you to focus your research on a wide variety of topics, including historical, philosophical and/or cultural aspects of biology, biomedical ethics, the body, the environment, gender, medical humanities, medicine, and the physical sciences.

Programme Structure

Core Modules:
-Research Methods in the History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine
-Dissertation (Philosophy, Health, or History)

Optional Modules:
Students choose a total of three optional modules, with at least one from List A and one from List B. The module titles below are those offered in 2015/16. Not all the modules will necessarily run every year.
List A:
-History of Medicine
-Science and the Enlightenment
-Ethics, Medicine and History
-Gender, Medicine and Sexuality in Early Modern Europe
-Gender, 'Sex', Health and Politics

List B:
-Philosophical Issues in Science and Medicine
-Phenomenology and the Sciences of Mind
-Current Issues in Metaphysics
-Philosophy of Social Sciences
-Ethics of Cultural Heritage

Learning and Teaching

The MA in the History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine (HPSM) provides the opportunity for in-depth engagement with historical, philosophical and cultural issues in science and medicine from antiquity to the present day. In the process, students develop critical abilities and independent research skills in an interdisciplinary environment that prepare them for further postgraduate study and for a wide range of careers where such skills are highly prized.

Students select three topic modules from two lists of usually five historical and five philosophical options. They are also required to take a Research Methods in the History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine module and to complete a double-module dissertation in the Department of Philosophy, the Department of History, or the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health.

Topic modules are typically taught via seven two-hour seminars, two one-to-one tutorials, and a workshop at the end of the module. Seminars incorporate staff-led discussion of topics, student presentations and small group discussions, in the context of a friendly, supportive environment. Seminars serve to (i) familiarise students with topics, positions and debates, (ii) help them to navigate the relevant literature, (iii) refine their oral and written presentation skills and (iv) further develop their ability to independently formulate, criticise and defend historical and philosophical positions. Students are expected to do approximately four hours of reading for each seminar. In consultation with the module leader students decide upon an essay topic, and the most appropriate supervisor available for their topic is allocated. At this point, they begin a more focused programme of reading and independent study, and also benefit from the one-to-one supervisions with the expert supervisor. These supervisions provide more focused teaching, tailored to a student’s chosen essay topic. Supervisions further enable students to develop and refine their own historiographical or philosophical positions, convey them clearly and support them with well constructed arguments. In the workshop students present a draft of their essay and receive further feedback from their peers as well as staff.

The core modules of the programme are the Research Methods module and the double-module Dissertation. The former consists of nine seminars, each of 2 hours duration and a feedback session. They introduce students to relevant methodologies and approaches in the history of medicine, history of science, philosophy of science, and medical humanities, as well as to HPSM resources in the University Library, research tools, MA-level essay composition and format, and other research-related matters. They also include focused advice and discussion concerning dissertation proposals, which students are required to submit as part of this module.

Having completed the three topic modules and the research methods module, students start work on their dissertations. The nature of the dissertation will vary depending upon the topic studied and the department in which the module is undertaken. Students are offered up to six one-to-one tutorials of up to an hour each, with a supervisor who will be an expert in their chosen field. The supervisions help to further refine skills acquired during the academic year (such as presenting and defending an argument in a clear, structured fashion) and to complete a substantial piece of high quality independent research.

In addition to this core teaching, students benefit from a range of activities, including an MA Dissertation Workshop, research seminars of the Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease, and regular meetings of EIDOS, the Philosophy Department’s postgraduate society. They are welcomed as full participants in the Department’s research culture, and are thus strongly encouraged to attend a range of other events, including weekly Research Seminars, and occasional Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, conferences, workshops and reading groups. The programme director remains in regular contact with the students throughout the year and is available to discuss any issues that might arise (personal or academic).

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Durham University Department of History
Distance from Durham: 0 miles
Durham's MA in Medieval History is a broad-ranging Master's programme which seeks to equip students with historical research techniques and approaches, advanced skills in critical analysis and independent study, as well as strong and effective communication skills. Read more
Durham's MA in Medieval History is a broad-ranging Master's programme which seeks to equip students with historical research techniques and approaches, advanced skills in critical analysis and independent study, as well as strong and effective communication skills. The MA programme is designed to enable students with different career ambitions to succeed in their chosen area, and it caters for students of different backgrounds, previous training, and areas of specialisation. The breadth of research interests of the medievalists at Durham allows the department to offer supervision in topics about the medieval world from Late Antiquity through to the sixteenth century. The programme seeks to enable students to build an awareness of the contemporary boundaries of medieval scholarship, to master advanced understanding of historical concepts and methods, and ultimately to make their own contributions to the field.

Durham's History Department is an international centre for the study of the Middle Ages, and is situated in the historic setting of the World Heritage Site, which includes Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle and the surrounding area. Students of medieval history at Durham benefit from the rich archival and manuscript resources in the collections of the University (at Palace Green Library and at Ushaw College) and in the Cathedral Library, while the wider regional resources for study of the period are also highly significant: these include the landscape of Viking invasion, of Bede, of high medieval monasticism, of centuries of border warfare with their rich and distinctive legacy of castles, and of early industry and proto-capitalism.

Course Structure

The MA in Medieval History is a one-year full-time programme (or two-years part-time). All students are allocated a supervisor at the beginning of the first term, and s/he guides each student through the year. The programme is structured as follows:
Michaelmas Term (October-December)
-Archives and Sources (15 credits)
-Issues in Medieval History (30 credits)
-*Skill module (30 credits) - taken over Michaelmas and Epiphany Terms

Epiphany Term (January-March)
-Critical Practice (15 credits)
-Option module (30 credits)

Option modules allow students the opportunity to learn about a particular topic or issue in medieval history in depth, and to consider different historical approaches to this topic over a full term's study. In previous years, options for medieval history included The Anglo-Saxon World, AD 400-1100, Power and Society in the Late Middle Ages, and The Wealth of Nations. Option modules are taught in weekly two-hour seminars for a full term's study.

Easter Term (April-June), and the summer vacation (until early September)
-Dissertation (90 credits, or 60 credits if taking a *Skill module)

Students meet with their supervisors on an individual basis and will discuss the topic, direction and content of their dissertation, as well as the relevant medieval evidence and scholarship which they should explore. The dissertation is a substantial, independent piece of research: the 90-credit dissertation is 20,000 words, while the 60-credit dissertation is 15,000 words. You are not required to write your dissertation on a topic which is in the same period and area as your optional modules, but it is recommended that students discuss their individual programmes of work with their supervisors and/or with the Director of Taught Postgraduate Programmes.

The formal requirements and structure of the programme can be found at: https://www.dur.ac.uk/courses/info/?id=9187&title=Medieval+History&code=V1K107&type=MA&year=2016#essentials a full list of optional modules is available at: https://www.dur.ac.uk/history/postgraduate/ma_degrees/optionalmodules/

The MA can be taken part-time, over two years. In the first year the module combination consists of Archives and Sources, Critical Practice, Issues and in addition a Skills module OR Optional module. In the second year your work will consist of either a 90 credit, 20,000 word dissertation (if you took an Optional module in the first year) OR a 60 credit, 15,000 word dissertation, AND an Optional module (if you took a Skills module in the first year).

Additional courses can be taken on an audit-basis (not for credit), and can include language modules as well as optional modules. You will need to ask and receive the permission of the module leader before auditing a class. If the class is outside the department you will also need to inform the Director of Taught Postgraduates.

