The MSc by Research in History is aimed at students who have a specific topic of interest into which they wish to conduct their own research.
The programme provides structured research training while at the same time enabling you to pursue a research project that you design yourself, in consultation with supervisors. It serves as both a self-contained research degree and a preparation for further study for the PhD degree.
History at Edinburgh is one of the largest and most distinguished departments of its kind.
Research interests within History are extremely wide-ranging and include medieval culture, religion, gender, and law; historical theory; early modern witchcraft and the occult; the Italian Renaissance; North America from the colonial era; intellectual history from Machiavelli to Marx; genocide; Nazi and post-war Germany; Russia and the Soviet Union; the Cold War; and political, social, and cultural aspects of the history of China, Japan, and India in the modern era.
In particular, we host expertise in:
The programme consists of two compulsory training courses common to all History MSc degrees, two directed reading and research courses and a dissertation on a topic chosen by the student.
Two supervisors are assigned at the outset of the course for each student's dissertation.
This programme requires completion of a long dissertation of 30,000 words. Students will additionally audit two training courses Historical Research: Skills and Sources and Historical Methodology.
You will be assigned two supervisors who will provide expert academic guidance on your chosen research topic. You will meet regularly to discuss your progress and research plans, as well as drafts of your thesis/dissertation chapters, conference papers and potential articles.
In addition to individual supervision, you will also have access to research training and postgraduate seminars.
Our home is the William Robertson Wing, an A-listed building on the southern edge of Edinburgh’s Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Designed by the distinguished 19th-century architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, the building – part of the University’s Old Medical School – has recently been refurbished to an exceptional standard, providing state-of-the-art facilities for research, teaching and study.
Graduate students are able to use two further large School study and resource rooms, which are open to all staff and students. There is access to lockers equipped with laptop charging facilities as well as standard lockers.
The building is wireless enabled and includes state of the art teaching rooms, meeting rooms, a common room, a refreshment area, and open social/breakout areas.
The programme will enable you to:
The concentration on research under supervision makes this degree suitable for those contemplating doctoral study, whether in our own School or elsewhere, and many who take this degree follow that route.
But undertaking substantial and independent research and a writing project is equally excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers.
This programme will allow you to take a broad approach to African, Indian, American, British and European history from the early modern period to the 21st century.
A core module will allow you to sharpen your research skills, and you’ll choose from a wide range of optional modules spanning nations, continents, periods and themes to explore topics that interest you. You could study black internationalism alongside early modern Europe, the Spanish state, Stalinism, political violence in India or apartheid.
You’ll be taught by leading researchers as part of a large and diverse School of History and Leeds Humanities Research Institute, supported by active research groups and extensive library resources. Our research interests range from social history and identity to political history, nationalism and internationalism, meaning this flexible programme offers plenty of opportunities to gain important skills while focusing on issues that suit your interests.
You’ll study in a supportive environment with a wide range of resources. The world-class Brotherton Library has one of the best history collections in the UK, ranging from monographs and journals to conference papers, theses and over 100 digital databases of primary sources and other materials for fundamental research. The Brotherton also has its own special collections including the Leeds Russian Archive and the Feminist Archive North.
The Alf Mattinson Collection is full of printed works and papers related to the history of the Labour Party, and the Romany collection and Liddle Collection offer insights into Romany culture and the First World War respectively.
This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months.
You’ll study one core module in your first semester, introducing you to different research methodologies in history and allowing you to develop your skills. You’ll also select from a wide range of optional modules throughout the year, allowing you to pursue topics that interest you such as the history of Yorkshire, the European Enlightenment or issues surrounding global security.
You’ll also have the opportunity to work collaboratively with partner organisations, such as the West Yorkshire Archive Service, by studying the ‘Making History: Archive Collaborations’ module.
This programme will equip you with in-depth subject knowledge, as well as high-level skills in research, interpretation and analysis. You’ll be able to demonstrate these when you complete your dissertation on a modern history topic of your choice, which you’ll submit by the end of the programme.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
We use a range of teaching and learning methods. The majority of your modules will be taught through weekly seminars, where you’ll discuss issues and themes in your chosen modules with a small group of students and your tutors. Independent study is also crucial to this degree, giving you the space to shape your own studies and develop your skills.
