HomeStudyPostgraduate ProgrammesPhD/MA by Research History (On-Campus or By Distance Learning)

PhD/MA by Research History (On-Campus or By Distance Learning)

As a postgraduate researcher in the History By Research (On-Campus or By Distance Learning) programme at University of Birmingham you will have the opportunity to work alongside academic staff whose research is at the forefront of current historical scholarship.

Quick Facts

Duration: 1 year (MA by Research)
3 years (PhD)
Starting in: January, September
Tuition Fee: £20,820 per year full-time
£01,410 per year part-time
Location: Birmingham, United Kingdom / Online

Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History eighth in the country in the Research Excellence Framework exercise 2021 based on Grade Point Average, and the Department is unrivalled in the geographical and chronological breadth of its research.

We offer two postgraduate research-only programmes, whether you are looking to complete your academic studies with a PhD or pursue your research at Masters level. Find out more about what to expect from a PhD and MA by Research.

Research Areas:

  • Early modern history
  • Environmental history
  • Gender, sexuality and race
  • Global history
  • Medieval history
  • Modern British history
  • Modern European history
  • Religious history
  • War and conflict

“The transition from undergrad to postgrad can be a big step up in terms of workload and what is expected of you, but there is so much support available to you as a postgrad student, from academic writing support (if you’ve been out of education for a few years or just want a bit of extra help) to mental health and wellbeing services. The careers support is fantastic – the uni puts on employer fairs throughout the year and you have access to one on one support from the Careers Network team, who can help you develop your skills ready for your next step!”

Emma Sutton // PhD Psychology

Why study this course?

  • Breadth of expertise: From medieval Afghanistan to the modern United States, our staff provide expertise across British, European and world history from around 500 to the present day. Our core strengths include medieval history, cultural and social history, politics, economics, religion, war studies, the history of the West Midlands, the history of sexuality and emotion, and the history of the environment.
  • Stimulating environment: We offer exciting opportunities to participate in the broader research culture of the Department of History. This includes seminars and workshops run by postgraduate research students and those organised by members of staff, which generate a lively inter- and multi-disciplinary research culture, through delivery of papers and broadening intellectual horizons.
  • Research opportunities: There are a number of opportunities for collaboration across the University, particularly in the fields of Byzantine, Hispanic and Music History, as well as Philosophy, Politics and Economics, help to generate stimulating and rewarding research. The extensive holdings of the University’s library, and ready access to other regional archives and libraries, offer abundant raw material for research.


Our requirements for postgraduate research are dependent on the type of programme you are applying for:

  • For MRes and MA by Research programmes, entry to our programmes usually requires a good (normally a 2:1 or above) Honours degree, or an equivalent qualification if you were educated outside the UK, usually in a relevant area.
  • Applicants for a PhD will also need to hold a Masters qualification at Merit level or above (or its international equivalent), usually in a relevant area.

Learn more