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Holocaust and Genocide Studies MA

2023-24 (also available for 2022-23)

This course is eligible for Master's loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

25 September 2023


1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Places available (subject to change)

15 (This number may be subject to change)

About the course

This taught Master’s course, made up of four modules and a 12,000-word dissertation, will analyse and discuss the Holocaust and other genocides, particular with an eye to cultural representations and the impact of historic genocides on current international legislation and conflict resolution. The course thus attempts to build a bridge between the past and the present on more than one level: looking at historic genocides (such as the Holocaust) and how this influenced our current stance on issues such as humanitarian intervention and racism; but also by discussing the experience of the victims back then and now, for example by comparing child refugees in the 1930s and today.

We will be running the MA in close collaboration with the Holocaust Learning and Exhibition Centre and will have the opportunity to utilise their collections and benefit from input by their team of Holocaust educators, curators and public engagement specialists.

For more information about our research areas of interest visit our History research pages

The Holocaust Survivors' Friendship Association (HSFA) was set up to offer support and friendship to survivors who settled in the North of England. As part of its legacy the organisation, under the inspirational leadership of its former Chair, Lilian Black OBE, created an exhibition and learning centre on the campus of the University of Huddersfield, which opened in 2018.

Everyone at HSFA is delighted to support the Holocaust and Genocide Studies MA with the expertise of its staff and access to the exhibition as well as to the community which it documents. The philosophy of HSFA is to address issues of global significance by telling local stories, and we believe that this perspective, which is unique in the field of Holocaust education, offers deep insights into the experiences endured by survivors, including the struggle to lead fulfilling lives in the post-war era.


Ben Barkow, Chairman of the Holocaust Survivor Friendship Association (HSFA)

Course detail

Research Methods

This module will introduce you to a range of analytical methods for researching the Holocaust and genocide(s) at postgraduate level. It explores ethical, conceptual, theoretical and methodological issues specific to the topic, via sources, readings, lectures and workshops. You will gain familiarity with the wide variety of approaches which your research could take, such as the analysis of film, literature, photographs, archival documents and eyewitness testimony, and through discussion develop an informed reflection on the methodological, theoretical and practical considerations relevant to your studies. The module also includes talks, workshops and discussions about professional development related to Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

History of the Holocaust

The module covers historiographical debates around the Holocaust; the history of anti-Semitism and racism more generally, for instance the (pseudo)scientification of racism in the nineteenth century (e.g. Social-Darwinism or Eugenics); racism and atrocities committed in Imperial Germany, such as the genocide on the Herero in the German colony of South-West Africa in 1908; the radicalisation of the German middle-class during the Weimar Republic as preliminary for the rise of the Nazi party; the policies of annihilation during the Third Reich (Euthanasia killings, Holocaust, War on the Eastern Front); and the aftermath of the Holocaust: prosecutions and education, but also consequences for the survivors of the Holocaust (recognition, compensation, recuperation) and historiographical controversies (e.g. the “Historikerstreit”) as reflection on the problems and the politicization of “coming to terms with the past”.

Remembering and Representing

How do we go about memorialising and commemorating the Holocaust – and how should we? How is it possible even to begin to represent what happens in a genocide? This module will steer you through the complex theoretical, practical, and ethical debates involved in these questions. Interdisciplinary in nature, the module will offer you the opportunity to study documents that might offer autobiographical, fictional, historical, literary, filmic, or heritage-based perspectives as answers to them. Spanning an array of different forms, which can range from the smaller, individual scale of the personal testimony or oral history to the larger, public scale of the heritage sector or the film industry, you will investigate, debate, and reflect on how the personal and the public, the political and the aesthetic, intersect and intertwine in any attempt to depict or memorialise the Holocaust.

Learning Lessons: The Holocaust and Comparative Genocides

This module is intended to give you the opportunity to study various case studies of mass violence in modern history alongside that of the Holocaust. Taking a global perspective, you will analyse and critically evaluate scholarship and a range of different primary source materials in order to develop a comparative perspective on genocide studies. These case studies will be drawn from instances of mass violence in numerous regions from the Global South as well as the industrialised world. In addition to understanding the differing local conditions in which mass violence can take place, you will also consider the various ways in which the international community has sought to prosecute, punish, and prevent genocide.

Holocaust and Genocide Studies Research Project

The module is designed to enable you to engage in a substantial piece of student-centred learning. You will deploy, and reflect upon, the skills and knowledge acquired in the MA taught modules. The programme of study undertaken will be determined through consultation with your supervisor. Individual dissertations will be expected to address the nature and challenges of research in Holocaust Studies and to have fully considered the ethical and methodological implications.

You take 180 credits at Master's level: two 30-credit modules in term one, a further two 30-credit modules in term two, and a 60-credit dissertation in the third term and over the summer.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are normally:

  • An Honours degree (2:1 or above) in History, or a cognate subject, usually from within the Humanities or Social Sciences

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.5 overall with no element lower than 6.0, or equivalent. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Student support

The school has dedicated Academic Skills Tutors (AST) who deliver a range of generic skills. The AST offers help and advice with general study skills, IT, literacy and numeracy as well as research skills. The AST may also refer students for specialist support and assessment e.g. for Dyslexia.

In line with the Equality Act 2010, the School will make reasonable adjustments in order that disabled students can fully access their course. The University's Disability Services provide information and advice to disabled students about the support available and liaises with members of staff on disability related issues.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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