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MA in History

This MA in History provides theoretical and practical training in major themes in local and regional history, research methods, project planning and writing. You'll explore aspects of British and Irish local and regional history between 1750 and 1950, and be introduced to the key themes of poverty and welfare, crime and policing, the role of families, urban history, religion and industrialisation. Using our world-class collection of online primary source materials, you'll be encouraged to produce an independent research project on a topic of your choice.

Key features of the course

  • Develops your ability to present a sustained argument in clear, logical prose
  • Builds your skills of analysis, critical thinking and practical research 
  • Provides a firm foundation for further research studies
  • Applicable to a wide range of careers.

Masters degree

Course code
F28
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
180
How long it takes
2.5-10 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Course cost
Postgraduate loan available
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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Course details

Modules

To gain this qualification, you  need 180 credits as follows:

Compulsory modules Credits Next start
MA History part 1 (A825)

Explore British and Irish histories from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries and increase your understanding of a range of key approaches to studying history.

See full description

Register
120 29 Sep 2018
MA History part 2 (A826)

This module focuses on the planning and writing of a dissertation which will test your ability to present a sustained academic argument in clear, logical prose.

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Register
60 04 May 2019

You must pass A825 before studying A826.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.


We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 8th June 2018.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes.

Credit transfer

Credit transfer is not available for this qualification. 


On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded the Master of Arts in History, entitling you to use the letters MA (Hist) (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.

If you leave the programme before you qualify for the MA you can gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Humanities after successfully completing the 120-credit module MA History part 1 (A825).

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Essential Documents website. 

Entry requirements

To successfully undertake this postgraduate study, you will ideally need to have an undergraduate UK honours degree (or equivalent) in history or a closely related subject. You should be aware that a degree of at least 2.1 or equivalent will greatly increase your chances of successfully completing the MA. It is expected that your spoken and written English will also be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 7 under the International English Language testing system (IELTS). Please see their website for details.

If you do not have a degree or background in History (or similar), you are strongly recommended to complete some preparatory work before beginning the qualification to ensure your skills are at the same standard of a graduate in that area. The MA History assumes that a candidate for a master’s degree already has the knowledge and skills usually acquired by pursuing the subject at undergraduate level. The qualification will not offer remedial undergraduate training for those who have an inappropriate undergraduate degree or inadequate experience. Any student beginning the qualification without an undergraduate degree or equivalent experience in history should do so at their own risk. If you would like further advice regarding this, please speak to an adviser.

How long it takes

Modules on the MA are studied during a fixed period each year. The minimum overall time in which it is possible to complete the qualification is two and a half years, studying the modules consecutively. If you do not study the modules consecutively, you must have completed them by a maximum of 10 years to qualify for the degree.

Career relevance

In addition to specific study of history, this degree will provide you with practical skills in the use of print and online primary source material and experience of project planning, research methods and writing a dissertation. An MA in History can enhance your prospects if you work in (or plan to work in), teaching, libraries, archives, museums, heritage, travel and tourism. It is also excellent preparation for doctoral studies if you’re planning an academic career. History can also be valuable in a range of other careers, including journalism, writing, the civil service or public administration.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.