Postgraduate study

History

Awards: MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: History

Research interests within History are extremely wide-ranging and include medieval culture, religion, gender, and law; historical theory; early modern witchcraft and the occult; the Italian Renaissance; North America from the colonial era; intellectual history from Machiavelli to Marx; genocide; Nazi and post-war Germany; Russia and the Soviet Union; the Cold War; and political, social, and cultural aspects of the history of China, Japan, Africa, India, Latin America and the Caribbean in the modern era.

In particular, we host expertise in:

  • Pre-modern and early-modern history: our research interests lie in the social, political, religious and cultural history of Europe – from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance, with particular emphasis on England, France and Italy.
  • Modern British and Irish history: we have particular interests in early modern religion, belief and intellectual history (including the Scottish Enlightenment); social and political history; relations between Britain and Ireland; Irish migration; and international relations and warfare.
  • Modern European history: specialisms include 18th-century political and intellectual history; genocide; France; Germany; Russia and the Soviet Union; and Spain.
  • American history: our expertise includes revolutionary and early national America; the Civil War; US diplomatic history in the 19th and 20th centuries; politics in the 20th century; African-American history and the civil rights movement.
  • Global and Transnational history: we research African history; Caribbean and Latin American history; the history of the British Empire and Commonwealth; modern India, Pakistan, and China and Japan from the early modern period to the contemporary world, and the history of global connections and the movement of people, objects, images and ideas.

The MSc by Research is perfect if you have a specific topic of interest you wish to research in depth. In History, we can offer supervision across an exceptionally wide chronological and geographical range.

When applying, as for other research programmes such as a PhD, you must submit a research proposal explaining your plans and demonstrating your knowledge of the chosen field: this will be closely scrutinised as part of our admissions process. Two supervisors will be appointed to work with you on the project and it is a good idea to consult with prospective supervisors before applying.

This programme is assessed by means of a long dissertation of 30,000 words. You will also take the history skills courses: Historical Research: Skills and Sources; Historical Methodology.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScRHistory1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2018/19
MScRHistory2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2018/19

You will be assigned two supervisors who will provide expert academic guidance on your chosen research topic. You will meet regularly to discuss your progress and research plans, as well as drafts of your thesis/dissertation chapters, conference papers and potential articles.

In addition to individual supervision, all our Masters by Research students pursue an individually tailored programme of research and professional skills training agreed with their supervisors.

Our building offers you exceptional, modern facilities, resources and study spaces, in a stunning location.

Our postgraduate students have access to:

  • A dedicated study and computing lab with printing, copying and scanning facilities, overlooking the Meadows, one of the city’s best-loved green spaces.
  • Two research rooms, shared with undergraduates, housing some of our impressive book collections and a small selection of computing facilities.
  • A large common room overlooking the Meadows, shared by students and staff.
  • A number of small-scale teaching rooms, well-equipped with facilities such as data projection and smart boards.
  • Exhibition areas, filled with artefacts and artwork from our collections.

All of our facilities are in addition to the multiple libraries and computer labs provided across the University’s estate. Many of our rooms overlook the Meadows.

Our location, right in the heart of Edinburgh, means you will be based close to the city’s cultural attractions and facilities, including a wealth of libraries, archives, museums and galleries, which provide uniquely rich support for the disciplines we teach.

Our students view the programme and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced qualification valued and respected by many employers, others are interested in pursuing long-term academic careers and therefore consider the MSc as preparation for a PhD. The combination of skills training courses, specialised seminars, and independent research provides you with transferable skills that will be beneficial whatever path you choose.

Graduates pursue work in related areas such as museums, policy think tanks, national and international civil services, non-governmental organisations, galleries, libraries and historic trusts while others build on the transferable skills gained and enter areas as diverse as business, media, public administration and marketing.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, US GPA 3.4 or other international equivalent, in a subject related to your programme.

Relevant experience, or professional or other qualifications will also be considered.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson Test of English and Trinity ISE must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • School of History, Classics & Archaeology
  • Graduate School Office, Room 2.29, William Robertson Wing
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit two references with your application.

You must also submit a research proposal. This should demonstrate that your chosen research topic is a viable one, and that you are well prepared to undertake it. We recommend that you discuss your ideas for the proposal in advance with a member of academic staff who specialises in your chosen topic

Two supervisors will be appointed to work with you on the project: it is a good idea to consult with prospective supervisors before applying.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of History, Classics & Archaeology
  • Graduate School Office, Room 2.29, William Robertson Wing
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG