Postgraduate student experience
Meet our postgraduate students
Thesis title: British charitable aid to German civilians during and after the First World War
Supervisors: Dr Catriona Pennell, Dr James Thompson (University of Bristol)
Funding: South, West & Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (AHRC) Studentship
I chose Exeter because the research it produces is highly relevant to my own project, particularly in its research centres Imperial & Global History and War, State & Society. Exeter's involvement in the SWW DTP also allowed me to choose a supervisory team from institutions across the south-west. Since joining, I have really enjoyed the research culture in the department, and the fantastic support from staff and fellow research students.
Thesis title: Britain's seafaring men and women: an analysis of the maritime labour force 1850 - 1911
Supervisors: Dr. Maria Fusaro and Dr. David Thackeray
Funding: ESRC scholarship
As one of only a few universities in the UK to offer fantastic research support and expertise on maritime history within the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies, there could not have been a better place for me to carry out my research. The department provides high quality research training, professional development opportunities, and an exciting mix of research specialisms as well as a great environment for discussions and exchanges.
Thesis title: South Africa’s Female Comrades: Gender, Identity, and Student Resistance to Apartheid in Soweto, 1984-1990
Supervisors: Dr Stacey Hynd
Funding: College of Humanities International PhD Studentship/Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
I primarily chose to come to Exeter to work with my supervisor, Dr Stacey Hynd, after reading her work during my Masters degree. Upon arriving here, I was thrilled to find a supportive department and college, and an inclusive and stimulating research culture within the Centre for Imperial and Global History.
Thesis title: Ecclesia reformata: John Morton’s contemporaries and the re-making of the English Church.
Supervisors: Prof. James Clark
As a medievalist, Exeter was the obvious choice for me to pursue my study of the fifteenth century English Church. The University has a thriving Centre for Medieval Studies, and my supervisor is of course one of the pre-eminent authorities in his field. Exeter also has a close relationship with the other universities of the GW4 group, meaning that there is a large research school across the region.
Thesis title: Aristocratic Women's Networks of Power in Eleventh- and Twelfth-Century Iberia
Supervisors: Prof. Simon Barton, Dr Levi Roach
Exeter was my undergraduate institution and I knew its strengths well. It has an excellent History department with a nice array of medievalists in staff, and a very good research culture thanks to the Centre for Medieval Studies. I knew by coming to Exeter I would expect to be part of a very supportive environment and would receive excellent supervision and guidance. The selection of Iberian material in the library is also probably one of the best in the country.
Thesis title: The living standards of coalminers during the British Industrial Revolution
Supervisors: Prof. Henry French, Dr Alun Withey
Funding: ESRC Studentship
I chose Exeter primarily on the basis that it had a great reputation for History in general, and that there were several academics in the department I was eager to work with, as they had research interests similar to my own.
Since joining the university, I have found it a stimulating place to be conducting research; in addition to the excellent input from my supervisors, the opportunities for interaction between students in different specialities and the training provided by the department have been especially fruitful in developing my project.
Thesis title: Women's waged work in the south-west of England, 1500 - 1700
Supervisors: Prof. Jane Whittle, Dr. Freyja Cox Jensen
Exeter is a fantastic place to live and study. The History department is active in providing professional training for their students and there is a stimulating research culture. History PhD students organise their own seminar series, Ex Historia, which is a great way of getting to know students outside of your specialism. On top of all this, the landscape is beautiful and the city buzzing with history and activity.
Thesis title: Youth and Local Community Engagement in Devon in the 1960s: Voluntary Sector or State Control after the Albemarle Report?
Supervisors: Prof. Mark Johnson
I was an undergraduate at the age of 45 in the mid nineties and went to Exeter University because I lived locally and continued to work to pay for my studies. I then went on to do an MA and I had such good support from Mark Jackson my supervisor that I had to see if I could tackle a Phd! I am an oral researcher and have used my local county as a base because it offers an opportunity for small scale research that is often overlooked. I love being part of such a vibrant and supportive university.
Lenneke Van Raaij
Thesis title: Using liturgy to understand the past in the long tenth century.
Supervisors: Prof. Sarah Hamilton, Dr Levi Roach
Funding: HERA project: 'Uses of the Past'
I am very happy to be a PGR student at Exeter University, mainly because of the excellent supervision. The regular meetings with supervisors, and various opportunities for personal development make Exeter a friendly and productive centre for conducting research.
