How you'll learn
Your academic development and success is at the heart of our teaching. We strive to create an environment in which students thrive, underpinned by high-quality teaching, cutting-edge research, fantastic resources and a supportive, inclusive culture.
You will learn through lectures, supported by seminars which facilitate small-group discussion and debate, in a dynamic learning environment. We believe that learning is a two-way collaborative process and encourage students to develop their own informed views, creating confident, independent and inquisitive individuals.
Our academics are at the forefront of their disciplines. Every one of our academics teaches and feeds their research into their teaching, exposing students to current thinking and ground-breaking research.
We have a diverse range of research strengths, including political culture, economic and social history, and religious history. Our staff have expertise across many areas of research, including witchcraft and the supernatural, the history of science, health and medicine, the history of meteorology, and the history of revolution.
a vibrant research environment
We offer a truly interdisciplinary and lively research environment. All our students are regularly invited to research seminars, workshops and conferences within our University, and benefit from involvement in national and international networks.
We also organise a bi-annual postgraduate colloquium, where all our postgraduate students are invited to give papers on their on-going research and to engage with fellow students' work.
We are proud to hold unique resources of international significance, all of which are available for your use and to enhance your learning. We encourage a collections-based approach to studying, and actively teach students how to use these resources to bring their research to life.
diverse student body
Whether you're studying for a postgraduate course following an undergraduate degree, returning to study after time spent elsewhere, or wish to make a career change, we welcome students of all ages and from all demographics. Learn alongside peers with varied backgrounds for a greater depth and richness of perspective.
"I began my university journey at Reading in my early 30s. I have been a mature student and I have supervised mature students as a Lecturer in Modern History at Reading. The flexibility and choice available is fantastic and enables you to study when it suits you."
Our flexible postgraduate courses are designed to recognise that every student is unique: our courses enable you to fit your studies around your commitments and to create a flexible course to suit your needs and interests.
You can undertake our courses full-time, over 12 months, or part-time, over 24 months; alternatively, you can take undertake our courses on a modular basis, which can be spread over up to five years. If your circumstances change during your degree it is possible to change your registration status.
Most postgraduate teaching takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 4-6pm, to accommodate students with work commitments during the day.
"I studied for my degree part-time over two years which, as a mature student with commitments, suited me quite well. I really appreciated the flexibility shown by the Department.”
support while you study
Each student is assigned an academic supervisor who will offer guidance, provide support and monitor your progress during your studies. Your supervisor will support you to master all the appropriate research skills and ensure your project reaches a successful conclusion. We cultivate a dynamic learning environment that acknowledges learning as a two-way, collaborative process. As such, you will develop your own highly skilled critical theories, and grow as a historian.
You will also be supported by our friendly, inclusive community of students and staff. The History Postgraduate Room is located within the department, offering all our students the chance to work independently on their projects, in close contact with other students and members of staff. We take pride in making sure that all our students feel part of the department, and the Postgraduate Welcome Event held in early October will help you to settle in.
local and regional resources
Reading is home to a number of institutions which house important historical collections, including Reading Museum, Berkshire Records Office and Reading Abbey.
Additionally, our close proximity to London and Oxford offers easy access to institutions such as the British Museum, the British Library and the Ashmolean Museum, all of which are important resources for study in History. Plus, Reading benefits from excellent transport connections throughout the UK.
Come to our next Open Day
Find out more about the Department of History and all that we have to offer. Plus, get a feel for the place and explore the University's beautiful grounds, friendly culture and excellent facilities.