Loader
Course Image

Course Description

This Master's degree in the history of ideas is concerned with excavating and understanding the lived reality of ideas. We consider how the study of the history of ideas can help us to interpret individual thinkers and their ideas and how these have shaped past societies.

The history of ideas is a dynamic and expanding field and this programme enables you to pursue an exciting programme of study, exploring ideas comparatively and in their geographical, social and historical contexts. If you want to understand and investigate the relationship between ideas and actions across a wide variety of historical periods, geographical places, and theoretical and methodological perspectives, then this is the degree for you.

The introductory compulsory module explores key topics and questions within the history of ideas and will introduce you to the conceptual background needed for the historical study of ideas at postgraduate level.

We offer a wide range of option modules, covering topics in periods from classical antiquity to the present day, including ancient philosophy, politics and ethics, Judaism and antisemitism, early modern politics, Darwinism and race in the nineteenth century, psychoanalysis, modernity and technology, and Islam and the politics of fundamentalism. You will also receive training in research skills to enable you to undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the topic of most interest to you.

This Master's degree in the history of ideas is concerned with excavating and understanding the lived reality of ideas. We consider how the study of the history of ideas can help us to interpret individual thinkers and their ideas and how these have shaped past societies. The history of ideas is a dynamic and expanding field and this programme enables you to pursue an exciting...

Read More

Course Content

You take one compulsory module and choose three option modules from a diverse range of topics. Please note that not all modules are available every year. 

Browse an introductory reading list for this course.

COMPULSORY MODULE

  • Mastering Historical Research: Birkbeck Approaches

INDICATIVE OPTION MODULES

  • Ancient Knowledge
  • Britain and Germany: The History of a Relationship, 1815-1990
  • China and the West: Encounters
  • Civil Society: Ideas, Practices and Dilemmas in the Modern World, 17th Century to the Present
  • Contested Past, Troubled Present: Britain and Ireland since 1800 - Religion in Society and Politics
  • Cultural History of War in Britain and America between the First World War and the Conflict in Vietnam
  • Darwin, Darwinism and the Modern Ages
  • Empires in Modern East Asia
  • Gender in Britain
  • Globalisation and the Rise of the Modern Consumer
  • Globalisation: A Short Historical Introduction
  • Imagined Landscapes of the Middle Ages
  • Jews and Antisemitism in Modern Europe: Histories and Approaches
  • Madness and its Meanings
  • Magic, Science and Religion in the Renaissance
  • Me, Myself and I: Identity and the Self in Europe, c. 1500-c.1750
  • Monastic Lives in Medieval England
  • Politics and Islam
  • Race and the Victorians
  • Rethinking the Cold War
  • Rome in Britain: Receptions of Antiquity and the Grand Tour
  • Technology, Modernity and the Nation: Britain and Germany, 1880 to 1930
  • The Making of Modern Societies: Britain and Europe, c.1500-c.1750
  • The Two Irelands 1911-1998
  • The Victorian Communication Revolution
  • To See the World in a Grain of Sand: Reading and Writing Microhistories
  • Venice and Istanbul, 1453-1797
  • Vice and the Victorians: Moral and social reform in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century

You take one compulsory module and choose three option modules from a diverse range of topics. Please note that not all modules are available every year.  Browse an introductory reading list for this course. COMPULSORY MODULE Mastering Historical Research: Birkbeck Approaches INDICATIVE OPTION...

Read More

 

Entry Requirements

Our standard postgraduate entry requirement is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university, or an equivalent international qualification.

We will review every postgraduate application to Birkbeck on its individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

On your application form, please list all your relevant qualifications and experience, including those you expect to achieve.

Apply now to secure your place and allow enough time for the application and enrolment process. You do not need to have completed your current qualification to start your application.

COURSE SPECIFIC ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

We offer a one-year Graduate Certificate in History, which can be used as a conversion course if you want to study history at postgraduate level but have a degree in a significantly different discipline.

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this course is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests and at least 7.0 in writing.

INTERNATIONAL ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Our standard postgraduate entry requirement for international students is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university or an equivalent international qualification.

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. Some courses may require higher scores, particularly in the following subject areas:

  • arts management
  • cultural studies
  • development studies
  • film and media
  • geography
  • history
  • law
  • organizational psychology
  • psychology.

Please carefully check the Course-Specific Entry Requirements on your chosen programme for details of higher English language entry requirements.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

VISA REQUIREMENTS

If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

  • Courses of more than six months' duration.
  • Courses of less than six months' duration.
  • Pre-sessional English language courses.

International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our full-time courses (with the exception of modular enrolment certificates of higher education and graduate certificates), as these qualify for Tier 4 sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

Our standard postgraduate entry requirement is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university, or an equivalent international qualification. We will review every postgraduate application to Birkbeck on its individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support...

Read More

Assessment Methods

Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.

Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete...

Read More