We use different types of assessment to help you develop a wide range of skills, including presentations, research proposals, case studies and essays, depending on the subjects you choose.
This programme will heighten your cultural and social awareness as well as allowing you to build your historical knowledge. You’ll also gain high-level research, analysis and communication skills that will prove valuable in a wide range of careers.
Graduates have found success in a wide range of careers in education, research and the private sector. Many others have continued with their studies at PhD level.
We offer different forms of support to help you reach your career goals. You’ll have the chance to attend our career groups, meeting students with similar plans, or you could become a paid academic mentor to an undergraduate completing their final-year dissertation. You could also apply for one of the internships we offer each year.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
This programme introduces you to a range of colonial and postcolonial discourse from countries and regions such as Africa, the Americas, Asia, Canada and Oceania. You will explore a range of issues contingent upon colonisation, independence, and the formation of postcolonial diasporic communities.
You will be encouraged to develop a knowledge and understanding of the roles played by various forms of writing in the shaping and representation of postcolonial subjectivity and context, and to contextualise postcolonial writing in terms of its chronological and geographical specificities, deepening your knowledge and understanding of selected themes and topics in a way that will enable you to select and execute an independent piece of research.
We are the oldest department of English Literature in the world, and at the last Research Assessment Exercise were awarded the highest research rating possible, of 5*A. We have one of the largest graduate programmes in this area in the country and a rich research culture covering all aspects of literatures in English.
We offer supervision in all areas of postcolonial literature, and have particular strengths in African American and Chicana writing, black British writing, Canadian literature, Indian subcontinental and diasporic writing, New Zealand literature, and Pacific literature.
The research of staff has made valuable contributions to the areas of literature and philosophy, modernism/postmodernism, medieval and early modern literature, history of the book, romanticism, transatlantic studies and performance studies.
English Literature houses the Centre for the History of the Book and is one of the UK's leading forces in this area. It works closely with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and with the National Library of Scotland. The latter's recently acquired Murray Archive is crucial for studies in Romanticism, Book History, Bibliography and Archive Studies.
The course includes a 15,000-word dissertation, completed under the supervision of one or more of the course tutors. Students will undertake a seminar based programme of research methods training in core research skills and subject specific methodologies. They will also take two option courses covering areas of postcolonial literature and culture related to their chosen fields, each consisting of a weekly two-hour seminar, and will write two extended essays in relation to these courses.
The academic staff you will be working with are all active researchers or authors, many of them prize winners and leading scholars in their fields. As well as benefiting from their expert supervision, you will undertake a seminar-based programme of training in core research skills and subject-specific methodologies. You will also have the opportunity to develop other transferable skills through the University’s Institute for Academic Development
We encourage you to share your research and learn from the work of others through a vibrant programme of Work-in-Progress seminars, reading groups, visiting speakers and conferences.
Our postgraduate journal, Forum, is a valuable conduit for research findings, and provides an opportunity for editorial experience.
On hand are all the amenities you would expect, such as computing facilities, study areas and a common room and kitchen. Our location gives you easy access to the University’s general facilities, such as the Main Library and our collections, as well as to the National Museum, National Library and National Galleries of Scotland at the heart of the city.
In addition to the impressive range of resources available at the University’s Main Library (more than two million printed volumes and generous online resources) and the nearby National Library of Scotland, we host a number of collections of rare and valuable archival materials, all of which will be readily available to you as a postgraduate student.
Among the literary treasures are the libraries of William Drummond, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Hugh MacDiarmid, Adam Smith, Dugald Stewart and Norman MacCaig, plus the WH Auden collection, the Corson Collection of works by and about Sir Walter Scott and the Ramage collection of poetry pamphlets.
Our cultural collections are highly regarded and include a truly exceptional collection of early Shakespeare quartos and other early modern printed plays, and world-class manuscript and archival collections.