This Master’s degree in history will provide you with the advanced conceptual, theoretical and practical skills necessary for undertaking historical research, whether at PhD level, professionally or independently. It will give you the intellectual foundations, practical techniques and confidence to pursue your own research in the historical subject or period that most interests you.
The core modules provide fundamental training in approaching and carrying out research at a postgraduate level, including locating, retrieving and managing historical evidence, contextualising and analysing textual, visual and material sources, and using qualitative and quantitative methods, including specialist software, to assess and analyse historical data. We will critically examine problems of historical theory and practice, with an emphasis on debates around key topics such as historical narrative, objectivity and relativism, causation, the relationship of history to other disciplines, the rise and impact of social and cultural histories, and new directions in historical research and writing. We will consider some of the key methodological and theoretical approaches to history of the past 100 years, including the Annales School, Marxist historiography and postmodernism.
As well as being able to choose option modules from the extensive range offered by the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, you will also be able to elect to undertake option modules offered by other departments. The culmination of the programme is the writing of an independently researched dissertation under the guidance and supervision of one of our research-active academics.
Why study this course at Birkbeck?
Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings. This Master's degree in historical research is specifically aimed at providing intellectual and skills training for students considering future research at PhD level, professionally or independently. Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is one of the leading research and teaching departments for history in the UK. It is ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent. Our academic staff are international authorities in their fields, delivering stimulating, research-led teaching. Our department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. We are located 5 minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. The Institute of Historical Research is located in Bloomsbury, near the main Birkbeck campus, and has an internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend. Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials. Find out more about why you should study with us.
Clare enjoyed much about studying at Birkbeck: 'When I first arrived, I was struck by the enthusiasm and approachability of the History staff regarding their teaching responsibilities. I have no doubt that this was instrumental in allowing me to develop a confidence in my work that I had never had before.
'My fellow students also made a great difference to my studies. I found myself amongst a wonderful mix of ages, backgrounds and first-degree subjects: the insight, arguments and experience they brought to the seminar table were extremely stimulating.
'Once I had decided to embark upon a doctorate, there was no question in my mind as to where I wanted to study and when Professor Joanna Bourke agreed to continue supervising me, I knew I was in the hands of the best historian in the UK (I would go so far as to say the world) for my subject.
'Having completed just over one term of my PhD, I have further realised how well my Master's at Birkbeck prepared me for what was ahead. As someone who returned to academic studies without any clear idea as to where it might lead, it is very much through Birkbeck's excellent teaching that I have developed my confidence and ambition which not only allowed me to embark on a PhD but also to be awarded an AHRC studentship.'
Eric Hobsbawm Postgraduate Scholarships - Fee Waiver
Birkbeck College is pleased to announce the first call for Eric Hobsbawm Postgraduate Scholarships, named in memory of one of the greatest historians of the last century. From 1947 until his death in 2012, Eric Hobsbawm was a loyal member of Birkbeck College.The Scholarships have been set up to encourage the next generation of talented historians to pursue original, high-quality and exciting research in history by assisting financially with study and research costs.Applicants are invited for two full fee-waiver scholarships for MA study in the department of History, Classics and Archaeology (£6,950). Overseas applicants and part-time applicants are welcome, as well as home/EU full-time applications (part-time awards are pro-rata).The Eric Hobsbawm Scholarships have been made possible thanks to many large and small donations from his friends and former students. Birkbeck College gratefully acknowledges the help and support of the Hobsbawm family.
Value of Scholarship(s)
Overseas applicants and part-time applicants are welcome, as well as home/EU full-time applications (part-time awards are pro-rata).
Applicant for the MA fee-waiver scholarships must apply through the usual process for a place on the MA programme (see information elsewhere on this website). In addition, applicants are asked to submit two documents directly to the department:1) a one-page statement outlining what they hope to achieve by taking the MA programme, noting in particular what they hope to research for their dissertation2) a one-page personal statement that includes a basic CV, and a note on the applicant’s financial circumstances.
School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy, Postgraduate Taught (PGT) Bursary
Applications are invited for one 'Postgraduate Taught' Bursary worth £6,000, to be awarded to a candidate with an outstanding academic record who shows high potential for strong performance on one of the School's 'Postgraduate Taught' programmes.This competition is open to new Home/EU and International students who are applying for either a full-time or part-time MA/MSc place in the departments listed below; the competition is also open to students who are applying to the Department of Philosophy and the degree of M.Phil. Stud. Philosophy.This £6,000 award is in the form of a bursary (i.e., there is no 'fee waiver' but the bursary may be used towards payment of fees). If awarded to a part-time student, the bursary will be paid for two years of PGT study.Please note that in order to apply for funding you must also complete an application for a place at Birkbeck on an MA/MSc programme within the School of SSHP or the MPhil. Stud. in the Department of Philosophy, either before or at the same time as applying for funding.Prospective studentsCandidates will be expected to fulfil similar academic criteria to those demanded by external funding bodies. They will normally possess at least an upper second class honours degree or equivalent.
Value of Scholarship(s)
This competition is open to new Home/EU and International students who are applying for either a full-time or part-time MA/MSc place in the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy; the competition is also open to students who are applying to the Department of Philosophy and the degree of M.Phil. Stud. Philosophy.This competition is open to new students only.
Before you apply, you should contact the relevant department for advice.Once you have identified a relevant programme, you will need to:Apply online for the relevant MA/MSc or MPhil. Stud. (Dept. of Philosophy) degree in the normal wayDownload the SSHP Postgraduate Taught Bursary Application Form Word iconThe SSHP Studentship application form should be returned to Jane Halstead, Assistant School Manager, via the following email address:[email protected] STATE ‘PGT BURSARY’ AND DEPARTMENT APPLIED TO IN THE ‘SUBJECT’ LINE OF YOUR E-MAIL.Any queries relating to the PGT Bursary can also be sent to this email address.
Postgraduate Support Scheme for final-year undergraduates (full-time)
We are pleased to announce that, for October 2015 entry, Birkbeck has a limited number of new £10,000 postgraduate scholarships. These scholarships are for students progressing from a full-time undergraduate degree to a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015/16.
Value of Scholarship(s)
To be eligible for the scholarship you must be:Starting a 2-year part-time taught Master’s degree in 2015/16 Domiciled in the UK/EU Progressing from an undergraduate course for which you were charged the higher tuition fee (applicable since 2012–13) Studying at postgraduate Master’s level for the first time
If you want to apply for this support, you must follow these steps:Submit an application for your intended course Submit an application for the Postgraduate Support Scheme
Second-class honours degree and references. We also offer a 1-year Graduate Certificate in History , which can be used as a conversion course if you want to study history at postgraduate level, but have a degree in a significantly different discipline. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
Recipient: Birkbeck, University of London
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