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Explore our research centres in the King's Department of History

King’s History Department is a major centre for the study of modern British history, with eleven staff researching and teaching in this area. The Department was ranked 5th of all UK History departments in the 2015 REF, with 86% of our research activity assessed as ‘world leading or internationally excellent’.

Among recent books on 20th-century British history are David Edgerton, Britain’s War Machine (Allen Lane 2011), Alana Harris, Faith in the Family: A Lived Religious History of English Catholicism, 1945-82 (Manchester: MUP, 2013) Richard Vinen’s Thatcher’s Britain (Simon and Schuster, 2009) and his Wolfson and Templer prize-winning National Service (Allen Lane 2014).

The Department works closely with History & Policy, presenting work to policymakers, and runs a ‘historian in residence’ scheme for PhD students. Our students have recently had internships in the WHO Geneva, and the Houses of Parliament, alongside in-progress research with Think Tanks and third sector organisations like the National Trust.

We are part of the London Arts and Humanities Partnership for doctoral studies and work very closely with historians at UCL in providing a rich suite of training for students. We offer seminars on generic skills, and a specialist Modern British Reading Group, working closely with historians of twentieth-century Britain elsewhere in London, to put on the fortnightly seminar in Modern British History at the Institute for Historical Research. Our PhD students have the opportunity to work as Graduate Teaching Assistants, an invaluable experience for any aspiring academic. We have a strong relationship with many external bodies, including the University of North Carolina History Department – our graduate students organise joint annual workshops.

Our students have been very successful in winning scholarships and essay prizes. Recent prizes won by our students working on twentieth-century Britain alone include the Royal Historical Society Centenary Fellowship (2014), the Duncan Tanner Essay Prize of the journal Twentieth Century British History (2014), the British Commission for Maritime History Prize (2015), and George L Mosse Prize of the Journal of Contemporary History (2013).

The Centre is one of the most vibrant groups of historians devoted to the study of science, technology and medicine in the world, covering a long chronological range, and concerned with global as well as national histories. It is notable for being fully integrated into a history department both organisationally and intellectually. Our aim is to research and teach the histories of science, technology and medicine in ways that change understandings of their history, of history in general, and of the world in which we live today . Our work has engaged directly with policy-makers and politicians, and just as importantly has affected national and international conversations about science, technology and medicine.

The core of the new Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine moved to the History Department of King’s College London from Imperial College London in August 2013. The Centre was founded in Imperial College London 1993 and drew on a tradition of teaching and research in the subject at the College dating to 1963. The Centre emerged as the top ranking history department in the United Kingdom in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. It has since grown with new appointments and the incorporation of colleagues already in King’s, to become one of the largest such groups anywhere.

Since 2000 the Centre work, particularly in postgraduate research has been supported by a very generous endowment from the Arcadia Trust, which allows us to fully fund a number of outstanding graduate students from anywhere in the world.

The Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies was founded in 1988. It is unique in Britain in its range of subjects and chronological span. The Centre includes experts in a rich array of fields: late antique and Byzantine studies, all the major medieval languages and literatures, visual culture, palaeography and manuscript studies, history, music, philosophy, and theology.

The diverse expertise of our members, and our collaborations with the Centre for Hellenic Studies and the Centre for Early Modern Studies means that we are uniquely positioned to provide a space and catalyst for the critical exchange of ideas across disciplines. To be kept informed about forthcoming events from the Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies, please sign up to the Centre's mailing list.

Explore the Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies (CLAMS)

Led by Evelyn Welch and funded by the Wellcome Trust, this interdisciplinary project (2016–21) examined the changing conceptualisation and uses of human and animal skin in early modern Europe in an era of increasing global connections and scientific innovation.

Explore Renaissance Skin

The Georgian Papers Programme. A 10-year (2015–25) project to digitise, transcribe and interpret the c.450,000 pages in the Royal Archives and Royal Library relating to the Georgians. A partnership between the Royal Collection Trust and King’s, with collaboration from the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture at the College of William and Mary, the project is directed by Arthur Burns.

Explore the Georgian Papers Programme

This interdisciplinary project (2013–17) analysed historical pageantry in 20th- and 21st-century Britain as means to understand public history. The project created a significant public pageantry database with King’s Digital Lab. Led by Paul Readman the project was funded by the AHRC.

Explore the Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain

A three-year (2014–17) collaboration with Oxford University to develop digital editorial and palaeographical tools with King’s Digital Lab to edit and translate Exon Domesday for the illumination of early medieval England. Funded by the AHRC the project was led by Julia Crick.

Explore the Conqueror’s Commissioners

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Explore research in the Department of History



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Key research centres connected to the King's Department of History