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PhD in British and Irish History
PhD students of British and Irish History dive into the deep and rich past of the two countries. Doctoral research can be refined by a specific location, period, theme or case study with the goal of producing a dissertation of unique research to contribute to the academic field.
What’s it like to do a PhD in British and Irish History?
Throughout the PhD you will be engaging with a range of primary sources. Your findings should then be contextualised within the wider literature of your field. Some potential topics of research include:
Black history in Britain and Ireland
Government and politics
Religious influence and conflict
Aside from broad themes, students may also choose to study a specific period, ruler or location within British and Irish history.
Most PhD students in this discipline will have proposed their own research project which forms the basis of the final thesis. Totalling around 75,000 words, this is then assessed and critiqued in an oral viva exam.
British and Irish History PhD courses usually require applicants to have completed a Masters degree in History or a similar subject, such as Politics or Philosophy. Some institutions may accepts applicants without a postgraduate degree if they are able to demonstrate prior academic prowess and extensive research experience.
PhD in British and Irish History funding options
Most British and Irish History PhDs in the UK are funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Research Councils offer fully-funded studentships, covering tuition and providing a tax-free living stipend. Travel expenses for academic purposes are also usually covered. To apply for these studentships you must have a confirmed place at a university. If you are applying for an advertised project then the funding will be outlined in the project details.
PhD funding is very competitive and so some students opt to ‘self-fund’ their studies. Through employment or the UK government’s doctoral loan, students are able to manage the financial pressure of their degree. It is also worth researching into any charities, trusts or national bodies that offer short-term financial support or grants to research students.
PhD in British and Irish History careers
A PhD in British and Irish History can set graduates up for a career in many fields. The most direct progression is into academia, research or teaching. However, the transferable skills gained during doctoral study can also aid students wishing to work in civil service, charity, archives and museums or even marketing.