An introduction to the School of History and Cultures

Dr Pierre Purseigle introduces the postgraduate opportunities available in the School of History and Cultures.

Duration: 3:34mins

Our School of History and Cultures offers an excellent environment dedicated to the scholarly and professional advancement of our postgraduate students. Our School’s programmes of teaching and research are recognised among the best in the UK. Here, you will find a diverse group of international scholars producing cutting-edge scholarship on a range of periods and topics: from Anglo-Saxon Britain to the history of NGOs, through the Crusades and Medieval Europe, the Reformation, the Early Modern history of globalization, Midlands history, the economies and societies of the nineteenth and twentieth-century, the history of warfare, imperial and world history, and the study of African societies and cultures. The breadth and depth of our scholarly expertise is only matched by the contemporary relevance of our scholarship: this is not merely about the past; this is about making sense of the world we live in.

We offer a range of graduate programmes, taught and research, giving you the opportunity to tackle the past imaginatively, to develop expertise in specific relevant subject areas, and of course to enhance your professional skills. Masters qualifications can be a direct gateway to a professional career, but can also give you the ability to think creatively about how your passion and high-level knowledge might send you in complementary but unexpected directions. As a graduate student, here, you will be working closely in small groups with faculty, and sharing in an academic community which meets regularly and informally at our weekly Research Seminars, and at conferences and events organized by our staff and students.

If you can’t study on campus or full-time, many programmes are available on a part-time model.

Teaching and research in our School is supported by the resources of a major university library, including some 2.6 million books and 22,000 serial titles. Particularly notable is Special Collections, with its dedicated staff. It has outstanding collections of material on modern British history, including the Chamberlain and Avon Papers, and the archives of the Church Missionary Society and the YMCA. These collections have brought scholars from all parts of the world to Birmingham, and have contributed to the School’s prominence. Historians have also access to our three in-house collections of books and reference material: the Rodney Hilton, Richard Shackleton, and the War Studies libraries. Our School also holds a unique collection of West African arts and artefacts in our Danford Collection and we are building a digital library of African Music.

All our Masters programme will give you chance to work with an expert to design a dissertation which builds on your own personal interests and fascination.

Through our graduate research programmes, at Masters or Doctoral level, we will help you join a new generation of scholars, tackling important and exciting intellectual problems, in a professional and creative way. If you have an idea for a research project at Masters or Doctoral level, do contact one of our experts.

Our masters and doctoral students have an excellent employment record and are continuing to shape our disciplines internationally; they have also brought the academic and professional skills they acquired in the School of History and Cultures to a range of professions.

If you would like to find out more, contact us and come to one of our Postgraduate Open days.