Skip to content

Toggle service links
You are viewing information for England.  Change country.


An image to illustrate studying history with The Open University

The Department of History covers a broad range of the political, social, economic and cultural history of Britain and Europe from the late middle ages to the 20th century, with additional expertise in colonial and post-colonial history. It has particular strengths in policing and crime (embedded in a multidisciplinary research group), medical history, and imperial history (supported by the University’s multidisciplinary Ferguson Centre for Asian and African Studies). We welcome applications from students interested in studying full- or part-time for a PhD in early modern and modern history.

Key facts

  • An opportunity to study with leading scholars in the fields of criminal justice history, the history of medicine, early modern, imperial, and central European history.
  • Postgraduate students are members of research groups, including multi-disciplinary groupings, and contribute to seminars and conferences.
  • Nationally and internationally acclaimed research centres, including the European Centre for the Study of Crime, Policing and Justice, with close links to social policy colleagues via the International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research; and the Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies.
  • Regular training events enable students to acquire research skills and offer opportunities for networking.
  • The opportunity to participate in national training events as part of the Department’s membership of the Consortium for Humanities and the Arts Southeast England (CHASE), offering postgraduate training across several universities.
  • Competitive full-time studentships available, funded by the Faculty of Arts.
  • Particular expertise in supporting part-time students.


The Open University houses an important archive of material for police history collected from individuals and organisations from the police service.

The University’s library offers outstanding access to one of the UK’s largest collections of online resources, and our postgraduate students benefit from access to collections of both primary and secondary source materials, online journals, periodicals, and other online publications.

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Dr Silvia De Renzi
+44 (0)1908 653266

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.