This taught MA offers a wide-ranging introduction to higher level study in social and cultural history. Covering a number of critical areas of historical work the programme will help you to develop and enhance your skills as a research historian. This is an opportunity to deepen your passion for the past through fascinating modules that engage with new and emerging research, approaches and debates.
The course provides a well-structured introduction to the methods and theories associated with social and cultural history. Specific modules also provide opportunities to engage in a more focused study of historical topics from the medieval to the modern. Research skills are embedded in the core modules and there is an opportunity to take a research-based work-related placement.
Click here to download a copy of our MA in Social and Cultural History course leaflet for information on what you can expect as an MA student at BGU.
If you are a member of our Alumni Association BG Generations, you may be eligible for a discount on our Masters courses. For full details click here.
Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Start Date: October
Typical Offer: Obtained, or predicted to obtain, normally an undergraduate honours degree in a Humanities or Social Sciences subject (or equivalent)
Institution Code: B38
UCAS Code: Apply through BGU
About the MA in Social and Cultural History at BGU
This MA is research-inspired. It is designed to capture contemporary disciplinary debates with research-led modules informed by the staff’s current interests, publications, and collaborative projects.
History has a well-established research culture at BGU and postgraduates will be invited to join our staff at regular events, workshops, and presentations. Students will be encouraged to participate in the History Research Seminar Series, which will be scheduled to coincide with MA teaching days.
In the recent Research Excellence Framework (2014), 74% of the work submitted by History staff was judged to be of ‘international’ quality, including research that was deemed ‘world leading’ in its originality, significance and rigour.
Teaching is in weekly small-group lecture and seminar sessions that combine expert commentary with vibrant critical discussion. Seminars are integrated with research and presentation tasks to ensure an atmosphere of active and collaborative learning. From academic support to on-line resources, students will experience BGU’s longstanding commitment to teaching excellence and student-centred pedagogy.
What You Will Study
Throughout your Masters study you will explore a number of topics, issues and specialist modules which cover a range of topics such as:
- Cultures of Secrecy and Security
- Bombers & Mash: Lincolnshire & WW2
- A Cultural History of Death
- Modernity & Towns in the Long-18th Century
- Early Medicine and the Body
- Cultures of Religious Practice in Late Medieval Europe
- City & Countryside in Transition, 1870-1914
- Biography as Historical Practice
- Digital History
Social History: Introduction, approaches and methods
This module introduces students to the particular set of abilities and qualities of mind required by the postgraduate historian. The module will set out the character and scope of social history and challenges students to critically review its practice through a series of case studies.
Cultural History: Theory, Debates and Discourse
As well as outlining the wide-ranging and often contested nature of cultural history as practice this module will encourage students to consider the role of the historian in the writing of history. Related issues such as recent developments in public history will also be considered.
Modules are assessed by a variety of coursework tasks intended to develop advanced academic and communication skills. Typically, this will include written essays, presentations, and specialist research tasks. Placements are assessed through the submission of a critically reflective piece of writing. The dissertation module is your opportunity to undertake a substantial, independent research project. Assessment is supported by one-to-one consultations or supervisions.
You will need to have obtained, or be predicted to obtain, normally an undergraduate honours degree with a minimum of lower second class honours (or equivalent).
In addition, all students will need to pay £57.20 for an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure Barring Service. A successful Enhanced Disclosure is required before commencing the course.
If you have any questions about the entry requirements for this course, please contact our Enquiries team for advice on +44 (0) 1522 583658 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BGU is committed to widening access and participation and we adhere to a strict policy of non-discrimination.
Accreditation for Prior Learning
If you’ve recently completed or studied a particular module as part of a previous qualification, this may mean that you’re not required to undertake a particular module of your BGU course. However this must be agreed in writing and you must apply for this.
Careers and Further Study
This MA is preparation for professions that depend on advanced skills in research, analysis, critical argument and communication. Specific abilities in archival research and advanced historical methodologies support students in a range of career choices, from further academic study to heritage-related employment.
An MA in History need not result in a career specifically tied to the subject; it equips students with excellent organisational, project-management, and analytical skills sought-after in sectors such as journalism, law, administration and public policy.
Fees and Funding
There are postgraduate loans available subject to meeting the eligibility criteria. In order to make an application for these loans, please click here to make an on-line application.
The standard international fee will be £12,500 for this course.
A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sorting out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step. Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.
