Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Contemporary History and Politics

This Master's degree in history and politics will give you a deep understanding of the recent past and the contemporary world and help you develop the approaches, techniques and skills of the professional historian. Using an interdisciplinary combination of historical and political approaches, it lays a strong emphasis on the critical analysis of the recent past, with the overall aim of giving you specialist knowledge of particular regions and themes. You will study the complex interplay between national, international and global political, social and historical forces that have produced the contemporary world. The introductory core module offers an in-depth exploration of the methodological, conceptual and theoretical background necessary for historical study at postgraduate level. It also considers specific topics and questions in contemporary history and politics. You will undertake training in research skills to prepare you for researching and writing a dissertation on the subject that most interests you. You can choose from an impressive range of option modules, selecting from those offered by the Department of Politics and by the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology. These options cover a wide sweep of political ideas and systems, historical periods and geographical places, including the United States, China, the Middle East and Europe. Options modules are usually available in topics including the post-war reconstruction of Europe, Islam and the politics of fundamentalism, American global supremacy and foreign policy, national and transnational structures for ensuring global order and justice, and the rise of China as a superpower, among others.

Entry requirements

2nd Class Honours degree and references. We also offer a 1-year Graduate Certificate in History, which can be used as a conversion course if you want to study history at postgraduate level, but have a degree in a significantly different discipline. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English: IELTS Academic Test score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Course modules

Core modules:

Mastering Historical Research: Birkbeck Approaches .

Option modules:

After the Ottoman Empire;
American Foreign Policy;
Arab-Israeli Question;
Battleground Spain, 1936-1939;
China and the West: Encounters;
Cultural History of War in Britain and America between the First World War and the Conflict in Vietnam;
Disease and Society in Africa in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries;
Empires in Modern East Asia;
Ethnicity and Migration in Twentieth Century Central Europe;
Gender in Britain;
Internationalism and International Organisations in twentieth-century Europe;
Jews and Antisemitism in Modern Europe: Histories and Approaches;
Nationalism and Ethno-Religious Conflict;
Politics and Islam;
Reconstruction of Europe 1943-1956;
Religion in Society and Politics: Britain and Ireland, 1801-2001;
The European Union: Integration, Politics and Policy;
The Holocaust;
The Nazi Capture of Power;
The Soviet Experience: Stalinism Through the Eyes of the Individual;
The Two Irelands 1911-1998;
War, Politics and Society .

Assessment methods

4 essays of 5000 words each and a dissertation of 15,000 words. Assessment in option modules offered through the Department of Politics includes essays and examinations.

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,950 per Year 1 (EU) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,950 per Year 1 (England) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 13,750 per Year 1 (International) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,950 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,950 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,950 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 years
MA Part-time evening only October 2016 GBP 3,975 per Year 1 (EU) 2 years
MA Part-time evening only October 2016 GBP 3,975 per Year 1 (England) 2 years
MA Part-time evening only October 2016 GBP 6,875 per Year 1 (International) 2 years
MA Part-time evening only October 2016 GBP 3,975 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 2 years
MA Part-time evening only October 2016 GBP 3,975 per Year 1 (Scotland) 2 years
MA Part-time evening only October 2016 GBP 3,975 per Year 1 (Wales) 2 years
MA Full-time October 2017 - 1 years
MA Part-time October 2017 - 2 years

Campus details

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

Get in touch

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Key information

Contact: 
Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
Telephone number: 
020 7631 6268