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Dr Denise McHugh

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr Denise McHugh FHEA is an associate lecturer in history and an honorary research fellow at the Open University. Denise did her PhD in nineteenth century county towns at the Centre for Urban History, University of Leicester and teaches urban and local history, modern British history and the history of empire. She has taught at the University of Leicester, for the Institute of Continuing Education at the University of Cambridge and has been a visiting lecturer at Tampere University, Finland.   Prior to joining academia Denise worked for local newspapers in advertising.

Research interests

Denise’s research interests include provincial towns, the urban middle class and the impact of empire. Denise has two current research areas; one examining the experience of the changing British city centre in the twentieth century using social and digital media with Dr Lucy Faire and another on returning colonial servants during the Raj.


With Lucy Faire: ‘Twelve shades of grey: encountering urban colour in the street in British provincial towns, c. 1945–1970’, Urban History (2018), 1-21

‘The everyday usage of city-centre streets: urban behaviour in provincial Britain c. 1930–1970’, Urban History Review/Revue d'histoire urbaine 42.2 (2014), 18-28

Sole author: ‘The wrong side of the tracks: The impact of the railways on Victorian townscapes’, Openlearn (2016)

‘Our Railways’ poster (The Open University, 2016)

‘Personal development in credit-bearing adult learning: The experience of arts and humanities students’, Proceedings of the 42nd SCRUTEA Conference (Leicester, 2012)

‘Visions of Victorian Lincoln: The production of an urban image, 1846-1900’ in S. Brooks, A. Walker and R.C. Wheeler (ed.s) , Lincoln Connections: Aspects of City and County since 1700 (Lincoln, 2011)

Teaching interests

 Denise teaches on the undergraduate modules A225 The British Isles and the Modern World, 1789-1914, A326 Empire 1492-1975, and on the MA History module A825.


Twelve shades of grey: encountering urban colour in the street in British provincial towns, c. 1945–1970 (2019-05)
Faire, Lucy and Mchugh, Denise
Urban History, 46(2) (pp. 288-308)