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MPhil and PhD research

History PhD and MPhil

The breadth of expertise and experience in the History Department (currently forty or so full-time members of staff), along with a thriving culture of research, seminars and conferences, make Warwick one of the very best universities in the UK to undertake research in history. PhD students normally complete their degrees within three to four years of full-time study, or five to six years part-time. As a research student your closest contact will be with your supervisor, or supervisors, who will meet with you regularly to discuss your work, and agree a programme of reading, research and writing with you.

Additional support and training are provided by the Department, Arts Faculty and the Graduate School, as well as by History’s many reading groups, seminars, workshops and conferences. History researchers will benefit from the University Library’s Research Exchange, a dedicated postgraduate conference and study area, with state-of-the-art facilities.

The Course

A PhD normally takes three years (full-time), but you will be registered with the University for four years and expected to devote any time required in your fourth year to writing up your research. The course can start at any point throughout the academic year (with a supervisors agreement), but we strongly advise you start at the beginning of the academic year.

Successful applicants are admitted in the first instance to the MPhil degree, and are expected to pass through an Upgrade procedure from MPhil to full PhD status. The culmination of the PhD programme is submission of a dissertation (maximum length 80,000 words).The dissertation is assessed by internal and external subject specialists in a Viva Voce (oral) examination.


All candidates must make a make an online application via the University PG AdmissionsLink opens in a new window pages. The application will be processed by the central University Postgraduate Admissions Team, who will then pass the application form to the department for consideration.

Applicants are normally required to possess a masters degree in History or a related discipline. Candidates admitted without an MA in History are expected to follow the Warwick Historical Research Core module, Theory, Skill and Method in the first year of their doctoral study.

Students applying to the MPhil/ PhD programme should complete the application form, provide two letters of reference, a detailed research proposal and transcripts of their qualifications. Students must also meet the required English Language requirementsLink opens in a new window.

As admission to the programme is dependent upon the Department’s ability to offer expert supervision in the chosen field, candidates are strongly advised to make contact with a potential supervisor or supervisors before filling in the application. A list of staff members and their research interests can be found at on the staff page.

The department has high expectations of you as a writer (as well as a researcher), and considers that one of the factors in the successful submission rate of research theses in the Department, is that students start writing very early in their programme of study.

There are a number of requirements to fulfil in a programme of study for a MPhil/PhD:

Visiting Research Students

We welcome applications for visiting postgraduate research students, who can typically come to Warwick for a period of up to 12 months and currently are not liable for any fees.

Prospective visiting research students must apply to the University in the same way as other postgraduate research applicants.

Applicants must hold student status at another Higher Education Institution and be studying a research course.

Overseas students who are visiting the University for more than 5 months will require a Student visa, and will therefore be required to provide evidence (in the form of one of the University’s accepted English language tests) that they meet the UKVI’s minimum English language requirement.

For further details, and how to apply, please visit the PG Admissions pagesLink opens in a new window.

How to apply

MA by Research

Research expertise

Find a member of staff

Funding your research

MPhil/PhD FAQs

Entry requirements

2:i undergraduate degree and Master's degree (or equivalent) in History or a closely related subject

English language requirements 

Band B
Overall IELTS (Academic) score of 7.0 and component scores


3-4 years full-time, up to 7 years part-time


MPhil or PhD

  • Course Code

  • P-V1P0


Mark Knights, Postgraduate Research Director