MRes in History

  • Length
    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
  • Department

Course overview

The MRes provides excellent preparation for study at MPhil/PhD level for students with a defined research topic, but is also a degree in its own right.

The programme is primarily assessed by a 20,000-word dissertation on your chosen topic, but also incorporates two taught courses:

  • Explorations and Debates in History
  • Research Skills

Explorations and Debates investigates the ways historians have conceptualised and contested historical practice in the modern and early modern periods.

Research Skills develops expertise in a variety of methodologies including the use of oral, visual and material, as well as textual, sources.

You'll be assessed by two 2,000- and one 4,000-word essays, and a 20,000-word dissertation. The dissertation may be followed by a viva voce.

Initial enquiries should be directed to the department contact listed below, or to the member of staff whose research interests most closely match your own.



Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Professor Jan Plamper


History at Goldsmiths is ranked 11th in the UK for the quality of our research**


From the occult to dictators, from war to revolution, from madness to medicine, and from the body to ideas – this is history at Goldsmiths.

As a department we have a wide range of expertise covering all these areas and more. So as a student here you’ll be able to explore how people in past societies lived, loved, worked and worshipped.

For us, history isn’t just a sequence of events. We study the past thematically as well as chronologically. You’ll be thinking about the way history is informed by a wide range of other subjects and how knowledge of the past can help you to understand the world we live in today.

Find out more about the Department of History.

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings



Research in the Department of History is esteemed internationally. History staff publish books and articles with leading international publishers and journals and their research has been externally funded by the AHRC, the British Academy, the Panacea Society and Wellcome Trust.

Find out more about research in the Department of History

Skills & careers

Graduate jobs include roles in museums, galleries, archives, charities, government, and arts administration.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



"The interdisciplinary postgraduate workshops are an unmissable opportunity to gain a dynamic perspective on how we study History."

"The MRes’ mixture of independent research and taught courses gave me time to develop my own interests, read widely and discuss research with my peers. The interdisciplinary postgraduate workshops are an unmissable opportunity to gain a dynamic perspective on how we study History."

Entry requirements

Entry requirements 

You should normally have, or expect to gain, an upper second class undergraduate degree in a humanities or social science subject, or be qualified by previous experience and able to demonstrate the ability to work at postgraduate level.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you'll need to have: 

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • Contact details of a second referee
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)
  • Details of your research proposal

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

Before you apply for a research programme, we advise you to get in touch with the programme contact, listed above. It may also be possible to arrange an advisory meeting.

Before you start at Goldsmiths, the actual topic of your research has to be agreed with your proposed supervisor, who will be a member of staff active in your general field of research. The choice of topic may be influenced by the current research in the department or the requirements of an external funding body. 

If you wish to study on a part-time basis, you should also indicate how many hours a week you intend to devote to research, whether this will be at evenings or weekends, and for how many hours each day.

Research proposals

Along with your application and academic reference, you should also upload a research proposal at the point of application. 

This should be in the form of a 2-5 page statement of the proposed area of research and should include: 

  • delineation of the research topic
  • why it has been chosen
  • an initial hypothesis (if applicable)
  • a brief list of major secondary sources

When to apply 

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

If you're applying for external funding from one of the Research Councils, make sure you submit your application by the deadline they've specified. 

Selection process 

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Find out more about applying.

Fees & funding

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

The Department sometimes offers fee waiver bursaries for this programme. Please contact Professor Jan Plamper for details.

Find out more about tuition fees.

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