For those who wish to expand their study of maritime history there are many universities in Britain offering degrees in the subject. Several have specific maritime history research centres. These centres offer specialised courses from Undergraduate Degrees to Masters courses and Doctorates in maritime and naval history, and increasingly there are opportunities to study via distance learning.

Courses range from maritime archaeology to maritime history and you will find many at which show a range of postgraduate courses.

Among the BMCH trustees are representatives from the main academic maritime research centres in Britain.

Research centres

Below are some of the dedicated Research Centres that specialise in Maritime and Naval history:

MA and PhD at the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies, University of Exeter

The Centre was the first of its kind in a British university. It can call on a wide range of expertise in maritime historical studies within the university and seeks to promote research into economic, social, political, naval and environmental aspects of the British maritime past from the earliest times to the present day. The MA in Maritime History includes modules on technology, trade, ports, exploration, mariners and fishing. The medieval and early modern module explores European maritime expansion and the creation of commercial empires. The MA in Naval History has modules on British naval power in the era of sail, 1650 to 1815, and in the era of steam and motor, 1816 to 1945. It examines the contribution of sea power as an instrument of defence and conquest, and the Navy as a part of society. In each MA, students research and write a dissertation on their chosen topic. These courses can be taken part time over 2 years or fulltime in 1 year.

For more information on MA, Mhil or PhD programmes, contact Dr Maria Fusaro, University of Exeter, Amory Building, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ.

MA in Maritime History, MA by research in Maritime Studies, MPhil, and PhD at University of Greenwich

Located in the iconic setting of the Old Royal Naval College, the University of Greenwich offers a unique environment for the study of maritime topics and an array of postgraduate courses on both contemporary and historical subjects. Our taught MA in Maritime History gives equal weight to mercantile and naval aspects of maritime history, with blended-learning courses focusing on the Royal Navy since the seventeenth century, and the development of merchant shipping, ports and fisheries to the present day, as well as marine environmental history; maritime history and film; and piracy from 1500 to the early nineteenth century. We also offer a unique ‘Case Studies in Maritime History’ course, during which an array of scholars share their research insights and expertise with students, as well as courses on sources, methods and archives designed to prepare students for the 20,000-word dissertation. Alternatively, students can take a research masters, with a smaller taught element and a dissertation of up to 40,000 words. All MA courses can be taken full-time over one year, or part-time over two. Students will also be connected to the vibrant, interdisciplinary Greenwich Maritime Centre. The new MA in Maritime History is being reconfigured, and will be available from the 2018-19 academic year.

Further information can be obtained from the Greenwich Maritime Centre, University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, Greenwich, London, SE10 9LS, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 8331 9794.
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MA, MRES, and PhD at the Maritime Historical Studies Centre, University of Hull

The Maritime Historical Studies Centre (MHSC) is located in Blaydes House in Hull’s historic ‘Old Town’. The Centre provides a focus for research and teaching in the field of maritime history, broadly defined, and its staff provide specialist input to Hull’s undergraduate and postgraduate History provision. Though we do not offer named Maritime degree programmes, students at all levels can opt into maritime history modules and undertake research to doctoral level with expert supervision. We welcome MA, MRes and PhD research proposals from students and scholars working in the field, and can accommodate Visiting Scholars wishing to work on projects or archival collections in Hull and its region.

For further information about these programmes or the PhD programme, contact Dr Richard Gorski, Department of History, University of Hull, Hull, HU6 7RX, UK. Tel: +44 01482 465183.

MA in Maritime and Imperial History Swansea University

The MA in Maritime and Imperial History combines elements of local (Welsh) maritime history with modules offering coverage of global themes, enabling candidates to develop their interests in maritime and imperial history, either as training for future PhD research, or as a self-contained course of study.

The MA is built around one core course which enables candidates to explore a range of thematic and conceptual approaches to the study of maritime and imperial history, and a second, ‘Making Maritime and Imperial History’, which is a practical skills-based group project involving the application of collaborative research to the development of materials to be used in a public history and heritage context. Students also take three elective modules. The MA culminates in a dissertation written under the supervision of one of specialist staff in the Department.

For further information contact Professor Huw Bowen. Tel: +44 (0) 1792 60235.

MA in Naval History at the University of Portsmouth

What was the Royal Navy’s role in British history, and that of its empire? Why did Nelson become such a hero and how was he depicted? Through unique collaborations with the National Museum of the Royal Navy and HMS Warrior, this programme explores these questions in the context of 400 years of naval history. You will examine the importance of the Royal Navy to British and global history, while engaging with the life of the ordinary sailor in peace and war, the cult of the naval hero, and the navy – and its sailors – in popular culture. To do so, you will draw on a range of naval experts, curators, and primary sources, including the rich collections of Portsmouth’s naval museums. The flexible distance format allows you to learn from leading naval experts as well as the latest scholarship and debates in the field.

For further information contact Dr Karl Bell or Dr Cathryn Pearce.
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