Research course


University of Sussex · School of History and Philosophy

Entry requirements

A Masters degree in history or a related discipline, or an equivalent qualification.

Months of entry

January, October, April

Course content

  • PhD in Contemporary History
  • PhD in History
  • PhD in Intellectual History
  • MPhil in Contemporary History
  • MPhil in History
  • MPhil in Intellectual History

We invite research proposals in all aspects of contemporary history, in modern European history, in British history since 1700, in American history, in intellectual history, in digital history and in the history of science and the environment. The History Department lays particular emphasis on social, cultural, political and economic history of the 19th and 20th centuries. For individual areas of research and potential supervisors, refer to Faculty research interests.

All research is individually supervised by members of the History Department, and a weekly work-in-progress seminar gives a platform for Sussex historians, visiting speakers and research students to present their ideas and scholarship. Intensive language courses in the major European languages are available. For more information, visit the Sussex Centre for Language Studies.

Library and The Keep

The University Library is rich in contemporary publications, periodicals and newspapers and has a large documents section. It subscribes to a range of electronic archives including publications such as Picture Post, The Listener, The Times, The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror and The Guardian and Observer, as well as broader collections such as African American Newspapers, 1827-1998 and Rock’s Back Pages. Numerous official sources such as House of Commons Parliamentary Papers Online and the Cabinet Papers 1915-1978 are also available, as well as audio-visual resources such as BFI Inview, Screen Online and Box of Broadcasts.

Sussex historians have been instrumental in the development of new digital resources such as the Observing the 1980s online resource led by Dr Lucy Robinson, and the British Living Standards project led by Professor Ian Gazeley.

The Special Collections, housed at The Keep, contain the internationally renowned Mass Observation Archive (1937-present), on which numerous theses and books, written at Sussex and elsewhere, have been based, and which has its own publications list; the important Paris Commune collection of books, posters, illustrations and newspapers of 1871; political manuscripts of the 20th century including the Harvey Matusow archive, the New Statesman archive and Kingsley Martin papers; the May 1968 Collection; and the History and Popularisation of Science collection including the JG Crowther papers. For full details, visit the Special Collections website.

There is the Design Archive at the neighbouring University of Brighton, and most research students regularly use the British Library and The National Archives in London.


Most research students have successfully completed an MA with research skills and are therefore not required to take any compulsory coursework. Where it is thought advisable, first-year research students may be required to participate in the Historical Skills and Methods module, or the Historiography and Intellectual History module during the autumn term.

Recent thesis titles

Neighbourhood, family Neighbourhood, family and home: the workingclass experience in mid-20th-century Britain

The American prosecution’s use of film at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal

The political thought of the Cordeliers Club

Also Visit:

Department specialisms

For further information visit the webpage below.

Information for international students

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please

Qualification and course duration


part time
36-72 months
full time
24-48 months


part time
24-48 months
full time
12-36 months

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 678001