MA in Modern History

View module information for this course.

Brandenburg Gate closed during period of Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany

The taught component of the MA is designed to develop your understanding of key historiographical and methodological approaches. You will take a core module, which examines the essential workings of your chosen area of expertise and develops your skills in using relevant sources.

Option modules allow you to undertake the technical training best suited to your research needs and study major historical themes in closer detail.

The dissertation provides you with the opportunity to further develop the skills and methods that you learn during your taught modules and to apply this historical knowledge to your independent investigation.

Tailor your degree

Our MA degrees are carefully designed to allow you to build a programme that suits your needs: supporting your progression to PhD research, as well as allowing you to aid your career development and expand your knowledge in your chosen area of history.

Choose full-time or part-time study. All of our degrees for you to study full-time over one year, or part-time over two years part-time. 

Masters programme of study

You will take three core modules.

Modernity & Power: Individuals & The State In The Modern World

30 credits, semester 1

Introduces you to the challenges of study modern history at an advanced level and the particular questions about perspective and interpretation that are raised. Seminars will focus on key themes and developments in recent historiography including an engagement with the use of interdisciplinary approaches.

You to complete a 4000 word written assessment - worth 80% of your final mark - on a topic agreed with the tutor. To complement the blended learning approach planned for semester one, these modules will include a digital engagement mark - worth 20% - that ensures recognition of your engagement in the learning activities and environment for each module.


60 credits, semesters 1 and 2

Provides you with the opportunity to further develop the skills and methods that you learn during your taught modules and to apply this historical knowledge to your investigation. You will work under the supervision of an expert member of staff to complete an original 15,000 word piece of independent research.

Research Presentation

15 credits, semester 2

Designed to equip you with the skills and experience that you need to present and communicate a defined historical research project to an academic audience. Assessment is by a presentation connected to your dissertation topic.


The majority of our teaching comprises seminars and tutorials, with some lecture-style information sessions for modules such as the Dissertation.

In 2020-21, we are still using these formats, complemented by engagement with additional teaching resources and activities. For our interactive classes, we'll be using a combination of face-to-face and digital teaching, and you’ll have regular, timetabled sessions of each form.

Face-to-face sessions will take place in small groups, so that we can use our larger teaching rooms and still maintain social distancing. Digital sessions will be live and fully interactive via the University's online learning systems, where students can speak, use text and share video.

Our academic staff are available for tutorials, and other one-to-one meetings, and hold regular office hours. It may not be possible for these sessions to take place in person, but if not you’ll be able to make an audio or video call, which works well for this type of interaction.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 15 April 2021

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