PhD, MPhil, MRes History

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Research opportunities

You can study for a PhD over the course of three years, or you can study for an MRes or an MPhil over the course of one year, at the end of which you would submit a dissertation.

If you have already gained a Masters qualification, you can apply for a PhD, which culminates in a thesis built on original research up to 100,000 words in length. In the course of your research and writing the thesis, you will gain a range of professional skills in research methods, communications, presentation, organisation and other academic specialisms.

We can offer PhD supervision in a variety of areas, including:

Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow

MRes & MPhil research degrees

The MRes (Master of Research) and the MPhil (Master of Philosophy) in History are possible precursors to a PhD. Compared to the MSc taught postgraduate programmes in History, MRes and MPhil students take fewer classes and write dissertations that are considerably longer.  

MRes and MPhil students take at least one 20-credit research training class from the following:

  • Sources, Skills and Methods for Historians 1
  • Sources, Skills and Methods for Historians 2
  • Palaeography, c.1500-c.1800

MRes students can also elect to attend other classes, if their supervisors consider this would be useful.

MRes and MPhil degrees are suitable for recent graduates and also for those with good writing and research skills who graduated some time ago. Both degrees involve a substantial project undertaken over one year (or two years, part-time). The MRes and the MPhil differ slightly in terms of their demands and it's a matter of deciding which you think you would suit you best.

MRes and MPhil students work closely with two supervisors on a dissertation of 30,000 words. You have two years to complete this, but most students submit their dissertation by the end of the calendar year after they commence (ie a student beginning in September might submit the completed dissertation at Christmas the following year). Viva examination is not necessarily required. In certain circumstances, the MPhil allows direct transfer to a PhD.

A distinctive feature of the MRes is that it is often interdisciplinary, drawing on two Humanities & Social Sciences subjects for supervision and subject matter, and this sometimes appeals to students with Joint Honours degrees.  For example, we have close links with colleagues in Modern Languages who could support MPhil topics in European or Latin American history.

In recent years, competitive AHRC-aligned excellence awards have provided fee-waivers for interdisciplinary MRes research projects for students likely to apply for AHRC funding for a PhD.

The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.

Dean's International Excellence Awards: Humanities and Social Science

To recognise academic achievement, the Dean's International Excellence Award - Postgraduate Taught offers all qualified international postgraduate students pursuing a Masters a merit based scholarship of £4,000 towards the first year of tuition fees of a full-time Masters, EdD Education or 1 year MRes programme in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Apply for the International Excellence Award
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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are per academic year unless otherwise stated.

Entrants may be subject to a small fee during the writing up period.

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England, Wales & Northern Ireland





Have a look at our scholarship search for any funding opportunities.

Postgraduate research opportunities

Search for all funded and non-funded postgraduate research opportunities.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.

Postgraduate research at the Strathclyde Doctoral School

The Strathclyde Doctoral School provides a vibrant and comprehensive student-centred research and training environment in order to grow and support current and future research talent. The School encompasses our four faculties and is committed to enriching the student experience, intensifying research outputs and opportunities, and ensuring training is at the highest level. As a postgraduate researcher, you'll automatically become a member of the Strathclyde Doctoral School.

