MA History

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Overview

This course is a flexible and challenging Masters course offers a specialist pathway MA History (Public History and Heritage) or a general History route that includes a diverse range of units. It is part of the Department of History, which is also home to Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage.

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is offering scholarships worth £2,000 for graduates with a first-class honours degree. Excellence scholarships are available to full-time home and EU students for 19/20 entry. Find out more on our postgraduate funding pages.

Features and Benefits

The History Department has a wealth of expertise, with leading researchers whose published work covers a wide range of times and places:

Career Prospects

The programme aims to provide the skills to progress to higher research programmes, and to offer opportunities for the acquisition of skills applicable to a range of careers from business and law to education. In particular, the pathways for Local and Regional History and Public History and Heritage are suitable for anyone considering a career in heritage management or associated fields, such as libraries and archives, tourism or local government.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

You will normally have at least an upper second class undergraduate UK honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject, or equivalent academic qualification. If you have a different background you may be admitted if you have proven experience in a relevant field.

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

Course details

Core aspects include a research methods and historiographical unit and a dissertation which allows you to develop your own historical interests in a structured, supportive context. 

Your core study includes:

  • Historical Skills and Research Methods (for all pathways)
  • Dissertation (or work placement project for Public History and Heritage route)

On the MA History route you also choose from the following options:

  • Northern Identities and Victorian Culture
  • Nobles, States and Society in Early Modern Europe: The Transformation of European Elites, 1400-1800
  • A Good War? American's World War II at Home and Abroad, c. 1938-47
  • Professional Heritage and Practice
  • Case Studies in Controversy: History and Memory in Public
  • The Second Crusade: Holy War on the Periphery of Latin Christendom
  • Cultures of Consumption: The British at Home, 1660-1830
  • The Elizabethans
  • Latin for Historians

For MA History (Public History and Heritage) you will study the core units as above plus:

  • Professional Heritage and Practice 
  • Case Studies in Controversy: History and Memory in Public

 You will also choose one unit from the following options: 

  • Britain and World Politics since 1918, parts I and II
  • Northern Identities and Victorian Culture
  • Nobles, States and Society: The Transformation of European Elites, 1400-1800
  • A Good War? America's World War II at Home and Abroad, c. 1938-47 
  • The Second Crusade: Holy War on the Periphery of Latin Christendom
  • Cultures of Consumption: The British at Home, 1660-1830

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Dissertation

This unit provides the opportunity to explore, substantiate, communicate and disseminate the research trajectory of a written thesis in architecture and urbanism through the media of an extended piece of disciplined academic writing. Academic writing is supported through the highly structured and intensive tutorial programme: Dissertation Bootcamp. This is designed to provide personalised academic training in the production of high quality written outputs.

Historical Skills and Research Methods

This unit covers a variety of topics essential to the study of History at a higher level, including themes such as research methods devoted to the use of film, literature and history, historiography, multidiscipline methods and theories, palaeography for medievalists and early modernists, oral history, researching in archives and the compilation of a bibliography.

Likely Optional Units

Nobles, States and Society: The Transformation of European Elites, 1400-1800

This unit examines the transformation of the European aristocracy across a long period (c. 1400 to 1800) as part of the social and political processes of the development of the modern state. Was there a decline of the aristocracy with the collapse of feudalism? Or was there a transformation from warriors into statesmen? Was the court the ‘civiliser’ of the nobility? Did this transformation help or hinder the development of the modern state? Specific topics include: Late medieval warrior society; chivalry; family structures; emergence of the court in Northern Italy and Burgundy; etiquette, ceremonial and ritual; rise of the ‘new nobility’ in service of the state; reaction through rebellion and civil war; consolidation and absolutism; nobles as politicians and diplomats; the role of noblewomen; and the age of revolution. 

Northern Identities and Victorian Culture

This unit offers students the opportunity to explore the North’s place within English national culture in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Students are introduced to historiographical debates and to the theoretical problems of defining place, regional identity and culture. Topics covered include the image of the North within Englishness and national culture; regional mythologies and northern identities; insider and outsider perceptions; localities and county identities; class, ethnicity and gender; the post-industrial north and the northern urban renaissance. These themes are introduced through a range of different sources: newspapers, periodicals, tourist and travel writing to regional archive film, auto/biographies, historical fiction. Visits to museums and exhibitions as well as engagement with public campaigns are also integral parts of the unit. 

Professional Heritage and Practice

This unit provides detailed training in the methods used to record heritage and the historic environment, with the aims of equipping students with practical skills to enhance their employability in the professional heritage sector. It will focus on the process of heritage assessment and evaluation in the UK professional context, including field-recording of heritage assets, the production of industry-standard reports, and the integration of heritage decision-making into various areas of public administration.

Britain and World Politics since 1918: Aspects of British Foreign Policy

This unit, in two parts, examines various aspects of Britain's changing role in the world through a number of major events, issues and key concepts. Part one covers the emergence of the new diplomacy Britain's role at the Versailles Conference and as an international peacekeeper during the 1920s; Britain and the Spanish Civil War; Appeasement and the coming of the Second World War; Wartime alliances and Britain's role in post-war reconstruction; Indian independence; Palestine and Britain's changing role in the Middle East; Britain and the Cold War; and the Suez crisis.  The second part covers the politics of reappraisal, post-Suez; Retreat from empire; Anglo-American relationships from Macmillan to Cameron; Britain and European integration from the Schuman Plan (1950) to plans for a second referendum; The politics of realism, international law and morality in foreign policy Britain's role in modern conflicts the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and in the aftermath of the Arab spring. 

