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 in depth strength in the history of Irish religion, politics, gender relations, social history, and Ireland's relationships with Britain and the wider world, Irish-British relations, economic development and thought, political ideologies, and in the history of modern Ulster.
The Centre for Public History is a dynamic new development at Queen's, one that involves historians with a variety of geographical and chronological interests. A number of history PhD candidates are engaged in public history related projects which involve internships and collaborations with bodies such as the BBC, Historic Royal Palaces and the Ulster Museum.
Other areas of particular research expertise include oral history, 20th-century British social, cultural, political and imperial history, the history of the U.S. South, gender history and religious history. There are also specialists in the history of Ancient Rome, Medieval England and Europe, Early Modern Britain and Europe, twentieth-century Europe, modern China, India, and South-East Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
You will engage in ground-breaking research in a historical subject of your choice. Throughout your study you will be supervised by our internationally recognised scholars. We have experts in American, Ancient, Asian, British, European and Irish history. Their research ranges chronologically from Ancient to Contemporary history and covers a wide selection of themes including political, religious, gender, social, economic, medical and colonial history.
A flourishing programme of events, seminars, and research groups complements our postgraduate courses and doctoral supervision.
Our world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. Learn more about our expertise and click here to find a Phd supervisor and explore research areas.
Resources For Research
The School boasts the following Research Centres:
Institute of Irish Studies – a pioneering centre for interdisciplinary Irish scholarship and teaching.
Institute of Cognition and Culture – one of the world's first centres for research into cognition and culture.
Centre for Public History – a lively hub for people engaged in researching, teaching and practising public history.
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 and The Times and The Irish Times Digital Archives). 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 (PRONI), and other local depositories. The nearby Gamble Library holds 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.
History at Queen's works closely with the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, one of the leading archival depositories in Ireland and Britain.
The University's Special Collections also hold important archival and printed primary materials, especially for the history of Ireland, Great Britain and the British Empire, and China.
Significant deposits of modern American, Soviet and British military archival materials have recently been acquired.
Our other particular areas of historical expertise are in the United States (especially the Southern states since c1800), early-modern British intellectual and religious history, British espionage, the British Empire since c1800, British-Chinese relations and twentieth-century Britain and Europe.
History has a number of collaborative research initiatives with the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen's and with other universities in Ireland, the UK and abroad, including Boston College and Vanderbilt.
We also host annual events including the Wiles Lectures on the history of civilisation and regular conferences on a range of historical themes. A weekly postgraduate seminar is run and organised by research students.
The research profile produced by the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) graded 84 per cent of our research activity as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent', confirming the School's reputation as an internationally-leading research centre and one of the top 20 UK history departments.