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An insight into our research environment INTRODUCING OUR MA PROGRAMMES


The UCL History department is one of the best in the world, and is acclaimed for the quality of both its research and its teaching. My colleagues are leaders of their respective scholarly fields, and their publications help to shape the discipline, and, since they are all actively engaged in teaching and supervision at postgraduate level, this ensures that our students benefit from an education that is enriched by world-class research. We are also renowned for the breadth of our scholarship, and this involves work that not only spans the full range of periods from the ancient to the modern, but also covers a diverse range of places and topics. Indeed, recent expansion of the department has ensured that our expertise is now much more obviously global in its reach, in terms of the history of Africa, India and China as well as Europe and the Americas. We are committed to providing a wonderful experience for our postgraduate students, in terms of offering a wide range of modules on taught MA programmes, a supportive environment through small-group teaching, and individual support through one-to-one supervision. We are also confident that our students benefit from being at the very heart of one of the world’s greatest scholarly cities, in terms of having unrivalled access to archives, libraries and museums, as well as to the intellectual activities which thrive in the heart of Bloomsbury. UCL’s History department, in other words, provides a hugely stimulating environment for postgraduate study, for those who want to undertake a taught MA programme as well as for those who aspire to further research at doctoral level. I very much hope that you will want to join us. Jason Peacey

/UCLHistory @UCLHistory


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The History of History at UCL

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Opportunities Whilst You Study

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Life in London

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The Map

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Inroduction to our MA Degrees

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Research Environment

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Our Research Degree

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Staff Views

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UCL was established as a non-sectarian alternative to Oxford and Cambridge which, at that time, were the only higher education institutions in England. In its early years, Jews, Catholics, non-conformists and atheists who were denied entry to Oxbridge studied at UCL; later we were the first university in Britain to admit women on the same basis as men. In the 1860s, the first Japanese students to study in the West were admitted to UCL; and in the first half of the twentieth century UCL offered an academic home to a generation of brilliant scholars who fled fascist persecution in Germany and Italy. UCL is one of the world’s leading multi-disciplinary universities. It operates in a global context and is committed to excellence, innovation and the promotion of global understanding in all its activities: research, teaching, learning, enterprise and community engagement. Our campus captures both the historical and the progressive ideologies of UCL, with nineteenth century buildings nestled in with brand new facilities. Our central location in the capital offers close interaction with Bloomsbury’s

cultural and intellectual vibrancy, Westminster and Whitehall, the City and beyond. The founding principles of academic excellence and research aimed at addressing real-world problems continue to inform our ethos to this day. We are as multi-cultural and multi-national an institution as any in the world and our alumni include Nobel prize-winners, writers and artists.



From: Salford, UK. Undergraduate degree: Combined Honours in Arts (History and German), Durham University Research interests: Any aspect of the nineteenth-century United States, but particularly the intersections of race, slavery and politics during the antebellum, Civil War and Reconstruction eras. Highlight of your study so far: There’s a fantastic research community at UCL. Doing a PhD can sometimes feel like a lonely task, so it’s great to know that there are events going on all the time, be it academic seminars or social gatherings with your fellow researchers.


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The first lecture in history at UCL was given in 1830, just two years after what was then known as the University of London first opened its doors to students of all creeds. It was not easy to find a suitable person to be the first Professor of History, which was perhaps not surprising, given that it was in Germany, not Britain, that the modern historical profession was founded around this time. Not until the early twentieth century did History really become established at UCL, due almost entirely to the innovating energies of A. F. Pollard, Professor of Constitutional History, who also took the lead in creating the University of London School of History, the Institute of Historical Research and the Historical Association. It was at this time, too, that one of the most unusual features of the Department was established, namely the pursuit of both ancient and modern history. By mid-century, the Department’s academic staff covered most aspects of British and European history, and both US history and Latin American history were thriving. Alfred Cobban, the distinguished historian of France, and Arnaldo Momigliano, the great ancient historian whose formidable intellectual range encompassed most matters of historical interest, did a great deal to consolidate the reputation of UCL History as one of the most ambitious and wide-ranging departments in Britain.

