From Marlborough to Montgomery and MacArthur
Established in 2009, this programme in Military History enables students to choose (with guidance) their own topic of research and to pursue this under expert one-to-one supervision. But in addition to developing their own specialist research, students also meet regularly to hear, and to dine and argue with, some of the most illustrious figures in the world of Military History: speakers including Sir Antony Beevor, Sir Hew Strachan, Simon Heffer, Richard Overy, James Holland, and Saul David, among others. Dinners are in the elegant and conveniently located surroundings of the Caledonian Club, off Belgrave Square, London SW1.
The Financial Times has reviewed the course enthusiastically, noting 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 directed by Professor Gary Sheffield, one of Britain’s leading historians of the First World War and President of the Western Front Association, whose many books include his edition of the diaries of Field Marshal Haig, as well as biographies of Haig and Wellington, and studies of the leadership effectiveness of officers in the trenches during the Great War.
Further details of the programme are available below and in the downloadable e-brochure, accessible via the link below.
Applicants who wish to speak directly with the Course Director can do so by emailing: email@example.com
2022-23 Guest seminars and dinners
All students are invited to attend the guest seminars and dinners that follow. The cost of the post-seminar dinners is included in the tuition fees.
Location: The Caledonian Club, 9 Halkin St, London, SW1X 7DR.
Time: The seminars take place from 6.30pm – 8.00pm and are followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
Speakers and subjects: The speakers will include Professors Richard Overy, Saul David, and Gary Sheffield talking about a range of military history subjects on the following dates:
- Monday 10 October 2022, 6.30-8pm: Dr Spencer Jones (University of Wolverhampton), ‘The American Civil War: The First Battle of Bull Run Reassessed’. Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
- Monday 24 October 2022, 6.30-8pm: Dr Halik Kochanski (Independent Scholar), ‘European Resistance in the Second World War’. Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
- Monday 7 November 2022, 6.30-8pm: Professor Richard Grayson (Goldsmith’s, University of London), ‘Military History from the Street: First World War Case Studies from Belfast and Dublin’. Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
- Monday 21 November 2022, 6.30-8pm: Professor Gary Sheffield (University of Buckingham), ‘An Amphibious Learning Curve? The Royal Navy and the Soldiers at Gallipoli’. Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
- Monday 5 December 2022, 6.30-8pm: James Holland (Independent Scholar), ‘Big Week: The Air Battle before D-Day’. Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
- Monday 23 January 2023, 6.30-8pm: Professor Saul David, ‘Marlborough and the Battle of Blenheim, 1704’. Followed by dinner at 8.15pm
- Monday 6 February 2023, 6.30-8pm: Professor Richard Overy (University of Exeter), ‘Waging Economic War: The Lessons of World War II’. Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
- Monday 20 February 2023, 6.30-8pm: Professor Matthias Strohn (University of Buckingham), ‘Frederick the Great, his Wars and their Impact on German Military Thinking 1740-1945’. Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
- Monday 6 March 2023, 6.30-8pm: Justin Maciejewski (Director, National Army Museum), ‘Why the Military History and the Traditions of our Soldiers and the Army Matters’
- Monday 20 March 2023, 6.30-8pm: Dr Christina Goulter (King’s College London), ‘The Greek Civil War 1944-49’. Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
Introductory Classes 2022-2023
The Introductory Classes will take place in the Boardroom of the National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4HT, on Thursday 29 September 2022, from 11am to 4.30pm.
We are grateful to the Director of the NAM for making this facility available, and very pleased that members of Museum’s staff will contribute to the day.
(The Introductory Classes are for Students taking the MA. If any Associate Students or Ph D students would like to attend, could they let Professor Sheffield know by 5pm on Thursday 22 September 2022.)
11am-12 noon: Professor Gary Sheffield, ‘Military History: Research Techniques 1’
12 noon-1pm: Professor Gary Sheffield, ‘Military History: Research Techniques 2’
1pm-2pm Lunch break (Lunch is not provided. The Museum café is recommended, or there are various other establishments nearby)
2-3pm: Professor Gary Sheffield, ‘Military History: Research Techniques 3’
3-4pm: NAM Curatorial Staff: ‘Archives and archival research at the National Army Museum’ (includes opportunity to examine archival material)
4-4.30pm Professor Gary Sheffield, ‘Concluding Remarks’
For those who wish to attend the evening guest seminar programme, but are 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 guest seminars and dinners, and to meet the guest lecturers, but does not require the submission of written work. Associate Students are not registered for and do not receive, the MA degree.
