History - MA, PhD

Overview

Research programmes are best suited to students who have a clear idea of a topic they would like to investigate in detail.

There are two types of History programme. The MA by Research entails producing a 30,000-word thesis; the PhD programme demands a high level of research and analysis resulting in a 100,000 (PhD) word thesis.

We welcome research applications across the range of expertise within the School. We run regular seminars in medieval and Tudor studies, modern history, the history and cultural studies of science, and the study of propaganda.

All first-year research students attend a Methodologies and Research Skills seminar, which is split between components run by the School and others provided by the Faculty of Humanities. This training improves your knowledge of both historical theory and methods of using primary material, and can assist in funding applications.

About the School of History

The School of History at the University of Kent offers a great environment in which to research and study. Situated in a beautiful cathedral city with its own dynamic history, the University is within easy reach of the main London archives and is convenient for travelling to mainland Europe.

The School of History is a lively, research-led department where postgraduate students are given the opportunity to work alongside academics recognised as experts in their respective fields. The School was placed eighth nationally for research intensity in the most recent Research Excellence Framework, and consistently scores highly in the National Student Survey.

There is a good community spirit within the School, which includes regular postgraduate social meetings, weekly seminars and a comprehensive training programme with the full involvement of the School’s academic staff. Thanks to the wide range of teaching and research interests in the School, we can offer equally wide scope for research supervision covering British, European, African and American history.

At present, there are particularly strong groupings of research students in medieval and early modern cultural and social history, early modern religious history, the history and cultural studies of science and medicine, the medicine, the history of propaganda, military history, war and the media, and the history of Kent.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2.1 or equivalent in history or a relevant subject (eg, politics, international relations, archaeology). In certain circumstances, the School will consider candidates who have not followed a conventional education path. These cases are assessed individually by the Director of Graduate Studies.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, international fee-paying students cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

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Course structure

Duration: MA 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

PhD 3 years full-time, 5 years part-time

Teaching and assessment

The MA by Research entails producing a 40,000-word thesis; the PhD programme demands a high level of research and analysis resulting in a 100,000 word thesis.

Fees

The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

History - MA at Canterbury

  • Home/EU full-time £4407
  • International full-time £16200
  • Home/EU part-time £2204
  • International part-time £8100

History - PhD at Canterbury

  • Home/EU full-time £4407
  • International full-time £16200
  • Home/EU part-time £2204
  • International part-time £8100

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

The Complete University Guide

In The Complete University Guide 2020, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.

Please see the University League Tables 2020 for more information.

Independent rankings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of History was ranked 8th for research intensity and in the top 20 in the UK for research power.

An impressive 100% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 99% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

Research areas

Medieval and early modern history

Covering c400–c1500, incorporating such themes as Anglo-Saxon England, early-modern France, palaeography, British and European politics and society, religion and papacy.

Modern history

Covering c1500–present, incorporating such themes as modern British, European and American history, British military history, and 20th-century conflict and propaganda.

History of science, technology and medicine

Incorporating such themes as colonial science and medicine, Nazi medicine, eugenics, science and technology in 19th-century Britain.

Staff research interests

Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this school and their research interests are shown below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the school to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘find a supervisor’ search to search by staff member or keyword.

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Dr Julie Anderson : Reader in the History of Modern Medicine

The cultural and social history of 20th-century medicine in Britain and the Commonwealth, particularly with regard to war and medicine, surgery and disability.

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Professor Barbara Bombi : Professor of Medieval, Ecclesiastical and Religious Studies

Ecclesiastical and religious history, 1200-1400; canon law and history of the medieval papacy; crusades and history of the military orders; Anglo-papal relations in the 14th century; Latin diplomatic and palaeography.

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Dr Philip Boobbyer : Senior Lecturer in Modern European History

Russian and Soviet history, especially Russian religious and political philosophy.

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Dr Timothy Bowman : Senior Lecturer in British Military History

British military history in the 19th and 20th centuries; Irish history c1775-1998.

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Dr Ambrogio Caiani : Lecturer in Modern European History

European political, military and diplomatic history 1715-1848; The French Revolution; Napoleonic Europe; royal courts; constitutional monarchies’ Alexis de Tocqueville, French liberalism; political radicalism after the Congress of Vienna.

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Professor Mark Connelly : Professor of Modern British History

British modern history; British military history; the British at war from 1800; the image of war in popular culture. 

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Professor Kenneth Fincham : Professor of Early Modern History

Early modern British politics and religion; the clergy of the Anglican Church; the era of the Civil Wars.

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Dr Stefan Goebel : Senior Lecturer in Modern British History

Modern British and German history; war and commemoration; the impact of war on cities; collective memory; 20th-century urban history. 

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Dr Rebekah Higgitt : Lecturer in History of Science

History of science, especially physical sciences, in 17th to 19th-century Britain; relationship between science, government and the public; scientific institutions; popular science; biography.

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Dr Leonie James : Lecturer in History

The politics of religion and diplomacy in 17th and early 18th century Britain.

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Professor Gaynor Johnson : Professor of History

The international history of the 20th century; the origins of the First and Second World Wars; international diplomacy; diplomats; the history of international peace organisations; the history of the Foreign Office.

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Professor Karen Jones : Professor in American History

The American West; environmental history; the wolf: science and symbolism; hunting, nature and American identity; human relationships with animals; nuclear culture; parks and other tourist/heritage landscapes.

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Professor Jan Loop : Professor in Early Modern Global History

The intellectual, religious and cultural history of Europe and the Near East, with a special focus on Western knowledge of the Arab, Ottoman and Persian world 1450-1800.

