Second-class honours degree and references. We also offer a 1-year Graduate Certificate in History, which can be used as a conversion course if you want to study history at postgraduate level, but have a degree in a significantly different discipline.
Months of entry
This MA in the History of the British Isles will deepen your appreciation of the distinctive political, social and cultural aspects of the British and Irish historical experience, from the Reformation period to the present day, while also fostering your awareness of values and experiences the British and the Irish share with their European and global neighbours. This Master's degree considers the constituent countries of the British Isles - England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales - and asks how and why the geographical and political entities that are Great Britain, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland came into being.
The pressing current day issue of devolution is encouraging discussions about the formation of nation-states and national identities which feed into debates amongst historians about whether the territorial state is the most useful or constructive means of assessing historical developments and how the creation (and re-creation) of national identities relate to religion, race, gender and class.
The core module will introduce you to the systematic study of historiography and the methodologies used in the analysis and interpretation of historical source material. You can explore the enormous breadth of research interests in the department via the 3 option modules you choose, which span from the ancient period to the contemporary moment. This programme will enable you to engage with the most important and up-to-date themes, debates and historiographies in the study of the British Isles.
Finally, the dissertation gives you the chance to pursue your own interests and undertake your own research and critical thinking under the supervision of a member of staff with relevant expertise. By drawing on the expertise of staff directly engaged in English, Irish and Scottish research areas, the programme provides support and encouragement if you want to go on to pursue independent, professional or PhD research, develop new skills in relation to existing careers, or simply deepen your own understanding of the richness, diversity and complexity of the British historical experience in comparative perspective.
Information for international students
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
Fees and funding
The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses – and you don't have to start repaying until 2019.
Named in memory of Birkbeck’s former President, and one of the greatest historians of the twentieth century, the Eric Hobsbawm Postgraduate Scholarship fund offers a full fee-waiver for Home, EU and Overseas Master’s students in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology (part-time awards are pro-rata).
Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.
Find out more about funding and financial support at postgraduate level.
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
- + 44 (0)20 7631 6268
- + 44 (0)20 7631 6552