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The University of Southampton
HumanitiesPostgraduate study

PhD History Research Programme (V300)

We offer a wide menu of stimulating and innovative programmes, across diverse chronological and geographical fields of research.

The programme is also available via distance learning, which is designed for people who wish to study without travelling to Southampton regularly.

Introducing your degree

Studying history can help us define a path for our future society; it helps us to discover where we came from and how our civilisation evolved. Become an expert in your chosen field of research through the PhD History Research Programme. Take a step back in time and research history on a global scale. Develop your own understanding and work with specialists in this field, while networking with fellow like-minded students.

We are known nationally and internationally for our excellence in research and teaching, and are continually improving the scope and delivery of our activities. We aim to generate a community of doctoral graduates equipped to act as research leaders in the discipline of History.

History at Southampton has one of the broadest communities of specialists in the UK, spanning the period from the Ancient World to the Contemporary era. Supervision is offered across a number of regions including Britain, Europe, America and South Asia, in the fields of political, social, economic, gender, imperial and maritime history.

Staff have strong interests in gender history, the history of identities, and the study of history and memory of migration, and offer supervision in a range of subject areas, including interdisciplinary research projects with Humanities colleagues.

Career opportunities are wide ranging and varied. Opportunities exist as a member of a research team in academic, leading toe future leadership positions within an academic context. The nature of the generic and discipline-specific skills obtained during your study make your experience and skills attractive to a range of organisations post-qualification.

Doctoral Programme Director:

Professor Mark Stoyle
Tel: +44 (0) 23 8059 4860

View the doctoral programme profile for this course

To Apply

Application process and required supporting documents

  • University online application including a personal statement
  • Research proposal
  • Transcript
  • 2 references
  • English language (if relevant)
  • Sample of written work

Candidates are advised to contact prospective supervisors with the subject of their proposed research prior to application.

Contact for postgraduate enquiries:
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 7433

Key facts

Duration: up to 4 years (full time); up to 7 years (part time)

Assessment: Thesis (max 75,000 words), viva voce

Start date: Normally September and January each year

Closing date: 3 months before start date (also dependent on funding body deadlines); an application decision cannot be guaranteed in time for programme commencement unless a complete application is received in good time - students requiring a visa to study should also allow extra time for visa processes; informal enquiries welcome at any time

Typical entry requirements

Academic entry requirements: First or upper second class honours degree and normally Masters at Merit level*, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in History or a cognate discipline.

(Merit 60%-69%, Distinction 70%+)

English language entry requirements: IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.5 in all components, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Selection process

Selection process: Online application and interview

Applications will be assessed under the following

  • Evidence of general academic aptitude
  • Preparedness or promise for doctoral research
  • Quality of the research project proposal
  • Fit with Southampton's research expertise

Applicant Quality: Your application will be judged against the following criteria:

  • it provides evidence that you meet our entry requirements
  • it demonstrates your personal suitability and commitment to undertake Doctoral study
  • it provides supportive references that indicate your suitability to undertake a PhD
  • it presents a well-focused and high quality research proposal which indicates potential to contribute original research to the discipline
  • it demonstrates critical awareness of the scholarly field to which the research will contribute, and appropriate methods to carry out this work
  • it may strengthen your application if you can demonstrate genuine interest in working with a named academic in the department 

Personal Statement: Use your Personal Statement to provide additional information relevant to your application. This should include the following:

  • outline your reasons for wishing to conduct postgraduate research in your chosen area
  • explain how your proposed research matches the research environment and supervisory expertise offered by History at Southampton
  • reflect on how your education, skills, and experience will equip you for PhD study and to undertake your planned research
  • indicate details of any other achievements/interests
  • indicate any special circumstances pertaining to the academic record
  • tell us what you hope to get from the programme

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

The PhD by Research programme has no modules per semester. Instead it is an entirely research-oriented programme in which students conduct original research under the guidance of their supervisors.

Learning and Supervision

In addition, you will further develop through opportunities to engage with the Centre for Colonial and Post-Colonial Studies, the Parkes Centre for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations, the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture, the Southampton Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, and the Southampton Centre for Nineteenth Century Research Studies. Some research projects are further enhanced by the access to the resources of the Parkes Library and the Palmerston and Mountbatten Papers in the Special Collections of the University Library.

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate research degrees vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.


Course TitleAwardYear of EntryMode of StudyUKInternational
History PhD 2023 Full-time £4,596 £18,600
History PhD 2023 Part-time £2,298 £9,300
History (distance learning) PhD 2023 Full-time £4,596 £18,600
History (distance learning) PhD 2023 Part-time £2,298 £9,300
View the full list of course fees

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Study locations

Avenue campus

Avenue campus

Only a few minutes walk from Highfield Campus, Avenue provides a purpo...Find out more

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