This unique Masters degree blends history, politics and journalism, to help you gain a better understanding of the biggest global issues of our time, such as climate change, gender equality and racism. It’s for curious and ambitious graduates from any field, who want to help find imaginative new solutions to these problems.
£7,825 for the full course or £870 per 20 credits* (2023/24)
£14,900 for the full course (2023/24)
Kedleston Road, Derby Campus
New for September 2022, this Masters is for people who want to understand world affairs from all angles, and develop the skills and vision required to find solutions to complex problems
We’re looking for students with a diverse range of skills and experience who are ready to engage in lively debates and are open to new perspectives. Scientists, artists, accountants, historians, marketers — graduates of any discipline (or non-graduates with valuable experience) are welcome
You will develop strong skills in research, data analysis and communication, and become an adept critical thinker and problem-solver. These skills are essential if you want to progress on to a research degree and they’re also valuable for a range of roles in politics, campaigning, think-tanks, NGOs, civil or diplomatic services
We’ll make sure you have an exceptional student experience, with more contact hours than most universities and staff that go the extra mile to support you
Change is everywhere. Can you help shape it?
The climate crisis, biodiversity and habitat loss, the Covid-19 pandemic, the rise of populism, threats to free speech and democracy around the world, ageing populations: these are just some of the challenges we face in the 2020s.
At the same time there are many areas of opportunity. New and sustainable technologies promise a future with clean energy and zero-emissions vehicles, while social media enables people to work together to challenge prevailing orthodoxies, prejudices and governments. There is youth activism and widespread movements for racial and societal justice.
If you want to really understand what drives global challenges such as these, and play a role in designing solutions to them, this Masters degree is for you. It’s unique because it covers such a wide range of subjects — particularly history and international relations, politics, journalism and communication studies.
Using a range of theories and approaches from all these subjects, we will analyse issues from different perspectives, so you will come to appreciate that there is never just one way to look at a problem. We’ll touch on topics such as:
political activism to contested cultures and norms
modes of governance relating to addressing global grand challenges
diversity, equity and cultural intelligence
power structures and notions of democratic consent
inequities and inequalities of gender, race and resources
decolonisation and ‘global ethnic majorities’
climate crisis and environmental stress
physical and cultural conflict
freedom of speech, of journalism, and of political activism
globalisation, and civil liberty.
We will discuss and debate current affairs — from the latest political developments and technological or scientific breakthroughs, to economic matters and social movements. We will also consider how the news is created and shaped, considering issues such as freedom of the press and 'fake news'.
Develop a powerful set of skills
Throughout the course, you will be expected to read widely, research thoroughly and synthesise and analyse information to form considered opinions and persuasive arguments. As part of this process, you will learn quantitative data analysis techniques and ways to present data, since this has become an important part of today’s communications.
Your assessments — which include writing policy proposals, reports, essays and conference papers, as well as delivering presentations — will enable you to practise and perfect these skills; none more so than the independent study. This research-based dissertation will enable you to explore in-depth, an area you are particularly passionate about, and consider the issue from all standpoints.
By the time you graduate, you will be a skilled thinker, researcher, communicator and influencer — abilities that could lead you into research, politics, journalism, the civil service, charities and many other fields.
Postgraduate Open Event
Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.
‘The Shape of Things': Culture, Identity, and Representation
Economy and Environment
Contemporary Challenges and Debates
Data Journalism and Data Science
Globalisation and the Legacy of Imperialism
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
How you will learn
We use a range of approaches to enable your learning. These include lectures, seminars, tutorials and debate, but because this is a masters, there is an emphasis on self-directed study. We have a blended learning strategy, which means that, in addition to face-to-face teaching, you can also find materials for all modules on the virtual learning environment and take part in online discussions here.
How you are assessed
There are a variety of ‘summative assessments’ towards the end of each module, such as writing policy proposals, reports, research symposiums, conference papers and essays, as well as conducting data analysis and and delivering presentations. The final Independent study, a traditional research dissertation, carries the most weight so we help you prepare for this task early on in the programme by providing specific research training.
As well as the summative assessments, we will be assessing you regularly during teaching sessions and one-to-one tutorials, checking that you understand theories and concepts and providing feedback. This will also help you evaluate your own strengths, weaknesses, abilities and talents: a critical part of masters-level study.
Who will teach you
Simon Philo Programme leader
Simon is Programme Leader for BA Liberal Arts; and Subject Leader for American Studies and Popular Music in Society.
You will need a good honours degree (1st or 2:1) in any subject, or its international equivalent. Applications may be considered if you have a 2:2 honours degree and/or significant relevant professional experience.
It is important that we get to know you, your aspirations and your expectations. Therefore, before being accepted onto the programme applicants may be invited to an informal interview to discuss the course, the nature of the programme, and what will be expected of you during it.
The University welcomes applications from every sector of society and welcomes International applicants.
If English is not your first language you will need to demonstrate English language capability in line with the prevailing University of Derby requirements for admission to study.
Fees and funding
2023/24 (August 2023 - July 2024)
£7,825 for the full course or £870 per 20 credits*
£870 per 20 credits
£14,900 for the full course
Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.
* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable
Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.
MA or MSc
This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.
Funding your studies
Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.
You will develop advanced skills that are highly desirable in the graduate careers market, including in independent research, critical evaluation, problem-solving, written and verbal communication and negotiation. You will also emerge from the programme with greater cultural awareness and understanding, and a respect for differing viewpoints.
These skills and abilities could lead you into a broad range of careers, such as in policy analysis and development, communications and journalism, or information and archival research. You may want to enrol on civil service graduate training schemes or postgraduate training and education. The programme would also enable you to continue your own research through doctoral study.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.
Included in your fees
Your fee includes any mandatory study visits and some social events
Optional costs not included in your fees
Purchase of reading materials - approx. £30 per text but cost varies depending on source
There may be costs associated with non-compulsory field trips
Printing and binding of one copy of dissertation, cost approx. £6
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.