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MA History part 1

This is the first of two modules which together lead to the award of the MA in History and immerse you in the craft of doing history. You'll have the opportunity to specialise in the study of Britain and Ireland during either the early modern or the modern period, and you can choose from a range of themes to explore in depth. These include the body, popular politics, interpersonal violence, immigration, the environment and institutions. Along with the digital skills you'll gain from studying, you'll develop the skills to an advanced level in locating and using primary and secondary sources and in the communication of research to various audiences. 

Vocational relevance

The module will contribute to enhancing your prospects in careers such as: teaching, libraries, archives, museums, heritage and tourism industries, as well as providing content relevant to the continuing professional development of employees in public-facing roles such as education, police, and social and health services.

Qualifications

A883 is a compulsory module for:

A883 is an optional module in our:

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.

Module

Module code
A883
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.
90
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
SCQF 11
FHEQ 7
Study method
Distance learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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What you will study

This module focuses on the development, to an advanced level, of core skills in primary and secondary source analysis and the ability to communicate research in a range of formats to academic and non-academic audiences.

You'll begin your studies in Block 1 by reviewing and interrogating the core principles of the discipline to understand what it means to be a historian. You'll survey the many different forms of history practised inside and outside the academy and examine the craft of the historian: research, analysis and communication.

From Block 2 onwards, you'll have the opportunity to specialise in the study of either early modern or modern Britain and Ireland. This will involve studying the approaches historians have taken in their research and writing on your chosen period. You'll become immersed in the key historiographical debates and trends, and be introduced to and acquire training in the use of sources peculiar to the period, for example, early modern images and manuscripts, and modern newspapers, sound recordings and moving images.

At Block 3, you'll move on to a detailed study of an individual theme entirely within one period or across both periods, also known as a longue durée approach. The options will be: early modern political communication and engagement; interpersonal violence from c.1500 to c.1970; and environment and landscape history from c.1750 to c.1970. You'll also learn about the value of collaboration in historical research.

Block 4 provides another opportunity for theme-based study. Again, depending on the time period you're specialising in, you'll choose from: bodies and health, c.1550 to c.1780; immigration to Britain and Ireland between c.1500 and c.1970; and the history of modern institutions. You'll also gain experience in the communication of research in different formats to non-academic audiences.

Throughout Blocks 3 and 4, you will be exposed to and receive training in using a wide range of specialist resources for primary source research.

You will learn

This module will:
  • familiarise you with key events which shaped either early modern or modern Britain and Ireland
  • expose you to historiographical trends in the study of either early modern or modern Britain and Ireland, including those at the forefront of academic history
  • develop, to an advanced level, your skills in the location, handling and analysis of a wide range of primary sources
  • prepare you for the planning and execution of an independent research project as part of MA in History part 2 (A884).

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. The module will be taught by means of real time online tutorials and online forums. Two day schools or online equivalents are envisaged which will provide an opportunity for further teaching and to meet with your peers.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

Course work includes

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Future availability

MA History part 1 starts once a year – in September. This page describes the module that will start in October 2022. We expect it to start for the last time in September 2029.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which 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 students have the knowledge and skills usually acquired by pursuing the subject at undergraduate level.

    It is recommended that all potential students take this self-diagnostic test and submit a full response to all the questions. If, after trying the test, you are not confident about studying this module, please contact us for further advice. You may be able to develop the skills you need through studying an undergraduate qualification or module first.

    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 more details.

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

    Preparatory work

    You are encouraged to read The Pursuit of History: Aims, Methods, and New Directions in the Study of History by J.Tosh (see 'Study materials' for more details) before beginning this module. It is also recommended that you read one or two books which provide an overview of the history of Britain and Ireland in your chosen period of study.

    Open Learn offers two free courses which are designed to prepare students for postgraduate study: Succeeding in postgraduate study and Are you ready for postgraduate study?. We strongly encourage you to complete one or both.

    As this module focuses largely on the use of digital resources for the study of history, we also recommend the Open Learn course Digital Humanities: Humanities research in the digital age which will help you to develop your research skills. 

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    03 Sep 2022 Jun 2023 £3375.00

    Registration closes 10/08/22 (places subject to availability)

    Register
    This module is expected to start for the last time in September 2029.

    Future availability

    MA History part 1 starts once a year – in September. This page describes the module that will start in October 2022. We expect it to start for the last time in September 2029.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

    Ways to pay for this module

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    You’ll have access to a module website, which includes:

    • a module guide
    • an interactive week-by-week study planner
    • teaching text and activities for each week
    • video and audio recordings
    • assessment guidance
    • a referencing guide, with information on the use of scholarly conventions in historical study
    • electronic resources for studying of history, including access to our world-class collection of primary and secondary source databases and ebooks, as well as training in their use, via The Open University library
    • access to online forums

    Computing requirements

    You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11). Any macOS is unsuitable with this module.

    Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

    To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

    Our module websites comply with web standards and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

    Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

    It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

    Materials to buy

    Set books

    • Tosh, J. The Pursuit of History: Aims, Methods, and New Directions in the Study of History Routledge £32.99 - ISBN 9780367902469 The current edition is the 7th edition, but students may also use the 6th edition - ISBN 9781138808089

    If you have a disability

    Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components and electronic journals may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader; this applies in particular to historical records that may have been scanned for use online. Alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future.

    During this module you may need to use primary historical data sources (such as local archives) which may not yet be available as online resources; in which case, you may need to arrange physical access to their location (such as a library or other public record office).

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.