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Faculty of Humanities and Education

Department of History and Philosophy


MPhil/PhD History

MPhil/PhD History.png

About the Programme

The programme offers students an opportunity to conduct independent research under supervision, having acquired knowledge and skills from courses in theory and methodology. During the programme, students get to present their findings at seminar papers to the History Forum (2 for MPhil and 3 for PhD). This allows them to engage with the wider faculty to refine their research project. The research is in the form of a Thesis - 50,000 words for MPhil students and 80,000 words for PhD. students. See guidelines.

What Will I Study?

Students will:
  • Acquire knowledge about 19th and 20th century politics in Barbados using primary and contemporary sources;
  • Understand the challenges and successes in the nation building process in West Africa;
  • Discuss the current debates in Caribbean history;
  • Conduct research on a specific topic under supervision; and
  • Present seminars at the History Forum.

Facilities and Resources

  • Recordings of the radio programme, Today in Bajan History
  • Oral History recordings  
  • Archaeology lab
  • West Indian Collection in the Sidney Martin Library


Our Department does research in several areas.   Some of our research focuses on:
  • Plantation subdivision, Villages after emancipation, Barbadian and Caribbean Business history, Radial Movements in the Caribbean, Barbadian social history
And we host SIX projects:
  • The Oral History Project
  • The Caribbean Heritage Network Project
  • The Dictionary of Barbadian Biography Project
  • The UNESCO World Heritage Project: The Industrial Heritage of Barbados – The Story of Sugar and Rum; and 
  • A radio programme, Today in Bajan History
  • Re(w)riting History Project

Career Opportunities

Skills  of the Historian include: research, critical thinking, problem solving, oral and written communication. Careers can be found in areas such as: 

  • Museums, libraries and heritage sites: Cultural and heritage manager,Archivist, Museum education officer, Archaeologist, Curator, Tour guide, Historic preservation specialist, Librarian
  • Business and Commerce: Corporate historian, Social media manager, Content editor, HR manager, Public relations officer, Marketing officer, Communications officer, Records manager, Office manager, Administrative assistant, Event planner, Supply chain manager
  • Researcher: Genealogical research, Research assistant, Research analyst, Media researcher
  • Writer: Author, Editor, Script writer, Documentary producer, Public advocate, Contract historian, Journalist
  • Politics and Government: Political campaign manager, Records manager, Diplomat, Public affairs specialist, Policy advisor, Intelligence officer, Teacher, Cultural resource manager
See professionals - regional and international - with History degrees [PDF] »

Why Study in Barbados

Our degree is internationally recognized with our graduates going on to teach  at universities worldwide. We offer a quality learning environment with small class sizes taught by full-time international faculty in an island replete with historic houses and museums, a slave burial ground, and libraries which house historical material dating back to the 17th century.

We welcome local, international and regional students.

Additional Information

Candidates registered on a full-time basis will be expected to present their thesis in not less than four (4) semesters and not more than five (5) calendar years after registration. Candidates registered part-time will be expected to present their thesis in not less than six (6) semesters and not more than seven (7) calendar years after registration.

You will need to complete the: (1)course requirements; (2) seminar requirements; and (3) thesis (and oral examination for the PhD).

Each MPhil candidate will present at least two (2) open seminars. The first seminar presentation should normally be the student’s research proposal. MPhil candidates must present a second seminar and PhD candidates a total of three (3) seminars before the completion of the thesis.

Each candidate must present a thesis of the appropriate size: 50,000 words for the MPhil and a maximum of 80,000 words for the PhD. A PhD candidate will also be required to submit to a viva voce (an oral examination) on the thesis submitted. See Thesis guide

Also, see Faculty Regulations for more information.

At a Glance

  • Degree Level: Postgraduate
  • Qualification: MPhil/PhD
  • Duration: MPhil 2 years (FT) / 3 years (PT) PhD- 3 years (FT)/ 5 years (PT)


Programme Details

Students registered for the MPhil and PhD must complete 9 credits drawn for the following:  requriements here

  • The Emergence of West Indian History (HIST 6001)
  • Nation Building in West Africa (HIST 6302)
  • Current Debates in History (HIST 6714)
  • Barbados Politics 1834 to 1937 (HIST 6799)
  • Caribbean History and Heritage (HIST 6711)
  • Landscape History of the Eastern Caribbean (HIST 6803)
See Complete Course List
See Course Description»

We offer low tuition fees and several scholarships and financial aid are available. Choose a payment plan that fits your education budget. View Student Financing Website »

1. Applicants must meet the general requirements for higher degrees as set out by the Regulations of the University, Faculty of Humanities and Education, and the Department of History and Philosophy, as approved by the Board for Graduate Studies and Research.

2. The minimum requirement for admission is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree.
3. Applicants who do not satisfy these requirements, may in exceptional circumstances be admitted on passing a Qualifying Examination.

4. Candidates desirous of pursuing the PhD must first register for the MPhil degree.

All candidates for the MPhil. and PhD must complete a Common First Year. Students will be expected to audit courses covering historiography, methodology and theory. In addition, each candidate will be expected, with the guidance of the assigned Supervisor, to complete an extensive research proposal.

For further information on how to apply for our programme please click here.

In addition to the satisfactory completion of the Common First Year, candidates must present a thesis of not more than 50,000 words (excluding notes and bibliography) on an approved topic. The Examiners may recommend the waiver of an Oral Examination.