• An unrivalled historical span of the 5,000 years of human history • A location particularly suited to the study of history • UCL Arts and Humanities Faculty is ranked 5th in the world (Times Higher Education 2015) • A postgraduate student body of around 190 • 38 permanent academic staff with an array of interest areas • 1:5 – an incredible departmental Academic: Postgraduate student ratio • UCL has the second highest number of UK Research Council grants • A chance to build good working relationships with academics who are leaders in their field • An active and engaging alumni community



The department works in conjunction with UCL Careers to provide a high level of support to all students when it comes to preparing for life after UCL. Our students find themselves highly employable upon graduation: 93% of MA graduates in work/study when interviewed 6 months after graduation 100% of PhD graduates in work/study 6 months after graduation (87% in work and 13% in work and study) Careers provision for MA students begins before term even starts. An online course (open to all UCL Masters degree offer holders) is available from August, which covers all the essential aspects of career planning. In addition to this, there are specific talks for Masters students throughout the academic year. UCL History has a member of academic staff with responsibility for careers, who oversees a programme of events each year (some of which are specifically tailored towards postgraduates). In addition UCL Careers employs a Careers Consultant who liaises with the department and the post holder frequently organises drop in sessions for students. Furthermore our alumni take the time to return to UCL to advise students on careers matters and network with them. In addition to this, the UCL Alumni Careers Mentoring Network contains the details of over 500 alumni working in a variety of sectors who are happy to be contacted by current MA students and graduates. The alumni work in a wide variety of organisations from NGO’s to the World Bank to management consultancies. History graduates find their transferrable skills suited to an array of professions from law to finance, journalism to diplomacy as well as teaching, museum and heritage work

and academia. For those wishing to enter the world of academia, MA graduates are assisted with the transition to doctoral study; meanwhile PhD students will be guided by their supervisors in their journey towards postdoctoral roles. Destinations of recent graduates include: • The Civil Service Fast Stream; • The Department for Energy & Climate Change; • The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe; • Law firm graduate recruitment manager; • Assistant Archivist; • University research manager; • Television producer; UCL Careers organises a series of careers fairs and sector themed weeks and over 950 employers will come on campus to recruit UCL students in a typical academic year. In addition UCL Careers provides access to an online careers library and a job site, with vacancies from employers looking specifically for UCL students and graduates.



From: Viña del Mar, Chile. Undergraduate degree: Bachelor in History, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. Research interests: Latin American History, Chilean History, Intellectual and Political History. Highlight of your study so far: I have had a great experience meeting professors and postgraduate students, whose research focus on a great range of areas and periods. I also have been able to attend many seminars and lectures about Latin American History, which have been enjoyable and useful to get different and updated approaches to research about this region. The diversity of academic activities provided by the History Department, UCL and the University of London have been an important contribution to my academic development.


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UCL is awash with opportunities for students outside of your study; whether it be social, educational or essential!

Become a StAR! StARs (Student Academic Representatives) are current students who are appointed within the department to represent students’ views on their experience to UCL. The StARs scheme helps to ensure that every student at UCL is effectively represented in their department, faculty, the University and UCLU. StARs sit on various committees at a programme, faculty and College-wide level, at which they act as the voice of students in their department, ensuring that UCL takes into account the needs of students in its decision making processes. StARs achieve this through liaising with UCLU and UCL staff to resolve issues.

Volunteering The Volunteering Services Unit (VSU) is UCLU’s dedicated facility for students who want to get involved with volunteering projects in the local community. You can give as much or as little time as you can spare; learning new skills, making friends, and contributing to other peoples’ lives. The VSU have over 500 different projects on offer, including lots of one-off events where you do not need to make a regular commitment. Students tell us that through volunteering they have discovered London, felt more at home and made new friends. It can also help you find paid work and gain useful experiences.

