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MA Public History Critical judgements

Ma Public History small version of logoWe are grateful to input into the course from a wide range of heritage organisations, community history groups and museums and archives. They provide advice, on-site training and often offer our students interesting and challenging placements. The following includes some comments about the MA in Public History programme that have been made by our partners, graduates, external examiner and  the press.


Royal Holloway’s Public History MA is the perfect course for anyone who wishes to bring serious history to the widest possible public.

Paul Lay, History Today editor

Britain seems to have an insatiable thirst for 'public history', and for historians who can not only find things out but communicate brilliantly as well.  There's clearly been a gap in the market for courses to produce these people, and Royal Holloway is now plugging it perfectly.

Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces

An innovative and exciting initiative from RHUL which engages students with important issues of history, heritage and interpretation and equips graduates with important transferable knowledge and skills.I am always delighted to arrange a visit

Tom O'Leary, Head of Education and Public Engagement, Houses of Parliament

 This innovative new masters course covers a wide range of interesting ways in which historians engage with the public. It is important for students to understand the many 'publics' who are concerned with history and heritage from socially excluded groups such as Gypsies to new British communities who are developing their part in our public history. It is fitting students to deal with the real, and changing, world.

Lalage Grundy, Surrey Heritage Team Manager for Learning, Museums and Partnership

 Royal Holloway's MA in Public History provides students with valuable tools for understanding and communicating about the past.  The focus is both academic and practical, which will serve students well as they go onto jobs in a variety of sectors.  I particularly like the focus on museums as a way of researching how we tell compelling stories about people and places.   

Dr. Márcia Balisciano, Director, Benjamin Franklin House

The MA in Public History offers something totally new. It explores the way in which history is continually being retold in the world around us – in the media, on the web, and through the ongoing care of cultural heritage. More than that, it offers students the chance to have direct contact with professionals working in the field, as well as with historians operating in the public eye. History has never been a purely ivory tower exercise – this course helps to explain why. The National Trust is happy to support the course, and we are always pleased to help students with dissertation projects.

Ben Cowell, Acting External Affairs Director of the National Trust

I've been impressed by the enthusiasm and knowledge of the students, who make good use of the chance to talk with curators about the practicalities of putting on exhibitions and how history plays a part with engaging with a modern audience.

Matthew Shaw, curator at the British Library


Our students' opinions matter and we encourage our graduates to stay in touch. They are, we hope, a large part of the future of public history.

The Public History MA is both challenging and exciting. The scope you are allowed to produce in terms of different projects is extensive: from films to radio plays to life history interviews anything is possible.

Johanna G.

See the video Johanna made about the history of the College

...I would like to be a museum curator and the course allows me to pursue that. The MA gives me the opportunity to be creative. I like the department’s links with outside bodies and the chance to do work placements. You’re also encouraged to go out and make links for yourself.

 Marc M.

 The course allowed me to take my love of all things historical and practically apply the knowledge in ways which made it accessible to a wider spectrum of society. I liked the variety of the course in terms of what was covered and the practical skills learnt, and I feel that it has stood us all in good stead for careers involving history outside of academia.

Shelley M

External Examiner

Many students on the MA Public History convey a palpable sense of excitement at doing something different from “ordinary history”… Public history at Royal Holloway has a real coherence. …This has been an outstanding year which has established new benchmarks for postgraduate work in Public History.

Professor John Tosh, external examiner, 5.10.10


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