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Research degrees in History

The School of History is a vibrant, welcoming and stimulating environment in which to carry out your historical research at doctoral level. We pride ourselves on the high quality of support and supervision delivered by our distinguished academics whose own excellence in research drives their teaching and inspires our sizeable postgraduate community. We nurture an inclusive atmosphere engendered by a research community with a great diversity of interests and approaches.

During your time at the School of History you will have the opportunity to take part in the numerous and lively research forums supported by the school. The Postgraduate Seminar Series is run entirely by and for our research students. The Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies runs a renowned series of seminars with an international cast of speakers, as does the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies; the Mile End Institute (MEI) seminar series provides an unparalleled forum for the study of issues in contemporary British history. The new interdisciplinary Centre for the History of the Emotions, offers a rich array of seminars, colloquia and workshops, as well as Studentships. The Raphael Samuel History Centre, a research and outreach centre based in Queen Mary and two other London universities, provides our postgraduates with opportunities for public debate and engagement. Most members of the School are involved in running research seminars at the Institute for Historical Research, an essential part of the postgraduate experience in London. An impressive group of postdoctoral researchers offers inspiration and support to those embarked on their postdoctoral work.

The School of History runs exchange programmes with foreign universities which provide our research students with great opportunities for meeting with postgraduates abroad. We currently operate these programmes with Northwestern University, Freiburg University, and the Universities of Basel and Uppsala.


Throughout your time at Queen Mary, you will benefit from the guidance of the supervisory team appointed to support you. You will also take part in the Graduate Training Forum run by the Director of Graduate Studies, which will provide you with the knowledge and skills to strengthen your historical research, manage your academic commitments, and prepare for your future career. You will be encouraged to draw on Queen Mary's provision of generic training targeted at postgraduate researchers, as well as on subject-specific provision from external bodies such as the Institute of Historical Research or the Warburg Institute.


You are encouraged to contact a member of staff with interests in the relevant research area to discuss your proposed research prior to making a formal application. Details of staff and their research expertise may be found at the School of History website. Your application should be accompanied by a research proposal outlining the aims and academic context of the research.

Further information

Please contact: 
Research and Postgraduate Support Officer 
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8352

For more information, please visit the School of History website.

Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern History

The group is currently working on a wide range of research projects including: the nature of crusading violence; the late medieval English clergy; a history of the Bedouin and their role in the Islamisation of the medieval Near East; the history of Italian universities to 1500; black Africans in Renaissance Europe; the 'secret' political history of Britain c.1558-1688; the English clergy and the Hundred Years War; relations between the army and civilian society in England and Ireland under George I; the Terror in the French Revolution; Enlightenment ideas about solitude and sociability; the changing roles of women in early modern Britain.

Modern and Contemporary History

The modern and contemporary group is currently engaged in a large number of projects in the fields of American, British and European history and political thought including a comparison of attitudes towards capitalism at the end of the Nineteenth-Century and the beginning of the Twenty-First Century; consumerism in Nineteenth-Century America; the Russian civil war; John Kennedy; Hollywood and the Americanisation of Britain; conceptions of scientific theory in America since 1900; Victorian moral thought; transnational television history; ageing and old people in the sixties; terror in Ireland; the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; the Iraq war; the Labour Party between the Wars and Britain in the sixties.

History of Intellectual and Political Thought

The History of Intellectual and Political Thought group is engaged in a wide range of projects, including work on problems of empire and democracy, problems of conquest and ideas of equality, the Enlightenment, political philosophy in the Seventeenth-Century, Thomas Hobbes, Edmund Burke, the rise of feminism, and British political thought on nationalism, patriotism, cosmopolitanism and international relations.

History of Medicine

There is a strong group within the history of medicine and the body, covering the period from the later Middle Ages onwards and overlapping with the work of the Centre for the History of the Emotions, which is funded by the Wellcome Trust. Current research focuses on subjects as diverse as the history of the body; stoicism and weeping; sexuality and psychiatry; psychiatric epidemiology and the pursuit of happiness in government policy; psychosomatic medicine; physiognomy, dentistry and the history of the smile; gymnastics and the Jewish body; the pharmaceutical industry; and contemporary neuroscience.

Global History

Scholars working in the Global History group share an enthusiasm for rethinking the conventional tools, archives and categories used by historians in our approaches to non-western, transnational and world histories. Current research projects consider questions of piracy and sovereignty, colonial/anticolonial violence and contemporary militancy, cartography and knowledge, race and ideology, science and empire, discourses of development and international governance, as well as postcolonial politics and the public life of history. The group possesses particular strengths in the Middle East, the African continent, South Asia and the Indian Ocean world.

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