Skip to content

ASP._Page_site_elements_razor_entry_records_course_record_cshtml

We welcome applications to undertake research towards MPhil and PhD degrees in History.

Research at Worcester has grown significantly in recent years. We aim to produce research that is distinctive, socially and culturally relevant, and that influences national agendas. We continually strive to develop new areas of research excellence while, in certain areas, our work has already been acknowledged as world-leading.

Overview

Overview

School of Humanities

The School of Humanities has a strong mix of academics with a high degree of professional and personal experience, enabling you to get the most out of your programme. Our staff have expertise in fields including: women and the home front in WWI and II; the history of international relations; the Atlantic slave trade, Abolition movement, and histories of emancipated African people; early modern British and Irish history; and the medical Humanities.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry qualifications

For MPhil

  • First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or an approved equivalent award

or

  • Research or professional experience which has resulted in appropriate evidence of achievement

For PhD

  • Postgraduate Masters Degree in a discipline which is appropriate to the proposed programme of study

or

  • First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or equivalent award in an appropriate discipline

or

  • Research or professional experience at postgraduate level which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of achievement

International applicants

International applicants will be required to demonstrate that they have the appropriate level of written and spoken English.

For MPhil/PhD this is an IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum score of 7.0 in Written English.

Course content

What will you study?

PhD year by year

After receiving your application, we try to establish if we have the necessary expertise to supervise your project and we begin to form a supervisory team for you. This will normally consist of a Director of Studies (DoS), who will be your lead supervisor, and at least one other second supervisor, who will offer you additional support and guidance throughout your studies. If, following a successful interview, you are offered a place as a full-time student, your programme of study will look something like this:

First year

You will have submitted a draft research outline with your application. In your first six months, you will be working towards submitting a more complete research proposal, we call this an RDB1 Proposal. You will be aided in preparing for this by engaging with a 20-credit masters level module RTP401: Developing and Managing Your Research, and by meeting with your supervisory team to discuss your progress. You will meet with your supervisory team for 30 hours a year and this can be face-to-face or via Skype. Students who have not taken a recent research methods module in a relevant area will normally undertake a second module in their first year, in research methods. At the end of each year, beginning with your first year, you will work with your supervisors on completing a progress report, which we call an RDB7.

Second year

In your second year, you will be collecting data and working on your research project, under the supervision of your supervisors through regular meetings. In your second semester you will take a module titled RTP402: Dissemination, Impact and Engagement, which will help you begin to think about these three core themes. You may at this point have research papers ready to publish and you may wish to attend conferences to present your research to other experts in your field. You will be able to apply to our Research Student Support Scheme for some funding for this purpose (LINK). Students normally undergo Transfer from MPhil to PhD towards the end of their second year. At Transfer (RDB2), you will submit one to two chapters of your thesis and deliver a presentation to a question panel of experienced researchers.

Third or fourth year

In your third and fourth year, you will be writing up your thesis and preparing for your viva voce examination. This is an oral exam with two external examiners and a chair. You can also request that your supervisor be present at the exam. The exam will take place after you have submitted your final thesis. After the exam, it is not unusual for the examiners to ask that some minor amendments be made to your thesis before the final award is confirmed and you will have additional time to do this. It is possible to complete the course in three years, but we have found that the majority of students do take four years to complete the course.

Part time students follow the same structure as full time students but complete the PhD over a maximum period of six years.

Pathways

Students are allocated a pathway appropriate to their research experience and background.

Students without a previous research degree will normally be allocated Pathway 1. This means you will need to engage with all of the modules outlined above and undertake associated assignments. These modules will lead to the additional award of PG Cert in Research Methods at no additional cost.

Students with a previous research degree will normally be allocated Pathway 2 and this will mean they will not be required to engage with the taught elements of the course to the same extent as students on Pathway 1. We do still recommend that they attend all of the workshops, for example, but they would not need to submit the associated assignments. Students on Pathway 2 may request to switch to Pathway 1 at the start of their course, with approval of their supervisory team.

Regardless of Pathway, the Researcher Development team organize a range of workshops that all students will be invited to attend.

Supervision areas

How will you be supervised?

Benefit from a professional and challenging relationship with your supervisory team, drawn from experienced academics working at the forefront of their disciplines.

Supervision areas

The School of Humanities has a strong mix of academics with a high degree of professional and personal experience, enabling you to get the most out of your programme. Our staff have expertise in fields including: women and the home front in WWI and II; the history of international relations; the Atlantic slave trade, Abolition movement, and histories of emancipated African people; early modern British and Irish history; and the medical Humanities.

Recent successful projects have included: children, childhood, and slavery in Sierra Leone; print culture in Restoration England; and end-of-life care in the Victorian home. Some of our current research projects include: British elementary curricula and ideas of the imperial world; and courtship and marriage on the British Home Front during the first and second World Wars.

Resources

With study space and IT provision in the Research Office, and access to the University of Worcester’s virtual resources and state of the art library facilities, the History team at Worcester have an excellent range of resources to support your learning and research project.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document for the MPhil or PhD.

Supervisors

Professor Maggie Andrews 
Expertise: cultural and social history of twentieth century Britain and the representation of that history; broadcasting, domesticity and femininity; the Home Front in World War One and Two

Dr Neil Fleming 
Expertise: twentieth century Britain; metropolitan imperialism; British foreign and imperial policy; Northern Ireland.

