Postgraduate ( full-time, part-time)
Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip
Course duration: 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
Explore contrasting periods of history using different historical and interdisciplinary approaches that will develop your critical awareness and research skills. Become a true historian, able to sustain arguments and solve problems, with a richer understanding of how history is communicated to the wider public, and how it helps us address present-day issues.
On our MA History, you will learn to critically examine different periods of history - including social, cultural, political and public history - and conduct original research at both local and global levels.
Each module (including the final major project) will introduce you to new research methods and the analytical questions that go with them. This will allow you to develop an understanding of the problems inherent in the historical record, such as the many contrasting viewpoints, and give you the means to test them effectively.
As well as using both digital and archival resources, you will develop the skills required to critically engage with non-textual historical documents such as artefacts and visual sources as presented by museums, film, or artwork.
You will then, through a series of workshops, choose a topic for your major project that calls upon the research methods you have learned and your awareness of the relevant historical concepts. By the end of the course, you will have acquired and demonstrated the skillset of a genuine historian - not just an antiquarian.
Your theoretical studies will be enhanced through our links with many local bodies, archives, libraries and organisations, including the Cambridgeshire Collection; the Thatcher and Kinnock archives at Churchill College; Imperial War Museum (Duxford); and Cambridge University Press. Through these, you will have the opportunity to engage and network with specialists, practitioners, agencies and institutions at events such as guest lectures, study trips and research projects.
You will also be part of a dynamic and rich academic environment, including a lively post-graduate community, with its own seminars and workshops that cover aspects of historical research. Your studies will be supported by expert academic staff including Professor Rohan McWilliam (Victorian studies; modern British and US history; popular culture), Professor Lucy Bland (eugenics, race and gender; British feminism), Dr Jonathan Davis (the Soviet Union), Dr Susan Flavin (early modern social and economic history), Dr Richard Carr (modern British history) and Dr Sean Lang (the First World War; British Imperialism).
Course Leader: Professor Rohan McWilliam
The skills you develop on our MA History will transfer across a range of careers, as well as providing a gateway to PhD research.
By exploring how to make the past available to a wider public, you will open up careers in the heritage industry, archives and museums.
You will also become an independent learner, able to manage your own projects and research in a confident and flexible manner, devise and sustain arguments and solve problems successfully.
Such skills are transferable to careers in teaching, business, journalism, television, radio, the music industry, arts administration, digital media, gallery work, fundraising, personnel work, publishing, librarianship, marketing, local authority work, publicity, social work, tourism and IT-related industries.
You will encounter a range of assessment methods on the course, including essays, reports, source analysis and assessed presentations. These will allow you to engage with the ideas and knowledge taught on each module, but also to think about how History is changing.
The assessment for each module will require you to undertake original research using the particular research methods built into it.
Some modules include innovative assessment methods. On 'Public History', you can research and write your own television or radio history programme, or plan out a museum exhibition. On 'A History of Race', you will visit galleries and museums to analyse and decode images of race. These different assessment methods will help prepare you for working in media, journalism, museums and the heritage industry.
The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences is an academic community of nearly 800 students and teaching staff. Our students are supported by leading practitioners, so you'll always have access to the latest theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as invaluable career advice. Subjects in the Humanities and Social Sciences lead to work in many roles you might not have considered, maybe as a politician, chief executive – or even an inventor.
We organise many activities to help our students prepare for their future, like work placements, study abroad opportunities, talks by acclaimed guest speakers, and research conferences.
We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.
Our library in Cambridge hold a substantial collection of resources including books, e-books, journals, databases, CDs and DVDs, as well as a History subject page developed by our dedicated History librarian.
It also subscribes to a number of specialist databases including:
The part-time course fee assumes that you're studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.
You won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to attend, but you must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments.How to pay your fees directly
You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter/financial guarantee. Details will be in your offer letter.Paying your fees
It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.
We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you're at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
From September 2018, EU students starting a postgraduate degree with us can access a £600 bursary.
Meanwhile, our £400 Books Plus scheme helps with the costs of study. There's no need to apply for this: if you're eligible you can simply collect a Books Plus card when you start your course.
We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.
If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.
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