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History MA

Explore your passion for the past and evolve your historical knowledge with this MA course, which will challenge you to reposition your approach to the subject and help you acquire skills in research and public history.

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Watch: Pippa Virdee, Senior Lecturer in Modern South Asian History discuss the moment she knew she wanted to study history.

Capitalising on our research expertise, the History MA combines taught and individual approaches, enabling you to focus on specific areas of interest that drive your passion for the subject. We will provide you with the academic rigour of advanced-level learning and equip you with the practical skills involved in independent research, giving you first-hand experience of conference management, presenting work and writing for publications. This course is an ideal stepping-stone to either research at PhD level or a career in teaching, publishing, research or event management.

You will contextualise, analyse and problematise the past, considering key questions in current historiography and how history has been written across time and place. By engaging with debates around how public history is constructed, contested and represented in society, you will produce your own ‘heritage’ project and also consider how the digital age has impacted on the growth of the heritage sector. Our specialist Global Leicester module will provide you with an opportunity to understand the importance of place and scale, spanning across the historical periods and blending the local with global narratives.

You will collaborate with fellow students to organise and participate in a one-day humanities conference, gaining skills in event management and presenting a paper. The course culminates in a dissertation, where you will use your independent research skills to develop an extended piece of writing in your chosen area, with supervision from one of our academic experts. This course is ideal for students who are self-motivated, with good time management and the ability to work independently, as these skills will be developed throughout.

Our teaching team produces ground-breaking work on topics such as internment in the First World War, the history of Montenegro, cultural exchanges in the Indian Ocean World and the history and heritage of the Olympic Games. Their research has featured in the media, including the BBC’s TV programme My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947, and BBC Radio 4 Extra’s Sport and the British.

Key features

  • Join a community of leading scholars who produce ground-breaking research, stimulating your learning experience with their cutting-edge insights and enabling you to benefit from their links with museums and galleries.
  • We will challenge you to rethink your approach to history by exploring historiography across a range of themes, including global and transnational histories, empires and colonies, orientalism and Occidentalism, social history, cultural history and postmodernism, materiality and visual history, and gender history.
  • Benefit from collaborative teaching in workshops with fellow students as well as individual learning experiences and receive personalised feedback to achieve your independent research goals.
  • You will have access to our special collections, which span from 1474 to the present day and encompass the history of DMU as an institution, collections on sports history, performance and art, history of photography, fashion and textiles, and the history of Leicester.
  • Participate in the DMU research community through open seminars and conferences with our research centres, including the International Centre for Sports History and Cultures,  Photographic History Research Centre  and the  Stephen Lawrence Research Centre.
  • The focus on individual research and fostering your skills as an independent learner provides ideal preparation for  progression to PhD. Practical experience gained in conference management, presenting work and writing for publication will be excellent preparation for a career in teaching, publishing, research or event management.

TwitterFollow us on our History Twitter account.



At DMU, we are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study.

Postgraduate Alumni Scholarship
Up to 20 per cent of tuition fees offered to DMU alumni who wish to continue their studies at DMU by enrolling on a postgraduate taught course. For more information visit our Postgraduate Alumni Scholarship page.

Sports Scholarship
Apply for the DMU Sports Scholarship, worth up to £6,000.

More courses like this:

English Language Teaching MA
Sports History and Culture MA

  • UK
  • EU/International

Duration: One year full-time.

Start date: September 2022

Fees and funding: 

2022/23 tuition fees for UK students: £8,560 per year.

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Duration: One year full-time.

Start date: September 2022

Fees and funding: 

2022/23 tuition fees for EU and international students: £15,100

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

You should have the equivalent or above of a 2.2 UK bachelor’s honours degree in a related humanities subject.

If you have other professional qualifications and/or industry experience we will consider your application on an individual basis.

Writing sample

Non-standard applicants will be invited to submit a 2,500-word essay.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential.

English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments

Programme structure 


Module detail

Historical Methodology
This module provides an introduction to advanced historiography. It will develop students’ knowledge of traditional historiographical concerns alongside current trends and new directions in writing and thinking about the past. It also aims to enable students to think critically about the way historians have formulated research questions, used sources, and written history, across time and place. It will help students to build up an informed knowledge of recent developments in historical thinking as well as a history of the discipline of History itself.

Topics to be covered will be drawn from the following themes: nation and state in History; global and transnational histories; empires and colonies; orientalism and occidentalism; social history, structuralism and the Annales; history from below; history in numbers; cultural history and postmodernism; materiality and visual history; gender history; and migration history.

Public History and Heritage
This module provides an introduction to Public History and Heritage. It will develop your knowledge about the debates, theoretical underpinnings and development of public history and heritage in both the UK and the wider world. It will enable you to engage in debates around how public history is constructed, contested and represented in society. It examines the growth in the heritage industry and considers the ways in which the digital age has impacted upon the development and growth of this sector. The module also brings together an array of industry specialists to provide a practical and theoretical approach to teaching and learning on this module.

