Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

History of Ideas

This Master's degree in the history of ideas is concerned with excavating and understanding the lived reality of ideas. We consider how the study of the history of ideas can help us to interpret individual thinkers and their ideas and how these have shaped past societies. The history of ideas is a dynamic and expanding field and this programme enables you to pursue an exciting programme of study, exploring ideas comparatively and in their geographical, social and historical contexts. If you want to understand and investigate the relationship between ideas and actions across a wide variety of historical periods, geographical places, and theoretical and methodological perspectives, then this is the degree for you.

Course modules

We offer a wide range of option modules, covering topics from classical antiquity to the present day. Not all modules are available each year. View the full timetable for the year. Core modules: Mastering Historical Research: Birkbeck Approaches . Option modules: Ancient Knowledge; China and the West: Encounters; Civil Society: Ideas, Practices and Dilemmas in the Modern World, 17th Century to the Present; Cultural History of War in Britain and America between the First World War and the Conflict in Vietnam; Darwin, Darwinism and the Modern Ages; Empires in Modern East Asia; Gender in Britain; Globalisation: A Short Historical Introduction; Jews and Antisemitism in Modern Europe: Histories and Approaches; Madness and its Meanings; Magic, Science and Religion in the Renaissance; Monastic Lives in Medieval England; Politics and Islam; Race and the Victorians; Religion in Society and Politics: Britain and Ireland, 1801-2001; Technology, Modernity and the Nation: Britain and Germany, 1880 to 1930; The Making of Modern Societies: Britain and Europe, c.1500-c.1750; The Rise of the Modern Consumer: Consumers and Politics in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries; The Two Irelands 1911-1998; The Victorian Communication Revolution; Vice and the Victorians: Moral and social reform in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century .

Assessment methods

Core and option modules are assessed by essays of 5000 words (4 in total); dissertation of 15,000 words.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2018 GBP 14,450 per Year 1 (International) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2018 GBP 7,950 per Year 1 (Home/EU) 1 Years
MA Part-time October 2018 GBP 3,975 per Year 1 (Home/EU) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2018 GBP 7,225 per Year 1 (International) 2 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus WC1E 7HX London

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Key information

Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
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