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1 year full-time, 2 years part-time


Durham City

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Course details

Ours is a richly interconnected world. That was just as true in the past as it is in the present. The MA in Global History equips you with the tools to explore the themes that define an interlinked global past in various regions of the world and from the medieval to late modern eras. You will leave the course with a firm grounding in historical research and an aptitude for approaching it through the distinctive techniques of global history.

Global history is a distinctive method of analysis that considers historical events as they unfold in the context of large-scale political, cultural, social, economic, and environmental contexts that cut across traditional national and regional boundaries. Modern-day challenges, such as the climate crisis and pandemic disease, highlight the benefits of a global perspective, but by no means are the global links that shape these challenges new phenomena. A global historical perspective both puts modern global challenges in historical context and reveals the globally interconnected nature of past cultures and civilisations.

You will encounter the tools for exploring these connections in the module Foundations of Global History. It provides the extensive methodological grounding you will need for further research in global history, or to apply insights from the course to other sectors.

The remainder of the taught modules are selected from options that provide in-depth exploration of topics and themes linked to active research in the Department. The knowledge and skills developed across the taught modules are then integrated into a dissertation, which offers a further opportunity to shape your own path through the course.

The course provides the intellectual skills and conceptual tools to engage with a long and varied history of global integration. You will graduate with a depth of knowledge that enables you to confront historical questions on a global scale, a breadth of subject expertise covering multiple time periods and regions, and the skill to communicate your insights incisively.

Postgraduates play an active part in the academic and social life of the Department with involvement in discussion groups, annual conferences, and guest lectures. The course offers the opportunity for wider academic networking through the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies, and the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture, among other centres and institutes.

Course structure

All the MA programmes offered by the Faculty of Arts & Humanities consist of three components:

  • a Major Research Project to the value of at least 60 credits 
  • Core Modules to the value of 0-90 credits, depending on the programme
  • Elective Modules, making up the total number of credits to 180; some of these modules will be defined as Recommended Electives for particular programmes.

For students studying the MA in Global History, the Dissertation (your Major Research Project (60 credits)) brings together the skills and methods acquired in your taught modules. You will research and write an independent study into a specialist area of global history using extensive primary and secondary source material.

You will also be required to take the following 30-credit core module:Foundations of Global History provides a foundation in historical methods and a robust grounding in the concepts, theories, and methods of global and transnational history. This module will engage the standards and techniques of global history research and critically assess the diverse sources used in global historical scholarship.

Finally, you will choose 90 credits of elective modules from across the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, so that your total number of credits adds up to exactly 180.


The MA is made up of an intensive core module, three optional modules, and a dissertation in an area of global history of your choice.

Taught modules are delivered through a series of seminars and workshops. Core content involves twelve 2-hour seminars over two terms and two 2-hour skills workshops, all delivered by a team of global history experts. Optional modules consist of ten 2-hour seminars, over either one term or two.

The dissertation includes a further five hours of one-to-one contact time with an allocated supervisor who has specific knowledge in your topic of choice. Your supervisor will offer advice in your area of study, along with guidance on research planning and the application of research methods.


Assessment is ongoing throughout the course and methods of assessment vary by module.

The core module includes two 4,000-word essays, one on sources and one on historiography, as well as a presentation of dissertation research. The majority of optional modules are assessed by essays, presentations, or other coursework assignments.

The dissertation is completed following the coursework element of the degree and makes up the remaining element of assessment.

Entry requirements

Subject requirements are a 2:1 undergraduate qualification in History or a related subject, with an overall average score of 65% or above, or a GPA of 3.5 or above, or equivalent, plus:

You are required to submit the following information with your online application:

  • Academic Transcripts and Certificates, if available and if degree already attained
  • Personal statement of about 500 words describing background in history/ areas of interest and study.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £11,750 per year
EU students £24,900 per year
Island students £11,750 per year
International students £24,900 per year

Part Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £6,500 per year
EU students £13,700 per year
Island students £6,500 per year
International students £13,700 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities


For further information on career options and employability, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please visit our employability web pages.

Department information


The Department of History is a highly successful academic community that places a huge value on the contribution postgraduates make to its ever-growing research output covering a wide range of historical contexts.

Specific areas of expertise in the Department include medieval, early modern and modern history in Britain, continental Europe, North America, Africa, and East and South Asia. They consider a wealth of themes including gender, culture and race as well as political, religious, economic and social topics.

Our postgraduates benefit enormously from being taught by staff who work at the cutting edge of their respective subject specialisms. This enables them to incorporate the most up-to-date findings into their teaching. Our Masters qualifications in Global History, History, and Social and Economic History (Research Methods) offer choice, flexibility and the opportunity to specialise.

You will also benefit from the relationships the department has with University research institutes and centres, such as the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies, and the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture.

We consider our postgraduate community to be committed and active, contributing to academic activities through its own discussion groups and organising annual conferences and meeting with external keynote speakers.

For more information see our department pages


  • World Top 40 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023
  • 4th in The Complete University Guide 2024
  • 4th in The Guardian University Guide 2024
  • 4th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024


For a current list of staff, please see the History Department pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • 7th in the Power Rank for REF 2021.


The Department of History is located in the heart of Durham, next to Durham Cathedral and Castle, which together form the UNESCO World Heritage Site. We are within easy reach of all university colleges, libraries, lecture rooms, and other facilities.

The Department occupies a group of historic townhouses on North Bailey and Palace Green. Originally built as coffee houses and lawyers’ offices in the 17th and 18th Centuries, these buildings now accommodate academic staff, administrative staff and seminar rooms. All postgraduate classes and supervision meetings take place within the History Department.


Find out more:

Apply for a postgraduate course (including PGCE International) via our online portal.  

Visit Us

The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!

Join a Postgraduate Open Day
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
Find out more
Self-Guided Tours
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 16:00
Find out more

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