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Durham University


The course is designed as a research preparation masters. It is intended to encourage you to be intellectually ambitious by inducting you into a community of historians. It invites you to understand the relationship between your own specialist field and the historical discipline in general as well as to communicate with wider audiences. You will feel sufficiently confident in your own disciplinary identity and mastery of the subject to be able to converse with those in other fields. The course is taught with an emphasis on disciplinary training supplied by the Department's subject specialists with expertise in an outstanding range of areas (Europe, Britain, North America, Africa, China and Japan) and interdisciplinary engagement, while offering opportunities for supported independent study. You will be able - and are indeed encouraged - to access and use Durham's exceptional cluster of libraries, archives, and special collections. All students on the MA in History are required to take the team-taught core module Themes, Reading and Sources (30 credits) which runs throughout Michaelmas (Autumn) and Epiphany (Winter) terms. Depending on whether you opt for the 60-credit Dissertation pathway or the 90-credit Dissertation pathway, you will also take either 3 or 2 optional modules (each worth 30 credits) which run either in Michaelmas or Epiphany or throughout both terms. The options may also be language, skills and content modules, provided by other centres, courses and departments with the consent of all parties concerned. All these elements have embedded within them a range of content, subject-specific skills, and key skills.

Entry requirements

MA: Subject requirements are a 2:1, with an overall average score of 65% or above, or a GPA of 3.5 or above, or equivalent. An undergraduate degree in History or a related subject is required. You are required to submit the following information with online application: Two Academic References - please ask your referees to email their references directly to history@durham.ac.uk or attach with the online application form if able; An Academic CV - this should be no longer than 2 A4 pages and should contain information about your academic achievements to date and any related-work experience you have undertaken; Sample of written work (up to 2500 words for MA courses); Academic Transcripts and Certificates, if available - copy of your undergraduate degree and postgraduate courses (dependent upon which degree course you are applying for) transcript and/or certificate, if degree already attained; A 750-word outline of your intended research, concentrating on the research problem you will address, the research context in which it is located, and the methods, critical approaches, and sources you will use. You can upload this as part of the online application form, or if you have difficulties with this, you may email it to history@durham.ac.uk as an attachment; Personal Development Self-Assessment Table - Applicants are requested to complete and submit a self-assessment table with their online application, or as a separate attachment to the applicant portal.

Course modules

This Themes, Reading and Sources module is compulsory for all MA students and provides you with the bulk of the disciplinary training providing specific and direct training in disciplinary practices, theories, approaches and methodologies. It is intended to guide you regardless of your period specialism from a more tutor-led to independent learning on to your dissertation by combining a focus on primary sources across periods with thematic and historiographical approaches. Optional Modules: These modules focus on a specific theme or problem within various areas of History and provide subject-specific knowledge and skills. They are taught by the Department's subject specialists in a series of seminars with an emphasis on work with primary sources providing a 'step up' from Level 3 in terms of disciplinary engagement with historiography, approaches, methodologies, concepts and theories. Optional modules might include: Anglo-Saxon Societies and Cultures: Interdisciplinary approaches to early medieval England; The Liberal Arts - Learning, knowledge and power in the high middle ages (c.1100-c.1300); Feudalism: The uses and abuses of a historical model; The Archaeology of the Book: Codicology from antiquity to the Renaissance; What was Religion? Interdisciplinary approaches to religious history; The Public Sphere in Britain, 1640-1715; Intellectuals and Public Opinion in Global History; Elections in Africa: A cultural and political history, c. 1950-2016; Serious Fun: A history of sport from the late middle ages to the present; A Safe Democracy? Constitutionalism, extremism, and political violence in modern England, c. 1890-1939.

Assessment methods

Assessment is by 4,000-word essay centering on particular primary sources or an archive (80% of the module mark). The remaining 20% of the module mark comes from a 20-minute presentation on your dissertation topics plus 10 minutes Q&A at the MA Conference in the Easter term. You will also complete a dissertation.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2019 7,750 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 7,750 per Year 1 (EU) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 7,750 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 7,750 per Year 1 (Channel Islands) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 18,300 per Year 1 (International) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 7,750 per Year 1 (England) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 7,750 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 4,300 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 4,300 per Year 1 (Scotland) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 4,300 per Year 1 (Wales) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 10,100 per Year 1 (International) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 4,300 per Year 1 (Channel Islands) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 4,300 per Year 1 (England) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 4,300 per Year 1 (EU) 2 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Durham University DH1 3LG North East

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