We’re really excited to be launching an new Taught MA in History at the University of Hertfordshire in September, and I’m particularly excited about the module that I’ll be teaching, People’s Lives from the Nineteenth Century to the Present Day! This ‘history from the streets’ module captures what the MA is all about — connecting the local to the global.  You’ll find more details of the modules on offer below, but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Why Choose our Taught MA in History?

We give you

  • An exceptional academic team, conducting world-leading research,
  • Access to established links to heritage organisations and history groups through our renowned Heritage Hub, award-winning Oral History Team, and AHRC-funded Everyday Lives in War public engagement centre,
  • The opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic about which you are passionate,
  • CV-building potential through developing new writing styles and extra-curricular activities.
  • The option to study part-time.


Module Overview for 2018-19

  • Money-makers, murderers, medics and mothers: women’s lives in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (30 credits)

The aim of this module is to uncover the multifaceted natures of women’s lives in the early modern period. This was an era in which didactic literature espoused strong views on the gendered nature of life and social roles. Women were expected to be passive, submissive, and domestic. However, historians have repeatedly found that women crossed the boundaries placed on femininity. They held and expressed power, performed important work and operated as economic agents. In this module students will examine and analyse a range of primary source materials to understand the richness of early modern women’s daily lives. Considering a range of themes including, but not limited to, apprenticeships and working lives, medical practice, intellectual pursuits, criminality, motherhood, and sexuality, the course will compare and contrast the lives of women across all echelons of society.

  • Local and global: consumer societies between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries (30 credits)

This module examines the impact of the development of consumer societies on communities and cultures from the 18th to the 21st centuries.  You will be introduced to major debates and topics in the history of consumption, and a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the formation of consumer societies.  Seminars will analyse the evolution of consumer societies, discussing issues such as advertising, distribution, entertainment, food, fashion, gender roles, politics and identity.  Stress is placed on the connections between the local and the global within consumer societies. Topics will range widely, both chronologically and geographically.

  • History from the street: people’s lives from the nineteenth century to the present day (30 credits)

This module enables you to study history ‘from the streets’, and the different approaches to people’s history. The emphasis is on ‘history from below’, that is, examining the effects of major changes in global history on individual lives and communities in Britain and other parts of the world.  How did the major changes in global history since the 19th century affect the everyday lives of individuals and communities? What can historians learn about society and culture from the point of view of previously unrepresented or unheard sections of society? You will study current debates and methods in people’s history, including but not limited to: changing attitudes to gender and sexuality; ‘grass roots’ social protest movements; responses to urban and environmental change; streetlife and leisure. You will develop skills in critical analysis of the debates and of a wide range of primary sources, from autobiographies, correspondence and ephemera.

  • Research methods I and II (15 credits each)

These modules introduce you to the big debates in the history of everyday lives from the local and global, and offer you the opportunity to develop your skills in critical analysis of historical research and primary sources. They enable you to make the transition from undergraduate level study with an introduction to postgraduate historical skills and approaches. You will be able to reflect on your own learning of methodologies and debates in history through a variety of assessment, including a presentation, essay and a format of your choice for a self-reflective log.

  • Dissertation (60 credits)

The MA History Dissertation gives students the opportunity to research an area about which they are passionate and to produce an extended piece of written work of 15,000 words. It gives students the scope to demonstrate sophisticated independent thought, research and writing. Independent study will be supported with an agreed programme of supervision. The topic should be appropriate to postgraduate-level historical study, and chosen by the student in consultation with their supervisor.