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Social History
Postgraduate course
MA

Social History

Overview

Examine the approaches and methods used by historians, and develop your knowledge of historical trends, processes and events of the past 300 years.

You will have the opportunity to explore a range of social and cultural developments in the history of Britain, Europe and the wider world. Whether working in small groups or individually, you will be guided by an expert teaching team throughout your course. Their historical research in areas such as urban history, the history of crime, environmental history, imperialism, sexuality and gender, migration, popular culture and social movements is of an international standing and will feed into your learning.

Your teaching team will give you the platform to reflect on historical interpretations of the past and also the skills and confidence to conduct your own independent research.



Research Excellence Framework 2014
Research Excellence Framework 2014: 38% of our research was judged to be world leading or internationally excellent in the Communication, Culture and Media Studies, Library and Information Management unit.

You will work in small groups or individually with research-active historians throughout your period of study. The School of Cultural Studies & Humanities has strengths in many areas and you will benefit from the expertise of our academic staff in a range of areas, including urban history, the history of crime, environmental history, imperialism, sexuality and gender, migration, popular culture and social movement history.

Entry Requirements

Requirements:Applicants should either have at least a second class honours degree in the cognate subjects of Humanities, Social Sciences, Law or Human Geography, at least a second class honours degree in a non-cognate subject supported by evidence of an aptitude for the subject applied for, or have equivalent experience or training, normally from within the work environment. All applications should be supported by a reference, either academic or professional; a template can be accessed at this link. All applicants should satisfy our University English language requirements, please access further details at this link
IELTS 6.5 with no skills below 5.5, or an equivalent qualification.
Mature Applicants
Our University welcomes applications from mature applicants who demonstrate academic potential. We usually require some evidence of recent academic study, for example completion of an access course, however recent relevant work experience may also be considered. Please note that for some of our professional courses all applicants will need to meet the specified entry criteria and in these cases work experience cannot be considered in lieu.

If you wish to apply through this route you should refer to our University Recognition of Prior Learning policy that is available on our website.

Please note that all applicants to our University are required to meet our standard English language requirement of GCSE grade C or equivalent, variations to this will be listed on the individual course entry requirements.

Requirements:Applicants should either have at least a second class honours degree in the cognate subjects of Humanities, Social Sciences, Law or Human Geography, at least a second class honours degree in a non-cognate subject supported by evidence of an aptitude for the subject applied for, or have equivalent experience or training, normally from within the work environment. All applications should be supported by a reference, either academic or professional; a template can be accessed at this link. All applicants should satisfy our University English language requirements, please access further details at this link
IELTS 6.5 with no skills below 5.5, or an equivalent qualification.
Verify your qualifications
If you are an international student, we can help you to compare and verify your qualifications. Please contact our International Office on +44 (0)113 812 1111 09.00 to 17.00 Mon-Thurs / 09.00 to 16.30 Fri GMT or email internationaloffice@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.
Need to improve your English Language skills?
Don't worry if you don't have the level of English required for your chosen course. We offer a wide range of courses which have been designed to help you to improve your qualifications and English language ability, most of which are accredited by the British Council. Check your English and find out more about our English courses.


More questions?
No matter what your questions, we are here to answer them, visit our International website to get more information and find out about our online open days.

Careers

Paul Eastwood

Careers

Paul Eastwood
Membership Development Officer RSPB

MA Social History

“Having done my undergraduate degree at Leeds Beckett, I wanted to challenge myself further and decided to do my masters. The modules were really interesting and the smaller class sizes meant they were very enriching and involving. My studies taught me how to research effectively and present concisely - these are vital skills in my role with the RSPB.

Modules & learning

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This is an introduction to research skills and methods, exploring libraries, sources, archives and treatments of history through the theme of war. You will analyse the relationships between literary texts, historical documents, and films, as well as scrutinising how World War Two has been recorded, historicised, fictionalised and dramatised.

You will undertake a sustained piece of research in social history on a topic selected by yourself and involving the use of both primary and secondary sources.You will design, plan, manage and complete a sustained research project, presenting your findings both orally and in writing.

