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Early modern history

Explore our research in early modern history

Our early modern history research is re-examining the world in which Europeans lived between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries – and helping us to readdress basic assumptions about their history.

We're looking at how people in Europe experienced and responded to a time of significant change and upheaval, when traditional authority was disrupted and challenged. We're also exploring some key markers of identity, including religion and gender, and considering the complex ways in which people in the past made sense of their present.

Our work is frequently published in leading academic journals and publications within the field, including the Royal Historical Society’s New Perspectives in History series, and the journal of British Catholic History, which is edited by Dr Katy Gibbons, one of our senior lecturers in History and an active contributor to our research work in this topic.

Our research covers the following topics

  • Sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century history
  • Early modern England and Europe
  • Family and lifecycle history
  • Exile, diaspora, and migration history
  • Intellectual history
  • Digital humanities
  • Early modern gender
  • Material culture
  • The Reformation
  • The British Civil War
  • Religious conflict and toleration


We apply a number of qualitative research methods to our Early Modern History research, and draw on a wide range of source material – including State papers, legal records, material sources, correspondence, manuscripts and early printed books. 

Project highlights

Research groups

History Research Group

We're researching aspects of social and cultural history in European societies, and further afield.


Interested in a PhD in History?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our History postgraduate research degrees page.