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Public History MA

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

The Royal Holloway MA in Public History is aimed at historians who are keen to engage the public by becoming experts in communicating ideas about the past in a range of spaces and media. It provides a unique gateway to the heritage and history sectors, as well as in public media, it therefore provides relevant learning opportunities if you wish to pursue a career in broadcasting or film, in museums, heritage, with community organisations or in journalism. It is also suited to academic historians who are looking for the theories, knowledge and skills to communicate their research in the most effective way to wider audiences. 

The course was designed in collaboration with potential employers and is taught by staff and industry professionals who are well connected and up-to-date with the latest techniques. Through your studies you will develop professional skills of historical interpretation and communication and have the opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals, including museum curators, public archivists, publishers and TV and radio producers. You will learn about the key theories that underpin public history, digital history and public engagement and become equipped to work in a sector undergoing constant development, where collaborating with other professionals and members of the public will be essential.

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. Our internationally renowned academics are developing the very latest thinking on historical problems and their interests range from the ancient to the contemporary.

  • 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.
  • Access to some of the most exciting heritage sites in the world
  • Valuable networking opportunities with producers and representatives from production companies, heritage organisations and the museum sector develop links within the industry.
  • Membership to the Institute of Historical Research, an excellent research library housed in Senate House of the University of London where you can attend regular and informative evening seminars.
  • Guest lecturers and regular collaboration with external partner institutions that have included the National Trust, the Royal Household, media historians, and members of the Houses of Parliament public engagement team.
  • Public History Final Project
  • Pathways to the Past
  • History Past and Present: Definitions, Concepts and Approaches
  • Studying and Communicating the Past
  • Voice of the Public
  • The Public Communication

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 final project with accompanying reflexive essay.

Entry criteria:

UK Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1) or equivalent.

Candidates with professional qualifications and work experience in an associated area will also be considered.

  • Applicants come from a diverse range of backgrounds and we accept a broad range of qualifications (including first degrees in subjects other than History).
  • We occasionally invite candidates to an interview, when we would like more information upon which to base a decision. If applicants are unable to attend, such as overseas students, we interview 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 MA in Public History at Royal Holloway you will be equipped to pursue a career in broadcasting or film, in museums, heritage, with community organisations or in journalism. You will also have started to develop a valuable network of producers and representatives from production companies and links within the industry. 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 many different areas, including working for an MP, as a Heritage Officer, teaching and marketing. 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*:* £350 (£200 for travel to heritage sites for the Pathways to the Past module; £50 for travel and interview expenses for the Voice of the Public and Public Communication modules; book purchases across all units approximately £100).

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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