School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
History at the University of Portsmouth is a distinctive field, in which the comprehension of the past and an awareness of the processes of social change combine to create a stronger understanding of our present.
From war, revolution and religious persecution to gender theory, leisure activity and the political use of heritage, the interests of our academic staff range widely. For those considering an undergraduate course, this offers satisfaction of your existing interests and the possibility of discovering new passions. Postgraduates, meanwhile, may expect to find specialists who can assist with deeper study of a discovered interest through PhD research or our MA courses.
History research takes place under the umbrella of CEISR, the Centre for European and International Studies Research. The largest research centre of its kind in the UK, CEISR is highly rated by the Research Assessment Exercise and actively creates a vibrant cross-disciplinary environment for academic study.
An emphasis on social and cultural history
At Portsmouth, we specialise in a range of British and European history topics from the fifteenth century to the present, with a general emphasis on social and cultural history. We focus on the experiences and perceptions of ordinary men and women over time - how they became involved in popular revolts or revolutions or how their working and leisure time was transformed by industrialisation and urbanisation.
Studying here, you may investigate how, during the early modern period, the forging of the nation state and the reformation impacted upon peoples' lives. From the nineteenth century, you might examine how issues such as industrialisation, imperialism and pseudo-science helped shape government social policies and nurture political movements that went on to significantly influence the twentieth century. From the last century, we offer key themes such as the First and Second World War, the rise and fall of Fascism and Communism and the political and socio-economic issues that challenged European liberal democracies during this period.
Image: The Duchess of Albany christening the Neptune, September 1909. Used by kind permission of the National Museum of the Royal Navy.