Previous volunteering opportunities have included: • Fundraising assistant for various London charities • Preservation volunteer for the UCL Library Services • Tutor for GCSE and A Level students • Publicity and events volunteer for various London charities There is also scope for students to devise their own ideas via the Student Led Projects initiative. VSU Student Led Projects is the leadership and personal development scheme for UCL students who really want to make a difference.

UCL Museums & Collections Museums and collections have a singular power to spark dialogue and debate, breathe life into learning and trigger new ways of thinking. UCL’s outstanding collections play an unparalleled role in the university’s ethos of opening up and transforming education. UCL has three museums on its Bloomsbury campus, as well as other smaller collections. The UCL Museums & Collections team of expert learning staff and curators offer a wide range of free experiences for organised groups from primary schools to postgraduate students, based around using their fantastic collections. Alongside this, they also offer object-based learning and e-resources, for students to truly make the most of these inspiring and educational facilities. There are opportunities for students to work within this area on a paid or voluntary basis; students are asked to simply check the UCL Museums & Collections webpage for further information.



From: Manchester, UK. Undergraduate degree: BA Jt Hons in English & History, University of Nottingham. Research interests: The cultural and political background to the colonisation of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607 — the first permanent English settlement in North America.

Highlight of your study so far: The opportunity to travel has been the best and most surprising thing about doing a PhD. I went to a conference in Chicago to present a paper on my research in my 2nd year, and in my 3rd year spent a term at Yale as part of the UCL-Yale Exchange Programme. From there I visited Boston, New York and the original Jamestown site! I’ve made friends and contacts in academia on both sides of the Atlantic, which has been incredibly rewarding for the development of my research ideas and career.



A cultural capital As a student in London you will join more than eight million people from every walk of life who come here to experience the buzz and benefit from unique opportunities. In fact we hope you’ll be one of the 84% who think that the city’s cultural scene is important in ensuring a high quality of life. The chance to visit all the major national galleries and museums free of charge is not to be missed. Both UCL, and UCLU (with its astonishing range of societies), offer a programme of cultural events for students, and these are often free of charge. Beyond the leafy streets of Bloomsbury however, students enjoy discovering the city and enriching their lives. Don’t miss the 4 UNESCO world heritage sites, listen to the 300 spoken languages, and perhaps check out the London Design Festival, the Notting Hill Carnival or grab a student standby ticket to the Royal Opera House.

“Not too hot, not too cold, sitting astride the Greenwich meridian and seeming to set the world’s time… No one seriously disputes that London is an extraordinary world city, arguably the most diverse ethnically and culturally of any metropolis.”


“There’s nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere.” Vivienne Westwood

A vibrant destination With more live comedy than any other city on the planet, and around 4000 bars it’s no surprise that London is a place where it is almost impossible to be bored! There is always something new to do and someone new to meet. Did you know that the O2 Arena has been the world’s most popular music venue for five years running? Street food has become a big trend, from the Bloomsbury Farmers Market around the corner from the department to huge festivals and weekend events that attract thousands of eager diners and may showcase live music and rooftop pop up bars. Every cuisine is here to be savoured, and with brunch parties, dining in the dark (or the park for that matter) plus edible cinema (yes really!) there is truly something for every appetite.

“If you’re curious, London’s an amazing place.” David Bailey

An academic powerhouse London has more of the world’s most prestigious universities than any other city , which is perhaps no surprise when you think that it’s a meeting point for academics from around the globe. The libraries (380 of which are public though there are others you can access as a UCL student), archives and priceless collections spanning thousands of years, and tens of thousands of miles, add to this appeal as a city for serious study. London is very much a graduate economy, with 60% of the working age population holding a degree, which is perhaps why university education is valued so highly here.


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Mornington Crescent



I Kings Cross & St Pancras International Station


Great Portland St

Warren Street



Euston Square



Regent’s Park

Baker Street

Libraries/ Museums

Russell Square Station

Food and drink


Goodge Street


Chancery Lane


Tottenham Court Rd Oxford Circus Bond Street

The facilities on the UCL campus are great and are all shown on the official university map. However, one of the huge advantages of being at a university in central London is that there is so much going on off-campus, just a few minutes’ walk from the UCL gates.




