Modern History

Modern History MRes

Course fees (2018/19 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home/EU full-time annual tuition fee: £4,625
Home/EU part-time tuition fee: £25.70 per credit
International full time annual tuition fee: £13,250

Course type



Humanities and Social Science

Study mode

Full Time (1 year)

About your course

Housed within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences you will be well-placed to conduct original research in your chosen area of Modern History with this Master of Research course. Become a part of the academic debate and uncover materials that create new dialogues with history.

  • Complete this masters full time (one year) 
  • 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

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.

Lee Collins, graduate

Studying history at LJMU was enjoyable and enriching. 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.

Nicholas Wong, graduate

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.  You will be taught, mentored and supervised by academic staff who are passionate, experienced and active in respect of critical social scientific research and the knowledge and skills you acquire will allow you to progress to doctoral research in the social sciences or are transferable to a range of academic, professional and commercial occupations. 

Research excellence 

In the 2014 REF, 81% of research submitted by Communication, Cultural and Media Studies 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 Research Centre for English Literature and Cultural History conducts research in in the following areas: 

  • Representation and identity (particularly representations of gender) and cultural politics 
  • 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, labour history Criminology, including policy responses to young people in trouble 
  • Child welfare 
  • Penal systems 
  • Illegal and problematic drug use 
  • Corporate crime 
  • Night-time economies in the city

Why study this course at LJMU?

This MRes gives you the opportunity to pursue your own interests in Modern History, under the guidance of specialist supervision and amongst a diverse community of fellow researchers. You will be provided with a valuable foundation for progressing to PhD while also developing the skills of research, analysis, conceptualisation and argument – all highly prized competencies in many areas of employment.

LJMU provides you with the freedom of a truly cross-disciplinary environment, fully equipped with the respective experts and facilities that will enable you to realise a project from conception to its final intended outcomes.  In studying this MRes in Modern History you will become a highly skilled project manager and researcher, as well as a great ideas person, able to make connections and forge new thought pathways that enable alternative ways of seeing. 

As well as your independent study, the relationships you build within our academic community will enable you to bring in your own area of interest and, through your tutorials, explore how that interplays with the research interests of your academic guides and peers.  This fertile ground for investigation will also be enriched through our interdisciplinary Research Cafés, Special Collection archives, and our subject dedicated library staff who will support your research.

Programme outline and structure

This Modern History MRes degree programme will give you the knowledge and skills required to complete an independent research project, and the opportunity to become part of an intertextual academic community that will enrich your work, inspire new interdisciplinary ideas, and open up a network of likeminded academic historians.

Modern History is based on the assessment of historical sources, and the importance of historiography. The discipline 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).  In this sense we encourage you to deal creatively and systematically with complex issues from a number of investigative vantage points.

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 that will enable you to achieve rich and rewarding outcomes both during and in the culmination of your research.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core modules for further information on what you will study.

  • Professional Development for Researchers in Arts, Professional and Social Studies

Provides professional guidance geared to the conduct and dissemination of your research outcomes

  • Research Methods for Arts, Professional and Social Studies

Introduces you to to library, bibliographic, online and other facilities necessary for postgraduate research; assists in recognising and applying appropriate strategies for developing a research project

  • Research Proposition and Development: Approaches to History

Engages you in independent and critical thinking and with theoretical concepts in relation to a range of secondary sources

  • Modern History Research Project

Requires you to demonstrate independent and critical thinking, apply theoretical concepts and knowledge of recent advances within the field  to situate your proposed work accordingly

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled 'What you will study' is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

How will I be assessed?

Our expert academics have designed your assessed work to ensure that you fulfil your potential at this important stage of your development as a postgraduate.

