Contemporary History MA

Key information

Duration:
1 year full time, 2 years part time
Start date:
September 2018
Apply by:
1 August (International), 1 September (UK/EU)

This innovative and thematically diverse MA focuses on key themes in the contemporary history of Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. The roots of modern human rights, religious conflict and political resistance are studied historically.

You also take part in our world-leading work on contemporary Britain. Our approach places everyday experiences within their social, cultural, economic and political contexts.

You gain the skills necessary to conceptualise projects in contemporary history. You immerse yourself in the field’s literature and integrate the historical perspective with that of other social sciences. You leave equipped to undertake doctoral research of the highest quality and significance.

Why choose this course?

“You cover history from all over the world, and you see how the histories of major players on the world stage interact – getting the bigger picture.” Claire Chevalier-NashContemporary History MA

Entry requirements

Degree requirements

You should normally have an upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please select your country from the list.

Argentina

Degree requirements

Licenciado/Titulo with a final mark of 7.5-8.5 depending on your university. 

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Australia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Azerbaijan

Degree requirements

Magistr or Specialist Diploma with a minimum average mark of at least 4 or 81%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bahrain

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.0/4.0 (Grade B).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bangladesh

Degree requirements

Masters degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Brazil

Degree requirements

Bacharel, Licenciado or professional title with a final mark of at least 7.5 or 8 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Brunei

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second class upper division or GPA 3.1/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.3/4.0 (grade B+).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Chile

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of 5-5.5/7 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall mark of 75%-85% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Colombia

Degree requirements

Licenciado with ‘Acreditacion de alta calidad' and a GPA of 3.5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree or Ptychion with a final mark of at least 7.5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ecuador

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 17/20.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Egypt

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a university with an overall grade of 75%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

France

Degree requirements

Licence with mention bien or Maîtrise with final mark of at least 13.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Germany

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree or Magister Artium with a final mark of 2.4 or better.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ghana

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a public university with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Greece

Degree requirements

Ptychion from an AEI with a final mark of at least 7.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall mark of 55-70% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Indonesia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from an 'A' accredited university with GPA 3.0/4.0. 

Bachelors degree from a 'B' accredited university with GPA 3.2/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree (Licence or Karshenasi) with a final mark of at least 15.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Degree requirements

Diploma di Laurea with an overall mark of at least 105.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Japan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a minimum C/GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Jordan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kazakhstan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall mark of 4 or better (on a scale of 1-5)/GPA 3,33.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kenya

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kuwait

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lebanon

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.5/4.0 or 14/20.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malawi

Degree requirements

Masters degree, depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Mexico

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 8/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nepal

Degree requirements

Masters degree with overall mark of 80%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with second-class upper division or CGPA of at least 3.5/5.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall grade of B.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Oman

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.3/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Pakistan

Degree requirements

Four-year bachelors degree with overall grade of 65% or Masters with 60%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Palestine

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with GPA of at least 3.5/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Paraguay

Degree requirements

Bachelors with a final mark of at least 7.5/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Peru

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of 14/20 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Philippines

Degree requirements

Masters degree with 1.5/5.0 (where 1 is the highest) or 3.7/4.0

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Qatar

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall CPGA of at least 3 (on a scale of 4).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Russia

Degree requirements

Magistr or Specialist Diploma with a minimum average mark of at least 4.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Saudi Arabia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a CGPA 3.5/5.0 or 3/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division or CAP 4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Degree requirements

Bachelors (honours) degree with second-class division 1.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Korea

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a CGPA of at least 3.5/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 2/4 or 7/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sri Lanka

Degree requirements

Bachelors Special degree with upper second honours.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Degree requirements

Licence or Diplôme with 5/6 or 8/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Taiwan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with overall mark of 70%-85% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Thailand

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 2.8 - 3.0/4.0 or equivalent depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Degree requirements

Lisans Diplomasi with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

United Arab Emirates

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.3-3.5/4.0 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Vietnam

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree (with a Graduate Thesis/research component) with CGPA of at least 3.3/4.0 or 7.5/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Zambia

Degree requirements

Masters degree with GPA of 2.0/2.5 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Zimbabwe

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your country is not listed, you need to contact us and find out the qualification level you should have for this course. Contact us

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in history or another humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Standard level (6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component).

