A first degree in the humanities should enable you to:
Taught postgraduate work will help you develop these skills further, but if you don't already have sufficient experience, the task is just too great for the limited time available. If you are in any doubt about whether you possess these skills, do consider taking at least one of our undergraduate courses (you can contact our Student Registration and Enquiry Service if you need advice on what might be suitable).
To help you to assess your state of preparedness, we offer four diagnostic exercises. They are by no means exhaustive, but if you successfully complete all four exercises you should feel confident enough to consult the guidance for the MA line you want to study. If you've difficulty with two or more of these exercises, you ought to reconsider before committing yourself to a time-consuming and very demanding programme.
Do you use a library frequently?
Do you know how to use its catalogue?
How would you get hold of a book that was not in your local library?
Do you read a broadsheet newspaper?
Do you read its book reviews?
As an exercise, look through some of its recent reviews. Find a review of a new book in an humanities subject that interests you, then read the review. Order the reviewed book from your local library, read it, then write 1000 words comparing your view of the book with the reviewer's view.
Try to write a paragraph (no more than 20 lines) summarising the arguments in favour of capital punishment; then write a paragraph summarising the arguments against it.
Could you write a couple of paragraphs describing what ‘post-modernism' means in architecture and in literature? How would you go about finding the books or articles that would help you to tackle this task?
If you answered 'no' to two or more of the questions, or if you found the exercises difficult, then you are not properly prepared to tackle a foundation module in the MA. Nevertheless, if you are still very keen, the sensible approach is to prepare yourself for an MA by taking one or two undergraduate-level courses in the subject you want to study. If you complete those successfully, you'll have proved your ability to work in the subject and have given yourself a good intellectual foundation for your MA studies. Suitable undergraduate-level courses offered by the University are suggested in the subject discussions below.
Our desire to make entry into our MA programme as accessible as possible is matched by our desire that you should not take on something for which you're not equipped. We want to increase your intellectual confidence; failing a module for which you're not sufficiently prepared or which requires skills you don't have is a very dispiriting experience. If this section appears negative or forbidding, it's not because we want to put you off, but because we want you to succeed.