About the School
The School of Historical Studies was formed in 2003, when the Department of History and the Department of Economic and Social History merged together, and is one of the leading schools in the country.
History has been taught at Leicester for over 80 years, ever since the University was founded in 1921, as a college of the University of London. The first lecturer in History, Mr F.W. Buckler was one of the first two permanent, full-time members of staff appointed by the University College. The second lecturer, Mr G.R. Potter, was appointed in 1925 as a replacement for Mr Buckler who was appointed to a professorship in the USA. In 1947 the imperial historian Professor Jack Simmons was appointed to the first chair in History.
In 1948 the Department of Local History was formed, headed by W.G. Hoskins, who was appointed Reader in English Local History. This was the first separate department of local history anywhere in England. In 2000 the Department became a Centre affiliated with the Department of Economic and Social History, who were also affiliated with the Centre for Urban History since its establishment in 1985.
In 1957 when the College received its Royal Charter and became the University of Leicester the then department had six members of staff. Since then the School has grown to be one of the largest and most diverse Schools in the country with over 30 members of academic staff and several research staff.
History staff and students have received significant recognition and achievements over the years with one of the first ever students of the College to graduate with a first class degree doing so in History. Emeritus Professor Aubrey Newman was also one of the first recipients of a British Academy award, when in 1962 he received £450 for his work on the Stanhope family archives, and Emeritus Professor Chris Dyer was awarded a CBE in 2008 for services to scholarship.
The original expertise of the School is still prevalent today, but as the School has grown so has the range of subjects of offer with students able to take topics on medieval, early modern, english local, urban, modern british and european, economic, american and global history.
It is these teaching and research strengths, along with the reputation for quality work and a genuinely friendly teaching environment that makes the School of Historical Studies at Leicester unique.