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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 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 the 180 credits you require for this qualification, you must study the modules in the order shown below and pass part 1 before progressing to part 2:

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

120 No current presentation
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.

See full description

Register
60 08 May 2021

Please note that MA History part 1 (A825) is worth 120 credits. Module fees for postgraduate modules are based on the number of credits you study. Therefore the fee for this 120-credit postgraduate module will be double that for the 60-credit module MA History part 2 (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 17 March 2020.

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 Student Policies and Regulations website. 

Entry requirements

You must hold a UK honours degree (or equivalent), preferably with at least a 2:1 classification to study our MA in History. Although your degree does not need to be in History or a closely related subject, you will need some knowledge of the subject to successfully complete this qualification, as the MA in History assumes all candidates have the knowledge and skills usually acquired by pursuing the subject at undergraduate level.

If your degree or background is not in history or a related subject, we strongly recommend that you complete the preparatory work listed in the Entry requirements for MA History part 1 (A825)    

If you’re in any doubt about the suitability of your qualifications or previous experience, please contact us before you enrol.

How long it takes

You will be able to complete this masters qualification within two and a half years by studying the first module in a year and a half and the second module in a year.

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.