Taught course


Durham University · Department of History

Entry requirements

Subject requirements are a 2:1, with an overall average score of 65% or above, or a GPA of 3.5 or above, or equivalent.

An undergraduate degree in History or a related subject is required.

You are required to submit the following information with your online application:

  • Two Academic References – from people who are familiar with your work, commenting on your suitability for the programme
  • An Academic CV– this should be no longer than 2 A4 pages and should contain information about your academic achievements to date and any related-work experience you have undertaken
  • A sample of written work (up to 2,500 words for MA courses)
  • Academic Transcripts and Certificates, if available– a copy of your undergraduate degree and postgraduate courses (dependent upon which degree course you are applying for) transcript and/or certificate, if degree already attained
  • A 750-word outline of your intended research, concentrating on the research problem you will address, the research context in which it is located, and the methods, critical approaches, and sources you will use. You can upload this as part of the online application form.

Months of entry


Course content

The MA in History brings together your own specialist field of interest and the broader academic discipline of history to prepare you for future research.

The course is delivered by subject specialists whose expertise allows you to tailor the course to your own distinct areas of research. Areas of particular strength include African History, East Asian History, South Asian History, Transnational History, Medieval History, Early Modern History, Modern History, and Visual and Material Culture.

You will complete one research-focused core module which offers a grounding in the practices, theories, approaches and methodologies of history. Beyond this, you will have the freedom to shape your own path through the course, choosing from a selection of optional modules that provide an in-depth exploration of topics and themes linked to current staff research. You can further tailor the course through your choice of dissertation.

The course runs on a full-time basis for one year, or for two years part-time, and offers opportunities for wider academic networking through the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies, and the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture, among other research centres and institutes.

The University has a vibrant and supportive learning community and is able to provide you with an extensive study resource thanks to its large number of libraries, archives, and special collections.

Postgraduates are active in the academic and social life of the Department. They lead their own discussion groups, organise annual conferences, and meet with external keynote speakers, thereby forming an integral part of the Department’s wider research culture.

Course structure

Core modules:

Themes, Readings and Sources provides essential training in historical skills, methodologies, and theories, regardless of your specialism. As a core module, the focus is on the academic knowledge and practices relevant to history as a discipline. The module structure encourages you to apply the skills you develop to optional modules and dissertation preparation.

The Dissertation brings together the skills and methods acquired in your modules to research and write an independent investigation of a specialist area of history using extensive secondary and primary source material. You can choose between a 15,000-word (60-credit) or a 20,000-word (90-credit) dissertation.

Examples of optional modules:

  • Palaeography: Scribes, Script and History from Antiquity to the Renaissance
  • A Safe Democracy? Constitutionalism, Extremism and Political Violence in Modern England, c. 1890-1939
  • Serious Fun: A History of Sport from the Late Middle Ages to the Present
  • Things That Matter: Material and Culture In/for The Digital Age
  • Negotiating Life in The Early Modern England
  • Intellectuals and Public Opinion in Global History
  • The Nature of History: Approaches to Environmental History
  • Power and Society in The Late Middle Ages
  • The City in History

Information for international students

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

For further information see the course listing.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Department of History