F) Hare Krishna Free Lunch (Thornhaugh Street) A temple serving free vegetarian lunches.

N) The London Metropolitan Archives The principal archives for the Greater London area.

G) Primrose Hill Enjoy spectacular views right across the city.

O) UCL Petrie Museum One of the leading collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology.

H) The Foundling Museum (Brunswick Square) One of London’s less discovered museums, telling the story of the first home for abandoned children.

P) The Warburg Institute A research institution (affiliated to The University of London), with a library that was brought to London from Germany prior to the onset of the Second World War.

A) UCL History Department (Gordon Square)

I) British Library (Euston Road) Legally required to hold a copy of every book published in the UK and Ireland.

B) The Court (Tottenham Court Road) With a student discount card this pub offers great value close to UCL.

J) Bloomsbury Farmers Market Hugely popular with UCL students and staff, the farmers market is a weekly occurrence.

C) Franco Manca (Tottenham Court Road) London’s best pizzas, at equally attractive prices.

K) Senate House Library The largest humanities library in Europe, holding three million volumes.

D) Bloomsbury Lanes (Bedford Way) With bowling, karaoke and so much more, Bloomsbury Lanes is something of a UCL institution. E) British Museum (Great Russell Street) One of the world’s best museums, right on your doorstep.

L) The Wallace Collection An impressive art collection (open to the public), in a London townhouse. M) The Wiener Library The world’s oldest institution for the study of the Holocaust.

Q) The Wellcome Trust A charity that is one of the world’s largest funders of scientific research. Grants are also available for humanities and social science. The trust houses the Wellcome Collection and the Wellcome Library, and some of our staff have held teaching workshops there.

TRANSPORT Russell Square Station Direct tubes to Heathrow Airport St Pancras International Station Direct trains to Paris and Belgium



Professor Julian Hoppit, Astor Professor of British History at UCL, on our MA programmes… The main reason for doing an MA must always be your fascination with the subject and thinking that its further study will help you develop significantly, as a historian, person, and critical thinker. The first point is crucial. Doing



MA in Transnational Studies From: Los Angeles, USA. Undergraduate degree: Communication Studies and Spanish. Research interests: Transnational processes leading up to the 1979 Iranian Revolution, compared with those contributing to the country’s political culture today. Highlight of your study so far: Where to start? Being back in academia after a seven-year hiatus is extremely invigorating – from the intellectual to the social aspects of university life. UCL’s location within London is ideal and the campus is constantly buzzing. The cohort for Transnational Studies consists of, as you would expect, a diverse array of people from all walks of life, and it’s truly been a pleasure to get to know each of my peers and learn their interesting individual stories. Finally, I love that this course includes a language element! Not only is it entirely relevant to the course, but it was a key factor in making my decision to study at UCL.


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an MA requires time, effort and money. It is of course more challenging than doing a first degree, and you have to be sure that you have the commitment to see it through (we will judge whether we think you have the skills and ability). That is only really possible if the degree you take interests and stimulates you. Crucially, we are looking for MA students to be independent thinkers, able to adopt fresh perspectives on the past, but perspectives resting on plenty of evidence. MA students have to read around subjects, following up leads from footnotes, bibliographies, reviews and hints in the classroom. In short, to develop as researchers. And we are looking for MA students who are able to develop imaginative ideas for their dissertations, the climax of all our MA degrees. Here you engage more fully with primary sources. And we’re especially fortunate at UCL to have nearby so many libraries, archives, museums, galleries and other resources. Members of staff will work with you in this, guiding and prompting you, but you must be prepared to find your own ways into and out of the past. And the more you know the harder that process of navigation becomes. But the rewards can be great, in terms of further fulfilling your potential and questioning existing interpretations. Doing an MA is challenging, but done well allows you to challenge us. That is fun all round!

