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Dr Holmes’s research is in the history of protestantism in Ireland since the seventeenth century in a comparative context, especially Presbyterianism, evangelicalism, and the relationship between religion and identity. He has recently completed a study of Presbyterian intellectual and theological life between 1830 and 1930, and is embarking on a Leverhulme-funded study entitled ‘Fundamentalism as an Ulster phenomenon? Popular Protestantism, 1859-1939’.

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Dr Holmes is open to PhD applications in the fields of; 

  • Protestantism in Ireland since 1600

  • Comparative history of evangelical Protestantism

  • Pre-Troubles religious history of Northern Ireland

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  • Historical consultant for three-part BBC landmark history of Irish Presbyterianism, An Independent People (Spring 2013)

  • Historical consultant for BBC programme Rebel Heart: The Life of Mary Ann McCracken (Autumn 2015)

  • Contributor to historical documentaries on radio and television

  • Delivered talks to local history groups, museums, and sixth-form conferences

  • Consultant on the government-funded Ulster Scots Education Project




Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science

School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics





Research students

PhD Title: The churches, Northern Ireland and the Second World War

Name: Matthew Houston
Years of Study: 3
Country: UK/Ireland

PhD Title: The Victoria Institute 1865-1932: a case study in the relationship between science and religion

Name: Stuart Mathieson
Years of Study: 3
Country: UK/Ireland

PhD Title: Scottish Presbyterian Dissent after the Disruption, 1843-63

Name: Ryan Mallon
Years of Study: 3
Country: UK/Ireland

Alumni: where are they now?

Dr Daniel Ritchie

PhD Title: The public career of the Revd Isaac Nelson

Years of Study: 3
Country: UK/Ireland
Current position: Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, UCD, 2014-16

Published thesis: Isaac Nelson : Radical Abolitionist, Evangelical Presbyterian, and Irish Nationalist

Dr Tim Donachie

PhD Title: Irish Covenanters: Politics and Society in the nineteenth century

Years of Study: 4 (part-time)
Country: UK/Ireland
Current position: Principal, Scottish Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Published thesis: Irish Covenanters: Politics and Society in the 19th Century

Research at Queen's

Postgraduate research

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