• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 12 months
  • School: Humanities
  • Study Mode: Full Time+Part Time

Develop your research skills and prepare for more advanced postgraduate study with a course tailored to your own individual research needs and interests.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

Thinking of undertaking a PhD or simply wish to develop your skills in a particular area of historical research?  Our History MRes, with a tailor-made research plan to suit your individual research interests and skill needs, offers the ideal opportunity.

You will benefit from the support and guidance of historians with relevant expertise and during one-on-one meetings with academics you will develop a personalised reading programme.  You will learn to improve your critical understanding of the work of other scholars and present the findings of your research to others.


We offer you training in areas such as oral history, databases, palaeography and archive use – skills that will be useful whether you wish to pursue further study or carry out personal research.

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

What you will study

You will be provided with a range of opportunities to develop core research skills and to develop the historiographical context necessary to write a dissertation.  All students take the core skills and sources module and design their own directed readings programme with an appropriate tutor.

Core modules

HY52006 - History Skills and Sources

This module aims to provide you with an understanding and mastery of core skills, and with appropriate experience of their application. Together, these will help to prepare you for the research dissertation element of the MRes and for further study at PhD level.

The work of the professional historian is the focus of the first semester. Topics include:

  • leading research - the work of the Professor
  • writing research - from idea to archive to publication
  • the anatomy of a research article
  • the concept of the concept
  • causation in historical research
  • applying for funding
  • giving Impact to your research

Historical Skills will form the focus of the second semester. These will focus on a number of optional skills which may include:

  • databases
  • oral history
  • research ethics
  • working in the archive
  • history and numbers
  • writing for the public
  • writing for the profession

And historiographical approaches:

  • colonialism
  • ethno History
  • national History
  • diplomatic history

HY51018 - Directed Reading in Historical Research

This module aims to provide an advanced understanding of the historiography relating to your chosen research topic, so that topics can be located in the broad context of existing historical debates.

You will work with your appointed supervisor to develop a detailed reading programme related to your research. You will follow a programme of directed readings in the relevant historiography, with small group, often one-on-one, meetings enabling discussion and in depth analysis of that historiography.  The exact nature of these readings will, of course, depend entirely on the topic of the dissertation, and therefore cannot be specified generically.


HY52011 - Dissertation

You will undertake a substantial individually supervised research project, building on your literature review from HY51018.

Your dissertation will show an advanced understanding of at least some of the research methods, skills and theories that have been acquired from participation in the preceding methods, skills and theory modules. You should apply these to your chosen area of research, normally making use of primary materials in constructing an original piece of work, demonstrating the ability to work independently under supervision.

The 30,000 word dissertation will be submitted at the end of the course.


How you will be taught

You will be required to attend the History Skills and Sources module which meets regularly in two-hour seminars throughout the Autumn and Spring Semesters. You will have meetings every week with your tutor for the directed readings module, and also regular scheduled meetings to discuss your dissertation research.

You will be expected to attend history research seminars organised by the centres for Global History and Scottish Culture. 

In the spring of your final year, you will be invited to present your research project to the School of Humanities Postgraduate Conference.

How you will be assessed

This course is assessed entirely through continual assessment designed to provide support for developing a research project.

The ability to analyse complex and sometimes contradictory information and to present that material in a coherent narrative will be assessed by essays which will also test your conception of current historiographical debates.

The development of your ideas will be assessed through module journals which will also allow you to maintain a dialogue with tutors.

Your oral and presentation skills, and your ability to organise complex and partial information into a coherent and time-limited form, will be tested by a presentation to the postgraduate conference.

Your ability to design and complete a research project will be assessed by the research dissertation which forms the majority of the assessment for the course. 

This MRes provides you with essential skills and expertise to study at PhD level or to work in the heritage industry.

Although most graduates will continue to a PhD, others may continue into professions such as teaching or continue training for a career in museums or archives.

A first or upper second class honours degree or an equivalent qualification in History or a related discipline.

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 6.5
Listening 6.5
Reading 6.5
Writing 6.5
Speaking 6.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fee statusFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students £7,300 per year of study
Rest of UK students £7,300 per year of study
International students (non-EU) £17,275 per year of study
Fee statusFees for students starting 2020-21
Scottish and EU students £7,650 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Rest of UK students £7,650 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
International students (non-EU) £18,150 per year of study
See our scholarships for International applicants

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students will increase by no more than 5% per year for the length of your course.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

You apply for this course through our Direct Application System, which is free of charge. You can find out more information about making your application when you click Apply Now below

  Degree Course code
Apply nowHistory MResP060444

Course Contact

Professor Graeme Morton
+44 (0)1382 381370