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Area Studies

Area studies are key avenues of research in social sciences that focus on the specialised understanding of specific global regions, through case studies and comparative analyses, by means of multidisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary methods. At Nottingham, the pathway could include, for example, Russia and East European Studies or South East Asia.

The pathway at Nottingham by the Department of History. Therefore we welcome applicants with an interest in pursuing social science research into any aspects of a region's historical and contemporary development. It is crucial that there is academic expertise in your region of interest within the History Department.

Recently funded projects have included:

  • Urban experience and everyday life in Braşov, 1867-1914
  • Women’s labour in the factory and home in the Soviet 1920s
  • The politics and culture of Soviet demography in the 1970s and 1980s
  • Children’s literature in the Brezhnev period
  • Labour mobility in the Russian empire in the late nineteenth century
  • Corruption and foreign trade in the early Soviet Union
  • Prostitution, labour and urban space in early twentieth-century tsarist Russia
  • Workers’ identities in post-revolutionary Russia: a regional study


Interested applicants should contact a prospective supervisor with relevant regional expertise or, if you have yet to identify an appropriate advisor, Dr Jörg Arnold by Monday 4th December 2023. Please send your CV, a one-page note on your preparation and motivation to conduct research to PhD level on a topic in a region's history or cultural studies, using social science methods, and a one-page outline of your proposed research topic. We can advise on your eligibility and the fit of your proposed research with our interests and expertise.

As this studentship is funded by the ESRC, your proposed research project must principally employ social science methods. For further guidance on disciplinary remit, see this page. If you have concerns about the ‘fit’ of your project with the ESRC remit, you may use the query form on that page.

Key Facts:

Structure of Provision: Masters + PhD funding or PhD-only funding, either full-time or part-time
PG Application

Apply for the PhD in History via the University of Nottingham online admissions system. Please specify you have applied for ESRC funding on your Nottingham application.

Pathway Contact:

Dr Jörg Arnold