Thesis title: Hernando de Baeza, interpreter of the fall of Muslim Granada. His life history and a critical commentary on his work.
Supervisors: Prof. Simon Barton, Prof. Maria Fusaro, Dr Levi Roach
As a Hispanist with an interest in inter-faith relations around the transition from Muslim to Christian Granada, I was looking for a department with expertise in Medieval Iberian history and a supervisor who could guide and encourage me in what is a fairly niche area of study in the UK.
Thesis title: The perception and management of extreme emotions in thirteenth-century Iberia.
Supervisors: Prof. Simon Barton, Prof. Amy Remensnyder (Brown University)
Funding: Exeter-Brown Studentship
Studying for a PhD at Exeter was a natural step after completing my undergraduate and Master’s degrees here. The Centre for Medieval Studies forms a supportive and thriving research community and its key strength lies in its interdisciplinary nature, allowing academics from several different fields to come together and exchange ideas through the medieval seminar series. I’ve also received excellent supervision from my main supervisor, Simon Barton, who is a leading specialist in my field.
Thesis title: The British Bombing Offensive: Media Representation and Public Perception - 1939-1945.
Supervisors: Prof. Richard Overy, Dr David Thackeray.
Funding: Self funded
I selected Exeter to return to as an alumna as I had enjoyed my time studying with the department as an undergraduate. Furthermore, I relished the opportunity to return and work alongside such world renowned and well respected historians. My thesis investigates how the media presented the Allied bombing of Germany during World War Two to the British public and how the public responded. It calls upon the press and BBC news transcripts from the period and the results of social survey investigations.
Thesis title: Changes and challenges: The Royal Navy's China Station and the defence of Britain's interests in East Asia during the 1920s.
Supervisors: Prof. Richard Overy, Dr Laura Rowe
Funding: Santander UK Postgraduate Award
My research focuses upon the development of the interwar Royal Navy. In particular, I am interested in the Navy’s operational role in Britain’s peacetime foreign policy. With only a few prestigious academic institutions offering an expertise in maritime history worldwide, the University of Exeter was always going to be on the short-list for consideration. The welcoming attitude and insightful advice I received when I first contacted my supervisors then convinced me that Exeter would provide truly world-class professional development.
Thesis title: The Politics of the Centre and the Right in Valencia 1930-1936.
Supervisors: Dr Timothy Rees, Professor Martin Thomas
Funding: Self Funded (Retired from paid work)
I chose Exeter primarily because I have long had an interest in contemporary Spanish history, especially the Republic and Civil War, and wanted to be supervised by Tim Rees. I am not based in Exeter and have had limited contact with the academic community there, but have experienced first rate support not only from my primary supervisor (Tim) but also from my second supervisor (Martin). I have absolutely no regrets about choosing Exeter.
Thesis title: Brabazon and the Early Politics of Air Power.
Supervisors: Prof. Martin Thomas, Prof. Richard Toye
My PhD will research the early politics of air power through the archive of John Moore-Brabazon, aviation pioneer and politician, and investigate three of his networks (aviation, the military, and politics) during the inter-war years. Exeter offered a fantastic opportunity, in collaboration with the RAF Museum, to research Brabazon’s archive, and the History Department provides great support to PGRs, including through the Centre for War, State and Society and the Centre for Imperial and Global History.
Thesis title: The Body of Words: A Social History of Sex and the Body in Medieval India
Supervisors: Dr. Sarah Toulalan, Dr. Nandini Chatterjee
Funding: College of Humanities International PhD Studentship
With its vibrant humanities research cluster and a surfeit of well-known historians in the field of gender relations, sexuality, and the early modern period; Exeter is ideal for the fulfilment of my research project. Having access to lectures and cutting edge research conducted in the Centre for Medical history, Centre for Imperial and Global History, and South Asia Centre, gives me the opportunity to interact with the world renowned experts and helps me to formulate the appropriate theoretical framework for my interdisciplinary research.
History PhD student Miguel Hernandez tells us about his research and why he loves his PhD.
Lecturer in South Asian History Dr Gajendra Singh tells us what it's like to study at a postgraduate level at Exeter.