New for 2017, our MA in Urban History and Culture provides an unparalleled opportunity to study the social, political, cultural and economic development of two great world cities: Paris and London. It is offered in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London's (QMUL) School of History and School of Geography.

Key information

1 year / 2 years
Method of attendance
Full time or Part time
Course convenor

Entry requirements

Students should have an upper second-class honours degree in a relevant Humanities-related subject. A recognised equivalent from an accredited overseas institution is also accepted. 

If English is not your first language, satisfactory evidence of your English language proficiency must be provided. IELTS 7.0 (minimum writing 6.5) is the minimum level for entry to the course. 

The degree is taught entirely in English and there is no French language requirement.

Degree benefits

The MA in Urban History and Culture is a unique opportunity to study the social, political, cultural and economic development of the modern city from historical perspectives and through comparative experience of two of the great urban laboratories of the Western world, Paris and London. 

You will explore the development of urban topography and planning through site visits and analysis, using a primarily bifocal approach to the growth of city living and management, and how that has shaped the fabric of the world. 

With faculty expertise drawn from three Schools in the Faculty of the Humanities and Social Science and ULIP, as well as its split-site delivery, the programme enables students to develop both their empirical understanding of and their methodological approaches to what distinguishes and what connects these two cities, while expanding these comparative insights towards a broader engagement with urban history and culture, and the challenges cities face today.  

Key benefits include: 

  • An unparalleled opportunity to study the social, political, cultural and economic development of two great world cities: Paris and London. 

  • You can choose between a split-site programme in Paris and London or a full year in Paris. 

  • The programme is offered in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London's (QMUL) School of History and School of Geography and the University of London Institute in Paris. 

  • The opportunity to gain an international perspective and strong inter-cultural understanding as well as an ability to assess the contours of cultural difference. 

  • The unrivalled opportunity to immerse yourself in two of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and benefit from the exposure to the culture and traditions of two major European capitals. 


Degree structure

The programme consists of four modules plus a dissertation and an assessed research methodology component. Two compulsory modules are delivered in the Autumn semester in Paris at ULIP, and two elective modules taken from a range of options offered in Paris at ULIP and/or in London at Queen Mary University of London in the second semester. You can choose, therefore, between a split-site programme in Paris and London or a full year in Paris.  


Full-time study will be organised as follows*:  

Students may complete all of these modules in Paris at ULIP, with short visits to London, or may choose to spend semester 2 in London and complete some modules in London at QMUL’s on Mile End Campus.  

Semester 1

Teaching will take place in Paris at the University of London Institute in Paris. Students must complete the following two compulsory modules: 

  • Encountering the City: Historical Enquiry in Action (30 credits) 

  • Interpreting the City: Cultural Constructions and their Material Effects (15 credits) 

Semester 2

Teaching can either take place in Paris at ULIP, or in London at QMUL: 

Paris at ULIP: Students will have to take the compulsory module – Research design and methods (15 credits) - and choose two out of the following optional modules: 

  • Paris and the Nineteenth Century (30 credits) 

  • Exiles and Outsiders: Parisian Avant-Gardes (30 credits) 

  • Screening the city (30 credits) 

  • Centrality and the City (30 credits) 

London at QMUL: Students will have to take the compulsory module – Research design and methods – and choose two out of the following optional modules: 

  • Art, Performance and the City (30 credits) 

  • Empire, Race and Immigration (30 credits) 

  • Sociability: Literature and the City (30 credits) 

  • Metropolitan Matters: A Material History of London from the Victorians to the Present (30 credits) 

  • The Making of Modern Paris (30 credits) 

  • Writing the East End (30 credits) 

Semester 3

All students will complete a 15, 000-word dissertation (60 credits) 

*All courses listed above are subject to availability.  

Students must declare their intention to spend semester 2 in London at the beginning of the session at the end of September, beginning of October. 

The programme is delivered via small-group seminars where you will be encouraged to discuss key issues and participate through seminar presentations. The programme will also be supported by a hands-on approach, including site visits and workshops. Sessions are led by members of faculty from ULIP, and the Schools of History, Geography and English and Drama from QMUL in weekly seminars led by staff members with original research qualifications and interests in the area.  

Seminars will be supplemented by consultations with advisers, with option course leaders, and with dissertation supervisors, which will include opportunities for one-to-one discussions of course content and plans for written work. 

Dissertation supervision is available from associated faculty from both ULIP and QMUL, and dissertation projects are elaborated through a “Dissertation Day” bringing associated faculty and students together in semester 2. 

Throughout the programme students will have access to an exceptional range of learning resources in both Paris and London, including ULIP electronic learning platform and various well-known libraries.  

Careers information

Studying the MA in Urban History and Culture will provide you with a deep understanding of the history and contemporary organisation of two capital cities through a multidisciplinary approach as well as develop a range of advanced analytical and research skills.  

Gaining a recognised postgraduate qualification with strong inter-cultural skills and international experience, along with a range of advanced project management skills will prepare you for many career paths or further study.

How to apply

Applications will open from mid-February.

Applicants will be asked to submit their information via a web form, as well as email the following documentation:

  • A copy of your university transcript(s) and degree certificate(s). If you have not yet completed your degree, please provide a record of courses taken and grades achieved to date.
  • Two letters of reference. Please provide two references from your previous academic institution. If you have left university you may provide one academic and one employer reference. Letters of reference can be emailed to
  • A photocopy of a statutory identification document such as a passport. 
  • A Statement of Purpose. To be written in English, this should explain your reasons for wanting to study on this programme, and include reference to relevant (academic and/or occupational) experience. It should be no more than one side of A4.
  • A Resume / Curriculum Vitae (CV). Please provide a recent version of no more than two sides of A4.
  • Two samples of written work. These must be written in English and should take the form of short academic essay of approximately 2000 words.
  • Proof of English Language ability (non-native speakers only)

Important UK immigration information

Please note that applicants for the MA in Urban History and Culture cannot be sponsored by Queen Mary or ULIP for a Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission to study in the UK. This means that students from outside the European Economic Area or Switzerland who wish to study modules in London in Semester 2 will need to apply for immigration permission as a Short-Term Student and, if successful, will not be able to stay in the UK more than 6 months. Depending on their nationality, students will need to apply for a Short-Term immigration permission before they enter the UK or on entering the UK. Further information can be found here.

Fees and funding

Indicative Tuition fees for 2017-18 (subject to approval) 

Full-time Home/EU 
  • £8,200 
Full-time Overseas 
  • £14,850
Dr Anna-Louise Milne, Director Graduate Studies and Research at the University of London Institute in Paris

We are pleased to announce that the MA in Paris Studies is taking on a new comparative focus as an MA in Urban History and Culture in partnership with the Schools of Geography and History at Queen Mary University of London.

Dr Anna-Louise Milne
Director of Graduate Studies and Research