Research course

Social, Historical and Literary Studies

University of Portsmouth · School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies

Entry requirements

A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master's degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. English Literature requires English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5. Other subject areas require English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry

October, February

Course content

Why take this course?

Research in history, politics and social studies takes place under the umbrella of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR) at the University of Portsmouth. We are particularly proud of our well-developed research culture and strong commitment to scholarship and publication, and our research was rated 'top in the UK' according to the Research Power Index compiled by the prestigious journal Research Fortnight. Based in a grade II listed building of historic significance, at the heart of the Central University campus, we offer excellent higher degree supervision by internationally recognised academic staff in all of our subject areas.

Centre for European and International studies Research (CEISR): CEISR brings together more than 60 researchers and 20 postgraduates from across the University. The Centre offers a vibrant, supportive and intellectually stimulating environment within which to pursue research. Activities have been funded by major UK and European research councils, including the AHRC, ESF, ESRC, EU, UNESCO, the British Academy and various NGOs.

At CEISR, we welcome linguists, historians, sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists and specialists in area studies, as they undertake interdisciplinary research in disciplines across the humanities, social sciences and arts. Under the CEISR umbrella, researchers are grouped into research clusters which include: Francophone Africa, International Development Studies and Security Issues, Language Across Borders, Social and Cultural History, Sociology and Social Theory, Transnational Europe, Women's and Gender Studies.

Module Details


History at the University of Portsmouth is a distinctive field in which the comprehension of the past, and an awareness of the processes of social change, combine to create a stronger understanding of our present. Research areas include:

  • War, revolution and religious persecution
  • Gender/Women's History
  • Leisure activity
  • Political use of heritage


Sociology's long-standing interest in the complexity of social life and the multiple respects in which social institutions, structures, and processes influence conduct makes it vital for understanding the pressing issues of our times.

Research areas include:

  • Classical and contemporary social thought
  • Consumption and the environment
  • Food and drink
  • Emotions, happiness and wellbeing
  • Culture, class, taste and aesthetics
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Race, ethnicity, citizenship, and nationalism
  • Globalization, inequality and protest movements
  • Sociology of economic life, work and employment
  • The cultural economy of sport
  • Violence, war, militarism, and the body

Politics and International Relations:

We are interested in politics and international relations at different levels of government and governance:

  • United Kingdom and the European Union
  • Other world regions (e.g. post-Soviet Space, US)
  • We study the contestation of political issues by:
  • International and regional integration organisations
  • States, political parties, societal actors and networks
  • We explore themes including:
  • Globalisation, risk, terrorism, foreign and security policy
  • Migration and citizenship
  • Political leadership

Student Destinations

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the comprehensive support we provide in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service - Purple Door - can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities.

The Graduate School Development Programme offers a series of dedicated workshops on career planning, specifically for research degree students. You will also have access to consultations with careers advisers or online support. This service is available for five years after graduation.

Fees and funding

UK students
full-time students: £4,121 p/a, part-time students: £1,970 p/a *All fees are subject to annual increase.
International students
full-time students: £12,600 p/a, part-time students: £6,300 p/a *All fees are subject to annual increase.

Qualification and course duration


part time
48 months
full time
24 months


part time
72 months
full time
36 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566