PhD History

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Course overview

  • 2024
  • 2025
  • 2026
  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • Sep, 3 Years
  • Sep, 6 Years
  • Jan, 3 Years
  • Jan, 6 Years
  • Apr, 3 Years
  • Apr, 6 Years
  • Sep, 3 Years
  • Sep, 6 Years
  • Jan, 3 Years
  • Jan, 6 Years
  • Research
  • Research
  • Research
  • Research
  • Research
  • Research
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • From £8,267 per year*
  • From £4,133 per year*
  • From £8,267 per year*
  • From £4,133 per year*
  • From £8,267 per year*
  • From £4,133 per year*
  • From £14,500 per year*
  • From £7,250 per year*
  • From £14,500 per year*
  • From £7,250 per year*
  • From £14,500 per year*
  • From £7,250 per year*
  • Buckingham
  • Buckingham
  • Buckingham
  • Buckingham
  • Buckingham
  • Buckingham
  • *See below for full fee information

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    About the course

    Course outline

    The PhD in History is an advanced research degree, awarded on the basis of a thesis and an oral viva voce examination. The primary purpose of the PhD is the preparation and presentation of a substantial piece of independent and original academic research, completed in three years if studying full-time and usually six years if studying part-time. There is also the possibility of early submission in cases where the student makes particularly rapid progress.

    There is an enormously broad range of possible thesis subjects in History, and the University possesses a wide variety of experts who are able to supervise in topics ranging from antiquity to the early twenty-first century. Given sufficient evidence to illuminate it, almost any aspect of history may potentially form an appropriate focus of study. The definition of the PhD subject is an iterative process, and it is usual for the candidate’s first thoughts on the topic to be modified in the course of the first year of study.

    A large proportion of our PhD students are engaged in full-time study, but there is also an option for part-time study where this fits better with a student’s other commitments. Part-time study can be ideal for those who are looking to gain a postgraduate qualification without leaving employment and wish to develop their careers while they continue earning, or for those who are home-based for whatever reason and wish to develop their skills. All students are expected to engage with the academic life of the University, to attend skills-training meetings where these are relevant, as well as research seminars and workshops.

    PhD students are expected to attend the Humanities Research Institute’s graduate Research Days in their area of research – usually one per Term – and are encouraged to attend other seminars that may be relevant to their research. These provide an opportunity for PhD students to share their work with their peers, and to engage with visiting experts in their field.

    The University of Buckingham PhD is intended to impart all the skills necessary for the student to work as an independent researcher and writer – skills that are valued by both academic and non-academic employers. But the PhD can be undertaken just as fulfillingly as an exercise in the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, and as a means of exploring areas of enquiry that are of particular interest to the student. A number of our most successful student researchers are those who take up doctoral study at the end of a successful career in a different field or profession.

    Study period

    The usual period of doctoral research is three years for the those who engage in full-time study, though the University’s Regulations also permit candidates who make particularly rapid progress to apply to the University Research Committee for permission to submit at the end of their second year of study. Part-time study is also available, with students completing the dissertation in five or six years.


    Every PhD student in School of Humanities is supported by two supervisors. Supervisors are experts in their field of study and support students throughout the PhD. Students will also benefit from the advice and support of other academic members of the Faculty who will be involved in progression through the various stages of the PhD, including Annual Review meetings with a senior professor (where progress is monitored and support offered towards the planning of the next period of study).

    Each student is allocated two supervisors. There is a First (or Principal) Supervisor, who is the student’s regular guide during his or her research, and with whom the student meets regularly throughout the year. There is also a Second Supervisor, whom the student may consult on a more limited basis where a ‘second opinion’ on a particular draft chapter may be helpful.

    Members of the academic staff who are available to undertake supervision in the field of the field of historical studies:

    Professor John Adamson, Founder-Director of the Humanities Research Institute and Professor of Modern History, for Tudor and Stuart History.

    Clive Aslet, Senior Research Fellow, for the History of Architecture.

