MA History

Year of entry: 2024


Degree awarded
Masters of Arts (MA)
1 year
Entry requirements

We normally expect students to have a First or Upper Second class honours degree or its overseas equivalent in a humanities-based subject area.

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning

Course overview

  • Study at one of the UK's leading History departments, offering unparalleled choice, 5th in research ranking in the country (REF 2021)
  • Learn through pioneering teaching informed by the latest, cutting-edge research.
  • Benefit from access to extensive and excellent material research resources.
  • Study in Manchester, a living history book - from Peterloo and the anti-slavery movement, to Roman forts and medieval monuments.
Audrey Berdahl-Baldwin's MA History experience

Open days

Find out what it's like to study at Manchester by visiting us on one of our open days .


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2024, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MA (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £12,500
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £26,000
  • MA (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): £6,250
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £13,000

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).


Each year the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures offer a number of School awards and Subject-specific bursaries (the values of which are usually set at Home/EU fees level), open to both Home/EU and international students. The deadline for these is early February each year. Details of all funding opportunities, including deadlines, eligibility and how to apply, can be found on the  School's funding page  where you can also find details of the Government Postgraduate Loan Scheme.

See also the University's postgraduate funding database to see if you are eligible for any other funding opportunities.

For University of Manchester graduates, the Manchester Alumni Bursary offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a First within the last three years and are progressing to a postgraduate taught master's course.

The Manchester Master's Bursary  is a University-wide scheme that offers 100 bursaries worth £3,000 in funding for students from underrepresented groups.

Postgraduate 1+3 funding is available from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for students to pursue postgraduate study through a master's (one year) leading into a PhD (3 years). It requires a project proposal as part of the application. Information is available here:

Contact details

School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Contact name
PG Taught Admissions
+ 44 (0)161 275 3098

See: About us

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We normally expect students to have a First or Upper Second class honours degree or its overseas equivalent in a humanities-based subject area.

English language

An overall grade of IELTS 7.0 with 7.0 in writing and no skill below 6.5 is required or 100+ in the TOEFL iBT with a minimum writing score of 25 and no skill below 22.

If you have obtained a different qualification, please check our  English language requirements  to ensure that it is accepted and equivalent to the above requirements.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .

Application and selection

How to apply

Advice to applicants

As well as a personal statement as part of the application, you should supply an academic-standard writing sample on a subject related to the programme:

  • If your academic background is not directly related to the programme and/or
  • If English is not your native language.

Please upload this under the CV/Resume option in the Supporting Documents section of the application form.

How your application is considered

Applications are mainly considered on the basis of an assessment of past and predicted academic achievements, the academic reference(s) and any other supplementary evidence that supports the application. Once we have an application that is ready for a decision, the admissions tutor (often the Programme Director) will relay the decision to the admissions team, who will send you this decision.

Please note that your application is usually received by the School 24 to 48 hours after the time you submit it. If you have not provided documentation that allows the admissions tutor to make a decision, we will contact you.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries that equate to a UK 2.1. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .

If English is not your first language, please provide us with evidence of: 

  • an overall grade 7.0 (with a minimum writing score of 7) in IELTS; or
  • 100+ in the IBT Internet-based TOEFL).

The other language tests we accept can be found here:

Exceptions to needing a language test (if English is NOT your first language) are:

  • if you have successfully completed an academic qualification deemed by UK NARIC as equivalent to at least a UK Bachelors Degree or higher from one of the following countries:

    Antigua & Barbuda; Australia; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Ireland; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; UK; USA.



Applicants may defer entry for 12 months provided they contact the course administrator (Andy Rigg or Claire Bharath) before September 1st. Please note that applicants are subject to the fees for the entry year they will start the course.


If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

Our MA History master's course enables you to tailor your postgraduate studies to suit your interests.

Your focus could be chronological (medieval, early modern or modern), geographical (European, transnational, global) or methodological (cultural or economic and social history).

Alternatively, you can create a wide-ranging course for yourself by choosing units from a variety of areas, including thematic course units that transcend orthodox boundaries to facilitate intellectual breadth and imagination.

You will undertake rigorous theoretical and methodological training and you will become an integrated member of the research community with the chance to engage with outstanding researchers, resources and facilities.

We have over 30 members of staff with world-class expertise in medieval, early modern and modern history, stretching across national and international boundaries, with strong representation in economic, social and cultural approaches to history.

Special features

Skills training

Skills training can be tailored to specialist interests with language training, including Latin, and palaeography or methods training in social science.

Our course also offers outstanding doctoral research preparation training through the core units and skills training programme.

Careers and employability focus

Benefit from our clear focus on employability which enables you to develop transferable skills.

We'll also encourage you to become involved in outward-facing research and social engagement.

Teaching and learning

Our course units are interactive, and the small seminar is the rule.

The History department pioneered the way that History is taught in England - introducing the undergraduate dissertation and leading the development of economic history.

We continue to endeavour to introduce cutting-edge strategies to promote excellence in teaching, feedback and student experience.

Coursework and assessment

The MA History course comprises 180 credits made up of:

  • advanced coursework: 90 credits
  • research training: 30 credits
  • dissertation: 60 credits.

