History - MA
- Mode of study
- Full time, Part time
- Entry months
- Duration of Study
- 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
- Subject Area
- FEES (2022/23 academic year)
- UK - FT £8,400, PT £4,600
- International - £16,800
The MA in History provides coverage of the attempts of human beings in past societies, from the Middle Ages to the present day, to organise life materially and conceptually, individually and collectively. It enables
students to engage critically with the contested nature of the past and the role of the discipline as a mediator for understanding both the past and the present.
About the course
The MA in History involves class-based learning and an optional opportunity for practical work placement, alongside one-on-one supervision. This course is best suited for those who wish, for a variety of reasons, to have structured classroom guidance during their studies, or for those wanting more support for planning their dissertation research project. There are 5 taught modules spread over two semesters, while the dissertation is 15,000 words.
This programme offers world-renowned one-one-one supervision and small classes so you can develop your research interests, while assessments prepare you for your specific career. Practical work experience is available in a range of fields, along with support writing CVs and job applications. You can learn a language, take palaeography, or complete a work placement as part of your degree.
Why choose History at Keele:
- Strong student satisfaction across the School, such as: ‘I am encouraged to ask questions or make contributions in taught sessions (face to face and/or online)’: 87.7% and ‘My ability to communicate information effectively to diverse audiences has developed during my course’: 92.6% (PTES 2019 results for Keele’s School of Humanities; individual History feedback is not available)
- Ranked 15 for History research in the UK despite being one of the smallest History departments (based on 2014 REF results)
- In the last 3 years, History averaged 92 % in overall student satisfaction (NSS 2017-19)
- Staff have regularly won Keele’s Student-led Teaching Awards, including recently for ‘fantastic feedback’ and ‘superb supervision’ across the whole university.
- We are members of the AHRC Northwest Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership, enabling us to offer outstanding PhD candidates financial support through their studies. We also offer funding options through bursaries, fee waivers and Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) where appropriate.
- Supervision can be offered across a broad range of areas, and Keele historians are experienced in providing careful and supportive frameworks for students. Historical expertise ranges from the medieval period to the present day, and covering the globe (especially Britain, Germany, Italy, France, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States). Our interests include the history of political violence, medicine, modern empires, social movements, citizenship, economics, migration, gender, religion, Digital Humanities, and print culture.
- Through the Keele Library, The David Bruce Centre for American Studies, and the Centre for Local History, we hold internationally important archives for early-twentieth century social history, intellectual history, and over 1000 years of local history.
- Further information about our expertise is described on our research page. As well as individual projects, we have been successful in winning AHRC and EHRC collaborative awards in which the student works with a non-University partner.
You will take five core modules spread over two semesters, while the dissertation is 15,000 words.
Core Taught Modules
HIS-40002 Approaches to Historical Research (30 Credits), Semester 1
This module introduces different approaches to the research and writing of History, engages with debates on the status of historical knowledge, and examines the sources and resources available.
- Presentation (c.5 minutes) 10%
- Reflective Diary (1500 words) 20%
- Essay (3000 words) 70%
HIS-40017 Research Skills in the Humanities (15 credits), Semester 1
This is a practical guide to conducting research in the Humanities, largely in preparation for your dissertation.
- Dissertation outline (1500 words) 50%
- Annotated bibliography (2000 words) 50%
HIS-40016 Reflective Practice in the Humanities (15 credits), Semester 2
You will be introduced to a variety of key theoretical and methodological texts and encouraged to engage in interdisciplinary discussion. You will also be asked to reflect on the place of your own work within your discipline and the Humanities more broadly. Keele is proud of its reputation as an inter-disciplinary university, and this course seeks to explore the value of such approaches as we discuss what methods and assumptions our various disciplines share, and how they differ.
- Reflective Diary (4000 words) 100%
In addition to the core modules, students can choose from a range of optional modules, including work experience, comparative historical analysis, or the chance to do in-depth taught-research into a specific subject.
HIS-40060, Constructing Nations (semester 1)
Who and what makes up a nation? This module will explore how nations are formed, including how their borders are established, who is included and excluded, and how the nation is imagined. Using examples from the medieval to the present day and across the globe, students will critically engage with themes of nationalism, identity, migration, gender and suffrage in a variety of settings, such as Britain, Germany, India and South Africa. Students will get to analyse how historians actually divide up time and space, how historians analyse identity formation, and different ways of understanding the nation and the state.
- Presentation (10 minutes) 20%
- Essay (3000-4000 words) 80%
ENG-40057, Work Placement for Humanities Postgraduates (semester 2)
This module is designed to give postgraduate students studying the Humanities the opportunity to contribute to the world beyond the University, in any workplace where the research, analytical, and communication skills developed as part of a postgraduate Humanities degree can be used. The chosen workplace may be, for example, a local museum, theatre, library, school or education provider, marketing company, local newspaper, local radio, or another suitable opportunity identified by the student and approved by the module leader. While on the placement, students will produce a theoretically-informed portfolio critically reflecting on and giving evidence of the activities/outputs completed at their chosen workplace. These may include, for example, researching and producing materials advertising or supporting current or proposed exhibits or performances, researching and producing written or audio pieces, and/or planning small-group educational activities on Humanities- related topics. Advice will be given on identifying and contacting placements and composing a CV in semester 1, and support will be provided throughout the placement, which will usually take place in semester 2.
