Content and structure:
Students will have an induction meeting with the supervisor (week 1) in which an initial work programme will be agreed, as well as coverage for any outstanding training needs. Students will also receive an introduction to the Library facilities.
The role of the supervisor is to offer support and advice at the different stages of the degree, beginning with advice about secondary bibliography and primary source research, progressing through to discussion of suitable structures for the dissertation, followed by feedback on sample drafted material.
As further research preparation, supervisors can also arrange for Masters by Research students who wish to do so (and who are able to attend the scheduled hours) to audit on a voluntary basis appropriate taught courses in RHUL History department (for example, the MA in History skills and/or concepts courses).
Students are encouraged to attend relevant seminar sessions (such as the History Postgraduate Seminar, the RHUL History Departmental Research Seminar, HARC and also to take advantage of the many seminars offered by the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House.
Students should expect to meet their supervisors at least once every month in the first two terms. Phone and e-mail contact may take the place of face to face supervision for students who have difficulties attending College, or who are conducting archival research or other field work. Written work should be produced regularly to be discussed with the supervisor. The History Department will monitor and take action regarding students who fail to have regular contact with their supervisor, whatever their mode of communication.
The Masters by Research (History) is examined 100% on the final dissertation which the candidate is required to defend in a viva.
On completion of the course graduates will have:
- a high level of skill in the research, analysis and presentation of complex/fragmentary data
- an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the major concepts and theories that inform the subject
- an understanding of the various explanations and theories for change and continuity in history
- an understanding of the underlying social, cultural, economic, religious, ideological and political changes occurring during the periods studied.