Part Time Distance Learning2yrs
Full Time Distance Learning1yr
What was the Royal Navy’s role in British history, and that of its empire? Why did Nelson become such a hero and how was he depicted? Through unique collaborations with the National Museum of the Royal Navy and HMS Warrior, this programme explores these questions in the context of 400 years of naval history. You will examine the importance of the Royal Navy to British and global history, while engaging with the life of the ordinary sailor in peace and war, the cult of the naval hero, and the navy – and its sailors – in popular culture. To do so, you will draw on a range of naval experts, curators, and primary sources, including the rich collections of Portsmouth’s naval museums. The flexible distance format allows you to learn from leading naval experts as well as the latest scholarship and debates in the field.
On this course you will:
This course is an excellent opportunity for students with an interest in British and Naval History to learn from experts in the field and develop a real grounding in this subject area. Offering specific real-life learning experience working with archives and museums, this course offers you the opportunity to develop key transferable skills, such as independent learning, written communication, textual analysis and time management. This course also assists you with refining key research skills appropriate for progression to PhD level research.
Possible career opportunities include:
This course is for the naval history enthusiast certainly, but it is also a challenge to the academic. A highlight has been the opportunity for a large group of us students to meet up at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich and to have guided tours round the galleries hosted by two of the leading maritime historians of the day. We are quickly becoming a mutually supportive group which, despite this being a distance-learning course, is gelling into a serious but humorous debating fraternity.
Alan Smith, MA Naval History student 2016-18
You will study the following core units:
We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
The course can be studied entirely by distance learning through access to high quality interactive resources online, including unique primary sources, secondary literature, and video clips of world renowned experts. Dr Steven Gray, Lecturer in the History of the Royal Navy, will also be on hand to guide you through the course, as well as provide regular feedback and opportunities to discuss your work. Students will also be welcome to join optional campus based elements in Portsmouth, which will allow students to meet others on the course, participate in seminars, and access the resources, archives, historical artefacts and expertise of the naval museums in Portsmouth. There will also be optional field trips further afield, including abroad, that will further students’ understanding of the Royal Navy, and its role in the world. The MA is taught by university specialists in naval history, alongside staff from the National Museum of the Royal Navy and HMS Warrior, expertise, archives and galleries will offered to students at an unprecedented level. This flexible programme of delivery enables participation from students all over the UK and beyond.
The course offers opportunities for regular informal feedback on assignments based on each block’s topics, which will include using primary documents, objects, and artworks to explore key questions. Formal assessment will comprise essays, document analysis, and book reviews. Students will be able to utilise the university’s unique access to the collections of Britain’s premier Naval Museum and HMS Warrior in order to complete these assessments. The course also requires a 15,000 word dissertation based on original research, offering students opportunity to explore firsthand the history of the Royal Navy.
Dr Steven Gray
This course offers a unique opportunity to study the history of the Royal Navy at postgraduate level. Located at the home of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth, students have an unparalleled behind the scenes access to the Museum's experts, archives and historic ships.
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You will have the opportunity to use two key war archives: Mass Observation Online, with revolutionary access to texts, photographs and eye-witness reports of post-blitz Britain, and Women, War and Society, a First World War collection from the Imperial War Museum comprising press cuttings, minutes and correspondence. Both of these online archives are mixed media collections and fully text searchable.
The course is run in collaboration with the National Museum of the Royal Navy and HMS Warrior. The expertise and collections of both museums are integral to the teaching of the core units and provide you with unprecedented access to the material held there. There is also the opportunity to work with museum collections when completing both independent projects and your dissertation.
As the course is distance learning, the University provides all essential reading, as well as many other additional texts and sources online. You will also be able to request journal articles, chapters, and books, from the huge collections held at the University Library to be sent to you (UK and Ireland addresses only). Furthermore, as a Portsmouth postgraduate student, registering for SCONUL Access iallows you to borrow or use books and journals at other libraries which belong to the scheme.
There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.
There are optional field trips in the UK and Europe where you would be required to meet these costs. These may be in the region of £500 - £1,000.
The degree will embed a range of highly desirable transferable skills such a communication, research and writing skills. In addition, the MA affords the student the opportunity to gain invaluable employability skills through internships arranged with the NMRN. Students who hold an MA in Naval History will be equipped for a variety of occupations such as teaching, the civil services, the armed forces, research for strategic studies bodies, and more general post-graduate employment. The MA also provides an ideal foundation for those who would like to embark on a PhD in naval history.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.
We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.
I am currently working at the Lloyd’s Register Foundation Heritage and Education Centre; one of the finest libraries and archives of its kind holding over 250 years of maritime, marine and engineering science history. The Lloyd’s Register began in 1760 as a way of recording and classing ships and vessels. My role involves researching, interpreting and sharing information found in the library. Studying for a Master’s degree in Naval History helped me gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to finally be able to pursue a career in historical research and work for such an important library.
Charlotte Ward, MA Naval History 2017
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