Early modern Britain and Europe

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

Research interests in this area include social, political and cultural history in Britain, Ireland and Continental Europe between 1550 and 1750. Dr Gemma Allen is interested in the political, religious and cultural history of 16th- and early-17th-century England, particularly the study of early modern women. The government, elites and politics, religion and warfare in Elizabethan England are the focus of Dr Neil Younger’s research. Dr Suzanne Forbes studies early modern Irish social and political history. Dr Silvia De Renzi is interested in the history of early modern Italy, in particular, the intersections between knowledge, religion and power. Dr Sara Wolfson specialises in the 17th Century, particularly the court of Charles I, Stuart-Bourbon relations and gender history.

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

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.

Potential research projects

If you would like to discuss a proposal for a research project, please contact us.

Current/recent research projects

  • Christopher Mains, Espionage, the Monarchical Republic & the Career of Sir Robert Cecil, 1590–1603
  • Holly Harrod, Religion, Education and Charity in Early Modern England: Archdeacon Robert Johnson and his Grammar Schools, 1575–1630
  • Amy Moore, Oxford 1575–1640; Town, Crown and People

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,786 per year Full time: £12,146 per year
Part time: £2,393 per year Part time: £6,073 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 illustration depicts King Henry VIII standing with his members of his court

How to apply

Get in touch

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

Dr Luc-André Brunet
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.