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Postgraduate programme

Taught MA in History

The MA in History is a two-year qualification which gives you the opportunity to explore local history from across the United Kingdom—in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland—from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. It consists of two parts. In the first part you learn the skills required for higher-level historical research; in the second part you plan, research and write an extended piece of work over six months. This is a 15,000 word dissertation, based on a subject you select with the help of your tutor. For more information, including the entry requirements, see the description on the qualification website.

Research Degrees in History

Research students are valued members of the History Department and are part of the wider community of postgraduates in the Arts Faculty and the University. The Open University offers supervision for part-time and full-time research students. Applications from overseas are welcome, but students are normally required to be resident in the UK in order to meet regularly with their supervisors and take advantage of the year-round program of workshops, seminars and training organised by the Open University Research School. Exceptions are occasionally made for residents of Continental Europe and Ireland. Full-time postgraduates are expected to live in the Milton Keynes area, but students who live close to the major archives required for their research may be exempted. For general information, follow the link to Research Degrees Prospectus which also sets out the requirements for overseas applicants.

Academic staff in the History Department have wide-ranging interests and are able to supervise students in a variety of topics. As a PhD student, you will have two supervisors for the duration of your studies. They will meet with you regularly and provide guidance on your research topic and on the skills you will need to complete your studies successfully. They will help you to develop your ideas and to think critically and independently about your topic. They will give advice if things are not working according to plan.

You will normally be required to have completed an MA before applying, although other relevant experience may be considered. If you are interested in doing a PhD with us, please get in touch with our admission officer or a potential supervisor in the department who will be delighted to talk about your plans.

Below is a list of links to further information and advice on how to apply