Economic and Social History

The Economic and Social History Pathway is one of the strongest concentrations of historical researchers in the UK. We aim to produce the next generation of methodologically-sophisticated historians who will be outward-looking and possess high-level skills in the applicability of social science methods in historical research.  The pathway is committed to developing innovative and interdisciplinary research among a diverse body of postgraduate students. We offer supervision and training ranging from quantitative economic and business history to digital history and qualitative  socio-cultural history. Specialist core training allows our students to acquire skills in methodologies tailored to their own programme of research. Students join thriving and diverse research cultures; our departments have an outstanding track-record of research funding and outputs in economic and social history. Expertise ranges across the British Isles and Continental Europe to the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. Prestigious international links are embedded into our doctoral programme. We promote knowledge exchange and public engagement by collaborating with a range of Non-HEI partners through our successful CASE studentships and support postdoctoral work for outstanding graduates.

Programmes eligible for NWSSDTP funding

N.B. Master’s programmes can only be funded as part of a 1+3/2+2 Studentship

Keele University

Lancaster University

University of Liverpool

University of Manchester

For information on how to apply for funding, please visit our How to Apply page.

Pathway Representatives

Contact details for Economic and Social History Pathway Representatives at each institution can be found here

Current Economic and Social History NWSSDTP students

Profile PictureJamie Farrington (2017 Cohort)

Understanding the Impact of Injury and Infection Among the Workers and the Wealthy of the Quarry Bank Mill (1847-1920) and the Use of Heritage for Contemporary Communities

I examine the health and wellbeing of the three distinct groups, the mill owners the Gregs, the workers and the apprentice children who lived at Quarry Bank Mill. I explore the impact of the environment, living and working conditions, diet and nutrition on the health of these groups, looking into the injuries and infections which they suffered.

NdXwJZc7_400x400 (002)Aneurin Merrill-Glover (2019 Cohort)

Mosslands in early-modern Lancashire 1500-1800

Mosslands in early-modern Lancashire 1500-1800 is about the changing relationship between society and environment, in the original and unique setting of mossland landscapes in south-east Lancashire. Mosslands is a social environmental history, and therefore an inherently interdisciplinary exercise, requiring methodological tools from ecology and physical geography, as well as recognisable social-historical methodologies.


Susie Johns (2020 Cohort)

In Search of Past Time: Popular Perceptions of Time c.1550-c.1800

Working with the Staffordshire Records Office archive, this project will investigate popular perceptions of time within witness testimonies from the Lichfield Consistory Court. It will determine how people dated events such as referencing agriculture, religious festivals, and key events; assess changing patterns of time perception; and compare time perception between different groups categorised by location, occupation, status, and gender.

Vendy Hoppe (2020 Cohort)

Velvets in Renaissance Europe: Making Consumerist Cultures 1400-1700

My PhD project focuses on examining the material, societal, and economic significance of velvets in Italy, France, and the Czech lands of the Holy Roman Empire between 1400 and 1700. This PhD project presents a comparative study of courts and cities as centres of the production and consumption of velvets, while considering silk’s drive of technological innovation and entrepreneurial creativity.

Sophie Merrix (2020 Cohort)

Space, Status and Society: the Lives of Black Stuarts.

My PhD analyses the lives of Black Africans in Stuart England; a period that witnessed the emergence and growth of Britain’s trans-Atlantic slave trade alongside shifting racial ideologies. I am creating a prosopographical database of Africans alongside mapping and writing black individuals into Early Modern English history. How did Empire alter the place, status, and careers of Africans in England?

NWDTC-DTP Rose LogoMarjotte Miles (2021 Cohort)

Museums, Big Data and the Violence of Empire

PhD in collaboration with the University of Liverpool, Lancaster University, Liverpool John Moores University, and National Museums Liverpool. The project investigates how imperial and colonial violence has been conceptualised and perpetuated through imperial and colonial collecting, curatorial decision-making, and museum display practices. Emphasis on digital humanities and technology.

NWDTC-DTP Rose LogoAmy Louise Stanning (2021 Cohort)

Was there a ‘taxation revolution’ in late Eighteenth-Century Britain?

The project studies British taxation policies from Walpole’s ‘Excise Crisis’ in 1732 to the outbreak of the Revolutionary Wars in 1792. It examines how changing taxation policy incrementally broadened the tax base and enabled the ‘taxation revolution’ to extract more revenue than ever before. The project will uncover who bore the burden, and the main social consequences.

Economic and Social History NWSSDTP Alumni

IMG_6640Ruby Hawthorn Rutter (2017 Cohort)

Being a Lady: the Elite Woman’s Lived Experience in the Eighteenth-Century English Country House, 1720-1830

This thesis seeks to flesh out the figure of the eighteenth-century elite woman by considering her lived experience within the English country house. It aims to investigate how elite women felt about, interacted with, and navigated the country house space, and considers what impact it had on their emotions, their health, their identities, their relationships and their engagement with consumerism.

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