About the course

Study with a top history department and be taught from the cutting edge of historical research.

We are ranked first among all History departments in the country for the social and cultural impact of our research and fifth for the overall quality of our research. Our world leading experts have published widely, won prizes for their work, and contribute to national and international television and radio. Our publications include a contribution to Harry Potter: A History of Magic, the companion book to the recent exhibition of the same name at the British Library.

Through our diverse and inclusive curriculum students will learn about an array of cultures and identities. Topics range from magic and witchcraft, to propaganda and popular protest, to health and family life.

What links our work is our focus on people’s history and everyday lives. This is represented strongly in our first year programme, which will give you an insight into the making of the modern world through exploration of faith, magic and medicine, campaigns for freedom and equality, Africa and the world, and America from Hamilton to Trump.

The modules you take in your second and third year allow you to concentrate on areas you find especially interesting; you might focus on a region, such as Europe, or a particular period, such as the twentieth century. Whichever path you choose, you will find challenging and stimulating courses.

In your final year, you demonstrate your research skills by producing a dissertation on a topic of your choosing. Previous students have been inspired by their year of study abroad, while others have worked on the history of jiu jitsu, women code breakers at Bletchley Park, the Notting Hill riots, and vice and sexuality in 17th-century London. One of the recent presidents of the University’s Students’ Union wrote her dissertation during her final year of study with us on changing perceptions of the devil, while one of our final year students won the British Commission for Maritime History Prize in 2016 for his dissertation on the East India Company.

Why choose this course?

We give you: 

  • An exceptional academic team, conducting world-leading research
  • Stimulating, innovative courses - our students reported almost 94% overall satisfaction with their course (2018 National Student Survey)
  • A flexible programme of study, allowing you to concentrate on areas you find especially interesting
  • The opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic about which you are passionate
  • CV-building potential through work placements and extra-curricular activities

What will I study?

Our history students benefit from being part of a diverse and active academic community. Our interactive seminars and workshops help you find your feet in the academic environment, and establish ways of working confidently, creatively and collaboratively. We see our students as fellow researchers, and we place a great deal of importance on sharing and developing skills.

As one of our students, you will have the opportunity to get involved in activities that will complement your studies. Not only do these enhance your experience, they also make for a more impressive CV. Our renowned staff-student Oral History team has taken students to Australia and produced a BBC Radio 4 documentary, which was commended at the 2018 Royal Historical Society Public History Awards. 

What job can I get?

Employability is central to everything we do. Our course offers you the possibility of a placement in a local museum, archive or heritage site, enabling you to gain valuable transferable skills. As well as working in the huge heritage industry, past students have gone on to careers in teaching, the law, civil service, librarianship, retail management, marketing, the voluntary sector, publishing and the media.