Skip to main content

UoA 30 History

Through their published research our historians have shed light on critical issues including the history of fascism and of rape. Our work enhances public understanding of subjects including the Crusades and the Welsh diaspora. With a commitment to innovation and interdisciplinarity, our GPA of 3.19 and a UK ranking of 17th. A distinctive feature of this unit is that 50% of our research environment was rated as conducive to producing research of world-leading quality in terms of its vitality and sustainability.

Quality level 4 3 2 1 UC
Overall 37.0% 46.0% 16.0% 1.0% 0.0%
Outputs 35.6% 39.0% 23.7% 1.7% 0.0%
Impact 30.0% 70.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Environment 50.0% 50.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
About the REF

History scholarship at Cardiff University combines theoretical innovation and research expertise, creating distinctive strengths in warfare and the Crusades, authoritarian regimes, Wales and the wider world, gender and identity, and medicine and the body.

Since RAE 2008, the volume of research outputs has increased, PGR numbers have grown by 250% and we have increased research income by 37%.

Awards have enabled major new research projects, for example a project on William of Tyre (AHRC) and a Leverhulme funded project on rape;  the acquisition of significant research resources, such as the Cardiff Rare Books Collection; and digitization programmes such as the JISC funded Welsh Voices of the Great War.

We have made strategic investment in early career researchers to maintain and strengthen areas of research expertise. This allows us to sustain a research environment notable for its broad chronological sweep (from ancient Greece to twentieth century Asia) and geographical diversity (Chinese, Greek, Roman, British, French, German, Irish, Indian, and Welsh history).

In line with our strategy, we have extended our collaborations with heritage partners (e.g. Cadw, National Museum Wales) to facilitate dissemination and impact.

AHRC Connected Communities: Research for Community Heritage funding (£159K) led to the co-production of research with local communities through the CAER heritage project with Archaeology and the School of Social Sciences, identified by the AHRC as a flagship project.

Case studies

Welsh flag painted on face

The changing identity of Welsh emigrants

Research reveals how the identity of Welsh migrants changed as they adapted to new cultures.

Research themes

Social and cultural approachesAddressing the methodological implications of various approaches to social and cultural history including approaches deriving from social science, from Marxism and from anthropology and literary studies
TransnationalismAddressing a range of themes, from ethnic Chinese communities in Europe, and links between Southeast Asia and Australia, to the Welsh diaspora in Australia and the wider world.
GenderFocusing on the difference that gender makes in a variety of sites from the workplace and school to popular culture and literary texts.
Historical theorySeeking theoretical approaches to how historical theories have developed, and how theory has been used in historical writing.


  • Warfare and the Crusades
  • Authoritarian regimes
  • Wales and the wider world
  • Gender and identity
  • Medicine and the body

Research units

Centre For late Antique Religion and Culture (CLARC)Promotes and supports the study of late antique religion and culture from the late Hellenistic Period to the early Middle Ages, also in relation to earlier and later periods, in particular Classical Antiquity and the modern world.
Cardiff Centre for the CrusadesEncourages and develops Cardiff city as a focus for research collaboration, conferences and publications in the field of crusading history.
Centre for the History of Religion in Asia (CHRA)Focuses on the study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, and of texts and literatures related to these traditions in Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese and Japanese (Brodbeck, Deeg, Hegarty, Johnson, Samuel).
Families, Identities and Gender Research Network (FIG)Furthering the understanding of changing experiences, representations, and roles of families, identities, and gender in past and present societies.
Cardiff Centre for Welsh American StudiesPromoting the study of the culture, language, literature and history of the Welsh in the Americas.
Crime Narratives in Context NetworkBrings together a range of scholars whose research interests relate to the production, transmission and interpretation of crime narratives.
Collaborative Interdisciplinary Study for Science, Medicine and the Imagination (CISSMI) Research GroupSupports the study of the history of science and the imagination, through a series of seminars, research activities and public engagement events.

Overall ranking

Pos. Institution GPA
1 University of Birmingham 3.32
2 University of York 3.31
3 University of Southampton 3.30
3 University of Sheffield3.30

15 University of Sussex 3.21
15 Queen Mary University of London 3.21
17 Cardiff University 3.19
18 University of Glasgow 3.18
18 Birbeck College 3.18
18 University of Durham 3.18

Table continues to 83