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St Mary's University

Public History MA, PGDip, PGCert

Previous degree


Distance learning available


Student visa accepted?



1 year (full-time)

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023: Top 10 for Student ExperienceThe Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023: Top 5 for Teaching Quality

Investigate perceptions of the past with our hands-on Public History master’s

Explore understandings of the past in our innovative Public History master’s. You’ll examine diverse contexts and sources while covering topics like:

  • the production and function of public histories
  • narratives
  • representation
  • memory
  • heritage sites

Study at The National Archives

Our Public History MA is taught, in part, at The National Archives. Here, you’ll explore their original material with the Public History Team.

Make London your classroom

We’re in West London, so you’ll explore the capital’s museums and heritage. You’ll access:

  • field visits
  • unrivalled partnerships
  • volunteering opportunities.

Work placements: build professional experience

You can complete a work placement to enhance your skills and network. Previous students have worked at:

  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Strawberry Hill House
  • Turner's House
  • Benjamin Franklin House
  • Household Cavalry Museum
  • The National Archives.

Expert teaching and support

Our academics are experts and committed to your wellbeing. Our student, Meg, tells us her teachers “were all super approachable and always available whenever [she] needed”.


Dr Mark Donnelly

Associate Professor - History

View profile

Upcoming Event

St Mary's University logo

MA Public History webinar and Q&A - 21st March

Thursday 21st March 2024, 11:00AM

Book now

Course content


The modules listed below are the modules that were available to students in the 2023/24 academic year and are illustrative of what may be offered for 2024/25. 

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Entry requirements

To qualify for entry students should normally have a second-class degree or relevant experience. 


Previous degree

Additional requirement information

The degree must be from a UK or overseas university, or the equivalent. Candidates with professional qualifications in an associated area will also be considered.

International Requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any section.

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

Further Information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Fees & funding

September 2024





Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme. Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken.

For further information about additional costs please see our additional costs webpage

Alumni discount

A 20% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.


You can check on the UK government website to see if you may be eligible for a loan of up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate programme.

Home and international students may also be eligible for external sources of funding. International students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

For more information, please look at our postgraduate funding page.

How the degree is taught

Assessment methods

Our Master’s degree in Public History is assessed using an innovative range of different coursework tasks. You will write essays and book reviews, and give presentations about your work, developing strong academic research skills.

You will also have the opportunity to create exhibition pieces reflecting the real-life work of those who work in Public History. In the past, our Public History students have curated museum displays, produced videos, conducted oral history interviews and even written historical screenplays.

In order to complete the Public History MA, you will produce an extended, independent research project. This will either be a project based on your work placement or a text-based piece of academic research.

Career opportunities

Our Public History master’s will help you develop essential transferrable skills like teamwork, communication, and creative problem-solving.

The Careers Service has more information on graduate careers and part-time work available during your course.

Some examples of job roles and areas of work for graduates of Public History MA, PGDip, PGCert include:

archivesheritageeducationthe media

Apply now

More from St Mary's


Postgraduate events

We have a range of webinars and events to help you decide whether St Mary's is the place for you.


Student life

Discover what life is like on our London campus.

Open Days

Open Days are a fantastic opportunity for you to meet academic staff. You'll also be able to look around the campus, speak to current students and find out more about services such as Accommodation, Student Wellbeing and Study Abroad.

Book your place now