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Study contemporary British history at an advanced level in a strong research environment with our course. You can choose from a wide range of options taught by experts in the field and our programme includes economic, social, cultural, political and diplomatic history. Our unique course covering contemporary historiography and research methods leads to careers in research, journalism, the civil service, politics, teaching and finance.
Comparative approach to contemporary British history.
Our unique location in the heart of the British administrative centre with unrivalled access to library and archival resources and easy access to resources in Europe, as well as a wide range of contemporary history experts at ICBH.
You attend regular research seminars in contemporary British history and have full access to ICBH's other exciting activities, such as our oral history programme, history & policy, conferences and research projects
Our annual residential workshop for ICBH MA and PhD students at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park
Our specialist historiography and research methods course for contemporary history, including oral history, and expert dissertation supervision in contemporary political, economic, social and diplomatic history.
Application status Open
Duration 1 year FT / 2 years PT, September to September
Study mode Full-time, Part-time
Credit value UK 180 / ECTS 90
Course intake Variable
Course leaders Professor Richard Roberts
Course contact for further information Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Officetel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000 fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200
Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Officetel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000 fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200
Course contact form Postgraduate admissions enquiry form
Awarding institution King's College London
Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy
Department Institute of Contemporary British History
Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.
General entry advice
2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent overseas qualification) in history, politics or a relevant discipline, eg public policy, law or social science.Evidence of achievement of an academic level comparable to at least 2:1 honours standard through past studies, and where previous study, work or experience (eg in government or NGO service) has made the applicant a suitable candidate, will also be considered.
We may wish to interview applicants, either in person or over the phone if they are normally resident overseas. Once references and transcripts are received, we aim to process all applications within four to six weeks although this may take longer in February, March and over holiday periods.
Please submit a one-page personal statement with your application, explaining why you wish to apply for this programme and why you feel it matches your interests, academic background and, if relevant, your career plans. Please also list the optional modules in which you are interested.
The deadline for applications is 02 September for 2016 entry. Note that funding deadlines may be earlier. Applications will be considered subject to availability of places, so we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. International applications must be received by 29 July to allow sufficient time for visa processing.
Our programme provides training in and experience of historical analysis of issues of importance for the understanding of contemporary Britain. It focuses upon the study of British history over the past century, but assumes that British history must be understood in relation to other countries and regions, in particular the Empire/Commonwealth, Europe and North America.
Alongside the development of techniques, skills and knowledge relevant to your interests and research needs, the programme aims to equip you for both independent research and analysis in primary and secondary material, and writing at an advanced level, thus fostering your intellectual development and independent learning ability required for your continuing professional and personal development.
It is principally taught by staff within the Institute of Contemporary British History, including Professors Pat Thane, Richard Roberts and Roger Mortimore and Dr Andrew Blick and Dr Michael Kandiah, who between them offer expertise in political history, social and demographic history, economic history, financial history, international history and diplomatic history.
To provide you with a distinctive programme with which to proceed on to a PhD and to study contemporary British history at an advanced level, preparing you for a career in journalism, the civil service, consultancy, teaching, publishing and elsewhere.
You choose three additional 20-credit modules from those listed below.
Not all courses are available in all years.
You may also take agreed optional modules in other departments at King's and other colleges in the University of London.
I chose to study at King’s for my MA because it’s a world center for academic research and because the Institute of Contemporary British History is based here. As a result, there is a strong community of academics with varying specialties with whom to work with. The opportunity to attend talks and seminars from well renowned historians in my area of study, such as Pat Thane, the course convener, as well as newer academics undertaking exciting research has been fantastic and I have loved making connections with other academics.
The course in Contemporary British History is brilliant as it gives its students the chance to get to grips with the history of Britain in the twentieth century as a whole, in its political, social and economic context, as well as specialist studies based on your own interests. My own research is going to look at race relations and multiculturalism in Britain by exploring the experience of mixed race marriages in Britain in the 1940s and 50s.
Through the MA, I have been able to work with the innovative History and Policy project, also based at King’s, which connects historians with policy makers. This included an expert workshop day involving such people as Anthony Seldon and Lord Chilcott. This was a hugely enjoyable experience, and was particularly relevant to me as I hope to go into the Civil Service once I have finished my MA.
"I publish widely in the areas of social and economic history, Labour party history, women’s history and demographic history. Central London is a wonderful location in which to study contemporary history, with access to archives, libraries and the institutions."
In the heart of London
Discover the advantages of studying at one of the top 20 universities in the world and take a look at our central London campuses.
£9,000 p.a. (2016/17)*
£17,550 p.a. (2016/17)*
£4,500 p.a. (2016/17)*
£8,775 p.a. (2016/17)*
*Tuition fee is subject to annual increases.
When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.
The deposit is £1,000 – Home/EU and £2,000 – Overseas (2016/17)
If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2016, payment is due by 30th April 2016.
If you receive an offer between 1st April 2016 and 30th June 2016, payment is due within one month of receipt of the offer.
If you receive an offer between 1st July 2016 and 31st July 2016, payment is due within two weeks of receipt of the offer.
If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2016, payment is due within one week of receipt of the offer.
Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.
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