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History & Archaeology×

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

We have 6 Full Time MA Degrees in History & Archaeology, Manchester, United Kingdom

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Why choose this course. -You want to be taught by lecturers at the cutting edge of international research in social archaeology. -You enjoy working in small groups to explore current 'hot topics' and exciting new debates. Read more
Why choose this course:
-You want to be taught by lecturers at the cutting edge of international research in social archaeology
-You enjoy working in small groups to explore current 'hot topics' and exciting new debates
-You are looking for state-of-the art research training that will prepare you for a PhD and develop transferrable skills

Archaeology at Manchester is internationally recognised as a centre for social archaeology. The MA in Archaeology thus facilitates a fascinating journey into the material and social world of past human societies. By combining theory with practice, we are able to ask fundamental questions about the complex web of inter-relationships between societies, individuals, animals and plants, the built environment as well as the material world. This socially-focused approach also encourages a critical and self-reflective attitude towards the politics and practice of archaeology today. Working at the forefront of knowledge and interpretation, the MA brings together researchers of international calibre with specialization in a wide range of geographical areas and chronological periods, and thus offers a unique and stimulating environment for postgraduate study.

This MA programme fosters strong student-led research. By encouraging you to propose your own essay, presentation and dissertation topics, the MA allows you to pursue your specific archaeological interests throughout all our modules.

The MA in Archaeology will appeal to:
-Those wishing to explore the following themes: history, theory and practice of archaeology; the archaeology of cultural identity; landscape, monuments and architecture; technology and society; death and the body; archaeological heritage and the contemporary significance of the past.
-Those interested in the following geographical areas or chronological periods: Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Iron Age Britain, Neolithic and Bronze Age Near East, Cyprus and Greece, Africa, Pacific and historical/colonial archaeology, as well as the role of the past in contemporary societies.
-Those whose first degree was in a related discipline (eg Anthropology, Museology, History of Art, History) and now wish to take a postgraduate degree in Archaeology in order to gain a solid grounding in the discipline.
-Those who have a first degree in Archaeology (single or joint honours) who wish to advance their knowledge, understanding and skills in an exciting research led environment at the forefront of new developments and discoveries.


The Programme aims are to:
-Enable you to develop their understanding of the interrelationship between archaeological theory, interpretation and practice
-Provide you with an overview of a range of theoretical approaches to artefacts, architecture and landscape, and encourage you to explore these in relation to specific case studies
-Encourage you to develop their critical skills concerning inference and interpretation
-Encourage you to develop a critical awareness of the contemporary social and political context of archaeology
-Enhance and amplify previously acquired disciplinary and transferable skills
-Enable you to undertake self-critical original research (through the MA dissertation)

Coursework and assessment

In addition to the compulsory core module `Archaeologies of the Past, Present and Future', students take three option course units and complete a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation. Most teaching will take place in small interactive seminar groups, involving, as appropriate, directed-reading, staff and student presentations, discussion, debate, problem-solving and group-work. Assessment is both formative and summative. Most courses are summatively assessed by a 6,000-word essay. Oral presentations, poster presentations, self-reflective learning reports and assessed group work may also be used and additional formative feedback is given throughout.

Career opportunities

In addition to subject-specific content and approaches, this Masters degree teaches and develops a wealth of transferable skills that are appreciated by employers in all walks of life. Pursuing this degree thus enables students to keep open a very wide range of career options. This MA provides an excellent vocational foundation for those wishing to pursue a career in archaeology or hoping to embark upon a research degree, but is also a great general degree that teaches a diverse range of transferable skills highly sought after by employers, such as critical thinking, oral presentation, and team work.

Recent graduates have gone on to PhDs in Archaeology, to working in Archaeological Units, to teaching, to contract researching, or to work in local or central government, commerce or industry.

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-Study at one of the largest and liveliest classical world education centres in the UK. -Work with a strong research community, supported by excellent resources. Read more
-Study at one of the largest and liveliest classical world education centres in the UK
-Work with a strong research community, supported by excellent resources
-Opportunities to begin or continue your study of Ancient Greek or Latin

The MA in Classics and Ancient History is extremely flexible and wide-ranging. In this it reflects the broad, multidisciplinary nature of the subject, which includes Latin and Greek language, the history of Greek and Roman antiquity from archaic times to the beginning of the Middle Ages, and Greek and Roman literature, philosophy, and culture. The MA is designed to introduce students to advanced study in their chosen field and to equip them with the skills required for doctoral research. The programme and most modules within it allow students to tailor their advanced study and research-preparation to their interests, needs and existing knowledge. Apart from the thesis, the only compulsory unit is that devoted to research training. We also expect all students to study Latin and/or Greek as part of their MA. (No existing knowledge of Latin or Greek is required, and we are very well-equipped to support students beginning their study of either language; it is also possible to study one or both languages at more Advanced levels). Apart from these requirements, students are able to choose freely in constructing an MA course which best suits their interests and skills.

