Historical Research (MA)

Year of entry


Start date

October 2017


Central London


Fully Approved


Two years part-time or one year full-time


One evening a week part-time or two evenings a week full-time, October to July

Other entry years for this course


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 academic director of this course is Professor Chandak Sengoopta.

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Course structure

You take two core modules and choose two 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.

Not all modules are available each year. 

Read more about modules

Core modules

Indicative option modules

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