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Modern History MA



This MA is focused on European and British history since the mid 18th century, and students are encouraged to think beyond the rigid confines of country, period and discipline. We offer a huge range of options taught by world-leading experts, including modules taught in the Institute of Contemporary British History. 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. King’s is the Sunday Times ‘Best University for Graduate Employment 2012-3’. We were ranked third for graduate-level jobs and fifth for highest starting salaries in the 2012 Sunday Times University Guide.

  • 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.

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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 Michael Rowe

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

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 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


The history of modern Europe and Britain has always been central to teaching at King’s. The popular MA programme teaches students the skills required for modern historical study and delves into key topics of the period, from European nation building to modern British politics. The MA is primarily intended for those interested in Continental European and/or British History since the mid 18th century and draws upon a wide range of approaches to create a comparative perspective. Students have the opportunity to broaden the number of sources available to them by studying a modern language.

Teaching on the MA is underpinned by the belief that an ability to make comparisons between the experience of different societies and polities is vital to understanding historical issues, and a compulsory historiography module has been designed with this in mind. Students are encouraged to think beyond the rigid confines of country, period and discipline. Opportunities to do so are enhanced by the wide choice of modules made available across the Faculty of Arts & Humanities as well as intercollegiately.

Modules on the MA are taught by weekly seminars; students are expected to contribute to discussion and prepare presentations. Students can also attend relevant undergraduate lecture series, such as Europe from 1793-1991 and Politics and Society in Britain, 1780-1945. Students on the 1 year full-time programme attend 4-8 hours of taught classes per week, whilst students following the 2 year part-time MA attend 2-6 hours of taught classes per week. The compulsory 15,000 word dissertation enables students to research a topic of their choice, working one-to-one with an academic supervisor. 

Institute of Contemporary British History (ICBH)
The Institute of Contemporary British History (ICBH) joined King’s in September 2010 and has close links with the Department of History, enabling MA students 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 King's 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 long chronological range, and concerned with global as well as national histories. MA students can take modules offered by CHoSTM and are encouraged to attend their fortnightly seminar series.

Study in London
London not only offers a vast range of resources but also has the advantage of a strong graduate community, where students can follow up a range of interests towards further research. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the seminars at the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), many of which are convened by members of the Department.

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

    100 credits of required modules (detailed list below):

    • Includes a 15,000 word dissertation worth 60 credits (details below).

    • Part-time students take 40 credits of required modules in Year 1 and the dissertation module worth 60 credits in Year 2.

    Advanced Skills for Historians
    Dissertation (15,000 Words)
    Historical Methods

    Optional Modules

    80 credits of optional modules (detailed list below).

    • Counting towards the 80, students can take credits from outside the department, either at King's or intercollegiately (at one of the other Colleges of the University of London). Module availability information will be published in the Spring. MA Modern History students often take optional modules from the MA Early Modern History, MA World History & Cultures, MA European Studies and MA Science, Technology and Medicine in History.

    • Counting towards the 80 or in addition to it, students can take a 20 credit language module. Alternatively, the Modern Language Centre at King's offers language classes to students which do not count towards the degree.

    • Part-time students take 40 credits of optional modules in Year 1 and 40 credits of optional modules in Year 2.

    A History of Sports in the United States
    Britain and the Cold War
    British Settler Societies: Colonies, Dominions And Nations Since 1800
    British State Welfare And The State Of Welfare In Britain, 1900-45
    British State Welfare And The State Of Welfare In Britain, 1945-2000
    Communications In Modern Europe
    Empire, Nation And Modernity In Eastern Europe, 1914-1948
    Experts, Inventions And Machines In Twentieth-Century Britain
    Financial Crises In History
    French Empires From The 16th To The 20th Century
    From Farm To Fork: Food In Modern Britain
    Gender In British Society 1900-45
    Gender In British Society Since 1945
    History And Policy: Policymaking Under Pressure
    Parties, Voters And Political Culture In Britain 1900-1945
    Parties, Voters And Political Culture In Britain 1945-2000
    Religion And Politics In The 20th Century United States
    Revolutions And Constitutions In Europe, C.1790-1870
    Science And The State In Contemporary India
    Science, Medicine and American Film
    The Making Of Muslims In Europe: Empire, Immigration, Citizenship
    The Peculiarities Of German History
    The Provisional IRA
    Twentieth Century Australia: War And Society
    US Political Culture In The 20th Century


Career prospects

Leads to further research or careers in teaching, archives, the media, finance, politics and heritage industries.



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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.

Overseas students will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure their place when they receive an offer for this course.  

The deposit is £2,000 (2016/17) and will be credited towards your total fee payment.

UK/EU students are not required to pay a deposit (2016/17)

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.

Mark Woodhouse Bursary

One bursary will be offered to the strongest full-time applicant to our MA in Modern History who is not in receipt of any other funding. These awards will be available on academic achievement and promise, and are available to UK, EU and overseas students. Each scholarship is worth £1,000. No application is necessary: all MA applications submitted by 1 June will be considered. Successful candidates will be notified as soon as possible after 15 June.



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