The Department of History offers research-based Masters degrees to both full-time and part-time students in a wide range of subjects relating to the faculty's fields of interest (see profile pages for more details).
This degree is particularly aimed at individuals who wish to develop advanced research skills either as a prelude to a research-based career or as training to become an academic. Unlike a taught MA, students taking an MA by Research focus entirely on developing an extended dissertation of up to 40,000 words in length - over the course of a year for full-time students or two years for part-time students.
If you have an innovative historical problem that you want to solve, we recommend that you approach a member of staff informally in the first instance. For this degree it is essential that you have a viable project of appropriate scale and scope, and this can be developed in correspondence or conversation with a potential supervisor before you make your formal application.
Operating under the close guidance of a personal supervisor, Research Masters students first design an individual research agenda, then conduct extensive primary and secondary investigations before writing up their findings.
The thesis should be considered a first step toward developing research output of genuine historical significance. As such, while counting as a research degree in its own right, the MA by research may, for suitable students, lead through the upgrading process to a transfer to the MPhil/PhD programme.
Alongside regular meetings with their supervisor, all research students have a Thesis Advisory Panel (TAP), consisting of at least one member of staff in addition to the supervisor, which meets twice a year and oversees more general professional development and career training.
Additionally, all students receive introductions to the University Library, the Borthwick Institute, and other libraries, archives and research facilities in York and elsewhere.
Individuals planning to apply for research-based degrees are encouraged to contact the member of our staff most closely affiliated with their research interests in the first instance. Please include: A one to two page research proposal that is as specific as possible; An explanation of your background in the proposed area of research; A piece of written work, if feasible. This will enable the member of staff to advise you on whether they would be willing and able to supervise the project. We are always happy to discuss ideas to help candidates refine their proposal and improve chances of funding.
Recipient: University of York
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