ICWS to launch a Master’s programme which focuses on the wider legacies of European imperialism

Monday 16 February 2015

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICWS), a member of the University of London’s School of Advanced Study (SAS), has launched a Master’s programme for anyone interested in understanding how the legacies of imperialism and post-colonialism have shaped the world we live in.

Starting in October 2015, the new degree - The Making of the Modern World - will introduce students to debates about decolonisation and its legacies. Rather than limiting the study of empire to a few case studies or to a single colonial power, it will encourage students to explore the British, French Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Belgian empires in comparative perspective.

‘The MA in The Making of the Modern World explores the fundamental question of how the decline of European empires has shaped the 20th century, and beyond’, said Professor Philip Murphy, Deputy Dean of SAS and director of ICWS.

‘Students will explore debates about decolonisation and its relationship with modernity. At a time when the legacies of empire are still being felt, not just in the former colonies, but at the heart of former colonial powers themselves – as seen with the UK government’s settlement to Mau Mau torture survivors – we are delighted to be offering this timely and innovative degree.’

For the duration of this degree, students will have direct access to ICWS’s academics with world-leading expertise in this area. By providing a foundation for students who wish to expand their knowledge of international history, politics and society, this advanced degree is designed to be a stepping-stone to a research career as well as to improving students’ employability.

Dr Sue Onslow, an ICWS senior research fellow who will teach on the degree, said it is an intellectually stimulating MA that ‘will provide students with skills essential to a range of careers. These include interviewing and assessment techniques, oral and archival research, analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, and the critical assessment of sources of information. The in-depth knowledge gained about development and post-colonial paths to modernity will equip graduates for varied work - in international organisations, the media, and in policy.’

In common with other Masters programmes, The Making of the Modern World will offer intense and challenging content and learning. Students have the option to study part or full-time. Applications should be made by 31 August 2015.

For more information about the degree please contact: Chloë Pieters, (020 7862 8853, chloe.pieters@sas.ac.uk), School of Advanced Study, University of London.

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Notes for editors:

1. For all enquiries, please contact: Maureen McTaggart, Media and Public Relations Officer, School of Advanced Study, University of London +44 (0)20 7862 8653/ Maureen.McTaggart@sas.ac.uk

2. The Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICWS) is the only postgraduate academic institution in the UK devoted to the study of the Commonwealth. Founded in 1949, its purpose is to promote interdisciplinary and inter-regional research on the Commonwealth and its member nations in the fields of history, politics and other social sciences.  Its areas of specialism include international development, governance, human rights, north-south relations and conflict and security.  The Institute of Commonwealth Studies is a member institute of the School of Advanced Study, University of London. www.commonwealth.sas.ac.uk or follow the institute on Twitter at @ICWS_SAS 

3. The School of Advanced Study (SAS) at the University of London, is the UK’s national centre for the promotion and support of research in the humanities and celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2015. It was officially opened on 15 March 1995, by Sir Anthony Kenny as a federation of the University of London’s research institutes and, since then, has established itself as the UK’s national humanities hub, publicly funded to support and promote research in the humanities nationally and internationally. SAS and its member institutes offer unparalleled academic opportunities, facilities and stimulation across a wide range of subject areas for the benefit of the national and international scholarly community. In 2013-14, SAS: welcomed 743 research fellows and associates; held 2,081 research dissemination events; received 26.4 million visits to its digital research resources and platforms; and received 202,891 visits to its specialist libraries and collections. A series of anniversary events and activities will take place throughout 2015. Find out more at www.sas.ac.uk or follow SAS on Twitter at @SASNews.

4. The University of London is a federal University and is one of the oldest, largest and most diverse universities in the UK. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University is recognised globally as a world leader in Higher Education. It consists of 18 self-governing Colleges of outstanding reputation, together with a number of prestigious central academic bodies and activities. Learn more about the University of London at http://www.london.ac.uk