History MPhil/PhD

Major code: HMPR


Overview

If you’d like to study for an MPhil or PhD, we can offer you a very friendly, supportive and stimulating environment, as one of the largest history departments in the country.

Subject Overview

You’d be joining a thriving graduate community that makes a significant contribution to the life of the School, including running our New Research Seminar Series which showcases postgraduate research.

Our MPhil and PhD programmes place a strong emphasis on independent research and study. You’ll be allocated two supervisors (normally experts in your chosen field) to support you through the process of researching and writing your thesis.

We’ll provide a comprehensive research skills training programme, along with facilities that for full-time research students ordinarily include a shared office, your own networked PC, and use of the newly-equipped Researcher Reading Room in the Sydney Jones library.

Our postgraduate research students work on a broad range of historical themes, regions and periods, as well as in specialist fields such as archives and record-keeping. Here are some examples of current and recently completed PhD theses:-

  • Haiti in Art: Creating and Curating in the Black Atlantic
  • Imperial identity of the early Scouting Movement
  • The First and Second Crusade - configurations of power in the early twelfth century
  • External threats mask internal fears: Edwardian invasion-scare fiction 1899-1914
  • Witchcraft, Demonic Possession and Religious Tension in Early Modern Lancashire
  • Metropolitan Control on the Iberian Atlantic: the Visitor General in New Spain (1600-1650)
  • Cartoon representations of the early socialist and labour movements in Britain, c. 1880-1935

We work hard to give our PhD students the skills they need for a career in higher education, providing opportunities for undergraduate teaching and training, as well as workshops on disseminating historical research and applying for academic posts.

Key Facts

Research Opportunities
70% of research activity deemed world-leading or internationally excellent, making us joint 3rd of History submissions in the UK. A further 25% of our research is internationally recognised.

Why School of History?

Introduction to History

In History we pride ourselves on both our international reputation for research and our innovative and student-centred teaching. The most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008) ranked us in the top three of history departments in the United Kingdom, and our MA and PhD students play a central role in our research culture. We offer a stimulating and friendly environment in which to engage in the study of the past.

Breadth of Expertise

Research in History is characterised by its breadth and diversity. The interests of our staff and PhD students span the medieval, early modern and modern periods, encompassing political, social, cultural, economic, military and diplomatic history, and ranging geographically across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. There are active seminar programmes linked to our research centres and MA programmes. These provide an opportunity for staff and postgraduates to present their work and engage with current research by visiting speakers from universities in Britain and further afield. These are our on-going seminar series: • Medieval and Renaissance Studies • Eighteenth-Century Worlds • Contemporary Cultural and Social • History • International Slavery • Contemporary History and Policy • New Research (run by our postgraduate students) We also organise regular conferences and workshops. Recent conferences have addressed ‘Religion in the Spanish Baroque’, ‘Text and Place in Medieval and Early Modern Europe’, ‘Re-thinking Post- Slavery’ and ‘British Nuclear Culture’.

Taught Programmes that Prepare You for Furture Research

Our MA programmes draw upon the research we carry out. This means that modules are always taught by experts in the field who bring their knowledge of and passion for their subjects into the seminar room. All our MA modules are taught in small-group seminars or workshops and through one-to-one tutorials. We think this provides the best opportunity for collaboration between students and staff. We offer programmes in: Cultural History, Eighteenth-Century Worlds, International Slavery Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Twentieth-Century History, along with an MRes in History and a vocational Masters in Archives and Records Management. All of our programmes are designed to equip you to carry out further research towards a PhD.

Support and Skills Training for PhD Students

We provide a supportive and stimulating environment for postgraduate research and welcome enquiries from all students interested in studying for a PhD. This is a postgraduate research qualification in which the emphasis is on independent research and study, culminating in a 100,000-word dissertation. You will work with two supervisors (normally experts in your chosen field) who will advise and support you through the process of researching and writing your dissertation. All postgraduate research students undertake the skills training programme provided by the Graduate School, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and History Department. This programme provides opportunities to acquire all the research skills you need in order to successfully complete your PhD. Students are represented on the School Postgraduate Committee and there is a dedicated staff – student liaison committee to oversee our MA and PhD programmes.

Our Commitment to Postgraduate Students

We are committed to providing our postgraduate students with effective academic, practical and pastoral support. We regularly invite applications for postgraduate studentships and bursaries.