Graduate Study in Military History
What our students say
“I found Buckingham’s MA in Military History by Research a very rewarding experience. After a business career in the technology sector I was able to finally devote some time to my passion for Military History. The task seemed daunting at first as it had been a long time since I was last in education and I had no knowledge of how to conduct historical research. However, the introductory course of lectures provided a solid study framework and detailed follow up discussions with my tutor enabled me to focus in on a specific historical area of interest and, more importantly, identify a particular question that needed answering.
The research-based nature of the course means at this point you embark on a solo process of discovery. Reading the existing literature and sifting the archives, both online and in person, you follow leads and gradually piece together the parts of your chosen puzzle. The course is demanding and academically rigorous with a high standard of work expected. However, the tutors are excellent and always there to support and guide your progress and check your work is of the required standard. Writing the dissertation is challenging but once completed it is a very satisfying feeling to know you have contributed to the historiography and understanding of your chosen area.
Whilst most students in my intake took the one-year full-time course I undertook the two-year part-time route and found it allowed me the time and space to investigate my chosen specialist area and really enjoy the whole process without pressure. If you have the time, it may be an option to consider.
If undertaking a masters currently seems too much of a commitment I would highly recommend becoming an associate just to attend the MA course’s accompanying series of illuminating evening events hosted by Professor Saul David. Each evening involves a standalone lecture given by an eminent historian followed by a dinner and conversation. It is highly enjoyable to spend time in the company of a diverse group of people with a common passion and to be able to talk to some of the biggest names in Military History. Even though I have completed my Masters I intend to be an associate for many years to come!
Andrew Thompson, Master’s (distinction), 2021
“The MA by Research in Military History at The University of Buckingham offers students the opportunity to channel their passion and intellectual curiosity into an academic endeavour full of reward.
The research seminars delivered by Professor Saul David equip the student early on with a solid foundation to build on, along with a road map to begin drawing out one’s chosen topic. Accompanying these are lectures from speakers at the apex of their field, which are both informative and inspiring, set within a comfortable environment conducive to open debate.
Moreover, the student support at Buckingham is second to none, with administrators on hand to answer any questions and avoid any pitfalls emerging, along with librarians available to assist in seeking out rare books. Taken together, the MA by Research in Military History guarantees a unique experience and provides the necessary tools to succeed.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course and found the whole experience both character building and rewarding. It provided an excellent platform to develop a keen interest into an extensive academic project, under the watchful eyes of expert supervision. I look forward to my next project within this space.”
Scott Sherriff, Master’s (distinction), 2020
“I completed the one-year Research MA in Military History in 2012 and subsequently went on to complete a PhD also at The University of Buckingham.
Like most students, I embarked on the MA course with a longstanding interest in military history but little understanding of the skills and disciplines involved in academic research. The unique and exciting quality of the Buckingham programme is that it enables an interested amateur as I certainly was then to tackle a historical question that is entirely new and to produce a work that can withstand rigorous professional scrutiny within an incredibly short timescale.
If the opportunity provided by the Buckingham course is exciting, its strength lies in the way it combines three elements which support and guide the student. The first is a well-crafted introduction to research techniques backed by exercises to develop research and writing skills. This element is relevant and practical and it is adjusted to the needs of the individual. The second is the series of general interest lectures over the first half of the year all provided by first rank historians. These expose students to new historical problems and the latest research and the format over dinner allows genuinely stimulating debate. They provide invaluable context for the student’s individual work. However, the critical element that stands out at Buckingham is the quality of the individual guidance and supervision in selecting a research topic and then executing successive stages. I cannot rate too highly the individual supervision that I and my fellow students received. I think PhD students at the best universities would count themselves fortunate to receive the tailored support of this quality and care and not least time from some of the best historians in the United Kingdom.
I would also like to commend the general administration of the Buckingham MA programme. It is a complex programme with diverse students with different requirements, a complex lecture programme and no dedicated Buckingham owned site in London. Yet the execution from logistics around successive lectures through to the examination of the final thesis and the monitoring of academic standards was close to perfect.”
Dr Andy Boyd, PhD, 2015
For further details contact:
Humanities Research Admissions on +44 (0)1280 827514