Furness Abbey

PhD History

Study for a PhD in History

Study for a PhD in History at Lancaster and join a department ranked in the top ten for History nationally by the Guardian University Guide 2019, with a library ranked joint first in the UK for quality (Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2018), at the university named University of the Year by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.

Our research expertise ranges from the ancient to the modern across Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Read more about our expertise, doctoral training programme, and funding opportunities below. Applicants should identify and contact a potential supervisor in the first instance.

Find a Supervisor

Our Doctoral Research Community

Funding Opportunities

There are a variety of sources of funding, ranging from studentships funded by the AHRC and ESRC, as well as University, Faculty and Department bursaries. 

Faculty funding for the next academic year will be publicised in due course.

  • AHRC and ESRC Funding Competitions

     Lancaster University’s History Department is active in two large funding consortia: 

    The  North West Consortia for Doctoral Training Partnership, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

    The North West Consortia for Doctoral Training Partnership provides PhD studentships for History, Classics and Heritage Studies.

    The North West Social, Science Doctoral Training Partnership provides MA+PhD and PhD studentships in Economic and Social History.

    Note the following deadlines:

    Collaborative Competitions


    Open Competitions

    The deadline for the AHRC-funded North West Consortia for Doctoral Training Partnership is 8 February 2020. Funding application guidance and forms.  In order to apply for the AHRC’s NWCDTP Studentship Competitions in History, Heritage Studies, Classics and Ancient History, you must apply for a place in Lancaster University by 3 February 2020.

    Further information on the AHRC-funded North West Consortia for Doctoral Training Partnership.


    The deadline for the ESRC-funded North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership Open Studentship Competition is 5pm on 4th February 2019. Application guidance and forms.


    Students will normally have been offered a place at one of the four NWSSDTP institutions prior to their studentship application, on one of the programmes eligible for NWSSDTP funding.  Studentship funding will not be awarded unless a conditional/unconditional offer has been made. 


     Application details, eligibility criteria, submission deadlines and further guidance can be accessed via the Faculty Funding PagesApplications should be made on the appropriate application form and should be sent to fass-pg@lancaster.ac.uk

      Please explore our research pages or contact the Director of Postgraduate Studies for more information about the awards and the supervision the department can offer.


  • FASS and Departmental bursaries 2019-20

    Faculty Postgraduate Studentships

    The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is pleased to offer a number of Faculty Scholarships to outstanding UK, EU and Overseas applicants wishing to study for a Masters degree, a Masters Degree followed by a PhD (1+3), or for a PhD degree within the Faculty.

    Applicants wishing to be considered for these awards should complete the Faculty Scholarship application form and send it to Becky Sheppard by 1 March 2019.  All applicants must already hold an offer of a place to study in History before applying for a scholarship, and be due to commence their studies during the 2019-20 academic year.

    A variety of scholarships will be awarded ranging from fee bursaries to fee bursaries plus maintenance grants up to the value of £15,000.

    Eligibility: All full-time and part-time students with an offer of a place of study

    Applications for Postgraduate Scholarships can be made in all departments and their disciplines. To apply, please fill in the relevant application form. Please ask for two letters of recommendation to be sent to the PG Co-ordinator, Becky Sheppard.

    Download application forms:

    Faculty Scholarship Application Form 2019-20 for both MA and PhD students.

    Terms and Conditions:

    Faculty MA Scholarship (fees only) 2019 Terms and Conditions

    Faculty 1 + 3 Scholarships (fees only) 2019, Terms and Conditions

    Deadline: 5:00pm on Friday 1 March 2019

    If you have any questions regarding this funding please contact Dr Corinna Peniston-Bird


    Iredell Studentship

    The Department of History will offer up to two MA Studentships for 2019/20. The award consists of an annual stipend of up to £5,000. Applications for the Iredell Studentship should consist of an 800-1000 word research proposal, a short (two-page) CV and two academic references.

    The proposal, CV and academic references must be submitted to Rebecca Sheppard by 24 May 2019.  Candidates must ensure that the references arrive on time: incomplete applications will not be considered. 

    Candidates must have been admitted on the  MA programme before the application deadline. You can be applying for any of the following: the MA in History; the MA in International and Military History, or the MA in Digital Humanities.  Applications are welcome from full or part time students. 


