About this course
This innovative MA in Modern History thinks about how the past is 'applied' in the modern world.
- Gain a deeper understanding of history
- Undertake intensive work with archival material
- Learn from academics at the cutting edge of their discipline
- Master the skills of research, analysis, argument and writing
History at LJMU is consistently rated highly by our students and graduates. Indeed our History degree was named 9th best in the 2020 Guardian University league Table. Embarking on this course you will join a vibrant postgraduate community within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, be taught by research active teaching staff and study modules including: Second World War film and cinema, modern internationalism and slavery in Liverpool.
While firmly rooted in research-led scholarship, the programme also explores how societies use history, providing an understanding of the ways in which historians can take their skills and apply them beyond the university environment.
The course reflects the team's varied and wide-ranging interests, facilitating a varied range of study, often in new and innovative fields. Our modules cross national borders and historical approaches, encountering a rich array of primary source materials from newspapers and magazines, film, the ephemeral, through to statistics and propaganda.
History students at LJMU get involved in a wide range of activities over and above their studies to broaden their skills, knowledge and love of their subject. To help commemorate the 75th anniversary of the the end of the Second World War, representatives of the History department worked with National Trust Formby and Drama at LJMU to create a walking tour around the sand dunes and Formby Point. The dramatisation told the story of the hundreds of children who were evacuated to places like Formby during the Blitz.
Formby - A Haven for the Blitzed
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students
The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.
Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.
Further your career prospects
LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.
The MA Modern History will enhance your prospects in a wide variety of careers, such as teaching, research, academia, print journalism and the creative, cultural and heritage industries. The programme develops sophisticated skills of research, analysis, argument, theorisation, abstraction, evidence and writing. These are highly valued in many areas of employment.
Discover the building blocks of your programme
Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.
History Beyond the University
This module examines the wide-reaching impact of history beyond academia. It delves into how history influences branding, storytelling, national narratives, and more. Students explore historical representation, the politics of public history, and how societies remember and use the past. The course encourages a critical assessment of history's role in our world.
Research methods: Philosophies, Theories and Approaches to History
This course introduces students to key historical philosophical and methodological debates, encompassing various theories such as post-colonialism and post-modernism. It also covers diverse historical research methods like oral history and quantitative history. The goal is to help students develop research projects grounded in these frameworks.
Dissertation in Modern History
This module aims to engage students in independent and critical thinking and apply theoretical concepts in the field of Modern History. Students will be encouraged to identify, assess and critically evaluate relevant research resources and to present and defend their research findings in an appropriate and scholarly way.
Forging the People’s War: film and cinema in Britain during the Second World War.
This module explores British film production and exhibition during World War II, focusing on propaganda and its representation in films. It provides insight into the government's wartime propaganda policy, film processes, and thematic elements. The course critically examines these films as historical sources, incorporating different perspectives on the nature of wartime cinema and its impact on national culture and popular engagement with the war.
Post-war France: Modernity and Crisis, 1944-1981.
This module examines post-World War II France, emphasizing key themes and concepts. Students develop advanced analytical and research skills to explore the nation's reconstruction challenges and transformative "thirty glorious years." It also covers France's colonial wars in Indochina and Algeria.
Liverpool and Slavery
War and Peace in Africa since 1990
The sessions will be organised in 2 hour workshops and will include a series of mini-lectures, practical exercises, roundtable discussions and a conference at the end of the semester.
An insight into teaching on your course
Within the History department you will work alongside other postgraduate students and academics. In addition, external experts from a range of museum and heritage fields will explore how history is used by museums, heritage centres, charities, political parties among others. We are both committed scholars and dedicated teachers and are proud of fostering a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment for all our students.
Over the course of this MA, students will master skills of research, analysis, argument and writing. The course reflects the team's varied and wide-ranging interests, notably focussed on the modern era from the nineteenth-century to more contemporary times facilitating a range of study, often in new and innovative fields. Our modules cross national borders and historical approaches, encountering a rich array of primary source materials from newspapers and magazines, film, the ephemeral, through to statistics and propaganda.
How learning is monitored on your programme
To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.
There will be a variety of assessments spread across modules, including in-class presentations, posters, critical reflections and portfolios. The most common piece of assessment will be the extended essay, allowing you to develop advanced techniques of reading, research, writing and presentation.
The course concludes with your completion of a major piece of coursework: a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Dr Gillian O'Brien
Dr Gillian O'Brien
Dr Gillian O'Brien is Reader in Modern Irish History. She is the author of "Blood Runs Green: The Murder that Transfixed Gilded Age Chicago" (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and has also published work on the Anglo-Irish relations, newspaper and journalism history, the history of Dublin and the history of Primary Education in Ireland. Her BA and MA are from University College Dublin and her PhD from the University of Liverpool.
Our programme offers you the opportunity to pursue your own path of studies, with option modules providing you with the opportunity to develop a specialist interest in either British or International history.
What you can expect from your School
Based within the John Foster Building on the Mount Pleasant Campus the School of Humanities and Social Science has many outstanding facilities, including well-equipped IT Suites, a light-filled Student Common Room and dedicated postgraduate study areas. At the back of the John Foster Building is the Aldham Robarts Library, which gives access to an exceptional range of materials to support the study of humanities and social science.
You will need:
Alternative qualifications considered
Applicants for the MA in Modern History will normally be considered in the light of their ability to meet the following criteria: Students should normally have a good first degree (2:1 or above) in History or related subject with a 65% or higher in their dissertation (or equivalent). Appropriate indicators will include: two references and academic transcripts or their equivalent. Samples of written work and/or an interview may also be requested. The student must demonstrate a sufficient level of knowledge to embark on the programme (including the required linguistic competence) and to complete the programme within the required time limits. Students should provide evidence, in the view of the assessors, of the learning capability, study opportunity, and commitment to a postgraduate programme of study. The programme of study offers the student the opportunity to develop their personal and professional skills to an appropriate level and the School of Humanities and Social Science is able to provide appropriate supervision and facilities for their chosen programme of work. Although most applicants will be graduates, the fact that candidates may not have a degree is not necessarily a bar to entry. Non-standard applications will be considered and will be subject to an interview with two members of the department and will ensure accessibility and inclusivity.
Other international requirements
International applications will be considered in line with UK qualifications. Any applicant whose first language is not English will be required to have IELTS score of 6.5 with a score of 7 in written work.
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU online application form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.