The Department has a well-established record of research and publication in areas ranging from Manchester to SE Asia, and from the early medieval period to the present day. In RAE 2008 History entered 14 members of staff as part of a larger submission to European Studies under the aegis of the Manchester European Research Institute. MMU was placed 5th out of 17 submissions to the sub-panel in the weighted quality profile, with 70% of submitted research being assessed as of international significance.
The research of the department is focussed within three clusters:
Community History at MMU includes local and regional history (especially of the Manchester region), oral history, heritage and the interpretation and public presentation of history, and history as a social and cultural resource in contemporary society. The cluster includes the Manchester Centre for Regional History and its activities.
VTCP involves shared thematic and methodological approaches to issues of writing, image-making, reading, publishing, and the collecting and displaying texts and images of all sorts. Areas of particular interest include practices of annotation, diaries and diary-writing, publishing, amateur film-making. The cluster has close links with the North-West Film Archive.
The Nations, Frontiers and Civilisations cluster addresses questions of national and international history. Its members are interested in the construction, consolidation and relations of nations, the operation of borders and boundaries (political, cultural, geographical) and the place of trans-national civilisational groupings in the history of the world. The department hosts the annual Ambedkar Memorial Lecture.
The department supervises postgraduate research work for MA, MPhil and PhD degrees and maintains an active research life, including seminars, day schools, conferences and postgraduate research workshops.