20th Century British History by Research PhD

This London-based programme enables students to examine Britain’s history in the twentieth century, focusing on the period from the death of Queen Victoria to Margaret Thatcher’s resignation in 1990.  It is led by Simon Heffer, Professor of Modern British History in the University and a leading authority on the period.

The course includes a series of seminars (see below), given by a range of eminent guest speakers, to supplement students’ private research. These will provide a broad chronological survey of the period and an introduction to major themes in the political and social history of 20th century Britain. The seminars will take place at the elegant Caledonian Club in Belgravia, and supervisory meetings will be held at the University’s offices at 51 Gower Street in Bloomsbury.

The programme’s major concentration will be on politics and society, but there will be a subsidiary focus on cultural history and historiography. Guest speakers will include the contemporary historians Sir David Cannadine, Lord Hennessy, David Kynaston, Dominic Sandbrook, Jane Ridley, and Michael Bentley.

Assessment is via a dissertation of approximately 25,000 words on a topic of the student’s choosing, which is completed under the guidance of a supervisor and submitted at the end of the academic year.

PhD Award
April, July, September Start
Full-time Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

The minimum entry-level required for this course is as follows:

  • a first or upper second-class honours degree from a recognised university or,
  • a recognised professional qualification with relevant work experience.

In cases where candidates are applying on the basis of work experience, they may be asked to complete a short written assignment and/or attend an interview as part of the applications process.

Mature students

Age is no barrier to learning and we welcome all applications from suitably qualified students. Due to their flexibility, our London-based MAs by research attract a wide variety of applicants from a range of backgrounds, including people in full-time employment and retirees. Our current students range in age from 25 to 75.

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