Taught course

Historical Research and Public History

New College of the Humanities · History Department

Entry requirements

This exciting new MA is suitable for those who have completed a first degree in History and wish to specialise in historical research or public history, or those who hold a first degree in another discipline and who want to convert to History. Equally, we welcome applications from those who demonstrate a lifelong passion for History who may have been out of education for some years.

Normally, an upper second-class honours undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in History or a related subject. We are happy to consider applicants who have been out of education for a while, and who have equivalent professional experience.

Months of entry


Course content

Our Historical Research & Public History MA offers a rich and intensive study of historical research and public history, designed to produce talented and sought-after historians who are able to apply their skills not only to academia but also to the practice of history in the public sphere. This new, and innovative master’s degree has been developed and will be delivered by the History Faculty at NCH, led by award-winning academic, historian and broadcaster Dr Suzannah Lipscomb.

This new master’s programme provides advanced training in historical method, historiography, theory and the practices of historical research, in addition to exploring history as it is represented, constructed, debated and contested in the public sphere, including in museums and galleries, heritage sites, public policy, and in the media.

As part of your studies...Research and archives

You will be introduced to major research libraries and archives including the National Archives, Senate House Library, the British Library and the British Museum, which is located mere steps from NCH.

You will be taught how to search these archives for primary sources – dating from the medieval, early modern and modern past and including manuscript sources, printed texts and quantified data – and how to research, evaluate and critique a wide range of different source materials.

You will learn to distinguish between and assess different historical perspectives, and to evaluate the usefulness of inter-disciplinary approaches to history, including anthropology, the history of art, and literary studies.

Public history

The public history strand of the programme teaches you how to critically appraise the ways in which historical knowledge can contribute to a wider public engagement with the past, and the challenges and complexities of reconstructing the past for a public audience.

During your studies, you will meet with professionals who practise History in the public realm, including historical novelists, media producers, museum curators and keeper of historic archives. The faculty will also organise a study trip a major historic house, or another site of historic interest.

Our Historical Research & Public History MA is a one-year programme of study, or can be studied part-time across three years.

Each of the programme’s seven courses have been developed and will be delivered by the History Faculty at NCH, led by award-winning academic, historian and broadcaster Dr Suzannah Lipscomb.

  • Course 1: The Historian’s Craft
  • Course 2: Depth Study I*
  • Course 3: Public History
  • Course 4: Depth Study II*
  • Course 5: Dissertation I
  • Course 6: Applied Public History
  • Course 7: Dissertation II

* Depth Studies are chosen from:

  • The Royal Court: Ritual, Culture & Power in Medieval England, 1150-1300
  • Reality & Utopia: Renaissance Political Thought
  • Cross-Cultural Encounters in the Early Modern World
  • The Later Victorian Age: Society & Culture, 1870-1900
  • African Americans & Economic Inequality from Civil War to Civil Rights

Information for international students

English language requirements – IELTS 7.0, with a minimum 6.5 in each component.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
36 months

Course contact details

NCH Admissions
+44 (0) 20 7637 4550