MA History

Duration Full time 1 year
Part time 2 years
  • History
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


As one of the largest History departments in the UK, we are able to offer a depth of subject expertise rarely matched by other institutions. This means that we can offer a breadth of study with a large chronological range from medieval to modern covering global history from Britain, Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. Our students have excellent access to top academics in specialist fields, including one to one supervision sessions.

Within the department we have experts in topics including economic and social history, political history and religious and cultural history, which link to our six dedicated research centres. There are distinct opportunities on this course, including a supervised independent study module to enable you to follow your own interests.

The University Library has extensive holdings, audio-visual collections and medieval manuscripts in our Special Collections. Exeter Cathedral Library Archives and the Devon Heritage Centre contain further significant medieval manuscripts, documents and early printed books. 

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

Exeter historians have a diverse range of interests and we pride ourselves on our flexible approach to learning that includes part-time options. You will be taught mostly in small group seminars as we believe that this is the best way to allow our students access to and interaction with academic staff. In your seminars you will contribute to discussions and debates as well as present findings, research and interpretations of readings.

At the end of your programme you will complete a dissertation up to 25,000 words long on a topic of your choosing, something which may later form part of a PhD research proposal. Some of the topics our students have covered in the past include:

  • Early modern views of the reproductive organs, sex and conception, circa 1650 to 1850
  • The Labour Party’s relationship with the British forces in the Inter-War Years
  • Health and the seaside: Sea bathing in the Nineteenth Century
  • Exeter Cathedral in the 14th Century
  • 'Medicinable or Mortal'? Astrological Figures and the Practice of Physick
  • British Media Reporting of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide
  • Medieval Martial Arts (1300-1600)
  • Terminal illness, suicide and euthanasia in Early Modern England


For many of our students, a Masters degree is an important step on the path to a PhD, however that is far from being the only path. The heritage sector is one regular employer of our graduates and placements are sometimes possible with local archives.

The skills you will develop through completing a Masters at Exeter will qualify you for a wide range of professions. Our recent graduates have gone on to work in a variety of roles, including Archivist, Marketing Executive and Strategic Analyst.

As an Exeter student you will have the support of not only academic staff in helping with funding applications and research proposals but also our professional careers staff. The Exeter Career Zone can help you access activities and advice to give you the best chance in pursuing your chosen career path. For more information visit our Careers pages.

Find out more about careers in History.

Research areas

Research is at the heart of History and our students are encouraged to come to Departmental Research Seminars and become an active part of the wider research community. Our research centres regularly hold seminars and other research events which MA students are welcome to attend.

Our current research centres include:

As well as our History specific research centres you are also welcome to get involved in the other research centres across the College of Humanities and the University. You can find out more about our academic staff and their research interests on our Research pages.


Our students have access to excellent historical resources. The main University Library is especially strong in national and local English history as well as possessing extensive archives of the Nazi Party Chancellery on microfiche, archives of the Comintern, and collections from British history on both microfilm and print sources. We also have extensive digital resources and a growing Digital Humanities Team. Ex Historia is the online journal published by our postgraduate History students.

We have an excellent Special Collections archive which includes the papers of Henry Williamson, Syon Abbey manuscripts and plantation documents. Our Bill Douglas Cinema Museum holds a unique archival collection with particular strength in the area of British Film.

You will also be able to take advantage of other resources in the South West such as the Exeter Cathedral Archives which date to Saxon times. The Devon Heritage Centre and the Dorset Heritage Centre are valuable resources for those interested in local history, and all our postgraduate students are entitled to a free place at the Institute of Historical Research in London.

We have also invested £1.2 million into Digital Humanities to create a new lab and research space for the examination and preservation of important historical, literary and visual artefacts. The lab will allow you to use high-tech equipment to find out more about our cultural heritage, examine items in greater detail and share discoveries with the public. For more information visit our Digital Humanities Lab page.

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum 2:1 Honours degree in a History-related discipline. Exceptions may be made for students with relevant experience or qualifications depending on the submission of written work and/or interview. Students with Combined Honours degrees must have studied at least 1/3 of their degree in History-related modules or have some cognate experience in Economic and Social History, Medieval Studies, Classics and Ancient History, Latin, English, Sociology, Politics, International Relations, Economics, Human Geography or related subjects.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2019/20

  • UK/EU: £8,300 full-time; £4,150 part-time
  • International: £17,700 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Scholarships and other funding

Find out about funding opportunities available to students on our taught Masters programmes in History.

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2019.

Contact us

Admissions Office - Exeter

Web: Enquire online

Phone: 0300 555 6060 (UK callers)
+44 (0)1392 723044 (EU/International callers)

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