Postgraduate Factfile: Modern History MRes

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Course at a glance

Mode of study: Full Time (1 year)
Start date: September

  • A valuable foundation for progression to a PhD
  • An active research portfolio exploring different aspects of 18th to 20th century history
  • Research, scholarship and consultancy work helps ensure the programme is up-to-date with new developments and contemporary thinking
  • A dedicated Research Centre for English Literature and Cultural History

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Course overview

This programme will equip you with a range of knowledge and skills for undertaking and completing an independent research project.  It is based on the assessment of historical sources and the importance of historiography, but also acknowledges that approaches from other fields in the humanities and social sciences frequently enhance our knowledge of Modern History (from the late eighteenth century to contemporary times).

Through the programme you will develop a range of analytical skills and theoretical concepts which are relevant to Modern History.  At Masters level you are expected to engage with primary sources and historical debates, so that your own research can demonstrate a variety of appropriate methods and be related to the work of others in the relevant field.  As this process will involve identifying and accessing appropriate sources, archives and other relevant information, you will be taught the necessary research skills.

Over the course of the programme you will take two modules: Research Methods for Media, Arts and Social Sciences, and Professional Development for Researchers in Media, Arts and Social Sciences. These modules will provide you with a range of general research skills and enhance your personal and career development within the Arts and Humanities generally. You will also take the Research Proposition and Development module, taught exclusively by History staff, and finally your research project/dissertation: Modern History Research Project.

The School of Humanities and Social Science provides an ideal environment in which to expand your knowledge and horizons at postgraduate level, leading you to a broad range of career opportunities.  Our dynamic, professional and experienced staff excel in innovative and exciting research which contributes to the teaching and learning methods you will experience here.  Current research interests include; 18th and 19th century British popular culture; 20th century popular culture; 20th century British labour and political history; Anglo-German relations in the 20th century; 18th and 19th century British imperial history; 20th century imperial and Asian history.

Through our Research Centre for English Literature and Cultural History staff conduct research to include: 17th, 19th and 20th Century British Literature and Cultural History; Women’s Writing; Critical and Feminist Theory; History including British decolonisation, the British empire, Nazi Germany, and labour history.

Our working relationships with Merseyside employers and organisations may benefit you in both academic and personal career development.


Erasmus is a European Union-funded programme that could enable you to either study or work in Europe. If selected, you will receive a grant which can be used to meet some of the costs of funding your placement. To find out more about Erasmus, and explore the opportunities available within your Faculty/School, please visit

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is through written coursework; reflective and annotated bibliographies; oral presentation; research project/dissertation. 

What do past and present students say about the course?

"The MRes in Modern History was an extremely useful experience. Focusing on research meant that I was able to discover and develop skills that I would have been oblivious to if I hadn't done the course and it undoubtedly played a major role in helping me to secure a PhD bursary. I enjoyed carrying out research and producing a more extensive piece of original work than my undergraduate dissertation.”
Lee Collins, graduate

"Studying history at LJMU was enjoyable and enriching. The staff are 'student focussed' with very open lines of communication. The syllabus was wide-ranging and introduced me to many new facets of historical theory and practice, as well as providing important professional and social skills. During the course, I secured a privately sponsored PhD bursary. I am grateful for all the time and effort the staff put into my personal and professional development."
Nicholas Wong, graduate

Why study this course at LJMU?

In the 2014 REF, 85% of research submitted by Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory at LJMU was either recognised internationally, or considered as internationally excellent. 


This research helps ensure that our postgraduate courses are positioned at the vanguard of developments in the field and that you have an opportunity to study alongside leading experts.


The MRes is a programme designed to introduce and develop a wide range of skills, knowledge and understanding: teaching will therefore also draw on a wide range of teaching methods. There will be some formal lectures to introduce a specific issue, set of skills, or knowledge base; there will also be staff-led seminars with other MRes students.


One-to-one tutorials and supervisions with tutors are a key feature of teaching and will take place more often than at undergraduate level.


You will also be expected to deliver papers and to organise discussion groups with other students where it is appropriate, in order to consider shared concerns and questions, or to exchange research experiences.


This is an important part of the reflective element within your Masters programme. We also expect you to attend research seminars and lectures by visiting speakers whenever possible.

