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MRes Study

Programme Introduction

  • The MRes in History equips students with the advanced historical research skills necessary to complete an individual, large-scale research project.  This course is ideal for self-motivated and committed students who already have an MA but wish to progress to a complex and specialised area of knowledge that interests them. It is taught at a post MA level, and students are expected to be well versed in historical approaches. The core courses are convened by experienced academic staff with a range of methodological research skills.  You will be guided by both a programme coordinator and an academic supervisor who will be an innovator in their field of research.

Why Study This Course at Birkbeck?

  • Specially aimed at providing historical research skills training for students wishing to complete a substantial research project
  • Interact with internationally renowned historians and researchers covering a wide geographical and thematic spread.
  • Conveniently located for the British Museum, the British Library, and a range of specialist research centres.


  • Once a week in autumn and spring term of Year 1.
  • Once a term in Year 2.
  • Various opportunities during the year to participate in Birkbeck’s vital postgraduate culture through lectures, seminars, workshops, etc.
  • Field visits to archives.
  • Teaching is by seminars and workshops with one-to-one supervision meetings for the dissertation.

Course Structure

  • The programme consists of 2 core modules and a 30,000 word dissertation.
  • The first module Planning Historical Research is meant to enhance critical thinking strategies and project management competences.  The student will immerse themselves in the scholarship published in their research area and produce a literature review which assesses topics, trends and approaches.
  • The second module Practical Research Skills for Historians introduces practical skills and techniques of historical research through three main themes: locating and retrieving historical material; critiquing primary and secondary sources; and examining and organizing historical information.

Careers and Employability

  • Develops key transferable professional skills: research, communication, planning, self-management
  • Possible careers in research, education, archives, heritage industry, publishing, media, arts administration, charities, journalism, politics, government

Information about the Department

  • We are a centre of original and influential research: our consistently strong performance in the Research Assessment Exercise places the Department among the top five in the UK.
  • Our academic staff are renowned internationally as authorities in their field and deliver stimulating teaching programmes at all levels of study.

How to Apply

  • Applications for the MRes are accepted from January.  Interviews run until the beginning of the academic year in late September/early October.
  • Along with the usual Master’s application form, students are expected to include a 500 word dissertation proposal (exclusive of indicative Bibliography).
  • Find more information and the application form.