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School of History


We understand that it might not be possible for everyone to study full time. That’s why we offer part-time and flexible study options for all our Masters and PhD students.

This page outlines the following:


Success story: Carol Sibson

“Starting a PhD in retirement meant learning new skills – computers, palaeography and research methodology.

“As a headmistress I was used to encouraging the young to become autonomous learners but initially I found working on my own project very demanding: my memory was not what it had been and I did not pick up skills as quickly as when I was young. Then again, over the years I had learnt how to apply myself, organise my work, prioritise; gradually new and old skills became more secure and my confidence grew.

“My supervisor, the staff and academic community at Queen Mary were all supportive and encouraging. And what a journey it's been ever since. I am passionate about my work, which is challenging but absolutely engrossing. Best of all, I am learning and discovering all the time - and that's wonderful at any age.”

Masters (MA) students

Part-time study

Part-time MAs are taken over two years and the fees are split equally across the duration.

The structure of your two years will depend on the MA programme you chose. Typically you will take any compulsory modules in the first semester of your first year.

You will take 180 credits across the two years, including core modules, elective modules and a dissertation to be submitted at the end of your second academic year.

Example structure (MA History)

Year one

  • Semester 1
    • Core module – 30 credits
  • Semester 2
    • Elective – 30 credits

Year Two

  • Semester 1
    • Elective – 30 credits
  • Semester 2
    • Elective – 30 credits
    • Dissertation – 60 credits

Next steps

If you’re considering applying for a part-time MA, we recommend you find out more about funding(link is external), fees (link is external)and how to apply(link is external).

Research degree (PhD) students

Flexible study

Studying full-time for a PhD takes three years – studying part time extends that to six years.

The School of History welcomes PhD students to our flexible part-time route. All who choose this route are treated with the same care, nurture and support as students who study full-time.

We foster a wide range of intellectual and social activities. These offer ample occasion for PhD students working at different paces and circumstances to become a cohesive group of historians, and to benefit from each others’ skills and interests.

Professional experience

PhD students who have chosen this flexible route may be in work, or have other demanding commitments. Some have found it easier to finance their studies whilst in employment, others have chosen to begin studying again after a lifetime of work, while some see it as a way to change direction in their careers.

Several of our students have been able to bring their professional experience to bear on their research in fruitful and exciting ways. We would encourage you to do the same if you are considering applying for a PhD.

Next steps

If you’re considering applying for a part-time PhD, we recommend you find out more about funding, fees and how to apply.