Introduction to the School

The School of Humanities and Social Science provides an ideal environment in which to expand your knowledge and horizons at postgraduate level, leading you to a broad range of career opportunities. 

Our dynamic, professional and experienced staff excel in innovative and exciting research which contributes to the teaching and learning methods you will experience here. You will join a warm and friendly learning community, offering excellent learning resources and first class student support. 

Our working relationships with Merseyside employers and organisations may benefit you in both academic and personal career development.  We are situated in an historic part of Liverpool, close to the Anglican Cathedral and a short walk from cafes, bars and the cultural quarter.

Staff research interests

The current academic staff in the Department of History and their particular research interests are listed below:

Dr Mike Benbough-Jackson
18th and 19th century British popular culture; political culture; representations and symbols; regional identity; historical theory and methodology; celebrations. Publications include: a history of the county of Cardigan and articles on tenant/landlord relations, political fiction, travel writing and St David's day and jubilee celebrations.

Dr David Clampin
20th century popular culture; the Home Front during the Second World War; propaganda; advertising; newspapers; historical theory and methodology. Publications include: articles on advertising during the Second World War.

Prof Sam Davies
20th century British labour and political history; dock labourers and their political and industrial organisation; the development of the British Labour Party; local politics in interwar England and Wales; the history of Liverpool and Merseyside; the philosophy of history. Publications include: books on the development of the Labour Party in Liverpool, County Borough Elections and dockworkers.

Dr Frank McDonough
Anglo-German relations in the 20th century; the media and foreign policy; Nazi Germany (particularly resistance movements); the Holocaust; 20th century European history.
Publications include: books on Neville Chamberlain, the Edwardian Conservative Party and Anglo-German relations, the Holocaust and Sophie Scholl.

Dr Nick White
20th century imperial and Asian history; economic history; business history; British decolonisation; the history of Malaysia. Publications include: books on British decolonisation and the latecolonial and post-colonial history of Malaya/Malaysia with a particular focus on business history.

Employment and careers

Successful completion of this course will place you in a position to progress to doctoral research in Modern History or a related area, or to bring the skills in argument, presentation, organisation and research that you have acquired to other forms of employment. 

The course also aims to equip you with the full range of research training that is demanded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRC) and other relevant funding bodies for grants given to doctoral researchers.

Map of UK

International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.


LJMU awards a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.

These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here:

Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

  • new international applicants
  • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
  • LJMU international alumni

English for Postgraduate courses bursary

A bursary will be available for students who must complete the six week English for Postgraduate Studies course to improve their IELTS score by 0.5 prior to enrolling on their postgraduate taught or research degree at LJMU.

This bursary take the form of a tuition fee waiver, which will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on your degree programme. You do not need to complete the online scholarship form in order to receive this bursary. Please note: If you are awarded this bursary you are not eligible to apply for an international scholarship.

English language requirements


  • 6.5 (minimum of 5.5 in each component)


  • 58-64

English language requirements


6.5 (Min. 5.5 (7 in writing) in each component)


58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)

Entry requirements

2:1 or a first class Honours degree in Modern History or related subject.

Overseas applicants should have acquired passes in appropriate examinations in their country of origin and provide evidence of English language ability. Where English is not a first language, an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 7.0 in Academic Writing must be achieved.

Application and Selection

The decision to admit a candidate to the programme will depend upon:

  • a sufficient level of knowledge to embark upon the programme
  • the potential to develop research skills to an appropriate level
  • identification of a research area commensurate with appropriate staff resources for supervision and relevant to the research directions of the programme (research proposals should typically fall within the research interests of the staff.  However, alternate topics outside these areas will be considered on a case by case basis)
  • evidence of the learning capability and commitment to work at postgraduate level 

Applications will be considered by the Programme Leader(s) and at least two programme tutors, and will be based upon: application form; references; research proposal and interview.

The research proposal will be assessed for: intellectual rigour; fluency in articulation of an argument; evidence of engagement with critical debate; adherence to presentation standards as required at postgraduate level; relevance to research topic. 

