postgrad in history, warwick/sheffield/st andews?

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bigfroghk
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#1
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#1
Hi, everyone.
I am struggling on choosing my history taught ma programme in these three university. All three are quite good for me, I like the programme content of sheffield the most, but i am wondering about their academic reputation. Since I am hoping to apply for PhD in the future.
Thanks so much!
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Frehley
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#2
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#2
It really depends upon which History MA your doing. Medieval, Early Modern, Modern, MA by research?
All these universities are very good indeed, but they all have specialisms, so look for that.
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bigfroghk
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#3
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(Original post by Frehley)
It really depends upon which History MA your doing. Medieval, Early Modern, Modern, MA by research?
All these universities are very good indeed, but they all have specialisms, so look for that.
Thank you so much, I guess for early modern, should be Sheffield, and then St Andrew, Warwick?
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returnmigrant
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#4
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If you want to do doctoral research you need to make certain that the course AND the Dept has the specialism you are really interested in.

Read the course description - including the detailed description of each optional unit very carefully - and look at 'Staff Research Interests'.
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gutenberg
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#5
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Well all three of those are good for early modern to be honest, but it depends on what you're interested in. For example St Andrews are very good for religious history since they have the Centre for Reformation Studies (or whatever it's called); Sheffield has some excellent 17th/18th century people; while Warwick also have some excellent religious history people, with a little bit more of a focus on continental Europe.

Think also about where you might like to live. St Andrews is lovely but very remote, Warwick is a campus university a little removed from everything else, while Sheffield is in the middle of a city, so everything is spread out a bit, but you have a city on your doorstep.
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bigfroghk
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Thanks so much, I believe I have a lot to think about.
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Frehley
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(Original post by bigfroghk)
Thank you so much, I guess for early modern, should be Sheffield, and then St Andrew, Warwick?
If your talking Early Modern then all of these are very good.
St Andrews has Andrew Pettegree and Jacqueline Rose, both excellent.
Warwick has the authoritative Peter Marshall, who one of the leading specialists in Reformation Studies, and I have lost count how many times I have cited his work.
Sheffield has Anthony Milton and Phil Withington. They also have the SCEMS which looks like a good community.
But do not rule out, Leeds with Stephen Alford, John Coffey at Leicester, and Birmingham which has Jonathan Willis and CREMS.
Your also missing the Durham. That place is phenomenal. The history department has Natalie Mears, Andy Wood and Stephen Tayor. But also the head of the theology department is one of the finest Religion/ Reformation academics around Alec Ryrie, who is a historian.
All of these people are helpful and approachable.

Just some advice, if your looking to do a PhD you need to start considering your research proposal now (for entry next year). You will have to start approaching potential supervisors from November as you will need a clear and well thought out study to present to them. Funding applications generally close around January (Durhams theology department was a very early December last year). You will need to do plenty of work and have a extensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources sorted by then with a proposal of around 1000 words to present to supervisors.
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MissoLuxe
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#8
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Hey everyone,
I'm also applying for MA study this year and I'm thinking of applying to York, Durham or Manchester, and I'm starting to worry about the application... Do they require you to have done some sort of work experience/volunteer work? Do things like that really help your standing? Or do they concentrate more on your academic history/performance?
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gutenberg
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(Original post by MissoLuxe)
Hey everyone,
I'm also applying for MA study this year and I'm thinking of applying to York, Durham or Manchester, and I'm starting to worry about the application... Do they require you to have done some sort of work experience/volunteer work? Do things like that really help your standing? Or do they concentrate more on your academic history/performance?
Is this an MA in history? If so, I'd say that your academic performance and strong letters of recommendation will be the most important things in assessing your application; if any of the universities you apply to ask for any kind of statement of research interests or a research proposal, then make that as strong as possible too. If you have work experience/volunteering related to history then it won't hurt your application, but it almost certainly won't make up for a weak academic performance.
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bigfroghk
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#10
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(Original post by Frehley)
If your talking Early Modern then all of these are very good.
St Andrews has Andrew Pettegree and Jacqueline Rose, both excellent.
Warwick has the authoritative Peter Marshall, who one of the leading specialists in Reformation Studies, and I have lost count how many times I have cited his work.
Sheffield has Anthony Milton and Phil Withington. They also have the SCEMS which looks like a good community.
But do not rule out, Leeds with Stephen Alford, John Coffey at Leicester, and Birmingham which has Jonathan Willis and CREMS.
Your also missing the Durham. That place is phenomenal. The history department has Natalie Mears, Andy Wood and Stephen Tayor. But also the head of the theology department is one of the finest Religion/ Reformation academics around Alec Ryrie, who is a historian.
All of these people are helpful and approachable.

