Dr Michael Collins

Academic profile

Dr Michael Collins (DPhil Oxon, FRHistS) is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary British History. He joined UCL History as a probationary lecturer in 2007. He became a permanent member of UCL History staff in 2010 and was promoted to associate professor in 2016. He was awarded his D.Phil. (PhD) in History by the University of Oxford in 2009, and previously studied the history of political thought at Cambridge University, and political science at the London School of Economics.


Dr Collins has two main research themes:

  1. The historical development of political ideas in Britain since c. 1940. This work focuses on how ideas are formed and deployed by elites to respond to specific problems and challenges, for example the decolonisation of the British Empire, migration and social change, Britain’s late-1950s orientation towards European political and economic integration, and the rise of identity politics within the United Kingdom.
  2. The social and cultural history of migration and settlement in post-war Britain since c. 1940. This research focuses more on the experiences of migrants and settlers themselves and how postwar social and cultural change has reconfigured the meanings of Britishness and Englishness. Dr Collins has a particular interest in migrations from the Anglophone Caribbean and from South Asia. 

He is currently finishing a book on the social and cultural history of cricket and Caribbean “Windrush” migration to Britain; Windrush Cricket: Caribbean Migration and the Remaking of Postwar England will be published by Oxford University Press (OUP) in 2024. His next book project is “After the Raj”, which looks at a wide spectrum of Indo-British relations – economic, political, military, cultural, and sporting – since 1947.

Selected recent publications

For a full list of publications, see Michael's Iris profile.

PhD supervision

Dr Collins welcomes applications from students wishing to study for a PhD connected to the history of political ideas, the end of empire, immigration and identity in Britain after 1940.

Please note, before making an application and listing him as your prospective supervisor, you must contact Dr Collins directly to discuss the viability of your PhD project as well as his suitability and availability to supervise you.

Currently supervising: Saffron East, 'The Indian Workers' Association, the Southall Black Sisters and "black" politics in 1970s Britain' and Sameema Rahman, 'The Figure of the Refugee in 1970s Britain'. 

Recently completed: Jack Saunders, ‘The British motor industry 1945-77: how workplace cultures shaped labour militancy’; Kieran O’Leary, ‘From Birmingham to Bulawayo: The Labour government, race and decolonization, 1964-1970’; Kevin Guyan, ‘Masculinities, planning knowledge and domestic space in Britain, c.1941-1961’; Jack Taylor, ‘The Attlee Government and the collapse of British Power in Iran, 1945-1951’; Hana Qugana, ‘The cultural politics of Englishness: John Gordon Hargrave, the Kibbo Kift and Social Credit, 1920-1939’.