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PhD students and funding

You can find out more about the resources and funding available to our PhD students , the opportunities offered by the Graduate School and an idea about dissertation topics of past and present students further down this page.

We welcome students from any humanities discipline. PhD students who are attached to the centre research a wide variety of topics. The wide range of our staff research interests and their commitment to interdisciplinary and cross-period research means that we would expect to be able to match you with a team of people able and willing to supervise your project.

While we normally expect our MPhil/PhD students to have a Masters degree in an appropriate subject, we can also accommodate students who have relevant practical, archival or museum experience. One advantage in studying for your PhD at Southampton is that we are able to put together teams of supervisors and advisors from more than one discipline. See our staff research interests page to help you identify areas in which we might be able to offer supervision for your discipline-specific or cross-disciplinary project. For further information or to discuss a possible project please contact Dr Rémy Ambühl.

The time and space necessary to carry out pure research on a topic of your own choosing in the Humanities are more precious than the gold of Ophir. In a fast-paced, results-driven world it is difficult to devote your full attention to a matter of consuming interest. But a PhD in any of the fields of study encompassed by the CMRC offers you a chance (perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime-chance) to do just that. What's more, the CMRC is populated by scholars at the top of those fields, which means it is filled with promise and opportunity for students, whatever disciplinary background they come from. I have found that a PhD does require a significant step up from Masters level; it is of necessity an individual effort, and that can be challenging. However, the CMRC is a collegiate and supportive environment, which makes it easier. I would always have regretted turning down the opportunity to do a PhD.


Our students have access to vast array of key resources. The Hartley Library located on Highfield campus and is one of the largest university libraries in southern England, with extensive holdings of printed books, journals and online resources. Southampton Archives located in the City centre holds a wealth of records dating back to the Middle Ages which shed light on the rich historic past of this port city. We are within easy rich of Hampshire Records Office and Winchester College Library and Archive, both located in Winchester. The College Archives record the history of the school, its estates, buildings and pupils from its foundation in 1382. Salisbury Cathedral Library is also close to us. Its book collection numbers some 10,000 volumes on a wide range of subjects. The manuscripts (handwritten books) date from the 9th century. The National archives and the British library in London are accessible in a day trip. Our staff also uses archival repositories abroad and will be able to guide your research at the archives of the Vatican, the French Archives Nationales or the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, for instance.


Salisbury Cathedral
Magna Carta: Salisbury Cathedral
Fellows Library
Fellows library at Winchester College

Studying for a PhD within the CMRC has been an extremely rewarding experience. Not only have I been able to benefit from the expertise and support of academics at the top of their fields, but also had the opportunity to broaden my horizons beyond my own discipline of Archaeology. The CMRC's strength is its cross-disciplinary and inclusive nature that has enabled me to grow and improve as a researcher. I would therefore heartily recommend the CMRC to anyone wishing to continue their postgraduate studies within medieval and Renaissance studies.

Graduate school

Avenue Campus

As a student studying for a postgraduate course, you are also automatically a member of the Humanities Graduate School, a vibrant and supportive community of postgraduates studying a range of different programmes across our seven academic disciplines. The Postgraduate Research Training Programme in the Faculty of Humanities offers opportunities for PhD students to develop themselves both as researchers and as professionals. You will be offered training to improve your academic and professional skills, enhance your employability and raise your awareness about the research environment.

Annual Graduate School activity includes a series of interdisciplinary reading groups; a student-led postgraduate conference; a student journal which publishes papers from the conference; a weekly seminar series covering a range of different topics; social activities run by our student group GradNet; and, for students studying for a PhD, a programme of research and transferable skills training.

Being affiliated to the CMRC has so far been an invaluable aspect of my PhD experience. The Centre's fortnightly seminars, conferences, and recent international Fools and Folly symposium, have given me the opportunity to engage with interdisciplinary as well as subject specific research, as well as sharing my own work as part of a wider research context. The CMRC is closely connected to GradNet, the University of Southampton Humanities postgraduate network, which is run by and for postgraduate students, offering hands-on workshops, an annual conference, and an annual peer-reviewed journal. It is exciting and inspiring to be part of such a vibrant, cutting-edge, research community.

PGR Funding and Bursaries

Doctoral students wishing to undertake doctoral research or masters study in CMRC in topics which cross disciplinary boundaries may be eligible to be considered for the disciplinary awards available under the SWW DTP2 (South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership). A range of Humanities scholarships and bursaries is also available; see the Humanities funding pages for full details. Please contact Dr Rémy Ambühl to discuss your proposal before submitting your application.

The CMRC also provides bursaries to support our postgraduate students in medieval studies attending conferences and/or incurring research costs. Grants of up to £250 are available. The scheme operates without formal deadlines and the applicant is able to submit an application at any time of the year. However, applications should be made at least six weeks in advance of the events or activity. Retrospective applications will not be accepted.

The Money Changer and His Wife
The Money Changer and His Wife

The application in the form of a letter should include all relevant details concerning the PhD project (title, year it has started, mode of study, faculty, supervision team), a 300 word long description of the proposed activity and its significance to the completion of the research project and a breakdown of the expenses. The application must be endorsed by the principal supervisor (who may be contacted). Please send your application to Dr Rémy Ambühl

PhD students and Dissertation topics

Clare Egan (now lecturer at Lancaster University), ‘Community Conflict in Early-Modern South-West England: Provincial Libels and their Performance Contexts’

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