We offer a strong and serious research environment for our postgraduate community. History at Ulster has consistently produced 4* (world-leading) and 3* (internationally excellent) research. In REF2021 60% of our publications, 75% of our research environment, and 75% of the impact of our work on policy and practice beyond Ulster was rated at these levels. History has an outstanding PhD completion rate, which increased by 52% in REF2021 from REF2014.
History is home to the Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland (CHOMI) that has won several competitive research awards and has a thriving and growing postgraduate community.
The University welcomes applicants interested in researching Early Modern and Modern Irish history, Modern British history, European history, Mediterranean history, Russian and Soviet history, Social history, Medical humanities, Social history of medicine, Labour history, Diaspora and migration, Imperialism and decolonisation.
History seeks to provide its PhD Researchers with the best possible facilities for their work. Postgraduate rooms are available on all campuses, with computer access including email and Internet. The University has a range of research materials. These include the files of major newspapers, such as the Times, New York Times, Irish Times, Guardian and some local papers. There is a good collection of the British cabinet papers and conclusions for the period 1916-1945 and other British official papers, as well as the personal library of Sir James Headlam Morley, historical adviser to the British delegation at the Paris Peace Conference. The library has one of the most extensive collections of microfilms of American material in Britain and Ireland. It is particularly strong on the history of African- Americans, including slavery and Civil Rights and on the history of radicalism, both right and left-wing.
History staff and postgraduates work closely with the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the Linen Hall Library, Derry Central Library, and the Centre for Migration Studies at the Ulster-American Folk Park, all of which have extensive holdings. As well as Irish materials, the Public Record Office in Belfast has impressive manuscript collections of imperial and diplomatic figures. The library has extensive online holdings of journals and archives.
Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a subject relevant to the proposed area of study. We may also consider applications from those who hold equivalent qualifications, for example, a Lower Second Class Honours Degree plus a Master’s Degree with Distinction.
In exceptional circumstances, the University may consider a portfolio of evidence from applicants who have appropriate professional experience which is equivalent to the learning outcomes of an Honours degree in lieu of academic qualifications.
English language requirements
In order to be admitted to research study at Ulster, you will need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency as part of your application.
Get full details on the requirements for both home and overseas applicants can be found on our English language requirements page.
Careers and opportunities
PhD graduates are recognised by employers to hold valuable transferrable skills, as the nature of the degree trains candidates in creativity, critical inquiry, problem solving, negotiation skills, professionalism and confidence.
The most recent Ulster survey of PhD graduates found that 92% had secured employment within the first year since graduation (HESA Destination of Leavers Survey 2015), and while two thirds end up in the Higher Education or Research sectors, the range of skills acquired equips the remainder for employment in a wide range of contexts.
Fees and funding
Details of tuition fees can be found under the fees schedule for the academic year of entry.
To work out for which fees you would be eligible and to find out more information about potential sources of funding, please view the Fees and Funding pages on the Doctoral College website.
We are delighted that you are considering Ulster University for your research studies.
Get full details on the application process and further guidance on how to apply, and what you will need to upload as part of your application.
Once you have identified supervisors, discussed a research proposal and are ready to make an application, please apply using the online application system.
Ulster University welcomes applications from all sections of the community and from persons with disabilities. It is University policy to assess all applications using academic criteria and on the basis of equality of opportunity and you should be assured that reasonable adjustments will be made should you require them.