MA in Historical Research

The Institute of Historical Research is well placed to offer a taught degree in historical research. It has two active research centres, one of the finest open access libraries in the country, the largest weekly seminar series currently operating in a University, a thriving annual events programme, specialised research training programmes in research methods, language information and information technology and unrivalled digital resources. This degree enables students to undertake assessed work in the historical issues and controversies that interest them most.

Students are introduced to key historical approaches, sources and methods and learn to apply them to their particular subject field. The course offers wide-ranging research training, and importance is placed on the use of architecture, material culture, archaeology and literature to aid historical research and understanding. Field trips and museum visits form a key part of the training programme.

From 2014-15, Module 1, ‘Historical Research Skills’, will be taught through 10 weekly two-hour classes. It will focus on providing students with practical historical skills and an understanding of different historical approaches and methods. It will offer students an introduction to the theoretical basis of historical approaches and offer the opportunity to explore how related disciplines (such as archaeology, anthropology, sociology and political science) have helped historians adopt new approaches to the past. Methodological approaches, including the handling of material evidence, the use of digital techniques, and the interpretation of visual sources, will also be studied. It will be assessed by a 1,500 essay based on participation in one of the IHRs research training courses, and an essay of 5,000 words on the use of research skills for a particular piece of historical research of the student’s choice.

The second core module, ‘History in context’ will again be taught through 10 two-hour lectures and seminars. It explores a number of themes in historical research, building on the skills and approaches learned in Module 1. These include local and urban history, as well as the history of gender, migration and empires. Students will be encouraged to think about the significance of continuity and change in history and periodization, as well as the presentation of history in museums and other public fora. Assessment will be one 5,000 word essay and an assessed presentation on one of the aspects of History in Context.

Module 3 (replacing an independent research project) offers a range of options courses which allow students to select a topic to study in more detail prior to commencing work on their dissertations. Students will be required to study two options courses, each being assessed by an essay of 3,000 words.

The dissertation (15,000 words), which can be undertaken in any historic area where Institute of Historical Research staff have supervisory competence, offers the chance to design and implement a project drawing on the skills and methods learnt during the course. For further details about the course, see the 2014-15 School of Advanced Study Prospectus

Degree code:RTIHR
Credit value:180

Two compulsory taught modules, two options courses, plus a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Students are also required to undertake a short (assessed) research training course.

Mode of study:12 months full-time or 24 months part-time.
Fees 2013–14:

Full-time Home and EU Master’s students: £5,250.

Part-time Home and EU Master’s students: £2,625.

Fulltime Overseas Master’s students: £12,000.

FundingSee here for SAS studentships and bursaries.

First-class or upper second-class degree (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject.

Applicants with relevant experience and skill may also be considered. 

Language requirements

IELTS (International English LanguageTesting Service) test at level 7 or a degree taken in a majority English-speaking country.

See here for full details.

Visa requirements

The Institute welcomes applications from international students. If in doubt as to the effect of your status on your application please contact the School registry on 020 7862 8663.

Potential applicants should be aware of the impact of the Government’s Points Based system for Tier 4 (i.e. student) entrants on their application. See UK Border Agency for full details.

DeadlineApplications are accepted throughout the year but must have been received and processed by 31 August.
Application formDownload the application form from the SAS Website