New Course – MA in Military History by distance learning

A new part-time course is due to start at the Centre for War Studies, University of Birmingham in January 2013. It is an online MA that is delivered through the university’s‘virtual learning environment’ with additional academic support available. You will have a personal tutor and dissertation supervisor to guide you and answer any questions, and you have access to a wide range of online resources too.


This two-year distance learning programme offers you the opportunity to explore military history, drawing in particular on Birmingham’s expertise in the history of the two world wars and air power. Subjects to be studied include command and leadership; tactics, operations and the use of technology; ethics and war; and the individual’s experience of war. You will complete the MA with a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Course Overview

From the walls of Troy to the streets of Sangin, warfare has been at the centre of human life and death. He who knows nothing of war can understand neither the past nor the present, for, as Trotsky famously said, ‘war is the locomotive of history’. Modern military history does more than re-fight old battles, however. It can, for example, teach us much about the cultures and societies that find themselves at war, and indeed about the souls of the men and women who do the fighting.

This course will stimulate and challenge you to think about the history of warfare in all its aspects, building a skill set over two years of part-time study which will equip you for further research in the field and/or broaden and deepen your understanding of the cruel, complex but endlessly fascinating phenomenon that is war.

To gain a Masters degree you will need to complete 180 credits. You will study six core modules, each worth 20 credits and assessed by an essay of not more than 4,000 words, followed by a 15,000-word dissertation worth 60 credits. Your dissertation will be based on a substantial and sustained investigation of an historical problem – of your choice – relating to military history, undertaken in the light of current knowledge and after an analysis of available primary material. You will receive one-to-one advice and supervision from an expert in your chosen field.

Core modules

  • Research skills: methodology and sources
  • Tactics and operational art
  • Command and leadership in war
  • Ethics of war
  • Experience of war
  • Research skills: dissertation preparation

The Centre for War Studies

The University of Birmingham is an acknowledged leader worldwide in military history, with particular strengths in the two world wars and air power studies. You will be taught by experts in the field who, through our several long-standing and successful part-time MA programmes, are well equipped to understand the unique challenges students like you face. Key staff within the centre are:

The main advantage of studying this programme by distance learning is the flexibility. You can study at home, in your own time and at your own pace, so you can combine achieving a qualification with work or family commitments.

More information of the course can be found here.

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