Colour aerial photograph showing a large banked earth enclosure to the right and a white chalk stylised figure of a horse left.
The Iron age hillfort and "White Horse" hill figure at Uffington in Oxfordshire, photographed on 08-JUL-2006 (NMR 24849\03) © Historic England
The Iron age hillfort and "White Horse" hill figure at Uffington in Oxfordshire, photographed on 08-JUL-2006 (NMR 24849\03) © Historic England

Collaborative Research Opportunities

We take a strategic approach to our relationship with research councils and the higher education sector by engaging in a number of collaborative research partnerships with universities. Here you can find out about the partnership opportunities that are currently available. You can also find out more about our research strategy and agenda.

Recent highlights

A new MSc in Heritage Evidence, Foresight and Policy

About the course

The new MSc Heritage Evidence, Foresight and Policy at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage is one of the first outcomes from the Academic-Heritage Partnership, a strategic partnership between Historic England and the Institute.

Starting in October 2021, the course will equip graduates to think critically and strategically about the long-term futures of what matters. Drawing on heritage values of care, maintenance and stewardship, alongside established foresight and futures studies methods, the programme will introduce participants to a wide range of theoretical and practical approaches to the future, drawing on perspectives from disciplines such as sociology, history, design and critical heritage studies, alongside insights from practicing experts in foresight, futures, heritage and policy. Those working, or who aspire to work, in heritage, social and cultural policy contexts will gain a unique skillset equipping them to support long-term decision-making in their organisation.

See more information on the master’s programme at the UCL website

How does the programme contribute to the work of the heritage sector?

This is a time of unprecedented challenge for our historic environment. More than ever before, heritage professionals need to be able to think strategically about the long-term future of the historic places and artefacts that we choose to protect. Developed through the Academic-Heritage Partnership between Historic England and the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage, this innovative master's programme will provide the foresight skills we need to anticipate change and ensure our heritage is accessible to future generations. Graduates from this programme will make a vital contribution to the sector.
Duncan Wilson OBE, Chief Executive, Historic England says:

Independent Research Organisation status

In 2017 Historic England, jointly with the English Heritage Trust, became an Independent Research Organisation of the UK Research Councils.

This means that we are now eligible to apply (individually or jointly) for funding from all seven research councils. See the UK Research and Innovation website for more information.

Each year these research councils invest around £3 billion in research covering the full spectrum of academic disciplines from the arts and humanities to social sciences, economics, biological and environmental sciences, physics, chemistry, medicine and engineering. Given the wide span of our historic environment research, we see potential advantages across many of these disciplines and believe that our new status will be an important contribution to our wider efforts to broaden our sources of corporate funding.

The AHRC has recently launched a new report outlining the scope and range of Independent Research Organisation (IRO) research they have funded over the past ten years, as well as examining IRO research funding for the decade ahead. You can download the report from the AHRC website, which also provides examples of research from other IROs. As an IRO Historic England (and English Heritage) are members of IROC - the Independent Research Organisation Consortium for the arts and humanities. 

If you’d like to contact us about research in relation to Independent Research Organisation (IRO) status, email [email protected]

You can also find out more about our research strategy and agenda.

Postgraduate research and skills

Through our Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) programme we've been able to offer three Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) PhD studentships each year from 2013.

Find out more about our CDP programme and opportunities for partnership.

As well as our CDP programme we are a partner with a number of Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP), Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) and similar postgraduate research consortiums across the country. These are made up of consortiums of universities with a range of partners in the cultural and heritage sectors. They receive block grant funding from UK research councils for PhD studentships and related doctoral training.

Historic England is able to offer a range of collaboration opportunities to students within these consortiums.

Find out more about our current DTP partners and priorities for collaborative postgraduate research.

Contact for enquiries

For any enquiries or further information please email [email protected]