MA HistoryFind a programme
|Faculty||Faculty of Arts|
One year full-time;
two years part-time
|Location of programme||Clifton campus|
|Part-time study available||
Part-time study requires daytime weekday attendance
|Start date||September 2022|
Our MA in History offers you the opportunity to explore a variety of historical approaches - from intellectual, political, and economic history, to social, cultural, emotional history and beyond - all within a diverse range of chronologies and geographies. A key feature of our programme is that students are given a high degree of choice from across the department's major areas of expertise. This includes our particular strengths in:
- medieval and early modern history
- contemporary British, European and American history
- global history (with particular focus on African and Asian history)
- histories of colonialism, empire, and race
- environmental history
- public history
- gender history
Given the wide range of research and teaching in the department, we are confident you will find units that reflect your own interests, whether that's the history of the English Civil Wars, natural disasters and extreme environments, empires and globalisation, or something else entirely. Alternatively, you may prefer not to specialise, and instead obtain a broad sense of historical subjects, themes, debates and methodologies.
As well as benefitting from the research expertise of our staff, you will be immersed in a vibrant postgraduate community at Bristol that is underpinned by regular programmes of seminars, guest speakers, and skills workshops. You will also be connected to a number of prestigious research groups in the Faculty of Arts in which the Department of History plays a prominent part, such as Medical Humanities, Black Humanities, Material Texts, Environmental Humanities and Medieval Studies.
Virtual open week
This programme was covered in our History and History of Art webinar.
Fees for 2022/23
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:
- UK: full-time
- UK: part-time (two years)
- Overseas: full-time
Following the recent changes to fee assessment regulation, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students will no longer be charged a separate tuition fee. From the 2021/22 academic year they will be charged the same fees as Home students.
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.
University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.
Funding for 2022/23
Funding and studentship opportunities are listed on the Faculty of Arts funding pages.
Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.
The MA comprises six taught units and a research dissertation. Teaching on the programme incorporates workshops, seminars, and one-on-one supervision. The focus develops from broader units, through more specialised ones, to your chosen dissertation topic.
All students normally take our two core units: Approaches to History, and Researching and Writing History. These will enable you to develop critical research skills and approaches that underlie later assessments. Students can also flexibly access specialist research training, for instance in medieval studies.
The remainder of the taught element of your programme is made up of four optional units, covering a diverse range of places and periods. These specialist units are designed to introduce you to a sub-field's major debates, approaches or sources. To further widen choice, students can substitute one of these specialist MA units in the first semester with a Personal Option Unit (POU), which enables them to affiliate with a suitable Third Year Undergraduate unit. For students keen to pursue a specific research interest there is also the option to undertake a Supervised Individual Study (SIS) as a substitute in the second semester.
In the third semester, you will write a primary source-based dissertation of up to 15,000 words, supervised one-on-one by an academic in the department. You will identify the subject for your dissertation in the spring, but most of the research is conducted over the summer.
Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MA in History.
An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in an arts, humanities or social sciences discipline. Applicants must achieve a minimum of 60 per cent in the dissertation or extended essay element of their degree. Non-traditional qualifications/routes may also be considered.
See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
Students who complete the MA in History have taken up careers in a number of different fields, including journalism, image and data capturing, the heritage industry and teaching. A number of MA graduates have gone on to take an MPhil/PhD in History and forged careers as research academics.
Another popular choice is to develop successful careers in fields such as public relations, accountancy, fund management and the law by building on the transferable skills acquired through master's study. As a graduate of the MA in History you can use the University’s Careers Service for free for up to three years after you graduate.
Expected application closure date
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REF 2014 results
- 25% of research is world-leading (4*)
- 48% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
- 24% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
- 3% of research is recognised nationally (1*)
Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.