One year full-time or two years part-time
One evening a week
This Master's degree in history will equip you with the advanced historical research skills needed to complete an individual, large-scale research project.
Core modules will help you develop project management skills and extend your critical analytical skills through the planning and writing of a literature review. You will also learn practical skills and techniques, including locating and retrieving historical material, critiquing primary and secondary sources, and examining and organising historical information.
These core modules are taught by experienced, research-active academics with a range of methodological research skills and publications, while your dissertation supervisor will be an innovator in their field of research.
The programme culminates in the researching and writing of a 30,000-word dissertation on the topic that most interests you, which will allow you to exercise and demonstrate your advanced historical research skills.
This course is ideal for self-motivated and committed students who wish to research and write on a complex, specialised area of historical knowledge that interests them, whether in preparation for historical research at PhD level, professionally or independently.
- Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings.
- This research Master's degree in history will train you in historical research skills if you wish to complete a substantial historical research project, such as a PhD.
- You will be taught by, and work alongside, internationally renowned historians and researchers covering a wide geographical and thematic spread.
- Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), History at Birkbeck was ranked sixth in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent. 94% of our eligible staff submitted research and we achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.
- Our academic staff are international authorities in their fields, delivering stimulating, research-led teaching.
- Our Department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
- We are located five minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. The Institute of Historical Research is located in Bloomsbury, near the main Birkbeck campus, and has an internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend.
- 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).
- Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.
- Find out more about why you should study with us.
The programme consists of three components: two core modules of 30 credits each at Level 7 and a 30,000-word dissertation worth 120 credits.
Part-time modules Year 1
Part-time modules Year 2
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
A good BA honours degree (2.1 or above) and an MA degree (with a Merit or above). At least one of these degrees should be in history.
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.
If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)
If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.
We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students.
Fees (2017/8)Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 pa
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.
Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.
Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.
In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.
Methods of teaching on this course
Teaching is varied and interactive, including seminars, short lectures, group work, discussion, student presentations and field studies.
Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).
Indicative class size
Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.
Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:
- academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
- written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
- numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).
Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.
Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.
Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.
Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.
Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.
Methods of assessment on this course
The assessed components include a literature review and a detailed dissertation proposal.
You will need to attend at least 60% of classes in order to pass.
As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.
Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.
Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.
Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
Graduates can pursue careers in research and archiving, education, the heritage industry, publication and the media, the charity sector and journalism. Possible professions include historian, higher education lecturer, or archivist. This degree provides a range of transferable skills, which may be useful in becoming a journalist, heritage manager, politician’s assistant, academic librarian, or museum/gallery curator.
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.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.
Application deadlines and interviews
You should apply as early as possible. Interviews from January.
You are also expected to complete a 500-word dissertation proposal, to be included with the application form.
New Birkbeck initiative provides life-changing education opportunities for asylum seekers
20 asylum seekers from troubled places around the world joined Birkbeck at the start of the new academic year thanks to the Compass Project, a ground-breaking initiative that provided fully-funded places for them to study undergraduate or postgraduate certificate courses of their choice.
Birkbeck student wins prestigious Institute of Business Ethics’ Competition
David Kerr has been announced as the winner of this year’s Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) student essay competition, for his exploration of the ethical questions of tax avoidance.
Professor Bill Bowring awarded Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences
Professor Bowring is a leading expert in the UK on legal and human rights issues in Russia and the countries of the Former Soviet Union, and Eastern and Central Europe.
Sunil Gupta: In Pursuit of Love
Peltz Gallery, 43 Gordon Square
Alma-Tadema: Antiquity at Home and on Screen
Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square
Get Started - October 2017 (Central Campus)
Room 416, Birkbeck, University Of London, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX
Quest for justice
A quest for justice leads Marie Hydara to a law degree at Birkbeck.
Trailblazing in Maths
Professor Sarah Hart marks International Women’s Day.
Podcast: Advice from an elder
Dan Reagan studied at Birkbeck in 1969. Now aged 84, he offers advice to today's students.