Research course


University of Sheffield · Department of History

Entry requirements

Students wishing to take our PhD programme should normally have a suitable MA in History, or a related discipline, with a research-training element. The quality of performance at MA level will be taken into account when considering potential for PhD study. Applicants are also expected to have achieved a 2.1 or equivalent in a Bachelors degree in history or a related subject (i.e. English, languages, politics, philosophy, archaeology or journalism) from a recognised UK or overseas university.

Months of entry

October, February

Course content

About the course

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 strengths.

Flexible study

Our PhD degree is available part-time and, subject to approval, on a remote location or majority off-campus basis.

Our department

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 2016-17).

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

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 PhD degree begins in October and you can usually apply up until mid-August. To be eligible for funding, you will need to apply before the relevant deadline, which is in early February. Further project scholarships may also be available, please check our website for more information.

Self-funding students can also start the PhD in February, with application being accepted until early December.

Department specialisms

The late antique world; Medieval British and European history; the late Middle Ages; Early modern England and Europe; The history of colonial, nineteenth- and twentieth-century America; Nineteenth- and twentieth-century British and European history; Fascist and totalitarian movements in twentieth-century Britain and Europe; Imperial and international history; Social, cultural and gender history; history of religion; urban history; Eighteenth-century British history; twentieth-century Russian history

Research Excellence Framework (REF) score

3rd best History Department in the UK for overall ranking and 2nd best History Department in the UK for the quality of outputs.

Information for 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.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

We have a wide range of funding opportunities for PhD students, including AHRC scholarships available through the White Rose College of Arts & Humanities and a number of university scholarships. The main funding deadline is usually early February.

We also regularly have project studentships in collaboration with funding bodies such as the AHRC and ESRC. These have individual deadlines usually between March and June. Find out more.

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months

Course contact details

Beky Hasnip (Admissions Manager)
+44 (0)114 222 2552