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History MA

Year of entry 2017
  View 2018 entry »
Course Length 1 year full time
2 years part time
Department History »

Taking your MA in History at Royal Holloway means that you will have maximum flexibility to fully tailor your degree to your own areas of interest. Our internationally renowned academics, who are at the forefront of research and methodological innovation, will inspire and challenge you. On graduation you will have a balance of theories, concepts and practical skills, making this degree ideal if you are looking to develop your career in areas that involve the professional creation, evaluation and dissemination of knowledge or wish to progress towards a PhD in History.

Depending on your individual interests your bespoke course can have either a broad or concentrated focus. The courses available cover gender and cultural history, British, European and World history, as well as Hellenic studies. You will also take wide-ranging methodology and research skills training courses which provide instruction in historical research, help with practical skills such as chairing and working in groups and briefings on the applications of history in the job market.

We are one of the largest and liveliest History departments in the UK yet our size is not at the cost of anonymity; you will receive our individual attention and become part of our close-knit post graduate community.

  • Access to some of the richest facilities for historical research anywhere in the world; in addition to the College’s substantial library collections, there are the National Archives, British Library and libraries of the University of London.
  • World-leading and internationally excellent research which is ranked joint first for its impact on greater society (Research Excellence Framework 2014, 4* and 3* research).
  • A vast range of research expertise ranging from ancient to contemporary times, from Europe to the Far East, and from political history to economic with particular strengths in social, cultural, and gender history, the history of ideas, as well as a notable range of countries, periods, and approaches.
  • Unique access to resources, though our own research centres, including 19th and 20th century women’s education, the Holocaust and South Asian Studies.

In addition to the core course units, there will be a number of optional course units available during your degree.  Below are a selection of the optional course units that maybe available.

Core modules

History Past and Present: Definitions, Concepts and Approaches

Studying and Communicating the Past

Dissertation

Optional modules

The Material Culture of Homelife: European Households 1400-1850

Conflict, Faith and Terror in the Middle East since 1945

Public Decency and Private Morals: Twentieth Century British History

Utopia, Dystopia & Modernity

Looking at the Victorians

The Infidel Within? Muslims in the West

Faith, Politics, and the Jews of Europe,1848-1918

History of the Holocaust

Interpreting the Holocaust

Gendering the Modern Islamic World

Leading Thinkers of the Islamic Revival

African American Islam, the Nation of Islam and Malcolm X

China and the Wider World since 1949

Unforgettable Encounters with the West

Asian Cities: Gateways to the History and Culture of a Continent

Culture wars: a genealogy of the European civil wars

The European civil wars 1917-1947

Fascism then and now: The European far right in a transnational frame

New Imperial Histories: Britain’s Empire Reassessed

Recording the Crusades: the Memory of the Crusades

Women and the Crusades

Museum Skills

Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff.

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework and a dissertation.

Entry criteria:

UK Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1), or equivalent, in history or other relevant discipline.

Non-standard applications are also viewed sympathetically.  Applicants come from a diverse range of backgrounds and we accept a broad range of qualifications (including first degrees in subjects other than History).

An interview and sample essay may be required if we would like more information upon which to base a decision. Applicants unable to attend an interview, such as overseas students, will be interviewed by telephone.

English language requirements:

IELTS 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other subscores. For equivalencies please see here


If you require Royal Holloway to sponsor you study in the UK, your IELTS must be a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT).

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below




Students from overseas should visit the International pages for information on the entry requirements from their country and further information on English language requirements. Royal Holloway offers a Pre-Master’s Diploma for International Students and English language pre-sessional courses, allowing students the opportunity to develop their study skills and English language before starting their postgraduate degree.

Additional information:

  • An interview and sample essay may be required if we would like more information upon which to base a decision. Applicants unable to attend an interview, such as overseas students, will be interviewed by telephone.

On completion of your History Masters degree at Royal Holloway you will have developed and finessed skills, such as research, analysis and presenting, which will appeal to future employers. Your degree also demonstrates that you enjoy being challenged, understand complex issues as well as other values and cultures, all of which will equip you to operate successfully in a fast-changing and increasingly globalised and multi-cultural environment.  On graduation you will have ideally placed to develop your career in areas that involve the professional creation, evaluation and dissemination of knowledge or wish to progress towards a PhD in History.  

Our Careers team will work with you to enhance your employability and prepare you for the choices ahead. Their support doesn’t end when you graduate; you can access the service for up to two years after graduation.

  • Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years have entered roles such as university lecturer, archivist, curator, journalist, librarian, PR consultant, teacher, freelance researcher, radio producer and a wide variety of other jobs within the ‘knowledge industries’. This course also equips you with a solid foundation for continued PhD studies.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £7,000

Overseas students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £14,500

Other essential costs**: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

*The tuition fees given above apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis.  Students studying part-time are charged a pro-rata tuition fee and information is available from the Royal Holloway Student Fees Office on Student-Fees@rhul.ac.uk. All fees are likely to rise annually in line with inflation but no more than 5 per cent per year.

For further information, please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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