MA in Global History
Course code: HSTT31 (full-time) | HSTT32 (part-time)
Duration: 1 year (full-time) | 2 years (part-time)
Entry requirements and applying
Course code: HSTT31 (full-time) | HSTT32 (part-time)
One of Britain’s leading centres for the postgraduate study of Global, International and Imperial Histories, the Department of History brings together internationally recognised expertise in the histories of South, East and Southeast Asia, Africa and the Americas, as well as in the wider history of imperialism, decolonisation, migration, war, humanitarianism and globalisation.
The MA in Global History draws on this expertise to provide a deeper understanding of the forces shaping world history. By allowing you to examine connections, comparisons and exchanges across broad geographical and chronological terrain, it establishes the significance of global history from a variety of perspectives. An active research culture of publishing, conferences and seminars ensures that the teaching of global history is informed by the most recent historiographical debates and research findings.
The flexibility of the programme allows you to carry out specialist research under expert supervision, and develop your understanding of the global history and skills in using relevant sources, while focusing on the particular skills that are most important to you through our optional modules.
A vibrant research community
The Department is a thriving research community and we actively encourage our MA students to make the most of their time at Sheffield by getting involved in our research activities and events, as well as organising their own through the Postgraduate Forum. This vibrant research culture and postgraduate community helps to disseminate research-led findings and facilitate lively and exhaustive historical debate.
The Department's main research seminar series runs regularly during semester-time and covers a huge range of topics. A range of research networks, clusters and centres also means that there is an active global history research community, facilitating debate on historiographical controversies informed by national as well as global issues. These include the Cultures of the Cold War Network; the Borders, States and Citizens Network and the White Rose South Asia Network all housed under the Centre for Contemporary and Modern History. These networks and centres offer regular seminars and have active postgraduate participants. Postgraduate students also run their own discussion groups including the Sheffield Modern International History Group and the Gender History Discussion Group.
Particular areas of expertise include the history of the early modern Atlantic world; imperialism and decolonisation; social and cultural history of modern South Asia; women, gender and Islam; state-building and propaganda in republican China and Taiwan; the American war in Vietnam, the global anti-apartheid movement; social and political history of modern America; European integration and the Cold War; aid, development and humanitarianism in the twentieth century; and the history of statelessness.
How it works
The taught component of the MA is designed to both develop your understanding of key historiographical and methodological approaches though a core module, introduces you to the debates and issues central to an understanding of global history. You can also undertake the language and technical training best suited to your research needs and elect to study major themes in medieval history in closer detail. The dissertation will provide 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.
You will take three core modules
You will choose 75 credits of option modules
This 75 credit selection can include up to 30 credits of unrestricted modules. Unrestricted modules can include non-history modules cross-listed from other departments (see Non-history modules) and/or modules from the broader range of history MA options, where the relevant module(s) will complement your core studies i.e. allowing further exploration of a particular theme across time and geographical boundaries (see MA in Historical Research options).
Please note that the list of modules below includes the full range of option modules that we offer. A selection of these will be available each session and the exact programme varies from year to year. We are usually able to release the provisional programme for next year in late spring/early summer, which may also include the addition of new modules.*
Please note that teaching and assessment methods may vary for non-History modules. You can request to take a module not listed below (subject to availability) as part of provisional module choice, any requested modules should be relevant to your programme of study. Information about other available language modules is available here.
Please note that the list of modules below includes the full range of option modules that are cross-listed from our partner departments within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. A selection of these will be available each session and the exact programme varies from year to year. We are usually able to release the provisional programme for next year in late spring/early summer, which may also include the addition of new modules. *
Below is information about staff currently working in your area of interest. Staff availability for 2020-21 will be updated in late spring/early summer 2020.
Teaching and assessment
Our MA teaching focuses on small group seminars and masterclasses complimented by individual tutorials and supervision sessions. Seminars are usually two hours long and range from around 5-18 students in size. Teaching takes place between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. 30 credit core modules run for 10 weeks and most 15 credit modules run for 5 weeks.
Assessment focuses on essays and a dissertation complimented by oral assessment in the Research Presentation module. Essays usually look to explore the key themes of the module and engage with current historical debate through a question of your choosing. Our public history modules offer the opportunity to undertake group work and/or develop writing styles appropriate for different academic and non-academic audiences.
Our campus and how we use it:
We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus, the details of which can be found on our campus map. Teaching may take place in a student’s home department, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space.
Tailor your degree
Our MA degrees are carefully designed to allow you to build a programme that suits your needs: whether you want to progress to PhD research, aid your career development or simply expand your knowledge in your chosen area of history.
In addition to the skills and knowledge that you will develop through your core modules, you can use the option modules to focus on the areas most relevant to you including the option to gain experience in public history. For those interested in PhD progression, we offer both individual and group support to help you develop your ideas and write a strong research proposal suitable for funding applications.
Students wishing to take this programme should normally have a 2.1 or equivalent in a Bachelors degree in history or another humanities or social sciences discipline (i.e. English, languages, politics, philosophy, archaeology or journalism) from a recognised UK or overseas university. Please see the University's online prospectus for full entry requirement details.
If you are an international student, you need to provide proof of English Language proficiency with a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in each component (or equivalent).
You can apply for one of our MA programmes using our online application form. There is no formal deadline for applying and we can usually accept applications until mid-August for entry that September.
You'll find the answer to many common questions such as what supporting documents to provide and what to include in your statement on our Common questions page.
Additional support information
Information for disabled students
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If you have a question about applying, or would like to discuss your individual qualifications, just get in touch.
*Please note that the course details set out here may change before you start, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the course start date. The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's 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.