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Military History MA

Course code


Start date


Subject area


Mode of study

1 year full-time

2 or 2.5 years part-time



UK £8,735

International £18,410

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This dynamic military history course will offer you an in-depth study of warfare on land, sea and air across a range of periods and continents, from the Classical Age to the present.

Far from being just knowledge of the past, you will receive a detailed insight into issues relating to defence, security, intelligence and strategy. Taught by expert military historians, you will be highly valued by employers within these fields.

Three exciting core modules will take you into the arena of the subject: ‘War in History’ which considers the impact of war through the centuries; ‘The Royal Navy in the Twentieth Century’ which charts the pinnacle and decline of the British sea power; and ‘European Warfare in the Age of Muscle' that examines impact of warfare on politics and society in Europe from ancient times to 1453.

Your choice of an optional module provides the opportunity to study the Second World War, or drawing on experts from the University’s internationally renowned Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies (BCISS), either ‘Intelligence History: Failure and Success’ or ‘International Security’.

Along the way, you will build a toolkit of transferable skills gained through evidence gathering, analysis, problem solving, drafting and communications, which can be applied to a wide range of industries within the public and private sector.

Studying military history at Brunel has many advantages. Situated in London, the course has established links to world-renowned archives and libraries based in and close to London, including the Caird Library (National Maritime Museum), The National Archives and the Imperial War Museum, among others. Additionally, the original WWII operations bunker used by Sir Winston Churchill on the former RAF Uxbridge site is a walk away from campus.

As a Brunel student you can also look forward to membership to the Royal Institute for International Affairs, as well as access to the specialist Angus Boulton Military History Library housed on campus.

Guest speakers add further military expertise to the programme and have included Professor Ilan Pappe (University of Exeter), Emeritus Professor Avi Shlaim of Oxford University, Sir Tony Brenton (Cambridge University), and Professor Brian Holden-Reid (KCL).

You can explore our campus and facilities for yourself by taking our virtual tour.

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Course content

Brunel’s Military History MA will give you a deeper knowledge into national and international military action throughout our history. Choose optional modules to gain insight into specialist topics, alongside compulsory modules which will boost your learning in this subject.

This course can be studied 1 year full-time or 2 or 2.5 years part-time, starting in September.

Year 1

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

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Careers and your future

Graduates from our MA Military History programme have gone onto careers in a variety of private and public sectors such as working in government, NGO's, law, teaching, banking and researchers to name just a few areas.  Many also undertake further study in order to become specialists in a given field.

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UK entry requirements

  • A 2:2 (or above) UK Honours degree, in a Social Sciences or Humanities related subject, or equivalent internationally recognised qualification.

Applicants with a 2.2 or above from a non-related discipline will be considered on an individual basis by the Admissions Tutor.

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EU and International entry requirements

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 59 (59 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 63% (min 58% in all areas)
  • TOEFL: 90 (min 20 in all) 

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason. We offer our own BrunELT English test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options through our Brunel Language Centre.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants. This information is for guidance only and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Entry requirements are subject to review, and may change.

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Fees and funding

2022/23 entry


£8,735 full-time

£4,365 part-time


£18,410 full-time

£9,205 part-time

More information on any additional course-related costs.

Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase. 

Fees for EU applicants – For entry in 2022/23 academic year, eligible EU applicants will have the same tuition fees as UK students to continue our support during this transition period. These fees will be applied for the duration of the course.

See our fees and funding page for full details of postgraduate scholarships available to Brunel applicants.

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Teaching and Learning

You will be taught in lectures (main classes) and seminars (smaller classes designed to encourage discussion) by a team of leading military historians.

The programme’s director, Professor Matthew Hughes, is a former Maj-Gen Matthew C Horner Distinguished Chair in Military Theory at the US Marine Corps University who has held visiting fellowships in Egypt, Lebanon and Israel.

Professor Hughes is also on the Council of the Army Records Society, is a former editor of the 'Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research' and a former judge for the 'Templer Medal' awarded by the Society for Army Historical Research.

Should you need any non-academic support during your time at Brunel, the Student Support and Welfare Team are here to help.

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Assessment and feedback

You will be assessed on your learning using a combination of methods that typically include written coursework and examinations. To complete your MA you produce a 15,000 word dissertation on a military history topic of your choice under the guidance of an academic supervisor.

Read our guide on how to avoid plagiarism in your assessments at Brunel.

Read our guide on how to avoid plagiarism in your assessments at Brunel.