Check your IELTS qualification meets all of our entry requirements and find out more about IELTS

Alternative English language qualifications

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade B or above.

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above.

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill.

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic)

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT)

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English.

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language (Grade 5 or above in GCSE from 2017).

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language.

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education

Grades A - C in English language

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 1119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-6 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades A1-C6 (1-6) in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirement. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this, we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries: 

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

English language support

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for your degree, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Admissions information for applicants

How to apply

You apply to Sussex using our postgraduate application system

Personal statement

Yes. You must submit a personal statement as part of your application. 

Find out how to write a personal statement

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, contact us

Application deadlines

1 August (International), 1 September (UK/EU)

Course details

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to study this course full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. Modules for the full-time course are listed below.

For details about the part-time course, contact us at hahp@sussex.ac.uk

How will I study?

Modules include training in specialist research techniques, including digital, cultural and transnational history. Specialist lectures, workshops and conferences give you access to the latest historical research and debate.

You are encouraged to use Sussex’s unique resources such as Observing the 80s, the Archive of Resistance Testimony and the Mass Observation Archive, located at The Keep. 

You are assessed by:

  • a portfolio consisting of a group submission
  • a research proposal
  • term papers.

You’ll also write a 20,000-word dissertation, supervised by an expert in the field.

Academic activities

History at Sussex has a thriving and animated research culture, with regular seminars, workshops and conferences on interdisciplinary research, and specific modules on research methods and skills. 

You’ll attend the Department of History’s weekly work-in-progress seminar throughout the academic year. 

Our postgraduate students run the well-established University of Sussex Journal of Contemporary History, an innovative online journal of creative and interdisciplinary historical research. 

Modules

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Options

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

Our experts

Dr Anne-Marie Angelo

Dr Anne-Marie Angelo

Lecturer In American History

Research interests

African American history, African diasporas, American History, Archives, black British history, Cultural History, history of creativity, Middle East and North Africa, Migration, Photography History, Theory and Practice, postcolonial studies, race and ethnicity in global perspective, Television History, Theory and Criticism, Transnational history

View Anne-Marie Angelo's profile

Dr Hester Barron

Dr Hester Barron

Senior Lecturer in History

Research interests

childhood, class, coal mining, Education, History, labour, parenting, Politics, Second World War, society, twentieth century

View Hester Barron's profile

Dr Vinita Damodaran

Dr Vinita Damodaran

Professor of South Asian History

Research interests

Climate change, Energy, environmental history, Global history, indigenous peoples, Mining, South Asian history

View Vinita Damodaran's profile

Dr Tom Davies

Dr Tom Davies

Lecturer in American History

Research interests

'race' and class, African American history, American History, American Studies, History

View Tom Davies's profile

Dr Jim Endersby

Dr Jim Endersby

Reader In The History Of Science

Research interests

charles darwin, darwinism, history and sociology of experimental organisms, history of botany, history of evolution, history of genetics, History of Science/Medicine/Technology, history of taxonomy and classification, History of the 19th and 20th-century life sciences, Hugo de Vries, Joseph Dalton Hooker, Oenothera Lamarckiana, science fiction, The Mutation Theory

View Jim Endersby's profile

Prof Richard Follett

Prof Richard Follett

Professor Of American History

Research interests

African American history, African diasporas, African History, American History, Atlantic History, Brazilian History, Caribbean History, Historical Demography, Latin America, Plantation Societies, Public Health (Eighteenth & Nineteenth Centuries), Race Relations, Slavery, Sugar, Transatlantic Slave Trade, USA, West Africa

View Richard Follett's profile

Prof Martin Francis

Prof Martin Francis

Professor of War and History

Research interests

Comparative History, Empire, Feature Film, gender, Male and Female Fashion, Modern British history, Second World War

View Martin Francis's profile

Prof Ian Gazeley

Prof Ian Gazeley

Professor of Economic History

Research interests

Food Consumption, Household Budgets, Living Standards, Nutrition, Poverty and inequality, Skill Differentials, Wages

View Ian Gazeley's profile

Prof Tim Hitchcock

Prof Tim Hitchcock

Professor Of Digital History

Research interests

Cultural History, Digital history, Digital Humanities, Economic And Social History, Gender and Sexuality, History of London, oral history, Social exclusion

