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  1. Study at the OU
  2. Research degrees
  3. Research areas
  4. History
  5. Empire and postcolonial studies

Empire and postcolonial studies

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An image to illustrate studying empire with The Open University

The Department of History has an Empire and Postcolonial Research Group which links to the cross-faculty Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies. Areas of particular interest include the British Empire, colonial India, links between the West and the postcolonial world, empire in Asian port cities, and heritage. Research into imperial conflicts including policing and counterinsurgency is a particular strength, and one which overlaps with the department's Crime and Policing Research Group. Members of staff have particular regional expertise covering Asia (India, SE Asia, the coast of China) and Africa (Kenya).

We welcome applications in areas which correspond with current staff research interests. We look for detailed and well thought-out proposals, which set out specific research questions and outline the originality of your topic or approach. If you would like to discuss your ideas informally before submitting an application, please contact the department (details below).

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

At least a 2:1 in a relevant degree plus a masters degree, or equivalent evidence of ability to write and research at a high level, or a first class degree with a dissertation element.

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Dr Karl Hack
+44 (0)1908 653266

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under ‘Your questions’ on the right of the page.