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MA in Public History


Course Description

The MA in Public History offers students cutting edge interdisciplinary academic training together with exciting opportunities for hands-on experience in the cultural sphere through a placement in the heritage sector. The programme is designed to give students an understanding of the critical issues in public history and to analyze the variety of changing ways that the public engage with the past through not only traditional media, but also new digital and rich media products.

Programme of Study

The programme consists of three taught modules (20 credits each), a public history placement (20 credits) and a 20,000-word dissertation (100 credits), which makes up the 180 credits that is normal for an MA in the UK higher education system. For students registered for full-time study, the modules are organised across the academic year as follows:

Autumn Term (October-December)
One core module taught by weekly seminar is taken: Public History I: Meaning and Values in Public History introduces students to a broad range of conceptual and methodological frameworks for understanding the relationship between the past and its manifestations in contemporary society. Students are able to take an option module chosen from a list approved by the MA Convenor. Additionally, all students participate in the research training programme which prepares them for independent work on their dissertation later in the year.
*Core Module: Public History I: Meanings and Values in Public History
*Option Module
*Independent Study Module: Research Training Programme I

Spring Term (January-March)
One core module taught by weekly seminar is taken: Public History II: Methodologies and Practices in Public History introduces students to the deployment of the past in the public realm, and particularly the means by which it is put into practical use in a wide variety of contemporary social contexts. Students undertake a placement from which they gain hands-on experience of working in the field and allows them to reflect on the theory and practice of public history. Students also continue to participate in the research training programme.
*Core Module: Public History II: Methodologies and Practices in Public History
*Public History Placement
*Independent Study Module: Research Training Programme II

Summer Term (April-September)
During the summer term and over the vacation, all students will write a research dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a subject of their own choosing, which may arise from their placement or one of their taught modules, under the supervision of a member of staff that is submitted at the end of the academic year. The dissertation counts for 56% of the total assessment, whilst the taught elements account for the rest.
*Independent Study Module: Research Dissertation

Part-time Students
Students registered for part-time study over two years would take Public History I: Meanings and Values in Public History in their first Autumn Term plus an Option in the Spring Term of their first year. This would be followed by Public History II: Methodologies and Practices in Public History and a Public History Placement in their second Autumn and Spring Terms respectively, with the planning, research, and writing of their dissertation spread over the two years of their registration.

Visit the MA in Public History page on the University of York website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Candidates should normally have, or be expected to obtain, a good honours degree or its equivalent in an appropriate subject at an undergraduate level.

Course Fees

2015/16 Home/EU: £6,450; Overseas: £15,150


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Recipient: University of York

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