Just some advice, if your looking to do a PhD you need to start considering your research proposal now (for entry next year). You will have to start approaching potential supervisors from November as you will need a clear and well thought out study to present to them. Funding applications generally close around January (Durhams theology department was a very early December last year). You will need to do plenty of work and have a extensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources sorted by then with a proposal of around 1000 words to present to supervisors.
Thanks for the advises. About Birmingham, I have not thought of it before, I did not know it is that good, which can put together with st Andews... But if I really apply this school, which one do you think is better, the MRes, combined research and taught or MA, taught only?
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Frehley
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(Original post by bigfroghk)
Thanks for the advises. About Birmingham, I have not thought of it before, I did not know it is that good, which can put together with st Andews... But if I really apply this school, which one do you think is better, the MRes, combined research and taught or MA, taught only?
You would not go far wrong with any of these universities. Best thing to do is look at the academics specialisms and look at the modules the uni's offer as part of the Taught MA.

I opted for the Taught option because I moved from the medieval period (which was my undergraduate specialism) to the early modern. Thus, I wanted a taught element to acquaint myself with an era I knew little about. I am primarily interested in religious history, especially heresy, schism and dissent. So moving to the early modern I could really get my teeth into the Reformation. For my optional modules, other than the core, I chose Medieval Latin, Paleography and Humanism & Reformation. This was the springboard for my PhD thesis.

As regards to the course itself, email the tutors at the uni's your interested in and ask them their advice, and tell them your intentions. All the people I mentioned above are pretty approachable and will help you decide.
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bigfroghk
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#12
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(Original post by Frehley)
You would not go far wrong with any of these universities. Best thing to do is look at the academics specialisms and look at the modules the uni's offer as part of the Taught MA.

I opted for the Taught option because I moved from the medieval period (which was my undergraduate specialism) to the early modern. Thus, I wanted a taught element to acquaint myself with an era I knew little about. I am primarily interested in religious history, especially heresy, schism and dissent. So moving to the early modern I could really get my teeth into the Reformation. For my optional modules, other than the core, I chose Medieval Latin, Paleography and Humanism & Reformation. This was the springboard for my PhD thesis.

As regards to the course itself, email the tutors at the uni's your interested in and ask them their advice, and tell them your intentions. All the people I mentioned above are pretty approachable and will help you decide.
sounds amazing, so what uni are you in now?
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Frehley
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#13
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(Original post by bigfroghk)
sounds amazing, so what uni are you in now?
Just about to hand in my MA dissertation and then I start my PhD at Leeds, with Stephen Alford as my supervisor, at the start of October.
Stephen wrote The Watchers see this review, very impressive
http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/420850.article

I got offers from Durham, Sheffield, and others but I got full funding from Leeds and Stephen had only just moved up from Cambridge which
made Leeds an even better choice. I was lucky he decided to move because Cambridge was too far to commute, as I live in the North
of England.
Busy days ahead.
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bigfroghk
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(Original post by Frehley)
Just about to hand in my MA dissertation and then I start my PhD at Leeds, with Stephen Alford as my supervisor, at the start of October.
Stephen wrote The Watchers see this review, very impressive
http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/420850.article

I got offers from Durham, Sheffield, and others but I got full funding from Leeds and Stephen had only just moved up from Cambridge which
made Leeds an even better choice. I was lucky he decided to move because Cambridge was too far to commute, as I live in the North
of England.
Busy days ahead.
That's impressive. I am looking for funding too. That's why I don't think Durham would be my choice. By the way, your MA is also from Leeds or?
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Frehley
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(Original post by bigfroghk)
That's impressive. I am looking for funding too. That's why I don't think Durham would be my choice. By the way, your MA is also from Leeds or?
Funding is a big issue, I have had to take a PCDL for my MA year, and as you get the lump some in October, you have to really budget for the entire year because once its gone, it IS gone. I also have been working 20ish hours a week to help with the bills.
Its has been a rewarding year but very intense, your certainly not an undergrad anymore. The work load rises considerably and you cannot hide from your tutors if you have not put the hours in. The class sizes drop from 30 or 15 to 6 or even 3! If you don't put the work in your exposed big time.

