history MA without a history degree?

(18 Posts)
OtraCosaMariposa Fri 25-Oct-19 20:46:56

I'm thinking of going back to Uni and studying for a masters in history. It's something which has always really interested me, I live in a large city with a choice of Unis and a couple offer MA programmes.

My bachelor's degree is joint honours Accounting and French. Would this count as a "related discipline" - the entry requirements for the MA are a degree in history or a related discipline. I graduated in 1995 so it wasn't exactly yesterday either...

Any advice?

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OtraCosaMariposa Fri 25-Oct-19 21:05:00

Meant to add - the French half of my degree included a fair chunk of history, literature and art as well as pure language. (Got a 2:1 if that's relevant). Also in my first year did an elective in Modern European history.

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SarahAndQuack Fri 25-Oct-19 21:13:25

Usually, if you are going back as a mature student, the requirements are a bit different. Just contact the universities and ask.

(I would think your undergrad is pretty closely related, too.)

OtraCosaMariposa Fri 25-Oct-19 21:19:09

I'd be 48. Old enough to be mother to most of the other students.... Will contact them and have a chat.

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SarahAndQuack Fri 25-Oct-19 21:26:21

YY, definitely worth it. FWIW I am currently in a History department (have been in English Lit in the past) and my experience is that, essentially, what they want to know is whether you have learned to write essays and to structure an argument in something vaguely like the way historians do. But even if your degree were Maths or Vet Med or whatever, as a mature student you could argue you had all sorts of other skills, and many places will take that into account.

Definitelyrandom Fri 25-Oct-19 23:09:04

As a mature student it’s likely to be easier. FWIW, DS did a Theology first degree, then switched to Philosophy for his Masters. He had to work very hard, not least because the terminology in Philosophy is different, but he did very well indeed and has just started his PhD in Philosophy.

OtraCosaMariposa Sat 26-Oct-19 11:02:59

Thanks all. I'm just struggling with committing to the whole idea. It feels very self-indulgent to spend probably two years part time studying for a MA without a clear aim of getting a "proper job" at the end of it. DH is hugely supportive and we could afford the fees but still...

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moredogsthansense Sun 27-Oct-19 13:42:31

I’m a vet who went back to uni to do a history MA now followed by a PhD. Other than having to fill in some subject knowledge gaps myself when they’ve come back, it’s not been a problem at all. Do it!

moredogsthansense Sun 27-Oct-19 13:42:48

Come back? Come up!

BestIsWest Sat 02-Nov-19 23:42:07

Interesting. Also been thinking of doing this in the next few years. My first degree is in Economics and 35 years ago.

IdiotInDisguise Sat 02-Nov-19 23:47:31

I did it, part time and obviously, I don’t work on anything related to history these days, it was pure and simple indulgence on my part but I enjoyed it very much.

The only thing that I would mention is that for a part time MA you need to do at least 14-16 hours of self study a week. Can you commit to that? I can assure it WON’T be a walk in the park.

RachelYC Fri 17-Apr-20 00:02:27

I’m interested to know what you decided (although it may have been derailed by current circumstances...) - I studied law about 15 years ago, and would love to do a masters in medieval studies now, but am a bit nervous in case my application gets laughed out of the room...

ElizabethBennetismybestfriend Sun 19-Apr-20 14:54:41

I am in a similar situation - degree in English Lit and History but looking into doing a History Masters. When I contacted Admissions at my nearest university I was told that my degree was not suitable, so I am looking at Open University as they are about the change their Masters course.

PerditaProvokesEnmity Sun 19-Apr-20 15:12:26

Well, the OP is long gone as this is an old thread - but one thing I'm aware of is that after a long gap a university will be less interested in the direct relevance of an undergrad degree and more in what you have since done (whether as work or hobby) that shows evidence of your capability to successfully complete the proposed MA /MSc.

Peaseblossom22 Tue 28-Apr-20 16:23:43

I finished a history MA last year 30 plus years after graduating in Politics and Economics . It was fined, hard work but I loved it , I found the hardest thing to get my head around was the referencing !

Copperas Thu 30-Apr-20 06:33:07

Rachel, large amounts of our medieval documentary evidence come from legal records at the National Archives. I think you would be snapped up!

OtraCosaMariposa Wed 10-Jun-20 17:09:51

Just discovered updates on this thread!

Well I did get a place, but not quite as expected.

It was a flat NO from the first two Universities I approached, given that they didn't class my first degree as relevant and my work experience irrelevant too. I got a better response from Edinburgh uni who offer an online MA in History, but it's eye-wateringly expensive. The course leader sent a lovely email saying that he thought it was borderline, and suggested I did a couple of Open University modules at 3rd Year undergrad level, pass those and then apply next year. (A lot more positive than a flat NO).

Ummed and aaahed about doing that as it was a pricey option - modules were around a grand each, and they were saying to do two, then the MSc was £15k over two years. Just couldn't justify that spending.

Reflected on it over Christmas and thought about what sort of history I'm interested in, and looked at courses again.

Long story short, I applied for the part time MSc in Genealogical, Heraldic and Paleographic Studies at Strathclyde and was accepted right away. It;s far more relevant to my background in that I've been researching my own family tree and transcribing records for a decade, and I can do it over 3 years (2 years of part time study with assignments, no exams) then the last year writing the dissertation. Classes are online but with the option to go into the Uni, I'm local so ordinarily would plan on going in but who knows about what the situation will be in October.

I'm really excited about starting this and what direction it might take me in my freelancing. Dream job would be as a researcher on Who Do You Think You Are, or managing a wee company archive somewhere.

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Ellmau Wed 10-Jun-20 22:03:45

It won't qualify you for archives jobs, I'm afraid.

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