Course summary

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.

Key facts




1 or 2 years

Mode of study


Start date


Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code


Course details

About this course

Studying the history of everyday life in depth is not only fascinating but also incredibly rewarding. This Masters degree combines taught modules on a series of captivating topics with individual research work. Aspects of social and cultural history underpin most historical study and this course covers a wide range of subject areas, which may include crime and order, wealth and poverty, religion and conflict, art and culture.

History at BGU is not just understood through documents, but through a dynamic consideration of words, images, buildings and artefacts. We make excellent use of archives and museums in the ancient city of Lincoln which tell the city’s 2,000 year history from Roman foundation to its industrial renaissance in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In addition, the library and online resources for History at BGU are excellent. Within the library there is a dedicated room housing the Lincolnshire Collection, which contains books on Lincolnshire history, archaeology and architecture. These materials, and many other resources, are used to support teaching and learning on particular modules and are available for students undertaking research.

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.

This is an opportunity to deepen your passion for the past through fascinating modules that engage with new and emerging research, approaches and debates.

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What will you study

Students on this course currently study some or all of the following modules

This module will introduce you to the particular set of abilities and qualities of mind required by the postgraduate historian. It will set out the character and scope of social and cultural history and will challenge you to critically review its practice through a series of case studies. It aims to introduce you to historical study at postgraduate level and prepare you both intellectually and practically for the programme.

This module will outline the wide-ranging and often contested nature of social and cultural history as a form of historical practice. It will encourage you to review change and continuity in society and culture in the past in a critical and reflective way. Additionally the role of the historian in the writing of history and related issues, such as recent developments in public history, will also be closely considered.

You will participate in a small number of introductory research practice workshops and, with tutorial supervision, engage in an independent piece of historical research on a subject of your choosing. You will be required to devise and undertake a substantial written dissertation on a subject of interest to you. This module will deepen and refine your knowledge of your specialist area within the context of a longer piece of analytical written work.

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’. This module will explore the complexity of personal narratives of those engaged with and affected by the building of airfields as well as the day-to-day running of Bomber Command stations. By taking a critical view of the impact of ‘total war’ upon the county of Lincolnshire, this module provides an insight into the effect modern warfare has on wider society.

Death is a critical part of both individual life-cycles and the structuring frameworks of the societies within which those individuals existed. This module will review aspects of the changing religious and cultural attitudes toward death and dying from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The module, through a review the changes in belief and ritual across that period, will critically reflect on the impact this had upon the cultural practices of dying and disposal.

This interdisciplinary module will undertake a critical review of the cultural frameworks that structured medieval attitudes toward the body, health and illness. It will also examine the major influence that religious ideas had on the theory and practice of medicine, and the broader role of medical institutions in caring and curing for the sick and poor.

Through a critical study of continuity and change this module will consider the tensions between urban and rural life in Britain either side of 1900. You will develop an advanced understanding of the shifting cultural perceptions of the late Victorian and Edwardian city and countryside. The critical inter-relationship between the city and countryside between 1870 and 1914, and where relevant through to the 1920s, will also be reviewed.

By directly engaging with the biographical writing in historical context you will be encouraged to critique this form of historical practice and so develop your own historical research and writing skills. The module reviews the range of biographical writing created and used by historians with a particular focus on cultural and social context. Issues covered include the history of biography, collective and comparative biographies and autobiography.

In this module you will study the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the Festival of Britain of 1951 in their historical context. The module will take a thematic approach to the study of the two exhibitions enabling you to compare and contrast the cultural, social, economic, technological and political nature of the Victorian Golden Age with post-war Britain.

Entry requirements

You will need to have obtained, or be predicted to obtain, normally an undergraduate honours degree in a Humanities or Social Sciences subject 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

BGU is committed to widening access and participation and we adhere to a strict policy of non-discrimination.

Further information

Click here for important information about this course including additional costs, resources & key policies.

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 Accredited Prior Learning.

How you will be taught

Please note that due to COVID-19 our delivery methods may be subject to change in 2021. You will be informed of any changes at the earliest opportunity.

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.


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.

Careers & 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, and further academic study such as doctoral research.

A postgraduate history degree 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.


Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.

We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

Fees & Finance

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 sort 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.

For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.