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.
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.
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.
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.
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, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.
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.
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.
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.View Profile
Barbara Bombi: Reader in Medieval History
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.View Profile
Dr Philip Boobbyer: Senior Lecturer in Modern European History
Russian and Soviet history, especially Russian religious and political philosophy.View Profile
Dr Timothy Bowman: Senior Lecturer in British Military History
British military history in the 19th and 20th centuries; Irish history c1775-1998.View Profile
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.View Profile
Dr Pratik Chakrabarti: Senior Lecturer in the History of Modern Medicine
History of colonial science and medicine; South Asian and imperial history from the 18th to the 20th century.View Profile
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.View Profile
Dr George Conyne: Lecturer in American History
American, constitutional, political and diplomatic history; Anglo-American relations; British diplomacy in the 20th century; the Cold War.View Profile
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.View Profile
Dr Helen Gittos: Lecturer in Medieval History
Anglo-Saxon England, especially church history; early medieval liturgy and architecture.View Profile
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.View Profile
Dr Danielle van den Heuvel: Lecturer in History
The position of women in early modern Dutch society; street vending in early modern Europe; guilds, consumption and retail development.View Profile
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.View Profile
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.View Profile
Dr Karen Jones: Senior Lecturer 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.View Profile
Dr Jan Loop: Lecturer in 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.View Profile
Dr Giacomo Macola: Senior Lecturer in African History
Central African political and intellectual history from the 18th century to the present.View Profile
Dr Emily Manktelow: Lecturer in African History
Central African political and intellectual history from the 18th century to the present.View Profile
Dr Juliette Pattinson: Reader in History
Socio-cultural history, particularly the Second World War, specifically gender and oral history.View Profile
Dr William Pettigrew: Reader in American History
England and her Atlantic colonies in the 16th to 18th centuries; the history of the British Atlantic Empire; the trans-Atlantic slave trade; race and ethnicity; the history of economic thought; Renaissance diplomacy.View Profile
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.View Profile
Dr Phil Slavin: Lecturer in Medieval History of Science
Environmental, economic and social history of late-medieval and early modern British Isles and the north Atlantic world.View Profile
Dr Charlotte Sleigh: Reader in the History of Science
History and culture of the life sciences in the 19th and 20th centuries; history of natural history; literature; gender.View Profile
Dr Leonie James: Lecturer in History
Anglicanism in Scotland and Ireland during the 17th century.View Profile
Dr John Wills: Senior Lecturer 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).View Profile
The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for Home/EU PG Research programmes have not yet been set by the Research Councils UK. This is ordinarily announced in March.
General additional costs
Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both: