Military History

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Radical_Dreamer, Jul 5, 2005.

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  1. Hi folks :)

    A tad off the normal topic, but does anyone know where the best place to study Military History would be? In England or Scotland.

    Thanks a million
  2. England for victories anywhere eles if ya into defeats.
  3. Haha :lol:

    I mean the top institutions where one would go to to pursue the career! :)
  4. For History in general I would try Huddersfield. For a specialist in military history probably Oxford, Cambridge or Durham but of course they are quite selective. Sheffield has a reasonable reputation. Huddersfield have set a national standard with regards to history degrees but do not have a military history course available yet.
  5. Have a look at Glasgow University. A good number of the staff in the Modern History area have military interest. I did my PhD on British Airborne Forces there, and there were lots of post and undergrads working on military topics of all kinds; I marked an undergrad dissertation on airborne warfare last year, for example. They also run The Scottish Centre for War Studies there, which has some interesting seminars and conferences.

    [edit to add:] If you are looking for a specific War Studies course IIRC Wolverhampton run one of some kind, they had a D-Day conference last year. King's College London also run something similar too I think.

    all the best

    ex Mercian
  6. Is there actually a undergrad course in Military History now? There wasn't when I was looking at the end of '96. Alternatives that include a large amount of MilHist would include Bradfield (Peace Studies - so called to benefit from a bequest), KCL (War Studies), Southampton or Aberystwyth (International Politics & Strategic Studies/Intelligence Studies etc).

    I went to Aber and had a fantastic time studying Intepol & Strat. Lots of courses on MilHist and related subjects and very useful if you're looking at going into the Forces afterwards.
  7. I've looked into Cambridge because I can get into it, but I've been advised otherwise.

    Many thanks indeed, exMercian, for your input. I've heard a lot of good stuff about Glasgow University, though for some reason, their website refuses to load :evil:
  8. KCL War Studies. It mixes military history with wider political and social aspects, as well as more technical stuff. It is the best department by far (size and personel), as seen by the fact that KCL provide the War Studies Group for staff college. Also, whenever there is an international crisis, look on Channel Four news and see where the commentators work.

    I can only speak of experience of the MA there, however the calibre of student was amazing. Along with British student types such as me there were guys from all services, foreign civil servants by the bucketload etc. Much better than simply being surrounded by yound undergrads as it is a much more stimulating environment.

    To give example of the breadth of the course I studied general military history, the development of strategy (clausewitz etc), war and society, special subjects on the Great War and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (linked with terrorism, in 2001 very apposite) and a dissertation on fire support on Op Corporate. Variety the spice of life.

    Leeds have a good dept for work on the great war i believe
  9. KCL by far is the best. First year concentrates on major stuff and you can do numerous optional topics to suit your tastes in ilitary history.

    Getting a worthwhile job with it outside the forces however depends on how well you can sell it.

    Be careful about joining the forces afterwards, no one likes a smartarrse!
  10. Fair one. Only problem with KCL I found was London living costs, which is why I chose Glasgow. But that was as a postgrad with a family, which is prolly a different angle.

    all the best

  11. Why rule out Cambridge? Don't be overawed - it's just another university which would probably be pleased to get you. Same with Oxford. All Souls College, Oxford had a great Professor of War in the early 90s, a tough Aussie who taught WWI's Gallipoli campaign as a Special Subject. I only found out later he'd been decorated as a junior officer in the Vietnam War. Oxford also had a very popular and vibrant Strategic Studies Group which arranged interesting tours and lectures - hopefully still in existence.
  12. Also try Wolverhampton. I was there between 1990-93 and managed to take Military History as a minor in my degree. At the time it was called "War Studies" and quite a few of the students were Army & RN junior officers.

  13. IMHO - not in any "order of merit" per se - depends what you want:
    1. KC London - War Studies: arguably the best in the world. Outstanding for undergrad/ postgrad & research.
    2. Edinburgh; Glasgow; Aberdeen; St Andrews; Leeds; Manchester; Soton; Lancaster all have substantial undergrad options (special papers etc) in mil hist/ strategic studies. Leeds is particularly good for postgrad/ research - you can do an MA that feeds directly into PhD work aiming for completion of both in 3 years: bloody hard work but they support this fast track approach very effectively.
    3. Aberystwth - good for int relats etc; also Bradford for "Peace Studies"(pc alternative to War Studs!)
    4. Kent and Brunel have some interesting MA/ research options in Mil Hist and related areas.
    5. Open Univ has excellent undergrad & postgrad courses in "War & Society", "Conflict" etc. - certainly worth considering: cost effective, well structured and you can continue working whilst studying. OU is consistently rated in the top 10 for quality of teaching and its research profile is also developing nicely (no, I don't work there!).
    6. Reading is also good - Prof Richard Holmes did his PhD there, I think.
    7. USA - Norwich University has just started a distance learning/ internet based MA in Mil Hist (quite highly rated, I think) and Old Dominion Univ has a well regarded part-time MA in Mil Hist. North Dakota is good - internationally ranked "faculty" (Septic speak for academic staff) in Mil Hist.. The American option can be very costly but the facilities are invariably exceptional and courses are very well organised/ delivered. Plus there are usually "needs blind programs" that cover a large part of fees for worthy but impecunious students.
    8. There are also options available in "Security Studies" etc (eg Leicester) but these tend to be more general in focus - the specifically military bits tend to be relatively limited.

    There are, I'm sure, many other possibilities - these are the courses of which I'm aware.

    Hope this is helpful - good hunting!
  14. Another benefit is that you can keep up on your studies of tactics in the streets outside
  15. Also have a look at the American Military University. This is an accredited university that does a lot of distance learning stuff for the US forces. It is quite expensive, at it looks like all their courses include learning Spannish. I know one chap who did his BA with them while he was in the USMC, and he says they were good.