The University of Southampton
HumanitiesPostgraduate study

V900 MA History (1 year)

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), 87% of our research was ranked as world-leading and internationally excellent.

Introducing your course

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.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

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
  • Transcript
  • 2 references
  • English language (if relevant)

If you have a question or would like further information, contact our admissions team:
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 8062

Programme Structure

This programme is divided into 180 credits. 105 credits are obtained from taught modules with the remaining 75 credits relating to the dissertation.

Key Facts

Duration: 1 year (full time); 2 years (part time)

Start date: September

Funding: Arts and Humanities Research Council Block Grant; Humanities studentships may be available

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)

Dissertation Length: 15,000 words

20th Century history
20th Century history

Did you know?

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.

Entry Requirements

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

English Language

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

Selection process

Intake: 20

Average applications per place: 2

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 page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

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.

Year 1

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 or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

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 name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this 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 for:

Printing and copyingWhere 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 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: They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here: £0.05-1.00

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou 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.
BooksWhere 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.
EquipmentLaboratory equipment and materials: All laboratory equipment and materials are provided.
EquipmentIT: Computer discs or USB drives Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
EquipmentIT: Software licenses All software is provided.
EquipmentIT: Hardware 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

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

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