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).

Our team of around 45 academic staff and over 130 postgraduate students work together to create a thriving and supportive research community. 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.

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

Visit us

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Join us at our next open day on 28 April 2017 or 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 degree programmes. Book your place.

Why choose Sheffield?

group of people

Sheffield is the fourth largest city in England and one of the greenest in Europe. With a welcoming and safe atmosphere and lots to see and do, it’s a great place to live for your postgraduate studies.

Find out more.

A leading university and department

  • History ranked third in the UK for world-leading research
  • 94% student satisfaction
  • Top three UK university for student experience
  • Top Russell Group university students would recommend to a friend
  • Top in the Russell Group for high quality facilities and accommodation
  • Top in the Russell Group for good security

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 2016; Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2016-1

Our research community

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

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.

Find out more about our MA degrees.

Funding your studies

Sheffield has put aside £1 million to fund talented new MA students in 2017. Sheffield Postgraduate Scholarships offer 100 awards worth £10,000 plus additional awards specifically for Arts and Humanities applicants. Deadline: 15 May 2017. Find out more about funding opportunities.

Our research degree

We offer specialist research supervision in a wide range of areas including:

  • 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.

Flexible study

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

Your career development

Helping you to prepare for your future is a vital part of our both our MA programmes and our PhD programme.

Our MA degrees all offer public history modules that are specifically designed to provide you with skills that will transfer directly to the workplace. In addition to the personal and professional development you will experience through your modules, we offer dedicated careers support to enable you to successfully plan your future.

Our Doctoral Development Programme supports our PhD students to enhance their skills in a variety of areas - including giving conference papers, publishing and public engagement - preparing you for your future whether you decide to pursue a traditional academic career or use your skills in a related field.


Our MA degrees begin in September and PhD students normally start the degree in October - you can usually apply up until mid-August. To be eligible for funding, you will need to apply before the relevant deadline, this is usually early February for the PhD and March or May for the MA programmes.

Entry requirements

MA entry requirements range from a 2:1 to a first class degree depending on your chosen programme. For the PhD programme 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.

International students

English language requirements are IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in each component, or equivalent. Sheffield has a dedicated English Language Teaching Centre offering English language training and a range of support for current students. Find out more about the ELTC.

Contact details

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