MRes Modern European History

Modern European History is one of the most innovative and exciting fields of historical research today.

The development and expansion of the European Union, the collapse of communism, the unification of Germany and, more recently, the combined political and economic fallout of the global financial crisis, have significantly changed our perspective on the history of modern Europe.

This programme, which draws on the notable strengths in social, cultural, economic and intellectual history at the University, is designed to offer you - as a research student working on a broad range of topics - practical training in research skills and methods as well as a broad overview of Europe, particularly its place within a rapidly changing world.

The Department of History was ranked first in the country in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Professor Corey Ross

Professor Corey Ross

“This programme offers a focussed introduction to modern European history through a combination of taught modules and bespoke research supervision. Birmingham has an excellent tradition in this field, and your studies will benefit from the large number of historians working on modern Europe within an exceptionally vibrant department. ”

The MRes degree is a research programme with some provision for taught modules.

It is aimed at those who wish to move beyond undergraduate work and to engage in research in depth for a postgraduate thesis, but who also wish to take modules that help develop research and related skills, and to study broader historical subjects with other postgraduates.

Why study this course

  • The Modern European History MRes has strong links with both the Birmingham Centre for Modern and Contemporary History (BCMCH) and the Centre for the Study of Cultural Modernity, both of which provide an intellectual forum for staff and postgraduates working within the field across the University, meaning that you’ll be able to gain insight from a range of academics and peers.
  • In 2014 the Department of History was ranked first in the country in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.  
  • History at Birmingham has also been judged ‘excellent’ in the QAA Teaching Quality Assessment, which took into account the training and supervision of postgraduate students.
  • Birmingham offers an exceptionally broad range of expertise in Modern European History, from imperialism, war and conflict to media, environment and religion.  


The programme consists of four elements which make a total of 180 credits:

  • 20,000 word thesis (120 credits)
  • Globalisation since 1945 (20 credits)
  • Historical methods (20 credits)
  • Research skills training (20 credits)

The modules are assessed in various ways – by examination, coursework and attendance.

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

The course is open to those with backgrounds in history or suitable qualifications in a closely related field. You should normally have at least a good upper second class honours degree (minimum 3.0 GPA) and will normally be expected to have a reading knowledge of one modern European language. Additional language training is available at the university.

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

Please refer to our six step process on applying for PhD, MA by Research and MRes opportunities for Arts subject areas.

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.

Additional Guidance for applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study mode.

Making 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

Apply now

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.

University of the Year for employability

Birmingham’s History graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills that are highly valued by a range of employers. These skills include: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Over the past five years, over 92% of History postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Some of our History postgraduates go on to use their studies directly, for example in heritage, museum or archivist work. Others use their transferable skills in a range of occupations from finance to civil service to fundraising. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: Alcester Heritage Network; HSBC; KPMG; Ministry of Defence; and the National Trust.

Birmingham has been transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Get involved

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.


Coming to Birmingham to study might be your first time living away from home. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your new-found independence in safe, welcoming and sociable surroundings.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and cultures, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work. Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.