MA program

MA in History Stream

Thesis-based option

Facilities are available for graduate work in Canadian, European, British, American, Middle Eastern, Japanese and Chinese history. Specialists covering Europe, Britain, the Middle East and East Asia can supervise topics from the medieval to the modern eras.

MA students must complete History 500 (Historiography) and an additional 4.5 units (3 one term courses).

These are comprised of 1.5 or 3 units of field courses in a geographical area relating to the student's thesis topic and 1.5 or 3 units of topical field courses. At least 1.5 units must be in a geographical or thematic area outside that covered in the thesis. Geographical field courses focus on the history of a particular country, while topical field courses are thematic courses of a comparative transnational nature (e.g. gender history, military history).  

Courses cover a wide range of themes, among them political history, aboriginal history, military history, gender history, social history, cultural history, diplomatic history, intellectual history, comparative/world history, labour history, history of science and historical demographics. Depending on geographic concentration, the department covers periods ranging from the medieval to the modern.

The thesis length is between 70 and 120 typed pages.  This program was designed to be completed in 2 years. 


Course requirements (Unit Values)

HSTR 500 ............................................................................. 1.5
Geographical Field Course ...................................................... 1.5
Topical Field Course ............................................................... 1.5
Geographical or Topical Field Course ....................................... 1.5
Thesis ................................................................................... 9.0
Total .................................................................................... 15.0

Other Requirements

At the end of the first month of their fourth term of registration, students must submit a short historiographical report on their thesis topic to their supervisor. This must include an explanation of how they plan to complete their research. If this report is not completed by the first month of the fifth term of registration, the student will be required to meet with his or her supervisor and the Graduate Adviser. If the report is not submitted within a week following this meeting, the student will normally be required to withdraw from the program by the end of the fifth term.

All candidates for the MA in History must demonstrate a reading knowledge of a second language acceptable to the department in order to qualify for graduation. This will normally be a language relevant to the student's research interests. The level of proficiency expected will be a passing grade in an approved reading course offered by the respective language departments. Students may also fulfill the language requirement by passing the department's written translation examination.

Project-based option

Facilities are available for graduate work in Canadian, European, British, American, Middle Eastern, Japanese and Chinese history.  Specialists covering Europe, Britain, the Middle East and East Asia can supervise topics from the medieval to the modern eras.

Non Thesis M.A. students must complete History 500 (Historiography) as well as an additional 7.5 units of coursework.

Of these, 1.5 units will be a directed reading historiographical and research methods course (Hist 550) taken with the supervisor of the major research paper in the student’s last semester. Three units will normally be taken in their geographical field of interest. The other three units will include at least 1.5 units of a topical field. At least 1.5 units must treat a geographical or thematic area outside that covered in the major research paper. Geographical courses focus on the history of a particular country, while topical field courses are thematic courses of a comparative transnational nature (e.g. gender history, military history). Courses cover a wide range of themes, among them political history, aboriginal history, military history, gender history, social history, cultural history, diplomatic history, intellectual history, comparative/world history, labour history, history of science and historical demographics.  ).

Students will also complete a major research paper. This paper will normally be based on primary research and will emerge from a paper written for a graduate course other than History 500 or 550. The major research paper must be 40-45 typed pages and will be written in the form of a journal article. It will be graded by the supervisor and an additional faculty member and will not be subject to oral defense.  This program was designed to be completed in one year.


Course Requirements (Unit Values)

HSTR 500 ................................................................................. 1.5
HSTR 550 ................................................................................. 1.5
Geographical Field Courses ........................................................ 3.0
Topical Field Course ................................................................... 1.5
Geographical or Topical Field Course ........................................... 1.5
Major Research Paper ................................................................ 6.0
Total ....................................................................................... 15.0

All candidates for the MA in History must demonstrate a reading knowledge of a second language acceptable to the department in order to qualify for graduation. This will normally be a language relevant to the student's research interests. The level of proficiency expected will be a passing grade in an approved reading course offered by the respective language departments. Students may also fulfill the language requirement by passing the department's written translation examination.

MA in Public History Stream

Project based

Students are required to take HSTR 500 (Historiography), HSTR 515A (Public History), 3.0 units of graduate History courses, 3.0 units of 488, 489, or 491-series Cultural Resource Management courses, to be determined in consultation with the Graduate Advisor. The 3.0 units of graduate History courses may include a 1.5 unit Field School course (HSTR 528, HSTR 470/591, or GMST 489/GER 591).

Course Requirements (Unit Values)

HSTR 500.......................................................................................1.5

HSTR 515A.....................................................................................1.5

Geographical or Topical Field Course (HSTR).....................................1.5

Geographical or Topical Field Course (HSTR), or Field School Course...1.5

Two 488, 489, or 491-series Cultural Resource Management courses...3.0

HSTR 801.......................................................................................3.0

HSTR 597.......................................................................................4.5

Total..............................................................................................16.5

In certain cases, because of student background or course availability, one or more of the above courses (except HSTR 515A) may be replaced by a different course with approval of the Graduate Adviser. This may include a language course, a relevant graduate course in History or another department, or a Cultural Resource Management course.