How To Apply
For the following MA Programmes, you must apply directly to BGU (Admissions). Please click on your chosen course for the relevant application form and information:
MA in Community Archaeology
MA in Education
MA in Education with TESOL (please contact email@example.com to discuss your interest in this course before completing the Application Form)
MA in English Literature
MA in Health and Social Care
MA in Heritage Education
MA in History
MA in Theology
Please send your applications to the following address:
Bishop Grosseteste University
Modules You May Study
You will study a wide variety of modules within this course which may include some of the following:
- Social History: Introduction, approaches and methods
This core module introduces students to the particular set of abilities and qualities of mind required by the postgraduate historian. The module sets out the character and scope of social history and challenges students critically to review its practice through a series of case studies.
- Cultural History: Theory, debates and discourse
As well as outlining the wide-ranging and often contested nature of cultural history as practice, this module encourages students to consider the role of the historian in the writing of history. Related issues such as recent developments in public history will also be considered.
- Cultures of Secrecy and Security
This module focuses on the methods, uses and impacts of secret activities within modern society. Topics covered include surveillance and espionage during periods of war and peace.
- Bombers & Mash: Lincolnshire and the Second World War
Lincolnshire was the focus for much of Bomber Command’s activity during the Second World War, to the extent that it gained the title ‘Bomber County’. By taking a critical view of the impacts of this activity, this module provides an insight into the effect modern warfare has on wider society.
- A Cultural History of Death, Dying and Disposal
Death is a critical part of both individual life-cycles and the societies within which those individuals existed. This module tracks changing religious and cultural attitudes toward death and dying from the late middle ages to the twentieth century.
Survey of Lincoln
Five members of staff and two former BGU students have contributed to the latest volume of the Survey of Lincoln series: Lincoln’s City Centre – North of the River Witham. The BGU staff involved and their contributions comprised of:
- Dr Mick Jones – the archaeology of the area
- Dr Chris Bonfield – Lincoln’s early schools
- Dr Hazel Kent – cinemas
- Dr Claire Hubbard-Hall – The Drill Hall
- Dr Andrew Jackson – the Cooperative Society.
Lesley Clarke, a former BGU student, provided chapters on Greyfriars and the Central Library while Helen Durham along with Professor Heather Hughes of Lincoln University, presented a chapter on the visitor economy in central Lincoln. The support of BGU to this volume is recognised in a feature within the Lincolnshire Echo, (25 November).
Ruston & Hornsby Heritage Lottery Fund Project
Bishop Grosseteste University is involved in helping to save the records of Ruston & Hornsby which was a major Lincoln company, exporting products all over the world (Siemens being the successor company).
Students and volunteers alike are working on the current project, scanning over 150,000 photographic negatives of engineering plans and products. The negatives are in danger of being lost as they have a limited lifespan and are now beginning to decay. This will contribute towards an online catalogue on the ‘Lincs to the Past’ website which will not only preserve the images but will make them freely accessible worldwide.
The project is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is being steered by The Lincolnshire Archives. A major partner in the project is also the University of Lincoln, who now owns the archive.
Useful Links and Further Information
Dr Craig Spence – Academic Co-ordinator and Senior Lecturer
Dr Craig Spence is both an historian and an archaeologist. He teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Heritage Studies and History. Having directed several excavations, Craig published the Archaeological Site Manual; a standard work on archaeological recording methods still used across the UK and overseas. Current research interests focus on early modern urban and cultural history and archaeological investigations in Lincoln and the local area. Craig has taught at a number of institutions including Goldsmiths’ College University of London, Royal Holloway College University of London and Syracuse University before joining Bishop Grosseteste University in 2004.
Dr Jack Cunningham – Senior Lecturer
Dr Jack Cunningham teaches on the undergraduate Theology programme at Bishop Grosseteste University. Jack is a Church Historian with a current interest in early modern and late medieval ecclesiastical history with a particular interest in the Reformation period, particularly in Ireland and Iceland. In 2007 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in recognition of his work in Reformation studies. Jack joined Bishop Grosseteste from the University of Ulster where he was the Mac an tSaoir PH. D. Scholar.
Dr Claire Hubbard-Hall – Senior Lecturer
Dr Claire Hubbard-Hall is a historian who specialises in intelligence history with a particular focus on the Gestapo Spy Network, 1933-45. Other research interests include Nazi Germany, both World Wars and the material culture of war. Claire is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has worked at Bishop Grosseteste University for several years as a Visiting Tutor before joining the University as a senior lecturer in September 2012. Prior to this, Claire taught at a number of institutions including the University of Hull, University of Nottingham and the Open University. She undertook her undergraduate study and postgraduate study (MA and PhD) at the University of Hull.