Over the last 30 years, there has been an increased interest in life writings, or 'documents of life', which include autobiographies and biographies, diaries, letters, testimonies and oral histories. You will explore questions concerning authenticity, memory, narrative and moral authority and their implications for the use of life writings as historical sources.

You will examine urbanisation and metropolitan cultures of the cities within Europe during the second-half of the 20th Century. We will ask you to consider the relationship between cities and the social, economic, political and cultural policies of local, national and supranational governments and other governing bodies.

Study the emergence of celebrity culture in Europe and North America. You will consider the extent to which modern theories of celebrity can be applied to historic contexts, and we will encourage you to engage with a range of non-traditional source materials, including photographs and other material objects.

Bringing together recent research in environmental history and the histories of food and eating, you will look at how food has been grown, transported and consumed in the western world since the Columbian Exchange of 1492.

Consider journeys, voyages and discoveries as recounted in travel journals, guidebooks, colonial texts, memoirs, fiction, letters and ethnographic studies. You will consider these representations against the backdrop of the histories of travel, tourism and exploration.

Combine the study of social, cultural and environmental history to explore the changing relationship between people and their environments. You will focus on the United States, Europe and European settler societies over the last two centuries.

Throughout history, as societies have become more organised, so too have their criminals. You will study a range of criminal organisations, exploring the role organised crime has played in both shaping and reacting to the ebb and flow of power and socio-economic development in the modern world.

You will use pastiches, rewritings and parodies of the 19th-Century novel to consider how we are 'other Victorians' and the role of the 'other' in Victorian society.

According to some theorists, a preoccupation with sexuality is one of the defining features of Western modernity. You will explore current debates, relevant theoretical approaches and will be introduced to a range of source material including newspaper reports, film and popular literature.

You will study the representation of crime, criminals and police during a period which witnessed key changes in the criminal justice system, the rise of a policed society, and the emergence of print culture.

Examine the changing nature of public history since the mid-20th Century. You will explore specific case studies and learn about the skills and resources used by public historians.

Drawing on local and national collections, you will discover that studying material culture can illuminate the social and cultural life of the long 18th Century (c.1688/9-1830s).

*These modules rotate on an annual basis. Not all modules listed may be available in your year of entry.

Dr Grainne Goodwin
Dr Grainne Goodwin
Course Director
Grainne's research explores the evolution of the modern travel guidebook through the John Murray's Handbook for Travellers series, which covered countries as far afield as India, Switzerland and Japan. She is currently working on a book on these pioneering Victorian travel guides connecting themes of modernity, tourism and travel publishing, which feed directly into the module 'Journeys and Discoveries' which you'll be taught on this course.
Our course is taught by world-class researchers who specialise in areas such as environmental history, national and global histories of crime and urban history. You’ll also have opportunities to participate in rich and lively historical research outside of class through the Centre for Culture and the Arts, Leeds Cultural History Seminar programme and the Royal Historical Society Postgraduate Speakers Series.
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Fees & funding

Fees for this course are not yet confirmed.
Fees for this course are not yet confirmed.

Facilities

  • Broadcasting Place
    Broadcasting Place

    Officially one of the world’s best tall buildings and a big talking point in Leeds, Broadcasting Place is home to our cultural studies and humanities courses. It offers a space for students to join an academic community that plays an active role in shaping contemporary debates about the future direction of those disciplines.

  • Online resources and collections
    Online resources and collections

    Whether you want to analyse accounts of 17th-century criminal proceedings from the Old Bailey, sift through more than 355,000 works of English and American poetry, prose and drama or explore the world's largest archive of 20th-century popular culture, our Library's online resources provide easy access to a range of diverse collections.

  • Library
    Library

    Our Library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, providing you with access to specialist books and journals, learning spaces, computers, multimedia facilities and media equipment hire. Tens of thousands of our Library's digital resources, including ebooks, ejournals and databases, can be accessed online at a time and place to suit you.

Map

Broadcasting Place, City Campus

Broadcasting place is officially one of the world's best tall buildings (voted the world's 'Best Tall Building' in 2010 by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) and is a big talking point in Leeds. Home to our arts, design, architecture and built environment courses, it provides students with creative and contemporary learning environments, is packed with the latest technology and is a focal point for new and innovative thinking in the city.

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