Can you do a PhD subject unrelatd to your Masters' field.


Hi all,

Lately, I am getting warmed up to the idea of doing a PhD in African History, particularly Horn of Africa. However, the problem is, I have completed my BSc in Computer Science and enrolled to do MSc in Network Security this coming October. So as you can see you, there is no direct relation between my MSc subject and the PhD subject that I am interested in doing.

The main reason for my enthusiasm to do a PhD in East African History is that it has always been a passion of mine for quite some time. I have recently released a book that I have writen about the history of Somalia and have published dozen articles on East African history online.

So back to the query, would many universities reject my application for this particular subject considering the discrepancy between my Bachelors/Masters and PhD subject.

Thanks in advance.


Normally I would have said that they would, however the fact that you have articles published on this topic means that I believe most universities wouldn't rule you out point blank because of your Master's field. It may be that you are asked to complete a course in History for a term, or something like that, but I think you would stand a very good chance of being admitted, especially as many students who go onto PhD don't have a Master's.

Good luck!


I did my first PhD in information systems which was very much related to my job. I made tentative enquires at another Uni to do a second PhD in History, which is completely unrelated to my academic career. They have said yes on the basis that I register for an MA first and see how it goes. They have found a supervisor and all I need to do now is put in a formal application. It might be worth doing 'phone calls first before you start on the application process. One thing which might influence them is whether you are going for funding, it seems to be easier if you are funding yourself.