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MRes History (on campus)

Start date
September
Duration
Full-time: 1 year Part-time: 2 years
Course Type
Postgraduate, Combined research and taught
Fees

Annual tuition fee 2023 entry:
UK: £6,660 full-time; £3,330 part-time
International: £20,820 full-time
More detail.

Applications for 2023 entry to this programme will open shortly. Please register your interest to receive updates.

History is being made daily and is one of the most diverse and exciting topics to research.  With new documents being released every year and new archives being added to all the time, new researchers are finding an incredible range of topics to explore, examine and reassess.

The MRes History programme aims to enable students to develop an advanced knowledge and understanding of Historical research in a particular specialism in one of a variety of subjects in which the Department of History has significant strengths.  At present, this includes, but are not limited to:

  • Medieval Studies
  • Early Modern History
  • Global History
  • US History
  • Contemporary History
  • Public History
  • Modern British Studies

This MRes enables students to acquire a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research and advanced scholarship.  That knowledge is then put into practice by designing and delivering a significant piece of independent research, giving an opportunity to survey key theoretical, methodological and interdisciplinary influences on the historical discipline.  Students have the opportunity to develop their grounding in a particular sub-field and develop a conceptual understanding that allows them to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline.

Ideal for students interested in questions about our global past, you will complete your research project in any aspect of History, as agreed by your supervisor, while the taught component is designed to develop skills in critical analysis and academic research.

What is an MRes?

An MRes is a programme that will help you develop the skills for both doctoral study and a future career. You will complete a major individual research project, supervised by a specialist in the field of study, and a taught component that develops research and analytical skills. If you are interested in applying, we strongly encourage you to contact the admissions tutor or a member of staff with interests in your field to discuss your application in general and your proposed research topic in particular.

At Birmingham, Postgraduate Taught and Postgraduate Research students also have the opportunity to learn graduate academic languages free of charge, to support your studies.

The diversity of staff specialisms creates an exciting and stimulating research environment, which means that whatever you are interested in there is always someone you can talk to and discuss ideas with. The research culture is exceptional at Birmingham, with regular seminars being held which allow me to broaden my horizons and look beyond my topic of study

Zoe

Why study this course?

  • Undertake an extended research project: 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.
  • Research expertise: The Department covers a wide range of British, European and world history from the early medieval period to the present. Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History eighth in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework exercise 2021 based on Grade Point Average.
  • Transferable skills: The programme enables you to apply the intellectual insights of the taught modules to a sustained body of work, to develop the advanced interpretative skills necessary for doctoral work, and to develop transferable research skills and advanced critical analysis.

The postgraduate experience

The College of Arts and Law offers excellent support to its postgraduates, from libraries and research spaces, to careers support and funding opportunities. Learn more about your postgraduate experience.

Modules

MRes programmes offer a unique opportunity to deepen and develop your knowledge of the subject by combining taught elements with research training and an individual research project. They can lead to doctoral research, and will also provide the chance for you to undertake scholarly research as an enrichment of undergraduate study or for career development purposes.

MRes History is a 180 credit research Master’s degree, comprising a 20,000 word research thesis and 60 credits of taught modules which offer specialised, subject-specific research training.  It is also possible to upgrade from an MRes to doctoral study, following approval by a formal upgrade and review process.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.

Taught modules

Compulsory Modules

The following modules must be taken:

  • Historical Approaches
  • Research Preparation  

Optional modules

Students must choose one 20 credit optional module from the following, relevant to the area of specialism for the Thesis:

  • Global Histories: Comparisons and Connections
  • New Directions in Modern British Studies
  • Approaches to Medieval Studies
  • Introduction to Early Modern History
  • History and Heritage

Thesis

The programme is completed with a 20,000-word thesis, supported by expert academic supervision.


Please note that the optional module information listed on the website for this programme is intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.

Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2023 entry are as follows:

  • UK: £6,660 full-time; £3,330 part-time
  • International: £20,820 full-time

Fee status

Eligibility for UK or international fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students

Paying your fees

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

How To Apply

Application deadlines

The deadline for International students (including EU) to apply is 3 July 2023. The deadline for UK students is 31 August 2023.

Six easy steps to apply for a postgraduate research course in the College of Arts and Law

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, which includes detailed advice on research proposals and how to write them.

Making your application

Our Standard Requirements

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.

International/EU students

Academic requirements: We accept a range of qualifications from different countries - use our handy guide below to see what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements: standard language requirements apply for this course - IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band.. If you are made an offer of a place to study and you do not meet the language requirement, you have the option to enrol on our English for Academic Purposes Presessional Course - if you successfully complete the course, you will be able to fulfil the language requirement without retaking a language qualification.

IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 20 Listening, 22 Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 67 with no less than 64 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced - minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

Learn more about international entry requirements

International Requirements


Research in the Department of History has unique chronological and geographical depth, covering a wide range of British, European and world history from the early medieval period to the present, so we are able to provide expert supervision across a variety of topics.

Please contact a staff member working in your area of interest in the first instance. A summary of our key research areas, and staff working within those, can be found below.

 

The History MRes is taught by members of the School of History and Cultures.  Colleagues from across the University are part of Research Centres within the School, which provides intellectual forums for academic staff and postgraduates working within the field, and provides a base for research both for its members and in collaboration with other institutions.  

These Research Centres may support a research seminar series of invited speakers throughout the academic year as well as an annual lecture series and various informal reading groups.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively 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.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for your future career, but this can also be enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University and the College of Arts and Law.

The University's Careers Network provides expert guidance and activities especially for postgraduates, which will help you achieve your career goals. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated  careers and employability team who offer tailored advice and a programme of College-specific careers events.

You will be encouraged to make the most of your postgraduate experience and will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive one-to-one careers advice, including guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique, whether you are looking for a career inside or outside of academia
  • Meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs and employer presentations
  • Attend an annual programme of careers fairs, skills workshops and conferences, including bespoke events for postgraduates in the College of Arts and Law
  • Take part in a range of activities to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers and enhance your CV

What’s more, you will be able to access our full range of careers support for up to 2 years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: History

Our History postgraduates 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 5 years, 81% of History postgraduates were in work and/or further study 6 months after graduation (DLHE 2012 - 2017). Some of our History postgraduates go on to use their studies directly, for example in heritage or in museums. Others use their transferable skills in a range of occupations including finance, marketing, teaching and publishing. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include Royal Air Force, Ministry of Defence, University of Birmingham, Royal Air Force Museum and University of Oxford.

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