From Marlborough to Montgomery and MacArthur
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, Sir Hew Strachan, Richard Overy, Sir Richard J. Evans, David Reynolds and Gary Sheffield, and Sir Antony Beevor.
The programme runs from October to September with three introductory classes on research techniques and ten seminars by guest lecturers.
2020-21 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? In the event that Covid-19 social distancing restrictions mean we are unable to meet in person, the Introductory classes will be held online.
Date: Monday 28 September 2020
Location: University of Buckingham in London, 51 Gower Street, Fitzrovia, London WC1E 6HJ.
• 12:00: Professor Saul David (University of Buckingham), Introductory Lecture 1
• 14:00: Professor Saul David (University of Buckingham), Introductory Lecture 2
• 16:00: Professor Saul David (University of Buckingham), Introductory Lecture 3
2020-21 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 Six Max Hastings, and Professors Saul David, David Reynolds, Sir Hew Strachan, Richard Overy, Sir Richard Evans, Gary Sheffield and NAM Rodger, talking about a range of military history subjects on the following dates:
- Monday 11 January 2021, 6.30-8pm: Professor Saul David (University of Buckingham), ‘Crucible of Hell: Okinawa – The Last Great Battle of the Second World War’. Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
- Monday 25 January 2021, 6.30-8pm: Professor David Reynolds (University of Cambridge), ‘Churchill and Empire’, (University of Cambridge), Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
- Monday 8 February 2021, 6.30-8pm: Dr Andy Boyd (Humanities Research Institute, University of Buckingham), ‘British Naval Intelligence’. Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
- Monday 22 February 2021, 6.30-8pm: Professor Sir Hew Strachan (University of St Andrews), ‘Title tbc’. Followed by dinner 8.15pm.
- Monday 8 March 2021, 6.30-8pm: Professor Gary Sheffield (University of Wolverhampton), ‘Nelson: The Commander and his Legacy 1793-1945’. Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
- Monday 22 March 2021, 6.30-8pm: Dr Matthias Ströhn (University of Buckingham), ‘The Thirty Years War’. Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
- Monday 12 April 2021, 6.30-8pm: Dr Spencer Jones (University of Wolverhampton), ‘A Season of Opportunity: The Confederate invasion of Maryland and the Battle of Antietam, September 1862’. Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
- Monday 26 April 2021, 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 10 May 2021, 6.30-8pm: Professor Dan Todman (Queen Mary, London), ‘Britain’s War: How the military history of Britain’s Second World War has changed over time’.
Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
- Monday 24 May 2021, 6.30-8pm: Sir Max Hastings, ‘Operation Pedestal: The Race to save Malta, August 1942’. ‘Followed by dinner at 8.15pm.
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.
What our students say
“I completed the one-year Research MA in Military History in 2012 and subsequently went on to complete a DPhil 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 DPhil 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.”
Full details in the Curriculum Handbook
For further details contact:
Humanities Research Admissions on +44 (0)1280 827514