McBride earned his BA at Jesus College, Oxford, after which he completed three years as a research fellow at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He received his PhD from the University of London and lectured at the University of Durham. He joined King's College in 2000 as professor of Irish and British history. McBride is also Patrick B. O'Donnell Visiting Professor of Irish Studies at the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame. In 2017 he was appointed Foster Professor of Irish History at Hertford College, Oxford.
McBride's research interests include the history of modern Ireland, the role of memory and commemoration in describing the past, the history of the British Isles in the Long 18th Century and the history of Northern Ireland since 1920.
- "Burke and Ireland", in David Dwan and Christopher Insole (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Edmund Burke (Cambridge, 2013), pp. 181–95.
- "The Shadow of the Gunman: Irish Historians and the IRA", Journal of Contemporary History, 46 (3), pp. 686–710.
- "Catholic Politics in the Penal Era: Father Sylvester Lloyd and the Devlin Address of 1727", Eighteenth-Century Ireland, (2011), pp. 115–47.
- Eighteenth-Century Ireland: The Isle of Slaves. Dublin, Gill & Macmillan, 2009.
- "King's College London - Professor Ian McBride". Kcl.ac.uk. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- "Visiting Professor Ian McBride // News // Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies // University of Notre Dame". Irishstudies.nd.edu. 2014-12-10. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- "BBC Two - Forgotten Revolutionary: Francis Hutcheson". Bbc.co.uk. 2012-07-25. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
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