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Dr Juliette Pattinson : Reader in History

Socio-cultural history, particularly the Second World War, specifically gender and oral history.

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Professor Ulf Schmidt : Professor of Modern History

German and European modern history, especially the history of medicine, eugenics and medical films during the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich and the Cold War.

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Professor Charlotte Sleigh : Professor in the History of Science

History and culture of the life sciences in the 19th and 20th centuries; history of natural history; literature; gender.

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Dr John Wills : Reader in American History

Modern US history; environmental, cultural and visual history; American nuclear landscapes; California protest culture; Disney; theme parks; tourism; 1950s America; cyber-society (including video games).

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Dr Aurelie Basha i Novosejt : Lecturer in American History

U.S. national security policy in the Cold War, with a focus on the Vietnam War, civil-military relations and the interaction of defence policy with economics.

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Dr Andrew Cohen : Senior Lecturer in British Empire

Late 19th- and 20th-century British Empire and the early decades of independence in sub-Saharan African countries; multinational business and the rapidly changing political landscape of late colonial/early post-colonial Africa. 

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Dr Peter Donaldson : Senior Lecturer in Military History

The relationship between sport and war in the British popular imagination in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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Dr Mario Draper : Lecturer in Military History

British, Irish and European military history in the 19th and 20th centuries; the links between armies and societies at all levels and especially with relation to national and regional identities.

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Dr Robert Gallagher : Lecturer in Early Medieval, Cultural & Political History

The cultural, political and social histories of medieval western Europe, with particular expertise in early medieval Britain, its Latin literatures, manuscripts and documents.

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Dr Emily Guerry : Senior Lecturer in Medieval European History

Medieval visual culture, particularly how the veneration of relics influenced Christian iconography

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Dr Charlie Hall : Lecturer in Modern European History

Military technology and the diplomatic, political, social and cultural contexts in which it exists; transnational movement of ideas and individuals; aftermath of conflict.

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Dr Emma Hanna : Lecturer in Modern British History

The history and memory of the First and Second World War in Britain and Europe; wartime entertainment and recreation in the British Armed Forces 1914-18; the work of organisations such as the YMCA, Salvation Army and Expeditionary Forces Canteens in the context of wartime recreation; formal and informal musical activities in the British Armed Forces 1914-18.

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Suzanna Ivanic : Lecturer in Early Modern European History

Religion, material and visual culture, and travel in Central Europe. 

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Dr Claire Jones : Lecturer in History

The cultural, economic and social history of medicine and health in Britain post 1750, with particular emphases on the relationship between medicine and commerce, and the ways in which this relationship affects professional social structures, consumption and material culture.

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Mark Lawrence : Lecturer in History

Transnational histories of the modern Hispanic world, especially in Spain, Mexico and Europe; military history.

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Dr Rory Loughnane : Senior Lecturer in Early Modern Studies

Early modern studies, with particular interests in intellectual history (specifically studies of memory), literary theory, editorial theory, history of the book, and studies of nationality, transgression, and normality.

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Dr Ben Marsh : Senior Lecturer in History

Social and economic history of the Atlantic world c.1500-1820 and the settlement of early America, including gender and race history, the US South and slave societies, demography, the American Revolution, and textile history.

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Dr Erik Mathisen : Lecturer in American History

Nineteenth-century United States and the Atlantic World more broadly, with particular interests in the history of slavery and emancipation, the Civil War and the Reconstruction eras.

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Aparajita Mukhopadhyay : Lecturer in Imperial History

Imperial history and the history of the British Empire; the history of colonial South Asia; technology; the history of railways; the history of social space.

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Dr Edward Roberts : Lecturer in Early Medieval History

Political, social and cultural change in Western Europe between c.850 and c.1050, especially the changing roles of writing in this period.

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Dr David Rundle : Lecturer in History

The role of books within the late medieval and early modern culture of western Europe, the movement of ideas within the shared civilization of Western Christendom, the power of ideas in politics in the period.

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Careers

As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, postgraduate qualifications are becoming more attractive to employers seeking individuals who have finely tuned skills and abilities, which our programmes encourage you to hone. As a result of the valuable transferable skills developed during your course of study, career prospects for history graduates are wide ranging.

Our graduates go on to a variety of careers, from research within the government to teaching, politics to records management and journalism, to working within museums and galleries – to name but a few.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

The resources for historical research at Kent are led by the University’s Templeman Library: a designated European Documentation Centre which holds specialised collections on slavery and antislavery, and on medical science. The Library has a substantial collection of secondary materials to back-up an excellent collection of primary sources including the British Cartoon Archive, newspapers, a large audio-visual library, and a complete set of British Second World War Ministry of Information propaganda pamphlets.

The School has a dedicated Centre for the Study of Propaganda and War, which has a distinctive archive of written, audio and visual propaganda materials, particularly in film, video and DVD. Locally, you have access to: the Canterbury Cathedral Library and Archive (a major collection for the study of medieval and early modern religious and social history); the Centre for Kentish Studies at Maidstone; and the National Maritime Collection at Greenwich. Kent is also within easy reach of the country’s premier research collections in London and the national libraries in Paris and Brussels.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Journal of Contemporary History; English Historical Review; British Journal for the History of Science; Technology and Culture; and War and Society.

Researcher Development Programme

Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.

Apply now

Learn more about the applications process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

Once started, you can save and return to your application at any time.

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

MA at Canterbury

PhD at Canterbury

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

E: information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827279

F: +44 (0)1227 827258

E: history-admissions@kent.ac.uk

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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School website

School of History