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Contemporary History (MSc)

Course Description

Programme description

This programme allows you to explore the links between history and current affairs, and discover how the recent past has shaped today’s world. It aims to provide excellent preparation for graduate research on most recent history in a global context.

It is designed to serve as a springboard for more graduate work at the PhD level or as a stand alone graduate degree that also benefits the individual graduate in a non-academic career.

The programme makes use of the city of Edinburgh’s unique archival and bibliographical resources (The National Archives of Scotland, The National Library of Scotland, the University’s library and archives), as well as of its role in current British politics. Contact with Scottish politicians and with foreign representatives in Scotland is envisioned as a supplementary part of the programme.

Programme structure

The programme combines methodological and substantive courses with intensive participation by the students. The analysis of diverse primary source material is essential, as is situating any research findings within an established historiographical tradition. You will also complete a substantial dissertation under expert supervision.

Compulsory courses:
Historical Methodology
Historical Research: Skills and Sources
Introduction to Contemporary History

Optional courses:
Anglo-Spanish Relations, 1936–1950
A Political Economy of Britain since 1945
Cinema and Society in Britain
Conservatism in the United States, c1930–c1990
Contemporary Scotland
Ethnicity, Class and Power in 20th Century Africa
Gender, Crime and Deviancy: Britain c1860–1960
History as Romance, Profession, Critique: Theory and Scholarship in the West, 1835–1985
Home Rule in Ireland and Britain, 1800–2000
Making War, Making Peace: European International History, 1914–1945
The British at War, 1939–1945
Themes in African Social History
Themes in Modern British and Irish Historiography
Unionism in Ireland and Britain, c1800–2000
The Civil Rights Movement
Armed Struggle: The Northern Ireland Troubles and their Origins
The Politics of Historiography in Post-Colonial South Asia
The United States and the Cold War
The United States and the Vietnam War: Origins and Repercussions
Thinking the 20th Century
Hannah Arendt and the Breakdown of European Civilization
Topics in Post-1945 European History

Career opportunities

This programme provides a suitable foundation for advanced study, or a number of careers, for example politics or journalism.

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

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

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

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