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Richard Marsden

Dr Richard Marsden

Honorary Research Fellow

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Media commentator


I worked at Cardiff University more or less continuously between 2006 and 2015. Initially I was an associate tutor in the Centre for Lifelong Learning and then later in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion. More recently I ran a progression pathway enabling adult learners returning to education to access degrees in History, Archaeology and Religion. I left that role at the end of in 2014 to take up a Senior Lectureship at Cardiff Metropolitan University. I became a Lecturer in History at the Open University in 2016. I have also worked in a range of other teaching, research and management positions at the University of South Wales, Cardiff Met and the OU, many of which I undertook whilst studying for my doctorate on a part-time basis at the University of Glasgow. The most enjoyable and rewarding parts of my career have been spent working with adult learners. That is what I focused on during my time at Cardiff, and that is partly why I wanted to retain a link with the university through my Honorary Research Fellowship once I had left.


  • PhD in History (p/t) – University of Glasgow, 2004-2010
  • MA in History (p/t) - Cardiff University, 1999-2001
  • BA (Hons) in History(f/t) - Cardiff University, 1996-1999


My primary interest is in how ideas about the past have helped to shape identities in Britain from the eighteenth century to the present day. Current projects include:

  • In Defiance of Discipline: Antiquarianism in Nineteenth Century Scotland
  • The Old Scottish Parliament: Record Scholarship, National Identity and the Afterlife of a Defunct Institution
  • Renewal and Revival: Medievalism in Wales 1750-1900


In teaching roles at Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and the Open University I have taught a wide range of topics relating to British cultural and intellectual history in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These include modules on national identities, ideologies of imperialism, antiquarianism, heritage studies, and historiography, as well as historical theory and academic skills. Whilst at Cardiff University, I was also pedagogic advisor on the institution’s first MOOC. I have particular expertise in adult learning, widening access and online learning. I am currently an External Examiner at Aberystwyth University, and previously acted as a curriculum consultant for both the WJEC Exam Board and Agored Cymru.


Honours and awards

  • Winner of a Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award at Cardiff University (2014)
  • Monograph shortlisted for the Royal Historical Society Whitfield Prize (2014)
  • Monograph shortlisted for the Saltire Society History Book of the Year Prize (2014)
  • Awarded a Scouloudi publication grant by the Institute of Historical Research (2013)

Professional memberships

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Fellow of the Historical Association
  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors

Academic positions

  • Lecturer and Staff Tutor – Open University, 2016-present
  • Senior Lecturer – Cardiff Metropolitan University, 2015-16
  • Pathway Coordinator – Cardiff University, 2013-15
  • Regional Manager – Open University, 2011-13
  • Research Associate – University of South Wales, 2010-11
  • Associate Lecturer – Open University, 2009-12
  • Sessional Lecturer – Cardiff Metropolitan University, 2008-10
  • Academic Skills Advisor- Cardiff Metropolitan University, 2007-09
  • Associate Tutor – Cardiff University, 2006-15
  • Senior A-Level Examiner - OCR Examining Board, 2006-10