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American History (MSc)


Course Description

Programme description

This MSc provides an introduction to advanced study in American history both to students who plan to embark on doctoral work and to students who simply want to spend a year pursuing intellectual interests developed as undergraduates.

The programme is distinctive in its breadth and diversity, both chronological and thematic. It draws on the wide range of American historical expertise available in the School.

You'll enrich your skills in independent research and gain an in-depth understanding of the key topics and historiographical debates of this young nation’s dynamic past, from the American Revolution to the Cold War.

The programme offers a challenging academic experience, particularly for those who wish to combine a small-scale research project with specialist methodological, theoretical, historical and historiographical training. You will attain a level of expertise and knowledge that will enable you to embark upon independent research at an advanced level in American history.

You'll be part of a vibrant research culture, one that encourages collaboration and includes regular lectures, seminars, and other events involving leading American historians.

The impressive resources of the University’s Main Library and the National Library of Scotland, home to one of the UK’s largest collections of Americana, will be on hand.

Programme structure

You’ll take two semesters of seminar-style courses in small groups. You will then apply your independent research skills in developing your own dissertation, under the supervision of our academic staff. This is your chance to be creative; our breadth of historical expertise means we’re open to almost any feasible area of interest.

Compulsory courses:
Historical Methodology
Historical Research: Skills and Sources
Themes in American Historiography

Option courses:
British Emigration, 1603–1914
Calvinist Theology and Piety in Britain and America, c1590–1660
Intellectual History of the American Revolution
American Foreign Policy
Slavery in the British Atlantic World, 1650–1834
The Civil Rights Movement
The United States and the Cold War
Conservatism in the United States, c1930–c1990

Career opportunities

The programme equips you to go on to advanced study. Equally, a graduate degree from Edinburgh will be respected by employers in many fields.

The combination of skills training courses, specialised seminars, and independent research provides you with a broad range of transferable skills that will be beneficial whatever path you choose.

Visit the American History (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant discipline is normally required.

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