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Contemporary History MA



Study contemporary British history at an advanced level in a strong research environment. Choose from a wide range of options, taught by experts in the field.  The programme includes economic, social, cultural, political and diplomatic history. Leads to careers in research, journalism, the civil service, politics, teaching and finance. We provide a unique course covering contemporary historiography and research methods.

Key benefits

  • Comparative approach to contemporary British history.

  • 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 wide range of contemporary history experts at ICBH.

  • Students attend the regular research seminar in Contemporary British History and have full access to ICBH's other exciting activitites, such as our oral history programme, History & Policy, conferences and research projects

  • Annual residential workshop for ICBH MA and PhD students at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park

  • Specialist historiography and research methods course for contemporary history, including oral history, and expert dissertation supervision in contemporary political, economic, social and diplomatic history.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two 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 Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7429 fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200 

For more information about the course, please contact either Professor Richard Roberts, (Course Director),, or Dr Virginia Preston (Course Administrator),

Course contact email

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Institute of Contemporary British History


Entry requirements & how to apply

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, e.g. 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 (for example, in government or NGO service) has made the applicant a suitable candidate, will also be considered.

Application procedure

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.

Personal statement and supporting information

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.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications is 01 April 2016 for 2016 entry. Prior to this date all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After this date applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.


Course detail


This 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 the interests and research needs of individual students of contemporary history, the programme aims to equip students for both independent research and analysis in primary and secondary material, and writing at an advanced level, thus fostering students’ intellectual development and independent learning ability required for 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.

Course purpose

To provide a distinctive programme suitable both for those intending to proceed to a PhD and for those who wish to study contemporary British history at an advanced level, preparing them for careers in journalism, the civil service, consultancy, teaching, publishing and elsewhere.

Course format and assessment

Students will take modules worth a minimum of 180 credits. Taught compulsory and optional modules are assessed by coursework plus a compulsory dissertation. We offer additional training eg in oral history and a residential workshop for MA and PhD students developing research and presentation skills.



Career prospects

Research in our department or elsewhere; civil service; teaching, journalism, and politics.


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Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£9,000 p.a. (2016/17)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£17,550 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£4,500 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£8,775 p.a. (2016/17)*

*This tuition fee is subject to annual increases.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.


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