Global Leicester
The city of Leicester is one of the most diverse cities in Europe. It is shaped by both by its long migration history and also by its position as a post-industrial city in the Midlands. Using Global Leicester as the pivotal point, this module will emphasise the importance of place and scale while drawing on multiple themes. The module is designed to unpack local history through global lenses. The module will consider the multiple ways in which we can understand the history of migration through and beyond the axis of Leicester. For example, the complex relationship with the empire and the subsequent population movement due to the expulsion Asians in Uganda. The changing landscape of both the physical city and the demographic movement of people via themes of food, empire, football, trade, material objects. The themes will reflect and draw upon the expertise currently in History and more broadly research which has explored the wider ramifications of migration through the ages to present-day Leicester. The students will be encouraged to approach some of these themes and ideas through leading individual discussions and presenting a focused research case study.

Conference Training and Presentation
The module is designed to train students in the skills involved in event organisation and presentation. It will involve collaborative as well as individual research skills. Students will be guided through the necessary training in organising a conference, choosing a topic and delivering a relevant paper. Students will be assigned roles (treasurer, programme developer, marketing manager, website designer) and will also present a paper at the conference. Students will be assessed on a reflective essay, outlining their contribution to the management of the conference and a written version of their presentation (including slides). Please visit the Conference Twitter handle @DMUHumsConf to sample previous years’ conferences.

The final project will be a sustained piece of writing, amounting to 15,000 words.  The piece will draw on research undertaken throughout the year but will provide a new and sustained argument.

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.



The aim of the MA History programme is to develop both generic and subject-specific skills, ensuring that each module develops skills that will contribute to the following module. The course consists of 180 credits with four 30-credit modules followed by a 60-credit dissertation, moving from taught to research-based study.

The course will allow you to contextualise, analyse and problematise the past by developing your skills in ‘Historical Methodologies’. The module will introduce key questions in current historiography and prepare you to conduct individual historical research. ‘Public History and Heritage’ engages you in debates around how public history is constructed, contested and represented in society and use this to produce your own “heritage” project. ‘Global Leicester’ will provide you with an opportunity to understand the importance of place and scale while unpacking themes/events which are of global relevance in our everyday local environment. The ‘Conference Organisation and Presentation’ is a practical module in which you will organise and participate in a one-day Humanities conference, presenting your research ideas and learning from peers through engaging critically with each other’s research. The final part of the course will be devoted to a dissertation of 15,000 words, which you will develop and work with a supervisor.

The programme is designed to provide for intense immersive learning for those who wish to complete in a year, and for those who want to study part-time over two years, to fit their studies around busy and demanding professional and personal lives.

Contact hours

Your contact time will vary module to module, but we usually have 2 hours per module scheduled during term time for lectures/workshops. In addition, you will be expected to undertake at least 32 hours of independent study each week. Your third term or when you complete your dissertation, will be largely self-directed (excluding 1-2-1 meetings/mentoring with a supervisor), during which you can expect to undertake 35 hours of independent study each week.


Semester 1 has been designed to introduce students to historiography and historical methodology and to provide both practical and theoretical training in developing research to master’s Level. Students will be taught in two sessions on separate days: one afternoon session, ‘Historical Methodology’ and one lunchtime session, ‘Public History and Heritage’. 

Semester 2 develops from the 1st semester and offers students a module on ‘Conference Organisation and Presentation’ and a module on Global Leicester. Students will be taught in two sessions on separate days: one afternoon session, ‘Global Leicester’ and the ‘Conference Organisation and Presentation’ will be held during lunchtime sessions, but this will vary between workshops and student led meetings.

Semester 3 is devoted entirely to the final 15,000-word dissertation that should build on the work completed over the previous semesters.

Facilities and features

Library and learning zones

The Clephan Building is home to DMU’s humanities subjects, and is equipped with the latest audio-visual equipment and cinema screens.

Currently Clephan houses some key Arts, Design and Humanities student support facilities including the Arts, Design and Humanities Placement Team and the faculties Advice Centre, where you can access information about timetabling, specialist support queries. and any other questions you may have about your course.

The building also features the Leicester Centre for Creative Writing, Centre of Textual Studies, Centre for Adaptations, and the International Centre for Sports History and Culture

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.


Campus Centre

The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 


Opportunities and careers

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DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

While overseas DMU Global opportunities are not currently possible, DMU will continue to review government advice and if travel is permitted, we hope to offer a small number of extra-curricular opportunities in the summer of 2021. 


Graduate careers

Many of our graduates enter professions such as teaching, museum and archive work and project or event management. These roles require skills in primary source analysis, critical evaluation, writing for publication, conference organisation and presenting work. The course offers an excellent transition from postgraduate to PhD level study, for those who wish to take their studies to the next level.

History graduate Sammie Hermiston said: “studying this course has helped me to develop my skills as an academic as well as understand the career path I want to take! It's provided me with so many transferable skills to various career options, and really opens your mind to what you can do with an History MA. There is a wide variety in topics and multiple opportunities to tailor this degree to your personal interests within History and explore them further.”

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