Taught course


Birkbeck, University of London · History, Classics and Archaeology

Visit the institution website for COVID‑19 updates

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2.2 or above) and an MA degree (with a Merit or above). At least one of these degrees should be in history.

You are expected to complete a 500-word dissertation proposal, to be included with the application form.

Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Months of entry


Course content

The MRes History is a taught postgraduate research course which sits in between our MA provision and PhD research degrees. It equips you with the advanced historical research skills and conceptual framework needed to complete an individual, large-scale research project. The course centres on the research and writing of a 30,000-word dissertation which allows you to demonstrate the advanced historical research skills learned in the two core modules.

The core modules extend your analytical skills and project management skills through, first, the planning and writing of a long literature review which advances your critical knowledge of your chosen field of research; and second, the development of a detailed research proposal. You will be taught practical historical skills and techniques, including locating and retrieving historical material, critiquing primary and secondary sources, and examining and organising historical information. Both modules are taught by experienced, research-active academics using a wide range of methodological and theoretical approaches. You will work with an internationally renowned specialist supervisor in your chosen field of research and will be invited to events organised by, and for, our vibrant MPhil/PhD community, thus broadening your range of academic and intellectual contacts.

This course is ideal for self-motivated and committed students who already have an MA in a humanities subject, and wish to research and write on a defined historical topic from pre-history to contemporary history. Students who take this course often do so because they wish to do independent, professional research or in preparation for research at PhD level.

  • Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is an international centre of excellence. Since 2001 we have consistently been in the top ten departments evaluated by the Research Excellence Framework (REF).
  • Our research is unique in its range across geographical and chronological boundaries. We are the only university department in London to include historians, classicists and archaeologists investigating every period from prehistory to the early twenty-first century. We see the study of the past as crucial for our understanding of present-day society, culture and politics.
  • All master’s students are eligible to apply for our prestigious Eric Hobsbawm Scholarships, subject to availability. One of the most influential historians of the twentieth century, Eric Hobsbawm taught at Birkbeck for over five decades and embodied what is central to our teaching and research: a continued commitment to critical enquiry and public engagement.
  • We are at the heart of academic London with access to unparalleled research resources. Situated very close by are: the Institute of Classical Studies, with its library, training facilities and seminars; the British Museum, with its extensive collection of classical antiquities; and the British Library, the largest national library in the world.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this course is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests and at least 7.0 in writing.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MRes
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • GradCert
    part time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Advice Service
+44 (0)20 3907 0700