If your passion lies in research, our doctoral degrees give you the independence to focus on a specialism of your choice. Study with us and receive expert research guidance from our supportive staff.
The focus of your work will be an independent research project. We provide training which will equip you with skills in a wide range of research methods to support your growing expertise. The PhD requires a dissertation of up to 90,000 words.
Postgraduate research provides opportunities to develop your academic, creative and practical skills. You'll work independently in an academic environment where scholarship and creativity go hand-in-hand.
Join one of our leading research groups, which bring together historical expertise in various fields. Find out more about our research groups.
3rd in the UK for research impact
and 11th overall in the Times Higher Education ranking of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.
Committed to equality
We are proud to hold an Athena Swan Bronze award in recognition of the work we do to support gender equality in history.
Access to exclusive resources
Our Borthwick Institute for Archives houses one of the most extensive collections of archives in the UK. York Minster Library is the largest cathedral library in the UK and holds material spanning 1000 years of history. We also have strong partnerships and consultancies with museums, archives, heritage sites, the media, artists and community organisations.
Explore funding for postgraduate researchers in the Department of History.
We'll help match your research interests to our supervisory expertise. Explore the expertise of our staff.
Training and support
Your progress throughout your degree will be continually guided by your supervisor, who will help you to hone your focus and deliver specialised research.
Alongside regular meetings with your supervisor, you'll attend a Thesis Advisory Panel (TAP), consisting of at least one member of staff in addition to your supervisor. You'll meet twice a year (once a year for part-time students) to discuss your research project, including more general professional development and career training.
There are opportunities for you to study abroad. We have an annual desk exchange scheme with Lund, Sweden, which all our PhD students are invited to apply for.
You should have, or be about to complete, an MA in History or an equivalent subject with a distinction or very high merit.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language you must provide evidence of your ability.
Take a look at the supporting documents you may need for your application.
Find out more about how to apply.
Identify a supervisor
As part of any application for a research degree you will need to name one or more academic staff who could supervise your research. You should approach them informally to discuss your proposed project before you apply.
As part of your application, you'll be interviewed by one or two academic staff members, including your prospective supervisor. The interview will last around 30 minutes to an hour, with plenty of time for you to ask questions and find out what York can offer you.
As part of the interview, you could have the chance to tour our facilities, including the Humanities Research Centre, the Borthwick Institute for Archives and the University Library, and attend a research seminar.
Careers and skills
Your PhD will help to extend your qualifications, giving you the ability to use research and historical thinking to shed light on historical problems and communicate this knowledge with others. You will become equipped with transferable skills in communication, data analysis, archival research and collaboration, opening the door to a wide range of career opportunities.
Our dedicated careers team offer specific support including a programme of professional researcher development and careers workshops and 1:1 career support sessions. They will help you to build up your employability portfolio and to engage in activities that will build up your skills and experience within and outside of your research work.
- archives practitioner
- heritage manager
- academic researcher
- museum professional
- historic buildings conservation officer
- lecturer or teacher
We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to deluxe.
Discover more about our researchers, facilities and why York is the perfect choice for your research degree.
York Graduate Research
Connect with researchers across all disciplines to get the most out of your research project.