University Of Aberdeen History PHD

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University Of Aberdeen History PHD

You can study for a PhD in History if you have a passion for the subject. Staff come from all over the UK with a variety of specialisms and research interests.

Established in 1898, the History department offers a warm welcome to new students and genuine commitment to providing postgraduate teaching and supervision informed by top-quality research. We offer expertise in a very wide range of subjects from Classical to Modern times, with many staff at the cutting edge of their respective fields. With a vibrant research culture, the department uses a range of research centres (for example, Irish and Scottish Studies; Scandinavian Studies; Global Empires) not just to facilitate research by staff but also to support its large postgraduate community, for example with regular research workshops. Our work is reflected in the achievements of recent graduates that include awards of prestigious fellowships at the Institute of Historical Research. Likewise our experienced and committed teachers and supervisors will strive to enrich your experience at the University of Aberdeen and enable you to realise your ambition.

Our Research

Aberdeen was ranked the leading University in Scotland in History for Research Impact and 2nd in the UK for Outstanding Impact after the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. These outstanding results reflect a strong commitment to research innovation.

All staff pursue active research interests, with many at the cutting edge of their respective fields. With attention to interdisciplinary approaches, our scholarship regularly gains national and international recognition.

The University’s Sir Duncan Rice Library’s Special Collections Centre holds a major international archive of Jacobite material, the MacBean Collection, and has a very significant holdings on the Scottish Enlightenment. It is the repository of the outstanding archive of Scottish Catholic heritage, and it also houses landed estate papers dating from the middle ages, along with many important printed collections.

Key research areas include:

  • Irish and Scottish Studies
  • Scandinavian Studies
  • Medieval and Early Modern Studies
  • The History of Global Empires

For more information about History staff, areas of supervision, and current postgraduate students, please follow the links below:

History staff

Research supervision areas

History postgraduate student profiles

Research Interests

Medieval Scotland

Later Medieval Scotland; Medieval Warfare; Anglo-Scottish relations; the Anglo-Scottish borders and Medieval Aberdeen.

Supervisor: Dr Alastair Macdonald

Scottish and Irish enlightenment

Eighteenth century British and Irish political identity and the development of nationalism.

Supervisor: Professor Michael Brown

Scottish History in the Long Eighteenth Century, 1688-1832

Domestic and ‘diasporic’ Scottish Highland History, 1690-1900; the British ‘Eastern Empire’ – especially South Asia – and East India Company histories, c.1690-1830; and ‘Four Nations’ – England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland – comparative, ‘diasporic’ and imperial histories, c.1690-1830.

Supervisor: Dr Andrew Mackillop

Photography, Sociology, Memory and Modernity in Scotland

Photography, Documentary Film and National Identities from 1840 to the present-social memory.

Supervisor: Professor Andrew Blaikie

Scottish & English politics and landed society c.1300-c.1600

Scottish politics and landed society c.1300–c.1600; English politics and landed society c.1350–c.1500; Aspects of medieval and early modern nobility, rulership, and law; Aspects of medieval and early modern borderlands and peripheries.

Supervisor: Dr Jackson Armstrong

Modern Irish History, Scottish Catholicism, Modern Britain

Political, social or religious history of Ireland since 1800, including the Irish global Diaspora; the history of Catholicism in Scotland since 1707; and the political history of Britain in the Victorian era.

Supervisor: Dr Colin Barr

Later Medieval History

Religious history and the history of women and early modern Scottish Episcopalianism.

Supervisor: Dr Marie-Luise Ehrenschwendtner

Early Modern Socio-Cultural History

European and/or Scottish histories of witchcraft, medicine, sexuality, crime, Calvinism/Reformed (especially with regard to social control) in the broad period c. 1450-c. 1700.

Supervisor: Professor William Naphy

Early Modern East Central Europe and Germany

Military, social, political, religious and intellectual history of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, early modern Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.

Supervisors: Professor Karin Friedrich and Professor Robert Frost

Early Modern Women’s Writing

Writing by women (English, Scots, or comparative) and other aspects of early modern women’s cultural history, translation, oral culture, education, and literacy.

Supervisor: Professor Jane Stevenson

Cultural History

Relating to science, technolocy and medicine, in Britain from the eighteenth century to the present

Supervisor: Dr Ben Marsden

Emigration within the British Empire

Emigration within the British Empire since the 18th century; Modern Scottish History; Oral History; Medicine and Migration

Supervisor: Professor Marjory Harper

Modern Russian and Soviet history, particularly c.1900-1930 – Transport history

Any aspect of Modern Russian and Soviet history, and also transport history, particularly in relation to the role of railway transport in warfare in Britain and Europe; British railway history.

Supervisor: Professor Anthony Heywood

European and International History, 1880 – present

International and global political history and a wide array of modern European history; Jewish/non-Jewish relations and historical methodology.

Supervisor: Professor Tom Weber

Global Empires and World History

History of the British empire and the Commonwealth in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including the impact of the empire on Britain. Applications are particularly welcome on the economics and business histories of the empire, the politics of the Commonwealth, and on the history of settler societies. Dr Dilley will also consider other topics in the fields of global and British history.

Supervisor: Dr Andrew Dilley

Our Experts

Other Experts
Dr Jackson Armstrong
Dr Colin Barr
Professor Andrew Blaikie
Professor Stefan Brink
Professor Michael Brown
Dr Hannah Burrows
Dr Lisa Collinson
Dr Andrew Dilley
Professor David N. Dumville
Dr Marie-Luise Ehrenschwendtner
Professor Karin Friedrich
Professor Robert Frost
Professor Michael Gelting
Professor Marjory Harper
Professor Anthony Heywood
Dr Alastair Macdonald
Dr Andrew Mackillop
Dr Elizabeth Macknight
Dr Ben Marsden
Dr Heidi Mehrkens
Professor William Naphy
Professor Ralph O’Connor
Dr Frederik Pedersen
Professor Jane Stevenson
Professor Thomas Weber

Careers

Historians’ skills are needed for any profession that values quick and critical thinking, detailed analysis, close reading, the art of comparison and testing concepts through practical case studies. History graduates have made careers in politics, become prime ministers (Gordon Brown) and chancellors (Alastair Darling), but also gone into banking, the law, journalism and media. A postgraduate history degree offers numerous possibilities, including university teaching and research posts; curatorial work; academic administration; freelance writing and broadcasting; teaching in Scotland, Europe and North America.

Entry Requirements

Normally, the minimum entrance requirement for admission to the PhD is a degree with Second Class Honours (Upper Division) in an appropriate field, or equivalent. It is preferable that you hold a Masters in the chosen area of study as well.

Alongside your application form, you will need to upload the following supporting documents online:

  • Copies of your undergraduate and graduate degree certificates
  • Academic transcripts for your undergraduate and graduate degrees.
  • Two academic references; either the details of your referees provided on your application form or uploaded online with your application.
  • Your research proposal
  • If English is not your first language and you have not studied previously at an institution in the UK, you will need to demonstrate your proficiency in English by taking an IELTS, TOEFL or PTE academic test.

International Applicants

  • Specific entry requirements for your home country
  • Information about visa and immigration requirements

CONTACT US

School of Divinity, History and Philosophy
University of Aberdeen
50-52 College Bounds

Aberdeen
AB24 3DSEmaildhp-pgs@abdn.ac.ukPhone+44 (0)1224 272890