Postgraduate community and research culture

We're an active centre for cutting-edge research in a wide variety of fields, so whether you're an MA student or a research student, there are lots of activities and events that you can get involved with.

Postgraduate community
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Research culture and strengths

Our research interests extend chronologically from ancient history to contemporary history; geographically from the UK to Western, Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, South and East Asia, the Middle East and the USA; and thematically to include political, economic, social, cultural and intellectual history, with a distinct specialism in the application of digital technologies to historical research.

We have a variety of thematic research hubs that combine several staff and student research interests cutting across the usual chronological and geographical boundaries.

Examples of our research specialisations include:

Our research centres see us take that further by working across faculty and University boundaries with staff from all over the world.

More about our research


Departmental research seminars

The department has its own research seminar series, which runs regularly during semester-time and covers a huge range of topics. Seminars usually host an external guest speaker to present a paper on their current research, but can also be based around a round table discussion.

The seminars themselves are open to students at all levels, including MA and PhD, and provide an excellent opportunity to get involved in the department’s research activities and find out more about research that’s being undertaken both in your area of interest and across the discipline more broadly.

Interdisciplinary Research Seminars

Many of our research centres also run their own research seminar series:

Conferences and other research events

In addition to our usual research seminars, many of the research centres, networks and postgraduate discussion groups organise seminars, day conferences or special lectures during the year, often working in conjunction with staff and students across the faculty and the wider University.

Find out more about the research seminars and other events happening this year on our events page.


Our postgraduate community

Our postgraduate students are very active in helping to create a departmental research community of both MA and PhD students and academic staff. Postgraduate students have their own forum and organise a variety of research and social events throughout the year.

Postgraduate research groups

The forum includes a wide variety of postgraduate research groups where postgraduate students at all levels have the opportunity to work with other students and members of staff to create their own programme of speakers and research events.

These events are often speaker-based, with research students and staff from Sheffield and elsewhere coming along to discuss their research, or can take the form of a less formal round table discussion on a particular topic.

Current postgraduate research groups include:

Find out more about events happening this year here.

Postgraduate research colloquium

The Colloquium is the PhD students’ annual conference, where students and staff are invited to present papers and share the latest insights into their research.

Papers are welcome on any topic area, so the Colloquium always promises to be an interesting and intellectually engaging event.

It provides an excellent opportunity for PhD students to gain some initial or further experience of giving papers to an academic audience and answering questions on your research.

It is also a great chance for MA students to experience an academic conference and pick up tips ahead of the MA Conference Day that forms part of the Research Presentation module assessment.

History Postgrad Forum

The forum is run by our current postgraduate students and forms the basis of the postgraduate community within the department.

Taking part in the forum’s activities is a great way to meet other postgraduate students, have your views heard and get involved in the department’s research events. And, if you become part of the forum committee, it can also be excellent way of demonstrating transferable skills when you start looking for employment.

The Open Forum

The Open Forum is the postgraduate students’ monthly event, where members of the postgraduate community meet to discuss and organise research activities and social events and also to raise any matters for discussion at the History Department Postgraduate Committee.

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