MRes Modern East Mediterranean History

This degree offers the chance to explore key aspects of East Mediterranean history in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, with a focus on the study of primary evidence.

Special emphasis is put on the causes and consequences of Great Power intervention in the region, such as the world wars, the Cold War, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the war on terror.

The programme comprises a major individual research project, supervised by a specialist in the field of study, and taught elements which provide the context and skills needed to conduct independent research into a region which includes the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa.

Picture: Oil well fires rage outside Kuwait City in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm. The wells were set on fire by Iraqi forces before they were ousted from the region by coalition forces.

Dr Steve Morewood

Dr Steve Morewood

“The Eastern Mediterranean incorporates the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa. These regions have experienced conflict from 1798, when Napoleon invaded Egypt, to the present, which has either been internally or externally driven and sometimes a combination of both. Britain and subsequently America became heavily involved. The National Archives in London provides a rich source of British government records while other archives, including Birmingham Cadbury Research Centre, hold relevant private papers. More contemporary topics can be researched through printed and internet sources.”

The programme is made up of 60 credits of taught modules (see the modules section) and 120 credits achieved through a 20,000 word supervised research project on a topic of your choice.

We recommend that you discuss your proposed research project with a potential supervisor before applying.

Why study this course

  • The Modern East Mediterranean History MRes forms part of the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies (CBOMGS) which is the only centre in the UK which brings all of these subjects together within a single unit. CBOMGS aims to provide a stimulating environment for cross-disciplinary research and inter-cultural dialogue for the wider research community, meaning that you’ll benefit from the insight of academic staff and peers from across the College of Arts and Law.
  • In 2014 the Department of History was ranked first in the country in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, and is unrivalled in the geographical and chronological breadth of its research. From medieval Afghanistan to the modern United States, our staff provide expertise across British, European and world history from around 500 to the present day.
  • The high standard of research is reflected in taught modules wherein lecturers incorporate their research findings into their teaching including the study of original documents.


Core Module

Research Methods and Skills (20 credits)

This module provides the necessary techniques to go about constructing a thesis, such as how to conduct research at secondary and primary levels, writing techniques, composing chapters etc.

Optional Modules

Conflict in the Modern Middle East (20 credits)

The module covers the causes and consequences of a succession of conflicts in the Middle East from 1914 to the present including the world wars, the Cold War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Gulf wars and the War on Terror. Successive British and American dominance of the region and its effects, the emergence of Israel and its quest to survive amidst a hostile Arab world are among the themes covered.

Nationalism and Conflict in the Balkans and Middle East (20 credits)

The emergence of nationalism as a force for change exerted itself in the Balkans from the mid nineteenth century and in the Middle East during and after the First World War. This module will consider the impact of nationalism through a series of case studies in the Balkans and Middle East considering the internal dynamics of change and the way in which these were manipulated by external Great Powers to their advantage.

Historical Methods (20 credits)

This module will familiarise you with different approaches towards the study of history which will be beneficial when researching and writing up your thesis.

Facing the Fuehrer and the Duce: British Defence and Diplomacy towards the Dictators 1935-1940 (40 credits)

The British response to the challenge of fascist aggression - appeasement - is popularly portrayed as a feeble, weak and misguided policy. The underlying factors revealed by government documents and the political and economic climate help to explain the policy if not to excuse it. The module provides an in-depth analysis of British defence and diplomacy, including the Munich Crisis, the outbreak of war, the fall of Chamberlain and the Battle of Britain. Gobbet sessions are included involving the study of original documents.

Students may also select modules from the MA in Contemporary History.

Related staff

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2016/17:

  • Home / EU £4,110 full-time; £2,055 part-time*
  • Overseas: £13,680 full-time

For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

* For UK/EU postgraduate research students the University fee level is set at Research Council rates and as such is subject to change. The final fee will be announced by Research Councils UK in spring 2016.

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuituion fees and funding.

Entry requirements

Applicants will typically have a background in the study of history of this era.

Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Before you make your application

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Making your application

Learn more about applying

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

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The Modern East Mediterranean History MRes forms part of the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies (CBOMGS) which is the only centre in the UK which brings all of these subjects together within a single unit.

CBOMGS aims to provide a stimulating environment for cross-disciplinary research and inter-cultural dialogue for the wider research community, meaning that you’ll benefit from the insight of academic staff and peers from across the College of Arts and Law.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the vibrant international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

The University has been recognised for its impressive graduate employment, being named ‘University of the Year for Graduate Employment’ in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016.

In addition, the global edition of The New York Times has ranked the University 60th in the world and 9th in UK for post-qualification employability. The rankings illustrate the top 150 universities most frequently selected by global employers and are the result of a survey by French consulting firm Emerging and German consulting firm Trendence.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School. The University also offers a wide range of activities and services to give our students the edge in the job market, including: career planning designed to meet the needs of postgraduates; opportunities to meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs, employer presentations and skills workshops; individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

Graduates with a postgraduate degree in Modern East Mediterranean History can boast a wide combination of skills that can be applied in many types of work and which employers regard very positively. That’s why, over the past five years, over 94% of our History postgraduates have been in work and/or further study six months after graduation.

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In addition to the student groups hosted by the Guild of Students, each school runs its own social activities, research fora, seminars and groups for postgraduates.


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