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Dr Hilary Kalmbach

Dr Hilary Kalmbach

Lecturer in Middle East History

Research interests

Cosmopolitanism, Cross-cultural interactions, Cultural History, Digital history, Egypt, Gender and Sexuality, Global history, Global Islam, History, History of Gender, Islam, Islamic Studies, Middle East and African history, Middle Eastern and African Studies, Religious History, Syria

View Hilary Kalmbach's profile

Prof Claire Langhamer

Prof Claire Langhamer

Professor Of Modern British History

Research interests

history of emotion, history of love, Modern British history, social and cultural history

View Claire Langhamer's profile

Dr Maurizio Marinelli

Dr Maurizio Marinelli

Senior Lecturer In East Asian History

Research interests

Beijing, Chinese History, Chinese Politics, ecological civilisation, Europe and China relations, Global history, Hong Kong, Intellectual History, Tianjin, Urban China, Urban geography

View Maurizio Marinelli's profile

Dr Iain McDaniel

Dr Iain McDaniel

Senior Lecturer In Intellectual History

Research interests

Caesarism, democracy, Eighteenth-Century History, History of Political Thought, Intellectual History, Nineteenth-Century History, Republicanism, Scottish Enlightenment

View Iain McDaniel's profile

Dr Jacob Norris

Dr Jacob Norris

Lecturer in Middle East History

Research interests

Global history, Imperial/Colonial History, Middle East and African history, migration studies, palestinian history

View Jacob Norris's profile

Dr Katharina Rietzler

Dr Katharina Rietzler

Lecturer in American History

Research interests

20th C history, American History, charity & philanthropy, Diplomacy & International Relations, History of international law, history of the social sciences, history of think tanks and expertise, International History, International Organization, International theory, Liberal internationalism, Postcolonial/Decolonial theory, Transnational history

View Katharina Rietzler's profile

Prof Lucy Robinson

Prof Lucy Robinson

Professor in Collaborative History

Research interests

Alternative Spiritualities/New Religious Movements, British party politics, Cultural History, Digital history, Economic And Social History, Gender and Sexuality, Memory, pedagogy, Popular Music, Social identities, Trauma, War and the media, War Studies, Youth

View Lucy Robinson's profile

Prof Darrow Schecter

Prof Darrow Schecter

Professor of Critical Theory and Modern European History

Research interests

Critical Theory, critique of instrumental reason, Foucault, Gramsci, legitimacy, Libertarian socialism, Pasolini, systems theory

View Darrow Schecter's profile

Prof David Tal

Prof David Tal

Yossi Harel Chair In Modern Israel Studies

Research interests

arms control, disarmament, Israel-Palestine, Political History

View David Tal's profile

Prof Clive Webb

Prof Clive Webb

Professor Of Modern American History

Research interests

Anglo-American relations, Political violence, race and ethnicity

View Clive Webb's profile

Dr Gerhard Wolf

Dr Gerhard Wolf

Senior Lecturer In History

Research interests

antisemitism, European history, German history, Migration, population policies, race and racism, state violence, War and violence in international politics

View Gerhard Wolf's profile

Course enquiries

+44 (0)1273 678001 
hahp@​sussex.ac.uk

Find out about the School of History, Art History and Philosophy

Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?

Fees

UK/EU students:
£7,900 per year
Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
£7,900 per year
International students:
£15,500 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

If you’re studying part time over two years, you’ll be charged 50% of the equivalent 2018 full-time fee in each year of study. The fee in your second year – if you continue your studies without a break – will be subject to a 2.5% increase (subject to rounding).

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

You can borrow up to £10,609 to help with fees and living costs if your course starts on or after 1 August 2018. Loans are available from the Student Loans Company if you’re from the UK or if you’re an EU national studying for a Masters.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Careers

Studying for a Contemporary History MA at Sussex will develop your skills in attention to detail, research, written communication and teamwork. Many of our graduates have gone on to careers in areas such as:

  • teaching, research and publishing
  • law and the Civil Service,
  • museums, libraries and archives.

Others have gone on to further study.

Graduate destinations

93% of Contemporary History MA students were in work or further study six months after graduating. Recent School of History, Art History and Philosophy graduates have gone on to jobs including:

  • facilities and management, Charleston Trust
  • Ambitious Futures graduate trainee, University of Arts London
  • director for patient experience, NHS England.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Post Graduate Leavers From Higher Education 2016 survey)

Dissertation

  • 60 credits
  • Summer Teaching, Year 1 credits

This course gives you the opportunity to undertake supervised work on a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a topic of your choice agreed with your supervisor. If you are studying part-time, you will begin your background reading for the dissertation in the first summer term and vacation of their studies.

