Our research is characterised by three core components:

  • Innovative and powerful projects that range widely by period, geographical region, and theme
  • Creative partnerships with organisations and people beyond academia
  • Productive collaborations with our students at both postgraduate and undergraduate levels

The School also welcomes postdoctoral fellowship applications - please see the Research Degrees section for more information.

We have developed research groups to support collaboration both within and beyond the School. These include:

Medieval Studies

In Medieval Studies Cluster we explore a broad chronological and thematic range from early middle ages to the first decades of the sixteenth century. Our particular strengths are religious cultures and structures, identities and their constructions, social networks and conflict. The cluster is part of the Institute for Medieval Studies  which is the home of the International Medieval Congress.

We are grateful to our funders: the AHRC; the Wellcome Trust; the Leverhulme Trust and the British Academy 

Health, Medicine and Society

In Health, Medicine and Society we examine the social and cultural history of health and medicine, focusing particularly on the demographic history of East Africa; psychiatric interventions in white Kenya; death and urban decay in the early modern Venice; religion and medicine in medieval Portugal; medical care and masculinity in the First World War; men and family life in twentieth-century Britain; and welfare and citizenship in modern India.

Identity, Power and Protest

In Identity, Power and Protest we explore colonial and post-colonial citizenship in India and Pakistan; incarceration cultures in north America; patterns of activism and protest in modern America; slavery in the British Raj in India and Britain's experience of empire.


This research cluster brings together historians and people from other disciplines working in or on cities and urban culture and society.  It is not simply, a forum for ‘urban history’, but covers the interests of a range of people exploring the city, for example from urban public health, to demography, popular protest, civic culture and activism and processes of urbanisation.

In addition the University of Leeds’ new Culture ‘theme’ and Cultural Institute is going to be very much based around thinking about urban spaces in terms of cultural production, especially the relationship between Leeds and other cities.  The Cities research group may also have an involvement in the Leeds bid for ‘European Capital of Culture’ in 2023.

War and Peace

In War and Peace we have people working on European defence policy; military intelligence; experiences of population transfer; soldiers and soldiering in the Napoleonic Wars; commonalities and differences in surrender; transnational military mobilization; and atrocities in Europe.

Rethinking Reform 900-1150

'Rethinking Reform 900-1150’ examines how religious change was conceptualised by looking at institutional change in the medieval western European church across a broad time span. The project includes consideration of major issues such as: monasticism, the clergy, papal government, canon law and gender. It also explores how historians and commentators have shaped the subject in post-Reformation times. We are grateful to the Leverhulme Trust for funding this 3 year project through its International Network Grant scheme.