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Nick Hayes

Nick Hayes

Associate Professor

School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
History, Languages and Global Cultures


Research Leader of History and Heritage. Unit of Assessment coordinator History and Heritage RAE 2008 and REF 2014. Teaching interests include:

  • Twentieth Century British History
  • Media History
  • Urban History
  • War Studies.


Re-evaluating Declinism in Twentieth Century Civil Society

There is a strong assumption, ranging across academic boundaries, that community, and identity through participation have declined noticeably through the twentieth century, and particularly recently. Even optimists suggest that if this is not the case, then the right type of people are no longer volunteering to serve as they had in the past.

There is broad agreement, too, that the process of disassociation gathered pace after the First World War, so that prominent men of business and commerce no longer came forward to volunteer. This project tests whether or not this sense of declinism is not seriously misplaced, or at the very least that any decline was delayed until the second half of the twentieth century.

Local and National Perceptions of the Pre-NHS Hospital System

At a time of major health reform it is worth questioning our assumptions about the financial viability of, and levels of popular dissatisfaction with, the hospital system that existed before the founding of the National Health Service.

It is widely assumed that the system was unpopular, discriminatory and economically unviable - indeed such stories have become accepted as part of a national grand narrative of progression. Yet the answers upon closer examination are much more fragmented, much less in favour of reform in 1948 than would first be thought.

Research areas

Areas of research / interest include:

  • Twentieth Century urban history in all its guises
  • the history of the building industry (technology, housing and architecture, and social)
  • work and masculinity
  • post-war reconstruction
  • the local media

Most recent interests include:

  • civic / civil society
  • class
  • status
  • urban elites
  • voluntary associations
  • databases
  • particularly the pre-NHS hospital system, fund raising and the patient experience

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD may exist in the areas identified below:

Twentieth Century Britain:

  • urban history
  • housing and the building industry
  • health policy and provision
  • civil society and voluntaryism
  • film, media and identity
  • war and reconstruction

Further information may be obtained from the NTU Doctoral School.

External activity

  • Editorial Board, Media History
  • Editorial Board, Midland History
  • Conference Organising Committee, Urban History Group
  • External Examiner Modern History, Bangor University
  • External Examiner MA History, Bangor University
  • Consultant Modern History, Open University
  • Assessor Modern History and Urban Studies, University of Westminster

Press expertise

Dr Hayes has experience of being interviewed by both print and broadcast press on a variety of topics related to his areas of expertise.

He can offer comment on:

  • health and hospitals
  • local and regional history
  • media history
  • Twentieth Century British urban, social and political history
  • war and reconstruction
  • housing and the building industry
  • class and status