Skip to main content

Modern History MA



This popular Modern History course is focused on European and British history from the mid 18th century onwards and explores the key topics of the period, from European nation building to modern British politics.  The couse is designed  primarily for those interested in Continental European and/or British History and draws on a wide range of approaches to give you a comparative perspective. 

It offers a huge range of options taught by world-leading experts, including modules taught in the Institute of Contemporary British History.

The degree leads to further research or careers in education, journalism, finance, politics and cultural sectors.

Key benefits

  • One of the best history departments in the world, ranked 7th in the Guardian University Guide 2015 rankings for History.

  • King's graduates enjoy one of the best employment rates and starting salaries in the UK. Ranked 6th in the UK for graduate employment (Times and Sunday Times Good Universities Guide 2016)

  • Innovative comparative approach to British and Continental European history since the 18th-century.

  • The central London location offers students unrivalled access to world-class museums, collections, archives and libraries as well as easy access to resources in Europe.

  • Vibrant research culture, including seminars and conferences at which students are encouraged to participate and give papers.

Follow King's history on facebook.

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 Dr Jim Bjork

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 Arts & Humanities

Department Department of History


Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree (or overseas equivalent) in history or a related subject such as politics. Students without a history degree may be required to show relevant research skills in order to be accepted.

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King's online application portal and a non-refundable application fee of £50 applies. We interview all applicants, either in person or over the phone if they are normally resident overseas. We aim to process all complete applications within four to six weeks although this may take longer in February, March and over holiday periods. You will receive notification when your application has been passed to the admissions tutor for assessment.

Personal statement and supporting information

Please list the optional modules in which you are interested as part of your personal statement.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications for September 2017 entry is 31st March 2017. After this date, programmes will remain open if places are available, and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full, so we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 30th July 2017 or from UK/ EU nationals after 3rd September 2017.


Course detail


The history of modern Europe and Britain has always been central to our teaching. This popular Modern History MA programme will give you the skills that you need to study modern history, and you will explore the key topics of the period, from European nation building to modern British politics. We have designed this MA primarily for those interested in Continental European and/or British History since the mid-18th century, and the programme draws on a wide range of approaches to give you a comparative perspective. You will also have the opportunity to study a modern language, which will extend the range of sources that you can engage with.

We will help you to make comparisons between the experiences of different societies and polities, a skill that we believe is fundamental to understanding historical issues, and to think broadly, not just in terms of country, period and discipline.

The course will give you access to an exceptionally wide range of optional modules from across the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, as well as other institutions. You can also attend relevant undergraduate lecture series, such as Europe from
and Politics and Society in Britain, 1780-1945.

Institute of Contemporary British History (ICBH)

The Institute of Contemporary British History (ICBH) joined us in September 2010, and it has close links with the Department of History, enabling you to take ICBH modules and participate in Institute activities.

Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHoSTM)

The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHoSTM) joined us in August 2013. The Centre is one of the most vibrant groups of historians devoted to the study of science, technology and medicine in the world, covering a wide chronological range, and concerned with global as well as national histories. You can take modules offered by CHoSTM and we will encourage you to attend their fortnightly seminar series.

Teaching Style

If you are a full-time student, we will give you six hours of teaching each week through seminars, where you will contribute to the discussion and deliver presentations, and we will expect you to undertake 34 hours of self-study.

If you are a part-time student, we will give you two to four hours of teaching each week through seminars, where you will contribute to the discussion and deliver presentations, and we will expect you to undertake 12 to 24 hours of self-study.

For your dissertation, we will give you six hours of one-to-one supervision, and we will expect you to undertake 574 hours of self-study.


We will assess you mostly through coursework, although some optional modules may may differ. For your dissertation you will write a 15,000-word essay.

Regulating body

King’s College is regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Course purpose

Provides a distinctive programme suitable both for those intending to proceed to a PhD and for those who wish to study modern history at an advanced level. Encourage a broad vision in study that escapes rigid divisions of country, period or discipline.

Further literature

Course format and assessment

Full-time study: 4-8 hours of taught classes per week.

Part-time study: 2-6 hours of taught classes per week.

The taught compulsory and optional modules are assessed by coursework and/or take-home examination. The compulsory 15,000 word dissertation enables students to research a topic of their choice, working one-to-one with an academic supervisor.


  • Required Modules

    • Historical Methods (20 credits)
    • Advanced Skills for Historians (20 credits)
    • Dissertation (60 credits)

    If you are a part-time student, you will take your Historical Methods and Advanced Skills for Historians, along with two optional modules from the list below, in your first year. In your second year, you will take your dissertation and two further optional modules.

    Optional Modules

    Choose four modules (totalling 80 credits) from a range that typically includes:

    • The Provisional IRA (20 credits)
    • English Exceptions since 1918 (20 credits)
    • Revolutions and Constitutions in Europe – C: 1790-1870 (20 credits)
    • Empire, Nation & Modernity in Eastern Europe 1848-1914 (20 credits)
    • Materialities and Modernities 1900-2000 (20 credits)
    • Gender in British Society 1900-45 (20 credits)
    • Religion and Politics In The 20th Century United States (20 credits)
    • Science, War and the Nation: Britain 1900-2000 (20 credits)
    • Up to 40 credits from a range of Master’s modules offered outside of the department, including those offered by other institutions intercollegiately, subject to programme convenors approval.

    We regularly review our modules to make sure our programmes are as up-to-date, innovative and relevant as possible. The modules we offer may therefore change. We suggest that you check the course finder for updates:


Career prospects

Our graduates continue to further research or transfer their skills and knowledge to careers in teaching, archives, the media, finance, politics and heritage industries.



Welcome to King's

In the heart of London

Discover the advantages of studying at one of the top 25 universities in the world and take a look at our central London campuses.

Watch more videos

Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£9,450 p.a. (2017/18)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£18,420 p.a. (2017/18)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£4,725 p.a. (2017/18)*

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£9,210 p.a. (2017/18)*

*These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Please note: Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee. 


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 UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2017, payment is due by 30th April 2017.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2017 and 30th June 2017, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2017 and 31st July 2017, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2017, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

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


Next steps

Upcoming events

Nov 08
Digital Culture: Taster Session

From social media to smartphones and videogames, d…

Nov 09
Nursing Taster Days 2016

King's Nursing Taster Days provide you with a chan…

Nov 09
Theology & Religious Studies Taster Day

This taster course will provide an experience of t…

Full list of student events

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

Download guide View online

Apply now

Start your academic journey at King's College London.

Postgraduate Taught Postgraduate Research

Explore King’s

AccommodationTake a look at our comfortable, safe residences to suit your budget, located close to King's teaching campuses. 
Student lifeArt, food, music, shopping – you'll never find yourself with nothing to do in the world's most vibrant city.
Extra-curricularDiscover the huge variety of extra-curricular opportunities at King’s, from MOOCs to language courses.
London livingWith four campuses by the River Thames and one in south London, King's is right in the heart of the capital.