Skip header navigation

University of Stirling


Dr Colin Nicolson


History A83 University of Stirling Stirling FK9 4LA United Kingdom

Dr Colin Nicolson

About me

Colin Nicolson is a leading expert on the history of the American Revolution. His work focuses on the origins of the Revolution in colonial Boston and the Imperial Crisis of 1765-1776. He is an elected fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society and an elected member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. He is currently editing the Papers of Francis Bernard and writing a book and articles on the pre-Revolutionary life and politics of John Adams. He presently supervises five full-time PhD researchers working on New York Loyalism, slave literacy, friendship in colonial America, Massachusetts privateers, and British responses to militarization in Scotland and America during the mid- to late-eighteenth century. He encourages PhD applications from those aiming to investigate the American Revolution, Friendship, John Adams, Governor Francis Bernard, Revolutionary biography and prosopography. He loves family, fine books, and music, and is a dedicated writer and enthusiastic teacher.

Community Contribution

  • Scottish Qualifications Authority
    DescriptionScottish Education Department and Scottish Qualifications Authority: Question setter (1995-2001) and Principal Examiner (1998-2001) for (a) the CSYS in History and (b) the Advanced Higher in History, both in field of study (g): the American Civil War. Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum and Higher Still Development Unit. Consultant on the preparation of study packs for the new Advanced Higher in American History, 2000-2001.

Divisional/Faculty Contribution

  • Deputy Director for Postgraduate Training (School of Arts and Humanities)
    DescriptionSince 2012, have recently taken a lead role in developing doctoral training in the School of Arts and Humanities.Doctoral training provided by the School of Arts and Humanities (SAH) complements the Skills Development Programme run by the university's Stirling Graduate School (SGS). While the SGS programme focuses largely on researcher development and generic skills, the SAH activities concentrate on enhancing and applying subject skills within and beyond the academic environment. The SAH Postgraduate Skills Week in December, run jointly with the School of Applied Social Science, offers cross-disciplinary sessions on employability skills (writing, teaching, presenting research papers, publishing research, and understanding the impact agenda) and two days of intensive subject-focused sessions covering qualitative and quantitative research methods and topical research issues and approaches. I also co-ordinate Arts Training Modules for Masters programmes.
  • Director of Undergraduate Programmes in History. School of Arts and Humanities: History and Politics Division
  • Postgraduate Director. School of History and Politics
  • Research Committee. School of History and Politics
  • Student Recruitment Officer. Department of History
  • Website Administrator. School of History and Politics
  • Faculty of Arts
    Descriptionstaff appointment committees
  • Faculty of Arts
    DescriptionBoard member and subject representative


  • Ph.D.
    Type of educationDoctorate
  • M.A. Hons. in History, summa cum laude


  • Book Launch for Bernard Papers Vol. 2
    Type of eventOther
    KeywordsFrancis Bernard; documentary edition; history; American revolution
  • Negotiating British Imperialism: Gov. Francis Bernard and the Imperial Crisis, 1764-1769
    Type of eventSeminar
    KeywordsAmerican Revolution; imperial crisis; Francis Bernard; Massachusetts; Boston; British; Great Britain
  • School of Arts and Humanities (Stirling) Postgraduate Conference, 2014. Inter-Disciplinary Reflections in Adversity
    School of Arts and Humanities Postgraduates
    Type of eventConference
    KeywordsJohn Adams; Friendship; American Revolution


  • MPhil in History
  • Ph.D by Dr. Finn Pollard “In Search of “the American, this new man”: The Literary Quest for an American National Character, 1760-1826
  • MPhil in American Studies
  • American History 2
    Department of History
  • MSc. in Historical Research
    Department of History
  • History Degree Programme
    Department of History
  • Coffee, Chocolate and Tobacco: Overseas Trade and European Consumption
    Crichton Campus

Professional membership

  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Scottish Association for the Study of America
    DescriptionFounding member and office-bearer: secretary (1999-2001), treasurer, 2001; chair (2003-05).
  • European Association of American Studies
  • Royal Historical Society
  • Organization of American Historians
  • Elected Member Colonial Society of Massachusetts
  • Elected Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society
  • British Association for American Studies

University Contribution

  • School of Arts and Humanities
    Description Co-ordinator of postgraduate training in ARTP01 and ARTP02.
Scroll back to the top