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The Department of History at the University of Sheffield: Profile

The Department of History at the University of Sheffield is one of the largest, most active and successful centres for teaching and historical research both in the UK and internationally.

Our academic reputation means that we are ranked third in the UK for our world-leading research (Research Excellence Framework 2014) and ranked in the world’s top 100 history departments (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016).

We have a team of over 35 academic staff and 100 postgraduate students who work together to create a thriving and supportive research culture. We regularly review our programmes to ensure that they continue to be innovative and intellectually stimulating, and that they provide a supportive environment that helps our students prepare for a wide range of occupations and future study. 

a positive environment for further study

A positive environment for further study

This commitment to providing outstanding postgraduate teaching is reflected in feedback from our external examiners, as well as through consistently strong feedback in the National Student Survey. In 2015, our students rated us top in the Russell Group for both overall student satisfaction - with a rating of 96% - and academic support.

“I really cannot fault the programmes at Sheffield. The Department should be held up as an example of exemplary practice across the institution and beyond. It was an absolute pleasure to read the dissertations. Such a rich selection of original subjects – this is a testament to the programme and to the students Sheffield is able to attract.” MA External Examiner 2015

Why choose Sheffield?

A leading university and department

• History ranked 3rd in the UK for world-leading research
• 96% student satisfaction
• Top three UK university for student experience
• Top ranked university students would recommend to a friend
• Ranked third in the UK for high-quality facilities

World class facilities

World class facilities

A stimulating postgraduate environment

• Innovative and intellectually stimulating teaching with world-leading experts
• Flexible degree structure with a wide range of modules covering a variety of periods, locations, themes and approaches
• Dedicated Historical Research MA for PhD preparation
• Career-focused modules designed to enhance your skills in areas like public history and historical writing
• Specialist supervision in a wide range of research areas
• An active, vibrant postgraduate community and departmental research culture

Sources: Research Excellence Framework 2014, National Student Survey 2015; Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015

The Department’s thriving research community includes a regular research seminar series, which covers a huge range of topics, and a range of research centres and networks many of which are interdisciplinary or focus on cross-cutting research themes. These include the Medieval and Ancient Research Centre, the Sheffield Centre for Early Modern Studies; the Cultures of the Cold War network and Medical Humanities Sheffield. These centres all have their own seminar series and often incorporate postgraduate-led events such as Researchers in Early and Late Medieval Studies and the Early Modern Discussion Group. Students also run a number of additional discussion groups including the Sheffield Modern International History Group and the Gender History Discussion Group.

Our MA degrees

Studying History at Sheffield allows you to explore great events, extraordinary documents, remarkable people, and long-lasting transformations, from the Roman period to the modern day, and across the globe.

Our MA degrees are carefully designed to allow you to build a programme that suits your needs: whether you want to progress to postgraduate research, aid your career development or simply expand your knowledge in your chosen area of history.

Expand your knowledge of your chosen field

Expand your knowledge of your chosen field

Our range of programmes includes:

MA in Historical Research
MA in Medieval History
MA in Early Modern History
MA in Modern History
MA in American History

Find out more about our MA degrees.

Flexible study

We know that many people don’t wish to study full-time so all of our MA programmes are available part-time.

Career prospects

Helping you to prepare for your future is a vital part of our MA programme. Find out about the support we offer our MA students and what some of our graduates are doing now.

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements range from a 2.1 to a first class degree depending on your chosen programme. English language requirements are IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in each component, or equivalent. Find out more about entry requirements.


Our MA courses begin in September each year and you can usually apply up until late August for entry that September. If you want to apply for funding, you will need to apply before the funding deadline. Find out more about how to apply.

Visit us

Join us at one of our monthly open afternoons to find out what postgraduate study at Sheffield is all about. You can explore the campus, get advice on applying and visit the history department to find out more about our MA programmes.


Book your place

Work Placement

Some of our recent MA students talking about their experience on our Work Placement module.


A student perspective

Valerio Zanetti“I chose Sheffield because of a combination of factors. First of all, the specific nature of my MA programme, and more generally the department's commitment to interdisciplinarity. The desire to work with my supervisor played an important part in my final choice too.

Being used to lectures, I have been particularly pleased by the fact that lessons are structured as seminars, and often student-led. This fosters real interaction and constructive debate. Knowledge is not passively soaked in, but is the product of a constant dialogue. I always felt that my ideas and opinions were valued and respected.

My MA experience at Sheffield didn't just shape the way I work as a researcher in my chosen field, but also the way I think as an individual. I learnt to ask myself not simply what or how much I knew about things, but most importantly how to make such knowledge productive and fruitful.”

Valerio Zanetti, 2015 MA graduate



Email: history@sheffield.ac.uk
Tel: 0114 222 2555

Department of History
University of Sheffield
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
South Yorkshire
S3 7RA

/HistorySheffield  @unishefhistory

Twitter: @unishefhistory
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HistorySheffield