Dr Paddy McNally 
Expertise: Irish history, 1690-1848; German history, 1870-1945; political thought; nationalism.

Professor Darren Oldridge 
Expertise: religion and the supernatural in early modern England; witchcraft; the Devil.

Professor Suzanne Schwarz 
Expertise: the Atlantic slave trade; slavery; abolitionism; Sierra Leone; British colonial policy in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Dr Wendy Toon 
Expertise: the United States in the era of the Second World War; Americanization; enemy image creation; propaganda; twentieth century Germany and Japan; foreign relations of the United States; the “study of culture at a distance.”

prof-maggie-andrews

Prof Maggie Andrews

Maggie is a cultural historian whose work covers the social and cultural history of twentieth century Britain and the representation of that history within popular culture. 

She was a lead expert on the BBC’s Home Front series, marking the centenary of WWI, and has spoken extensively at high profile conferences and across a host of radio and television channels on this topic, particularly exploring evacuations and the role of women.

Dr Neil Fleming

Neil Fleming is an historian of Britain, Ireland and empire since the nineteenth century. He has published widely and is currently engaged on a number of projects which include a study of metropolitan imperialism and government policy.

Dr Paddy McNally


Paddy McNally's teaching and research interests are focused on Irish history from 1690 until 1848, German history from 1870 to 1945, and the history of political thought. He is author of the book, Parties, Patriots and Undertakers. Parliamentary politics in early Hanoverian Ireland and numerous articles on eighteenth-century Irish history. He is currently writing From the Boyne to the Famine. A thematic history of Ireland, 1690-1848, to be published by Routledge. He teaches specialist modules on Irish history 1690-1848, German history 1870-1945, and Nationalism. He has successfully supervised PhD and MPhil students to completion and welcomes expressions of interest from prospective postgraduate researchers in most aspects of British and Irish history from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth centuries.

professor-darren-oldridge

Professor Darren Oldridge

Darren Oldridge is a specialist in sixteenth and seventeenth-century religious history. His interests include witchcraft and the Devil, the supernatural, and the religious context of the English Civil Wars. A recurring theme of his work is the rationality underpinning apparently strange beliefs: this is reflected, most recently, in the new edition of Strange Histories (Routledge: 2017). More broadly, he is interested in the relationship between poetry and film and the past.

At Worcester Darren teaches modules that reflect these interests, including The Early Modern World and Witchcraft and the Devil. At present he is editing the third edition of The Witchcraft Reader, to be published by Routledge in 2018.

prof-suzanne-schwarz

Prof Suzanne Schwarz

Suzanne Schwarz’s teaching at the University of Worcester focuses on the transatlantic slave trade and West Africa in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She also focuses on developing historical research skills for students through the study of regional and local history. She was the recipient of two student-led teaching awards in 2013 and 2014.

Dr Wendy Toon

Wendy Toon is an historian of the United States of America, specialising in the twentieth century. She is currently writing Images of the Enemy: American Constructions of the Germans and Japanese in World War Two (Routledge, forthcoming 2020).

She is Course Leader for BA History. Wendy Toon joined the University of Worcester in September 2002. She previously held positions at Staffordshire University and Keele University, and was a Royal Historical Society Fellow (Peter Marshall Fellowship) at the Institute of Historical Research.  

Careers

Where could it take you?

All research students must engage with the Researcher Development Programme (RDP), a core curriculum of training and development which provides them with the general and subject-specific knowledge, skills and behaviours to support them in the completion of their research degree. At the beginning of an MPhil/PhD degree, you will be allocated to one of two pathways depending on your experience and knowledge as a researcher. This will determine which elements of the programme are core and which are optional. At the beginning of the programme you will be required to complete a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) in conjunction with your Director of Studies. This identifies the training that you will need to undertake, in addition to the mandatory elements of RDP, in order to complete the programme and to become an effective researcher. This TNA is revisited at the beginning of each subsequent academic year. All students are offered a wide range of optional training workshops throughout the programme focused around the following themes:

  • Developing and Managing Your Research
  • Dissemination, Impact, Engagement
  • Completing Your Research Degree
  • Research Methodology Master classes
  • Data Analysis
  • Research Funding
  • Wellbeing and Personal Effectiveness
  • Careers and Employability
  • Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
Costs

How much will it cost?

Fees

The current fees can be found within the tuition fees document on our figure out finances page.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £102 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £165 per week (2019/20 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Additional information

As part of the application process, you will be asked to submit a research outline. We recommend preparing your research outline before beginning your online application. Some guidance on preparing your research outline is available here.

If your research involves working with vulnerable adults and/or children then you may be required to obtain a DBS check. There will be a small charge for this. For more information please contact research@worc.ac.uk.

We are committed to making reasonable adjustment. If you require an alternative format for making your application due to a disability, please contact us to discuss your needs on 01905 542182 or research@worc.ac.uk.

How to apply

Please make your application via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Research School on 01905 542182 or research@worc.ac.uk

Before you submit a full application, please contact Research School (research@worc.ac.uk) to discuss your research project and the availability of appropriate supervision.

January start

Apply for this course - full time Apply for this course - part time

October start

Apply for this course - full time Apply for this course - part time

Get in touch