Dr Sian Nicholas

MA (Cantab) MA (Chapel Hill) DPhil (Oxon) FRHistS

Dr Sian Nicholas


Department of History & Welsh History

Contact Details


Dr Sian Nicholas is Reader in Modern British History at Aberystwyth. She studied History at the University of Cambridge and Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before completing her DPhil thesis (on the BBC's role on the home front during the Second World War) at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Lord (Asa) Briggs. She has taught at Aberystwyth since 1992, where she specialises in modern British history, in particular the social history of the First and Second World Wars, and the history of the mass media, especially the press and broadcasting.


Siân's main research specialism is the history of the mass media in twentieth century Britain, with specific reference to the press and broadcasting in the Second World War. Her doctoral thesis was a study of the BBC's role in maintaining home front morale in the Second World War. Since then her research interests have expanded to include the social role of broadcasting in the early years of the BBC, the history of the British press in war and peace, media and the construction of national identity, and 'intermediality', i.e., the institutional, personal and creative links between different mass media in the first half of the twentieth century. Siân is currently completing a major research project on the British press in the Second World War, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Additionally, Siân is co-founder and co-Director of the Aberystwyth Centre for Media History, an Honorary Associate of the Macquarie University Centre for Media History and a Life Member of the International Association of Media and History (IAMHIST); she is also a former editor and current Advisory Board member of the journal Twentieth Century British History, and on the Editorial Board of the journal Media History. Most recently, she was Principal Investigator on the major three-year team research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust: A Social and Cultural History of the British Press in the Second World War

Office Hours (Student Contact Times)

  • Monday 1pm-2pm
  • Thursday 11am-12pm


Nicholas, S 2017, 'The British press and D-Day: Reporting the launch of the Second Front, 6 June 1944', Media History, vol. 23, no. 3-4, pp. 489-507. 10.1080/13688804.2017.1378570
Medhurst, JL, Nicholas, S & O'Malley, T (eds) 2016, Broadcasting in the 1950s in the UK and US: Historical Perspectives. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Nicholas, S 2016, Now the war is over: Negotiating the BBC's wartime legacy in post-war Britain. in S Nicholas, T O'Malley & J Medhurst (eds), Broadcasting in the UK and US in the 1950s: Historical perspectives. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, pp. 9-28.
Nicholas, S 2014, Broadcasting Carries On! Asa Briggs and the History of the Wartime BBC. in M Taylor (ed.), The Age of Asa: Lord Briggs, Public Life and History in Britain since 1945. Springer Nature, pp. 165-183. 10.1057/9781137392596_8
Nicholas, S 2014, The Reithian legacy and contemporary public service ethos. in M Conboy & J Steel (eds), The Routledge Companion to British Media History. Taylor & Francis, pp. 323-333. 10.4324/9781315756202-37
More publications on the Research Portal