Graduate Diploma History


Recognised as a leading department within the UK, History at UEA has a chronological range from the collapse of the Roman empire to the present day, a geographical scope covering Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North America and the Caribbean, and experts in political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, diplomatic and intellectual history.

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Key facts

(2017 Guardian University Guide)

Key facts

(REF 2014)

Gain the knowledge and expertise you need to proceed to a History MA or PGCE, even if you are a graduate of another discipline, with this year long course.


Gain the knowledge and expertise you need to proceed to a History MA or PGCE, even if you are a graduate of another discipline, with this year long course. 

This course is also available on a part time basis.

Course Modules

Students will select 120 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


This module investigates the dramatic political, social and cultural consequences of the end of imperial power in postwar Britain. It introduces students to the history of British decolonization and the building of new international relationships and cultural identities during the years of imperial decline. It considers the new forms of international politics and humanitarian intervention that emerged in these years. And looks to the reworking of Britain's relationship to, for instance, South Africa, Rhodesia, Bangladesh and Jamaica during the years of decolonization. The module contains three thematic cores: (1) decolonization and new forms of British influence in the 'Third World' during the Cold War period (2) histories of migration and black activism and (3) the impact of the end of empire on British national identity. This module will introduce you to the key ways in which historians have tried to come to terms with Britain's 'postcolonial' history.




This module examines the fortunes and reign of one of the most formidable rulers of the early medieval period and the first emperor in the West since 476: Charlemagne (768--814), king of the Franks. This module also explores the fortunes of his wives and courtesans, his children, his courtiers, his 'men of God', his counts and captains, and his many allies and enemies, including Byzantine emperors, Abbasid caliphs, Danish kings, and Avar khans.




This module offers a critical introduction to understanding America's role in the world. It provides historical and political analyses of U.S. foreign relations, looking at the themes and traditions that have shaped America's increasing influence in global affairs during the twentieth century up to the present day. From the war of 1898 to the conflicts of the early twenty-first century, it examines how and why the U.S. relationship to the world has changed. Has the United States helped or harmed the rest of the world during its rise to world power? In discussing foreign relations, the course analyses political and diplomatic elites, but also, the role of foreign actors and private organisations, from religious groups to citizen organisations to NGOs, in defining America in the world. It also engages with important contemporary trends in the historiography of U.S. foreign policy - regarding race, gender, modernization, and the 'cultural turn' - and connects these to emerging trends in the fields of American Studies and international relations.




This module surveys the history of the English from their arrival in Britain in the fifth century until the end of the eleventh century and the conquest of England by the Normans. We shall cover topics such as the conversion of the English in the seventh century; the domination of England by Mercia in the eighth century; the Viking invasions and the reign of Alfred the Great; the emergence of Wessex as the dominant force in Britain in the tenth century; the conquest of England by the Danes in the eleventh century; and the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.




This module will look at the creation of the Communist state of Yugoslavia after the Second World War. We shall examine the course of the war and the bitter fighting between fascists, nationalists and communists which resulted in the eventual victory of the partisans led by Tito. After 1945, he and his followers built a state which survived until 1991. With the demise of Communism, Yugoslavia fragmented into new nations. In some cases this transition was largely peaceful, but the wars for independence in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo gave rise to the bloodiest fighting in Europe for decades. We shall look at the role of individuals and ideas, including the career of key figures such as Milosevic and end by assessing at the international community's response to the crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia at the Hague Tribunal.




Historical representation and memory is constantly constructed and reconstructed. This module examines the role of documentaries and feature films in this process, exploring the close interplay and tensions between history, memory, the past and present. Feature films, in particular, have a powerful capacity to reconstruct historical narratives and understanding. Their visual vividness provides a magical simulation of the past. Indeed, in the case of medieval and early modern history, they provide a prime media through which popular understanding of these historical times is conveyed and shaped. Moreover, documentaries and feature films alike often contaminate collective memories of contemporaries and eyewitnesses of specific events, creating further challenges to historians in their pursuit to reconstruct the past. Students will examine what role films play in the process of national memory-work in popular culture and commemoration of historical events as well as how film as a medium can help but also hinder conveying historical understanding. They will also be able to discuss the work of documentary film makers and the practical challenges and responsibilities that come with it: interviewing eyewitnesses and the perils of oral history, organising and constructing a historical narrative, tensions between documentary as an art form and as a medium to transmit knowledge.



Conspiracy and Crisis in the Early Modern World

Assassination. Foreign invasion. Revolt and rebellion. Political and religious plots loomed large and posed a constant threat in Early Modern England. Conspiracy was not simply an imagined threat nor did it exist in theory; it was a social and political reality that elicited fear, shaped policies and gave rise to self-fulfilling prophecies. Did the greatest threat of subversion come from popular uprisings, foreign invasion or from the heart of the British government? From Mary, Queen of Scots and the Gunpowder Plot to the hidden agenda of Charles I, this module will survey a series of popular, elite and royalist conspiracies. Moving behind official narratives, it will draw on a host of resources to investigate alternative explanations for crisis over power, authority and legitimacy during this period. Each conspiracy will provide and point of entry into broader changes in early modern society as the crown and commons reimagined and realigned political, religious and social boundaries.




