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Contemporary History MA



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.

Key benefits

  • 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.

Key information

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 Office
tel: +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


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, 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.

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 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.


Course detail


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.

Course purpose

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.

Course format and assessment

Students will take modules worth a minimum of 180 credits. Most 20-credit modules are assessed by a 5,000-word essay. The dissertation module is assessed by a 15,000-word dissertation. We offer additional training, for example 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)*

*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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