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Postgraduate Course

History MA

Immerse yourself in history in one of England's most ancient cities.

Two students walking down wooden steps in an abbey

Our History MA offers a fascinating and challenging curriculum. It is led by our team of internationally recognised scholars, who combine research excellence with high quality teaching practice. This is an opportunity to develop expertise in the areas of social and cultural history which interest you.

York campus

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

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:1 honours degree in a related subject

    Interview if your degree is in an unrelated subject

Tuition Fees

    UK 2022-23 £7,000 full time

    International 2022-23 £13,000 full time

Discover why York St John University is The One

Course overview

On our History MA course you will become an independent, confident and digitally literate learner. You will join a course with an established record of high levels of student satisfaction, and will enhance your employability by developing sophisticated analytical skills.

Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to focus on your particular interests in social or political history through your choice of seminar and coursework assignments. You can also explore a chosen specialism through an extended piece of independent research and critical writing, on a topic of your choice.

The inclusion of digital learning allows you to build versatile skills such as creating digital portfolios, web development and data management. There will also be opportunities to contribute your own work to various forums, including our History seminar series.

You will have opportunities to collaborate with staff, students and external partners such as:

  • The archives at York Explore
  • The Yorkshire Film Archive
  • The National Railway Museum
  • The Borthwick Institute
  • Minster Library
  • The British Library at Boston Spa

Course structure

How you will study

You can study this postgraduate course full time or part time. This allows you to fit your studies around other commitments.

If you choose to study full time the course will take 1 year to complete. You will study:

  • 4 compulsory modules, including a Research Dissertation
  • 1 optional module

If you choose to study part time the course will take 2 years to complete and the modules will be split across both years.

You can find out which modules are available in each term in the Course Specifications.


Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This is an introductory module that will prepare you for study and research at master's level. We will introduce you to different approaches, methodologies and theories in historical practice. You will apply these throughout the programme, during your dissertation, and into further (PhD) study and research.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore the relationship between people and power through the assessment of case studies. These will cover a range of different chronological, national or regional experiences, and will consider ‘power’ in a wider context.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore the creation and critical application of digital technologies to further historical scholarship and public history initiatives. You will consider the key theories and practice of Digital Humanities, especially as it relates to social and cultural history.

Credits: 30

Optional module

Social transformation involves many issues of controversy and contest in contemporary society, all of which have a long history encompassing ideas of struggle, subjugation, and (dis)enfranchisement. You will examine how and why social transformation has occurred. We will look at how and why societies have constructed impediments and barriers to social change, and how these barriers have been overcome.

Credits: 30

Optional module

On this module you will analyse the experience of a post-1945 world which faced unprecedented threats to international security and even human survival. At the same time technological advances 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 a supervisor will support you and meet with you on a 1 to 1 basis. 

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

On the course we take a literary evidence based approach, which requires wide, critical reading. You will need to construct arguments in writing across a number of formats. Your tutors will critique your progress as an integral part of teaching and learning. This will be achieved through individual meetings with your tutors, feedback on written work or specific coursework tutorials. There is strong emphasis on the development of independent research and writing. You will be taught in small discussion groups where you will have plenty of opportunity to interact with your peers.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.


Assessment strategies are designed to develop independent research skills, the ability to structure and write a sophisticated critical essay, and to provide the opportunity to pursue your own intellectual interests.

Assessment methods may include:

  • Essays
  • Presentations
  • Written proposals
  • Portfolios
  • Videos

Entry requirements


Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:1 honours degree in a related subject

    Interview if your degree is in an unrelated subject

If your degree is in an unrelated subject, but you can provide evidence of relevant professional experience, your application may still be considered and you may be invited for interview.

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our international pages.

International entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

If you do not have traditional qualifications, you might be able to provide evidence of professional experience in the subject as an alternative way to meet the entry requirements. This is called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). Appropriate references and records of employment would need to be presented to support your case for admission. 

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and Funding

UK 2022 - 2023 entry

  • £7,000 for full time study
  • £3,500 per year for part time study

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

Funding opportunities

International 2022 - 2023 entry

  • £13,000 for 1 year of full time study
  • £6,500 per year for part time study

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

International Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

    UK 2022-23 £7,000 full time

    International 2022-23 £13,000 full time

Alumni Scholarships

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

Scholarships for alumni

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While 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.

Accommodation and living costs

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

Career outcomes

Where could History take you?

This postgraduate degree could lead you to a career directly related to history, or it could take you in a completely different direction, using the many transferrable skills you will develop.

This will give you an advantage for a career in:

  • Historical research
  • Heritage and tourism
  • Historic building conservation
  • Public sector
  • Archives and curation
  • Librarianship

Stand out from the crowd with postgraduate study.

Far fewer people have postgraduate degrees than undergraduate qualifications. This gives you something extra to set yourself apart in a competitive graduate job market. Those with a postgraduate qualification will earn an average of £8,000 a year more than those with only an undergraduate degree. (Department For Education Graduate Labour Market Report 2019)

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Apply for this course

For postgraduate degrees you must apply directly to York St John University using the links below. This will take you to the application form you will need to fill out for this specific course.

To complete the online application form you will need to create login details.

Please contact 2 referees before submitting your application. An automated request for a reference will be emailed to them as soon as you submit. Your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Apply Now: Full time (September 2022)

Apply Now: Part time (September 2022)

Course highlights

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