Learning and Teaching

The programme is delivered primarily through small group seminar teaching with some larger classes, and lecture-style sessions. Termly division of contact hours between terms depends on student choice. Issues in Medieval History has 16 contact hours, all classroom-based; this module is team-taught and exposes students to a wide variety of staff support and expertise. Archives and Sources has 8 contact hours, split between lectures, classes and seminars. Skills modules are taught through seminars or classes and are usually more contact-hour-intensive. In previous years, optional modules were taught in seminars and provided a total of 16 contact hours. Critical Practice involves lectures, a drama workshop, and oral presentation to a group (at a 'mini-conference'). Dissertation supervision involves 8 hours of directed supervision, individually with a dedicated supervisor.

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Durham University Department of History
Distance from Durham: 0 miles
Durham's MA in Modern History is a broad-ranging Master's programme which seeks to equip students with historical research techniques and approaches, advanced skills in critical analysis and independent study, as well as strong and effective communication skills. Read more
Durham's MA in Modern History is a broad-ranging Master's programme which seeks to equip students with historical research techniques and approaches, advanced skills in critical analysis and independent study, as well as strong and effective communication skills. The MA programme is designed to enable students with different career ambitions to succeed in their chosen area, and it caters for students of different backgrounds, previous training, and areas of specialisation. The breadth of research interests of the modern historians at Durham allows the department to offer supervision in topics about modern history from the nineteenth century through to contemporary history. The programme seeks to enable students to build an awareness of the contemporary boundaries of modern scholarship, to master advanced understanding of historical concepts and methods, and ultimately to make their own contributions to the field.

Durham's History Department is an international centre for the study of the Modern period, and is situated in the historic setting of the World Heritage Site, which includes Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle, and the surrounding area. Students of modern history at Durham benefit from the rich archival and manuscript resources in the collections of the University (at Palace Green Library - especially the Sudan Archive - and Ushaw College) and in the Cathedral Library, while the wider regional resources for study of the period are also highly significant: the landscape of industrial revolution and of post-industrial response, of globalisation and regional identity. Modern History at Durham is comprehensive and international in its reach, with specialists in the cultural and political history, visual culture and media studies, sports history, regional and international histories. Area specialisms include the British Isles, Continental Europe, Africa, North America, China and the Steppe regions.

Course Structure

The MA in Modern History is a one-year full-time programme (or two-years part-time). All students are allocated a supervisor at the beginning of the first term, and s/he guides each student through the year. The programme is structured as follows:

Michaelmas Term (October-December)
-Archives and Sources (15 credits)
-Issues in Modern History (30 credits)
-*Skill module (30 credits) - taken over Michaelmas and Epiphany Terms
Students may choose to take a skills module: these are mainly medieval/ancient languages (e.g. Old English, Old Norse, Latin, Greek), modern languages for reading (e.g. Academic French, Academic German), or research skills (e.g. palaeography). Students who take a skills module write a 60-credit dissertation instead of a 90-credit dissertation.

Epiphany Term (January-March)
-Critical Practice (15 credits)
-Option module (30 credits)
Option modules allow students the opportunity to learn about a particular topic or issue in modern history in depth, and to consider different historical approaches to this topic over a full term's study. In previous years, options for modern history included: The Wealth of Nations; Race in Modern America; 'Tribe' and Nation in Africa since 1800; Interpretations of Terror and Genocide in Modern Europe; Tradition, Change and Political Culture in Modern Britain; Gender, Nationalism and Modernity in East Asia; History, Knowledge and Visual Culture (a full list of MA option modules is available at: https://www.dur.ac.uk/history/postgraduate/ma_degrees/optionalmodules/). Option modules are taught in weekly two-hour seminars for a full term's study.

Easter Term (April-June), and the summer vacation (until early September)
-Dissertation (90 credits, or 60 credits if taking a *Skill module)

The formal requirements and structure of the programme can be found at: https://www.dur.ac.uk/courses/info/?id=9200&title=Modern+History&code=V1K707&type=MA&year=2016#essentials a full list of optional modules is available at: https://www.dur.ac.uk/history/postgraduate/ma_degrees/optionalmodules/

The MA can be taken part-time, over two years. In the first year the module combination consists of Archives and Sources, Critical Practice, Issues and in addition a Skills module OR Optional module. In the second year your work will consist of either a 90 credit, 20,000 word dissertation (if you took an Optional module in the first year) OR a 60 credit, 15,000 word dissertation, AND an Optional module (if you took a Skills module in the first year).

