PhD in History

The School of History at UCC is a leading international centre for Postgraduate research in History, International Relations and European Studies.  Our PhD graduates have published work of international quality and have an excellent employment track record.  For details on areas of potential PhD supervision please see individual staff profiles.


Recent publications by History graduates

The School of History at UCC is a leading international centre for Postgraduate study in History, International Relations and European Studies.  Our PhD graduates have published work of international quality.  Recent books based on graduate research in the School include:

  • John Borgonovo, The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918. Cork: Cork University Press, 2013.
  • Sarah-Anne Buckley, The Cruelty Man: Child Welfare, the NSPCC and the State in Ireland, 1889-1956. London: Manchester University Press, 2013.
  • Michael Patrick Cullinane, Liberty and American Anti-Imperialism.  New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
  • Laurence Fenton, Palmerston and the Times: Foreign Policy, the Press and Public Opinion in Mid-Victorian Britain.  London: I.B. Taurus, 2013.
  • David Fitzgerald, Learning to Forget: US Army Counterinsurgency Doctrine and Practice from Vietnam to Iraq, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013.
  • Michelle O’Mahony, Famine in Cork City, Mercier Press, Cork 2005.
  • James Ryan, Lenin's Terror and the Ideological Origins of Early Soviet State Violence. London: Routledge, 2012.
  • Sally-Ann Treharne, Reagan and Thatcher's Special Relationship: Latin America and Anglo-American Relations.  Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014. 
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Recent academic appointments in History

History graduates have an excellent track record in terms of employability, both inside and outside academia.  Recent academic appointments include:

  • Dr. Ruth Canning, Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellow, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.
  • Dr. Sarah-Anne Buckley, Lecturer, Department of History, NUI Galway.
  • Dr. Michael Patrick Cullinane, Senior Lecturer in History and Director of Online Learning, Northumbria University, Newcastle, England.
  • Dr Julianne Nyhan, Lecturer in Digital Humanities, Department of Information Studies, University College London, UK. 
  • Dr. James Ryan, Lecturer in Modern European History at Cardiff University, Wales, UK. 
  • Dr. William Steding, Fellow, Center for Presidential History, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.

How to apply

To be eligible for entry to a course of study and research for the PhD, a candidate must have reached a standard of at least a Second Class Honours, Grade I, at the Examination for the Primary Degree, or presented such other evidence as will satisfy the Head of School and the Faculty of his/her fitness. Appropriate Masters’ graduates with at least Second Class Honours can also apply for direct entry to a PhD.

All prospective PhD students will be registered for an MPhil or a Phd Track in the first instance. Students will be subject to a review within 13 to 18 months from the date of registration and will be required to demonstrate progress in the form of 10,000 words minimum written work, as well as defending their work at interview. The Supervisor and a nominee of the School Graduate Studies Committee will carry out this review and issue a report on the student’s progress to the DGSC. Students may then, on the recommendation of the Head of School and the Supervisor and with the approval of the College/Faculty, transfer to the PhD.

To change their registration to a PhD students must complete an application form for a change of programme for Research students – MPhil to PhD or PhD Track to PhD - forms available here. Supervisors must sign this form and submit to the DGSC. The DGSC would then forward the student proposal and supervisor’s report together with the application form to the Faculty Postgraduate Studies Committee for approval.

The candidate shall pursue research for a period of three years full-time (six years part-time) from the date of first registration for the programme. The length of PhD theses should not exceed 80,000 words. The candidate’s research must be carried out, and the Thesis for the Degree must be prepared, under the direction of a Supervisor. Permission to submit a theses must be approved by the Supervisor and Head of School. A leaflet giving full information on the format, layout and presentation of PhD Theses is available from the student Records and Examinations Office.

It is the responsibility of the PhD student to notify the Exams Office of his/her intention to submit at least three months prior to the proposed date of thesis submission. Rules governing submission are available from the Examinations Office together with the necessary forms. The supervisor will arrange a Viva for the PhD Student following submission and informs Extern and Student of dates, times etc.

Link to application procedures

Guidelines regarding the PhD are also available in more detail at this link.


School of History

Scoil na Staire

Tyrconnell,Off College Road,Cork,Ireland.