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MA Modern History

Course Description

About the course

Historians have long been fascinated by modernity and the societies to which it gave rise. The MA Modern History explores these changes, allowing you to explore the political cleavages and cultural uncertainty unleashed by the great revolutions, the mobilisations and resistance of the two world wars, and the transnational forces of empire and globalisation.

Our department

We are one of the largest, most active and successful centres for teaching and historical research both in the UK and internationally. Our academic reputation means that we are ranked third in the UK for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Our team of over 35 academic staff and 100 postgraduate students work together to create a thriving and supportive research culture. This vibrant community includes a regular research seminar series, covering a huge range of topics, and a range of research centres and networks exploring interdisciplinary themes. Our students also run an active Postgraduate Forum organising a wide variety of social and research events, and collaborating with staff and students both in Sheffield and further afield.

Our teaching

Our world-leading research informs what we teach. We offer a flexible degree structure with a wide range of modules covering a variety of periods, locations, themes and approaches.

An MA degree in history will further develop the range of transferable skills at your disposal. You will have the freedom to tailor your research and focus on the skills that are most important to you. We offer modules that are specifically designed to provide you with skills in public history – Presenting the Past, History Writer’s Workshop and Work Placement all give you real, hands-on experience.

Your future

These kinds of skills are why our graduates are successful in both further study and a wide range of careers – from taking PhDs, lecturing and working in the museum and tourist industry to business management, marketing, law and working in the media.

In addition to the personal and professional development you will experience through your modules, we offer dedicated careers support to enable you to successfully plan your future.


University and AHRC Studentships are available. Please contact us or see our website for further details. You’ll need to submit your application by the appropriate funding deadline.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll be taught through seminars and individual tutorials. Assessment is by bibliographical and source-based exercises, written papers, oral presentation, and a 15,000 word dissertation.

Part-time study

All our masters can be taken part-time. Seminars are held during working hours (9am–6pm) – there are no lectures. The number of contact hours will vary over the two years, but you’ll usually have at least one two-hour seminar each week. You’ll take one core module each year and the rest of your course will be made up from optional modules giving you plenty of choice and flexibility over what you study.

Core modules

Research Presentation; Modernity and Power: Individuals and the State in the Modern World; Dissertation.

Examples of optional modules

Voices of the Great War: gender, experience and violence in Great Britain and Germany, 1914-1918; The Fin-de-Siècle; Autobiography, Identity and the Self in Muslim South Asia; Stories of Activism, 1960 to the Present; Cold War Histories; Sex and Power: The politics of women’s liberation in Modern Britain; Worlds of Labour: working class lives in colonial South Asia; City Life in Jacksonian America, 1828–1850.

Visit the MA Modern History page on the University of Sheffield website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in history or other humanities or social science discipline from a UK or overseas university. You may be asked to supply examples of previous written work. English language requirements: overall IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.

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