In medieval England, death and what lay beyond it were constantly visible out of the corner of the eye. Large portions of the landscape were given over to the dead: there were barrows, haunted by the ancient pagan dead; cemeteries for the Christian dead; and lonely hermitages, whose occupants spoke with the dead. 'King Death', shown as a skeleton with spear or bow, would strike down the living at any age. And if prayers were not said for them, their ghosts would wander forth from the grave to terrify their neighbours. Vivid images of what happened to the dead were painted and carved over the archways of churches, haunting the living every Sunday and dancing before their mind's eye in their dreams. Visions of the dead were not uncommon, and sometimes they made such demands on the living that the latter spent their lives serving them. This module examines beliefs about death and the otherworld in medieval England; how medieval people prepared for death; how ghosts and the 'undead' irrupted into their world; the role of those who served the dead or acted as mediators between the dead and the living; demons, the evil dead and saints (the holy dead); and how death was represented in medieval art. There will be a trip to see tombs and wall paintings.




This module offers students the opportunity to submit a dissertation of 9,000 words on a topic approved by the School. For students to be considered for this module they will have achieved an aggregate of 68% across their Level 5 AUT semester modules. No other changes will be made.



Early Medieval Europe: Warriors, Saints, and Rulers

This course explores the experiences and fortunes of the peoples of the western peninsula of Eurasia between the rule of the Emperor Constantine I in the 330s and the call to crusade in the 1090s. At the beginning of the period the lands centred on the Mediterranean and much of its hinterland were situated within the Roman empire. Yet, within three hundred years, this empire had disintegrated and been replaced by a number of successor states, ruled by competing dynasties. These states included Visigothic Hispania, Vandal Africa, and Merovingian Francia. Another#in fact, the longest lived of all the successor states#was the eastern empire centred on Constantinople, long known to historians as 'the Byzantine empire'. By the close of the seventh century, many of these states had themselves been conquered by Arabic and African warriors committed to the new religion of Islam and been incorporated in the Caliphate centred on the city of Damascus#an empire which easily rivalled the might, spread, and power of Rome before its own collapse and fission in circa 1000. What Islamic rulers could do, so too could Christian ones. In 800 the son of a Frankish usurper, Charlemagne, was crowned emperor of the West. The actions and ambitions of this emperor were as formative and as formidable in the history of ninth and tenth century Europe as those of Napoleon in the eighteenth and nineteenth. The heirs and successors of Charlemagne#whether Frankish, Ottonian, or Scandinavian#were long compelled to negotiate his legacy and memory. By the eleventh century even the Roman pontiffs, now advancing a new programme of reform and renewal, were looking to situate themselves in relation to his Salian successors. The summons to liberate Jerusalem and rescue the Greek empire in the east, carefully tailored to the aspirations of the new elites of Francia and Catalonia, was perhaps the most explosive strategy advanced by these Roman pontiffs. This course is thus broad in chronological scope, covering more than eight hundred years, and extensive in geographical range, taking us from the Atlantic to the Euphrates, from the Atlas mountains to the North Sea. In the course of this journey we will meet many warriors, saints, and rulers, both female and male.



Early Modern Things: The Stuff of Life

This module focuses on the lives of citizens at work, rest, worship and play during a time of increasing commercialisation, industrial production and urbanisation. Using the paraphernalia of living as a springboard permits the utilisation of micro-historical or ethnographic approaches. Students will be encouraged to think about the choices that 'ordinary' people had, considering not just what they did, but why they did it. The rhythms of their lives were mediated by time and their comfort depended on how much money or status they had. This deepens our understanding of the nature and extent of social, economic and cultural change. This does not abandon the traditional 'big' considerations of 'high politics', rather it traces the impacts of developments amongst the citizenry by considering their use of space; varieties of social mobility; different levels of accountability; the forging of reputations and identities; the effects of industrial pollution; forms of domestic organisation, and rates of consumption. This module will appeal to students who like to sleuth, who notice clues about the past. It should also appeal to students who are interested in working with material culture, in museums or archives. Items that were once familiar, but now do not feature in our lives help us to understand different times. Trade tokens and lead seals on packages of wool allow a different way into discussions of economic projects, the circulation of currency and work in trades. Other objects are more familiar, and make us question how modern we really are now; sex toys were widely available in eighteenth century London




This module will introduce you to an eventful period of history during which France exercised a preponderant role over European affairs and culture. The module will provide you with the essential background knowledge of political events, revolutions and wars but it will also encourage you to explore deeper social and cultural trends. In the first weeks we will reconsider 'Old regime' France, drawing attention to its dynamism and cultural richness before turning to the crises that discredited Bourbon absolutism. In subsequent weeks we will focus on the Revolutionary-Napoleonic epoch: our endeavour here will be to explain why the Revolution was revolutionary in theory, violent in practice and dictatorial in consequence. We will then reflect on the Restoration. Using extracts from Hugo's Les Miserables as our starting point, we will look at how rapid industrialization generated social tensions that successive ministries tried to diffuse through repression and reform. Next, we will look at the France of the Second Republic and Second Empire; our focus here will be Napoleon III's modernization initiatives and dramatic remodelling of Paris. Finally, we will approach the history of the Third Republic between 1870 and 1914 from three angles: its success in making the populace feel French; science, art and culture; and its nationalistic foreign-policy, which contributed toward undermining the general European peace. The seminars for this module will provide us with an opportunity to analyse and discuss in depth an eclectic range of primary sources, including textual documents (in English translation) ranging from constitutions to period fictional writings, maps, advertisements, artwork, extant material and architectural evidence, and music.




Through a close examination of the lives and reigns of four very different monarchs this unit investigates the workings of kingship and high politics in one of the most turbulent periods of English History (1415-1485). New interpretations of the Wars of the Roses, as well as original source material, will be studied.




