In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), 87% of our research was ranked as world-leading and internationally excellent.
Enhance your research skills on the MA History degree. Through our highly ranked facilities, you can select an era that interests you, from medieval political thought to the Victorian Monarchy through to the rise and fall of the Habsburg Empire. This masters degree in history will further develop your understanding of where our societies have come from, origins of customs and provides answers for the future. This degree can lead to many rewarding and successful careers.
This course combines training in research skills and historiography with a wide range of options, from antiquity to the late 20th century. You may wish to follow one of our themed pathways: British History, European History, Imperial History, History of the Americas. These allow you to explore a region or concept across a number of modules, however you may prefer to adopt a pick-and-mix approach and choose modules that suit your own interests.
Either way, you will be taught by leading scholars in their fields, gaining an insight into current research and making your own contribution through your dissertation.
To apply for a postgraduate course please visit the How to Apply page or click on the apply button below.
Application process and required supporting documents
University online application including a personal statement
English language (if relevant)
If you have a question or would like further information, contact our admissions team: Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 8062 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
This programme is divided into 180 credits. 105 credits are obtained from taught modules with the remaining 75 credits relating to the dissertation.
Duration: 1 year (full time); 2 years (part time)
Start date: September
Closing date: 1st September (an application decision cannot be guaranteed in time unless a complete application is received by this date - students requiring a visa to study should also allow extra time for visa processes)
The Southampton pre-Masters can be taken if you have qualifications or grades that do not meet University of Southampton direct entry criteria but meet the minimum entry criteria for the pre-Masters further details). You will be guaranteed a place on your chosen masters degree programme subject to successfully completing the pre-Masters. Visit our pre-Masters Programme to find out more about these degree programmes.
Typical entry requirements
First- or upper second class honours degree, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in history or a cognate discipline
IELTS 7.0 overall, with minimum of 7.0 in writing, 6.5 in reading, listening and speaking, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University
Average applications per place:
Academic entry requirements:First or upper second class honours degree, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in history or a cognate discipline.
English language entry requirements:IELTS 7.0 overall, with minimum of 7.0 in writing, 6.5 in reading, listening & speaking, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.
Selection process: Online application
Interview may be required on a case by case basis to assess suitability of course
This programme is designed to cater both for those with a broad interest in historical studies for their own sake and for the needs of those intending to pursue research. The programme combines training in research skills and historiography with a wide range of options on periods ranging from the eleventh to the late twentieth century, allowing students to adopt either a ‘pick’n’mix’ approach to their course, or to follow a more focused informal pathway.
The Core module in Research Skills and Dissertation Preparation provide serve to familiarise those students who may be coming to History from a cognate discipline, or returning to the discipline after a break in their studies and will help to familiarise them with the research process.
Students can choose in each semester any other MA module option offered by Humanities, but they must contact their MA Convenor in the first instance.
Students should choose an even split of credits in Semester 1 and 2, including core modules.
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the
programme and the learning outcomes that a typical
student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage
of the learning opportunities that are provided.
More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide
Fees & funding
Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are
listed for UK,
EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course
Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such
essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the
academic requirements for each programme of study.
In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay
Printing and copying
Where possible, coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently:
A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour).
Please note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy.
You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to www.printcopypayments.soton.ac.uk
Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account.
You will be given a printing allowance of £1 per 7.5 ECTS FREN towards the costs of printing lecture handouts and/or practical scripts.
The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/printcentre/copyrooms/service.page
They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/printcentre/exhibition/academicposters.page
There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the
You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.
Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Laboratory equipment and materials:
All laboratory equipment and materials are provided.
IT: Computer discs or USB drives
Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
IT: Software licenses
All software is provided.
It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated
with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also
ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and
Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.
Learning & Assessment
A postgraduate degree from Humanities at Southampton offers you the wide and varied learning experience you should expect from a leading research university. We are committed to providing a relevant, modern and above all enjoyable experience which will ensure you graduate with the additional skills and understanding you need to start a career in any number of areas or to go on to further research.
How will you learn?
On a postgraduate taught programme teaching is led by academic staff, allowing you to engage with, and contribute to, the world-leading research carried out in Humanities at Southampton. You will complete a core programme of research skills development in tandem with a series of modules which you select according to your personal aims and objectives. Each programme offers a wide and fascinating range of modules related to our specialisms led by academics who are experts in their chosen fields of research and who wish to engage you with their experience.
Masters programmes have typically small seminar groups, facilitating your engagement with the ideas and themes that you feel passionate about. Activities particularly designed to enhance your research and thinking skills include tutor-led and student-led tutorials, class presentations, essays and the dissertation. You will find yourself challenged intellectually and exposed to new ideas, approaches and perspectives.
A large part of postgraduate study is independent learning. Programmes will develop your critical awareness, encouraging you to reflect on the methodologies employed in further study and to apply these to the reading and research you undertake as part of your degree.
Essays and dissertations are the principal means used to assess your intellectual skills. Progression is recognised in the assessment scheme, which allows the development and practice of evaluative, descriptive and synthetic skills in the form of 4,000 word essays. The 15,000 word dissertation is a core element in establishing the acquisition of appropriate skills and the application of research techniques. Your supervisor will be available to provide regular and supportive advice, guidance and feedback on your progress.
A masters degree will enable you to further develop the key skills employers seek such as: time management; problem solving; team work; deadline and project management; cultural awareness; working independently; using your initiative; relationship-building; critical thinking and research analysis. Above all, you will learn to communicate your ideas and enthusiasm to a wide range of audiences.