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Educational aims

This taught postgraduate programme in humanities will:

  • provide you with appropriate training in the techniques of postgraduate study in one humanities subject area.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of the programme are described in four areas.

Knowledge and understanding

When you have completed this qualification you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • a range of research tools and methods appropriate to postgraduate study in one humanities subject area
  • current issues and debates in one humanities subject area.

Cognitive skills

When you have completed this qualification you will be able to:

  • evaluate critically current research in one humanities area
  • evaluate and critique some of the methods used in humanities research
  • use concepts and theories appropriately.

Practical and/or professional skills

When you have completed this qualification you will be able to:

  • use research libraries, their archives and their contents efficiently
  • use specialist online databases and other online facilities for postgraduate study
  • form arguments at postgraduate level and express those arguments in pieces of writing, using proper academic conventions.

Key skills

When you have completed this qualification you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:


You will be able to:

  • communicate effectively in writing to a specialised audience
  • vary your means of communication according to the specialised task at hand
  • be aware of the tools which can help you in the task of effective communication.

Improving your own performance

You will be able to:

  • plan an essay at postgraduate level
  • use feedback from your tutor and fellow students effectively in order to prepare subsequent assignments
  • use other resources, such as libraries and ICT resources, to improve your learning.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding are gained and developed through study materials. These include published teaching text, internet materials, study and assignment guides, and may include some of the following, depending on the discipline studied: offprints, illustrations and CDs. Learning outcomes are assessed primarily by means of tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and an examination, which provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of methodological themes.

Cognitive skills: you will learn to understand the methodologies and approaches taken by others to the study of the humanities, and you will be asked to evaluate some of these in assignments and the examination. 

Practical and professional skills: the formation of arguments and the employment of critical and evaluative skills are taught and assessed in each of the MA in Humanities foundation modules. The use of research libraries and other research tools is taught in each of the foundation modules.

Key skills are developed progressively throughout the foundation modules, in relatively brief, structured assignments (typically 2000 words), and in the examination.