Dr Andrew Jackson – Head of School
Dr Andrew Jackson is the Head of the School of Humanities. Andrew is a historian with current research interests that include twentieth-century urban and rural change, and local and regional history. He also engages in consultancy and project work relating to community history and heritage, digitisation and e-learning. Andrew joined the staff of Bishop Grosseteste University in 2007, following ten years at the University of Exeter.
Read Andrew’s full profile.
Jean MacIntyre – Head of Innovation
Jean MacIntyre is responsible for developing innovative third stream projects that extend Bishop Grosseteste University’s global and local contribution. She is also responsible for exploring opportunities for new aspects of the portfolio. Jean teaches Heritage Studies and History on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Jean is a design historian with a particular interest in museum design and collections interpretation and this is one area where she is engaged in research. She works with a wide range of bodies within the community including the heritage, education and arts sector. Jean has extensive previous experience within education, social services and industry; she joined the University College in 1998.
Read Jean’s full profile.
News and Events
The History team at BGU organise a range of events each year, including conferences, seminars, workshops, film screening and guest lectures. These are regularly open to students and the public. History staff are also to found giving lectures and presentations or involved in other activities in the region and elsewhere.
Check out our latest events and why our History team has been in the news below.
News - BBC Radio Lincolnshire Armistice Day
Dr Andrew Jackson made an appearance at the BBC Radio Lincolnshire Armistice Day Live Broadcast on 11 November 2015. He talked about his work on the WWI home-front poet, Bernard Samuel Gilbert and was joined by Maureen Sutton, local poet and folklorist, who read out some of Gilbert’s wartime poetry in dialect.
News - Archaeology Lecturer Made Member of Chartered Institute
Bishop Grosseteste University lecturer Dr Craig Spence has been made a member of the new Chartered Institute for Archaeologists – and he’s looking forward to strengthening relationships between the institute and the university.
The CIfA has been awarded chartered status and Dr Spence, Senior Lecturer in History, Archaeology and Heritage Studies at BGU, thinks the change is timely. The university has launched a new undergraduate joint degree in Archaeology and History alongside its existing Masters in Community Archaeology, and the courses will benefit from closer links with the CIfA, says Dr Spence.
“One of the aims of the new degree is to provide students with employability skills to prepare them for working life in the field,” he said. “The CIfA will support this with its Student Member status opportunity. As members, students receive direct support and information from the institute and, once graduated, are eligible to apply for full membership and all the benefits that come with it.”
The CIfA’s Student Membership gives budding archaeologists access to training opportunities and a variety of magazines and journals as well as use of Society of Antiquaries of London library.
“We encourage all of our students to make use of this fantastic opportunity and I’m looking forward to further developing a relationship between BGU and the CIfA in the future,” Dr Spence added.
The CIfA, which achieved chartered status last month, is a national professional organisation which represents the interests of archaeologists both in the UK and overseas. It sets standards, informs on professional practices and provides its 3,100 members with up-to-date information and developments in the field as well as training and networking opportunities.
The new BA (Hons) Archaeology and History joint honours degree at BGU is the first of its kind in Lincolnshire and will allow students to get hands-on with the past and explore civilisations and societies from throughout history in a practical and interesting way.
BGU currently offers single honours History and the new joint degree which starts in September 2015 was launched last October by Julian Richards, well known for his TV appearances on Meet the Ancestors and Blood of the Vikings.
To find out more about all of the history and archaeology courses on offer at the university contact Dr Craig Spence: firstname.lastname@example.org.
News - The Devon Historian
Andrew Jackson and recently graduated BGU History students Arran Hart, Tracey Jones and Rachel Maxey, have co-authored and published: ‘Cultural conflict in Ilfracombe: fern-collecting, and the Cottage Garden Society’s prize-giving controversy of 1860’, The Devon Historian, 84, 117-25.
|March 13 2015||Dr Andrew Jackson, Historian at BGU, discussed the historical background of the powerful and poignant home-front poetry from the Lincolnshire author, Bernard Samuel Gilbert. This took place in the Lincoln Drill Hall during the Lunchtime Lecture Series.|
|March 24 2015||Author Dr Andrew Heath of Sheffield University delved into ‘Murdered Presidents and Monarchist Plots’ to uncover the behind the scenes dealings within the Great American Civil War. This lecture was organised as part of The Historical Association.|
|April 27 2015||Richard Buckley, Director of University of Leicester Archaeological Services delivered a lecture detailing the recent search and subsequent locating of Richard III’s remains in Leicester. This lecture was organised as part of The Historical Association.|