Current vacancies within the UCL History department.

A row of eighteenth-century houses in London's Gordon Square, the home of the UCL History department


Associate Professor in Public History

Grade 9

Location: UCL East/Bloomsbury, London

Closing Date: 27th September 2019

Start Date: From 1st July 2020

Context - Public History at UCL East

The new MA in Public History at UCL East provides an unrivalled opportunity to offer an innovative and contemporary programme. It will combine UCL’s strengths and expertise in history and the public understanding of the past with the potential of new partnerships with the other education and heritage bodies on the Olympic Park, local communities in East London, and a sustained onsite engagement with UCL’s own museum and special collections, especially those relating to the history of London. All these developments are taking place in the context of new, purpose-built teaching and learning spaces designed with public engagement and object-based learning in mind.

There will be access to the most up to date digital and audio-visual labs to test and develop innovative public history dissemination and engagement practices and techniques.

The UCL programme aims to provide students with an advanced understanding of public history in both theoretical and practical terms. Rather than taking a narrow or overly-concentrated approach, the UCL East programme will introduce students to a broad range of public history approaches, including:

  • impactful and public-facing historical research across a broad periodisation (i.e. not confined to modern history)
  • the use of history in the development of policy and cultural understanding by a range of official and civil society bodies
  • local, oral and community-based history and understandings of history in terms of identity and a sense of place, including overlaps with public and historical geography and public archaeology
  • museum studies, archives and critical cultural heritage and the role of heritage institutions in promoting meaning and identities
  • medical humanities and the public history of science
  • the treatment and uses of history in film, mass media and the arts
  • history, heritage and education
  • the possibilities offered by the digital humanities for research and dissemination of public history.

Students will have opportunities to develop a particular interest or specialism in one or more of those approaches via a placement or dissertation. Students will be encouraged throughout not just to study public history but also to engage in public history activities throughout the course.
The MA will be led by the Associate Professor in Public History. It is also planned to appoint at least one further lecturer from September 2020 and to draw upon the teaching of existing UCL staff.

Main purpose of the job

To bring nationally renowned expertise in public history to the department; to lead the development and delivery of the new MA in Public History at UCL East; to extend and deepen the role of public history at UCL; and to enhance the department’s work in all areas (research, teaching, administration, and knowledge exchange).

Duties and Responsibilities
  • to develop an international reputation as a leader in the field
  • to sustain an outstanding record of research, communication, and knowledge exchange
  • to lead the development and delivery of the new MA in Public History at UCL East
  • to do imaginative and inspiring teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels
  • to attract and supervise doctoral students to successful completion
  • to contribute to the promotion of public history in UCL, the UK and internationally
  • to contribute to pastoral care of students and to academic administration
  • to carry out any other duties commensurate with the post, as requested by the Head of Department or the Dean of Social and Historical Sciences

Applicants should have an established reputation as a leader in the field with a strong national or international profile. They should be able to demonstrate sustained and repeated contributions to the field of public history, through a combination of research, education and/or knowledge exchange, depending on prior experience. They must have a demonstrable aptitude for pedagogical innovation and leadership, and a strong track record in bringing members of the public into their research and teaching, whether as active participants, practitioners or advisers.