About Us

Alannah_Tomkins Welcome from the Director of Programmes

Dr Alannah Tomkins

Our undergraduate history programmes are broad and innovative, ranging from English and European medieval history to the recent history of Africa and India. As an undergraduate, you can take History on its own as a Single Honours programme, or as Principal History with another programme (including History Dual Honours, History Major and History Minor).

Students taking the Single Honours programme are introduced to the study of History at degree level in the module Historical Research and Writing, designed to develop their research, communications and analytical skills. In the second semester of their first year they are introduced to different kinds of History in the module Histories of the Extraordinary and the Everyday, which concentrates on the different approaches taken by historians when challenged by the vastness of extraordinary events and the minutiae and banality of the everyday. Students also select further modules drawn from the range of medieval, early modern and modern topics from world, North American, European and local history. In their second year students choose from a variety of option modules, allowing them to develop their own personal interests. They also have the opportunity to spend a semester abroad at a partner institution in Europe (including the Netherlands, Sweden and France), Turkey, Hong Kong, Australia and the USA, and in one module to undertake a work placement. In their final year, all students can become true historians, studying a variety of in-depth topics in the course of which they will also produce a dissertation on their own, independent research.

The Principal History course gives students an opportunity to study modules in both modern and pre-modern history alongside another principal subject as part of Keele's dual honours programme. As well as developing their logical, investigative and critical abilities on Historical Research & Writing, first-year undergraduates may also elect to take further modules in medieval, early modern and modern history. In their second year, Keele’s dual honours students are given unparalleled flexibility in adjusting their degrees to fit their interests. Alongside the full range of second-year option modules in history, they are able to take advantage of our study abroad programs at partner institutions in Europe (including the Netherlands, Sweden and France), Turkey, Hong Kong, Australia and the USA, and in one module to undertake a work placement. As on the Single Honours programme, final-year students achieve full research independence, as they explore historical topics alongside world experts in their fields, as well as producing an innovative dissertation on an area of their choice.

For postgraduates we offer two Master’s programmes, a Master of Arts (MA) in History and a Master of Research (MRes) in History. The MA in History allows students to choose from a wide variety of taught modules across a range of chronological, geographical and thematic spectrums. Students also produce a substantial piece of independent research. The Master of Research in History is part of a programme in the School of Humanities offering students the opportunity to produce a substantial piece of independent research and writing while developing wide-ranging research skills.

Our annual Latin and Palaeography Summer School, which has been established for nearly forty years, attracts students from across the UK, Europe and America. We also have a continuing presence in regional history, offering a certificate programme and postgraduate research in local history, supporting local societies and, through the Centre for Local History, hosting a programme of local historical research and writing.

We have a flourishing community of postgraduate research students as part of the Research Institute for the Humanities. We welcome postgraduate applications in all fields where we can offer effective supervision (see here for further details). Office and computer facilities are provided, and research training is given through the School of Humanities. There is an annual postgraduate symposium, and regular seminars in Modern History, Early Modern History and Local History. All welcome visitors to the university. Keele Historians, including postgraduates, also participate in region-wide seminars in Medieval and Early Modern History.

We are a productive and successful research community. We have an active Centre for Local History, flourishing inter-disciplinary studies of early modern England and groups of eminent scholars of medieval and contemporary history. Successes in attracting external funding in recent years include extensive local authority support for the Victoria County History of Staffordshire, funding from the Leverhulme Trust to Dr Morgan for work on medieval Gascony, and grants from the German Research Council for work by Dr Anthony Kauders on the history of psychoanalysis and to Dr Christoph Dieckmann for a study of Jewish Bolshevism. More information on our research interests is given on individual staff pages.

If you have questions, we are always happy to respond by email or to meet prospective students outside the normal pattern of visit days. For undergraduate admissions go to http://www.keele.ac.uk/history/prospectiveundergraduates/, and for postgraduate admissions  go to http://www.keele.ac.uk/history/prospectivepostgraduates/.