A Good War? America’s World War II at Home and Abroad, c. 1938-47

This unit will provide a cultural and social history of the American experience of World War II, paying close attention to issues of race, gender and class. Conceptually, the unit will interrogate the idea that this conflict was, for Americans, a Good War. The unit begins c.1938, the point in time at which President Roosevelt's administration began mobilising for a potential conflict (expansion of the Navy and Army); it then moves through the chronology of the war, before concluding c. 1947, the point in time at which the key outlines of the post-war world had emerged (Containment, Marshall Plan, Iron Curtain, Bretton Woods).

Case Studies in Controversy: History and Memory in Public

The importance of the past to contemporary society is best shown by exploring some of those instances when various organisations and individuals politicians, journalists, local and national governments have been drawn into discussion and debate regarding the purpose, rights and responsibilities of History. From the Holocaust denial trial of David Irving (which saw professional historians called to the witness stand), to the ethics of museum curatorship in our post-colonial age, to the significance and worth of history and heritage to local and national communities, this unit interrogates the value of the public past in the 21st century through revealing public controversies.  

Latin Sources for Historians: From Rome to the Medieval World

Veni, Vidi, Vici! I came, I saw, I conquered! This phrase in Latin, famously pronounced by Julius Caesar, announced his victory over Pharnaces of Pontus in 47 BCE. It is the official language of the Romans, but it is also the language of the early Church Fathers and the legal and scientific writers of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period, making Latin an extremely helpful tool in exploring these societies and cultures. Latin language infiltrates modern English – you may quote verbatim or expect a quid pro quo when you are compos mentis, or vice versa. It is the basis for most modern Romantic languages (Spanish, French, Italian), and learning it is one of the best ways to develop your linguistic skills and exercise your brain through a series of mental gymnastics. This unit will teach you Latin language in its historical contexts, at a level designed for absolute beginners with no prior language training. 

The Second Crusade: Holy War on the Periphery of Latin Christendom

The largest and most diverse of its kind, the Second Crusade (1145-49) encompassed near-simultaneous attacks on numerous Muslim targets in Syria, Iberia and pagan strongholds around the Baltic Sea. The scale was unprecedented and would not be witnessed again. But in many ways the crusade was a failure: the two largest armies of the Second Crusade headed by the most powerful kings in Europe were devastated in the Byzantine Empire and Anatolia by malnutrition and Turkish attacks, even before the allied Christian campaign in Syria ended in a 'fiasco'. Combined armies of Danish kings and Polish and Saxon leaders could not put aside their differences to prevail against the pagans of the Baltic. And of the Christian campaigns against the Muslims of Iberia, only Afonso Is capture of Lisbon proved enduring, with all other successes quickly overturned by the fundamentalist Almohads of northern Africa. Using an array of primary sources in translation, this unit will uncover the reasons for the failures of the Second Crusade while assessing its impact on the peoples and lands affected by it. In doing so, this unit will illuminate an episode that affected all areas of Christian Europe and those beyond its periphery.

Cultures of Consumption: The British at Home, 1660-1830

This unit explores the homes of the British elite and middling sorts, asking how and why they were transformed during the long eighteenth century, and what this tells us about broader shifts in British society. In tracing changes in domestic material culture and the motivations underpinning consumption, it provides challenging perspectives on identity, social relations, commercial interaction and spatial practices.

The Elizabethans

We think we know the Elizabethans and Elizabeth I, but how much is fact and how much is fiction? Elizabeth I and her ministers hugely successful in portraying Elizabeth I as Gloriana – the image we still have of her today.

This course looks beyond the myth to explore the dangerous politics of Elizabethan England and ask what was life like for ordinary Elizabethans? We will develop the academic skills necessary for advanced historical analysis, including learning to read early modern handwriting – palaeography .  We will also examine key developments in Tudor history including: the persecution of Catholics; religious terrorism; the problems of marriage; Elizabeth I’s gender and government; Anglo-Scottish relations and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Students will use primary sources – many of them in the original handwriting – to gain a deeper understanding of this dramatic and important period of history.

Latin for Historians

Veni, Vidi, Vici! I came, I saw, I conquered! This phrase in Latin, famously pronounced by Julius Caesar, announced his victory over Pharnaces of Pontus in 47 BCE. It is the official language of the Romans, but it is also the language of the early Church Fathers and the legal and ‘scientific’ writers of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period, making Latin an extremely helpful tool in exploring these societies and cultures. Latin language infiltrates modern English – you may quote verbatim or expect a quid pro quo when you are compos mentis, or vice versa. It is the basis for most modern ‘Romantic’ languages (Spanish, French, Italian), and learning it is one of the best ways to develop your linguistic skills and exercise your brain through a series of mental gymnastics. This unit will take you through aspects of Latin language in its historical contexts, at a level designed for beginners with an interest in Ancient, Medieval and/or Early Modern History. 

Placement options

Public History and Heritage students have a placement element to the dissertation, working with a local heritage group, a library or archive. We will help you to source your placement. 

Department of History, Politics and Philosophy

Our Department of History, Politics and Philosophy offers programmes of study alongside a thriving research culture, emphasising a student-centred approach to learning.

With interdisciplinary strengths in many areas, the department takes pride in its approach to research-led teaching and being able to provide opportunities for students to work with academics at the forefront of their disciplines.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £8,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Distance learning fee: £4,250 to £8,500 studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £15,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2584 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Distance learning fee: £7,750 to £15,500 studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

Placement Costs

£10

All MA students will take a few field trips as part of the core research methods unit. None of these are outside central Manchester.

Professional Costs

£10

There are no mandatory fees students will encounter, but those wishing to use libraries or archives may need to pay small fees for user cards, etc. (though most are free), and can expect to pay for some photocopying in the course of study.

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,280 for many Postgraduate Courses

Find out more

Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Apply online now

If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
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All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.

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