This module examines a critical period in English History. It begins with the Conquest of England by the Normans and looks at the ways in which as a consequence England was drawn into European affairs. Its mid point is the loss of those continental lands in 1204 and the Magna Carta crisis of 1215. The unit then explores the domination of Britain by the English kingdom and ends with the start of England's next great European adventure, The Hundred Years' War.




The end of the First World War witnessed both the expansion of the British Empire to its largest extent, covering a quarter of the globe, and the destruction of its colonial rivals. However, the First World War also unleashed nationalist forces that would challenge the British imperial system. This resulted in outbreaks of riots and resistance against British rule in Ireland, India, Mesopotamia and Egypt. Weakened economically and socially by the gargantuan effort of winning the war how would Britain maintain her far-flung lines of empire? This module will examine how Britain attempted to secure her strategic interests both within an era of growing nationalist resistance from within the Empire and against external threats from a resurgent Japan, Germany and Italy. It will introduce students to the high-tide of war imperialism; inter-war imperial defence; the crisis of empire Britain faced in Ireland, India and the Middle East; the 'family-network' of the 'white' Dominions; colonial development in Africa and the Caribbean as well as what it meant to fight the Second World War on an imperial footing during the campaigns in the Mediterranean and North Africa, finishing with the strategic abyss that was the fall of Singapore in February 1942. By examining the pressures policy-makers faced from within the Empire and from outside we will seek to gain a deeper understanding of how the British Empire functioned during this pivotal period of the imperial project.



Fieldwork in Landscape History

The field course builds on the landscape archaeology units to provide forty hours of practical instruction in the field. The field course runs for one week in June, concentrating on the recording and analysis of archaeological earthworks, buildings and historic landscapes. Assessment will take the form of a short report and an extended project.




This module will take as its starting-point the travelogues, diaries, and letters of Britons who travelled extensively abroad from the voyages of Antipodean discovery in the late eighteenth-century to the interwar period. These encounters will serve to open up important themes in global history (for example, scientific discovery, missionary activity, and the spread of international business) through individual experience. Individual lives will reflect both Britain's imperial reach but also Britain's wider global impact. They will also reveal how Britons understood 'foreign' societies and how they sought to influence them. Lives to be examined will include but not be confined to Captain Cook, Charles Darwin, Richard Cobden, David Livingstone, Charles Dilke, Mary Kingsley, Gertrude Bell, Vita Sackville-West, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and Amy Johnson. There will also be scope for the study of less well-known figures through project work.




The reign of Henry VIII was a major turning point in British history, and 'bluff King Hal' continues to horrify and fascinate us in equal measure. This special subject uses the preoccupations, ambitions, and character of Henry VIII as a route into the political, religious and cultural changes of this tumultuous period. Starting with the acclaimed young king, his Spanish bride, Katherine of Aragon, and his consummate minister, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, the course works chronologically and thematically through to the declining years of Henry VIII's reign, when a paranoid, obese and cruel monarch presided over an irrevocably changed religious and political landscape. It examines in detail the divorce crisis, the establishment of the Church of England, the Henrician Reformation, the politics and factionalism of the Court, war and foreign policy, magnificence, and opposition to the king, and engages with the intense historiographical debates on all these issues. The module considers some of the most colourful personalities in British history - Wolsey, More, Boleyn, Cromwell, and Cranmer - as well as structures, and the falls of Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell are given particular attention. Finally, the module draws on material culture, art history, literature, film, and even dress, as well as relying on the more usual documentary sources, such as the State Papers. Above all, we will try to answer: did Henry VIII really become a tyrant?




Public history is history in the public sphere, whether in museums and galleries, heritage sites and historic houses, radio and television broadcasting, film, popular history books, or public policy within government. The central challenge and task of public history is making history relevant and accessible to its audience of people outside academia, whilst adhering to an academically credible historical method. This module explores the theory and practice of public history in the heritage sector. The module considers questions such as, how is the past used? What is authenticity? Who 'owns' historic sites? The module also offers the opportunity for undergraduates to work on a heritage project with a local heritage partner - the nature of this project varies each year depending on the availability of such partnership opportunities. PLEASE NOTE: The availability of places with partners this year means that the module will be limited to twelve undergraduate places. All students on the module will be required to engage in preparatory reading and writing over the course of the summer break.




Since the unification of the states of the Italian peninsula, the history of modern Italy has been the subject of intense historical debate. Modern Italy has often been cast as a 'weak' state and 'fragile' nation, riven by particularism and by competing secular and religious ideologies, 'economically backward', less successful than its national neighbours, and 'the least of the Great Powers'. More recent historiography has sought to challenge or modify these perceptions in a number of ways, and this course examines modern Italian history from unification to present day, in the light of these ongoing historiographical debates. a) Italian nationalism, the process of Italian unification and the attempts to create national unity after 1870; b) the relationship between socio-economic change and political development in Liberal Italy; c)the impact of the First World War on Italian society and politics; e)the nature of the Fascist regime and its impact on Italian society; f)the radicalisation of the regime, its racial policies and the quest for Empire; g)Italy's role in World War II, the reasons for the collapse of the Fascist regime, and the emergence of civil war. h) Italian history since 1945



Human Rights: The history of an Idea

Reading key historical, philosophical, political, legal and literary texts, this module track will track the emergence of human rights as a cultural idea from their conception in the eighteenth century, through the development of political rights and humanitarianism in the nineteenth century, through to the Nuremberg trials and the United Nations of Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), into the post World War Two period and up to the present day.We will trace how the idea of human rights developed at key junctures, and untangle their relationship to political and historical change.




This module examines some of the main themes in Russian history between the Emancipation of the Serfs and the outbreak of the Second World War. We will look at the nature of industrialisation and the peasant economy, the autocracy and its fall in 1917, the revolutionary movement and the nationalities question. We will then examine how the Revolution of 1917 changed the state and the ways in which the Communists attempted to change society before 1929. We conclude by examining the country during the era of the five year plans and the impact of the Stalinist system on the Soviet Union before the outbreak of world war.




This module explores the eventful and troubled history of modern Iraq. Taking its starting point in the nineteenth century, when Iraq was part of the grand Ottoman Empire that covered much of the Middle East, the module explores how ancient Mesopotamia came under British tutelage following the Great War and how it subsequently experienced a turbulent history as various political actors sought to wrest control of the newly established state. The module pays special attention to key moments when the course of Iraq's history changed, such as wars, military coups and revolutions, but also periods in between when society returned to some sort of normality. Particular focus is on the rise of political ideologies, in particular Arab nationalism, and its local counterpart, Iraqi nationalism - but also other ideologies such as socialism, communism and Ba#thism. Saddam Husayn's domination of the country (1979-2003) is also an important element of the module.




This module examines the ideas and influence of nine American foreign policy "intellectuals," beginning with Alfred Mahan and concluding with Paul Wolfowitz. Why did each "intellectual" strike a particular chord at a particular time? Do individuals matter in the history of US foreign policy? How, and with what consequences, were these ideas translated into policy? This module will explore the origins of key US foreign policy concepts such as isolationism, internationalism, containment and "pre-emptive defence." Aims of the Module #To introduce students to nine particular strains of US foreign policy ideology. #To encourage students to engage critically with the primary output of these "intellectuals" and to identify their strengths and weaknesses. #To stimulate students to consider whether these ideas have been manifested in policy, and to trace their impact. #To encourage students to develop their own foreign policy philosophy.




This module examines the development of British foreign policy between 1880 and 1914. In the first semester we will undertake a detailed examination of Salisbury's foreign policy and the debate surrounding Britain's international 'isolation' up to the conclusion of the French entente. The second semester will see us examining the cause of British foreign policy under Sir Edward Grey until the outbreak of war in August 1914.




This Special Subject focuses on the life and actions of the man widely regarded as the 'worst king' of England, King John. The special subject begins by examining the world into which John was born as the fifth son of the most charismatic couple of mid-twelfth-century Europe, Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. It then goes onto look at his life as the brother of Richard the Lionheart, and then examines his path to the rulership of the Angevin lands. This unit then explores the reasons behind the loss of these lands before moving onto look at how John ruled England as he tried to recover his lost lands. The special subject ends with the events that led to the production of the most famous document of English history, Magna Carta, and it looks at the causes of the near extinction of the dynasty at the end of King John's life. Students will be expected to become conversant with the primary sources in translation and to be aware of current historiographical debates. Teaching will be through student-centred seminars. Students will be expected to do weekly gobbets both as a way of becoming familiar with the sources and as preparation for the examination.




This module examines the political, cultural and social history of later medieval Europe (circa 1100-1400). It has a particular focus on the Empire and Italy, but we will also look at France and Constantinople. We will encounter some of the chief characters of the period, such as Emperors Frederick Barbarossa and Frederick II, 'the Wonder of the World', and Pope Innocent III. Students will be introduced to some of the most important events and concepts to shake medieval Europe, such as the intellectual Renaissance of the twelfth century, the Crusades, the rise of Heresy and the Inquisition, the Empire's long struggle in Italy, and the Papal Schism.




This module provides an introduction to the linguistic skills in medieval Latin which enable students to read administrative documents such as charters, accounts, court rolls, etc. It is particularly suited for those who intend proceeding to postgraduate study in aspects of the past, such as medieval history, which require a reading knowledge of Latin. This course is not intended for students who have already studied Latin to A level or equivalent.




This module introduces students to German history in the twentieth century which was characterised by various radical regime changes and territorial alterations. Topics include German world policy and nationalism in the late imperial period; imperialism and expansionism during the First World War; the challenges of modernity in the Weimar Republic; the rise of Hitler and the formation of the Nazi empire in Europe; the post-war division of Germany and the legacy of the Third Reich; the nature of the GDR dictatorship and the problem of West German terrorism; as well as the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification. Special attention will be given to questions of nationalism and national identity, issues of history and memory, and Germany's role in Europe and the world. On completion of this unit, students will have developed a solid understanding of one of the most dramatic periods of German history when the country oscillated between the two extremes of war and repression, on the one hand, and the return to peace and democracy, on the other.




This module deals with the rivalries of the Great Powers from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the onset of the Cold War. We shall be examining topics such as the Vienna system; the Crimean War; Italian and German unification, the origins of the First and Second World Wars and the start of the Cold War.



Nationalism in Europe since 1789: Shaping Identities in the Age of Modernity

This course examines in depth the history of nationalism in Europe from the late eighteenth to the twentieth century. The central theme is the relationship between the rise and development of nationalism and the shaping of images and discourses about Europe. The course considers and compares the strength of nationalism to the weakness of Europeanism in order to improve the historical understanding of identity formation processes in the modern age. In this sense, it does not consider the nation and Europe as being one the denial of the other, but as forces interacting in complex ways and, in given instances, feeding upon one another. Centred on this theoretical concern, the course will offer a broad survey of the history of nationalism from the Age of Enlightenment to the European integration process, explaining how it has developed into a mass movement and an ideology affecting so deeply the life of millions of individuals across Europe. The perspective used will be that of the cultural historian and the historian of ideas and ideologies. A variety of different primary sources - including pictures, novels, private correspondence, newspaper articles, political tracts and pamphlet, history books, films, songs, etc# - will be used to highlight, on the one hand, the ambiguities of modern nationalism, to explain its quasi-religious nature and explore its strength and resilience. On the other hand, they will help us investigate how and to what extent discourses about Europe affected, after the Second World War, one of the greatest projects of political engineering ever attempted, highlighting the economic success of EU integration and considering its incapacity to create a strong attachment to EU institutions. The course is interdisciplinary in nature. While it is essentially addressed to historians, especially students interested in cultural history and in the history of ideologies, it also considers sociological issues and topics that would be of interest to students of politics. One of its aims is to draw the attention of students from of the School of History but also of students from other schools/departments of the Faculty of Humanities.




This module introduces students to the history and theory of propaganda, and its role in society. We consider what constitutes and defines propaganda. Focusing on the 20th century, we examine propaganda in a range of political settings, both totalitarian and democratic, in the local context of the relationships of power and communications. We consider how theories of propaganda emerged after the First World War, and how propaganda is shaped by governance structures, journalists and media institutions, and by technology. We look at extreme propaganda in Bosnia and Rwanda, and at legal recourses against incitement. And we examine current techniques, including internet platforms, used by Russia and Islamic extremists.




This module examines three centuries of European history connecting two unprecedented revolutionary epochs: the Reformation of the sixteenth century and the American and French revolutions at the end of the early modern era. We will look at key themes and movements in these centuries, including the politics of the Reformation; the Mediterranean work of the Ottomans and Habsburg Spain; the Dutch Golden Age; the great political and religious struggles of the seventeenth century, including wars in the British Isles, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Baltic; the Russia of the Romanov czars and Peter the Great; the growth of centralised states and absolutism in France, Prussia and Austria; the Enlightenment; the rise of the Atlantic economies; and the challenge to the Old Regime from revolutionary politics.




This module examines the Renaissance in its European and global dimensions. Drawing on a vast array of written and visual sources the module will focus on some of the most debated themes in the history of this period: high politics, popular politics and seditious speeches; the ideals and practices of the Renaissance courts; civility, the culture of display and consumption; warfare; sex and violence; knowledge, travelling and the exploration of the world.




The English medieval kingdom was extremely hierarchical. It was a society in which resistance to authority by the vast majority of society was discouraged by the widespread use of mutilation and execution. Yet it was also a society which applauded that resistance. All sorts of levels of society, from the highest in the land (such as the king's sons) to the lowest, indulged in rebellion, but it was the outlaw who captured the popular imagination. Encapsulated in the tales of Robin Hood, the outlaw is loyal, courageous, as well as being clever enough to outsmart the authorities. And the authorities, of course, are disloyal, stupid, and cowardly and use the cover of the law to behave corruptly. And so long as the outlaw commits his crimes for a noble purpose, he remains a hero of the people. The unit will examine the wider subject of resistance to royal authority by men who become outlaws and their portrayal in popular legend from the Norman Conquest of England to the modern age with its focus being the outlaw, for whom the name Robin Hood has become an archetype, as, indeed, it did in the later middle ages, as outlaws took on the name pseudonym for their own criminal activities.




This module will look at the upheavals in the Russian Empire between 1900 and 1921. It looks at the 'revolution' of 1905, the limited 'constituionalism' from 1906, the First World War and the downfall of the Romanov monarchy. We will then study the year 1917 in some detail and discuss how and why the Bolsheviks were able to take power. The specific experience of certain non-Russian parts of the empire will be examined, as will the Civil War and the reasons for the Communist victory. The module will place the Russian Revolutions in their historical, political and geographical context and will consider the impact that these events had in the history of the twentieth century. A case study will be used for an exercise in developing historical writing skills, using peer assessment and classroom analysis of essay-writing techniques




X05 This module offers HIS students on the V100 programme the opportunity to spend the Autumn semester of their second year studying abroad, either in a European university, as part of the ERASMUS scheme, or in a selected North American or Australian university approved by the School's Director of Teaching.




This module offers HIS students the opportunity to spend the Spring semester of their second year studying abroad, either in a European university, as part of the ERASMUS scheme, or in a selected North American or Australian university approved by the School's Director of Teaching.




Few decades in the modern period have proved as polarising as the 1960s. From 'swinging' London and the student protests of 1968 to the consequences of an allegedly 'permissive' society, the social, cultural and political implications of the decade reverberate into the present. We will cover the political impact of social and cultural trends such as: affluence and consumer culture; youth, pop music and subcultures; the counter-culture, pop-art; film, theatre, television and censorship; the 'New Left' and the birth of cultural studies; changing sexual behaviour and the 'permissive' moment; the politics of 'race' and immigration; education, social mobility and the 'new' universities; slum clearance, suburbanisation and the rise of the tower block. While focusing on Britain, key global themes will be unpacked and their local significance explored: cultures of the cold-war; decolonisation anti-colonial struggles; anti-nuclear and anti-Vietnam protests; the civil rights movement; the rise of 'second wave' feminism and gay liberation; structuralism and post-modernity. Through the analysis of autobiographical accounts and oral histories and contemporary books, films, music, television shows, sociological surveys, archival sources, official publications and material culture students will be encouraged to come to their own conclusions about this tumultuous decade.