Additional courses can be taken on an audit-basis (not for credit), and can include language modules as well as optional modules. You will need to ask and receive the permission of the module leader before auditing a class. If the class is outside the department you will also need to inform the Director of Taught Postgraduates.

Learning and Teaching

The programme is delivered primarily through small group seminar teaching with some larger classes, and lecture-style sessions. Termly division of contact hours between terms depends on student choice. Issues in Modern History has 16 contact hours, all classroom-based; this module is team-taught and exposes students to a wide variety of staff support and expertise. Archives and Sources has 8 contact hours, split between lectures, classes and seminars. Skills modules are taught through seminars or classes and are usually more contact-hour-intensive. Optional modules are taught in seminars and provide a total of 16 contact hours. Critical Practice involves lectures, a drama workshop, and oral presentation to a group (at a 'mini-conference'). Dissertation supervision involves 8 hours of directed supervision, individually with a dedicated supervisor.

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Durham University Department of History
Distance from Durham: 0 miles
Durham's MA in Social and Economic History at Durham provides training in research methods for historical topics in any aspect of social and economic history. Read more

Durham's MA in Social and Economic History at Durham provides training in research methods for historical topics in any aspect of social and economic history. The MA provides quantitative and qualitative research methods appropriate to a wide range of historical approaches. Accredited by the ESRC, this MA is part of our four year funding scheme offered by the North-East Doctoral Training Centre. You can apply for 1+3 funding for this MA followed by a PhD in any aspect of social and economic history with expert supervision available within the Department – and with our partner institution in the NEDTC at Newcastle University. This includes African history, and aspects of governance, as well as traditional social and economic topics. For further information on funding see further below.

The MA programme is shared with the School of Applied Social Science and will help you to build an awareness of the contemporary boundaries of social and economic history and to master advanced understanding of the concepts and methods with which it may be interrogated. It seeks to equip you with a diverse portfolio of research techniques and approaches to enable you to undertake extended independent research in your dissertation, and to make your own contribution to the field. The skills provided by this MA are also transferrable to a wide range of careers.

Durham has a long tradition of economic and social history, on which this MA draws. The breadth of possible subjects for study mirrors the comprehensive and global nature of the department staff: from medieval Europe to modern-day Africa, and from north-east England to the global economy. Durham's History Department is situated in the historic setting of the World Heritage Site, which includes Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle. Students of social and economic history at Durham benefit from the rich archival and manuscript resources in the collections of the University (at Palace Green Library - especially the Sudan Archive - and Ushaw College) and in the Cathedral Library, while the wider regional resources for study of the period are also highly significant: the landscape of industrial revolution and of post-industrial response, of globalisation and regional identity.

Course Structure

The MA in Social and Economic History is a one-year full-time programme (or two-years part-time). All students are allocated a supervisor at the beginning of the first term, and s/he guides each student through the year.

You will take 30 credits of core modules from History: Themes, Reading and Sources (30 credits); and 30 credits of core modules from the School of Applied Social Sciences: Perspectives on Social Research (15 credits) AND EITHER Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits) OR Fieldwork and Interpretation (15 credits). You will write a 60-credit dissertation (15,000 words) supervised by a member of academic staff in the History Department. You will also choose a 30-credit optional module in History; AND 30 credits of optional modules from Social Sciences: EITHER Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits) and Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits) OR Applied Statistics (30 credits).

