KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

World History & Cultures MA

Apply now


Our World History & Cultures MA offers you the chance to study the global, political, economic, and cultural interactions, the history of empires and the transnational histories of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas.

Since the 1920s, King’s has been a key international centre for Imperial and Global History so it’s a great place to study. As well as providing training in global and transnational history, our course offers you the opportunity to personalise your degree by choosing optional modules offered by any department at King’s or from available MA courses at our London partner institutions (which include UCL, Queen Mary and Royal Holloway).

Leads to 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 five departments of History in Europe (QS World University Rankings 2017).

  • King’s graduates enjoy one of the best employment rates and starting salaries in the UK. Ranked 4th in the UK for graduate employability (Times Higher Education Wold University Rankings 2017).

  • 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.

  • Our 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.

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 Max Edling

Further details

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

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of History



Explore campuses

World History & Cultures MA

Discover More

Watch our short video to find out more about our World History & Cultures master's course at King's

Watch more videos

Course detail


This MA course provides you with training in global and transnational history, while offering the opportunity to pursue a personally-tailored interdisciplinary education, through optional modules offered by any department at King’s College London, or from available MA courses at our London partner institutions. You will also be free to carry out your own research, and to draw on an exceptional range of expertise within the World History research cluster at 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.

We aim to provide training in the historiographical and technical skills necessary for further study, and also to allow you to develop special expertise in the areas of history and the humanities that attract you. Our course is particularly suitable if you have a clear research interest and are looking to continue in academic study.

Further literature


Course format and assessment

If you are a full-time student, we will give you six hours of teaching each week through

lectures and seminars, 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 lectures and seminars in your first year and in your second and we will expect you to undertake 16 hours of self study in your first year and your second.

For the dissertation, we will give you six hours of supervision and we will expect you to undertake 594 hours of self-study both for full-time and part-time students.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

The majority of our modules are assessed through coursework essay, although this may be different for modules in other departments. The required 15,000-word dissertation enables you to research a topic of your choice.

Regulating body
King’s College London is regulated by the Office for Students.


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180 credits.

Required Modules

You are required to take:

  • Advanced Skills for Historians (20 credits)
  • Transnational history (20 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

You will write a 15,000-word dissertation, on a topic devised and developed through discussion with your dissertation supervisor.

If you are a part-time student, you will take the required modules in your first year and you will write your dissertation in your second year.

Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take 80 credits from a range of optional modules. If you are a part-time student, you will take 40 credits in your first year and 40 credits in your second.

The list of optional modules may typically include:

  • The British Empire (20 credits)
  • Harlem: A Social & Intellectual history since 1900 (20 credits)
  • On Contradictions: Themes in the Study of the Early People’s Republic of China (20 credits)
  • Making of Contemporary India: Political Power & Social Order in Historical Perspective (20 credits)
  • Inequality in World History (20 credits)
  • Obsessed with the West: Movements & Ideologies in Modern Iran (20 credits)
  • Up to 40 credits from a range of master’s modules offered outside of the department, including those offered via the intercollegiate scheme by Departments of History from across the University of London, subject to approval.
  • You may also opt to take an additional 20 credits in a Level 7 language module at the Modern Languages Centre.
King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to- date, innovative and relevant courses of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Entry requirements & how to apply

World History Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements 2:1

Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours 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.

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band C Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £60 applies.

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

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

World History checklist
Personal Statement Yes A personal statement of up to 4,000 characters (maximum 2 pages) is required. Please note the optional modules you would be interested to take within your personal statement.
Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional Applicants may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application.


Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.  Our first application deadline is the 29 March 2019.  Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full.  

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home/EU fees: £9,990 per year (2019/20)
  • Full time overseas fees: £21,300 per year (2019/20)
  • Part time Home/EU fees: £4,995 per year (2019/20)
  • Part time overseas fees: £10,650 per year (2019/20)

Students starting their programme in 2019/20 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2020/21.

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


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 2019, payment is due by 27th April 2019.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2019 and 30th June 2019, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2019 and 31st July 2019, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2019, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
  • Printing and binding of two hard copies of the dissertation 
  • Graduation costs

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

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Our course will give you skills that will allow you to excel in academia and in your professional life. 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 have found careers in a diverse range of fields, such as the civil and foreign services, education, journalism, finance, politics and cultural sectors.


Next steps

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

Sound like the course for you?

Apply now

Explore King’s

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