Work Experience

In order to be awarded an MA in the public history stream, students are also required to complete a semester of work experience, normally over the summer after their first year, with a museum, archive, historic site or other public history organization.  This work experience could be a paid position obtained through the University of Victoria Co-op program, a full-time paid position or a part-time unpaid internship located through the department’s network of community partners. Students who are currently working professionals in public history or have extensive volunteer experience in the field may be considered to have fulfilled the semester of work experience requirement.

Final Project

Students will complete a written major research paper of 40-50 pages on a public history topic, normally based on primary sources and ideally linked in some way to the focus of their work experience. A website, an exhibit, or other public history project, also based on primary sources, is an acceptable alternative to a major research paper; those choosing to do such a project would also be required to submit a written paper related to the project of at least 20 pages documenting the research component of their project.

*Candidates for the MA in Public History are not normally required to demonstrate a reading knowledge of a second language.

Program Length

The MA in Public History is designed to be completed in 16 months for full-time students.


Cultural, Social and Political Thought

For History students interested in the MA in History Stream (thesis option), and with a strong interest in theory can also apply to take an enriched course load through participation in the interdisciplinary program, Cultural, Social and Political Thought (CSPT); those who qualify for the program are given the chance to engage with sophisticated theory that goes beyond disciplinary boundaries, in order to address key issues in cultural social and political thought.

This interdisciplinary program is open to selected MA students in English, History, Political Science and Sociology. Students must meet the core graduating requirement of the individual departments. The Graduate Director in each department should be consulted for details. To complete the CSPT program in History, a student must complete:

  • 3 units of CSPT 500
  • 15 units as required in the History MA program (including HIST 500 and the Master's language requirement)
  • The MA thesis (HIST 599) must be in the field of CSPT. Admission to the CSPT program is subject to the written approval of the Program Director. Applicants must already have been accepted into the MA program in History. The requirements for the program in the Departments of English, Political Science and Sociology differ from those in History.

The thesis M.A. may be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. The M.A. degree normally takes 2 years to complete, but must be completed within five years.


Apply to Graduate Studies at UVic


Each student will have a supervisory committee nominated by the academic unit and approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies. The academic supervisor will facilitate all activities of the supervisory committee. All members of a supervisory committee must be on the Faculty of Graduate Studies membership list or be specifically approved by the Dean. A faculty member who wishes to be appointed as a co-supervisor for a student who is in a program outside of the faculty member’s academic unit must be approved for the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Membership list as an Associate Member in the student’s home academic unit. Note that when this is the case, normally the Associate Member would be ineligible to serve as a non-unit examining member, and would normally be ineligible to serve as an external examiner for the Associate Member’s home academic unit and for the unit for in which the person is an Associate Member.

The duties of the committee include: recommending a program of study chosen in conformity with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and academic unit’s regulations; supervision of the project, thesis or dissertation; participation in a final oral examination when the program prescribes such an examination. The committee may conduct other examinations, and will recommend to the Faculty of Graduate Studies whether or not a degree be awarded to a candidate. See the document “Responsibilities in the Supervisory Relationship” on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website for more information.

Composition of the Supervisory Committee: Master’s Degrees 

Listed below are the minimum requirements for master’s supervisory committees. Additional supervisory committee members may be added without the approval of the Dean as long as they are members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies or have had specific permission from the Dean of Graduate Studies to serve as a member.

Master’s Degrees With Theses in Regular Master’s Degrees Programs 

All members of the Master’s supervisory committee must be on the Faculty of Graduate Studies membership list or be specifically approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies. The supervisory committee must have at least two members:

  • Member #1: The supervisor - must be from the home academic unit;
  • Member #2: Normally from within the home academic unit; may be a co-supervisor or a committee member.

Master’s Degrees Without Theses in Regular Master’s Degrees Programs 

All members of the Master’s supervisory committee must be on the Faculty of Graduate Studies membership list or be specifically approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies. The supervisory committee must have at least two members:

  • Member #1: The supervisor - must be from the home academic unit;
  • Member #2: Normally from within the home academic unit; may be a co-supervisor or a committee member.

When you begin writing your thesis there are many resources available to you through the faculty of Graduate Studies.  If you have questions please contact our graduate assistant.

Before you defend your thesis there are a number of steps that you must take.

Timeline

  • Supervisor needs a minimum of three weeks to review the final draft of your thesis
  • Once your supervisor approves your final draft it then goes to your additional committee members
  • Additional committee members require a minimum of three weeks to review your final thesis draft
  • Submit request for oral examination form to grad studies once all committee members have examined the thesis and are satisfied that it represents an examinable document for the degree requirements.  This form must be received by grad studies 20 working days before your oral defense (not including the day of the defense).

The oral defence take 2 to 2.5 hours.  The student will give a 15 minute presentation at the beginning, follwed by a question period that starts with the external examiner.

Graduate Advisor

Dr. Sara Beam
Cle B205
250-721-7406

histgradadv@uvic.ca

Graduate Assistant

Heather Waterlander
Cle B245
250-721-7384

histgrad@uvic.ca