Graduate - Research PhD in History/Politics

students in their officeHistory & Politics is host to a thriving academic community of scholars that includes a growing number of postgraduates pursuing research and taught degrees. Research is integral to our work and this has been recognised by postgraduate and research project funding from external bodies such as the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), the Carnegie Trust, the Wellcome Trust and the British Academy. We offer individual postgraduate supervision at MSc, MPhil, MRes and PhD level and on our taught Master’s programmes. We also host the Research Centre for Environmental History & Policy, the Centre for Human Security and European Neighbourhood Studies, and the Centre for Scottish Studies.

Postgraduate PhD Research Opportunities

History & Politics welcomes applications in research fields where it has an international reputation.

PhD in History

History staff offer particular strengths in African, American, British, environmental, European, and Scottish history. There are clusters of scholars researching medieval Scotland, the 18th-century transatlantic world, urban history, environmental history, and revolutions and counter-revolutions.

PhD in Politics

Politics staff have expertise in the study of the British Labour Party, devolution and Scottish politics, minority nationalism in European Union, political theory, and the geo-politics of Eurasia, Eastern and Western European politics.

For information about recent publications and research activity by staff, visit the History and Politics web page.

History & Politics hosts regular research seminars and conferences. Funds are available to postgraduates to attend seminars and conferences elsewhere. We have three postgraduate rooms with networked computers.

Stirling is situated only one hour by public transport from Edinburgh and Glasgow. Edinburgh hosts the National Library of Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland as well as the Scottish Parliament. Glasgow is home to various significant collections such as the Mitchell Library, and the Greater Glasgow Health Board Archive.

History Graduate Programme Objectives

Prospective applicants are invited to contact History & Politics so that staff can provide informal advice on the preparation of their application and identify research topics. Thereafter, applicants should supply, along with their application form, a research proposal of up to 2,000 words, explaining in broad terms the research project they hope to pursue.
This should discuss some of the main recent literature in the field and potential primary sources, and suggest possible lines of enquiry and methodologies.

Entrance Requirements

The minimum qualification is normally a good upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in History, Politics or a related subject. Applications are welcome also from people who have equivalent qualifications.

English Language Requirements

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (minimum 6 in each skill), or TOEFL at least 577/233/90.

REF Rating

History improved its UK ranking in REF 2014 with 98% of our outputs being classed as either 'world leading' or 'internationally important'. Significantly, in terms of impact and environment we were ranked in the top 30% of universities in the UK.

Mode of Study

PhD: three years. MPhil: two years. Part-time study is also available over a longer period. Taught: Full-time - one year; Part-time - two years.

Programme Start Date

Start date is by arrangement throughout the academic year.


Dependent upon the eligibility criteria set by the funding body, students may be able to apply for awards from various sources including AHRC, and the Carnegie Trust.

Staff are willing to provide guidance on preparing funding applications and applicants should contact us as soon as possible to discuss funding options.

For information on possible sources of funding, visit: Postgraduate Finance

Programme Contacts

Professor Sian Jones
Research Postgraduate Director History and Politics
Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467589

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
Portal Logon