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Distance/blended learning available?

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Tier 4 visa



2:1

Previous degree required

1 Year

Duration

Dr Stewart McCain

Programme Director for History Programmes

Email | 020 8240 4250

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Our Public History degree looks at how historical knowledge is produced, mediated and consumed in public spaces beyond the formal education sector.

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Why study Public History?

Most people's sense of the past comes from public history, through film and television, fiction, museums, heritage sites and memory work.

This course looks at the kinds of pasts that are produced in these popular forms. It examines how they are made and the ways in which they are consumed and understood.

As part of your study you'll be able to gain practical experience of working in a cultural heritage site, museum, gallery or archive.

The degree will help to prepare you for a career in public history related fields. It will also show you why the uses we make of the past are not just matters of academic interest.

Why St Mary's?

This is the only degree in the UK that is taught in partnership with The National Archives, which is a leading national and international site not just for archiving government documents, but also for engaging with the past in other forms.

You will attend workshops at The National Archives, delivered by their highly experienced staff and drawing on their wealth of original materials.

With the St Mary's campus located in South-West London, we also have excellent opportunities for field visits, and unrivalled links for volunteering and work experience with Hampton Court Palace, Strawberry Hill House, Turner's House, Sir John Soane Museum and Orleans House Gallery.

The degree is taught by historians with a strong record of publication and high-quality teaching.

Teaching methods

Modules will be taught using a variety of modes – classroom-based discussions, field work, distance learning, work placements (where appropriate).

This course is designed to help you find a career in fields such as cultural heritage, archives, education and media. It can be used as part of your professional development if you are already employed in these sectors. It will also provide a critical and methodological platform for you if you wish to progress to doctoral level research.

Assessment methods

You will write essays, produce project work, critique different types of source material, and learn to create work using a variety of digital tools. You will also design and deliver presentations about your work. In order to complete the 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.

Key facts

  • Unique partnership with The National Archives.
  • Will prepare you for a career in the field of cultural heritage or for further study at doctoral level.
  • Taught by experts in the field working in the Centre for the Philosophy of History.
  • Taught on our historic Strawberry Hill campus.

Course content

Modules

  • History: Spaces and Places 
  • Making Histories 
  • Memory, History, Testimony 
  • Professional Attachment 
  • Public History 
  • Research Methods and Dissertation 
Please note: information published on this webpage is subject to change before the programme commences. Please refer to the Programme Specification document (PDF) for an authoritative summary of the programme.

Career opportunities

Recent graduates from the course have found work in archives and the course is designed to help students find careers in fields such as heritage, education and the media. It will contribute to the professional development of people who are already employed in these sectors. It will also provide a critical and methodological platform for students who wish to progress to doctoral level research.

One of our MA Public History students, Catharine Williams, undertook a work placement at the National Archives and has recently published a blog about conscientious objectors in Twickenham in the First World War on their website.

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

Facilities

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Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Home/EU: £4,680
International: £13,650

View Public History part-time fee information...

View all postgraduate tuition fees

Additional costs

Your tuition fee 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 contact stewart.mccain@stmarys.ac.uk.

Funding

Please note: the tuition fees listed on this page are for the 2017/18 academic year. For information on fees for other academic years - along with information about financing your studies - please check the Fees & Funding section.

International Students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

Alumni discount

A 10% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study for an MA, MSc or MRes.

Further information

Previous dissertations

To complete your MA you must either write a dissertation or do a professional attachment (but not both). This module gives you an opportunity to undertake a sustained piece of academic research on a topic developed independently but with supervision, including a Research Brief (2,000 words) and culminating in the submission of a 13,000-word dissertation.

You will be guided by your supervisor to develop an appropriate bibliography. You will have regular meetings with your supervisor to discuss progress on the project. You will also be expected to submit draft chapters to your supervisor for comment. Depending on your choice of topic, you may have a dissertation co-supervisor from staff at The National Archives.