Taught course

History of War, Culture and Society

University of Portsmouth · School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies

Entry requirements

A good second class honours degree or equivalent in History or a related subject, or equivalent professional experience in a relevant field, such as education or heritage. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry


Course content

Why take this course?

This unique programme brings to the fore an issue which lies at the heart of historical study, examining the impact of war on shaping nationhood, identity, class, gender and citizenship in European societies. It offers motivated and able students the opportunity to work with historians in their key area of expertise.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Learn with one of the best history teams in the country, at present rated fifth in the National Survey of Student Satisfaction, in a location with a rich history at the centre of British military activity
  • Specialise in topics including the French Revolution, the First and Second World Wars, warfare in the early modern world, the visual history of war, the history of genocide and the history of war and memory
  • Undertake world class training which would support and develop careers in teaching, policy, journalism or further study

What opportunities might it lead to?

Recent history graduates from Portsmouth have gone on to pursue a range of graduate careers such as

  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Teaching
  • Administration
  • Archive and museum work

The programme also offers a firm foundation for those who want to progress to PhD research.

Module Details

Alongside your core study, you will have freedom to specialise as you receive full research management and training, as you work towards a dissertation on any war and society related theme.

The course units currently offered are:

  • Introduction to War and Society, 1500–1945
  • Humanities Research Skills
  • War, Culture and Leisure, c. 1850–1960s
  • Dissertation / Major Project
  • EITHER Conflicts in Context
  • OR Independent Project: Humanities

Programme Assessment

You will experience a blend of seminar-based teaching and tutorial project support, based on meeting a tutor individually or in groups of two or three. Seminars will take place one evening a week, generally in two, two-hour sessions. Tutorials are arranged by mutual convenience and support can also be given by email. You will be given comprehensive materials for the seminars, including prepared readings necessary for participation in discussions.

As with any course of study, the MA History of War, Culture and Society will require a significant commitment of time outside formal teaching hours, for reading, preparation and assessment.

Like all Master’s degrees, especially if taken full time, the MA is a demanding course, but you will have plenty of support and guidance, given by telephone and email, to help you meet your goals.

You will also be expected to produce two or three significant pieces of work for each of the three taught seminar units, along with two project reports and your final dissertation, which itself will be in the region of 15,000 words.

Student Destinations

Portsmouth has a solid reputation for graduate employability and our concern with your development is maintained throughout, with sessions emphasising the transferability of the advanced skills you will develop on the course. In addition to providing further evidence of professional commitment, for those already in educational or other professions, the intensive training in research and analysis of texts, management of large volumes of information and cogent expression of complex, analytical arguments will provide qualities valued in a wide range of professional environments.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566