The programme is structured as follows:

Michaelmas Term (October-December)

  • Themes, Reading and Sources (30 credits)
  • Perspectives on Social Research (15 credits)
  • Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits; OPTIONAL)
  • Fieldwork and Interpretation (15 credits; OPTIONAL)
  • Applied Statistics (30 credits; OPTIONAL; runs across Michaelmas and Epiphany Terms)

Epiphany Term (January-March)

  • Themes, Reading and Sources (30 credits) continued on from Themes, Reading and Sources module taken in Michaelmas Term.
  • Option module (30 credits)
  • Qualitative Research Methods (15 credits; OPTIONAL)
  • Quantitative Research Methods (15 credits; OPTIONAL)

Easter Term (April-June), and the summer vacation (until early September)

  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Course Learning and Teaching

The programme is delivered primarily through small group seminar teaching with some larger classes, and lecture-style sessions. Termly division of contact hours between terms depends on student choice. Skills modules are taught through seminars or classes and are usually more contact-hour-intensive. Optional modules are taught in seminars and provide a total of 20 contact hours. Dissertation supervision involves 8 hours of directed supervision, individually with a dedicated supervisor. Social science modules are taught through lectures, seminars, workshops, and practical classes.



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The MA in Theology and Religion serves both the specific needs of students focussed on progressing towards doctoral research and those of students looking to continue relatively broad-based studies in Theology and Religion to Level four, perhaps in support of a career in teaching. Read more

The MA in Theology and Religion serves both the specific needs of students focussed on progressing towards doctoral research and those of students looking to continue relatively broad-based studies in Theology and Religion to Level four, perhaps in support of a career in teaching.

Course Structure

  • Choice of one of the three core modules
  • Three option modules
  • Dissertation.

Core Modules

  • One of the following: The Bible and Hermeneutics, Classic Texts in Christian Theology, Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
  • Dissertation.

Optional Modules

Optional modules in previous years have included:

2-3 choices from:

  • Advanced Hebrew Texts
  • Advanced Aramaic
  • Middle Egyptian 
  • The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
  • The Bible and Hermeneutics
  • Paul and his Interpreters
  • Gospels and Canon
  • Patristic Exegesis
  • Patristic Ecclesiology
  • Christian Northumbria 600-750
  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology
  • The Anglican Theological Vision
  • Liturgy and Sacramentality
  • Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
  • Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology
  • Christian Gender
  • Principles of Theological Ethics
  • Theology, Ethics and Medicine
  • Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
  • Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
  • Literature and Religion
  • Catholic Social Thought
  • Ecclesiology and Ethnography
  • Doctrine of Creation.

Plus up to 1 choice from:

  • Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme
  • Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1 – 2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
  • 30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study).

Course Learning and Teaching

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.

Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.

The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.

Career Opportunities

A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world.

Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.



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This course focuses on the context and interpretation of biblical and pseudepigraphal texts, along with the study of biblical languages. Read more

This course focuses on the context and interpretation of biblical and pseudepigraphal texts, along with the study of biblical languages. Durham has a long tradition of outstanding biblical scholarship, providing a wide range of distinctive approaches to biblical studies, including historical, critical and theological.

Course Structure

  • The Bible and Hermeneutics core module
  • Three option modules
  • Dissertation.

Core Modules

  • The Bible and Hermeneutics
  • Dissertation.

Optional Modules

Optional Modules in previous years have included:

2-3 choices from:

  • Advanced Hebrew Texts
  • Advanced Aramaic
  • Middle Egyptian
  • The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
  • Gospels and Canon

Plus up to 1 choice from:

  • Paul and his Interpreters
  • Patristic Exegesis
  • Patristic Ecclesiology
  • Christian Northumbria 600-750
  • The Anglican Theological Vision
  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology
  • Liturgy and Sacramentality
  • Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
  • Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology
  • Christian Gender
  • Principles of Theological Ethics
  • Theology, Ethics and Medicine
  • Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
  • Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
  • Literature and Religion
  • Catholic Social Thought
  • Ecclesiology and Ethnography
  • Doctrine of Creation
  • Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme
  • Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1 – 2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
  • 30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study)

Course Learning and Teaching

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.

Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.

The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.

Career Opportunities

A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world. Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.



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This course involves the study of historical and systematic theology from a range of Christian perspectives. Durham has long-established strengths in both Greek and Latin patristics, the medieval Church and Reformation, contemporary Catholic and Anglican theology, theological ethics, and philosophical theology. Read more

This course involves the study of historical and systematic theology from a range of Christian perspectives. Durham has long-established strengths in both Greek and Latin patristics, the medieval Church and Reformation, contemporary Catholic and Anglican theology, theological ethics, and philosophical theology.

Course Structure

  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology core module
  • Three option modules
  • Dissertation.

Core Modules

  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology
  • Dissertation.

Optional Modules

Optional modules in previous years have included:

2-3 choices from:

  • Paul and his Interpreters
  • Gospels and Canon
  • The Bible and Hermeneutics
  • Patristic Exegesis
  • Patristic Ecclesiology
  • Christian Northumbria 600-750
  • The Anglican Theological Vision
  • Liturgy and Sacramentality
  • Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
  • Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology
  • Christian Gender
  • Principles of Theological Ethics
  • Theology, Ethics and Medicine
  • Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
  • Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
  • Literature and Religion
  • Catholic Social Thought
  • Ecclesiology and Ethnography
  • Doctrine of Creation

Plus up to 1 choice from:

  • Advanced Hebrew Texts
  • Advanced Aramaic
  • Middle Egyptian
  • Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
  • Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme
  • Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1 – 2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
  • 30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study)

Course Learning and Teaching

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.

Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.

The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.

Career Opportunities

A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world. Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.



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This course looks at religion from anthropological and sociological perspectives. Read more

This course looks at religion from anthropological and sociological perspectives. Durham has particular strengths in the study of Mormonism; death, dying and disposal; religion and emotion; religion/faith and globalisation; religion and politics; contemporary evangelicalism and post-evangelicalism; and religion and generational change. It also boasts the Centre for Death and Life Studies and the Project for Spirituality, Theology and Health.

Course Structure

  • Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion core module
  • Three option modules
  • Dissertation.

Core Modules

  • Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion 
  • Dissertation.

Optional Modules

Optional modules in previous years have included:

2-3 choices from:

  • Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
  • Theology, Ethics and Medicine
  • Literature and Religion
  • Christian Northumbria 600-750
  • Ecclesiology and Ethnography

Plus up to 1 choice from:

  • Advanced Hebrew Texts
  • Advanced Aramaic
  • Middle Egyptian
  • The Bible and Hermeneutics
  • The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
  • Paul and his Interpreters
  • Gospels and Canon
  • Patristic Exegesis
  • Patristic Ecclesiology
  • The Anglican Theological Vision
  • Liturgy and Sacramentality
  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology
  • Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
  • Christian Gender
  • Principles of Theological Ethics
  • Catholic Social Thought
  • Doctrine of Creation
  • Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme
  • Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1 – 2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
  • 30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study)

Course Learning and Teaching

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.

Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.

The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.

Career Opportunities

A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world.

Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.



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Durham University Department of Archaeology
Distance from Durham: 0 miles
Durham University's unique MA in Museum and Artefact Studies will provide you with the high quality training relevant to a career in museums, the cultural heritage sector, and in the academic world. Read more

Durham University's unique MA in Museum and Artefact Studies will provide you with the high quality training relevant to a career in museums, the cultural heritage sector, and in the academic world.

In particular, it is intended to equip you with a sound knowledge and critical understanding of current professional principles, good practice and contemporary debates relating to museum and artefact studies.

It aims to help you develop a variety of skills:

  • Professional skills, relevant to the care, management and exhibition of collections in museums
  • Analytical skills, relevant to the study of a wide range of materials and artefacts, from different periods and cultures, and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives
  • Research skills, relevant to studies of museums and artefacts, including an awareness of current theoretical issues
  • Communication skills - oral, written and visual - relevant to work in the museum profession and to academic research.

