PhD History with Genealogical Studies

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Research opportunities

The University of Strathclyde’s History Department will consider PhD candidates who have a research topic with a genealogical focus.

The PhD in History with Genealogical Studies is a research area within History but with co-supervision by staff from the Strathclyde Institute of Genealogical Studies, giving you the opportunity to undertake a PhD with a distinctive genealogical dimension to it. (There is scope to do a joint PhD with other departments within the University e.g. Forensic Science. Contact us for details.)

Within the UK, a PhD is a research degree that you can study full-time over 36 months or part-time over 60 months, culminating in a thesis built on original research up to 100,000 words in length.

Students are expected to undertake research that results in a thesis which contributes to the wider literature in the field, thereby making an original contribution to current knowledge. During your research and writing the thesis, you will gain a range of professional skills in research methods, communications, presentation, organisation and other academic specialisms.

All Postgraduate Research Students within the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences are members of the Graduate School and have access to facilities, events, and funding opportunities.

Hands holding old photographs.

What you'll study

A PhD in history with a genealogical dimension may incorporate one or more of the following areas:

  • using genealogical techniques and/or sources to advance knowledge in associated areas. This includes historical demography, local history, sociology etc. This research may focus on a particular event, area or question in history viewed through the ‘lens’ of its effect on a group, set of families or individuals
  • reappraising previous research findings using genealogical research techniques and/or records and tools such as genetic genealogy. These can be historical, genealogical, demographic, etc.
  • assessing and evaluating newly available or not-often-used resources. These can include archival collections, ways of using software, etc. This research might examine and evaluate primary sources and/or research methods for the enhancement of genealogical practice
  • assessing and evaluating development in genealogical practice or supporting areas such as archives. This research can include questioning what, why and how genealogists do things, with the aim of delivering a better and more effective service

This is not an exhaustive list. You may wish to select a different focus altogether.

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

Shannon Combs-Bennett
This is the only program like it in the world and this was the biggest draw... The freedom to set my schedule for workshops, lectures, and learning opportunities makes it very easy to fit my education in around my work and family schedules.
Shannon Combs-Bennett
PhD History with Genealogical Studies
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Fees & funding

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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  • 2023/24: £4,712
  • 2022/23 - £4,596
England, Wales & Northern Ireland
  • 2023/24: £4,712
  • 2022/23: £4,596
  • 2023/24: £16,050
  • 2022/23: £15,150

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Scholarships

View all our scholarships

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 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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You'll need to identify your research supervisors from both the Genealogy and History departments prior to finalising your application. Second supervisors will come from the Genealogical Studies tutor team with History colleagues taking the first supervisor role.

When you've identified a potential first and second 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. If your chosen supervisors are available to work with you, they will confirm this, and your application can progress.

Genealogy supervisors

History supervisors

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
Tanja Bueltmann
  • diaspora history, especially Scottish diaspora history
  • history of migration to Scotland
  • history of associational culture
  • history of immigrant community life/identity
  • history of immigrant activism
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
  • Colonial maritime, naval, and coastal history since 160
  • Piracy, privateering, and maritime predation
  • Legal history in the British empire
  • Atlantic and early modern imperial history
  • Maritime histories of Africa (particularly Ghana)
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
Ksenia Wesolowska
  • International mediation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Arab-Israeli dispute
  • US foreign policy
  • International history in the twentieth century
  • East European secret intelligence
  • Eastern Europe
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)

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.


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

The Genealogical Studies department are involved in a range of research activities focusing on documentary and genetic evidence. Find out more about our research.

Our research

DNA strand consisting of a group of people, overlaid on top old photographs.

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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, genealogy/family history or a related subject. For those without a Masters degree or overseas equivalent, in genealogy/family history, we require evidence of extensive experience in genealogical research.

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. Also indicate your chosen supervisors in the research proposal. Follow this link for helpful advice on writing PhD Proposals 
  • by filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University
  • if your chosen supervisors are available to work with you and you meet the criteria listed above, an offer to study will be sent to you through Pegasus, our online application system

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.

Start date: Oct 2022 - Sep 2023

History with Genealogical Studies

Start date: Oct 2022 - Sep 2023

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

History with Genealogical Studies

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2022 - Sep 2023

History with Genealogical Studies

Start date: Oct 2022 - Sep 2023

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

History with Genealogical Studies

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

History with Genealogical Studies

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

History with Genealogical Studies

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

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Contact us

Kate Mitchell

Telephone: +44 (0)141 444 8202


Graduate school

Telephone: +44 (0)141 444 8400