Find out more about the Doctoral School

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Name Areas of Expertise 
Patricia Barton 
  • Indian economic links with the British empire
  • Disease in colonial South Asia
  • Social history of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals
  • Social history of health and medicine in the British empire
  • History of modern empires
Mark Ellis 
  • The impact of World War I on American society
  • The American interracial cooperation movement before 1940
  • The origins of the American civil rights movement
  • Political and social movements in 20th century America
Richard Finlay 
  • Scottish history since 1700
  • Scottish and British political history 
Laura Kelly
  • Social history of medicine in nineteenth and early twentieth century Ireland
  • History of reproductive and sexual health
  • History of activism
  • History of the medical profession and medical education
  • Student culture
Arthur McIvor 
  • Oral history
  • Labour history
  • Deindustrialisation
  • Work in Britain since 1945
  • History of occupational health and safety
Jim Mills
  • Social history of drugs and narcotics
  • Social history of health and medicine in the British empire
  • History of modern empires
Emma Newlands 
  • War and health/medicine
  • Military culture and experience
  • History of human experiments
  • History of masculinity
Jesse Olszynko-Gryn 
  • History of modern science, technology & medicine
  • Social & cultural history of twentieth-century Britain
  • Reproductive health, medicine & technologies
  • Media & communication technologies
  • Scientific & medical cinema        
Rogelia Pastor-Castro 
  • International History in the twentieth century
  • Cold War Europe
  • Diplomacy and international security
  • British and French foreign policies
Matthew Smith 
  • Mental health and psychiatry
  • Allergy and immunology
  • Food and nutrition
  • Childhood Health
  • Environment Factors and Health
Manuela Williams 
  • Arab nationalism
  • The history of propaganda and information
  • History of Egypt and Iraq
  • Italian Fascism
  • European Integration
John Young
  • The Scottish Covenanters
  • Scotland and Ulster
  • The Scottish Parliament
  • History of Glasgow
  • The 1707 Act of Union
Matthew Eisler 
  • Energy and Environmental Studies
  • Science, Technology and Innovation Studies
  • History of Engineering
  • Social and Cultural History of the United States
David Wilson
  • Early Modern Empires in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
  • The History of Piracy, Privateering and Maritime Predation
  • The History of Maritime Law, Jurisdiction and Imperial Authority
  • Early Modern Trade, Commercial Networks, and Inter-Imperial Relations
  • Scotland and Empire in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Elsa Richardson 
  • Social and Cultural History of Nutrition, Diet and Digestion
  • History of Popular Health Movements
  • Cultural History of Psychology and Psychoanalysis
  • Science, Medicine and the Supernatural
David Murphy 
  • Anti-colonialism in Africa
  • French Colonial History
  • Colonial Troops and the First World War
  • The History of Cultural Festivals (particularly in Africa)
Angela Turner 
  • History of Disability and Health
  • Oral History Theory and Practise
  • World War Two and the British Home Front
  • Social and Cultural History of Twentieth Century Britain
Karine Varley
  • France since 1789
  • France in the Second World War
  • Franco-Prussian War
  • Memory and Commemoration
  • Corsica
Phil Cooke
  • Italian social, political and cultural history, 19th to 21st centuries
  • The European Resistance Movement
  • The history of science and medicine in Italy, 19th to 21st centuries
  • Italian terrorism
  • Transnational history
Martin Mitchell
  • The Irish in Scotland
  • The social history of religion in modern Scotland
  • Labour and radical movements in Scotland
  • Scottish political and social history since 1750
Niall Whelehan
  • Modern Ireland
  • Migration and the Global Irish diaspora
  • The history of political violence and terrorism
  • History of social movements and radicalism in Europe c. 1848-1920s
Natalia Telepneva
  • Russia in the 20th century
  • Global history of socialism and Marxism
  • Post-colonial Africa, especially issues around decolonisation, development, conflict/ conflict resolution
  • Portuguese-seaking Africa
  • Cold War in the Third World
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Support & development

The Graduate School

The Graduate School is a friendly and supportive study environment for research students studying subjects within Humanities & Social Sciences.

Our staff will support you through your studies and you'll become part of a community of students who get involved with our workshops, seminars and competitions.

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD) for MPhil/MRes

Our PgCert RPD programme aims to ensure you get the most out of your current research activities at Strathclyde and helps you prepare for your future career as a researcher.

We'll help you recognise and develop your transferrable skills that'll have a positive impact on your research, now and in the future.

Find out more about the PgCert RPD programme.


The University Careers Service can help you with everything from writing your CV to interview preparation. Take a look at our careers service pages to get more information.

Student support

From financial advice to our IT facilities, we have a wide range of support for all students here at Strathclyde. Get all the information you need at Strathlife.

Our research

History at the University of Strathclyde has a long tradition of the highest quality research in its field. Our historians focus on:

  • Scotland and the world
  • European and International History
  • History of science, technology and medicine
  • Oral history

Two of these themes are supplorted by leading centres – the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare, run jointly with Glasgow Caledonian University and the Scottish Oral History Centre.

Find out more about our research

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International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree at Strathclyde?

Read our step-by-step guide on how to submit your application.

How to apply
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Entry requirements

Normally, a first-class or upper second-class UK Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in history or a related subject. For PhD applications, we also normally require a Masters degree, or overseas equivalent, in history or a related subject.

The application

During the application you'll be asked for the following:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if English isn't your first language
  • two references, one of which must be academic
  • funding or scholarship information
  • research proposal of 1,500-2,000 words in length, detailing the subject area and topic to be investigated

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.


You'll need to identify your research supervisor before you finalise your application, preferably as soon as possible. When you've identified a potential supervisor, based on how well your research interests match theirs, drop them an email to introduce yourself. In the email, make sure you attach a draft of your research proposal along with a copy of your CV.Don't worry about how rough your research proposal may be at this stage – you'll have help from staff in the Department of History to refine it.

If your chosen supervisor is available to work with you, they'll confirm this and nominate a potential second supervisor. As soon as a second supervisor is confirmed, an offer of study will be sent to you through Pegasus, our online application system.

If you accept our offer, you'll receive a full offer in writing via the email address you provide.

Accepting an offer

Once you've accepted our offer, we'll need you to fulfil any academic, administrative or financial conditions that we ask.

UK or EU students

If you're applying as a UK or EU student, you'll then be issued with your registration documentation.

Apply now

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Contact us

Professor Richard Finlay

Telephone: +44 (0)141 444 8350


Lord Hope Building, 141 St James Road, Glasgow, G4 0LT

Graduate school

Telephone: +44 (0)141 444 8400