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School of History

Support and guidance during your PhD

In studying and researching your PhD, you will be pursuing an interest while developing skills in language and technology, and in oral and written communication to a very high level. You will have the support of your supervisory team, the School's Director of Graduate Studies and Research Manager, and our diverse research environment.

Your supervisory team is made up of at least one primary supervisor, who is a subject expert in your field, as well as a second supervisor to provide you with additional guidance and mentorship. Contact with your primary supervisor(s) will begin before you make your application, and you should consult with them when developing your research proposal. Once you start at QMUL, you will meet regularly with your primary supervisor(s) to make plans for the research and production of your thesis and to identify relevant training that you can make use of. 

In consultation with you and your primary supervisor(s), you will be appointed a second supervisor during your first term at QMUL. Your second supervisor will be an experienced member of academic staff in the School, who is a subject expert in a field related to your field of study. Your second supervisor can advise you on broadening your research network and on relevant historigraphy that is not directly within your field. Your second supervisor will meet with your informally throughout your programme and formally at the end of each academic year for an annual appraisal. In the lead-up to submission, your second supervisor will be assigned the task of reading your final draft and offering comment.

All PGRs in the School of History are supported by a dedicated Director of Graduate Studies, who is a senior member of academic staff. The Director of Graduate Studies runs a dedicated training programme for all first-year PGRs and additional training sessions throughout your programme (e.g. when you are approaching submission). Such training is the essential route to an academic career, but it is also highly prized by employers in many other spheres. Find out more about our PGR training here.

The Doctoral College

The Doctoral College is responsible for PGR student support and experience across the college. You can contact them about PGR training and welfare issues. 

The Doctoral College provides events and activities tailored specifically to PhD students – including a college-wide induction for all new students, cohort training days, and an annual Graduate Festival – designed to further develop our students’ research skills, foster conversations and collaborations between our research students and staff, and promote a cohesive and supportive PhD community. The Doctoral College also offers additional funding to support research, conference organisation and travel, and public engagement activities.

The Disability and Dyslexia Service

The Disability and Dyslexia Service (DDS) offers support for all students with disabilities, specific learning difficulties and mental health issues at QMUL. The Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you in securing a diagnostic assessment. They can also help you to obtain the support you need to study comfortably. 

The Advice and Counselling Service

Advice and Counselling offer confidential guidance and support on all matters related to your time at Queen Mary. In addition to assisting you through any difficult or stressful periods and helping you balance your studies with your personal life, they offer practical, informed guidance on the often complicated worlds of fees, finances, College regulations, VISAs and so on. We urge you to make full use of their advisors. If you feel like you may be struggling or need to talk a matter through, it is much better to catch an issue when it is small rather than let it snowball into something less manageable.

Emotional well-being is crucial to having an enjoyable and successful time at university. QMUL Advice and Counselling offers a range of support, including individual counselling, CBT, group therapy and personal development workshops.

QMUL has a team of mental health first aiders, who you may contact if you wish to talk to somebody about any concerns you may be having. Mental health first aiders have been trained to actively listen without judgment and signpost to appropriate services where necessary. The School of History's dedicated mental health first aiders are Claire Trenery and Shima Ferose.

Mental health and personal finances often have a strong impact on each other. If you are struggling to keep control of your money, you may find that your mental health is affected. Likewise, if you find that you cannot cope with your feelings or behaviour, you may find that you get into financial difficulties. If you are in debt, see the Advice and Counselling Service for advice about your options. 

The Advice and Counselling Service has detailed guidance on managing your finances here, including examples of average costs, spreadsheets that you can personalise and money saving ideas. You can also contact a welfare advisor if you would like help planning a budget. 

All QMUL students have free access to Togetherall, which is a resource offering 24/7 online mental health and wellbeing support. Togertherall provides a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings, get creative and learn how to self-manage your mental health and wellbeing. It also provides access to a 24/7 supportive community with clinical guidance and useful resources. You will need to use your QMUL email address to join the forum but the service is completely anonymous, and none of your information will be passed on to QMUL (no one at QMUL will even be told that you are using this service unless you choose to share this). You can change the email address linked to your account after you have completed the initial sign-up.


In addition to its studentships schemes, the School of History provides all PhD researchers (whether or not their studies are funded) with opportunities to apply for financial support during their programme:

  • The School of History PGR fund offers financial support for PhD researchers to attend conferences or carry out research trips.
  • PGR students can apply to the School for financial support for necessary external training programmes if not offered internally.
  • The QMUL Postgraduate Research Fund is open to applications from postgraduate researchers across QMUL. The fund supports travel and other expenses related to doctoral study.
  • The Doctoral College Initiative Fund supports and promotes creative and imaginative activities (e.g. public engagement events or conferences) organised by postgraduate researchers, which will enhance their research experience and their intellectual and/or professional development. 
  • QMUL subscribes to the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding so postgraduate researchers can access free resources and guidance on finding and applying for funding.
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