MA Ancient History/MA Late Antique and Byzantine Studies These MAs are intercollegiate degree programmes of the University of London. These programmes provide the opportunity to specialise in an exciting and multi-faceted field of study. Investigating auxiliary techniques which cannot usually be learned in an undergraduate degree; including archaeology, epigraphy, numismatics, papyrology, and textual criticism.

MA Chinese Health & Humanity The MA in Chinese Health and Humanity is an interdisciplinary programme intended for graduates of

Chinese Studies degrees and native Chinese speakers who wish to gain further understanding and develop expertise in a range of subjects concerned with Chinese health and wellbeing and the impact of China, historically and in the present day, on health around the world.

MA European History The MA in European History is designed to encourage students to pursue their interests in European history in depth and to obtain training specifically designed for undertaking research in European history. Geographically, the degree deals with West, Central, Eastern and Southern Europe and regions such as Scandinavia and the Balkans. It offers the opportunity to study European History in a cross-national perspective and at the same time to focus on specific European countries or regions. The chronology of the various components covers the medieval, early modern, modern and contemporary periods.

MA History The MA in History draws on the wide range and depth of research and teaching expertise in the UCL History Department, and the wider community of historians at UCL, to offer an incredible range of options for postgraduate historians. It is primarily aimed at students interested in the early modern and modern periods, but options from the medieval and ancient periods are also available. Whether your interests lie in imperial/postcolonial history, cultural and intellectual history, social and economic or international history, nationalism, or history and social theory; or your regional/national focus is on Britain, Europe, the Americas, Jewish history or the Soviet Union, the MA History programme gives students the widest possible opportunity to choose modules relating to a variety of historical periods and locations.

MA Medieval and Renaissance Studies The MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies equips students with the skills necessary for advanced medieval and renaissance scholarship. A wide range of historical, literary, palaeographical, art historical and archaeological modules enables students to explore the aspects of medieval and renaissance culture in which they are interested.

MA Transnational Studies The MA in Transnational Studies is an interdisciplinary programme taught by specialists from various UCL departments. With the advancement of communication technology and growing political awareness of globalisation, the influence of transnationality on our lives has increased dramatically. Students will study the transnational movement of people, ideas and goods on a global scale and the impact of such connections on our social, political and cultural life worlds. Further information regarding the entry requirements, tuition fees and application deadlines can be found on the UCL online prospectus.



Research interests: Medieval Papal Government.

From: Warsaw, Poland.

Highlight of your study so far: The highlight of my study so far has been the ability to work with medieval manuscripts in the British Library under the supervision of Professor d’Avray. I actually have the opportunity to handle, inspect and study real manuscript books that are hundreds of years old - amazing!

MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Undergraduate degree: BA in History at UCL.



The department is home to approximately 75 researchers spanning the last 5000 years of human history and stretching from Austria to Australia, Chile to China and India to Iraq. Academic staff work closely with our community of postgraduate, and postdoctoral, researchers who fall broadly into four groups; ancient, medieval, early modern and modern.

A number of fixed-term research projects are hosted by the department and funded by the major research councils, such as the AHRC, ESRC and the Leverhulme Trust. The Legacies of British Slave-ownership, an ESRC funded project led by Professor Catherine Hall, has been hugely influential in its field. The project team worked with the BBC to produce a two-part documentary series to disseminate this key research to the public and the team published the world’s first encyclopaedia of British slave owners, which was visited online by members of the public in 169 different countries during the launch week. A book, published by Cambridge University Press, documents the project’s key findings. In 2014 UCL presented LBS with the award for ‘Cultural Project of the Year’, and in 2015 the project won a Royal Historical Society Public History Prize. The department is also home to permanent research centres, some of which are inter-departmental. These include the China Centre for Health and Humanity, the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Centre for Transnational History. UCL History’s REF (Research


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Excellence Framework) results are evidence of the cuttingedge research that takes place here. The ‘Power’ rating, which aims to capture quality across the board, puts us in fourth place. Overall 82% of our submission was rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’). Our research environment rating was the best for a History unit (90% 4*) – joint first with Oxford. When it comes to engaging with the UK (and international) research community through conferences and seminars, UCL is extremely well-placed. In addition to the events held here on campus, the Institute of Historical Research (approximately 5 minutes walk away) organises fortnightly seminars in 69 different subject areas. These seminars are free and open to all, and some are currently convened by our staff such as; American History, British History in the 17th Century, Comparative Histories of Asia, Latin American History and Low Countries History. Furthermore staff and postgraduates often attend research events at the UCL Institute of the Americas, The Warburg Institute, The Wellcome Trust and other nearby organisations. The department is increasingly engaged with the new UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, a research-based community of scholars.

