MA Military History

Qualification Start dates Entry requirements Full- or Part-time Assessment
Master of Arts (MA) September First or second class honours degree or relative experience Level of English required Full-time Dissertation

Course outline

With military history one of the fastest-growing areas of academic study, the University of Buckingham introduced a one-year MA in Military History, by research, in 2009. This is a groundbreaking programme: the first one-year Research MA in Military History, and the first with an integral course of seminars by visiting lecturers of international repute.  The programme was enthusiastically reviewed by The Financial Times, which noted that “Intellectually curious professionals are signing up for a new course that gives them the opportunity to exchange thoughts on security, diplomacy and the armed forces over dinner with stellar historians and military top brass.”

The programme is London-based and directed by one of the country’s finest military historians, Professor Saul David. The lectures offered by the Course Director will be supplemented by a series of ten guest seminars by some of the most eminent scholars and authors in the field, including Professors N.A.M. Rodger, Hew Strachan, Richard Overy, Tim Blanning and Gary Sheffield, Antony Beevor and Sir Max Hastings.

The programme will run from September 2013 to August 2014, with thirteen research seminars – three on research techniques and ten by guest lecturers.

Teaching methods

The MA does not offer systematic instruction in the facts of history; instead, the emphasis is on independent research.

At the heart of the Buckingham MA is the close working relationship between student and supervisor. While the final thesis must be an independent work, it is the supervisor who offers advice on refining the topic (if necessary), on primary sources, on secondary reading, on research techniques and on writing the final text (which should be not less than 20,000 words). Supervisors and students will meet frequently throughout the year, and not less than twice a term; and the supervisor shall always be the student’s primary contact for academic advice and support.

RAF Club stained glass windowThis is a London-based course. The seminars will be held at the RAF Club, in Central London (128 Piccadilly). The nearest London Underground Stations are Hyde Park (Piccadilly Line) or Green Park (Victoria, Jubilee and Piccadilly Lines).

Each seminar (approximately 90 minutes, 18:45-20:15) is followed by a post-seminar dinner, at the RAF Club, for those who wish to attend, where there will be an opportunity to continue the seminar discussion in an informal environment. Attendance at these dinners is entirely at the choice of the student, and their cost is not covered by the tuition fee.

Tutorials and meetings with supervisors will take place at the University of Buckingham’s London offices, situated in the European School of Economics, 8/9 Grosvenor Place, London SW1X 7SH, near Buckingham Palace.

Remaining programme for 2013-14

  • Monday 3 February 2014: Professor Sir Hew Strachan (All Souls’ College, Oxford), Clausewitz’s On War
  • Monday 17 February 2014: Professor Richard Overy (University of Exeter), Writing the History of the Second World War
  • Monday 3 March 2014: Sir Max Hastings, Catastrophe: 1914
  • Monday 17 March 2014: Professor Antony Beevor, Battle of the Bulge, 1944

2014-15 Introductory classes:

The Introductory Classes are for Students taking the full MA. If any Associate Students would like to attend, could they let Professor David know in advance.  The locations for the Introductory Classes are the President’s Room and Meeting Room B of the RAF Club, 128 Piccadilly, London W1J 7PY

  • Monday 6 October 2014, 19:00-20:00, President’s Room: Professor Saul David (University of Buckingham), Military History: Research Techniques 1
  • Tuesday 7 October 2014, 19:00-20:00, President’s Room: Professor Saul David (University of Buckingham), Military History: Research Techniques 2
  • Wednesday 8 October 2014, 19:00-20:00, Meeting Room B: Professor Gary Sheffield (University of Wolverhampton), Military History: Research Techniques 3

2014-15 Research seminars:

All students are invited to attend the guest seminars and dinners that follow.   Guest Seminar and Dinner Location: President’s Room, RAF Club, 128 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7PY. Telephone: 020 7399 1000. Dress code: lounge suit or tailored jacket and tie, and the equivalent dress for women.  The use of mobile phones in the Club is forbidden except in certain designated areas.  Seminars are held from 18:30 to 20:00 followed by dinner at 20:15.

  • Monday 20 October 2014: Professor Tim Blanning (University of Cambridge)
  • Monday 3 November 2014: Baroness Manningham-Buller
  • Monday 17 November 2014: Professor Saul David (University of Buckingham)
  • Monday 1 December 2014:  Professor N.A.M. Rodger (All Souls’ College, Oxford)
  • Monday 15 December 2013: Professor Gary Sheffield (University of Wolverhampton)
  • Monday 19 January 2015: Mr James Holland
  • Monday 2 February 2015: Professor Sir Hew Strachan (All Souls’ College, Oxford)
  • Monday 16 February 2015: Professor Richard Overy (University of Exeter)
  • Tuesday 3 March 2015: Sir Max Hastings
  • Monday 16 March 2015: Professor Antony Beevor

How much will it cost?

Tuition fees and methods of payment, including discounts for advance payment, can be found on our postgraduate tuition fees page.

There is a small additional cost for the dinners.

Associate students

For those wishing to attend the evening research seminar programme, but unable to devote the time to the coursework or to register for the MA degree, there is the option of becoming an Associate Student.  This status will enable the student to attend the ten research seminars and to meet the guest lecturers, in the first six months of the programme, but does not require the submission of written work. Associate Students are not registered for, and do not receive, the MA degree.


  • Applications & enquiries

    Course enquiries and applications: applications are open for entry in September 2014

    Contact: Claire Prendergast, Humanities Research Institute, University of Buckingham, Tel: +44 (0)1280 820204, Email:

    Applications can be made online.

  • London Programmes


    Humanities MA programmes in Archaeology, Biography, History of Art, Decorative Arts, Garden History, International Affairs and Diplomacy (by Research), Military History and War Studies are taught in London. More information.

  • HRI


    Saul David, All the King’s Men: The British Soldier from the Restoration to Waterloo (London: Penguin, 2012)

  • Dean’s Welcome