Our Historical Research & Public History MA offers a rich and intensive study of historical research and public history. The programme is designed to produce talented and sought-after historians who are able to apply their skills not only to academia but also to the practice of history in the public sphere.
The Historical Research & Public History MA is a one-year programme taught primarily through seminars of no more than 10 students, over the course of 86 full contact hours.
In addition, you will receive 11 hours of intensive one-to-one tutorials, in which our academics will engage and work with you to clarify, challenge, defend and develop the arguments and ideas that you express in your essays. The tutorial method is the gold standard of a humanities education. It draws out your potential by providing the deepest insights and sharpens your intellectual skills. Graduate students are also welcome to attend lectures in all the other degree programmes being offered in history or other disciplines at NCH.
MA students are also strongly encouraged to attend 40 hours of lectures on ‘History, Heritage & Memory’, which are delivered by the History Faculty as part of the College’s History BA degree. You may also attend the regular professorial lectures that are delivered to our undergraduates and friends of the College in order to further enrich their studies, led by the College’s world-leading Visiting Professors including Bettany Hughes, Sir Christopher Ricks, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, and others.
NCH understands the importance of thinking about your future while you are studying for your degree, so that you are ready to succeed in whatever you choose to do as soon as you graduate. All postgraduate students at NCH have the opportunity to benefit from the College’s professional development advisory service where you will work with our careers department on an individual basis throughout your time at NCH.
Whether you decide to pursue a career or start their own business, NCH will help identify a professional or academic future that best matches your ambitions and aptitudes, and to prepare you for success after graduation.
Research and archives
You will be introduced to major research libraries and archives including the National Archives, Senate House Library, the British Library and the British Museum, which is located mere steps from NCH.
You will be taught how to search these archives for primary sources – dating from the medieval, early modern and modern past and including manuscript sources, printed texts and quantified data – and how to research, evaluate and critique a wide range of different source materials.
You will learn to distinguish between and assess different historical perspectives, and to evaluate the usefulness of inter-disciplinary approaches to history, including anthropology, the history of art, and literary studies.
The public history strand of the programme teaches you how to critically appraise the ways in which historical knowledge can contribute to a wider public engagement with the past, and the challenges and complexities of reconstructing the past for a public audience.
During your studies, you will meet with professionals who practise History in the public realm, including historical novelists, media producers, museum curators and keeper of historic archives. The faculty will also organise a study trip a major historic house, or another site of historic interest.
Our Historical Research & Public History MA is a one-year programme of study, or can be studied part-time across three years.
Each of the programme’s seven courses have been developed and will be delivered by the History Faculty at NCH, led by award-winning academic, historian and broadcaster Dr Suzannah Lipscomb.
o Course 1: The Historian’s Craft
o Course 2: Depth Study I*
o Course 3: Public History
o Course 4: Depth Study II*
o Course 5: Dissertation I
o Course 6: Applied Public History
o Course 7: Dissertation II
* Depth Studies are chosen from:
o The Royal Court: Ritual, Culture & Power in Medieval England, 1150-1300
o Reality & Utopia: Renaissance Political Thought
o Cross-Cultural encounters in the Early Modern World
o The Later Victorian Age: Society & Culture, 1870-1900
o African Americans & Economic Inequality from Civil War to Civil Rights
Where we teachNew College of the Humanities
has the great fortune of being based in one of the best locations for a higher education institution in the UK. Situated in the heart of Bloomsbury, the main building is mere steps from the Senate House Library and the British Museum, and just a few minutes’ walk to Oxford Street, Covent Garden, Theatreland and an array of galleries and museums.
The majority of your seminars and weekly one-to-one tutorials will take place in The Registry on Bedford Square, which is home to the College’s teaching and administrative facilities.
The Registry is a stunning and recently refurbished Grade I listed, five-storey townhouse, situated in the centre of one of the most beautiful examples of a Georgian terrace. It stands opposite the tranquil and beautiful Bedford Square Gardens, the first garden square with an imposed architectural uniformity, which set the style for garden squares across London.
Offers are normally made to applicants holding an upper second-class honours undergraduate degree (or equivalent). Applicants will be assessed on an individual basis, and we are happy to consider applicants who have been out of education for a while, who have equivalent professional experience etc. References and personal statements are critical for assessing your potential to flourish. Your reference, if possible, should come from an academic contact, generally someone who has advised a dissertation or with whom you’ve closely worked. NCH welcomes applications from mature students and will individually work with you to ensure you submit the strongest application possible.