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Our research

Groundbreaking expertise spanning the globe. 

Our researchers are leading experts in their fields. They are committed to sharing knowledge and expertise with future generations of historians and people and organisations beyond academia.

We have a thriving and internationally renowned research culture with an impressive track record of securing grants for new projects.

The Research Excellence Framework 2021

  • Our department’s research was ranked 11th in the UK and third nationally for the impact of its research in the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021). Also, 87.5% of our research impact is rated at 4* - REF's highest rating.

Learn more about the 2021 REF results

Research strengths

We support all kinds of approaches to studying the past, ranging from economic and social history to political, religious and cultural history.

The body of globally-recognised research we produce pays testimony to our vibrant research environment and culture of continuing intellectual exchange.

York possesses unique resources for the study of history. The Borthwick Institute for Archives houses one of the most extensive collections in the UK outside London and Edinburgh. The Minster Library is the largest cathedral library in the UK and holds material spanning 1000 years of history.

Impact and engagement

We work with heritage organisations, NGOs  and policymakers so that our research achieves impact.

We also actively engage with the public through lectures and media appearances as well as through publications. 


Period-based centres

Much of our research is produced through York’s internationally renowned research centres which bring together expertise spanning the Middle Ages to the present day.

University research themes

Interdisciplinary research is firmly embedded in our strategy and culture. We collaborate across the University's research themes – areas of research excellence that cross departmental boundaries. We have particularly strong partnerships within three themes:

Topic-based centres and networks

Complementing the chronological and geographical range of our research, we’re actively involved with several topic-based research centres:

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We work closely with the Humanities Research Centre, an interdisciplinary hub for research in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at York.