MA Modern History
- Full Time
- Degree of Master of Arts
- Course Length
- 1 year
- Course Start Date
- September 2024
On our Modern History MA, you’ll examine contemporary trends through historical lenses, by focusing on the deeper histories of nationalism, imperialism, and popular politics.
You’ll be taught by one of the largest groups of modern historians in the UK, working at the forefront of their fields in modern British, European and international history. Your modules will relate directly to our lecturers’ research, putting your studies at the heart of the latest historical issues and debates. And you’ll gain new insight into seismic political events such as Brexit, conflict on the borders of Putin’s Russia, and the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
Join our School and you’ll become part of our vibrant postgraduate community. You’ll also develop the necessary professional skills to follow in the footsteps of our previous graduates, who’ve gone on to careers in law, finance, the civil service, local government and administration, heritage and tourism, teaching and research, and doctoral study.
Studying with some of the finest academics in the country, our Master’s course will improve and deepen your knowledge and understanding of modern history, with a particular focus on the seismic events of the 20th century.
Your studies will combine seminars and tutorials. And you’ll be able to take advantage of our specialisms in British history, the history of Central and Eastern Europe, historical approaches to nationalism, and the social, cultural, and political history of regions from East and South Asia to the Middle East and North America.
Our programme is characterised by its intensity, complexity and density of study. Through it, you’ll not only acquire a more advanced knowledge and understanding of modern history, but you’ll also develop and improve your understanding of the problems posed by primary sources and documents.
You’ll learn to synthesise and apply complex historical theories and concepts, and to test hypotheses against highly detailed examples and case studies. And you’ll develop the ability to discriminate between conflicting interpretations and perspectives – and to communicate your findings in a sustained and lucid manner, both in discussions and in your written work. You’ll discover, as well, how you can apply these skills in the heritage industry and other professional contexts.
You’ll put the skills and knowledge you’ll have acquired to good use in your Master’s dissertation. You’ll then graduate fully prepared for doctoral study, should you decide to remain in academia. And you’ll possess qualities vital to future employment, including problem-solving skills, self-discipline and time-management, the ability to work with others, and excellent oral and written skills.
Study and Modules
Our Modern History programme is divided into four key elements. We also encourage you to acquire or improve your foreign language proficiency through our Language Centre, to help you read and further interpret a greater range of primary sources and secondary literature.
A cutting-edge core module will introduce you to key theoretical approaches and the latest research in the field of 20th-century British, European, and global history. Taught by a team of leading scholars in the field, it will cover a wide variety of themes and periods, and give you the opportunity to dissect the latest archival discoveries and historical debates. You might explore issues ranging from the impact of state-building projects to the role of women in twentieth century history.
You’ll also master the tools essential to developing a refined piece of original historical research, as well as instructing you on the application of history-based skills to a wide range of other careers. Through hands-on workshops and seminars, you’ll gain familiarity with various practical research methods as well as important aspects of research dissemination both within and outside academia. There will be sessions to help you transition from undergraduate- to postgraduate-level historical research, and we will pay particular attention to employability, with opportunities to engage and learn from partners at local archives, museums, and/or heritage institutions. Seminars on approaches to archival research will be facilitated by members of the School of History who are specialists in particular historical methods. Each year the content of this team-taught module adapts to developing trends within historical studies. Topics covered may include: collective memory; digital humanities; life narratives; oral history; using institutional documents; material and visual cultures; transnational histories; and decolonisation within the heritage industry. By the end of the module, you’ll be equipped to undertake historical and professional work, such as working in an archive, and writing and delivering conference papers, using the latest methodologies.
Alongside developing this broad and deep understanding of twentieth century history and historical research methods, you’ll also have the opportunity to specialise in the area of modern history that interests you most by choosing one topic from a wide array of annually updated tutorial options. Recent examples include: The Birth of Modern Political Ideologies, 1750s-1850s; Women, Fiction, and (Re)Writing History; Battle myths of the First World War; Housewives, Suffragettes, and Maids: Being a Woman in Victorian Britain; 'Victims or Whores': Class and Sexuality in Russian and Soviet Narratives of Female Imprisonment; Socialist, Communist, and Labour Movements; 'History Wars' and the Politics of Memory in Post-WWII East Asia.
