MSt in Global and Imperial History

The MSt in Global and Imperial History can be taken either as a free-standing degree, or as the first step towards a D.Phil. The programme encourages students to develop intellectual and practical familiarity with advanced research in the global history of the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, East Asia, Australasia, and the Americas (excluding the US). Global and imperial history in this context implies transoceanic and transcontinental connections, comparisons, and exchanges between cultures, polities and societies. It also examines broad patterns and systems in history, whether religious, political, economic, cultural or ecological.

Global history, in other words, is history with a global scope (often including European dimensions) that emphasizes comparative perspectives. Students are not expected to master the histories of multiple regions, but to use a global approach to cast light on their own research area.

Research training is combined with broad conceptual approaches that encourage students to learn from the recent historiographies of different periods and areas and with focused studies of periods or themes. This class work parallels supervised pursuit of a research project.

All students will be encouraged to attend some of the faculty’s many advanced research seminars. The admission of any candidate for further study at Oxford will depend on his/her overall performance in the master’s programme, together with the viability of any proposed research topic and the availability of appropriate supervision at Oxford.  Students should indicate from the start their region of interest.

The examination comprises three elements:

  • Two extended essays of up to 5,000 words based on an Advanced Option, a course dedicated to in-depth study of a one of the areas within the programmes scope. Teaching is usually arranged in small classes or tutorial groups in Hilary Term.
  • An examination paper in historical methodology. Teaching is in weekly classes in Michaelmas Term. Assessment is through a three-hour written examination at the end of Trinity Term.
  • A dissertation of up to 15,000 words on an agreed topic s. It is expected that students will write their extended essays and dissertations on different themes or periods. The Dissertation is written up during the Easter vacation and the first five weeks of Trinity Term, but it is essential that students begin to formulate and plan their dissertation in conjunction with their supervisors from the beginning of the course.

The course lasts for nine months (from October to June) and the examination results are normally available by the beginning of July.

For more information about applying for graduate study at Oxford see