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  PhD Opportunities in English, History and Performance

  Humanities Research Centre

 Funded PhD Programme (UK Students Only)

About the Programme

We warmly invite applications for full-time or part-time self-funded PhD study.

About the PhD programme

The Humanities Research Centre (HRC) at Sheffield Hallam University was founded in 1996. It promotes ground-breaking international research, applied knowledge and creative practice across the disciplines of English, History and Performance. Our research informs and illuminates vital interdisciplinary and subject-specific issues including race, inequality & rights; gender and sexuality; globalism and transnational exchanges and environmental humanities. We are both rooted in the Sheffield City Region and engaged globally.

PhD applications are invited on any topic related to our research specialisms as outlined below, or multidisciplinary projects across English, History or Performance:


  • English literature from the early modern period to the present day
  • English language, including topics within the broad areas of language and social structure, and stylistics
  • Creative writing across all forms and genres

History from the 18th century onwards

  • Transnational histories and imperial encounters
  • War, violence, and society
  • Labour and social movements
  • Women, gender, and sexuality
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Public history, heritage, the uses of history in the present day


  • Applied and socially engaged theatre/performance
  • Theatre / performance history, historiography, and heritage
  • Theatre / performance and environment, site, body and/or gender
  • We have recently acquired the archive of Sheffield Theatres, and particularly welcome applicants whose projects will engage with this resource

We have an active community of research students who form a key part of the HRC's vibrant research culture. In joining our community of scholars, you will have the opportunity to attend and contribute to a range of seminars, workshops, and conferences, including SHU's innovative interdisciplinary postgraduate research conferences on the topics of research METHOD and research IMPACT. We provide flexible training and development opportunities covering a range of research and career-related skills.

Scholarship Opportunities

Sheffield Hallam Opportunity Scholarships are made available to address the underrepresentation of UK Black, Asian and Ethic Minority candidates in doctoral education.   

 The College of Social Sciences & Arts is offering one Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) scholarship as part of this scheme.  GTAs provides an excellent opportunity to combine PhD study with professional development to gain practical experience in learning, teaching and assessment in Higher Education.  You will be able to work towards Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and as part of your training will be expected to support teaching related activities in the Department of Humanities, up to a maximum of 180 hours per academic year.  For more information, please see SHU Scholarship Opportunities. GTA scholarships can’t be offered on a distance learning basis.   

Funding and Eligibility 

Scholarships are available for 3.5 years (full-time) or 6 years (part-time) and include:  

•  Tuition fees at the Home student rate 

• A maintenance bursary at the standard Sheffield Hallam PhD stipend rate.  This is aligned with the net Real Living Wage; the current rate for full time study in academic year 2023/24 is £19,722 per annum.  Part-time is paid at 50% 

• Opportunity Scholarships are open to Home candidates only  

How to apply  

See ‘How to Apply’ for guidance, and the prospectus entry for PhD English (including topics related to Performance) or PhD History for course information, entry requirements, tuition fee rates, the online application form and list of required documents. You will need to upload a clear, detailed research proposal with your application outlining the central questions you want to address, the current knowledge on this topic and context for the enquiry (referencing key background literature) and outline the proposed research methods.   

 In the personal statement field of your application, please state which scholarship opportunity you wish to apply for:  

 • ‘GTA Scholarship for UK Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates’    

‘Sheffield Hallam PhD Scholarship for Black British researchers’  

You can ask to be considered for both GTA and Sheffield Hallam Opportunity Scholarships

For academic enquiries or advice please contact Dr Ana María Sánchez-Arce, Postgraduate Research Tutor for Humanities via email at

For general enquires contact the Culture & Creativity Research Institute (CCRI) Postgraduate Research Team via email at

The application deadline for GTA scholarship is 12.00 Noon on 27th April   

Interviews are scheduled for week beginning 20th May, by videoconference.  

Funding Notes

Some or all of the PhD opportunities in this programme have funding attached. It is only available to UK citizens or those who have been resident in the UK for a period of 3 years or more. Some projects, which are funded by charities or by the universities themselves may have more stringent restrictions.

Register your interest for this programme

Where will I study?

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