Prospective students: graduate (taught)

Thank you for your interest in finding out more about the masters' programmes offered at UCL History.

We are committed to providing a wonderful experience for our postgraduate students, in terms of offering a wide range of modules on taught MA programmes, a supportive environment through small-group teaching, and individual support through one-to-one supervision. We are also confident that our students benefit from being at the very heart of one of the world’s greatest scholarly cities, in terms of having unrivalled access to archives, libraries and museums, as well as to the intellectual activities which thrive in the heart of Bloomsbury.

Our courses

History MA Pathways 

Culture, Ideas and Identities (HIST0844)

Students will examine the theoretical and methodological approaches available for the study of cultures, ideas, and identities in the historical past. An introductory week considers the nature and interrelation of these three types of subject matter, which constitute the main concerns of cultural historians. It is followed by three weeks devoted to each type of subject, for each of which we consider a range of theoretical and methodological approaches. While the module considers the development of cultural history as a field, its emphasis is on approaches currently being deployed by historians doing cutting-edge work, such as historical anthropology, Begriffsgeschichte, and gender history. The goal of the module is to equip students with a knowledge of these approaches, an ability to evaluate them, and an understanding of how they can be applied to particular historical phenomena. Each approach is critically examined by considering the writings of theorists in combination with writings by historians who apply the theories. The module does not focus on a single period or geographic area, but provides a basis for the informed utilization of appropriate theory and methods for the study of whatever cultural history students pursue in their optional modules and dissertation.

Empires and Global History (HIST0845)

We will examine and interrogate a set of overlapping concerns that have not only shaped global history, imperial history, and histories of empire, but also stirred debate about the dividing line between such historiographical approaches. These concerns are to do in the first instance with scale in historical analysis and the drawing of connections and comparisons across and between different scalar units of analysis and over time. The core course will introduce students to relevant concepts and categories, trace the evolution of these different approaches to historical production, examine their application to a range of historical sub-fields, and consider some of the hallmark or canonical works.

Environment, State and Economy (HIST0846)

The module provides students with a range of theories and methods to explore the connections between environmental change, economic change and political change from a long-term perspective. The module will explore these connections primarily through three interdisciplinary lines of literature on environmental economic history, historical political economy, and political environmental history, drawing historical examples from any time period, country or region. Besides engaging with the relevant literature and theories, students on the module will reflect on historical methods and sources used within these fields. The weekly topics will explore environmental (such as geography and natural resources), political (such as the formation of states and legal institutions) and economic factors (such as economic development, inequality and living standards) in relation to each other from a macro-historical perspective.

Themes and Controversies in Modern British History (HIST0847)

Teaching and learning focus on three integrated areas of study: 1. Nation and empire 2. Race, class and gender 3. Individualism and subjectivity The module requires students to focus on a core body of scholarship seeking to understand the multiple dimensions through which these categories of historical analysis have been lived, experienced and narrated in the modern British historical context. The module places considerable emphasis on critical approaches to the idea of ‘national history’, paying attention to the transnational, imperial, global and comparative dimensions of political, economic, social, cultural and intellectual life that fall within a ‘British history’ framework. Weekly seminars focus on a particular historical, theoretical, conceptual or methodological approach, or a combination thereof. An example of this might be the relationship between gender as an analytical category and the prevalence of popular imperialism ‘at home’ in the late 19th and early 20th century, asking to what extent metropolitan gender identities were formed in relation to the colonial contexts of the day. Topics will be critically examined through readings that combine the works of theorists with writings by historians who apply these theories, as well as through group discussion and formative activities. The module will also introduce students to the varied range of archival sources available for the study of identities in modern British history, and critically engage with debates about the types of source materials available, how they can be analysed, and what their strengths and limitations might be.

How do I fund my MA studies?

Register your interest

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Register your interest with the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences