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What makes the MRes in History at Worcester special?

This MRes is a unique opportunity to work with national and international experts in History while, at the same time, developing yourself as an expert in the field.

One of very few such courses in the UK, the MRes will enable you to acquire fundamental research skills while carrying out a major research project of your choice.

The MRes offers an ideal bridge to further postgraduate study (e.g. a PhD) or to acquire, transferrable employer-related skills in areas such as project planning and management, time management, research and data analysis, digital literacy and report writing.



Key features

  • A bridge from undergraduate to postgraduate study
  • Develop advanced research skills (e.g. in areas such as literature review and research methods)
  • Work with national and international experts in your field
  • Carry out a major research project in a topic of your choice
  • Acquire project management skills including: independent working; being able to devise, research, and execute a substantial research project; the ability to set goals, priorities and schedules; and to develop data analysis skills such as using electronic and online resources.
Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

You will normally be expected to have:

  • A First or Upper Second-Class Honours (2:1) Degree, or equivalent award, in History or a related subject


  • Appropriate research or professional experience, which can be verified by evidence of achievement. This includes, for example, research related experience in a government organisation, NGO, charitable trust, historical society, or heritage organisation



International applicants will be required to demonstrate comparable prior subject experience and to have an appropriate level of written and spoken English (normally an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6 in written English).

Entry qualifications for international students are guided by the National Academic Recognition Information Centre's (NARIC) advice on international qualifications.

Course content

Course content

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. However the majority of what you study will be entirely up to you. On the MRes programme you will get the opportunity to carry out a major research project on a topic of your choice. These have been incredibly varied but, across the programme, we have seen imaginative projects on topics as varied as Shakespeare’s Globe, Homosexual Subcultures in Birmingham, and historical court cases against women in Birmingham, to cultural understandings of the devil, the lives of British Army schoolmistresses, and representations of the Japanese in World War 2.


  • RSDP 4001 – Developing as a Researcher
  • MHCA4001 - Research Approaches in the Humanities and Arts
  • MHCA4002 - Thesis Preparation Module
  • MHCA4005 - MRes Research Project
Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught via a combination of classroom modules and supervisor-supported independent study. Lectures are used to impart the core knowledge essential to each component of the course, while also, generally, being interactive. Analysis, problem solving skills, and, most importantly, the application of knowledge to your own project are all developed through interactive seminars and workshops. On RSDP 4001 and MHCA4001, both lectures and workshops are delivered principally via guest sessions in which the varied expertise of teaching staff across arts, humanities and the University as a whole will support the development of the broad, rounded skills that the MRes is designed to develop. Research skills are developed through classroom activities and assessments (as described above) but also in conjunction with supervisors on the supervisor-led modules MHCA4002 and MHCA4005. This close working with the supervisor, who will be an expert in your field of study, will foster the more specific research skills required for your subject. By successful completion of the course, you will be beginning to develop as an expert in your field.

Meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 8 occasions in the year (for full-time students) and approximately 4 (for part-time). The personal academic tutor is likely to be your supervisor. By combining teaching, independent study, academic support from Student Services and Library Services, and personal academic tutoring we seek to enable you to reflect on your progress and to build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will help you to flourish and be successful.

Contact time

In a typical week you will have around 0-7.5 contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on the timetabling of modules and is variable. In the second half of the course you would expect to have less contact time in order to do more independent study around your research project.

Typically contact time will be structured around:

  • 1 taught module per week (2.5 or 5 hours, dependent on module). Modules will range from approximately 8-30 students.
  • Independent self-study, supported by meetings with a supervisor.

Independent self-study

In addition to direct contact time, you will be expected to undertake around 25 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve research, data gathering, or writing either for the thesis preparation module or for the final research project. Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, our virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Course duration

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time


Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that whilst we try to be as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week; and some classes can be scheduled in the evenings.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose research, expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. In addition, the taught modules will be supported by a range of guest lecturers with expertise in each of the areas covered by the module.

The core team for the MRes includes subject experts details of whom can be found in the course handbook and on the Institute web pages. The majority of the lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade. The assessment methods are designed to test out each of the core components of the major research project which will be the foundation of your MRes e.g. literature review, methods, underlying paradigms, theories, and philosophies. The assessments include: a personal development plan; a literature review; an in-class individual presentation; an essay (or equivalent); a sample chapter (or equivalent); an extended research project.


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a highly qualified and experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. Most teaching is directly related to the research and publications of the lecturers and all of our lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.


Professor Darren Oldridge

Darren Oldridge is a specialist in sixteenth and seventeenth-century religious history. His interests include witchcraft and the Devil, the supernatural, and the religious context of the English Civil Wars. A recurring theme of his work is the rationality underpinning apparently strange beliefs: this is reflected, most recently, in the new edition of Strange Histories (Routledge: 2017). More broadly, he is interested in the relationship between poetry and film and the past.

Candid headshot of Suzanne Schwarz

Professor Suzanne Schwarz

Suzanne Schwarz’s teaching at the University of Worcester focuses on the transatlantic slave trade and West Africa in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She also focuses on developing historical research skills for students through the study of regional and local history. She was the recipient of two student-led teaching awards in 2013 and 2014.



This course will help you to develop both intellectual and technical competencies in research. It will prepare you for academic careers by covering the fundamental components of academic research: developing a topic, method and analysis, and the planning and execution of a substantial piece of written or practical research. Through the 'apprenticeship' model, your work will be closely integrated with that of an expert supervisor and with an academic department giving you valuable experience of contributing to and working within a community of scholars. This will allow possible development towards further postgraduate research such as a PhD. Former graduates from the MRes programme have gone on to be awarded competitive, fully-funded 3 year PhD bursaries in the region.

An MRes in History will also help you to progress towards a career in equivalent research-based employment. This might include, for example, working for government departments, NGOs, charitable trusts, historical societies, heritage organisations, specialist libraries, archives, or museums. In the context of an ever-expanding information economy, an MRes would prepare you for work in any organisation looking for literate and research trained staff. Further support will be available to you via the Research School's Student Researcher Development Programme. This provides workshops in, amongst other things, oral presentations, public engagement, writing CVs, bid writing, and entrepreneurial opportunities.


Fees and funding

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time home and EU students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/MRes courses in the academic year 2024/25 is £9,000 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/MRes courses in the academic year 2024/25 is £17,400 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time home and EU students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/MRes/PGCert/PGDip courses in the academic year 2024/25 are £750 per 15-credit module, £1,500 per 30-credit module, £2,250 per 45-credit module, and £3,000 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fees for part-time international students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/MRes courses in the academic year 2024/25 are £1,450 per 15-credit module, £2,900 per 30-credit module, £4,350 per 45-credit module, and £5,800 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Chestnut Halls' at £131 per week to 'Oak Halls' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

Additional costs

There will be general costs for printing, stationery, books etc and, depending on your research project, you may have occasional costs associated, for example, with accessing or travelling to archives.

How to apply

How to apply

All applications are passed to the relevant course leader for consideration. If the application has potential, an interview is scheduled by a panel comprising at least two members of academic staff. An offer of a place on the MRes will be made when the following conditions are satisfied:

  • Applicant meets the specified entry requirements.
  • The Institute has the supervisory capacity and expertise to support the research project outlined in the application form.
  • The proposal outlined has the potential to become a viable research project at Masters level.

Before applying

You should first discuss your research interests, qualifications and potential research project with potential supervisors and/or the course leader prior to submitting an application. This will help establish, for both parties, that our staff have the necessary expertise to supervise your proposal and to identify whether the intended research project would require additional, available resources. To be considered, applications must attach a research proposal (750 words), setting out the project you wish to carry out on the MRes.

Please contact the programme leader Dr Barbara Mitra ( for general advice about your research topic and the availability of appropriate supervision.

Information about application and interview deadlines can be found on our Applying for a Masters by Research page.

Please contact the Research School ( if you have any questions.

You can apply for this course using the application forms below:



Apply for this Course - Full Time Apply for this Course - Part Time

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Dr Barbara Mitra

Course leader