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MA in Global & Comparative History

Global and Comparative History MA

This innovative MA course is one of the first in the UK to focus specifically on global history, offering you the chance to investigate one of the most dynamic areas of current historical enquiry and debate. At its centre is a core module exploring the way in which global history has emerged, the methods it adopts, the subject areas it addresses and the criticisms it has attracted.

Throughout, you are encouraged to explore how the global can be investigated in relation to the regional and the local, as part of wider debates on historical methods and interpretation. This provides a route into studying major regions of the globe, including Latin America, India and China. You’ll also benefit from the Department’s Global History and Culture Centre, with the option to participate in seminars, lectures and conferences arranged by the Centre.

The course offers an excellent route into PhD research in the emerging field of global history and culture. Recent postgraduates have also advanced into careers in the cultural sector, consultancy and teaching.

Autumn term

A compulsory course designed to help students acquire the methodological skills needed to undertake an extended piece of historical research and writing.

Outline syllabus

Week 1: Globalisation

Week 2: Global Intellectual History

Week 3: Empires

Week 4: Race

Week 5: Gender

Week 7: Law

Week 8: Science

Week 9: Religion

Week 10: Popular Culture

Spring term

  • Two Optional Modules: to be selected from options listed below (30 CATS each)

Summer term

  • Dissertation (15,000 words) (60 CATS)

Optional modules

This team-taught one-term option complements other modules by focusing on the (vast) role of religion in early modernity. Rather than following a chronological structure or dealing with individual denominations, it examines religious issues through (a) the perspectives of different academic disciplines and (b) coverage of key themes. Students will be able to engage with the multiplicity of approaches pursued in the field more generally and by members of the History department in particular.

This optional module is intended to give a critical overview of one of the fastest growing and most dynamic areas of modern historical enquiry - the history of gender and sexuality. It aims to provide students with an understanding of how feminist and queer history has emerged from earlier approaches to the study of history, what makes it distinctive and what its principal strengths and weaknesses might be. It spans geographical period and chronological period.

This module draws on the considerable expertise throughout the department to consider how historians engage with the question of 'empire.' It spans geographical area and chronological period.

This module draws on the considerable expertise throughout the department to consider how historians engage with the question of 'consumption.' It spans geographical area and chronological period.

This module will address two to three topics in the history of medicine (broadly construed) selected by its students from a menu of possible options. This unusual structure gives 'Matters of Life and Death' the flexibility required to ensure that it is always focused on subjects closely related to student interests and dissertation research. Possible topics range across the expertise of teaching and research staff in the Centre for the History of Medicine, and of our Associates in the wider University context.

How can we understand the social and natural world in which we live? Concepts such as ‘nature’, ‘environment’, ‘the body’, ‘the economy’, or ‘society’ help us to classify and order the endless phenoma in the material and natural world that we encounter every day. Yet while such concepts are vital, and seem fixed, transhistorical and objective, they emerged at particular moments in history, their meanings changed, and they were often deployed for particular purposes.

This module investigates the rise, changing meanings and purposes of such ordering concepts and the practices which go with them. It also explores how such concepts and practices reflected the social, economic, and political contexts in which they emerged and flourished.

Please note: Please note that only those modules for which there is sufficient demand will actually run.

How to apply


Part-time study

Funding your studies


Master of Arts (MA)


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time


PGT Director, Dr Claudia Stein or course director, Prof Maxine Berg