The degree consists of four elements which make a total of 180 credits:
- 20,000 word thesis (120 credits)
- Historical Methods (20 credits)
- Sites and Sources in Modern British Studies (20 credits)
- Research Skills Training (20 credits)
The courses are assessed in various ways – by examination, coursework and attendance.
Why study this course
The programme offers you the opportunity to pursue an independent research project, supported by taught elements and opportunities for group discussion. While it can be studied as a standalone qualification, it also provides an ideal stepping stone for doctoral research.
Sam Humphries "The course however offered lots more than I hoped for. It taught me crucial methodological understandings about how historians work and how to deploy and engage with them in my own research. These modules, alongside the fellow students and staff in the Centre, changed my work and approach to the subject for the better in ways I could not have conceived beforehand, changing my project fundamentally. The environment with passionate individuals each able to help you with your work has been immensely rewarding."
The degree consists of four elements which make a total of 180 credits:
Historical Methods (20 credits)
The purpose of this module, which is taken during the autumn semester, is to study some major historians of different 'schools' or 'approaches' along with the ideas which inform such historical work. It is taught by a range of specialists in the fields of political, economic, social, cultural and intellectual history. The module is compulsory for all MRes students in the Department of History and so provides both an intellectual and social forum. Assessment is by a 4000 word essay.
Sites and Sources in Modern British Studies (20 credits)
This module goes beyond thinking about Britain in terms of the great and the good and introduces you to rich and diverse sources through which historians have tried to understand the contours of everyday life in the past. The module will enable you to capture the pluralistic and inchoate messiness of ordinary life and historical change. A seaside postcard can be just as useful to a historian as a work of art. It is a module that will give you grounding in the interpretation of different sources and the problems and possibilities these present in studying the past.
Research Skills Training (20 credits)
This module will vary according to your interest and requirements. All students will receive bibliographical training and some training in IT. In addition linguistic, palaeographical, quantitative methods and other training will be offered. This is quite a flexible module and, where appropriate, you may wish to substitute certain skills courses for a theoretical or historiographical essay related to your field of research instead.
Thesis (120 credits)
The main component of the programme is a 20,000 word thesis on an agreed topic which relates to the history of twentieth century Britain and which can be appropriately supervised by a member of academic staff. If you are interested in studying for this degree, you should contact the Department of History with a proposed topic of research so that a suitable supervisor can be found. We strongly encourage you to do this in advance of making your formal application, if at all possible: the sooner you have a clear idea of your basic research field, the better! The research interests and areas of supervision offered by staff in twentieth century British history are broad and embrace all aspects of modern Britain.
Fees and funding
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are currently as follows:
Home / EU £4,052 full-time; £2,026 part-time
Overseas: £13,195 full-time; £6,597.50 part-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.
Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments.
Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.
Learn more about postgraduate tuituion fees and funding.
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
Birmingham Masters Scholarship Scheme
For 2015 entry the University has 224 new £10,000 scholarships available for Masters students from under-represented groups. These scholarships have been jointly funded by the British Government; the allocation of the awards, which is the fourth highest in the UK, further cements Birmingham?s place amongst the very best higher education institutions for postgraduate study. The application deadline is 31 July 2015.
Graduates on this programme will normally have a background in which the study of history, international relations and/or politics has been a substantial component.
For overseas applicants, an honours degree in a relevant subject, such as History or Politics, is required, normally at an upper second class level or its equivalent.
Mature students add diversity and experience to the learning community and we actively encourage applications from people over the age of 21 at entry who may not meet the standard programme entry requirement.
Learn more about entry 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
Please refer to our
six step process
on applying for PhD, MA by Research and MRes opportunities for Arts subject areas.
For applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study mode only:
As part of the application process for the distance learning study mode, we will ask you to provide evidence to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study for a PhD by Distance Learning. Please be prepared to provide evidence, and details, of the following:
Examples of your postgraduate research experience and ability to work independently e.g. papers/presentations at professional and academic conferences or publications in professional journals or previous completion of an independent research project, etc.
Full reasons (academic and personal) for registering for the distance learning mode of study rather than by standard full or part-time on-campus options. In particular, how you will be able to carry out your project in your chosen location.
Access to local library facilities (where needed)
Access to IT facilities
Access to communications, including e-mail and visual communication media e.g. Skype and Facetime
Access to facilities to support any study-related disability (where appropriate)
You can upload this information at the time of application - when asked to provide supporting documentation - or via your applicant portal once you have submitted your application.
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