The History Department at King’s is one of the top 5 history departments in Europe (QS Subject Rankings 2021). Our aim is to provide outstanding training and supervision in most branches of medieval, early modern and modern history to prepare students for careers both within the academy and beyond. It has received the highest ratings for research in the RAE/REF national audits since 1992. The most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) results confirm that 86% of the department's research is rated either 'world leading' (4*) or 'Internationally excellent' (3*).
The department has strength in all periods (from late antiquity to the present day) across an array of global settings. It is closely associated with inter-disciplinary research centres such as the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War, the Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies, and King's Contemporary British History.
You will be supervised by leading figures in your field, and participate in a lively and supportive historical research culture within the department (which has around 65 staff and 90 PhD students), and the wider London historical community, notably with our partners within the London Arts and Humanities Partnership: UCL and the School of Advanced Study (which includes the Institute for Historical Research). London also hosts quite outstanding library and archival resources for most historical specialisms, covering most of the world. We offer specialist supervision in many areas, including from the medieval to the modern periods, covering in each period, British and Irish, European, and Global and Imperial History, as well as the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.
The Department receives major research grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Leverhulme Trust, British Academy and Wellcome Trust. Students work on projects including cooperative ones with museums and other organisations and participate in exchanges and visits with many partner organisations including the University of North Carolina and Jawaharlal Nehru University. There is also an option of undertaking a joint PhD with Hong University or the National University of Singapore.
With over 80 doctoral students, the Department of History boasts a lively and vibrant research culture. Research students are encouraged to present their work at the regular departmental seminar: presenting a short paper to this seminar is now part of the upgrade process from MPhil to PhD status. Staff and students play a leading role in several of the interdisciplinary research centres at King's, within our Arts & Humanities Research Institute. They also regularly contribute to a wide range of specialist seminars at the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), many of which are convened by King's academics. We have recently joined forces with UCL and the University of London School of Advanced Study, bringing together our PhD provision within the London Arts & Humanities Partnership. LAHP offers an unrivalled range of training opportunities for research students, and brings together an unrivalled range of scholarly and supervisorial expertise. Up-to-date info about our research can be found on our History Department website.
Course study environment
All students are allocated two supervisors and are expected to meet with their primary supervisor (or both if jointly supervised) on a regular basis. Shared supervision across the partner institutions in LAHP is encouraged. Monthly supervision reports are filed for all full-time students and supervisors must submit progress reports every six months in consultation with the student. Upon submission of the thesis, assessment is by means of an oral examination (viva).
The Department of History offers training in specific research skills, including palaeography and Latin, and the College's Modern Language Centre offers a wide range of language training. The King's Centre for Doctoral Studies runs a Researcher Development Programme of personal, professional and career development activities for all research students. The postgraduate training programmes at King’s, UCL and SAS are currently being brought together within London Arts & Humanities Partnership (LAHP), greatly expanding the training opportunities available to all.
More information about the PhD can be found here.