It also aims to encourage students to take personal responsibility for their own learning, team-work and professional conduct.

Course Structure

Two distinct routes can be followed through the MA in Museum and Artefact Studies. These comprise different combinations of modules.

Route 1

The first route is intended for students who firmly intend to pursue a career in museums and galleries. It comprises six compulsory taught modules:

  • Approaches to Museum and Artefact Studies
  • Museum Principles and Practice
  • Artefact Studies
  • Care of Collections
  • Museum Communication
  • Research Paper.

Route 2

The second route through the MA provides you with a different choice of modules. It is intended for students with a strong interest in artefact studies, who may wish to pursue a career in the cultural heritage sector or undertake further postgraduate research in museum or artefact studies after completing the MA course, but who also wish to keep their options open. It comprises four compulsory modules (one of which is a dissertation) and a choice of a fifth module:

  • Approaches to Museum and Artefact Studies
  • Museum Principles and Practice
  • Artefact Studies
  • Dissertation.

And either

  • Museum Communication

Or

  • Care of Collections

Or

  • A module from the MA in Archaeology (e.g. Prehistory; Roman Archaeology; Medieval Archaeology; Post-Medieval Archaeology; or the Archaeology of Egypt, the Near East and India (when available).

Course Learning and Teaching

The programme is mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and practical classes. Typically lectures provide key information on a particular area, and identify the main areas for discussion and debate in the Museums sector. Tutorials, seminars and workshops then provide opportunities for you to discuss and debate particular issues or areas, based on the knowledge that you have gained through your lectures and through independent study outside the programmes formal contact hours. Finally, practical classes allow you to gain direct experience of practical and interpretative skills in Museum and Artefact Studies through placements and curating an exhibition and/or developing an educational programme for the University Museums.

The balance of these types of activities changes over the course of the programme, as you develop your knowledge and ability as independent learners , giving you the opportunity to engage in research, professional practice, and developing and demonstrating research skills in a particular area of the subject. The programme aims to develop these key attributes in its students thereby preparing them for work or further study once they have completed the programme.

In Terms 1 and 2 you will typically attend 3-4 hours a week of lectures, up to 4 hours of tutorials or seminars, in addition to 2 workshops and 2-3 hours of practical sessions working with artefacts or museum environment-related matters or fieldtrips over the term. You will have a 20-day Museum placement at Easter in a museum or archive. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake your own independent study to prepare for your classes and broaden your subject knowledge. Professional speakers are brought in to engage the students with issues within the professional body.

In Term 3 the balance shifts from learning the basic skills required, to applying them within a real-life museum environment in the module Museum Communications where students work together on a specific project(s) with an opening date in May, June or July. Typically, you could be spending the equivalent of a working week as you complete the work for your projects, under supervision.

The move towards greater emphasis on independent research and research continues in Term 3, where the use of research skills acquired earlier in the programme are developed through the Dissertation research project or the Research Paper. Under the supervision of a member of academic staff with whom they will typically have between 3 and 5 one-to-one supervisory meetings, you will undertake a detailed study of a particular area resulting in a significant piece of independent research. The Dissertation is regarded as a preparation for further academic work while the exhibition and Research Paper route is designed for a more professional environment.

Throughout the programme, all students also have access to an academic adviser who will provide them with academic support and guidance. Typically a student will meet their adviser two to three times a year, in addition to which all members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet with students on a ‘drop-in’ basis. The department also has an exciting programme of weekly one hour research seminars which postgraduate students are strongly encouraged to attend as well as Friends of the Oriental Museum events.

Career Opportunities

Many of our postgraduates move into an academic career, either teaching or by taking up post-doctoral research positions in universities. Others join museums or national and regional heritage organisations. Some work in professional archaeology, in national or local planning departments, while others elect to use their analytical and presentation skills to gain positions in industry, commerce and government.



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