Taught course


Oxford Brookes University · Department of History, Philosophy and Religion

Entry requirements

You should normally hold an upper second class honours degree, or its equivalent, in history or in a related subject. If it is some time since you completed your undergraduate education and you do not meet the standard requirement, it may be possible to consider your application based on evidence of other relevant personal and professional experience, the support of your referees and examples of written work.

Months of entry


Course content

The course provides an opportunity to study in depth under internationally renowned scholars in a stimulating postgraduate environment. This is a coherent yet flexible course of graduate study, combining research training with intensive modules on specific historical themes and the opportunity to conduct advanced research on a dissertation topic of your choice.

You will engage with the subject through various approaches, from discussion groups and one-to-one tutorials to seminars and historiographical and bibliographical presentations.

The course consists of four modules:

  • a compulsory core module;
  • two elective modules and a dissertation.
  • Postgraduate diploma students take Modules 1, 2 and 3;
  • postgraduate certificate students take Module 1 and one elective module.

Module 1: Key Concepts and Methods in Historical Research

Every student takes this compulsory core module in advanced historical studies, which is designed to help make the transition from undergraduate to graduate-level work.

Modules 2 and 3: elective modules

Master's students choose two elective modules, enabling the close study of topics in two different areas of historical analysis. The topics for these modules reflect the specific research expertise of the staff in the department and the programme offered varies from year to year and are as follows:

  • Studying Civil War: Russia, Spain, Greece examines three case studies in civil conflict in the 20th Century.
  • Political Violence in Ireland, 1848-1998 examines the history of political violence in Ireland from the 1848 rebellion up to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.
  • Behaving Badly: Crime, Deviance and Civilization examines various comparative themes in the history of law, crime, deviance and 'bad behaviour' from 1500 to the present.
  • Terrorism and the Sacralization of Violence locates contemporary terrorism in its historical context by considering its evolution since the late 19th century, when revolutionary anarchists first pioneered the use of violence against civil society and symbolic political targets
  • The Reformation and the Parish Church considers the impact of the Reformation on the lives of ordinary people. The churches in which they worshiped were remodelled, whilst the traditional Catholic rituals and practices that governed their lives were reformed.
  • Britain and Europe, 1950-1990 - "Europe" is a subject that has come to dominate post-war British politics, splitting political parties, bringing down governments and Prime Ministers, and dividing opinion more bitterly and deeply than any other subject.
  • Race, Empire and Colonisation.
  • The Social History of Mental Illness, 1700-2000
  • Body Politics: Health and Modernity in Britain, 1830-1914
  • Medical Experience in the Countryside, 1500-1789
  • Eugenics, Man and Society, 1860-1945
  • Science, Magic and Religion
  • Drug Makers and Drug Takers, Past and Present
  • Ethics and Ideas: From the Hippocratic Oath to Informed Consent
  • History That Was Not: Counterfactuals and Alternate History
  • The Hospital in History
  • The History of Emotions in Britain c. 1700-2000

Module 4: Dissertation

This is the capstone of the master's course. You will conduct a major in-depth investigation into a historical topic of your choice, leading to the production of a 15,000-word thesis.

Information for international students

Please see the university's standard English requirements.

Fees and funding

For Masters scholarships, please visit:

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


full time
9 months
part time
20 months


full time
4 months
part time
8 months

Course contact details

Programme Administrator
+44 (0)1865 484220