Taught by experts in African, Asian, Atlantic, European and Middle Eastern histories, societies and cultures, our MA Global History: Empires, States and Cultures will expand and deepen your understanding of world history through the exploration of global perspectives and interconnections across geographical and national boundaries. The course will introduce you to a wide range of themes in global history, including empires, nations, decolonisation, migration and diaspora, economies and commerce, environmental history and the transnational history of ideas. You will be encouraged to think expansively about connections between different approaches to global history and to undertake specialised research into particular regions of the world, such as South and East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and the USA. The compulsory module explores specific topics and challenges in writing global history. You then choose three option modules from a wide variety offered by the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology and other departments at Birkbeck, opting, if you wish, to take a focused pathway through the degree by specialising in the history of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, or the imperial and postcolonial periods. Throughout the degree, you will be encouraged to develop both theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding the historical development of globalisation, as well as learning research methods and accessing primary sources that will enable you to specialise in a topic of your choosing and write a dissertation. The course offers you training to continue on to PhD research, if you wish, but it will also equip you with specialist knowledge and transferable skills for a wide range of careers, including policy research, media, NGOs and public history. Highlights
- Birkbeck was ranked in the top eight universities in the UK for its History research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.
- Our research is unique in its range across geographical and chronological boundaries. We are the only university department in London to include historians, classicists and archaeologists investigating every period from prehistory to the early twenty-first century. We see the study of the past as crucial for our understanding of present-day society, culture and politics.
- All master’s students are eligible to apply for our prestigious Eric Hobsbawm Scholarships, subject to availability. One of the most influential historians of the twentieth century, Eric Hobsbawm taught at Birkbeck for over five decades and embodied what is central to our teaching and research: a continued commitment to critical enquiry and public engagement.
- We are at the heart of academic London with access to unparalleled research resources. Situated very close by are: the Institute of Classical Studies, with its library, training facilities and seminars; the British Museum, with its extensive collection of classical antiquities; and the British Library, the largest national library in the world.
For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.
Each compulsory and option module is assessed by an essay of 5000-5500 words. You also write a dissertation of 15,000-16,000 words. Every module has an attendance requirement, so you will need to attend at least 60% of classes in order to pass.
How to apply
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this course is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests and at least 7.0 in writing. If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
A second-class honours degree (2:2) or above and references. We offer a one-year Graduate Certificate in History, which can be used as a conversion course if you want to study history at postgraduate level, but have a degree in a significantly different discipline. Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this course is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests and at least 7.0 in writing.
Fees and funding
|Northern Ireland||£9810||Year 1|
Additional fee information
Birkbeck, University of London
Course contact detailsVisit our course page
Birkbeck Student Advice Service
0203 907 0700