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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 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in every component.

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 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 year, you will be working towards submitting a more complete research proposal. You will be aided in your research by meeting with your supervisory team to discuss your progress. You will also be supported through your first year by engaging with a series of four modules:

  • RSDP4001: Developing as a Researcher
  • RSDP4002: Approaches to Research 1
  • RSDP4003: Approaches to Research 2
  • RSDP4004: Planning Your Research Project

At the end of each year, beginning with your first year, you will reflect on and formally review your progress with your supervisory team and MPhil/PhD Course Leader. We call this annual meeting an Annual Progress Review (APR).

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. 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. Students normally undergo Transfer from MPhil to PhD towards the end of their second year. This will be part of your Annual Progress Review for this year.

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 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 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. At the end of each year of your registration, you will go through an Annual Progress Review.

Part time students follow the same structure as full-time students but normally complete the PhD over a period of five to six years. Part-time students take two modules in each of their first two years, and will normally Transfer to PhD in their fourth year.

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: 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

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.”

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.

Professor Neil Fleming

Neil Fleming is an historian of Britain, Ireland and empire since the nineteenth century. 

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.

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).

Wendy 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 students engage with our Researcher Development Programme (RDP). The RDP aims to develop and enhance the skills, both generic and specific, that you will need to complete your research degree but also to become an effective researcher. The RDP is organised around thematic clusters, consisting of modules, and workshops, delivered face-to-face by subject specialists from across the University and the dedicated Researcher Development Team, or online through our virtual learning environment.

As part of the RDP, you will complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods (PG Cert). All students must complete the PG Cert in order to progress on their MPhil/PhD Programme. The PG Cert is strongly focused on developing your programme of research, starting from establishing your development needs, and preparing you for the planning and subsequent delivery of your programme of research.

Full-time students will complete the PG Cert in 12 months and part-time students in 24 months.

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. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £111 per week to 'En-suite Premium' at £189 per week (2022/23 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.

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