PG Banner

Research degrees in history

Training the next generation of historians is a vital part of our departmental research strategy and culture. we have one of the most active centres for postgraduate research in the country, with around 40 postgraduate research students and a vibrant postgraduate culture.

A welcome message to all prospective students from the Head of Department, Mary Vincent (WMA, 2.8MB)


Research in the area you want

The University of Sheffield is one of the most active centres for historical research in Britain. Individual expert supervision is offered for research degrees in the following areas:

  • The late antique world
  • Medieval British and European history
  • Early modern England and Europe
  • The history of colonial, nineteenth- and twentieth-century America
  • Nineteenth- and twentieth-century British and European history
  • Fascist and totalitarian movements in twentieth-century Britain and Europe.
  • Imperial and international history
  • Social, cultural and gender history



A stimulating research environment

At Sheffield we offer a stimulating, friendly and informal study environment for our research students. We encourage and motivate you to achieve your full potential.

The department has a thriving research culture. You will be encouraged to present the results of your research in papers at seminars and conferences in Sheffield and further afield. We will also help you to seek publication of your work as appropriate.


A thriving postgraduate culture

We are proud to have a large and active community of postgraduates, who make a very important contribution to the department's research culture.

The Department is a friendly place to study, our Postgraduate students discuss their research with each other: they hold regular postgraduate student meetings; organising informal discussion groups focussing on different fields of History and their own more formal research events.

Details of the Department research seminar series and other events can be found here.

Find out more about the postgraduate community here.


Tailored supervision and research training

As well as working closely with your primary supervisor, who will be an acknowledged expert in your field of study, you will also have a secondary supervisor, whose expertise will lie in a related field; he or she is available to offer a different perspective on aspects of your research.

All of our students pursue a course of training. You devise your own programme under the guidance of your supervisor. If you have completed a suitable MA programme you will already have some training, but there may still be some areas in which you need assistance (for example in the use of particular archives, the handling of certain specialised sources, advanced IT skills, a foreign language or palaeography). In your second year, you may wish to take a course that would train you to work as a part-time tutor; in your third year you might look for advice on publishing your work as well as on completing and submitting your thesis on time. All doctoral students who have completed a training course are offered the chance to gain teaching experience as a part-time tutor.


Image: outside shot of Jessop WestMore about studying at Sheffield