HY499: The Masters Dissertation

This component of the degree reflects our belief that Masters level history students should be willing to engage in detailed historical research. In preparing this piece of work, students are provided with guidance about how to choose an appropriate topic, how to identify and locate the necessary sources, and how to write up their research findings. This is done through a combination of departmental workshops and discussions between individual students and their dissertation supervisor. But ultimately the dissertation is a test of the research abilities and writing skills of each individual student.

Examples of topics tackled by previous Masters students at the Department include:

  • The role of the UK in Early Sino-American Contacts regarding the Vietnam War. A Missed Opportunity?
  • The Anglo-Argentine Negotiations on the Transfer of Sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, 1966-1968
  • The European mediation of the Indian Concept of Aryanism and its subsequent implications for Hindu nationalism
  • Racial stereotyping and the Japanese Fall of Singapore
  • The British Government and the BBC: Foreign Policy in Action in Kenya and Rhodesia during the 1960s
  • 'Conqueror and Captive': The British Romantics and Napoleon.

While in London, students preparing dissertations can take advantage of numerous world-class research libraries and archives. These include the National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office), the British Library, the libraries of specialised schools of the University of London such as the Institute for Historical Research, the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, and the LSE's own library, the British Library of Political and Economic Sciences. The LSE's archive also contains much valuable research material, as do the collections of the Imperial War Museum, the Warburg Institute and many others.