MA History by Research

The MA by Research in History is your opportunity to conduct in-depth research on a topic of your choice, relative to an area of staff expertise, and produce a dissertation of 40,000 words. This piece of original historical research will be based on primary sources. You will demonstrate an awareness of the associated historiography and an understanding of the relevant methodological or theoretical concepts.

For those coming to the end of their undergraduate studies, a Masters by Research can be an attractive alternative to a taught masters. If you have enjoyed researching your dissertation, you may want to take it further or perhaps take a year to develop additional skills before joining the job market.

For professionals, a Masters by Research allows you to develop a research outlook to explore and address projects, and bring about change in your professional practice or within your organisation.

 

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
2021
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 18 Months January Treforest A
Full-time 18 Months April Treforest A
Full-time 18 Months October Treforest A
Part-time 36 Months January Treforest A
Part-time 36 Months April Treforest A
Part-time 36 Months October Treforest A
Study Mode
2022
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 18 Months January Treforest A
Full-time 18 Months April Treforest A
Full-time 18 Months October Treforest A
Part-time 36 Months January Treforest A
Part-time 36 Months April Treforest A
Part-time 36 Months October Treforest A

Your research topic will be determined in consultation with a member of the History team. Once you have found and consulted with a suitable member of the History team, you will be required to write a research proposal which will serve as your application for the course.

Teaching

A Masters by Research degree allows you to carry out an independent supervised research project on an approved topic of your choice. At the end of your studies you will submit a thesis of up to 40,000 words. As with all research degrees examination is a two-part process: examination of the thesis followed by a viva examination. 

You can complete your Masters by Research on a full or part time basis, on campus or remotely, if the nature of the research allows. A Masters by Research takes one year full time or two years part time, and is available in most subject areas.

There are no classes to attend as the Masters by Research is based on research. Full-time students are expected to spend around 35 hours per week on self-study and part-time students 12 hours. 

Postgraduate researchers are assigned a supervisory team who have the expertise and experience to support them in their studies. Supervisors will help you to shape your research project, give feedback on work in progress and guide you to completion.

Once a research area has been identified and a research programme agreed, you can begin researching and writing your dissertation. You will determine its content, development and structure in regular consultation with your dissertation supervisor. You will produce a dissertation 40,000 words in length. 

 

History Research Unit

You will be based in the History Research Unit. History at the University of South Wales is one of the University’s most successful research areas.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework – the government’s official measure of research capability – 64% of our research output was rated in the top two categories: 'world-leading’ and 'internationally excellent’.

Some of what we do is announced to our professional community via scholarly monographs and articles in learned journals, such as Past & Present and English Historical Review, the traditional outlets of our craft. We also try to reach a wider and more diverse audience through social media, television and radio programmes, exhibitions and other forms of public history.

Our interests are wide-ranging and often involve us in cross-disciplinary research with colleagues in other parts of the University. USW historians are, for example, at the forefront of the Centre for Gender Studies in Wales and the Centre for the Study of Media and Culture in Small Nations.

We are also networked into international scholarly collaborations far beyond South Wales. USW historians are partners in international initiatives on nuclear imperialism, ecclesiastical history, and the history of witchcraft persecution.

Our expertise is recognised by the appointment of USW historians to advisory roles for the Welsh Government, the National Museum of Wales, and the Church in Wales.

 

Assessment

The MA History by Research is assessed by a dissertation and a viva voce (oral examination). The dissertation should be up to 40,000 words in length.

There are no classes to attend as the Masters by Research is based on research. Full-time students are expected to spend around 35 hours per week on self-study and part-time students 12 hours.

Featured Lecturer:
Professor Chris Evans

Professor Chris Evans

Work by USW historian Professor Chris Evans on the suppressed history of Wales and Atlantic slavery is affecting the ways in which public bodies and creative artists handle a difficult, contested past.

Evans is interested in the relationship between Atlantic slavery and industrial development in Europe, with a particular focus on Welsh industry. His book Slave Wales: The Welsh and Atlantic Slavery, 1660-1850 (2010) revealed for the first time the significance of Welsh woollens in the slave Atlantic between the 1680s and the 1840s. Using material in British and US archives, Evans was able to demonstrate how Welsh fabric was (i) traded for captives on the Guinea coast, and (ii), more importantly, sold in large volumes to planters in the Caribbean and North America. Here, marketed as “Negro Cloth”, Welsh woollens were used to clothe enslaved workers. Read more...

Lecturers

  • Dr Ruth Atherton is a social, religious and cultural historian of early-modern Europe.
  • Dr Andy Croll is developing research interests in the history of tourism (particularly coastal tourism) in the long nineteenth century. He is also interested in the history of poverty and welfare in the era of the New Poor Law.
  • Dr Jonathan Durrant is a historian of gender in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His particular interests are witchcraft and gender in Germany, and masculinity and warfare in the age of the Thirty Years’ War.
  • Professor Chris Evans works on industrial history from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries and the history of Atlantic slavery in the age of abolition.
  • Dr Jane Finucane is an expert on Germany in the age of the Thirty Years’ War.
  • Dr Christopher Hill has research interests in modern British and global history, with a focus on histories of media, nuclear imperialism and social movements.
  • Dr Rachel Lock-Lewis is interested in the history of feminism and social change in postwar Britain, especially issues of sexuality, marriage, maternity, parenthood and childhood, and kinship.

Find out more about our historians, find a supervisor and view our current History research.

A minimum 2:1 Honours degree in history or a related subject. Applicants without an Honours degree can be considered on prior experiential learning on an individual basis, via the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)/Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) mechanism (University regulations will apply). The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

All applications must include two references on headed paper from your referees which should be uploaded as a supporting document. Please note, we can not accept applications without these two references. At least one referee should be able to comment on your academic/professional ability. References provided by relatives are not acceptable.

All applicants for research degrees must submit an online application accompanied by a research proposal which will be considered by the Faculty Research Programmes Committee (FRPC).

For further information please read our information on how to write a research proposal.

 

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2020 - July 2021 Fees


  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International:  £15000 

  • Part-time UK: TBC

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees


  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees


  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

Please read our information on how to write a research proposal and how to apply for a postgraduate research degree. You can find more information and contact detail for support on our Graduate School website.

Admissions statement 

The History by Research masters is an excellent basis for further research in history at MPhil and PhD levels. If you do not want to pursue further research, you will have gained the research skills needed for a range of careers in the arts, industry, the media, administration in the private and public sectors, or further education.