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The University of Southampton
HistoryPart of Humanities

Postgraduate research training

The History staff at Southampton are committed to helping postgraduate students to identify and enhance their research and transferable skills in the course of their research projects.

We are highly conscious that the portfolio of skills most appropriate to each student will vary widely between individuals and research projects, and therefore encourage you to identify your own priorities in collaboration with your supervisor and the discipline PGR supervisor.

We aim to do this in a number of ways. In your first meeting with your supervisor in each academic year we will ask you to identify specific skills for development over the coming year and the ways and means by which these skills can be enhanced (these may range from specific research skills like palaeography and language learning to related employment skills like teaching, delivering conference papers and seeking publication of your research). In your second and third year of full-time research (or part-time equivalent), we will ask you to review the progress made in the previous year towards achieving those training objectives.

The means of delivering research training include:

  1. Expert skills training from your supervisor. This may be the most appropriate source of specific research skills relating to the primary sources and methodologies you will be using.
  2. A one-to-one session of library research skills advice, related to your specific project, delivered by a member of the Hartley Library Humanities subject team. History students should contact Nick Graffy, subject librarian for History ( Students intending to make use of the Hartley Library Archives should also contact the archivist, Professor Chris Woolgar ( ), for an introduction to the resource.
  3. Taking selected elements from the History MA Research Skills unit. This course covers a wide variety of research skills and practices which may be of use. Please contact the MA History Convenor, Dr Jonathan Conlin ( if you would like to take any of these elements.
  4. Taking language classes offered by the University's Centre for Language Study. This offers a wide range of modern language classes, as well as Latin and Hebrew courses created specifically for historians.
  5. Taking postgraduate research and teaching training programmes offered by the Faculty of Humanities Graduate School.
  6. Taking specialized History skills courses provided by external institutions. The most important of these is the Institute of Historical Research in London which runs a series of training courses annually for new or continuing PGRs. In some cases, it may be possible for the department to subsidize attendance at these courses.
  7. Penultimate and Final Year PGR students may attend a Research Councils' Graduate School. These 3-5 day courses are free to AHRC and ESRC-funded students, but rather expensive for everybody else.
Skills training with supervisor
Skills training with supervisor
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