We offer a 2 year full-time or 3 year part-time MPhil and a 3 year full-time or 4-6 year part-time PhD, with some students registering first for the MPhil and transferring to the PhD programme after their first year. This is a prolonged research programme culminating in the presentation of a thesis, followed by an oral examination (viva voce). The thesis must form a distinct contribution to the knowledge of the subject and afford evidence of originality, shown either by the discovery of new facts or by the exercise of independent critical power.
Whether your interests are British, European, or beyond, medieval, modern, or in between, King's has a huge amount to offer. Many of our faculty have powerful track records in undertaking and supervising interdisciplinary projects. Further details on our staff research expertise
About the department
The Department of History at King's has a long and distinguished tradition in world leading, cutting-edge research and our staff and research students are fully engaged in original historical scholarship, ranging from antiquity to the present day. We boast a a PhD completion rate second to none in the UK, which is the product equally of the individual care which we offer to our research students and the stimulating research culture of which they are part. The department has consistently received very high ratings in the government’s research assessment exercises (RAE), as well as league tables, teaching assessments and National Student Surveys. Follow the department on facebook
With over 90 doctoral students, the Department of History boasts a lively and vibrant research culture. Research students are encouraged to present their work at the departmental Research Seminar Series
and an annual prize of £100 is awarded to the best student paper. Staff and students regularly contribute to seminars at the Institute of Historical Research
(IHR), many of which are convened by King's academics, including European History 1150-1550, British History 1815-1945, Imperial & World History, and Women's History. Since its arrival in 2010, students have access to the resources of the King's Institute for Contemporary History, and itsCentre for Contemporary British History
(CCBH) and History & Policy
unit offer a wide programme of conferences, lectures and seminars. The numerous King's research groups
and interdisciplinary Humanities Research Centres
offer further opportunities for students to engage with cutting-edge research. Up-to-date History MPhil/PhD student profiles, department publications and research projects can be found on our website: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/history/research/res.aspxStudy in London
London offers unparalleled diversity and richness to historians of all periods, with the largest concentration of libraries and archives in the UK including the major document repositories at the National Archives, National Maritime Museum, Imperial War Museum, British Library, and the valuable library holdings here at King's, at the IHR and at Senate House.Teaching opportunities
Research students can apply to become Graduate Teaching Assistants (usually from their second year onwards) to assist members of staff in delivering historical outline modules to undergraduate students. Full training is provided to enable students to make the best use of this opportunity to acquire valuable teaching experience.
Joint PhD programme
Exciting opportunities are available to undertake a joint PhD programme either with Hong Kong University (HKU) or the National University of Singapore (NUS). King’s strengths in the history of British and French imperialism and the history of South Asia and decolonisation in Africa will be augmented by HKU’s focus on imperialism and European travel and settlement in South East and East Asia, as well as its expertise in the history of China. Both departments also have strengths in the history of gender, of the Church, and the history of medicine. With NUS, the joint PhD will allow both institutions to develop their strengths in world history and the history of imperialism, plus consolidating existing expertise in the history of South Asian and East and South East Asian history.
All students are allocated two supervisors and are expected to meet with their primary supervisor (or both if jointly supervised) on a regular basis. Monthly supervision reports are filed for all full-time students and supervisors must submit progress reports every six months in consultation with the student. There will be a further review by two members of the department at the end of the student's first and third years. After approximately 18 months the student will normally be upgraded from MPhil to PhD status with a transfer to 'writing up' status usually occurring after three years full-time study. Upon submission of the thesis, assessment is by means of an oral examination (viva).
The Department of History offers training in specific research skills, including palaeography and Latin, and the College's Modern Language Centre offers a wide range of language training. The King's Graduate School runs a Researcher Development Programme of personal, professional and career development activities for all research students. The Institute of Historical Research (IHR) offers a comprehensive programme of short training courses in research skills for historians, which are complemented by the School of Advanced Study's Research Skills Workshops.