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Postgraduate course

International History MA

Immerse yourself in a dynamic, varied and challenging field of academic study, with the emphasis on the 20th and 21st centuries.

Students stood in castle ruins

Events from these centuries will have repercussions for generations to come. Studying this field of history at an advanced level means deepening your understanding of the political structures and global processes shaping the world today. This makes the knowledge and awareness you gain on this programme valuable in a wide range of career contexts.

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full-time | 2 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2022
  • School – School of Humanities

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021-22 £6,500 full time

    International 2021-22 £12,750 full time

Course overview

Studying key topics like imperialism, postcolonialism and post-war threats to international security, you will gain an in-depth knowledge of a fascinating period in international history. Through an  independent dissertation you will have the chance to choose your own specialism and focus on what interests you most. You will be taught by staff with a broad range of expertise and research interests in international history, in accordance with a philosophy that emphasises the development of students as practising historians.

We run a lively visiting guest lecture series, bringing new ideas and perspectives to your study. You will also have the chance to present your own work at forums and research conferences, building your confidence as a researcher and giving you transferable skills for the future.

You will study for the International History MA through a combination of taught modules, independent study, writing and research. Throughout the programme you will have the opportunity to emphasise your particular interests in international history through your choice of seminar and coursework assignments, and through the selection and development of an extended piece of independent research and critical writing on a topic of your choice.

Course structure

Level 1


Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This module will introduce a range of approaches to international history in the last hundred years. You will consider many international historical developments throughout this period. Later modules use the methodological and subject-content studied on this module. You will also develop your research skills on this programme and start to consider your dissertation project.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

Western imperialism established itself as the key component of the international system during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Yet during the first half of the twentieth century western imperialism experienced a period of crisis. On this module you will study the phenomenon of imperialism in the context of this time period. You will explore the stresses and strains to which western imperialism was subject during this period and how it adapted to these challenges. 

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

The collapse of the European empires following the Second World War had profound and long-lasting global consequences. Yet historians have traditionally considered these events in relation to the Cold War rather than their impact on the governments and peoples of the newly-independent states. This specialist module will explore the process of decolonisation and the post-colonial world through juxtaposition of promise and challenge. 

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module we analyse the experience of a post-1945 world which faced unprecedented threats to international security and even human survival. At the same time technological advance so reduced barriers to travel and communication that it became possible to speak of a ‘global village’.

Credits: 60

Compulsory module

Through your research dissertation you will plan, research and write an independent dissertation. This will be written on a topic of specific interest to you within the broad field of History. Throughout the module you'll be supported by a supervisor who will meet with you on a one-to-one basis. 

Teaching and assessment

You will experience an integrated mix of contact teaching, supported open learning and independent study. In the classroom you will take part in small seminar discussion groups and one-to-one tutorials with your lecturers. You will prepare for these sessions by examining specified bodies of relevant material, much of which will be made available via a Virtual Learning Environment - this will provide you with a shared launching point for discussion in the seminars.

All modules are taught in small three-hour student-led workshops. Selected students will be assigned tasks to prepare in advance of the workshops and then they will lead discussions on the topic. Time in each workshop will also be devoted to discussing student coursework and one-to-one tutorials will be offered. For the Research Dissertation, students are assigned an expert supervisor with whom they will meet regularly.

Entry requirements


Entry onto this master's degree requires a minimum of a 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in History or another related subject.

If your honours degree is not in History or a related discipline you will also be required to attend an interview.

International Students

If you're an international student, you will need to demonstrate that you have equivalent experience and qualifications as the above entry requirements.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

We are happy to arrange interviews via skype for international students.

APEL policy

If you can't meet these minimum requirements it may be possible to take into account evidence of Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) as an alternative method of meeting the programme’s entry requirements. In such a case, appropriate references and records of employment might be presented to support the applicant’s case for admission.

Fees and Funding

UK and EU 2022 - 2023

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is £6,500 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

For UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students studying part time, the tuition fee for 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is £3,250 per year.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about postgraduate funding opportunities.

International (non-EU) 2022 - 2023

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,750 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, international students on a Student Visa must be studying full-time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

More information about funding your studies is available on our International Fees and Funding page.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021-22 £6,500 full time

    International 2021-22 £12,750 full time

Alumni Scholarships

If you are an alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for Alumni

Additional costs and financial support


Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.


View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Application links

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. Please select the variant of the course that you intend to undertake (full time or part time) as the link will take you to a customised form for the specific course. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

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