The MPhil/PhD programme in History offers students the possibility to study in the heart of London in a vibrant research community. Students will work with world-leading academics, gaining the skills to move into careers both within and outside of academia.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £5060 (FT) £2530 (PT)
- £19580 (FT) £9850 (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
A minimum of a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Advanced
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
With its wide-ranging expertise, covering almost all areas of historical scholarship, and proximity to institutions such as the British Library and the Institute of Historical Research, UCL History offers unique opportunities for graduate students. Our staff and student body are extremely cosmopolitan, the department attracting students from all over the world. Students take advantage of our vast academic expertise, the plethora of networking opportunities available and the chance to get involved in hosting events. We offer individual research supervision from world-leading historians and a commitment to individual attention for all students.
- American and Latin American history
- Ancient history (in particular, Greek, Roman and the ancient Near East)
- Medieval history
- Early modern and modern history of Britain and Europe
- Intellectual history
- Transnational history
- Medieval history
- Transnational history
- History of medicine
The department currently hosts five UK Research Council-funded research projects: Law and the End of Empire (Projet Volterra); Cultural Memory and British Cinema-Going in the 1960s; The Legacies of British Slave-ownership.
Our students are funded primarily through external funding opportunities, including Wolfson scholarships and Graduate and Overseas Research Studentships (GRS/ORS), the AHRC and ESRC.
Funding opportunities change each academic year, a full list of studentships is available here.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- £28,000 (3 years)
- UK, EU
- Based on academic merit
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Recent graduates have taken up academic posts at the universities of Oxford, St. Andrews, Bristol and Liverpool, whilst others have entered careers in the civil service and the cultural sector working as archivists and curators in institutions such as the Tower of London.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Junior Research Fellow, Institute of Historical Research
- Lecturer in History, King's College London
- Postdoctoral Researcher, UCL
- Academic Lecturer, University of York
As part of the degree, students are given training designed especially to help enhance their employability. The department runs a bi-weekly Research Training Seminar which includes sessions that focus specifically on skills needed for academics as well as guidance on careers outside of academia. There is also a wide variety of courses available to students via the Skills Development programme, including languages, academic writing for non-native English speakers, sessions on professional and career development, getting published and research and analysis methods. The department maintains strong links with UCL's careers service and delivers specialist sessions for research students.
The Research Training Seminar allows students to connect with people in careers both within and outside of academia. Students are strongly encouraged to attend and give papers at conferences, establishing contacts with academics and also peers working in their field. A Postgraduate Research Conference is held on an annual basis and is entirely organised by our own students, providing networking opportunities. The AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership consortium with King's College London and the School of Advanced Study provides for additional networking opportunities.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
With its wide-ranging expertise, covering almost all areas of historical scholarship, and its proximity to institutions such as the British Library, the Institute of Historical Research and the Warburg Institute, among others, UCL offers unique conditions for doctoral research in history. At any one time the History Department contains between 70 and 90 postgraduate research students - working on topics that range chronologically from the ancient Near East to twentieth-century Europe and the Americas. Our staff as well as our student body are extremely cosmopolitan, attracting students from all over the world.
In addition to the department's regular training sessions, most doctoral students participate in the seminars of the Institute of Historical Research and take modules at the UCL Graduate School. Our research students regularly organise their own workshops, conferences and seminars.
Student / staff numbers
› 54 staff
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: History
82% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
What our students and staff say
"Having studied at UCL for my BA and MA, I knew that UCL was the best place for me to research my PhD because of the libraries and facilities it offers, and because of the research interests and expertise of my supervisors and peers. It is a wonderfully supportive university, with a fantastic graduate community; there is always somebody to discuss your latest findings with, and somebody to point you in the direction of an article you might otherwise have overlooked, or of a piece of evidence which needs to be taken into consideration."
Jen HicksHistory PhD
"Having studied at UCL for both my MA and BA, I already knew the advantages of continuing to study here. The resources, access to the British Library, access to the Institute of Historical Research and other institutes, and the vibrant academic culture all make UCL the best choice for graduate study. The range of seminars and conferences across the London colleges cannot be beaten. Finally the range and experience of UCL History is one of the best in the country."
Benedict WiedemannMedieval History PhD
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now