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).