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History, Place and Community


The Institute of Historical Research’s MA in History, Place and Community is an exciting new programme designed to be flexible and centred on your needs: whether you’re building the foundations for higher level research, looking to develop applied skills for your professional development, or simply interested in your own place and its history.

Today, the intersections between history, place and community have never been more visible in public discourse, heritage interpretation, conservation and policy. What does it mean to feel a sense of identity and commonality with a group or with a place? What are the bonds that link people as parts of a greater whole, and how are they created and perpetuated? How are communities imagined and what does it mean for those within them and outside?

The MA encourages you to ask and answer these questions and can be adapted to allow you to draw upon wider scholarship to focus on your own particular favoured areas, localities or research topics. This flexibility in approach also extends to the structure and teaching format: the course is taught using a hybrid, blended approach, making the most of London where appropriate but also allowing for study at a distance, allowing you the maximum opportunity to fit study around your own circumstances and needs.

The independent study element of the course – taking place in term 3 for full-time students or term 6 for part-time – will see you choose between a 15,000-word dissertation or a placement with a partner organisation (of your choice, although the IHR can assist in finding suitable placements) of not fewer than eight weeks.

Positioned within the rich intellectual environment of the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, the IHR is the perfect place in which to engage with localities and communities. Home to the Centre for the History of People, Place and Community, the Victoria County History and the Layers of London project, the Institute boasts an unrivalled concentration of expertise in both urban and rural places, ranging widely beyond the usual boundaries of history as a discipline. The programme also takes advantage of the IHR’s unique location in the heart of London, and the opportunities for field trips, archive visits, and observation of the historic environment this presents.

There are two bursaries currently available for this course:

British Friends of the IHR Bursary offering a 50% reduction (£4,500) on fees for one student from the UK (i.e. paying Home fees);

The Jacob Myron Price Bursary offering a 50% reduction (£7,000) in the Overseas fee for one student coming from the United States

Terms and conditions apply for each bursary. See the Institute of Historical Research for further details. 

The deadline for bursary applications is 16 June 2023.

Message from the Programme Director

We have designed this programme to be a new and exciting way for students to explore those fundamental building blocks of human society and identity: communities, places and groups. The taught element will give you the firmest possible grounding in modern historical debates and methods, equipping you with all the skills and knowledge you need to establish yourself as a researcher in your chosen subject area. The degree culminates in either a dissertation or a placement, allowing you to craft your original contribution to historical understanding in whatever way suits both the material and you. With the help and support of our enthusiastic team of expert staff you will emerge as a seasoned historical researcher, ready to go on to further study or further explore your own amateur or professional historical interests.

Contact the Institute

Key Information

The School of Advanced Study is a unique environment in which to study the humanities.  The School strives to reflect the latest developments in thinking across the humanities disciplines it supports and to ensure that its programmes reflect this.   We are also aware that the needs of our students are constantly changing.  With that in mind, the School continually reviews the its programmes and, as part of that process, reserves the right to alter or discontinue them. 

We assure you that we carry out these exercises at no detriment to any enrolled students. Students enrolled on any programme that we discontinue will be able to complete that programme within a reasonable timeframe and with all the necessary resources at their disposal. The School will communicate any anticipated changes with students as early as possible.