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Contemporary History MA

Course Description

This programme allows you to benefit from the expertise of a very large number of modern and contemporary historians at Birmingham. It approaches contemporary history as a global phenomenon and offers a wide variety of modules on world history in the twentieth century. You will be able to specialise on many areas of British, American, African, South Asian, Middle East and European History. The MA in Contemporary History also provides ideal preparation for PhD research.

The programme is designed to provide you with a solid grounding in the major outlines of recent world history, along with a wide choice of specialised modules to suit your own interest. By combining breadth with depth, it provides a framework within which you will be able to develop both your empirical and conceptual knowledge of the recent past.

Course content

You will take two core modules:

- Mass Society and Modernity 1914-1945 (Autumn term)
- Globalisation since 1945 (Spring term)

You will also take two ‘skills and methods’ modules:

- Historical Methods (Autumn term)
- Dissertation Preparation (Spring term)

You will also choose optional modules, one per term, or a double Special Subject module over two terms. These are chosen from a wide range of modules available both in and beyond the History department.

You will complete the programme with a 15,000-word dissertation.


The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Our History graduates develop a range of skills including, familiarity with research methods, the ability to manage large and diverse quantities of information, and the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines, which can be used in a variety of occupations. A snapshot of graduate destinations over a five-year period has identified a variety of career paths, from journalism, to accounting, to lecturing. Historically, over 94% of our History students have been in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open day (Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Visit the Contemporary History MA page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You will need an Honours degree in a relevant subject, such as History, Politics, Cultural Studies, normally of an upper second-class standard.

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