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Looking for Early Modern French History M/PhD Programme in UK


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I'm new here. I have a somewhat unique situation and having googled for a long, long time, I am now thoroughly confused, overwhelmed, frightened, and quite nauseated.

I'm looking to eventually get my PhD in History with a focus in Early Modern France (1600CE-1800CE, particularly the unique atmosphere of Versailles and the 2 Louis). I'm in Boston USA, and here, one can get into a PhD program in history without having first earned your masters, hence the M/PhD in the title. Is this the same in the UK, or must I start with a Masters? I will be graduating in June 2022 from UMASS. I want to start narrowing down school choices over the next few months so I can start getting in touch with people from each school.

Here's where things get hairy. I am a "nontraditional" student (read:old) due to the fact I took off 12 years between my AA and finishing my BA so that I could have a family... with 5 kids. I have a husband (whose job is in a tech industry found anywhere where internet-connected companies are found, so I'm not worried about him) and 5 kids (ages 13 down to 3) to move overseas with me. I need to make sure my programme of choice can allow for me to live without bankrupting me. In my (admittedly limited) experience, most decent universities are either in extremely expensive nobody-can-afford-to-live-here-with-that-many-kids areas (Harvard) or extremely dangerous not-kid friendly areas (Yale). 

I have a 4.0/4.0, I have zero extracurriculars/skills having to do with history (multi-tasking I've got in spades), I have zero research experience (unless you count research papers required for class, i have that. I just have no internship type research experience). I am nearing fluency in French, but I don't have the ability to live there for any period of study-abroad or summer (see: 5 kids, husband not fluent, not rich)

So, now I crowdsource. If you don't have ideas for particular universities, can you point me to a thread that might contain info I'm looking for? I'm not kidding when I say I don't even know where to start. I know how to apply online, get someone to write a letter of rec for me, I know the basics. I know nothing about funding, what one needs to be competitive when one has a family to consider, etc.

To answer the obvious question: why UK? Husband and I have always wanted to live there, I don't want to go bankrupt with student loans, and... to put it nicely, we're kind of sick of it here in the states. Sister got out to Sydney 10 years ago and overwhelmingly recommends getting the heck out ASAP, and now seems good since I have an excuse.

Ideas? Advice? Condolences? 

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