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Postgraduate Research in History

Postgraduate Research in History

The Department of History at Birmingham is unrivalled in the geographical and chronological breadth of its research.

You will have the opportunity to work alongside academic staff whose research is at the forefront of current historical scholarship; Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History first in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Research in the Department of History covers a wide range of British, European and world history from the early medieval period to the present, so we are able to provide expert supervision across a variety of topics.

Our areas of expertise and supervision:

  • Early modern history
  • Environmental history
  • Gender, sexuality and race
  • Global history
  • Medieval history
  • Modern British history
  • Modern European history
  • Religious history
  • War and conflict

As well as our PhD in History, which can be studied full- or part-time and via distance learning, we also offer a range of Masters-level programmes, which offer an ideal stepping stone to doctoral study or an excellent development opportunity in their own right.

Research resources

You can take advantage of our world-class resources to support your research, including the main University Library and the Library of Birmingham, the largest municipal library in Europe. You will also have access to the Cadbury Research Library, which is home to the University’s Special Collections and Archives consisting of approximately 120,000 pre-1850 books and 3 million manuscripts.

In addition, you have the opportunity to learn graduate academic languages free of charge to support your research activity.

Supporting your studies

History is part of the College of Arts and Law, which offers dedicated support for postgraduate students, from extra-curricular activities to funding opportunities. This includes access to our postgraduate hub, Westmere, which regularly hosts workshops, conferences and social events, as well as being a space to meet and study with fellow researchers.

The Department has a range of Research Centres focusing on the Middle Ages to Modern and Contemporary History, War Studies to the West Midlands, all of which host a variety of research seminars, journals and student-led forums that researchers can get involved in.

To find out what it is like to be a postgraduate researcher in the Department, please watch the video below or take a look at the work of our current doctoral researchers.

We have created our six-step process, which includes detailed advice on writing a research proposal, to help you with your application to the College of Arts and Law.


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