    Regional Heritage Bursaries

    Additional bursaries are available through our MA placements module, HIST491

    Outreach, heritage and public history placement

    This module offers you the chance to benefit from the Department’s established and expanding network of heritage partners by completing a professional placement. Our previous placement partners have included a number of notable organisations, such as the Duchy of Lancaster, Hoghton Tower, the Museum of Lancashire, the National Trust, the North Craven Trust, and the Senhouse Museum Trust. The placement is centred on a specific project, which is agreed between the Department and the partner organisation, and completed under the supervision of that organisation. The work undertaken as part of the placement project can take a variety of different forms, ranging from cataloguing objects to assisting in arrangement for exhibitions to undertaking research work on a corpus of visual, audio or textual sources.


  • University funding for postgraduate students

    Alumni Loyalty Scholarship

    Lancaster University will offer a reduction in tuition fees to all taught Master’s programmes for eligible alumni applicants, determined by the level of undergraduate award achieved. The value of the scholarship is as follows:

    • 20% fee reduction for 1st Class Hons degree holders
    • 10% fee reduction for 2:1 Hons degree holders

    Find out more about the scheme


    Peel Trust Studentship

    Funds of up to £2,500 per annum are available to postgraduate students, both MA and PhD. For details of how to apply, please see Student Funding Service webpage.


    Research Support and Training Costs

    All registered PhD students are eligible to apply to the Department for research support and research training costs. This may cover, for example, travel and other expenses for research trips to libraries, archives, museums, etc.; expenses related to attending academic conferences where you are giving a paper; or the costs of training in a skill necessary for your research, such as enrolling in a language or other skills course for which no provision exists in the university. For more information, please contact our Postgraduate Coordinator.



  • Other Funding

    Postgraduate Loan Scheme

    A postgraduate loan scheme has been introduced for students commencing master's courses.

    Non means-tested loans of up to a maximum of £10,000 a year will be available to taught and research Master's students.  For further information please see the Postgraduate Loan Scheme page.


    Other sources of funding, both internal and external, are available and can been accessed via the University Postgraduate Funding pages. In addition, the university has a range of partial awards to support students financially.

    Visit the Student Based Services web pages to find out more.


    Funding database of small funding bodies and charities: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/careers/students/further-study/alternative-guide-to-postgraduate-funding-online/


  • Funding Enquiries

    For further information about funding and finances, please contact:

    Postgraduate Admissions
    Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
    Department of History
    Lancaster University
    Lancaster, LA1 4YL

    Tel: 01524 510880
    Email: fass-pg-admissions@lancaster.ac.uk


    If you have a specific enquiry, please contact:

    Becky Sheppard, Postgraduate Coordinator
    Department of History
    Bowland College
    Lancaster University
    Lancaster, LA1 4YT

    Tel: +44 (0)1524 (5)92549

How to apply

To submit an application, simply create an account on the My Applications website and then select ‘Create a new application’ from your homepage once you are logged-in.

Using your account on the My Applications website, you are able to submit applications for the programme(s) which you wish to study, upload supporting documentation and provide us with information about referees.

Current Lancaster Students

If you are a current Lancaster student, or you have recently graduated from Lancaster, we can reduce the amount of information that you will need to provide as part of your application. You will need to provide only one reference and will not need to supply your Lancaster degree transcript. We will also pre-fill your personal details, ready for you to check.

If you use the My Applications website then you will be advised which documentation you need to upload or send to us. We can automatically contact your referees once you have submitted your application if you ask us to.

The supporting documentation screen will provide you with a list of required documents. These will usually include:

  • Degree certificates and transcripts of previous higher education (college/university) degrees or other courses that you have completed/for which you are currently studying. For transcripts in languages other than English, a certified English translation will be required.
  • A personal statement to help us understand why you wish to study your chosen degree.
  • You also need to complete a research proposal which should include the following:
    • the research area you are interested in
    • the research question(s) you are specifically interested in
    • who within History appears best qualified to supervise you
    • the methods you envisage using in your studies
    • plus any other information which may be relevant
  • Two references
  • If English is not your first language, we require copies of English language test results.

You can apply at any time of the year for PhD study, but we encourage you to start at one of the predefined start dates of October, January or April. In some circumstances, July start date will be considered. 

If you wish to be considered for funding, are applying from overseas or require on-campus accommodation, we recommend you apply as early as possible.

If you would like more information before applying, please contact us. If you have any queries during the application process, please contact our Postgraduate Admissions Team.