- CV and Placement Plan (1000 word essay) 20%
- Presentation (15-minutes) 30%
- CV (updated) and Portfolio of work (500-word summary and 3000-word critical
reflection, or equivalent) 50%
HIS-40080, Subject Specialism I and HIS-40082, Subject Specialism II
Some modules, called subject specialisms, are modified third year modules, allowing students to benefit from the structured learning environment this offers, and the detailed specific analysis of a topic. This is normally recommended if the module relates to the student’s specific dissertation topic if the student is returning to higher education after a long absence, or if the student’s earlier degrees (or equivalent) were in a different discipline. Full details about these modules can be found online or you email the module convener for a copy of the module handbook. Please note, if you were an undergraduate at Keele, you may not take a module which overlaps with your third year special subject.
- David Ballantyne: Eyes on the Prize
- Ian Atherton: The English Civil War
- Shalini Sharma: Religion, Rebellion and the Raj: The Partition of India
- Kate Cushing: Spirituality and Social Change I
- Rachel Bright: The Making of Contemporary Africa I
- Alannah Tomkins: Sickness and Suffering: Health, Illness and Medicine in England, 1628-1808
- Dominic Janes: Gender and Sexuality in Georgian Britain
- Anthony Kauders: Crisis, Rupture, and Opportunity: German 'Modernity'1900-1933
- Andrew Sargent: The Making of Middle Britain: A Northumbrian Nativity
- Lena Liapi: Crime Worlds in early modern England 1
- David Ballantyne: Eyes on the Prize
- Ian Atherton: The World Turned Upside Down
- Shalini Sharma: Negotiating Nationalisms and Partitions: Partition of India II
- Kate Cushing: Spirituality and Social Change II
- Rachel Bright: The Making of Contemporary Africa II
- Dominic Janes: Gender and Sexuality in Victorian Britain
- Ben Anderson: Urban Lives in Modern Europe, 1914-1939
- Andrew Sargent: The Making of Middle Britain: The Mercian Moment
- Lena Liapi: Crime Worlds in early modern England 2
Assessment (for all Subject Specialism modules):
- Reflective Diary (1500 words) 20%
- Essay (4000 - 5000 words) 80%
HIS-40028 Dissertation (60 credits), 3 semesters
The dissertation module allows students to produce their own piece of independent historical research, guided by supervision from a world-leading expert in their field.
Dissertation (15,000 words, excluding footnotes, bibliography and annexes) 100%
Academic entry requirements:
This degree is designed for those individuals with a first or upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in History or other relevant subject). Applicants with other qualifications or experience are considered on a case-by-case basis by the Programme Director.
English language entry requirement for international students:
IELTS 6.5. The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.
If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.
During your degree programme you can study additional English language courses. This means you can continue to improve your English language skills and gain a higher level of English.
Scholarships and Funding
We are committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Please visit our scholarships and bursaries webpage for more information
It's important to plan carefully for your funding before you start your course. Please be aware that not all postgraduate courses are eligible for the UK government postgraduate loans and, in this case, you would be expected to source alternative funding yourself. If you need support researching your funding options, please contact our Financial Support Team.
The history department at Keele is an active and supportive environment in which to undertake the highest quality historical research. Modules are generally taught through a combination of seminars, workshops, small group discussions and individual supervision. This research-led teaching reflects our own interests, from the medieval period to the present day, and cover the globe, especially Britain, Germany, Italy, France,
India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States.
Supervision can be offered across these geographical areas, as well as the history of political violence, medicine, modern empires, social movements, citizenship, economics, migration, gender, religion, Digital Humanities, and print culture.
Through Keele Library, The David Bruce Centre for American Studies, and the Centre for Local History, we hold internationally important archives for early- twentieth century social history, intellectual history, and over 1000 years of local history.
Further information about our expertise is described on our research page.
Specialist one-on-one supervision and small classes allow you to develop your research interests, while assessments prepare you for your specific career. Skills include independent thinking, synthesizing information, creative problem solving, communicating clearly, and appreciating the social, environmental and global implications of your studies and activities.
You will be equipped to excel in any career which values critical thinking, communications skills, and the gathering, assessment and analysis of data and evidence. Alumni have gone on to work in law, teaching, libraries, archives, museums, the civil service, journalism, politics, research for charities, NGOs, government bodies, think tanks, broadcasting, advertising, or continued research at PhD-level. This degree will also help with job application preparation, CV writing, and PhD funding applications, as appropriate.