    Dr Adriano Aymonino, Senior Lecturer in the History of Art, for Early Modern European Art and Cultural History.

    Dr Susanna Avery-Quash, Senior Research Fellow, for the History of Art.

    Dr Andrew Boyd, CMG, Research Fellow in Modern History, for 20th-century Naval History.

    Sir Rodric Braithwaite, GCMG, Professorial Fellow in Diplomacy and International Affairs, for Russian History

    Ms Maureen Cassidy-Geiger, Senior Research Fellow, for the History of the Decorative Arts, particularly in the German states in the 17th and 18th centuries.

    Professor Lloyd Clark, Professorial Fellow in Modern War Studies and Course Director in Modern War Studies; Research Director, Centre for Army Leadership; for 20th-century Military History.

    Professor John Cottingham, Professorial Research Fellow in Philosophy and Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, University of Oxford, for the History of Philosophy and the History of Ideas.

    Ben Cowell, OBE, Senior Research Fellow in Country House Studies. Director General of Historic Houses (formerly the Historic Houses Association), for the History of the Country House.

    Dr Judith Flanders, Senior Research Fellow, for 19th-century Social History.

    Professor Simon Heffer [2018], Professorial Fellow in Modern British History, for 19th- and 20th-century British Political and Social History.

    Dr Mike Humphries, Lecturer in History, for British Imperial History.

    Professor Jeremy Jennings, Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Fr.), Professorial Research Fellow in Political Theory; Visiting Professor, Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, Paris; for the History of 19th- and 20th-century France; the History of Ideas, particularly Tocqueville.

    Dr Thomas Jones, Senior Lecturer in History, for Modern British and European History, and Intellectual History.

    Major General Ben Kite, OBE, Research Fellow in Military History, for 20th-century Military History.

    Paul Lay, Senior Research Fellow in Early Modern British History, for 17th-century Britain, especially in the Cromwellian period.

    Dr Andrew Lownie, Senior Research Fellow in Modern British History, for 20th-century History of the British Monarchy; Biography.

    Dr Lindsay Macnaughton, Lecturer in Art History, for French Cultural History.

    Dr David Marsh, Senior Research Fellow in Garden History, for research in Garden History and Landscape.

    Dr Stuart Mitchell, Senior Research Fellow in Military History (and Faculty Member, Department of War Studies, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst), on 20th-century History of Warfare.

    Professor Tessa Murdoch, FSA, Professorial Research Fellow in Cultural History, for the History of the Decorative Arts, Huguenot History.

    Jeremy Musson, FSA, Senior Research Fellow in History of Architecture, for the History of Western Architecture.

    Michael Prodger, Senior Research Fellow in the History of Art, for Art History from the 18th to the 20th centuries.

    Dr Glyn Redworth, Senior Research Fellow in Early Modern History, for Tudor History, Anglo-Spanish relations in the 16th century.

    Dr Dalibor Roháč, Senior Research Fellow in Politics and International Relations, for the History of the European Union.

    Professor Dame Rosalind Savill, DBE, FBA, FSA, Professorial Research Fellow in the History of the Decorative Arts, for the History of Sèvres, the History of European Porcelain.

    Dr David Scott, Senior Research Fellow in Early Modern History, for Stuart Political History, the History of Parliament.

    Professor Gary Sheffield, Professor of Military History, for 19th- and 20th-century Military History.

    Professor Robin Simon, FSA, Professorial Fellow in the History of Art, for the History of Portraiture, especially in 18th-century Britain.

    Professor Matthias Strohn, Visiting Professor in Military Studies, for German Military History.

    Dr Christopher Thompson [2007], Senior Research Fellow in Early Modern History.

    Professor Adrian Tinniswood [2014], OBE, Professorial Research Fellow in British Cultural History, for British Social and Architectural History.

    Professor Mark Wilson Jones [2020], Visiting Professor in the History of Architecture, for the History of Ancient Architecture, Greek and Roman.

