MA History: Maritime History pathway

Programme features

The MA History: Maritime History offers:

  • The UK's most established degree programme in Maritime History
  • Teaching based on the latest research by some of the leading academic staff in this field
  • Interdisciplinary approach to British and European Maritime History from the late Middle Ages to the present
  • Expertise from the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies which carries out internationally recognised and world-leading research
  • Opportunities to attend joint seminar programmes covering a wide range of research cultures and specialisms
  • Excellent preparation for students intending to progress to doctoral-level research with a good track record in obtaining funding for further study

Programme overview

The MA History: Maritime History offers a multidisciplinary approach to maritime history, by examining the technology, economics, human aspects, international relations, and geographical dimensions of British shipping from the 16th to the 20th century.

Particular importance is given to the social and economic factors that enabled Britain’s commercial rise, and conversely to the reasons for the decline of the British mercantile fleet and the surprising staying power of London as a maritime financial hub.

The course also focuses on the interaction between political and social factors in shaping economic policy and development at regional, national and global level. The latter is especially important given the significant impact of shipping on globalisation.

This programme is built on a long tradition of teaching maritime history at Exeter which was the first British university to offer an MA in this subject. It draws on the expertise of the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies which includes some of the leading academics in this area of study.

Total credits required: 180

Compulsory modules

HISM169 Theory and Practice of History I 15
HISM170 Theory and Practice of History II 15
Dissertation in History
Dissertation in History


Optional modules

You will be able to select option modules from the choice available - please note the selection does vary annually.

Directed options

HISM315 British Naval Power in the Era of Sail 1660-1815 30
HISM330 British Maritime Ascendancy 1700-1950 30

Or you can select modules from another discipline. Please see our modules page for further details.