Finally, your Master’s dissertation will provide you with an opportunity to pursue your own independent historical research. You’ll be supervised by one or several members of the School, who will provide guidance and support throughout the process.
Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, the University will endeavour to consult with students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will inform students.
Teaching and Learning
The School of History has a vibrant postgraduate community, attracted here by our specialist academics and our research output. In fact, we have one of the UK’s highest concentrations of historic expertise, and in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) UEA’s research in History was rated third in the whole UK.
Our integrated approach means that your learning from each module will relate to and inform your other modules. Broad and thorough, this also makes for a more interesting and stimulating study experience.
Our teaching will enhance your knowledge and awareness of different disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. And by the end of the spring term, with our close supervision and advice, you’ll be in the position to embark on your extended, independent, original research project.
The very nature of a Master’s course means that you’ll spend a lot of time carrying out independent study. You’ll have access to UEA’s state-of-the-art library, which houses a wealth of specialist research collections in British, European, and global history. You’ll also have access to the East Anglian Film Archive and the Norfolk Record Office. Moreover, you’ll be able to work with libraries and archives across the country, including the British Library and the National Archives, as well as similar resources overseas.
The balance we offer between independent thinking and study skills will help you grow into a self-motivated learner, an analytical thinker and an expert researcher. You’ll develop accuracy and precision in your written work through evidence-based analysis. And you’ll become well versed in time management, making you highly organised and confident in self-directed study.
Throughout your degree, you’ll be given guidance on your work and constructive feedback to help you improve.
Our modules include both formative and summative assessments, with feedback provided in various ways. This may include – but is not restricted to – written feedback, oral feedback in seminars and tutorials, and peer-to-peer feedback.
Each module will include a sequence of assessments, giving you the opportunity to learn from your formative feedback. The process will encourage you to reflect on your performance and to approach subsequent pieces of work with greater confidence, improving your performance in summative assessments.
Formative assessment includes presentations, essay and dissertation plans, research training, and specialised skills. Summative work is assessed through coursework essays – including the options to submit book and exhibition reviews or conduct a work experience placement at the Norfolk Record Office and at selected East Anglian heritage organisations – and your dissertation.
- Degree Classification
- Bachelors degree (minimum 2:1 or equivalent)
- Degree Subject
- Humanities subject
- English Foreign Language
Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):
IELTS: 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in only two components with 6.0 in the others)
Test dates should be within 2 years of the course start date.
We also accept a number of other English language tests. Review our English Language Equivalencies for a list of qualifications that we may accept to meet this requirement.
If you do not yet meet the English language requirements for this course, INTO UEA offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:
This course is open to UK, EU and International applicants. The annual intake for this course is in September each year.
Additional Information or Requirements
Our Admissions Policy applies to the admissions of all postgraduate applicants.
Fees and Funding
Tuition fees for the Academic Year 2024/25 are:
UK Students: £9,975 (full time)
International Students: £21,200 (full time)
If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for Home students).
We estimate living expenses at £1,023 per month.
Further Information on tuition fees can be found here.
Scholarships and Bursaries
The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.
Course Related Costs
Please see Additional Course Fees for details of course-related costs.
How to Apply
Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.
To apply please use our online application form.
If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying, please do contact us:
Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.
After the Course
You’ll graduate ready to pursue a wide range of occupations, thanks to the breadth of the skills you’ll have acquired during your postgraduate history degree. Many of our graduates go on to pursue academic careers. Others develop careers in business, public service, teaching and management, or the heritage and tourism sector.
We work closely with UEA’s Careers Service, offering a number of events, workshops, and information sessions to help get your career off to the best start.
A degree at UEA will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. We've been ranked 1st for Job Prospects by StudentCrowd in 2022.
Examples of careers that you could enter include:
Teaching and research
Civil service and local government
Heritage and tourism
Business and finance
Discover more on our Careers webpages.