In addition, we offer one specialist route through the MA programme: namely the 'City of Rome' route. This route involves taking a course unit at the British School at Rome, for which students prepare by studying a course on Roman social and urban history.


On successful completion of the MA in Classics and Ancient History, students will:

i. Demonstrate the enhancement of previously acquired skills at a more critical, reflective, and sophisticated level, especially skills involving synthesising information from a variety of sources, historical and/or literary interpretation, exercising independent and critical judgement.
ii. Understand and respect the `otherness' of the past by developing specialist knowledge about one or more aspect of Graeco-Roman civilisation.
iii. Be able to describe, analyse, and assess ancient sources, including (as appropriate) literary, non-literary, visual, and material evidence.
iv. Be able to design and complete a substantial piece of independent research.
v. Work effectively as autonomous scholars.
vi. Be able to understand complex problems and communicate them clearly in oral and written form, with the help, where appropriate, of visual or graphic aids.

Coursework and assessment

The MA in Classics & Ancient History is made up of a taught element (120 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits). Taught units are usually assessed by extended essay, but assessment might also include oral presentations, conference posters, commentary exercises and (particularly for language units) formal examinations.

In more detail, the structure of the course is as follows:

Research training . Our core course, 'Studying the Ancient World: Techniques and Approaches', introduces you to the key research questions and methods involved in advanced study of the discipline and, in the second semester, gives you experience in developing and presenting your own research project.

Language units. If you are a beginner, you will take one of our specially-designed `intensive' courses in Latin or Greek, which will put you in a position to start reading ancient texts in the original language before the end of your MA. If you have already studied Greek or Latin, you will continue your study of one or both languages at an appropriate level. If you are already at a very advanced stage in both languages you will take a specially-designed course unit which allows you further to develop your language skills in an area related to your research interests (for example: palaeography; papyrology; textual criticism; epigraphy).

Taught course-units . The remainder of your taught credits are selected from a range of taught units, chosen from a menu covering a range of topics in Greek and Roman history, literature, and culture. Most taught units are worth 15 credits, and usually involve 11 `classroom' hours, consisting of both student-led and tutor-led discussion, supported by additional guidance and planning sessions.

It is possible for one of these units to be an approved unit from another subject area (for example, History or Archaeology), or a Directed Reading course, in which you are free to pursue whatever avenue is of interest to you, by negotiation with a tutor and with the Postgraduate Programme Director. The usual pattern for a Directed Reading course is 6 to 8 hours of contact time, which may be individual or in a small group, or a mixture of the two.

A dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words: 60 credits.

Career opportunities

This non-vocational Masters degree teaches and develops a wealth of transferable skills, and thus enables students to keep open a very wide range of career options. Recent graduates have gone on to vocational MAs (e.g. in Gallery & Museum Studies), to PhDs in Classics or Ancient History, to teaching, to contract researching, or to work in local or central government, commerce or industry.

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This course offers a flexible, challenging Masters experience. Read more
This course offers a flexible, challenging Masters experience. You can choose either the specialist pathway MA History (Public History and Heritage) or, alternatively, you may pursue a general History route selecting from a diverse range of units and independent study consistent with your own interests in the further study of History. This programme does not focus on one single historical period or theme and has modules that vary from year to year. These specialist modules draw on the research strengths of the department. We house the Manchester Centre for Regional History, which gives our students the advantage of our strong links with historians and archives that extend beyond the University.

Selected units on the part-time route of this course are available to distance learning students via the internet. These are currently - Historical Skills and Research Methods; A Good War; and Nobles, States and Societies.

Features and benefits of the course

-A long and successful record in teaching postgraduate students from a range of different backgrounds.
-Opportunities to become familiar with the rich range of sources available to historians in Manchester and the North West.
-Individual support available throughout the course.
-The Manchester Centre for Regional History is housed within the Department and you will benefit from our strong links with historians and archives that extend beyond the University.

