History academics are involved in a number of high-profile research projects, both within the School and in collaboration with other institutions.

The History Subject Area at the University of Edinburgh is the third largest unit in the UK, with over 60 full-time academic members of staff, covering a wide range of geographical places and all historical periods from late Antiquity and the medieval to the contemporary. In the most recent UK assessment of research (in 2014) 83 per cent of our research was deemed internationally excellent or world leading.  In terms of research ‘power’ (research excellence in relation to the size of our unit) we were ranked third in the UK.

We have significant expertise in the study of the following continents:  Africa; America; Europe and the British Isles; South and East Asia.

Our historians come together in the three research centres based in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology: Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History; Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies; and the Edinburgh Centre for Global History.

A strong and vibrant set of research groups also brings together academic staff and postgraduates for collaboration, discussion and debate. Subjects covered include digital humanities, economic and social history, history of science, medicine and technology, intellectual history, Irish history, material culture and political history.

History Research Excellence Framework

The Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF 21) ensures world-class, dynamic and relevant research is being carried out across UK higher education. You can read more about History projects submitted to REF 21 at the link below.

REF 21 - History

Research groups in History

Information about our research groups and their membership.

Research projects

Some examples of current and recent research projects in History.