This module begins by surveying African, Native American and European labour regimes in the fifteenth century in order to establish a foundation for studying the transformations that followed European imperial expansion and the inauguration of the transatlantic slave trade. We will examine the process of enslavement in Africa, North America, and the Mediterranean; the ransom, exchange and sale of captives; and the development of slave markets in the European colonies in the Americas. We will study childhood and family life in various enslaved communities; the material lives of slaves; and the rise of distinct cultures within the African diaspora. We will compare the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French and British Empires with regard to the practice of slavery. We will also trace patterns of slave resistance, escapes, rebellions, and the creation of maroon communities. The semester will end with an examination of the tangled international politics surrounding the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade and the end of plantation slavery across the Atlantic World.




Few topics in 20th century European history have continuously exerted a fascination among scholars as has the era of Stalinism in Soviet Russia. Stalin died more than 60 years ago, but he remains one of the creators of our world. During his time in power the Soviet Union underwent a rapid industrialisation that saw new cities emerging in places that had not seen any civilisation before. It underwent a complete reorganisation of agriculture and saw the construction of a large Gulag system amidst widespread mass terror. Stalin was intent on changing the whole culture of Soviet Russia. Finally, the regime was engaged in a total war with Nazi Germany and emerged as a new superpower in the world. Fascinating aspects of Stalinism are its brutality and cruelty, but this is counterbalanced by its magnificent and stunning cultural and scientific achievements. This special subject will examine the Stalin era in the context of other 20th-century dictatorships. There will be a particular focus on: Stalin's rise to power; Stalin's revolution; terror and its impact on Soviet society; war and dictatorship; decline and fall - Stalin and destalinization. Cultural change will also form an important part of the module. In the seminars we will work with a wide variety of sources ranging from memoirs, secret police reports, and letters written by ordinary citizens to film, newsreel footage, propaganda posters and other art work.




This module analyses the emergence, development and end of the Cold War. In doing so it explores the historical circumstances behind the conflict, relations between the United States of America, the Soviet Union, and other states, as well as the impact of nuclear weapons. The Cold War has been revisited by historians from various angles, and in a variety of ways, in recent years and this module is structured to enable engagement with these new histories. In this way, it takes account of developments that have traditionally been viewed as central to the history of the post-war era, while also drawing upon the expertise within the School of History to explore lesser known case studies and alternative spheres where the conflict was played out. This will include coverage of a range of states in Europe (Hungary, France, Spain) and beyond (Cuba, Grenada, Vietnam), as well as paying attention to broader themes such as the role of propaganda, sport and youth. At the same time it will consider overarching bodies in the form of the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and the emerging European project. The module concludes by asking why the Cold War ended so abruptly, what role civil resistance played in this, and why the process was peaceful in some cases and violent in others. Here, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia will be the focus of attention.




This module will consider the history of the Crusades and the Crusader States from 1095 to 1291, covering a broad range of themes, religious , military and social, and taking into consideration the relations between Christians and Moslems in the Holy Land. Particular attention will be paid to primary sources, which are abundant and available in English translation.




This module looks at the causes, course and significance at what, in terms of relative population loss was probably the single most devastating conflict in English history; the civil wars of 1642-6, 1648 and 1651. In those years, families, villages and towns were divided by political allegiances and military mobilisation. Hundreds of thousands died, not just from warfare, but also from the spread of infectious disease, siege and the disruption of food supplies. In the rest of the British Isles, suffering was even more profound. The execution of the King in 1649, intended to bring an end to the wars, divided the country ever more deeply. By the late 1640s, radical social groups had emerged who questioned the very basis of authority in Early Modern Society, and made arguments for democracy and for the redistribution of land and power. Karl Marx thought that English revolution marked the beginnings of capitalism. Was he right? Focussing on ordinary men and women as well as upon important generals, politicians and monarchs, this module examines the following issues: the causes of the civil war; the reign of Charles I; the start of the warfare in Ireland and Scotland; the outbreak of the English Civil war; the course of the war; popular allegiances - why did ordinary people fight?; the Levellers, Diggers and Ranters; the crisis of 1647-9; the trial and execution of Charles I; gender, women and revolution; the experience of warfare; print and popular political gossip; the failure of the English Republic and the Restoration of Charles II. Particular use will be made of the primary source extracts and web resources.




This module explores the colonization of America by seventeenth-century English people. The memory of the Mayflower Pilgrims has obscured the fact that the first three generations remained English, unaware of the political and cultural distinctiveness to come. We will therefore be concerned with 'the repatriation of early American history'. We shall examine settlers' lives from the foundation of Jamestown in 1607, through the creation of Massachusetts in the 1630s, to the wars and rebellions of 1670-90. Not confined to New England, this module looks at a range of colonial experiences from Maine to the Caribbean, especially the mentalities of people moving between old and new worlds.




This module will examine the development of the English countryside from late Saxon times into the seventeenth century. Topics covered will include the archaeology and landscape setting of castles, monasteries, parish churches, vernacular buildings and deserted settlements, alongside an examination of 'semi-natural' landscapes including ancient woodland, wood-pastures, heathland and moorland. The module will allow you develop practical skills in the analysis of earthwork plans, building surveys and historic maps both in seminars and on field trips.




