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  • History MA (Hons): University of Edinburgh (1985-9)
  • History PhD: University of Glasgow (1997-2000)


  • Visiting Professor of Military History at the University of Hull (2007-8)
  • Professor of Military History at the University of Buckingham and Course Director of Buckingham’s London-based MA in Military History (see below), 2009-


MA in Military History by Research: The Art of War from Marlborough to Montgomery, 1701-1945

With military history one of the fastest-growing areas of academic study, the University of Buckingham introduced a one-year Master’s (MA) in Military History, by research, in 2009. This is a groundbreaking programme: the first one-year Research Masters in Military History, and the first with an integral course of seminars by visiting lecturers of international repute.  The programme was enthusiastically reviewed by The Financial Times, which noted that ‘Intellectually curious professionals are signing up for a new course that gives them the opportunity to exchange thoughts on security, diplomacy and the armed forces over dinner with stellar historians and military top brass’.

The programme is London-based and directed by one of the country’s finest military historians, Professor Saul David. The lectures offered by the Course Director will be supplemented by a series of ten guest seminars by some of the most eminent scholars and authors in the field, including Professors Sir Antony Beevor , Sir Hew Strachan, Sir Richard J. Evans, Richard Overy, David Reynolds and Gary Sheffield.

This year’s programme (see below) runs from 30 September 2019 to September 2020, with thirteen research seminars – three on research techniques and ten by guest lecturers.

Teaching method

The MA does not offer systematic instruction in the facts of history; instead, the emphasis is on independent research.

At the heart of the Buckingham MA is the close working relationship between student and supervisor. While the final thesis must be an independent work, it is the supervisor who offers advice on refining the topic (if necessary), on primary sources, on secondary reading, on research techniques and on writing the final text (which should be not less than 20,000 words). Supervisors and students will meet frequently throughout the year, and not less than twice a term; and the supervisor shall always be the student’s primary contact for academic advice and support.

This is a London-based course. The seminars will be held at The Caledonian Club in Belgravia (9 Halkin St, London, SW1X 7DR). The nearest London Underground Stations is Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly Line).

Each seminar (approximately 90 minutes, 18:30-20:00) is followed by a post-seminar dinner, also at the Caldedonia Club, for those who wish to attend, where there will be an opportunity to continue the seminar discussion in an informal environment. Attendance at these dinners is entirely at the choice of the student, and their cost is not covered by the tuition fee.

Associate students

For those who wish to attend the evening research seminar programme, but are unable to devote the time to the course-work or to register for the MA degree, there is the option of becoming an Associate Student. This status will enable the student to attend the ten research seminars and to meet the guest lecturers, in the first six months of the programme, but does not require the submission of written work. Associate Students are not registered for, and do not receive, the MA degree.


2019-20 Introductory classes:

The introductory classes are for students taking the full MA. If any Associate Students would like to attend, could they let Professor David know in advance. Location: University of Buckingham in London, 51 Gower Street, Fitzrovia, London WC1E 6HJ.

Monday 30 September 2019

  • 12:00: Professor Saul David (University of Buckingham), Introductory Lecture 1
  • 14:00: Professor Saul David (University of Buckingham), Introductory Lecture 2
  • 16:00: Professor Saul David (University of Buckingham), Introductory Lecture 3

2019-20 Guest seminars and dinners:

All students are invited to attend the guest seminars and dinners that follow.  The cost of the post-seminar dinners is included in the tuition fees.  Location: The Caledonian Club, 9 Halkin St, London, SW1X 7DR.

  • Monday 14 October 2019: Dr Matthias Ströhn (University of Buckingham), ‘Germany’s Wars of Unification, 1864-71’
  • Monday 28 October 2019: Dr Spencer Jones (University of Wolverhampton), ‘The Boer War, 1899-1902’
  • Monday 11 November 2019: Professor Saul David (University of Buckingham), ‘The Siege of Delhi, 1857’
  • Monday 25 November 2019: Professor David Reynolds (University of Cambridge), ‘Britain and the Continental Commitment: A (Very) Long View’
  • Monday 9 December 2019: Dr Sophie Thérèse Ambler (University of Lancaster), ‘Simon de Montfort and the End of Chivalric Warfare’
  • Monday 20 January 2020: Professor Sir Antony Beevor, ‘The Spanish Civil War, 1936-39’
  • Monday 3 February 2020: Professor Sir Hew Strachan (University of St Andrews), ‘Peacemaking and the Wars after the War, 1918-1923’
  • Monday 17 February 2020: Professor Sir Richard Evans (University of Cambridge), ‘The Flight of Rudolf Hess: Myths and Realities’
  • Monday 2 March 2020: Professor Richard Overy (University of Exeter), ‘Waging Economic War: The Lessons of World War II’
  • Monday 16 March 2020: Professor Gary Sheffield (University of Wolverhampton), ‘The Amateur Military Tradition in Britain and the Empire, 1859-1945’


For more information and to apply for the 2019-20 programme, contact:

E: humanitiespg-admissions@buckingham.ac.uk

Or visit the website: www.buckingham.ac.uk/humanities/ma/militaryhistory