Assessment of knowledge and understanding is primarily through coursework as represented in:

  • historiographical review essay
  • a reflective research diary
  • seminar presentations
  • evaluation of appropriate methodologies and primary sources
  • outline research plan
  • your final research project/dissertation

Staff research interests

Your self-directed study will be supported by a surrounding framework of expertise, within a scholarly community that hosts regular seminars, lectures and a fertile platform for the dissemination of research

All staff teaching on the MRes are themselves research active with the following areas of interest and expertise:

Dr Thomas Beaumont

A historian of modern and contemporary France with a particular interest in the history of France in the era of the two world wars. Thomas also works on the history of international communism in the era of the Communist International (Comintern), 1919-43.

Dr Mike Benbough-Jackson

18th and 19th century British popular culture; political culture; representations and symbols; regional identity; historical theory and methodology; celebrations.

Dr David Clampin

20th century popular culture; the Home Front during the Second World War; propaganda; advertising; newspapers; historical theory and methodology.

Dr Malcolm Craig

A Senior Lecturer in American History, Malcolm's main research interests lie in the fields of US and UK foreign policy in the post-1945 period, with a particular focus on national security, nuclear weapons, and secret intelligence. He's had work published on the global arms trade, nuclear non-proliferation, Western interactions with the 'Islamic world', and domestic British intelligence issues. Watch a recent video Malcolm participated in talking about types of nuclear weapons.

Dr James Crossland

Senior Lecturer in International History, James' primary area of research interest is the development of international humanitarian law up until the Second World War. He is also interested in wartime humanitarianism, propaganda, prisoner of war history and the 'future war' fears of the late nineteenth century.

Dr Susan Grant

Susan's research interests lie in the social and cultural history of Russia and the Soviet Union, as well as healthcare history and history of sport.

Dr Katherine Harbord

National identity - especially creation and promotion; myth and narrative in history; memory collective memory and commemoration; uses and abuses of history and archaeology.

Dr Matthew Hill

Current research is broken into two streams. First examines the H. W. Bush administration’s (1988-1992) foreign policy, in particular how democracy promotion was conceived and constructed by the administration with reference to the Iraq invasion of Kuwait (1991). Second, examines the Middle East and North Africa and how the EU, US and UN adapted their democracy assistance so local actors have more control over the direction of the recipient state’s development.

Dr Xin Liu

Dr. Xin Liu (Calvin) is an international historian and international theorist whose research draws upon the nexus between historical knowledge and international theories to reveal how the former disseminates critical values for the latter     

Dr Lucie Matthews-Jones

19th century urban and religious history; material culture; gender history; and, art and architectural history.

Prof. Frank McDonough     

An internationally renowned expert on the Third Reich. He was born in Liverpool, studied history at Balliol College, Oxford and gained a PhD from Lancaster University.

Dr Gillian O’Brien 

18th and 19th century American and Irish history; newspaper history; Anglo-Irish relations; urban history; and, Irish Republicanism.

Dr Olivia Saunders

A historian of modern Latin America, her research focuses principally on Bolivia. Her particular areas of interest include British and US relations with the region, interactions between business and government, the early Cold War, and the history of commodities.

Dr Chris Vaughan

Specialises in twentieth century African history.

Dr Emma Vickers

Works on sexuality in twentieth century Britain with a particular focus on LGBTQ involvement in the British Armed Forces.

Prof. Nick White

20th century imperial and Asian history; economic history; business history; British decolonisation; the history of Malaysia.

Entry requirements (Home)

You will normally be expected to have a 2:1 or a first class Honours degree in Modern History or related subject in order to be considered for this programme.

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.

Research proposals should be submitted alongisde your application in order to be considered for the programme. Please see the application and selection information below for further information.

Entry requirements (International)

LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.0-6.5 or equivalent. Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence. If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 Visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of Visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application.  In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website

For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.

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; reference and research proposal.

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)

Will I be interviewed?



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


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

Is RPL accepted on this programme?


Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Financial support

Tuition fees

All 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 in instalments. If you need advice about how to pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team.

Funding sources

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From Postgraduate Masters Loans and Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDLs) to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you'll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Graduate employment

Thanks to our working relationships with a diverse range of Merseyside employers and organisations, you will enjoy excellent opportunities for academic and personal career development.

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 areas 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.

International Study

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 has launched 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

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.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

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