Queen’s is one of the premier research centres globally for the study of Irish history and boasts a large and active team of researchers in this field, with interests ranging from the middle ages to the twentieth century. We have particular strength in depth in the history of Irish religion, politics, gender relations, and Ireland's relationships with Britain and the wider world.
Other areas of particular research expertise include British domestic, intelligence and imperial history, the history of the American South, gender history and religious history. There are also specialists in the history of Ancient Greece and Rome, Byzantine history, Medieval England and Europe, Early Modern Britain and Europe, twentieth-century Europe, South-East Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
We have a large and dynamic research student community, drawn from many parts of the world; there are more than 30 students studying for a PhD in history, as well as significant numbers on our MA programmes.
Major research resources close at hand include the extensive collection of Irish manuscripts, books and pamphlets in the Queen's University Library's Special Collections. Our new state of the art McClay Library has extensive book and journal holdings, and also subscribes to many of the principal online resources for historical study, including ECCO, EEBO, HCPP, etc. The wide ranging collections of modern and older publications in Belfast's historic Linen Hall Library, the extensive manuscript holdings for Irish and British history of the newly enhanced Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, and other local depositories. The nearby Gamble Library hold specialist collections in religious history and theology. The collections of the Irish National Archives and National Library of Ireland in Dublin are within commuting distance.
Full-time postgraduate students within the School are guaranteed office space along with dedicated computing facilities. The postgraduate skills training programme for research students includes mentored employment as tutorial assistants.
The School boasts a number of regular research seminars. The Postgraduate Research Seminar, run by research students themselves, meets regularly throughout the academic year: speakers are drawn from our own postgraduate community and from other universities in Ireland and Britain. The Irish History Students’ Association, of which QUB is a founder member, holds an annual conference at which postgraduate students from across the island meet and read papers. Other regular seminar series are in gender history, religious studies, US history, Irish Studies, 18th-Century Studies, Medieval Studies and Postcolonial Studies.
Queen’s students also have the opportunity to attend rich variety of public lectures and research seminars available within the School and in other parts of the university, highlighted by our annual Wiles lecture series, delivered by a historian of global standing. Postgraduates thus have the opportunity to become fully part of a programme of active historical research in an atmosphere of wide ranging intellectual interchange and enquiry.
Additional Information about Research at the School
Information on current and previous postgraduate students and their research topics, on our collaborative research projects can be found in the research section of our website.
Some PhD funding for UK, EU and overseas students is usually available. For information about our international funding competitions and the DEL and AHRC research funding competitions, go to the Postgraduate Fees and Funding page.
Why do a PhD?
In addition to allowing you to pursue your historical research interests to an advanced level, a PhD in History offers an essential qualification for entry to academic and academic-related careers, as well as key transferable skills in extended research methods, project organisation and communications, applicable to a wide range of careers in the arts, administration and business. For more information on PhDs and employment, see What do PhDs do? on the Vitae website.