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Postgraduate research in history

Ready to start your research career? Explore our postgraduate research degrees in history

If you're interested in taking your existing knowledge and expertise in History into a postgraduate research degree, then Portsmouth is the perfect place to do it.

Within our History research, we're studying how everyday people have responded to upheaval, and how their experiences, culture, values and activities have shaped their identities and behaviour – and as a postgraduate research degree student, you'll play your own part in transforming our knowledge and expertise into action.

Across our areas of expertise – in early modern history, British social and cultural history, and urban cultures – we're exploring the lives of people at all levels of society, and the complex communities, cultures, and subcultures to which they belonged. Through our work, we're able to make sense of the world we live in today, and to understand how our own society may change in the future.

Research degrees

Find out about our PhD, MPhil, and PhD by Publication opportunities in History below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.

History PhDs and MPhils

Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in History, or submit your own research idea. 

PhD and MPhil projects

Self-funded projects

There are currently no pre-approved self-funded projects available in this subject area. If you'd like to submit your own PhD proposal, please read the information below.

Submit your own idea

If you already have a research idea, find a supervisor whose research interests match yours by searching our Find a PhD Supervisor page. Once you've identified someone suitable, contact them to discuss your idea.

PhD by Publication

A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.

Eligible research outputs include peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6–12 months after registering with us.

For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.

Duration, fees and funding 

What do my tuition fees cover?

If you're self-funding your PhD, you'll pay tuition fees to the University to cover course and university costs.

Your tuition fees cover:

  • The cost of your postgraduate research programme* at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision, and examinations
  • Bespoke training, professional development courses, networking, and research support through The Graduate School
  • Research seminars and workshops (university-wide and faculty-specific)
  • A contribution to funding to attend a conference or development activity in your research field
  • Tailor-made weekly and monthly events, including weekly, themed experienced researcher-led talks and workshops
  • Helping you become part of our thriving research community, including Research and Innovation services where 77% of our research is world leading and internationally excellent in REF 2021
  • Your graduation ceremony
  • Viva examination and administration costs
  • The facilities and equipment you need to complete your studies, such as computer rooms, access to laptops, the Library, and laboratories
  • Access to resources including electronic journals, alternative guide to funding, and thousands of hours of educational videos on LinkedIn Learning
  • University support services including academic, financial, careers and wellbeing support and personal tutors
  • Membership of the Students' Union (giving you the right to vote in elections, join clubs and societies, and get free independent advice)
  • Access to software such as Microsoft Office, SPSS and Adobe Creative Suite (this includes Photoshop, InDesign, and Adobe Premiere Pro)

*Please note that some research programmes may come with additional bench fees.

How long will my research degree take?

  • MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
  • PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
  • PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time

How much will my degree cost?

PhD and MPhil

UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students 

  • Full-time:  £4,596 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

EU students

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time:  £4,596 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

International students  

  • Full-time: £16,200 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £8,100 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

PhD by Publication 

External candidates: £4,596

Members of staff: £1,760 

All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 20221/23 please visit this page.

PhD and MPhil

UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students 

  • Full-time:  £4,596 per year (may be subject to annual increase)*
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 per year (may be subject to annual increase)*

EU students

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time:  £4,596 per year (may be subject to annual increase)*
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 per year (may be subject to annual increase)*

International students  

  • Full-time: £17,200 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £8,600 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

PhD by Publication 

External candidates: £4,596*

Members of staff: £1,850

All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2023/24 please visit this page.

 

*This is the 2022/23 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) maximum studentship fee; this fee will increase to the 2023/24 UKRI maximum studentship fee when UKRI announces this rate in Spring 2023.

 

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Funding support

MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan (UK/EU students only).

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan (UK/EU students only).

For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for a PhD, or MPhil include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.

If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Exemptions apply to those applicants who have studied in the UK, and to applicants with a degree whose medium of instruction is English.

Support and facilities

When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.

What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?

Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.

Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

After researching with us, our successful postgraduate research candidates have gone on to successful careers as academic researchers, archivists and museum curators.

Apply

Apply for a research degree in History by completing our online form. 

February (2023 start)

April (2023 start)

October (2023 start)

Current research

Explore the work we're doing across our 3 areas of research expertise in History.

British social and cultural history

We're exploring the lives of ordinary people in Britain, at all levels of society, and charts the formation and change of British culture through the experiences of its population.

Anchor, circa 1800, Southsea beach
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Early modern history

We're looking at the lives of people in Europe, between the 15th and 18th centuries, and how they made sense of their lives and formed their identities during a time of incredible change.

Mary Rose wreckage at the Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth
Read more

Urban cultures

We're exploring the relationship between people and the urban environment of the city, and how living in a predominantly urban society affected – and continues to affect – those within it.

Historic image of urban port town
Read more