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World History & Cultures MA



Advanced study of global political, economic, and cultural interactions, the history of empires and the transnational histories of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. Students take a compulsory module in Transnational History and options from any department of King’s and other London colleges. It leads to doctoral level research and careers in education, journalism, finance, politics and cultural sectors.

Key benefits

  • One of the best history departments in the world, ranked 5th in the UK for Research Quality (REF 2014) and in the Top 10 departments of History in Europe (QS World University Rankings 2015).

  • King's graduates enjoy one of the best employment rates and starting salaries in the UK.

  • The most comprehensive coverage of the history of the European seaborne empires of any university in the UK and has key figures in the study of South Asia, Australia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • 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 Professor Richard Drayton

Course contact for further information Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 2569 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Course contact email

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.

General entry advice

First or 2:1 honours undergraduate 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. Written examples of work may also required. We aim to process all complete applications within four to six weeks although this may take longer in February, March and over holiday periods.

Personal statement and supporting information

Please note the optional modules you would be interested to take within your personal statement.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications is 01 July 2016 for 2016 entry. 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


King's College London has since the 1920s been a key international centre for Imperial and Global History. This MA course provides students with a core training in global and transnational history, while offering broad scope for personally-tailored interdisciplinary education, as students choose four optional modules from any offered by any department at King's College London, or from available MA courses at our London partner institutions (which including UCL, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway and Birkbeck). Students have particular scope to conduct their own research programmes, and can draw on an exceptional range of expertise within the World History research cluster of King's, which includes experts on Africa, South Asia, China, Latin America and the Caribbean, Australia, and the Middle East, as well as leading historians of the British Empire, Portuguese Empire, and French Empire. Many students coming out of this MA have gone on to fully-funded PhD studentships at King's, UCL, Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton and other universities, and others to careers in the civil and foreign services, education, journalism, finance, politics and cultural sectors.

Modules on the MA are taught by weekly seminars where students are expected to contribute to discussion and prepare presentations. Students can also attend relevant undergraduate lecture series, such as The Worlds of the British Empire c.1700-1960. 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.

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

To provide training in the historiographical and technical skills necessary for further study, and also to allow students to develop special expertise in areas of history and the humanities which attract them. Suitable both for potential academics and for personal interest, but particularly aimed at those students with a clear research interest looking to progress in academic study.

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. All taught modules are studied through seminars and individually supervised coursework. The 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 one and the dissertation module worth 60 credits in year two.

    Advanced Skills For Historians
    Dissertation (15,000 Words)
    Transnational History

    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). Students on the MA in World History & Cultures often take optional MA modules in the King's departments of Middle East & Mediterranean Studies, War Studies and the Law School.

    • 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 one and 40 credits of optional modules in year two.

    A History Of Sports In The United States
    Britain And Decolonisation
    Britain And The Cold War
    Britain And The Cold War In The Extra-European World
    British Settler Societies: Colonies, Dominions And Nations Since 1800
    Diplomacy, Intelligence and Aramaments Competition: The Origins Of The Second World War, 1931-1941
    Empire, Nation And Modernity In Eastern Europe, 1914-1948
    English Exceptions Since 1918
    European Expansion: Ethnic Prejudices And Civil Rights (1500-1850)
    French Empires From The 16th To The 20th Century
    Harlem: A Social And Intellectual History Since 1900
    History Of Science And Technology In India
    Inequality In World History
    Narrating India's Nations
    Navies And Seapower, 1793-2001
    Obsessed With The West: Movements And Ideologies In Modern Iran
    Patriotism AIn British Politics, C.1870-1918
    London Calling: Colonial and Postcolonial Encounters with the Metropole
    Religion And Politics In The 20th Century United States
    Science And The State In Contemporary India
    Science, Technology And Global History
    The British Empire
    The Construction Of Modern Heroism, 1725-1930
    The Making Of Muslims In Europe: Empire, Immigration, Citizenship
    The Political Economy Of Empires, 1500 To Present
    Transition To Colonialism In India
    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.

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.

Worshipful Company of Bowyers Scholarship

One Worshipful Company of Bowyers Scholarship, generously funded by the Worshipful Company of Bowyers, will be awarded to the best-performing King’s undergraduate History student (single or joint honours) who is staying on to take any of the Masters programmes offered by the Department, and is not in receipt of any other funding. This scholarship is worth £2,000, and will be awarded based on undergraduate degree results.  No application is necessary; all MA applications from final-year History undergraduates will be considered.


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