Between the sixteenth and the early nineteenth centuries, the English crossed the oceans and claimed territory on every continent other than Antarctica. This module surveys the creation and growth of British Empire, examining its origins and its impact on an array of peoples. In the context of studying how the empire spread and functioned, we will consider the varied experiences of Africans, Native Americans, Aboriginal Australians, Protestant refugees from the continent of Europe, the peoples of India, the Irish, and British settlers across the globe. The complex, intimate, and often violent interactions of these groups led to ideological battles pitting loyalism against republicanism, for example, and imperial "civilization" against an array of indigenous cultural revivals. At first glance these struggles may seem to place the British against the subject peoples of their empire, but on closer examination it becomes apparent that they fractured nearly every population within the imperial domains. The creative energy of the British Empire stemmed in large part from collaborations between British groups and individuals and segments of their purported imperial subjects in building, reforming, or in some cases seeking to destroy the structures of imperialism




This reading-intensive module explores the impact of the First World War on European and non-European states, societies, and cultures. It aims to broaden and deepen the students' knowledge by introducing some of the lesser known aspects of the conflict, such as the campaigns on the Eastern front, in Africa, or the Middle East. Students will investigate the role and perception of colonial troops in the European theatre of war and examine the war efforts of such countries as Italy, Serbia, the Ottoman Empire, and Australia. Further topics to be discussed include alliance politics and the role of neutral states, psychological effects of 'industrialised slaughter', atrocities against non-combatant civilians, captivity and occupation, state propaganda and the spiritual mobilisation of intellectuals, as well as processes of social change with regard to home and family life, ethnicity and class. The module will draw on a wide range of primary sources, including poems, paintings, and film. In their coursework, students will have the opportunity to study more specific issues, such as naval and aerial warfare, British military strategy, civil-military relations in democratic and autocratic states, medical innovations, the war experiences of children, or questions of memory and commemoration.




The French Revolution destroyed age-old cultural, institutional and social structures in France and beyond. But, in their attempt to regenerate mankind, the revolutionaries were creative as well as destructive. They created a new political culture with far-reaching implications. This module will provide an opportunity to study different aspects of the Revolution in depth. You will become familiar with the key political turning points and political personalities of the revolutionary decade. But a great part of the module will be devoted to exploring the artistic, cultural and intellectual dimensions of this eventful period.




This module will focus on the development of towns and cities in England from the Norman Conquest until the present day. We will use Norwich as our main case study, but will also draw on other comparative examples around England, such as London, York, Exeter or Leeds, to place Norwich within its wider context. This module will combine social, political and economic history with a detailed consideration of the built environment of the city; key buildings, open spaces and street patterns. There will be regular field trips into Norwich to explore historic buildings, collections and landscapes.




This Special Subject deals with the development of the English landscape from c.1450 to 1950. We will explore the impact that landed estates had on the landscape through an examination of changes in architecture, garden and landscape design and related issues such as hunting and management of trees and woodland. Such changes will be set within the context of contemporary social and economic developments. In the second half of the module we will take a broader view of the rural landscape, discussing the impact of agricultural change and exploring changing perceptions of the countryside. Finally we will move on to urban landscapes to explore their evolution in the post-medieval period and the ways in which they were shaped by architectural change and population growth. We will end with a consideration of the twentieth century landscape and the effects of declining landed estates, suburbanisation, the conservation movement and the demands of modern transport and warfare. In addition to the weekly seminars there will be a number of field trips during the year.




This module provides a historical background to the Middle East and its politics. It is concerned with politics within the region as well as relations between Middle Eastern countries and Western powers. The module encourages students to think critically about the links between some key concepts in the comparative politics of non-Western countries, including historical processes of state formation, the legacy of colonialism/neo-colonialism, the role of culture and identity and the significance of natural resources and economic factors.




This module will examine the development of the English landscape from early prehistoric times to the late Saxon period. We will examine the field archaeology of the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages, discuss the landscapes of Roman Britain, and assess the nature of the Roman/Saxon transition. We will then investigate the development of territorial organisation, field systems and settlement patterns during the Saxon and early medieval periods. The module provides an introduction to the theory and methods of landscape archaeology, as well as giving a broad overview of the development of society, economy and landscape in the period up to c.1100.




This module examines Britain's expansion and decline as a great power, from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the 1950s. It considers the foundations of British power, the emergence of rivals, Britain's relationship with the European powers and the USA, and the impact of two World Wars and Cold War. It investigates the reasons for Britain's changing fortunes, as it moved from guarding the balance of power to losing its empire.




This module studies the history of the Third Reich from an international and comparative perspective through the extensive use of primary sources. It examines the origins and the rise of National Socialism, the seizure and consolidation of power, the nature and political structure of the dictatorship, and the transformation of German society under Nazi rule, but there is a particular focus on foreign policy and the impact of the regime's policies on Europe and the world. Aspects covered include Nazi Germany's relationship with other autocracies and right-wing forces in Europe, German geopolitical thought and the role of the Foreign Office, the formation and administration of the Nazi empire, issues of collaboration and resistance in occupied territories, combat motivation and war crimes of ordinary soldiers, the importance of non-German perpetrators of the Holocaust, the German home front and the effects of Allied aerial bombings, the various plans for a post-war Europe, and the problem of ethnic cleansing both before and after 1945.




