We have 17 Social History PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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Social History PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 17 Social History PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

PhD in Social History

A PhD in Social History allows students to explore the nuances and development of different societal groups throughout the human past. During the doctorate degree you’ll aim to understand the workings of different historical groups, writing up your findings in a unique dissertation.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Social History?

PhD students in Social History spend a large amount of time finding and engaging with primary sources relating to a select group of people. Given its closeness to economic history, sources can range from written documents to financial data. Some popular themes of Social History include:

  • Consumption
  • Economic development
  • Globalisation
  • Leisure
  • Material culture
  • Medicine
  • Slavery

Social History PhDs tend to be self-proposed projects. This means that you will decide your own research area and identify your own primary sources. However, some students apply for advertised projects where a research theme or primary source base will already be set. By the end of the degree you will have produced a 75,000 word thesis which is then assessed in an oral viva exam.

Depending on the location of your sources you may have to travel for research during your PhD. You will also have plenty of opportunity to engage in the wider academic community through conferences and publishing and develop your skills with training programmes and teaching experience.

Entry requirements

Most Social History PhD courses require applicants to have a Masters degree in History or a related subject, such as Economics, Political Science or Sociology. Some institutions may consider applicants without a postgraduate degree as long as they are able to demonstrate prior academic success and extensive professional research experience.

PhD in Social History funding options

The largest funding body of Social History PhDs is the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Their fully-funded studentships cover tuition fees, a living stipend and any necessary research travel expenses. You must have a confirmed place at a university in order to apply for these studentships. Many institutions also have funding opportunities within their own departments, so make sure to check their websites.

If you apply for an advertised project then the funding specifications may be different to Research Council funding and will be outlined in the project details.

Due to the competitiveness of PhD funding, some students also opt to self-fund. This may be through part-time employment or the UK government doctoral loan. There are also many national bodies, charities and businesses willing to support research students with short-term grants.

PhD in Social History careers

A PhD in Social History provides graduates with a range of skills applicable to multiple career paths. Although teaching, research or academia may seem like the most obvious route of progression, Social History graduates may also find themselves working in journalism, public administration or regional planning.

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History of Classical Film Theory

PROJECT DESCRIPTION. This project, one of two companion studies, explores the epistemologies and debates that constitute classical film theory (arguably 1900 – 1970s, although part of this study is to help to clarify the periodisation of classical film theory). Read more
Last chance to apply

The studentship project will explore how post-colonial politics were shaped after WWII, thus adding further insight into our understanding of the complex nature of gaining independence from imperial powers.

‘Cold War and “Other” Narratives’ investigates and examines through the archives of the Imperial War Museums (IWM), the diverse or buried stories that have impacted independence movements throughout the West’s colonial territories. Read more

Rebirth: The Life and Legacy of Mary Barnes

Mary Barnes was a notable resident at R D Laing’s experimental therapeutic community, Kingsley Hall, where she lived from 1965-1970, following a psychotic breakdown. Read more

PhD Modern War Studies

“We must continually ask questions of the past, even the most recent past, because it holds the key to the future. History must be handled carefully of course, for it is trained experts that must provide the intellectual underpinning for decisions taken by politicians and the senior leaders of the Armed Forces. Read more

Scotland’s diaspora – was there social justice for the ‘failed’ immigrant in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?

The creation of clubs and societies organised around ethnicity characterised the Scottish diasporic experience, both for those who received alms and for those who sought a means through which to meet and socialise with other Scots. Read more

Transnational social movements and the struggles against settler colonialism in Southern Africa

The project provides an opportunity to examine the roles, motivations, and impacts of twentieth century transnational social movements, that were involved in the struggles to end white-minority rule in Southern Africa (eg. Read more

The Language of Textiles

This project aims to explore the relationship between textiles and the language that originates from textiles and permeates into wider usage, as well as the way that wider language affects different areas of textiles. Read more

Research degrees in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

The research focus of the School allows us to offer expertise in a wide range of interdisciplinary fields, including world-wide art history, critical analysis and theoretical cultural studies, as well as fine art practice in all media. Read more

History - Postgraduate Research Opportunities

History PhD/MA by Research (On-Campus or by Distance Learning). As a postgraduate researcher in the Department of History you will have the opportunity to work alongside academic staff whose research is at the forefront of current historical scholarship. Read more

PhD studentship: Intersections in Medical and Environmental History

Interested in the intersection between medical and environmental history after 1700? This PhD will allow the successful candidate the opportunity to develop a project which can help us understand current issues in environmental and health using the lens of the past. Read more

Life on Mars: reconstructing the welfare of boys admitted to the TS Mars, Training Ship, moored on the River Tay, Scotland 1869 - 1929

This project is based on the records of the TS Mars. The Mars was a training ship which was moored on the banks of the River Tay in Scotland and was designed to provide recruits for the royal and merchant navies and to ‘rescue’ children who were perceived to be at risk of delinquency. Read more

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