Department profile

Department of History

University of Sheffield
2016/17 edition

About Department of History

woman stood at table

The Department of History at the University of Sheffield is one of the largest, most active and successful centres for teaching and historical research both in the UK and internationally. Our academic reputation means that we are ranked third in the UK for our world-leading research (Research Excellence Framework 2014) and ranked in the world’s top 100 history departments (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016).

We have a team of over 35 academic staff and 100 postgraduate students who work together to create a thriving and supportive research culture. We regularly review our programmes to ensure that they continue to be innovative and intellectually stimulating, and that they provide a supportive environment that helps our students prepare for a wide range of occupations and future study.

This commitment to providing outstanding postgraduate teaching is reflected in feedback from our external examiners, as well as through consistently strong feedback in the National Student Survey. In 2015 our students rated us top in the Russell Group for both overall student satisfaction - with a rating of 96% - and academic support.

I really cannot fault the programmes at Sheffield. The Department should be held up as an example of exemplary practice across the institution and beyond. It was an absolute pleasure to read the dissertations. Such a rich selection of original subjects – this is a testament to the programme and to the students Sheffield is able to attract.

MA External Examiner 2015

Why choose Sheffield?

people round table

A leading university and department

  • History ranked third in the UK for world-leading research
  • 96% student satisfaction
  • Top three UK university for student experience
  • Top ranked university students would recommend to a friend
  • Ranked third in the UK for high quality facilities

A stimulating postgraduate environment

  • Innovative and intellectually stimulating teaching with world-leading experts
  • Flexible degree structure with a wide range of modules covering a variety of periods, locations, themes and approaches
  • Dedicated Historical Research MA for PhD preparation
  • Career-focused modules designed to enhance your skills in areas like public history and historical writing
  • Specialist supervision in a wide range of research areas
  • An active, vibrant postgraduate community and departmental research culture.

Sources: Research Excellence Framework 2014, National Student Survey 2015; Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015

The department’s thriving research community includes a regular research seminar series, which covers a huge range of topics, and a range of research centres and networks many of which are interdisciplinary or focus on cross-cutting research themes. These include the Medieval and Ancient Research Centre, the Sheffield Centre for Early Modern Studies; the Cultures of the Cold War network and Medical Humanities Sheffield. These centres all have their own seminar series and often incorporate postgraduate-led events such as Researchers in Early and Late Medieval Studies and the Early Modern Discussion Group. Students also run a number of additional discussion groups including the Sheffield Modern International History Group and the Gender History Discussion Group.

Our MA degrees

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Studying History at Sheffield allows you to explore great events, extraordinary documents, remarkable people, and long-lasting transformations, from the Roman period to the modern day, and across the globe.

Our MA degrees are carefully designed to allow you to build a programme that suits your needs: whether you want to progress to postgraduate research, aid your career development or simply expand your knowledge in your chosen area of history.

Our range of programmes includes:

Find out more about our MA degrees.

Flexible study

We know that many people don’t wish to study full-time so all of our MA programmes are available part-time.

Career prospects

Helping you to prepare for your future is a vital part of our MA programme. Find out about the support we offer our MA students and what some of our graduates are doing now.

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements range from a 2:1 to a first class degree depending on your chosen programme. English language requirements are IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in each component, or equivalent. Find out more about entry requirements.


Our MA courses begin in September each year and you can usually apply up until late August for entry that September. If you want to apply for funding, you will need to apply before the funding deadline. Find out more about how to apply.

Visit us

Join us at one of our monthly open afternoons to find out what postgraduate study at Sheffield is all about. You can explore the campus, get advice on applying and visit the history department to find out more about our MA programmes.

Book your place.

Our research degree

Training the next generation of historians is an important part of our departmental research culture and with over 35 full-time academics we are able to offer specialist research supervision in a wide range of areas:

  • The late antique world
  • Medieval British and European history
  • Early modern England and Europe
  • The history of colonial, nineteenth- and twentieth-century America
  • Nineteenth- and twentieth-century British and European history
  • Imperial and international history
  • Social, cultural and gender history

Find out more about our research degrees and our supervisors’ research interests.

Your career development

Find out about how we can support your research career development and what some of our research graduates are doing now.

Entry requirements

We normally expect applicants to complete a suitable MA with a research-training element and have a 2:1 in a suitable BA degree, or equivalent. Our English language requirements are IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in each component or equivalent. Find out more about our entry requirements.


If you are applying for funding you will usually begin the research programme in October and will need to apply before the relevant funding deadline, this is usually early February for the main funding competitions. Find out more about how to apply.

Contact details

Contact name
Department of History
The University Of Sheffield
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA
South Yorkshire
0114 222 2555