    Seminars and Research Culture

    The University of Buckingham has a flourishing research culture and each year the Faculty offers over one hundred seminars by visiting scholars in the field of History, any one of which is open to graduate students in History, irrespective of their own choice of specialism. The majority of seminars are offered in the University’s London bases, but a number are also offered in Buckingham.
    Many of the seminars are followed by a working dinner with the speaker (the cost of which, where relevant, is included in the fees). Prospective students should consult their intended supervisor for further information about these.

    More information

    Enquiries should be directed in the first instance to the Office for Postgraduate Admissions via or by telephone to +44 (0)1280 827514. It is usually also possible to speak with the Course Directors in your chosen area of research in advance of submitting your application: please contact the Admissions Office to arrange this.

    View course modules


    Entry requirements


    Applicants are normally expected to have a first or upper second-class degree or significant relevant experience. Age is usually an irrelevancy and The University of Buckingham’s current doctoral students range in age from those in their twenties to those in their seventies. Academic ability is the only criterion regarded as relevant.

    Wherever possible, students are encouraged to begin their studies at the start of the academic year (in September), in order to be in step with their peers. Where this is not possible, however, entry points exist at the start of each academic term.


    Age is no barrier to learning and we welcome all applications from all suitably qualified students. The University is committed to lifelong learning, and students joining the PhD programme will encounter a wide variety of age-ranges among their peers.


    We are happy to consider all international applications and if you are an international student, you may find it useful to visit our international pages for details of entry requirements from your home country.

    The University is a UKVI Student Sponsor.


    If English is not your first language, please check our postgraduate English language requirements. If your English levels don’t meet our minimum requirements, you may be interested in applying for our Pre-sessional English Language Foundation Programmes.


    Candidates apply online, sending in their supporting documents, and will be assessed on this basis by the Tutor for Graduate Admissions and the Course Directors. For help in applying, please contact Mrs Lin Robinson in the Admissions Office on She can also arrange for you to discuss your research proposal informally with the Course Directors in advance of your submitting the formal application.


    When you are offered a place at the University you will be notified of the student contract between the University and students on our courses of study. When you accept an offer of a place on the course at the University, a legal contract is formed between you and the University on the basis of the student contract in your offer letter. Your offer letter and the student contract contain important information which you should read carefully before accepting an offer. Further details are available online: Read the Student Contract.

    Teaching and assessment

    PhD students undertake supervised but independent research, at the end of which they submit a thesis embodying the results of that research. The length of the dissertation should not be fewer than 70,000 words and no longer than 80,000 words of text (excluding the thesis-abstract, appendices, footnotes, tables, and bibliography).

    This thesis must demonstrate familiarity with, and an understanding of the subject, its principal sources and authorities. It should display critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the judgements of others. A PhD thesis must embody an original contribution to the knowledge of the discipline either by the discovery of new knowledge or by the exercise of a new and independent critical approach.

    After your course

    The University’s Course Directors, students’ supervisors, and the Research Officer and Tutor for Graduate Students are available to discuss students’ post-graduation plans and how they may utilise most effectively the skills acquired during their studies.

    Course fees

    The fees for this course are:

    StartType1st YearTotal cost
    Month Year
    Full-time (2 Years)
    Month Year
    Full-time (2 Years)

    The University reserves the right to increase course fees annually in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI). If the University intends to increase your course fees it will notify you via email of this as soon as reasonably practicable.

    Course fees do not include additional costs such as books, equipment, writing up fees and other ancillary charges. Where applicable, these additional costs will be made clear.


    A system of postgraduate loans for Masters’ degrees in the UK is supported by the UK Government. The loans can be used for tuition fees, living expenses or both.


    Details of scholarships can be found on our Bursaries and Scholarships page. You should make an application to study at the University and receive an offer letter confirming our acceptance of your application before applying for a scholarship.

    You may also find it useful to visit our External Funding page.

    How to apply

    Apply direct

    Apply online from this page as:

    • The most flexible option.
    • You can apply until shortly before the course starts.
    • There are no application fees.

    You can apply directly through our website by clicking the ‘Apply now’ button below.