Research proposals submitted for approval might be expected to include the following information:

  • aims of the research (including the sub-topics likely to be covered
  • a brief review of the existing secondary literature on the topic, and an indication of how the research might make an original contribution
  • indentification of primary sources for analysis
  • a discussion of methods of data collection and analysis
  • any ethical issues which are likely to arise (e.g. if interviewing is going to be widely used)

Fees information

Tuition fees for full-time home and EU students for the academic year 2015-2016 are £4,000. Part time fees are charged by the number of credits you are registered for per annum, at a rate of £22.00 per credit. 

Home and EU student fees can be paid in full or by instalments throughout the academic year.

Tuition fees for international students for the academic year 2014-2015 are £11,000.  Students residing in the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey are classified as international students for fee purposes. 

International students fees are payable in full on registration or you can choose to pay 50% with the balance paid in full four months later.

Further information for international students about finance, fees and scholarships can be found here

Financial support

Tuition fees

All full and part-time students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or pay by instalments. If you need advice about how you will pay your tuition fees, please talk to LJMU’s Student Funding Team as soon as possible:, 0151 0151 231 3153/3154.

Sources of funding

LJMU Alumni Award

Final year undergraduates and alumni of the University are eligible to apply for a 15% reduction in their postgraduate tuition fees if they choose to progress onto a higher degree programme at LJMU. Both home and international LJMU students and alumni can apply for this award (subject to eligibility criteria*).  Please go to for more details.

Postgraduate International Scholarships

LJMU offers scholarships for international applicants accepted onto taught Masters programmes (excluding distance learning programmes) and research degrees. Current LJMU international students and alumni interested in pursuing postgraduate study and research at the University are eligible to apply for these scholarships along with new applicants. For further details, go to:  

English for Postgraduate Studies Bursary

A Bursary is also available for international students who need to improve their IELTS score prior to enrolling on their postgraduate course or research programme at the University. This course is run by LJMU’s International Study Centre ( For further details, go to:   

Earn While You Learn

Working while you study means you may be able to pay for your course without taking out any further loans or at least reducing the amount you need to borrow. Working while you study also gives you the skills valued by employers, such as managing your workload and prioritising your time.

LJMU’s Vacancy website ( can help you find graduate vacancies, sandwich/industrial placements, internships/ summer work, part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work-based learning placements. Over 1,000 local and regional employers regularly list opportunities on the website.

Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)

Many students fund their postgraduate studies via Professional and Career Development Loans. This is a bank loan which you will have to pay back once you’ve completed the course. However, while you are studying any interest on the loan will be paid for you by the Skills Funding Agency. PCDLs worth between £300 and £10,000 are available for eligible postgraduates to fund up to two years of study (three if the course includes work experience). The loan is split into course fees and living costs. Go to for more details.

Employer sponsorship

Some organisations and companies fund the cost of postgraduate studies for their employees as they recognise the value of having well qualified staff. Check out our courses and see if there are any on offer that could enhance your current career. Remember, employer support doesn’t always have to be financial; it can take other forms too, such as flexible working arrangements, day release and time in lieu of study.

Support for disabled students

Disabled Students’ Allowances or DSAs are designed to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, on-going health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs don’t have to be paid back and the type of support you receive will be determined by your specific needs not your household income. Please contact LJMU’s Disability team for further advice: 0151 231 3164/3165.

Council tax exemption

All full-time postgraduate students studying courses lasting one year or more are eligible for a council tax exemption certificate.

How to apply

Further information

Please contact the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies on:

tel: 0151 231 5175
web: Faculty web site

If you have any queries relating to LJMU or university life in general please contact:

Course Enquiries
tel: +44(0)151 231 5090

Please apply via the online application form

LJMU's Admissions policy is in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy and applications are welcome from all candidates who fulfil the entry criteria. The university has a commitment to equality of opportunity and welcomes application from everyone regardless of age, disability, race or sex. The University is committed to widening participation and therefore will actively consider applicants who do not have a relevant degree but who are able to provide satisfactory evidence of their knowledge in the area. All applicants will be considered by the Recruitment and Selection Panel, if shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend for an interview.

International students

LJMU offers an extensive support system through its international office and study centre. An equivalence to the normal entry requirements is needed for entry. Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example with an IELTS tests or equivalent. Please note that because of UK visa restrictions, International students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis. Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.

Please Note: The University reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify in any way the information contained in this leaflet.

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