History - MA, PhD

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When joining a research programme within History at Kent, you will become an active part of a welcoming, cutting-edge community, that delivers world-leading research.


There are two types of History programme. 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 (PhD) word thesis. We welcome research applications across the range of expertise within the School.

Reasons to study our History MA by Research or PhD programme:

  • Our staffs research interests and publications cover vast periods of history, enabling you to make use of field leading, professional support during your research and studies with us.
  • We are the only History department in the UK to achieve a perfect score of 100% ‘world leading’ for both the impact of our research and our research environment. This extraordinary achievement has resulted in the Times Higher Education ranking History at Kent 1st in the UK.
  • Kent’s Graduate and Researcher College, co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme which covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and team working, and career management skills.

    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 within the beautiful cathedral city of Canterbury, with its own dynamic history, the University is within easy reach of the main London archives and is convenient for travelling to mainland Europe.

    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. You'll join a lively, research-led department where postgraduate students are given the opportunity to work alongside academics, recognised as experts in their respective fields. 

    Thanks to the wide range of teaching and research interests in the School, we can offer a wide scope for research supervision covering the breadth and depth of world history. Find out more about the School's research centres and staffs specific research interests here.

    Entry requirements


    A first or second class honours degree in a relevant subject (or equivalent).


    A first or upper-second class honours degree in a relevant subject (or equivalent) and, normally, a taught MA qualification.

    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 Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study 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.


    The 2024/25 annual tuition fees for this course are:

    History - MA at Canterbury

    • Home full-time TBC
    • EU full-time £18600
    • International full-time £18600
    • Home part-time TBC
    • EU part-time £9300
    • International part-time £9300

    History - PhD at Canterbury

    • Home full-time TBC
    • EU full-time £18600
    • International full-time £18600
    • Home part-time TBC
    • EU part-time £9300
    • International part-time £9300

    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.

    Your fee status

    The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

    Additional costs

    General additional costs

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


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

    We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

    Search scholarships

    Independent rankings

    In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, 100% of our History research was classified as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for research and environment. 

    Following the REF 2021, History at Kent was ranked 1st in the UK in the Times Higher Education.


    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.


    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 application process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

    You will be able to choose your preferred year of entry once you have started your application. You can also save and return to your application at any time.

    Apply for entry to:

    Contact us


    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


    International student enquiries

    Enquire online

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


    School website

    School of History