The History Department has a wealth of expertise, with leading researchers whose published work covers a wide range of times and places:
• Roman Britain/archaeology
• Medieval Crusades
• Tudor religion
• Early Modern politics and culture
• Industrial Manchester
• World War Two
• Museums and Public Policy

Placement options

Public History and Heritage students have a placement element to the dissertation, working with a local heritage group, a library or archive. We will help you to source your placement.

About the Course

Core aspects include a research methods and historiographical unit and a dissertation which allows you to develop your own historical interests in a structured, supportive context.

Assessment details

Your assessment will take the form of essays, reviews, presentations and a dissertation.

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The MA in English and American Studies prepares students for undertaking further research in the discipline, but it is also aimed at those who wish to broaden and deepen their critical engagement with English and American literature and culture. Read more
The MA in English and American Studies prepares students for undertaking further research in the discipline, but it is also aimed at those who wish to broaden and deepen their critical engagement with English and American literature and culture. The structure of the MA is flexible, which means that you can choose to combine your interests in English and American culture, or you can choose to focus more exclusively on one or the other . The division of English, American Studies and Creative Writing at the University of Manchester provides a thriving environment, with its vibrant research culture, its close links to the Centre of New Writing, its involvement in the Manchester Literature Festival and its access to the world-class John Rylands research library.

While this MA offers you a range of exciting modules that are chronologically or geographically specific, all modules are informed by recent theoretical and historical developments that allow you to think about categories like `literature', `culture' and `history' in nuanced and fresh ways.

You can also choose 30 credits from our MA Modern and Contemporary Literature (subject to availability) to further extend the scope of your study.

Teaching and learning

In your first semester, you will choose 2 of 3 core modules (30 credits each), which will lay the groundwork for your coursework as well as preparing you to think about your dissertation. The core modules address questions that are at the heart of literary and cultural studies, and will give you conceptual tools relevant to all of the modules offered in the second semester. The core modules are entitled:
-The Times of Literature
-Space, Place and Text
-American Studies: Theories, Methods, Practice.

In the second semester, you will choose 4 out of 6 modules, each of which is weighted at 15 credits, allowing you the choice of a greater number of courses. You diversify your engagement with the field with these courses, each of which tackles a range of periods and literary/cultural productions. Some of the courses offer you the chance to engage with the holdings of the John Rylands Library. Each focuses on a body of work, or on a topic or critical question, situated in a particular context. The courses are:
-Treacherous Love: Translating the Medieval Past
-Shakespeare: Theory and Archive
-Before Sexuality: Bodies, Desires and Discourses, 1660-1900
-Revolutionary Poetics: 1789-1840
-Radical Subcultures
-Doing History in Public: Struggling over the American Past.

Students with an interest in American Studies take 6 modules in total, including, in semester one, the core course 'American Studies: Theories, Methods, Practice' plus the choice of one of the other core courses (as listed above).

Finally, students will write a 15,000-word dissertation, worth 60 credits, supervised by an academic member of staff.

Coursework and assessment

Students are required to take 180 credits of units as listed above.

The list of units on offer will be updated annually. Students may also choose up to 30 credits worth of units from another MA programme in place of one of their optional units, subject to the approval of the Programme Director.
Students will also attend seminars on such topics as how to study at MA level, how to research and write a Master's thesis, and career options.

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History MA is a stimulating programme that offers students the opportunity to create individual study pathways through time, space and methodology. Read more
History MA is a stimulating programme that offers students the opportunity to create individual study pathways through time, space and methodology. Pathways can be chronological (medieval, early modern or modern), geographical (European, transnational, international) or methodological (e.g. cultural or, economic and social history). Alternatively, students can maximise choice by exploiting the diverse range of courses on offer. All students undertake robust theoretical and methodological training, accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council. Vocational training opportunities are promoted through work placement, `Public History' and documentary film-making modules. The Manchester History MA also offers an innovative suite of thematic courses that transcend orthodox boundaries to facilitate intellectual breadth and imagination. As integrated members of the research community, Manchester MA History students engage with outstanding researchers, resources and facilities.

Coursework and assessment

All History MA Programmes comprise of 180 credits:
-Advanced Course-work: 90 credits
-Research Training: 30 credits
-Dissertation: 60 credits

Taught courses are generally assessed by a 6000-word essay per 30-credit unit (this will vary for the quantitative and qualitative research methods units).

