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Part-time study

All of our MA programmes are available part-time, offering you the flexibility to study at a pace that can fit in with your personal or professional life.

If you take the MA programme part-time you will study 180 credits, the same number as a full-time student, but over two years instead of one.

Jose Cree"As a part-time student I was concerned I might feel left out of student life, but this didn’t happen. The department holds open historical discussion groups with both academic staff and students, and there are frequent social events, so it is easy to get involved and meet people. I found Sheffield University friendly and welcoming, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here."

Jose Cree, MA in Early Modern History


You will take three core modules totalling 105 credits: 30 credits in year one and 75 credits in year two.

Your remaining 75 credits will be made up of a selection of research skills and option modules appropriate to your chosen MA programme.

Core modules

Year one:

  • Core module appropriate to your chosen degree (30 credits)

Year two:

  • Dissertation (60 credits)
  • Research Presentation (15 credits)

Research skills and option modules

These modules allow you develop your research skills; pursue an interest in public history or expand your knowledge of particular historical periods or themes. To view a list of option modules, select your chosen degree here.

MA in Historical Research

You will choose:

  • One research skills modules (15 credits)
  • Four option modules (60 credits)

Thematic MA programmes

You will choose five modules (75 credits) from the list of option modules available on your chosen degree programme.

We recommend taking most skills based in the first year, so that you can benefit from the skills and knowledge that you acquire throughout your whole degree.


Teaching takes place between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Our MA teaching focusses 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.

30 credit core modules run for 10 weeks. The Research Presentation and most history option modules are 15 credits and run for 5 weeks. Non-history modules may vary in teaching methods.

Timetable and deadlines

Balancing your studies

You should normally aim to have an even balance of 45 credits in each semester - 90 credits in each year - by taking four research skills and option modules in year one and one in semester one of year two.

We understand that it may not always be possible to follow this model due to individual module preferences and other factors or commitments so flexibility is available i.e. some students choose to take 105 credits in their second year because they are returning to education after a break and would like to take the first year at a slightly slower pace. This also creates a more even spread of taught modules, which can be useful if you need to balance your attendance with working life.

When you are choosing your modules you should also think about the timetable and assessment deadlines. Draft timetables and assessment deadlines for the next academic year are made available in time for provisional module choice, which takes place in August each year.

If you choose to take HST681 Work Placement, we recommend thinking of this as a semester 2 module, as that is when the assessment is due.

How does that look in practice?

Autumn Semester Credits Spring Semester Credits Year total Credits
Year one
Core module 30 3 x research skills/option modules 45
1 x research skills/option module 15
Semester total 45 Semester total 45 Year total 90
Year two
Dissertation 30 Dissertation 30
1 x research skills/option module 15 Research Presentation 15
Semester total 45 Semester total 45 Year total 90