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About our master's programme

Our MA Historical Research & Public History programme offers a rich and intensive study of historical research and public history, designed to produce talented and sought-after historians who are able to apply their skills not only to academia but also to the practice of history in the public sphere. This new,  and innovative master’s degree was developed by award-winning academic, historian and broadcaster Dr Suzannah Lipscomb and is delivered by the History Faculty at NCH.

This new master’s programme provides advanced training in historical method, historiography, theory and the practices of historical research, in addition to exploring history as it is represented, constructed, debated and contested in the public sphere, including in museums and galleries, heritage sites, public policy, and in the media.

As part of your studies...

Research and archives

You will be introduced to major research libraries and archives including the National Archives, Senate House Library, the British Library and the British Museum, which is located mere steps from NCH.

You will be taught how to search these archives for primary sources – dating from the medieval, early modern and modern past and including manuscript sources, printed texts and quantified data – and how to research, evaluate and critique a wide range of different source materials.

You will learn to distinguish between and assess different historical perspectives, and to evaluate the usefulness of inter-disciplinary approaches to history, including anthropology, the history of art, and literary studies.

Public history

The public history strand of the programme teaches you how to critically appraise the ways in which historical knowledge can contribute to a wider public engagement with the past, and the challenges and complexities of reconstructing the past for a public audience.

During your studies, you will meet with professionals who practise History in the public realm, including historical novelists, media producers, museum curators and keeper of historic archives. The faculty will also organise a study trip a major historic house, or another site of historic interest.

Am I eligible to apply?

This exciting new MA is suitable for those who have completed a first degree in History and wish to specialise in historical research or public history, or those who hold a first degree in another discipline and who want to convert to History. Equally, we welcome applications from those who demonstrate a lifelong passion for History who may have been out of education for some years.

What skills will I gain?

Culminating in a substantial piece of original historical research, the programme encourages the development of key skills in historical research and method, as well as an in-depth knowledge and understanding of history and how it is constructed, communicated and practised publicly.

By the end of the programme, you will be able to synthesise large volumes of complex information from different disciplinary and methodological perspectives, and to critically evaluate historical evidence. You will have developed an original and lucid written style and be able to argue your position convincingly and with originality.

This MA fosters advanced skills in the areas of critical questioning, information gathering, synthesis and analysis, and oral and written communication. Graduates are likely to pursue studies leading to a research degree and an academic career, or wider employment opportunities in media, heritage, and publishing.