Our courses are interactive, and the small seminar is the rule. Normally students and sometimes staff present papers to form the basis of lively discussion - not an invariable experience at an undergraduate seminar!

Research and writing of the dissertation are undertaken from Spring through to August. Supervision is offered at least until July.
The degree is awarded at Pass, Merit, and Distinction levels

Course unit details

History MA maximises the strengths of Manchester's vibrant research community: 30 members of staff with world class expertise in medieval, early modern and modern history, stretching across national and international boundaries, with strong representation in economic, social and cultural approaches to history. History MA offers students the opportunity to range across this expertise or to specialise.

Specialist pathways include Modern European History, World History, Modern British History, Early Modern History, Medieval History, Cultural History or Economic and Social History. Each of these areas is represented in advanced, core modules (accredited by the ESRC). All students take one of these modules. History MA offers outstanding doctoral research preparation training through the core module and skills training programme. Skills training can be tailored to specialist interest with language training, including Latin, and palaeography or methods training in social science. History MA skills training also equips students to pursue the MA dissertation, a major piece of original research. This year, the Board of Examiners commended the exceptional quality of research, highlighting dissertations that were `publishable'.

Students applying to the MA are eligible to apply for AHRC and ESRC funding.

New opportunities in `Public history' and work placement facilitate a vocational pathway through the programme by promoting transferable skills and focusing on the significance of history in heritage, social policy, third sector work and the media.

Additional to core courses, students take four optional modules. Options in History are organised chronologically and geographically but also include a suite of innovative thematic courses, for example, on material culture, that transcend orthodox boundaries. History has a strong record in promoting interdisciplinary study and students may select options from across the School or other faculties with permission.

Career opportunities

Apart from PhD research, the high standard of arts research training, both formal and practical (in the dissertation), opens doors to many kinds of modern public and private sector graduate employments requiring research skill, formulation of projects and policy documents, etc.

Our new and popular Work Placement Scheme (introduced 2014-15) offers our students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and learn about history in practice, in one of our partner institutions in the Manchester area. Examples include: Manchester Histories Festival, People's History Museum, Chetham's Library and University History and Heritage.

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The MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies offers you an opportunity to pursue your interest in the literatures, histories, and cultures of the European Middle Ages and Early Modern periods. Read more
The MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies offers you an opportunity to pursue your interest in the literatures, histories, and cultures of the European Middle Ages and Early Modern periods. Research in this fascinating area has a long and distinguished history at the University of Manchester. We have a lively research culture, with talks, seminars and conferences that you will be able to attend in addition to your taught courses. You will also be able to draw on the expertise of scholars engaged in cutting-edge research at the John Rylands Research Institute, where the programme is based. The John Rylands Library houses exceptional medieval and early-modern treasures (which are currently being digitised) and offers many exciting research and study opportunities. Staff teaching on this MA represent the disciplines of History, Art History and Visual Studies, English, Religions and Theology, Classics, and European Languages. Two pathways are available for students who wish to extend their knowledge in a particular chronological direction: Medieval, and Early Modern.

Coursework and assessment

Summative assessment is primarily via extended pieces of written work: the dissertation of around 15,000 words, long essays of around 4,000-6,000 words, and a variety of shorter pieces for palaeography or language classes. There is a pass mark of 50% for all assignments, marks over 60% are given as merit and over 70% as distinction. In addition, depending on the units selected, formative assessment may be based on oral presentation, class discussion, and feedback on written draft material. Assessment varies from course unit to course unit; full details of the assessment procedure for individual units can be obtained from the course director.

Those who only attain 120 credits (out of 180) will be awarded the PG Diploma in Medieval Studies.

Career opportunities

The programme is designed to equip students with the critical skills and tools necessary for research in the history, literatures, and art of the Middle Ages and Early Modern periods. Many of these theoretical and methodological skills are highly transferrable, making our graduates popular with a wide range of employers. Working in close contact with the collections of the John Rylands Library makes the Masters degree particularly suitable for students considering a future in heritage management, in library, archive, or museum work, art business, or in education. In addition to these professional career paths, other students go on to study for a PhD with the degree proving an excellent basis for an academic career. The University has an award-winning Careers Service that provides ample opportunities for career development, whether through attending courses, or acquiring specific individual guidance.

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