British and Irish history since the 18th century

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
(MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
October January
PhD (MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
Start dates
Application period

The research interests of members in this area range widely, from manufacturers to masculinity and from political ideas to the making of British identities.

Dr Robin Mackie specialises in business history, and relations between industry and science. Dr Donna Loftus covers the 19th century, with a particular focus on masculinity.  Dr Chris Williams specialises in British social and administrative history. Dr Richard Marsden is interested in how ideas about the past have helped to shape identities in Britain from the eighteenth century to the present day. Dr Anna Plassart researches the history of political ideas in France and Britain. Dr Suzanne Forbes covers Irish political culture with a focus on the eighteenth century. Dr Rosalind Crone specialises in 19th century society and culture. Students may benefit from links with interdisciplinary research groups in policing and crime.

We welcome applications in areas that correspond with current staff research interests. We look for detailed and well thought-out proposals, which set out specific research questions and outline the originality of your topic or approach. If you would like to discuss your ideas informally before submitting an application, please contact us.

Entry requirements

Most successful applicants to the PhD programme have a masters degree in history or a related discipline, and/or a first class history degree with a substantial original-source dissertation. However, applicants can still be considered provided they demonstrate evidence of the ability to pursue research and write at a high level in some historical field.

Current/recent research projects

  • Frank Hughes, Captives of the System: The Commissioners in Lunacy as Regulators of Services for Pauper Lunatics and Idiots, 1845–1914
  • Joan Hornsby, Managing Pauperism and Poverty in Axminster Union 1860–1901
  • Katherine Lucas, The Influence of the French Revolution on the Political Thinking of Wolfe Tone
  • Louise Ryland-Epton, Welfare Innovation in the Late Eighteenth Century: Gilbert’s Act Workhouses 1782–1834

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,596 per year Full time: £11,666 per year
Part time: £2,298 per year Part time: £5,833 per year

Some of our research students are funded via the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership; others are self-funded.

For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.

To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.


Vintage picture of St Paul's Cathedral

How to apply

Get in touch

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

Dr Luc-André Burnet
Email: FASS-History-Enquiries
Phone: +44 (0)1908 653266

Apply now

If you’re interested in applying for this research topic, please take a look at the application process.