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. 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. At any one time the History department contains between 70 and 90 postgraduate research students - working on topics that span all 5000 years of recorded human history, in areas all over the globe. Our staff and student body are extremely cosmopolitan, attracting students from all over the world. Integration of research students into the department and research as a collective experience are at the core of our graduate programme. As part of the degree, students are given training designed especially to help enhance their employability. We run a fortnightly Research Training Seminar, which includes sessions that focus specifically on skills needed for academics as well as guidance on careers outside of academia. UCL History maintains strong links with UCL’s careers service and delivers specialist sessions for research students. In addition to the department’s regular training seminars, most doctoral students participate in the seminars of the Institute of Historical Research and take modules at the UCL Doctoral School. As well as this, our research students regularly organise their own workshops, conferences and seminars. Funding for such events, as well as for individual research trips and conference attendance is available from the Department and from the UCL Doctoral School. Students are strongly encouraged to 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 and the School of Advanced Study provides additional networking opportunities for our students.

Examples of previous UCL History research degree projects are: • An Ecology of Trade: Tropical Cultivars, Commensals and Fauna between the Near East and South Asia in the 1st Millennium BC • Ecclesiastical Dress, Social Body and Cultural Codes: Europe and the New World, 13th-16th Centuries. • British Cookery Books and British Identities, 1747-1861 • Music and Political Culture in the United States from the Early Republic to the Civil War Era Further information regarding the degree requirements, fees and application deadlines can be found on the UCL online prospectus.



From: Copenhagen, Denmark. Undergraduate degree: BA and MA in Near Eastern Archaeology, University of Copenhagen. Research interests: History of archaeology, Modern Iraq, Ancient Near East, History of objects. Highlight of your study so far: Experiencing the variety of the academic environment and exploring the many different seminars, socials, and other events on offer in and around UCL.



LECTURER IN TWENTIETH CENTURY BRITAIN My research looks at twentieth century Britain; in particular, I focus on the late twentieth century, from c. 1969 onwards, combining political history with social and cultural history. I think that political languages and political projects need to be related to the society they aim to speak to. My research therefore focuses on class and gender, and how these interacted in politics and British society. Politics under Thatcher and then New Labour shifted, and the language of ‘class’ fell out of favour, with other formations like ‘ordinary working families’ becoming more prominent in political discourse. My research attempts to unpick the links between such political discourses and the changing class identities and gender roles of these ‘ordinary people’ themselves. In this research, I’ve used a wealth of sources, both political archives and sociological surveys

and oral histories. UCL is a particularly great place to pursue this sort of research. In London, the resources of the National Archives and the British Library, which not only has vast holdings of books and journals, but also fantastic collections of oral history recordings, are easily available. I have also interviewed sitting and ex-MPs and others involved in politics as part of my research, some of them still to be found in the Houses of Parliament. I’m interested in the way that some left-wing politicians and political activists have argued that Thatcher made Britain a more ‘individualistic’ society – usually this is framed as a criticism of Thatcherism. But I want to look at how people themselves perceive this apparent upsurge of ‘individualism’, whether it came from Thatcher or was something people actively embraced themselves, and whether it can be seen from some angles as something to be welcomed.


From: Tunbridge Wells, UK Undergraduate degree: BA in History, University of Kent

Students enjoying their free-time at Cumberland Lodge


Research interests: Early modern English Catholicism and their networks with Protestants in local and national society during the seventeenth century. I am particularly interested in how Catholics navigated themselves through sequestration and compounding legislation during the Civil War and Interregnum, and how they utilised their networks with influential Protestants in order to obtain their confiscated estates back when faced with adversity.