This module seeks to identify patterns of continuity and change in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with a view to defining the early modern period in practice. Through an examination of both political and constitutional history from the top down, and social and cultural history from the bottom up, it seeks to understand the period dynamically, in terms of new and often troubled relationships which were formed between governors and governed. Topics include: Tudor monarchy, the Protestant Reformation, the social order, popular religion and literacy, riot and rebellion, the Stuart state, the civil wars, crime and the law, women and gender.




This module looks at the nature of rebellions, riot and popular politics in Tudor England. The early part of the module proceeds in a chronological format; and after that, we analyse rebellion in more thematic terms, individual sessions look at: late medieval rebellion; early Tudor rebellion; The Pilgrimage of Grace of 1536; the 1549 rebellions Kett's rebellion, popular rebellion in the 1580s and 1590os; gender and ritual; seditious speech; popular culture; Shakespeare, drama and popular protest; food and enclosure rioting. A lot of use is made of extracts of primary material . After we have studied Kett's Rebellion of 1549, there will be a fieldtrip to examine key sites in Norwich associated with those events. This may possibly end in one of the oldest pubs in Britain; the Adam and Eve.




This module examines the themes of conflict and consensus in Britain from the Great War to the present day, both through the study of political life and also by assessing the impact of economic, social and cultural change. There are opportunities to re-evaluate issues such as the impact of war on society, "landmark" General Elections such as those of 1945 and 1979, the nature and durability of consensus politics in the 1950s, or Britain's role in the contemporary world.




This module explores key themes and topics in the history of twentieth century sport, from the founding of the modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 to the impact which the collapse of socialism had upon sport at the end of the century. Sport's interaction with empire, nationalism, fascism, socialism and capitalism will be considered, demonstrating that the political history and international relations of the century are deeply entwined with sport. A range of examples are examined, from Mussolini's Italy to the superpower competition of the Cold War. As an aspect of social history, issues of gender, race and disability are inseparable from this topic, as are the harnessing and exploitation of sport as a means of war or reconciliation at various periods throughout the century.




This module will examine the leading themes in British history during Victoria's reign (1837-1901). It will include political, social, economic, religious, urban, gender and intellectual topics.




This special subject focuses on the life and times of Britain's longest serving monarch, Queen Victoria. The module starts by exploring Queen Victoria's public and private life. It will examine in detail her political and diplomatic influence, and her experiences as a wife and mother. Drawing on a wide and expansive range of primary sources, including Queen Victoria's own journals and letters, we will seek to piece together the personality and ideology of the woman who ruled Britain for 63 years. Using Queen Victoria's reign as a backdrop, the module will also consider a number of the key political, social and cultural changes Britain witnessed in the nineteenth century. Seminar topics will include: Queenship; Constitutional Monarch; Imperialism; Religion; Womanhood; Patriotism; and Republicanism. The module will conclude by examining the perceptions of Queen Victoria and her reign in the twentieth and twenty-first century.




This module explores female involvement in politics, from the Duchess of Devonshire's infamous activities in the 1784 Westminster election until 1919, when Nancy Astor became the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons. It will examine topics including the early feminists, aristocratic female politicians, radical politics and the suffragettes. It will investigate the changes and continuities with female engagement with the political process from the eighteenth century through to the twentieth century.




This module examines the issue of gender in European history, between 1500 and 1750. Using a variety of written and visual sources, and including a comparative element, it focuses on the following themes: definitions of femininity and masculinity; life-cycles; family, kinship, and marriage; social exclusion, charity and the welfare state; law, crime, and order; witchcraft and magic; honour, sex, and sexual identities; work; learning and the arts; material culture; the impact of European expansions.




This module will provide students with the opportunity to undertake a work placement with an employer working in the historic environment sector. The module organisers will assist students in finding a suitable placement. Alternatively students may organise their own placement but this must be approved in advance by the module organisers. Examples of organisations that have hosted placements in the past include the National Trust, Norfolk Historic Environment Service and the Peak District National Park Authority. Seminars will explore various issues relating to the management of historic landscapes and buildings. It is strongly recommended that you arrange a meeting with the module organisers before selecting this module




The importance of youth as a driving force for social change has been recognised by many historians. Young people were often at the forefront wherever revolutions took place, wars were fought and tensions in society erupted. However, the historical study of youth is still a relatively young discipline. The module uses 'youth' as a prism to study key themes in 20th century European history, such as the experience of war, life under dictatorship and the longue duree of social change. We shall examine the diverse experience of youth in Western and Eastern Europe during war and peace times, including the Communist and Nazi state-sponsored youth systems, and also the way in which generational experience and conflicts became underlying forces for social and political change. The module employs a strong comparative approach and countries studied include France, Britain, the Soviet Union, West and East Germany, Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. The seminars will be accompanied by several film screenings.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Classification UK BA (Hons) 2.1 or equivalent
  • Special Entry Requirements Applicants must submit a sample of written work (in English). This should be a typed essay on a historical subject, 2-3,000 words long, preferably a photocopy of an assessment marked by a tutor, complete with critical comments and a percentage or grade. The essay should address a specific question, and must demonstrate an ability to construct a historical argument, familiarity with the conventions of academic writing, and competence in English. This should be uploaded to your online application.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 62 (minimum 55 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact


The School's annual intake is in September of each year.

Alternative Qualifications

If you have alternative qualifications that have not been mentioned above then please contact the university directly for further information.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees for the academic year 2017/18 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,300
  • International Students: £14,800

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for UK/EU students).

We estimate living expenses at £820 per month.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

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    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515