You can study MA History full time over
one year or part time split across two
Your studies consist of four modules,
two of which are core: Key debates
and research methods in history – an
assessment of current trends and
methodologies in the discipline
of history, and public history – an
examination of the theory and practice
of how the past is presented to public
You supplement these with two option
modules, where you select the areas
of history that interest you the most
as you choose from the research
specialisms of the History team.*
The team's areas of expertise include:
early modern European and British
history including religious and military
history; imperialism, colonialism and
de-colonisation in the modern period;
the political, cultural and social history
of 19th-century Britain; Ireland since
1900; British military and diplomatic
history during the 20th century;
European integration; politics and
society in the USA since 1900; and
The programme culminates in an
independently researched MA History
Sub-Saharan Africa in the Global Political Economy (IRL715)
This module explores Africa’s location in the global political economy, examining various historical, economic and socio-political developments over the past fifty years. It offers an overview of the history of the region, as well as the major contemporary political-economic and social developments and the challenges these pose. The module also seeks to provide the tools to analyse and understand what is going on in Africa today.
Piracy and Privateering, 1560-1816 (MAHI704)
This module explores piracy and privateering activity in the seas around the British Isles and further afield from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the end of the second Barbary War in 1816. This course focuses on the social history of piracy and privateering, the organisation of pirate society, and the economic impact of piracy and privateering.
The Civil Rights Movement (MAHI706)
Examining the African American struggle for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s.
The French Wars of Religion 1558-1598 (MAHI709)
The module will examine the causes, progress and termination of the French Wars of Religion after 1558. The main topics will be the relationships between Catholic and Protestant, the impact of war on royal authority, the experiences of confessional groups, towns, nobles and peasants, and the resolution of conflict under Henri IV.
The Irish Revolution 1912-37 (MAHI710)
This module examines the political, social and cultural history of Ireland during the period 1912-1937 with particular focus on causes and effects of partition and the nature what is known as the Irish revolution.
America and the United Nations 1945 to the present (MAHI716)
This module provides a detailed examination of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Nations in the management of international relations from 1945 to the present.
Independent Research Project in History (MAHI718)
A research project leading to an essay (8000 words), devised with tutorial supervision, in a field not offered in the History module options, or where the student has previously studied the topic within a module at BA level 6 and is consequently not permitted to take the MA option version (also, in exceptional circumstances where the module option timetable means that a student is unable to choose an option).
From Unification to Reunification: Key Themes in Modern German History (MAHI721)
This module is an introduction to the major themes of political, social and economic development in Germany, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Themes include nineteenth century revolution and unification, Imperialism and WW1, from the Weimar Republic to Dictatorship, WW2, the FRG and the GDR; and revolution and reunification.
Key Debates in Modern Japanese History (MAHI723)
This module is an introduction to the major themes of political, social and economic development in Japan in the nineteenth and twentieth century.
Filth and the Victorians (MAHI726)
In this module students study the Victorian era from the perspective of environment, public hygiene, cultural values of cleanliness and fear of physical, moral and other forms of contamination. Drawing on urban histories, histories of medicine and science, the module also uses a range of literary and artistic sources.
Anglo-American Relations in Maritime Perspective (MAHI727)
This module introduces Masters students to the major themes of the history of British and American maritime strategy, naval competition, and international co-operation between 1775 and 1991. It challenges students to rethink the so-called ‘special relationship’ through a maritime lens, while providing an exploration of naval history and international relations since the beginning of the American Revolution.
Maritime Explorations and Encounters (MAHI728)
This module challenges students to rethink their ideas about the use of navies in exploration, leading explorers such as Sir Francis Drake, Captain James Cook and Charles Darwin, the place of Plymouth in maritime exploration and the nature of encounters with native peoples.
Sea Power in History (MAHI729)
This module examines the major concepts and themes of Sea Power. Exploring the role of sea power in war and peace from the ancient world to the 20th century, it challenges students to rethink ideas about the use of navies, the wider meaning of sea power, its place in politics and society, and ultimately to move beyond the primacy of battle in conventional narratives of the course of naval history.
Inter-War Britain 1919-40 (MAHI733)
The module examines Britain in the period 1919-40 with an emphasis on Government and politics. The social, economic and foreign challenges facing Britain are examined for their ability to impact on policy and politics.
This studies handwriting (palaeography) from the medieval period onwards: specific scripts and documents (diplomatic) types; establishing principles of transcribing and editing manuscripts. Archaic dating, abbreviations and other elements of manuscripts commonly encountered in the archives, are studied. Manuscript material from Plymouth collections form core material to be read (with some training in reading Latin provided) and transcribed in a practical module offering crucial research skills for historians of the medieval, early modern and modern periods.
Remembering the Past, Talking History: Oral History & Memory Studies (MAHI738)
This module is designed to develop an intermediate-to-advanced level of critical theoretical, historiographical, and methodological knowledge in oral history, ‘talking’/reflective history approaches, and memory studies. Complementing this knowledge, students will have the option within the module to advance their knowledge and skills following one of two routes: 1. To develop essential practical skills in developing, planning, conducting, and critically/analytically processing real-world oral history research projects relating to their programme of study; OR 2. To explore scholarly topics of historical interest relating to their programme of study using oral history, memory studies, and/or other ‘talking’/reflective history approaches. This choice will enable students to acquire methodological competence and critical scholarly proficiency in ways that match their specific research identities and interests.