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MA Contemporary History and International Politics

Address the key political and social challenges facing the world today

Year of entry: 2022 (September)

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2022 (term dates)

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The world needs better politics: better ways of distributing resources and resolving conflicts.

How can we do this when our engagement with politics is most often local and national? The politics of the future is haunted by those of the past. In order to imagine and move towards building a new future, an understanding of history must underpin national and international politics.

This interdisciplinary MA seeks to address these problems by bringing together politics and contemporary history, with a particular focus on transnational ideas and institutions.

You'll benefit from a wide range of expertise across two outstanding departments, as well as access to numerous centres and institutes, including:

The MA in Contemporary History and International Politics gave me a great opportunity to study fascinating topics which are still relevant today. The flexibility to choose both History and Politics modules allowed me to build a course that was best suited to my interests. Staff were very supportive in allowing me to pursue my topic of choice during the final dissertation.
Alex, MA Contemporary History student

World-leading research

Staff in the Department of History are engaged in world-leading research in international and transnational history, with particular expertise in the history of the British Empire, American History, and History and Policy.

Spanning borders

In Politics, staff members have produced world-class research in international political economy, international political theory, the politics of development, comparative European politics, international security, Indian politics, African politics, and global governance.

University of the Year shortlisted

We're proud to announce that we've been shortlisted for two prestigious University of the Year awards.

  • Times Higher Education Awards 2021
  • The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

Find out more about our nominations

Course content

The course consists of:

  • a core module
  • taught option modules
  • a research training module
  • 20,000 word dissertation

You can opt to take two skills modules or a placement instead of one taught option module.

Modules

Core modules

Option modules

History

Recent modules offered on Contemporary History and International Politics include:

You will also be able to choose from other option modules in the department. Recent modules offered include:

Politics

Skills modules

You'll may choose to complete skills modules, or a placement which will provide you with invaluable skills training across a range of fields.

Part-time students normally take the skills modules during their first year, but they can arrange to take these in the second year if required. 

Recent modules offered include:

Placement

You can elect to do a placement instead of the skills modules.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

Dissertation

You will write a research dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a topic of your choice. You'll start planning for your dissertation in the first term, supported by the Research Training module. You'll compete your dissertation over the spring and summer.

You will be under the supervision of a member of staff in either the Department of History or the Department of Politics, who will provide you with specialist advice and guidance. Our range of expertise and wealth of source material means we can provide supervision on a wide range of topics.

Previous dissertation titles have included:

  • How far have the attitudes of society and the state shifted towards the issue of immigration in the UK? A comparative analysis of New Commonwealth immigration in the post-war years and ‘New’ European immigration post-2004
  • “Now You Have to Listen”: A Historical Analysis of England’s Left-Behind Communities
  • An investigation into terrorist attack coverage on social media; emotions, threat perception and political decision making
  • "Right at the Hub of Things": Experiences and Understandings of the 'Swinging Sixties' in the Working-Class North-East

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Interpret and illuminate the dynamics of the contemporary world by deploying an in-depth and systematic knowledge of cutting-edge historical and political scholarship.
  • Explore and differentiate the perspectives of contemporary and historical actors and thinkers, and assess their significance using a range of advanced approaches and methods.
  • Work with a high degree of independence to design and pursue research questions and resolve complex problems using a diverse range of advanced approaches and techniques.
  • Construct and defend robust arguments, judiciously selecting different forms of evidence and/or theories.
  • Utilise advanced research skills, including how to locate and generate data using manual and digital techniques, and match and manipulate raw materials using carefully chosen and clearly articulated methodologies.
  • Conduct interdisciplinary study and research, drawing on information, concepts, theories and analytical approaches from history, politics and related disciplines in a balanced and creative way.
  • Communicate research findings to a range of audiences imaginatively, lucidly and succinctly using a variety of forms including short reports, oral presentations and extended pieces of writing.
  • Respond responsibly and resourcefully to the ethical and practical issues that arise during advanced historical research, including disciplinary differences between historical methods and those deployed by cognate disciplines and be alert to the value of working across these boundaries.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2022/23

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £9,290£19,950
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
£4,645£9,975

Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Additional costs

There is no obligation to purchase books or other texts - all core texts and resources will be available in our library or online.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2022/23 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

Most of your modules will consist of weekly two-hour seminars. The Research Training module will be taught through three-hour workshops. You will normally work in small groups of fewer than 20 students.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of History in Vanbrugh College on Campus West. Most of your teaching will take place in or close to Vanbrugh College.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You will be primarily assessed by essays and your dissertation. You will have the chance to submit assignments for formative assessment, enabling you to get and use feedback before the final summative assessment. 

Careers and skills

While completing your MA, you will gain essential skills in research, presentation and analysis. These skills are invaluable for progressing to a PhD and for a diverse range of careers.

Career opportunities

  • Innovation funding consultant
  • Project support officer for a local authority
  • University researcher
  • Senior commercial executive
  • Information analyst
  • Public Relations officer

Transferable skills

  • Analytical thinking
  • Formation of original arguments
  • Effective time management
  • Communication skills
  • Efficient organisation, use and management of electronic research resources
  • Ability to carry out independent research in primary sources
  • Professional presentation skills

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in History or a related discipline
International pre-masters programme Pre-masters from our International Pathway College
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS 7.0, minimum 6.5 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 185, minimum 176 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 110 in all other components
LanguageCert C1 Expert High Pass with 33/50 in each component
PTE Academic 67, minimum 61 in each component
TOEFL 96, minimum 23 in each component
Trinity ISE III Distinction in all component

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Apply for this course

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Dr Mark Roodhouse

Learn more

Department of History, Department of Politics

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