|From||To||UK Fee *||International Fee|
|01 Sep 2013||31 Aug 2014||£4050||£9400|
* Exceptions may apply. Please see Fees and Finance for further information.
In this page:
The MA History provides the opportunity to study a range of topics in-depth while also developing Masters-level skills of analysis and research. The primary career destinations for graduates from the programme are teaching, commerce and the public sector.
You begin with a core module that covers a range of tools and techniques that help increase our understanding of the past. A theory element provides a platform for understanding the philosophical nature of history. A practical element provides guidance on the use of primary source material, historical databases, and other research avenues that will be relevant to your dissertation.
Next you move on to three options from a list of modules, which are tailored to the research expertise of the academic staff. So you can expect research-informed teaching in areas where staff have particular enthusiasm and authority. Assessment is entirely by coursework, either by a 5,000 word essay or an equivalent mix of assignments.
Finally you will craft a 15,000-word dissertation on a research topic of your choice, drawing on both primary and secondary source material. Your supervisor will support you with one-on-one tutorial sessions.
At the end of the programme you will have an intellectual toolkit that prepares you for a wide range of employment opportunities. The rigorous training in historical methods is also a good preparation for PhD study for those who wish to pursue an academic path.
October - January
Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) 60 credits
- Historical Theory and Methods
This module provides students the theoretical and methodological knowledge and skills needed to pursue History at Postgraduate Level. It shows that historians must employ a range of theoretical tools that have increased our understanding of the past. Drawing upon key concepts and thinkers, it provides a platform for understanding the philosophical nature of history by analysing the discipline's epistemological foundations and its practitioners' most important approaches.
This theoretical foundation will help you select a Master's dissertation topic and approach your chosen topic through methodological and practical tuition. Libraries and archives will be visited to familiarise students with the appropriate way to tackle original historical research, of whatever period or subject. Workshops will be held to give a practical emphasis to the use of historical primary source material, historical databases and the presentation of any other materials relevant to the dissertation.
One optional module from this list:
- Aspects of British Political History
- Culture, Representation and Identity: North East England Since 1815
- Law and Early Modern Society, 1600-1800
- Blasphemy and Unbelief in Early Modern Europe
- From Guernica to Godskitchen: A Cultural History of 20th Century Spain
- History of Ideas, 1870-1920
- The History of American Liberalism
February - May
Postgraduate Diploma (PgD) 60 credits
A further two options from the above list.
Please note that each module will run either in Semester 1 or Semester 2, and that not all of these modules will be available each year.
Masters (MA) 180 credits
As for the Diploma plus:
- Dissertation (15,000 words)
For the dissertation, you may choose a research topic that is agreed by a supervisor, who will support you with one-on-one tutorial sessions. The dissertation is a piece of work that draws upon both primary and secondary source material.
We welcome applications from those who hold a good degree that contains a History element, and will also consider those with other qualifications and experience.
Fees and Finance
The fees for this course are as specified in the table at the top of the page.
Please note that different fees apply to students studying for "Equivalent or Lower Qualifications" (ELQs). For more information about ELQs, please see the page Information for applicants who already have an HE Qualification.
Teaching and Assessment
The taught components of the course will be based on weekly 3-hour sessions, supplemented where appropriate by archive/exhibition visits and fieldwork.Within this overall framework, we will also offer individual counselling and discussion of assignments.
Each module will have a formal lecture programme although the essence of the teaching will be the seminars which will be based on selected reading: an approach which demands adequate preparation and a willingness to engage constructively in debate.
The 3-hour block will be used fluidly in all modules: most teaching sessions will begin with a presentation of variable length by the tutor and then move to seminar discussion or other more student-directed activities. Fundamental to the MA is the development of confidence and fluency in discussing intellectual topics. We will be flexible in adopting methods that bring the best out of the students. Lecturers may revert from full seminar discussion to group work or student presentations if these seem the best way in practice to make a class work. We encourage you to be self-reflective, in not just voicing opinions about the literature and History-related issues, but also in being conscious of the methodological underpinnings of the relevant topics.
The various assessment procedures adopted are designed to ensure that you acquire the knowledge and skills appropriate to each element of the programme.
Assessment is 100 per cent by coursework. The MA History has two elements of coursework per module, with the exception of the dissertation. Each module has assignments deemed to be equivalent to a 5,000 word essay. On some modules, these assignments may simply consist of two 2,500 word essays; on other modules, they may consist of major written assignment accompanied by a minor writing task; on others, they consist of a substantial written assignment accompanied by an oral presentation. The dissertation module is different in that this consists of a 15,000 word piece of work, which is supported mainly through one-to-one tutorials.
The University has a Career Education Information and Guidance Policy and a commitment to supporting students in their progression from education to work. The Careers and Employability Service is located in the Gateway, an impressive, newly-renovated facility in the centre of the City Campus. The effect is to bring careers guidance much closer to students.
Yet we are aware that not all of our MA students will be able to be grouped together in this way. Some of our students may be retired, self-employed, at an early stage in a chosen career, or may have many years of professional experience behind them; others might be working substantial numbers of hours, while not necessarily occupying a job that corresponds to their desired career path. A number of students will be from overseas, and these students will return to pursue future careers about which it is difficult for History lecturers at Sunderland to advise them. Accordingly, we see our role as encouraging you, where relevant, to reflect on your career development and to take advantage of the careers guidance offered by the University.
Overall, the History MA will help you gain promotion in your existing work and present you with further employment opportunities. Graduates from our programmes include teachers, archivists, heritage/museum staff, and commerce and public sector workers.
The skills acquired on the MA should constitute a preparation for PhD study for those who wish to explore that path. The core module, Historical Theory & Methods, is designed to inculcate a range of research skills necessary, in a general way, for PhD study. Teaching staff, as a matter of course, will advise students on opportunities for postgraduate research. Our History staff are certainly able to offer expert supervision to students wishing to embark on a PhD.
For further information about the History MA, please contact Dr. Sarah Hackett (E: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Tel: 0191 515 3043
*World Class Web/Design Tools*
The University of Sunderland has made a significant investment in providing students with access to the latest releases of Adobe products.
Selected PCs within the St Peter's and Murray Libraries have been pre-loaded with the Creative Suite 4 (CS4) Adobe Design Premium Suite for your exclusive use.
CS4 Creative includes key products such as Indesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver as well as Photoshop and a range of many others.
Further information is available from:
For information regarding locations of PC or Macs within your own faculty that have access to Adobe products please contact your Faculty IT Support.
If you are interested in purchasing Adobe products for your own PC/Mac, Adobe offer significant savings for student purchases via any of its approved re-sellers.
Faculty Contact Details:
Faculty of Education and Society
The David Goldman Informatics Centre
Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St. Peter's
St. Peter's Way
Tel: +44 (0) 191 515 2395
Course Contact Details
Dr Sarah Hackett
Tel: 0191 515 3043