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Highlight of your study so far: Discovering the various methods Catholics used to compound for estates, including taking oaths in support of Parliament, donating money to fight against Irish Catholic rebels, as well as appealing to various politicians to help strengthen their petitions to have their estates returned to them.

PROFESSOR OF MEDIEVAL EUROPE I teach Medieval History at UCL and am involved with the MA Medieval and Renaissance Studies degree programme. My modules on ‘The Medieval Papacy’ and ‘Manuscripts and Documents’ reflect two complementary aspects of my work as a historian. The ‘Manuscripts and Documents’ module goes with my research on difficult manuscripts and documents, which yield discoveries partly because their technicality has deterred other scholars. The module aims to put students in a similar position. ‘The Medieval Papacy’ corresponds to an interest in long term structures and big problems best approached with some sociological questions in mind. These complementary approaches are both in evidence in my books on The Preaching of the Friars, Death and the Prince, Medieval Marriage Sermons, Medieval Marriage: Symbolism and Society, Medieval Religious Rationalities, Rationalities in History, Dissolving Royal Marriages 860-1600 and Papacy, Monarchy and Marriage 860-1600: all combine large questions partly generated by theory with detailed manuscript work.

LECTURER IN THE HISTORY OF EARLY MODERN AND MODERN INDIA Today, India is either considered as a global superpower, with possession of nuclear weapons and the economic might to influence markets around the world, or as a society of entrenched and deepening inequalities of gender, caste, and religion, that is at once prospering and immiserating. To understand Indian history is to understand the fate of almost 20 per cent of the world’s population. If India’s share of world income was 27 per cent in 1700, why was it only 5 per cent in 1950? If colonial rule shackled and frustrated India’s social, political, and economic development, how has India emerged as a global superpower today? If caste existed from time immemorial, why is caste such a political and politicised issue in the twenty-first century? These are the sorts of questions that shape the agenda of the historian of India. Yet, I fell into the historical study of ‘India’ from outside the field of South Asian studies and from outside the study of History. I arrived at UCL as lecturer in Indian history almost by accident, via a chance encounter with an edited collection of articles on India’s historic connections with Central Asia

that I found in the ‘reduced to clear’ shelf of a bookshop in Oxford, and, eventually, a PhD on that topic and a Research Fellowship in History at Cambridge. These influences help explain why I’m critical of ‘India’ as a construct – in my job title, for example – and why I think it’s important to situate the Indian subcontinent within the broader frameworks of global, world, and imperial history. I started life as an economist, but – as my interests shifted towards History – I developed interests first in economic history, then in social and cultural history, and, most recently, in environmental history and the history of science. My research – published, and in progress – ranges across a number of historical sub-disciplines, periods, places, and themes: from imperial portraiture in the Mughal Empire, the moral economy of colour in early modern North India, the intersection of ideas about the environment and race with the fashioning of ethnic and social identities in nineteenthcentury Afghanistan and Burma, opium and salt smuggling between Burma and China, trade and the economy in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Northwest India and Central Asia, to the work of the Salvation Army with sericultural science in the early twentieth century India.



THE UCL HISTORY ADVANTAGE 1-1 support offered to all students (tutorials, supervision & feedback sessions)

2 graduate study spaces 3 of the UK’s biggest humanities libraries are within 5 minutes walk away The History Department is consistently in the UK ranked among the top


20 Professors (including Emeriti) More than 60 research staff in the department


students undertaking Over research degrees A postgraduate student body of approximately


The department is almost You can study

190 years old

5,000 years of history here!

Department of History, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT Email: Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 1340 Web:

/UCLHistory @UCLHistory

UCL History Postgraduate Brochure  

A guide for prospective Postgraduate (Taught) and Postgraduate (Research) students

UCL History Postgraduate Brochure  

A guide for prospective Postgraduate (Taught) and Postgraduate (Research) students