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Study a graduate program in history

What will I study in a graduate history program?

A graduate history program also you to delve into past, looking at human experiences and the lessons we can learn from them to help our present-day problems. You will be able to study almost any period of history at some history department around the world.
Whether you choose to specialise in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Spanish Armada or the American civil war, the core skills you learn will be the same. Expect to be able to analyse different cultural artefacts, identify causality and links and improve your research skills.
The basis of your graduate history program will depend on whether you opt for a taught or research course. Research programs allow you to develop your own topic in an original way through an extended essay. Taught programs allow you to develop your skills in certain areas in more depth.

Length of program

The length of a graduate history program depends on where you study and whether it is a taught or research program. Postgraduate courses generally last the following duration in these countries: 

  • UK – 1-2 years
  • US – 1-2 years
  • China – 1-3 years
  • Canada – 1-2 years

Entry requirements

In order to get onto most graduate history programs you should have an undergraduate qualification in history or a related subject. As most graduate history programs revolve around your ability to argue coherently and constructively, you need to demonstrate previous experience in this.   

If you are studying in a country where the first language is different from your own, you may be required to take a language test to prove your skills.

Career development

A postgraduate course in history generally allows students to continue into academia with a PhD or related research program. However, for those looking to get into work, a postgraduate course in history allows you to cross over into a wide range of careers.

As you will build strong analytical and communication skills, many history postgraduate go on to careers in journalism and marketing, as they are able to communicate messages clearly and concisely.

Another popular route is to make use of the specialist knowledge you can gain and work in conservation or heritage roles in museums, universities and galleries.

Some of the jobs included in this field are:

  • Archivist
  • Museum work
  • Historical researcher
  • Publishing

Fees and funding

The cost of graduate history programs varies widely from country to country and also depends on the status of the course and university. Remember that fees depend on whether you are a home, EU or international student. As a guide, expect to pay the following in these countries per year:

  • UK - £4,500 - £17,000
  • USA - $5,000 - $30,000
  • Germany  €2,000 - €5,000
  • Canada - $4,000-8,000
  • China – RMB 21,000-24,000

What to do next

If you would like more information about studying a graduate program in history, fill out our Free Application Service and we'll get in touch with information tailored to your needs, including some great courses in this area.