My MA is from Hull, with a David Bagchi as my supervisor, a Reformation/ Theology specialist, and its my home town so I was lucky he was there. This has kept the costs down, as Hull is much cheaper to live than most places. This is why I applied to northern universities for my PhD.

Are you looking at doing your MA starting this year?
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bigfroghk
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(Original post by Frehley)
Funding is a big issue, I have had to take a PCDL for my MA year, and as you get the lump some in October, you have to really budget for the entire year because once its gone, it IS gone. I also have been working 20ish hours a week to help with the bills. <br />
Its has been a rewarding year but very intense, your certainly not an undergrad anymore. The work load rises considerably and you cannot hide from your tutors if you have not put the hours in. The class sizes drop from 30 or 15 to 6 or even 3! If you don't put the work in your exposed big time.<br />
<br />
My MA is from Hull, with a David Bagchi as my supervisor, a Reformation/ Theology specialist, and its my home town so I was lucky he was there. This has kept the costs down, as Hull is much cheaper to live than most places. This is why I applied to northern universities for my PhD.<br />
<br />
Are you looking at doing your MA starting this year?
<br />
<br />
I would want to start in 2014. It seems like that your research interest is in religion related early modern Europe?
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Frehley
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#17
(Original post by bigfroghk)
<br />
<br />
I would want to start in 2014. It seems like that your research interest is in religion related early modern Europe?
My PhD will be based upon England, but its impossible to ignore the influential European theological/ political interpretations. The late medieval cannot be missed either. It really blends together.

Funding every year will be tough for your MA, you will need to know what your intentions are, and a good-ish idea of your possible PhD proposal. Don't rule anywhere out tho, Durham is awesome and if I had got funding there I would have snapped their hand off. But, there will only be around 2-3 funded MA places in any Uni, and its mega competitive. A very good degree grade is essential.
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bigfroghk
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Frehley)
My PhD will be based upon England, but its impossible to ignore the influential European theological/ political interpretations. The late medieval cannot be missed either. It really blends together. <br />
<br />
Funding every year will be tough for your MA, you will need to know what your intentions are, and a good-ish idea of your possible PhD proposal. Don't rule anywhere out tho, Durham is awesome and if I had got funding there I would have snapped their hand off. But, there will only be around 2-3 funded MA places in any Uni, and its mega competitive. A very good degree grade is essential.
<br />
<br />
I did not know that applying ma funding needed to have a PhD proposal, I really do need to spend more time on thinking careful what I want to do. Thanks.
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Frehley
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#19
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#19
(Original post by bigfroghk)
<br />
<br />
I did not know that applying ma funding needed to have a PhD proposal, I really do need to spend more time on thinking careful what I want to do. Thanks.
Sorry, I did not mean to imply applying for an MA needed a fully worked out proposal, as it does not. There will however, be question like this on the MA apllication:

"Please outline the topic(s) you intend to focus on at York/Leeds/Durham etc and how this will prepare you for PhD research or professional employment".

Thus, you will need a sense of direction for your studies. Don't be too intimidated by it, they will not expect a fully developed idea for a thesis.
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bigfroghk
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#20
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#20
(Original post by Frehley)
Sorry, I did not mean to imply applying for an MA needed a fully worked out proposal, as it does not. There will however, be question like this on the MA apllication:

"Please outline the topic(s) you intend to focus on at York/Leeds/Durham etc and how this will prepare you for PhD research or professional employment".

Thus, you will need a sense of direction for your studies. Don't be too intimidated by it, they will not expect a fully developed idea for a thesis.
Thanks so much. I am now struggling between St Andrews and Birmingham. Both are good, but really don't know which I should go for.
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