MPhil/PhD Maritime Historical Studies

Duration MPhil: Full time 2-3 years; Part time 4-5 years
PhD: Full time 3-4 years; Part time 6-7 years
Distance Learning available
Discipline
  • History
LocationCornwall (Penryn), Exeter (Streatham)
Start date September, January or April

Overview

The Centre for Maritime Historical Studies was the first of its kind in a British university and seeks to promote research into economic, social, political, naval and environmental aspects of the British maritime past from the earliest times to the present day, drawing also on European and international experience. Staff from the Centre supervise PhD students and are willing to provide supervision in the following areas of research:

  • maritime history from the Middle Ages to today;
  • business history and maritime trade;
  • port cities and communities;
  • mariners welfare and education;
  • naval history from the Middle Ages to the present day;
  • naval leadership from the late 17th century to the mid 20th century;
  • British naval administration and logistics;
  • Mediterranean maritime history from the Middle Ages to the 18th century;
  • African maritime history and port cities.

As a research student, you will be able to draw on excellent resources including the Exeter Local Maritime Archives Project database.

The Centre holds termly research seminars (in conjunction with the Society for Nautical Research), an annual international Maritime History Conference and a twice-yearly Strategic Policy Studies Group symposium (with associated publication).

Visit the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies website to find our more about our research interests and activities.

Research topic and proposal

If you are considering studying for an MPhil or PhD, you will need to pinpoint the topic in which you wish to undertake your research and identify members of academic staff who specialise in this area and can offer you supervision. Visit our staff profiles or research supervision web pages for more information about individual research interests.

Once you have identified your research area, you will need to prepare a research proposal which outlines the specific area you wish to study and submit this with your application.

Guidelines on submitting an MPhil/PhD application, including guidelines on writing a research proposal, can be found on our dedicated How to apply pages.

Recent PhD titles

Here are some examples of PhD theses undertaken by students in Maritime History at the University of Exeter.

  • Development of Maltese harbour area during the 16th century.  A social and economic study based on notarial and court records
  • The commercial impact of three cruising voyages of the early 19th century
  • The sick and hurt board:The health and welfare of seamen in the British
  • The development of British foreign dockyards during the Revolutionary & Napoleonic Wars, 1793 - 1815
  • Career management of Royal Navy Executive (Seaman) Branch Officers 1918-1945
  • Social History of Piracy
  • Technological innovation and the Royal Mary 1890-1918
  • Officer Careers in Interwar Royal Navy
  • The Activities Of The East India Company In The South-West Of England In The 18th Century
  • Clandestine British submarine operations in World War Two
  • The English long-bow as a naval weapon
  • Auxiliary Fleet: Merchant shipping in combat roles (British, twentieth century)
  • US Civil War the ironclad CSS MISSISSIPPI
  • The business of smuggling in SE Scotland c.1740-1796
  • The impact of financial cutbacks and restrictions upon the ability of the Royal Navy to realign itself, during the 1920's, to meet the challenges of the early Interwar period

Facilities

The University library maintains extensive holdings in all our disciplines, extensive audio-visual collections and a number of medieval manuscripts in our Heritage Collections, while Exeter Cathedral Library and Archives and the Devon Heritage Centre contain further significant medieval manuscripts, documents and early printed books. Thanks to the help of a substantial grant from the Leverhulme Trust, The Exeter Local Maritime Archives Project (ELMAP) has created a searchable online database of references to records with maritime and naval significance that are held in local record offices and other archives across England and Wales.

Careers

We are committed to ensuring you receive high quality research supervision to maximise your potential and prepare you for a rewarding career.

Postgraduate students have access to the wide range of support offered by our Career Zone. In addition, postgraduate research students can access our Postgraduate Researchers' Programme, which covers a range of topics to help you to succeed during your research degree and to act as a springboard for your research career.

Graduate destinations

Below are some examples of initial jobs undertaken by History postgraduates who studied with us in 2011/12.

Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Job titlesOrganisations
Bid Project Manager
Business Development Intern
Chief Operations Officer
Customer Communications Coordinator
Data Analyst
Freelance Journalist
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Information Analyst
Journalist
Learning Development Specialist
Lecturer
Library Facilitator
Marketing Assistant
Parliamentary Assistant to MP
Producer
Project Officer
Research Assistant
Capita
Cormorant Media
Cornwall Council
Green Gaia Films
Kaplan University
Kent County Council
Leeds City College
News Associates
Romax Marketing and Distribution
Somerset County Council
Strode College
University of Aberystwyth
University of Exeter
University of York
WhipTail Technologies

Entry requirements 2018

Students applying to enter directly into the MPhil/PhD programme would normally be expected to have a Masters degree with Merit or equivalent in History, or other relevant qualifications such as a doctorate in another subject.

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in the writing component and all other sections no less than 6.0.

TOEFL IBT*

Overall score 100 with minimum scores of 25 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

65 with no less than 58 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Finance: fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2018/19

  • UK/EU: £4,400 full-time; £2,200 part-time
  • International: £16,400 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

Funding opportunities

Find out about funding opportunities available to students on our research degree programmes in History.

Current available funding

Contact us

College of Humanities
Postgraduate Administrator
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725306
Web: Enquire online

Recent PhD titles

Here are some examples of PhD theses undertaken by students in Maritime History at the University of Exeter.

  • Development of Maltese harbour area during the 16th century.  A social and economic study based on notarial and court records
  • The commercial impact of three cruising voyages of the early 19th century
  • The sick and hurt board:The health and welfare of seamen in the British
  • The development of British foreign dockyards during the Revolutionary & Napoleonic Wars, 1793 - 1815
  • Career management of Royal Navy Executive (Seaman) Branch Officers 1918-1945
  • Social History of Piracy
  • Technological innovation and the Royal Mary 1890-1918
  • Officer Careers in Interwar Royal Navy
  • The Activities Of The East India Company In The South-West Of England In The 18th Century
  • Clandestine British submarine operations in World War Two
  • The English long-bow as a naval weapon
  • Auxiliary Fleet: Merchant shipping in combat roles (British, twentieth century)
  • US Civil War the ironclad CSS MISSISSIPPI
  • The business of smuggling in SE Scotland c.1740-1796
  • The impact of financial cutbacks and restrictions upon the ability of the Royal Navy to realign itself, during the 1920's, to meet the challenges of the early Interwar period

Supervision and support

Supervisors

All students have a primary and a secondary supervisor who provide regular, high quality advice, support and direction in their academic endeavours. You will work closely with your supervisors over three to four years (full time PhD) or six to seven (part-time PhD) to develop, investigate and write-up a project at the cutting edge of historical research.

Visit our staff profiles for more information about individual research interests or use the search box on the right of this page to find a supervisor.

Mentors 

Each student will also be assigned a mentor who will take on a pastoral role and mediate on any problems that arise during the period of study. Your mentor will keep in regular contact and will provide background stability and support.

Graduate School Office

The College of Humanities has a dedicated Graduate School Office that supports our postgraduate research students during their study with us. The Office promotes intellectual and social contact between research students in all our disciplines to foster a vibrant research community within the College.

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