• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2015
  • Duration:

    2 years part-time or 1 year full-time

  • Attendance:

    1 evening a week part-time; 2 evenings a week full-time.

    October to July

  • Location:

    Central London

Programme overview

This Master’s degree in history will provide you with the advanced conceptual, theoretical and practical skills necessary for undertaking historical research, whether at PhD level, professionally or independently. It will give you the intellectual foundations, practical techniques and confidence to pursue your own research in the historical subject or period that most interests you.

The core modules provide fundamental training in approaching and carrying out research at a postgraduate level, including locating, retrieving and managing historical evidence, contextualising and analysing textual, visual and material sources, and using qualitative and quantitative methods, including specialist software, to assess and analyse historical data. We will critically examine problems of historical theory and practice, with an emphasis on debates around key topics such as historical narrative, objectivity and relativism, causation, the relationship of history to other disciplines, the rise and impact of social and cultural histories, and new directions in historical research and writing. We will consider some of the key methodological and theoretical approaches to history of the past 100 years, including the Annales School, Marxist historiography and postmodernism.

As well as being able to choose option modules from the extensive range offered by the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, you will also be able to elect to undertake option modules offered by other departments. The culmination of the programme is the writing of an independently researched dissertation under the guidance and supervision of one of our research-active academics.

The director of this course is Dr Carmen Mangion.

How to apply

Application deadlines and interviews

You should apply as early as possible.

Interviews from January.

Online application

Historical Research (MA) (Part-time)

Historical Research (MA) (Full-time)

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

  • This Master's degree in historical research is specifically aimed at providing intellectual and skills training for students considering future research at PhD level, professionally or independently.
  • We are located 5 minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. Other nearby specialist centres of research include the Institute of Archaeology, the Institute of Classical Studies and the Institute of Historical Research, all of which have internationally renowned library collections and run seminars that you can attend.

Course structure

You take 2 core modules and choose 2 option modules from a comprehensive list of history courses taught at Birkbeck.

You may take option modules from MA programmes run by other departments, as long as they are approved by the course director as being relevant to the proposed topic of research.

You will also write a dissertation.

Core modules

Option modules

Entry requirements

Second-class honours degree and references.

We also offer a 1-year Graduate Certificate in History, which can be used as a conversion course if you want to study history at postgraduate level, but have a degree in a significantly different discipline.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7600 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 14200 pa

Payment and Fees Discounts

Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

Fees discounts: If you are a Birkbeck alumni or a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

Funding and Financial Support

Finishing your undergraduate degree this year? Current Birkbeck students are eligible for a £10,000 scholarship to fund a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015-2016.

Named in memory of Birkbeck’s former President, and one of the greatest historians of the twentieth century, the Eric Hobsbawm Postgraduate Scholarship fund offers a full fee-waiver for Home, EU and Overseas Master’s students in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology (part-time awards are pro-rata).

Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

Find out more about funding and financial support at postgraduate level.

Careers and employability

Graduates can pursue careers in research and archiving, museums and galleries, education, or journalism. Possible professions include researcher, archivist, or journalist. This degree will also provide graduates with the skills to undertake historical research as PhD level as well as professionally and independently. It may also be useful in becoming a higher education lecturer, museum education officer, or Civil Service administrator.

Find out more about these professions.

Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

The first core module combines lectures and tutorials. The second core module and all option modules are taught solely in the form of seminars, giving you the opportunity to develop your own ideas. You will work with a supervisor on your dissertation.

Assessment

The first core module and each option module are assessed by a 5000-word essay; the second core module is examined by a shorter review essay and a research proposal. You will write a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or internationally excellent.

Read about Birkbeck research that crosses disciplines and focuses on pressing questions within the social sciences and humanities.

Further study opportunities

If you are interested in further research, we offer an MPhil/PhD in History.