Historical Skills and Methods

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Semester, Year 1 credits

Historical Skills and Methods is a core module for the various MAs offered by the History department.

It is designed to give a broad grounding in the methodological approaches current in the discipline and provide a comprehensive understanding of the techniques applicable to your own research.

By taking this module, you'll develop a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline of History.

You'll be required to design, execute, present and evaluate research projects in such a way as to familiarise them with the range of skills used by practicing historians.

In other words, this skill set is largely learnt by doing. The assessment exercises for this module are ultimately designed to provide the training necessary to devise and research the MA dissertation topic.

Empire, Science and the Environment

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1 credits

This module focuses on the impact of European scientific ideas on environments and people in a globalising world. We use botany as a specific area of specialisation.

From the 18th century, at the botanic gardens in Kew, Chelsea and Edinburgh, men trained in the empirical processes of observation, comparison and evaluation. They gathered comprehensive collections of native and exotic plants for microscopic examination. Botanists in particular believed that their technical skills would allow them to rectify imbalance of resource access by transferring certain natural productions from one region to another, and acclimatising them in new environments. Botany and power intertwined as nations endeavoured to guard their precious treasures.

The race to harvest the resources of the tropics was part of this part of this story. This had mixed implications for regions such as India and Africa in the 19th century. Environmental transformations followed in the wake of botanical exploration. Plantation economies such as tea, coffee and rubber, along with forest reserves, had a negative impact on many societies and communities. Resistance to forest reservations by indigenous communities followed.

As indigenous and tribal knowledge became downgraded, the maximising cultures of capitalism were also restrained by early colonial environmentalism. This built on scientific ideas of dessication, drying up and fears of famine.

The relationship between Science, Environment and Empire was ambiguous and you will explore it in this innovative module. You'll study how historians have addressed questions such as:

  • the utility of science to the practice and maintenance of empire
  • the diffusion of knowledge
  • the mutual influences of the metropole and the 'periphery'
  • the role of umbrella organisations such as botanical gardens, the Royal Society, British Association, and so on.

Human Rights in History

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Semester, Year 1 credits

Interest in human rights has exploded in recent years, and has emerged as one of the most prominent international trends following the end of the Cold War. The early 1990s sparked renewed debate about the role and mission of the United Nations as a global mediating force in matters of war and peace, and human rights became for many a new yardstick with which to assess post-Cold War international politics and proper state-formation. Yet this idea of what Hannah Arendt has called the 'right to have rights' is a relatively recent historical development.

This module endeavours to trace the origins of human rights as a modern political ideology from the French Revolution to the present day. It will explore the extent to which the idea of human rights underwent radical transformation over the 19th and especially 20th centuries, entangled as it was in shifting notions of civilization, empire, sovereignty, decolonisation, minority protections and international justice. It will focus on how human rights fundamentally arose as a direct response to the legacy of man-made mass death associated with World War I and World War II, and in particular to the Third Reichs genocidal politics and destruction of unprotected civilians.

What is more, the module will pay particular attention to how these new norms of justice were globalised over the module of the second half of the century. Just as non-Europeanists interpreted Wilsons notion of self-determination in broad ways to suit various emancipatory causes beyond Europe in the interwar years, rights activists from India, South Africa, the American South and later Eastern Europe seized on human rights after 1945 as something that went far beyond simply internationalising American New Deal policies. From this perspective, this module aims to locate the history of human rights at the very heart of the broader story of modern moral politics and changing international perceptions of the relationship between law and citizenship, war and social justice.

Religion in Contemporary History

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1 credits

Secularisation was supposed to be a one-way street – at least according to Marx, Durkheim and Weber. Around the globe, struggles for emancipation and visions of modernity and progress were generally harnessed to the secular. In this module you'll reconsider this perspective, asking to what extent – as these emancipation struggles began to out of steam – religion helped to re-establish a sense of community and belonging in increasingly fractured societies, providing a language for an alternative utopia.

