A centre for contemporary British history has existed for many years in the
University of London, however the creation in September 2010 of the
Institute for Contemporary History, incorporating the centre, reflects a growing
interest, both nationally and globally, in the burgeoning field. The aims of the
new Institute for Contemporary History are to research, develop and promote
contemporary history in the UK, serving as the intellectual locus for teaching and
research, fostering cooperation with other academic and cultural institutions and
raising the profile of contemporary history in the UK and around the world through
its events and publications.
Much of the work of the Institute operates through a number of centres, specialising in particular areas, notably the pre-existing Centre for Contemporary British History, the newly created Centre for Political and Constitutional Studies, and a Centre for Contemporary Global History planned for 2012. However, these centres also work together on interdisciplinary projects to promote the work of the Institute.
The centre offers PhD supervision and a distinctive MA programme but beyond
this it also plays a key role in promoting high quality research and learning to
inform the present, as well as to better understand our recent past. Operating within the Institute is the History & Policy project funded by the Arcadia Fund and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, which puts professional historians in touch with those discussing and deciding public policy today, increasing the influence of historical research over current policy.