The Second World War is a huge topic: no course can hope to cover every aspect. This programme concentrates on the British experience, although it draws comparisons with both allies and enemies where appropriate and helpful. It focuses on the challenges posed by the war to state, army, society and the man and woman in the street, and on the evolving ways in which these challenges were met – or not met.
To gain a Masters degree you will need to complete 180 credits. You will study six core modules, each worth 20 credits and assessed by an essay of not more than 4,000 words. You will also complete a supervised 15,000-word dissertation, worth 60 credits.
You will study six core modules:
Research Skills: Methodology and Sources
This module introduces you to the historiography of the Second World War and to a variety of different research methodologies and research sources. A series of case studies will focus on key research sources (published and unpublished) for the British experience of the Second World War, including: the Official History; the diaries, memoirs, letters and autobiographies of contemporary actors; archival sources, especially the National Archives of the United Kingdom: Public Record Office.
The Higher Direction of the War
The module looks at the determinants of British strategy during the Second World War, paying particular attention to historical, political, economic and diplomatic factors. It compares the British war economy with that of allies and enemies alike. It also covers the evolution of British strategy under the discipline of events and the conditions and difficulties of coalition warfare.
The Development of Operational Art in British Forces
This module will analyse the methods adopted by Britain’s military forces to plan and execute battles and how these methods changed over time. Particular attention will be given to the evolution of C3I (Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence), combined operations, the use of air power, all-arms operations and doctrine.
Technology, Tactics and the Secret War
The module will analyse the impact of science and technology on the conduct of the war, the evolution of tactics in the land war and the secret war of propaganda, espionage (human and electronic) and resistance.
The Experience of War
The module will examine the individual’s experience of the war at sea, on land and in the air, both in the services and on the Home Front. It will also look at the impact of the war in terms of bereavement and remembrance and also at how it has been represented in art and popular culture.
Research Skills: Dissertation Preparation
The module introduces you to the techniques necessary for the location of literature and sources relevant to your dissertation research. You will become familiar with the relevant bibliographical aids for the location of secondary and primary sources, and will be introduced to a range of libraries, archives and data sources.
Modules and courses are constantly updated and under review. As with most academic programmes, please remember that it is possible that a module may not be offered in any particular year, The University of Birmingham reserves the right to vary or withdraw any course or module.
Fees for the 2013/14 session are as follows:
Home / EU: part-time - £2,565
Learn more about fees and funding
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available.
For further information, visit the College of Arts and Law scholarships page or email email@example.com
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.