This module seeks to examine the ways that religion has been a consistent force in contemporary history by looking at key themes and moments across the globe:

  • the pitfalls of secularisation and the return of religion
  • the relationship between religion and the state – from the postcolonial promise to "Islamic State"
  • the practice and performances of everyday religion
  • the relationship between religion and globalisation (fundamentalism international).

Resistance and the Archive

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1 credits

Resistance is a concept that cuts across historical approaches and applies to a range of contexts. As a consistent thread tying human action and interaction across time and place, it has left a variety of historical and material traces.

Drawing on the resources of the Archive of Resistance Testimony at The Keep in Falmer and other key digital archives, this module addresses various historic forms of resistance. It also looks at how archival traces can be analysed in imaginative, comparative and innovative ways, enhancing your understanding of that variety.

The China Dream: Intellectual Discourses of Modernity from the late Qing Dynasty to the Present

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1 credits

The origin and development of the 'China Dream' is one of the most debated topics in modern and contemporary Chinese history, politics, and economics.

This module offers a unique perspective to better understand the 'China dream' through the lens of Chinese intellectual history. More specifically, we will analyse and discuss the major historiographical debates surrounding the following four topics:

  • the Chinese intellectual foundations, and the impact of Western ideas
  • the relationship between intellectuals and the State in modern China
  • the role of intellectuals and the relevant intellectual debates in the post-Mao era
  • the emergence of the 'China Dream' from a historical perspective.

The People's Century: Britain 1900-2000

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Semester, Year 1 credits

For the last two generations, the study of British history at Sussex has been concerned with the lives and experience of ordinary people.

This module builds upon this longstanding tradition. It is not a survey course and is not intended to be a comprehensive history of Britain in the twentieth century. Each week we will take a key theme, but the exact direction of the seminar will be the decision of the class, and you'll be free to explore that theme in whatever context you wish.

This means that reading lists will only be set one or two weeks in advance, as they will depend on your interests. It also means that reading lists should act only as a starting point for your own further research. The key themes we will explore are: democracy; poverty and inequality; gender; national identity; war and memory; popular culture and the State.

Sussex historians have long made key contributions to the development and study of people’s history.

J.F.C. Harrison was at Sussex from 1970 as Professor of Social History. His The Common People (1984) is a long-period survey that is focussed on the lives of ordinary people who were still very much left out of history when the book was written.

Asa Briggs, vice-chancellor of the university from 1967-76, was one of the most important figures in the development of social history.

Several Sussex historians were influential in conception and production of History Workshop in its early days: Stephen Yeo, Eileen Yeo and, Alun Howkins. The study of local and community history was pioneered by Stephen Yeo through Brighton-based QueenSpark Books.

One of his early graduate students was Alistair Thomson, who has become one of the leading oral historians of his generation.

Dorothy Sheridan, who originally studied at Sussex in the 1960s, has been a key figure in both the Mass Observation Archive and the Mass Observation Project since she began working at the archive in 1974. She is well known for her work on wartime’s women’s lives, on theories of life history writing and on the archive itself.

Other Sussex history graduate students of the 1980s went on to make significant contributions in this field, notably Penny Summerfield with her work on gender, memory and oral history. Selina Todd also completed her PhD at Sussex. Her book, The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class, 1910-2010, was published in 2014.

The emphasis on people’s history continues at Sussex today. The work of all the historians of twentieth-century Britain currently working at Sussex, Hester Barron, Martin Francis, Ian Gazeley, Claire Langhamer, Lucy Robinson and Clive Webb, is closely connected to the lives, experiences and cultures of ordinary people.

Violence in Contemporary History

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Semester, Year 1 credits

This module analyses the changing nature of violence in the twentieth century.

It considers ways in which the logic of violent systems such as concentration camps represented a radical new departure, both in terms of the practice and aims of violence.

As such the module will explicitly challenge essentialist notions that interpret certain regions or certain societies as inherently violent or indeed see history as one undifferentiated story of violence.

The module therefore focuses on:

  • the political, social, cultural and technological dynamics that led to new forms of mass killing in the twentieth century
  • the spaces where these new forms of killing took place, exploring violence in relation to geographical, physical and bodily space, and using the notion of imagined spaces to explore how violence was legitimised and represented in media spaces, in particular photography, posters and films
  • the consequences of violence in terms of how individuals and societies came to terms with these violent practices. 

Violence in Contemporary History

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1 credits
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