Master of Arts (MA) in History of Ideas


  • Are you a deep thinker?
  • Know your Aristotlian metaphysics from your Darwinian evolution?
  • Want to have the opportunity to analyse Man’s ideas on creation?
  • Would you like the opportunity to work with a well-renowned scholar from the comfort of your own home?

Try the Warnborough MA in the History of Ideas – possibly the best idea you ever had!

The History of Ideas is a diachronic study of key ideas as they interact with each other in their journey through time.

The themes in the modules listed below include important milestones in the history of ideas. Thus, the impact of Darwin’s theories on biology has been compared to that of Newton on physics. Although Darwinism affected many different fields and disciplines, it should also be remembered that, when extrapolated to human society, it unfortunately gave us Social Darwinism, which, naturally, raises a whole host of moral and ethical issues. Darwin himself, for example, had a very low opinion of women’s intellectual abilities. Fortunately, one of the most positive developments of the last century has been the belated recognition of women’s rights and, in recent times, of their intellectual excellence.

Are myths and fables simply attempts by pre-industrial societies to explain cosmic reality or do they have a deeper significance?

Whether the Genesis account of creation should be interpreted literally or symbolically is a controversial question which still seems to generate more heat than light. Historically, a symbolic interpretation helped to remove the Catholic Church’s objections to accepting the concept of biological evolution.

However, evolution was not, originally, a biological concept and one wonders whether it can be applied to human history. Is the latter characterized by cyclical patterns and/or a linear progression (even if punctuated by temporary regressions)?

Graduates who are motivated to learn on their own, especially those seeking to enter professional academia or those with a real passion for intellectual history. Even if you do not have plans to move into the academic field, with a real interest in the subject matter you could make the perfect student!

This course really creates deep thinkers. Once you have completed the MA in the History of Ideas, your analytical skills will be much more adept and you will be able to move into many fields, including: teaching (most likely at the college level), course development and curricula design, research, civil service, local government, charities, information technology, solicitor’s firms, publishing, journalism, and so forth.