Postgraduate study

The Centre for Modern and Contemporary History and the University of Birmingham are able to provide a unique learning experience for prospective postgraduate students interested in contemporary history.

The Centre supports a broader community of postgraduates studying on a variety of courses alongside doctoral research. Postgraduates at the Centre are fully involved with the staff's seminar series and also run events and seminars of their own.

Research-based study

The Centre prides itself on the quality and range of research undertaken by its members and students equally, offering the perfect environment for researching history from a global perspective from the end of World War One onwards. The centre will enable you to develop your research ideas and project through working with staff and fellow students.

With over 30 members of academic staff at the University of Birmingham associated with the Centre for Modern and Contemporary History makes it the perfect place for conducting your postgraduate research, whether at MA or Doctoral level. They include scholars from the  School of History and Cultures, the Centre for European Languages and Cultures (CELC), American and Canadian Studies (ACS) and the Centre for Russian and East European Studies (CREES),Department of Political Science and International Studies , (POLSIS) and the Centre for the History of Medicine.

If you are interested in a particular area of research do not hesitate contact one of the staff for further information about supervision through our Members Page.

Research-based programmes involved with the Centre include:

MRes History

This course is designed for students to use the latest archival material with new theoretical insights to explore, examine and reassess history in relation to other countries and regions across the world. Ideal for those interested in questions about Britain’s recent past, this course is designed to develop skills in critical analysis and academic research, enabling you to understand and apply research methodologies to the study of twentieth century British history.

Student testimony: Sam Humphries

“I chose the Masters Research programme as it gave me the chance to pursue my own research project within a lively, resourceful and respected academic department. It combined the necessary taught elements and group discussion to hone and develop my academic research skills alongside working independently to make my project happen.

The course however offered lots more than I hoped for. It taught me crucial methodological understandings about how historians work and how to deploy and engage with them in my own research. These modules, alongside the fellow students and staff in the Centre, changed my work and approach to the subject for the better in ways I could not have conceived beforehand, changing my project fundamentally. The environment with passionate individuals each able to help you with your work has been immensely rewarding.

The course also helps develop the ability to work autonomously and critically assess your own standards and approaches to the subject. It is tough yet immensely rewarding as it offers up opportunities that would never have materialised otherwise. The Masters Research programme helped me pursue my interest in history further alongside helping me to think creatively and to apply these ideas to my work and life.”

Modern History PhD and MA by Research.

Areas of expertise include religion, war studies, race and immigration, the history of the West Midlands, the history of sexuality and emotion, and environmental history. We are also expanding our global coverage and welcome enquiries concerning possible research topics. Current topics range from questions such as how the media in depicting humanitarian disasters shaped NGO activity to an oral history of Kenyan South-Asian migrants in Britain.

Whatever your interest, whether it is cultural or social history, military or political history, economic or religious history, there is someone available to supervise your research.

Research degrees are best planned by individual discussion, so if you have a particular subject area in mind, please contact the staff member you deem to be most suitable for advice on formulating research proposals.

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