Taught course units are generally assessed by a 6,000-word essay per 30-credit unit (this will vary for the quantitative and qualitative research methods units).

You will research and write your dissertation from spring through to August. Supervision is offered at least until July.

The degree is awarded at Pass, Merit, and Distinction levels.

Course unit details

You will choose one of six core units:

  • The History of Capital
  • Medieval and Early Modern Studies
  • Modern Britain
  • Race, Migration & Humanitarianism
  • Transnational/Comparative History
  • War, Culture and Conflict.

You will also choose four optional units. Options in History are organised chronologically and geographically, but also include innovative thematic units, for example on gender and sexuality, that transcend orthodox boundaries.

We have a strong record in promoting interdisciplinary study, and you may select units from elsewhere in the University with permission.

The Public History unit offers a vocational pathway through the course by promoting transferable skills and focusing on the significance of history in heritage, social policy, third sector work and the media.

You will also receive skills training to equip you to pursue the MA dissertation, a major piece of original research. The Board of Examiners has commended the exceptional quality of research, highlighting dissertations that were 'publishable'.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
MA Dissertation HIST60070 60 Mandatory
Historical Research 1 HIST64181 15 Mandatory
Historical Research 2 HIST64282 15 Mandatory
American Studies: Theories, Methods, Practice AMER60091 30 Optional
Race, Gender and Power in the American South: From Slavery to Segregation AMER62001 15 Optional
Intensive Latin 1 CAHE70171 15 Optional
Humanitarianism and Conflict Response: Inquiries HCRI60031 15 Optional
Remaking Modern British History HIST60041 30 Optional
War, Culture and Conflict HIST61041 30 Optional
Introduction to Documentary Filmmaking in the Arts & Humanities HIST61132 30 Optional
History Beyond the Nation State: Debates & Dialogues in Modern History HIST61221 30 Optional
Cultural Theory for Historians: Discourse, Place, Agency & Power HIST62281 15 Optional
Wonders, Miracles & Supernatural Landscapes in Medieval & Early Modern Europe HIST63192 15 Optional
Public History: Historians & the Public Sphere HIST64091 30 Optional
Race, Migration & Humanitarianism: Legacies of Slavery & Colonialism in the Modern World HIST64101 30 Optional
Club Med? How Mediterranean Empires Went Global HIST64192 15 Optional
From Cottonopolis to Metropolis: Manchester Communities & Institutions HIST64292 15 Optional
The Boundaries of the Political: Conceptual Innovation & Political Change HIST64392 15 Optional
Public History: Historians & the Public Sphere HIST64491 15 Optional
Remaking Modern British History HIST65041 15 Optional
Race, Migration, & Humanitarianism: Legacies Of Slavery And Colonialism In The Modern World HIST65101 15 Optional
Gender, Sexuality & the Body HIST65182 15 Optional
Landscapes of Modernity: Cities & Urban Culture in Historical Perspective HIST65192 15 Optional
Capital & the Making of Modern Society HIST65331 30 Optional
War, Culture & Conflict HIST66041 15 Optional
History Beyond the Nation State: Debates & Dialogues in Modern History HIST66221 15 Optional
Capital & the Making of Modern Society HIST66331 15 Optional
Spatial History HIST66442 15 Optional
Major Themes in HSTM HSTM60511 30 Optional
Historiography of STM HSTM60651 15 Optional
Decolonizing History of Science HSTM60652 15 Optional
The Nuclear Age: Global Nuclear Threats from Hiroshima to Today HSTM60662 15 Optional
Risk: Science, Society and Culture HSTM60672 15 Optional
Technology, identity and society HSTM60682 15 Optional
Madness and Society in the Modern Age HSTM60692 15 Optional
Making Life: Biological Science and Society since 1800 HSTM60702 15 Optional
Nature and Artifice: Environmental Sciences since 1800 HSTM60712 15 Optional
The Politics of Public Health HSTM60722 15 Optional
Placement in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine HSTM60732 30 Optional
Jews among Christians and Muslims RELT71152 15 Optional
Critical Ecologies SALC61082 15 Optional
Perspectives on Medieval and Renaissance Studies SALC70031 30 Optional
Reading the Middle Ages and Renaissance: Palaeography, Codicology, and Sources SALC70040 15 Optional
From Papyrus to Print: The History of the Book SALC72110 15 Optional
Creating a Sustainable World: Interdisciplinary Applications of the Sustainable Development Goals UCIL60312 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 45 course units

Scholarships and bursaries

Students applying for this MA are eligible to apply ESRC funding. Find out more on the Fees and funding  page.


The University of Manchester and John Rylands Libraries offer immense holdings of printed primary medieval sources and extensive holdings for early modernists, including approximately 12,500 books printed between 1475 and 1640 (eg books printed by Caxton).

You can also access the largest e-book holdings of any UK academic library and special collections at the John Rylands Library, including the Methodist Archives and Collection, the French Revolution Collection, the Women's Suffrage Movement Archive and the Labour Party Library Collections.

Other collections include other papers of prominent scientists and academics, and collections in military, diplomatic, and colonial history.

Find out more on the Facilities page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email:


Career opportunities

The high standard of arts research training, both formal and practical, opens doors to many kinds of modern public and private sector graduate careers requiring research skills, formulation of projects and policy documents.

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .