Study with a top History department and be taught from the cutting edge of historical research. Learn to write for a broad audience and communicate your ideas effectively with our colleagues in Journalism.
Our BA History and Journalism gives you the opportunity to study two subjects that will help you to hone your investigative and analytical skills, while developing your writing style.
Through our diverse and inclusive History curriculum you will learn about an array of cultures and identities. 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.
Throughout your degree, the common link between the two disciplines will be the development of research skills. As historians you will learn to analyse historical documents and debates among historians, while in Journalism you’ll explore print, digital, photographic and broadcast journalism.
This ability to work as an effective and confident researcher, honed over the course of your studies, will benefit you in the final year of History if you choose to write a dissertation. This extended piece of work will grow out of a topic that interests you. 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 our final year students won the British Commission for Maritime History Prize in 2016 for his dissertation on the East India Company.
An exceptional History team, conducting world-leading research (REF 2014), and a team of industry-experienced journalists,
Stimulating, innovative courses - our History 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 and the scope to write a History dissertation on a topic about which you are passionate
intensive, engaging modules in Journalism designed to help make you a confident journalist, ready for the digital age
CV-building potential and practical experience through work placements and extra-curricular activities
Our interactive seminars and workshops in History 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. This teaching ethos is shared by our colleagues in Journalism.
Workshops are used in Journalism for modules where the degree of practical skills taught is enhanced by the supervision of experts in their field; other modules are delivered through lectures and seminars. All are offered in a supportive environment.
Our history and journalism students benefit from being part of a diverse and active academic community. Journalism organises the Media Matters Guest Lecture series, which is free and open to students. Previous speakers include Natasha Henry, a freelance sports journalist, and Mark Solomons, co-founder of SNS News Agency.
As one of our students, you also 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. This optional activity will help you to further develop your interviewing techniques, an essential skill for the aspiring journalist!
Taking a year’s study abroad is an excellent opportunity to broaden your understanding of the world. Living in another country opens up fresh perspectives and helps create global citizens. Immersing yourself in a host country enhances your learning, giving you a greater appreciation of other cultures and societies, and a deeper understanding of their everyday lives. This is invaluable for history and journalism students.
The aim of this module is to provide an insight to the various fields of media practice and communication studies. It will also introduce students to some of the key theories used in understanding media cultures. Students will learn about different economic and political structures that underlay the UK media system and engage with some of the conceptual frameworks for understanding media communications.
The module is structured in three parts. In the first sessions, students are introduced to the basics of media communications. The sessions might cover topics such as the different types of media and models of communications. The second part – Audiences, Industry and Politics – takes a closer look at Media Effects and Audiences, News Values, media biases as well as industry structures. The final part will enable student to explore some of the key theorists that have written on media, for example Marshall McLuhan and Stuart Hall.
Introduction to Journalism - 15 Credits
Students will explore newsgathering, news writing, feature writing and interviewing.
The module will introduce students to a diverse range of publications including broadsheets, tabloids and magazines. Students will critically assess the material and identify the different styles and approaches taken to news articles and features.
The fundamentals of practical journalism will be explored, including using English effectively and developing editing and proofreading skills.
Skills taught will include: sourcing ideas; researching a story; how to employ a variety of methodologies; how to target different the audiences and readers; how to structure news and feature articles, with effective introductions and endings.
Journalism, Law and Ethics - 15 Credits
In this module, students will be introduced to key laws impacting on journalists, including defamation, copyright and Freedom of Information. They will also explore the Human Rights Act as it affects journalists and compare defamation law across different countries. Students will also investigate the ethical dilemmas that may impact on journalists in any Western liberal democracy and look at the codes of conduct that have been put in place to encourage ethical behaviour.
Global Media and Society - 15 Credits
This module considers the relationship between the media and their social context. Throughout the module students will discuss the ways in which the media reflect and shape social attitudes and challenge their own assumptions about society and the media. Through discussions of issues such as class, race and gender this module will consider how different groups are represented in mediated images. The module will also examine the public role of the media and students will be asked to think analytically and critically about concepts such as free press, media impartiality or bias, and the relationship of the media with commercial and political institutions. The module further analyses different Global media systems, organisations and institutions and allows students to make a series of comparisons between local and international media systems. It places an emphasis on the relationships between products and the socio-political construction of their different audiences.
Belief and Disbelief: Faith, Magic and Medicine, 1500 - 1800 - 15 Credits
Many of the debates that define the making of our modern era were concerned with the relationships between religion, science, magic, and medicine. This module begins by exploring the early modern ideas and practices that shaped people’s understanding of the natural and supernatural world in Protestant England and Catholic Europe, and also how these influenced European colonial views of the religions and rituals of other cultures. The module will question how events like the witch trials affected peoples' medical, magical, and theological ‘world view’, and challenge students to consider the extent to which the Reformation and Enlightenment transformed health, faith, and beliefs in everyday life.
The Fight for Rights: Freedom and Oppression, 1790s-1990s - 15 Credits
This module takes you through 200 years of national and global conflicts over people’s rights, and the complex history of the recognition of human rights. Taking a ‘history from below’ approach, this module will give you critical thinking skills in understanding how global change affects individuals and different communities, and how different social movements fought for rights, including women, sexuality, race and disability. You will investigate the impact of revolutions and new ideas in inspiring different groups across the world to challenge and defend their social, political and economic rights.
Historians' Toolkit - 15 Credits
This module provides you with the 'toolkit' of the historical profession. It supports the transition from secondary education, and those returning to education, by teaching you the history skills needed at university, in a hands-on and relevant way. You will learn about the historical development of the discipline, explore the ways historians interpret a wide range of sources, and develop your essay writing skills.
Africa and the World, 1450-1850 - 15 Credits
The history of Africa is rich and varied but has all too often been viewed through European lenses of prejudice and self-interest; such perspectives shaped by the experiences of Africa’s slave trades and of colonisation. This module explores the history of Africa and its peoples from early settlement to the mid-nineteenth century, and, taking an African perspective, how Africa and Africans encountered and engaged with the people, culture and religions of the wider world. The module will explore how contact with the nations and peoples of Europe, Asia and America forged new political institutions and global trade networks, changed religious practices and social conventions, and drew Africans – willingly and unwillingly – into a global diaspora.
International trade has a significant impact on the way we live. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, the gadgets we use and the services we rely on are often created in distant places and delivered to us through complex trading networks. This module will introduce you to the long history of global trade and consumption. We will consider how the desire for foreign commodities helped transform economies, polities and cultures around the world. We will explore the lives of the traders who supplied the goods and seek to understand the desires of the consumers who demanded foreign luxuries. We will also see the impact that consumption in one country has on lives in other places acknowledging the Africans who, as enslaved people, were turned into commodities, the farmers forced into the production of cash crops, and the workers expected to toil in sweatshops to produce cheap goods for multinational corporations.
Introduction to Public History - 15 Credits
From food packaging, to video game characters, to national celebrations and commiserations: history is everywhere. The past is the source of inspiration for societies around the world. Writers use it as the setting for their stories; governments use it to justify their policies; businesses use it to sell their products or services. This module explores how societies use history, and provides students with an understanding of the ways historians can take their skills out into the world, with an emphasis on employability skills. We will use a wide array of examples from around the world and from different contexts to build our understanding of where, when, why, and how the past is applied, as well as the opportunities and challenges that result.
The Heritage Industry in Britain - 15 Credits
This module explores the historical origins of the modern heritage industry and offers a general introduction to its principles and practices. You will investigate the way in which key people, places and events in English history have been preserved, interpreted and presented to the public since the twentieth century. The work of leading heritage bodies in Britain, such as Historic England and the National Trust, will be set in an international context and you will also be introduced to theoretical critiques that have arisen in response to the development of the heritage industry. Topics may include natural heritage, local heritage, icons in English heritage, dark tourism and difficult heritage, and industrial heritage.
Leisure and Lifestyle: 20th Century American Music, Sport and Entertainment - 15 Credits
The influence of the American lifestyle extends far beyond the country’s borders, and this module encourages you to reflect on the historical roots of often-familiar elements of American culture. By focussing on selected moments in twentieth century American music, sport and entertainment, we will consider the historical processes that shaped the continent’s social and cultural history. Building on this, we will also examine how and why the country’s cultural identity has been internationally transmitted and how it has been received. Each week you will learn to connect a specific individual, event or movement to broader historical issues through the use of video, texts, images, and song.
Graduate Skills - 0 Credits
You will be offered a variety of employment enhancing workshops and online activities such as interview skills workshops, personality profiling and career planning in order to improve your employment prospects after graduation and make you aware of current areas of strength and weakness in relation to employability.
You will also have the opportunity to learn about self-employment options, graduate schemes and will attend speaker sessions with successful professionals in areas of employment appropriate for Humanities graduates so you can learn about the skills and attributes required for these areas and how to enhance your prospects of entering such areas.
You will be required to undertake a certain number of activities chosen by you from a career “menu” and to reflect on what they have learnt in order to complete the module successfully.
Journalism Skills: Features - 15 Credits
In this module students will be introduced to researching and reporting techniques for writing features and will be developing and extending the skills in writing acquired at Level 4.
Workshop sessions will enable students to gain hands-on practise of writing features in a simulated magazine or supplement environment.
Journalism Skills: News - 15 Credits
In this module students will develop their news research and writing techniques for news reports, developing and extending the skills in writing news acquired at level 4. Workshop sessions will enable students to gain hands-on practice in writing news reports in a simulated newsroom environment. There will be an emphasis on the use of ICT to research stories and students will be encouraged to use the Internet and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and other advanced sites, for research and seeking comment.
Students will write at least 3 articles, through which they will explore, in greater depth, the key elements of news journalism.
USA 1861 to 1969: From Civil War to Civil Rights A - 15 Credits
The module surveys American history from the end of the Civil War in 1865, to the social, political, and economic crises, which engulfed the United States during the 1960s. It concentrates on the major issues of American development: the emancipation of the slaves, the Civil War, and the process of Reconstruction; the rise of Jim Crow and Segregation in the South; the Wild West; Immigration and Industrialisation; Populism and Progressivism; the expansion of political democracy; the emergence of the regulatory state; America's rise to the status of a World Power; the depression of the 1930s; McCarthyism; Civil Rights; Vietnam and the Great Society. Students will be encourage to engage with two important issues: 1. How America transformed from a country made up of a collection of loose states to become a global superpower. 2. How the two principles 'All men are created equal' and racial segregation co-existed side by side.
Radio Journalism - 15 Credits
In this module, you will source original stories specifically suitable for radio and learn how to write, interview and structure reports for this media type. You will learn how to tell stories with the aid of audio techniques.
All teaching will take place in workshops and you will acquire knowledge and understanding of radio journalism and the technical skills needed to produce effective radio broadcasts.
Moreover, this module will introduce you to terminology used in broadcast environments; it will expand your critical understanding of news values and agendas; legal and ethical requirements specific to broadcast journalism (balanced and impartial reporting, compliance, etc.); and your awareness of the converging media landscape.
By the end of the module, you will be able to tell stories with the aid of audio techniques; have gained confidence in presentational skills; demonstrate knowledge of the technical skills required to edit audio files; and work effectively in a team to produce a radio programme.
Social Media - 15 Credits
Social media has opened up new opportunities for journalism while also challenging the traditional understanding of public participation and potentially empowering audiences and civil society organisations by offering new platforms for free expression and social activism.
The media industry has also expanded and commercial organisations such as BP and Tesco are using social media as part of their communications strategy to connect with their customers. This module explores social media and its impact on new business models and critically evaluates the transformative claims for platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The lectures may include the following topics:
Social media and democracy, digital journalism, law and ethics for social media, economy of new media, citizen journalism, business models for social media.
Hearth & Heart: Family Life in the Long Eighteenth-Century - 15 Credits
This module examines the history of the family in Britain and Ireland over the long eighteenth-century. It will introduce you to the methodological approaches and historiographical debates in the history of the family, and will cover a wide variety of topics, from family size and structure, to representations of ideal families in literature and art, family relationships, deviant sexuality, and the regulation of the family by church and state. Questions it will consider include: What was family life like in this period? Did parents really love their children? How widespread was pre-marital sexual intercourse? And, in what ways did the family change over time? Close attention will be paid to the role that gender and social class played in shaping family life over the period. The module will make use of a rich array of source materials including, letters and diaries, church court minutes, art and census material.
Propaganda in Twentieth-Century War and Politics - 15 Credits
This broad survey module will encourage you to connect the development of mass communications with domestic and international politics in the twentieth century. Time will be spent on defining public opinion, censorship and propaganda; on examining propaganda channels and techniques; and, on analysing and measuring propaganda effects. Emphasis will be placed on Britain’s pioneering role in the new world communications network via its empire, and on the importance attached to the First World War in changing the face of propaganda. A variety of sources, including film, will be used to assess the increasing sophistication of political persuasion thereafter. Particular attention will be paid to Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia and the international conflicts in Vietnam in the 1960s and the Middle East in the 1990s. Seminars will involve group work centred on core interpretative texts.
Nation & Identity: Newly Independent States in Interwar Europe, 1918-1939 - 15 Credits
This module explores a fascinating period in European history when empires crumbled and new nation-states emerged. The process of state building is investigated in detail. Through an analysis of the settlements that gave birth to the new states, the module seeks to establish the extent to which they influenced and, in some cases, hindered the states’ development. The various political, economic, social, religious and cultural forces that shaped the states will also be examined and evaluated. Close attention will be paid to the various efforts to create national identity through a range of diverse range of forums, including membership of international bodies, major sporting occasions, state-sponsored art and religious events. Building on these themes, the module will subsequently address why some states survived and others collapsed with the outbreak of a second world war.
Making a Historical Documentary - 15 Credits
Historical documentaries are one of the key ways that the public learn about the past. The most successful documentaries take complex issues and communicate them in a straightforward and engaging manner. This practical module will guide you through the various stages of television documentary-making, from generating an idea to actually producing your own short twelve-minute documentary.
Archive research, scripting, filming and interviewing, and editing are among the basic techniques that will be covered. You will also develop the ability to critically assess documentaries, learning to detect strengths and weaknesses. Over the course of the semester, you will gain and expand a range of practical transferable skills.
Making Histories: Pubic History Work Experience - 15 Credits
This module is designed to give you a deep exposure to history and heritage in the workplace and in the world-at-large. Are you interested in getting recognition for volunteer work in a museum or archive? Have you thought of participating in a historical memory project in your local community? Do you have plans to work with history after you graduate? Working closely with the module tutor, you will tailor a heritage-related placement to your specific interests and aspirations.
This module helps you develop your knowledge of history beyond a university context. It aims to provide a stimulating programme of activities so that you gain hands-on, practical experience and a glimpse behind-the-scenes of the work done by heritage organisations. The module is also geared towards enhancing your employability skills in a supportive environment, which includes contributions from heritage professionals.
Postcards from the Empire: Experiences of British Imperialism - 15 Credits
At the empire's height, Queen Victoria claimed sovereignty over nearly one in four of the planet’s human inhabitants. The lives and experiences of each were sculpted by international, national, and local dynamics. This module explores the stories of these everyday lives through snapshots of life in the British Empire up to 1914. Case studies may draw from places including Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Africa, India, Ireland, Canada, America, and the Caribbean. Themes may include race, gender, class, religion, economics, and adventure. A particular emphasis will be placed on exploring the histories of racialized and colonized peoples, with attention to the historical approaches developed over the past several decades that have changed the ability of historians to identify and engage with these voices.
Maladies and Medicine in Early Modern Europe - 15 Credits
This module explores the nature of medical knowledge and treatment between c. 1550- 1750. We will look at a range of illnesses including mental illness and disability and disfigurement. The course will investigate the treatments offered to patients and who they were treated by. A series of lectures will form the spine of the module introducing the key themes and historiographical debates in this field. The seminars will then consider specific examples and particular historiographical issues in greater depth. The module will move through three main areas; medical knowledge and learning, disease and death, and medical provision in the period.
Crime and Society in England, 1550-1750 - 15 Credits
One way of understanding early-modern English society is to examine the nature of criminal activity, and the perception and response to crime in the period. In this module you will be introduced to a wide variety of criminal activities and behaviours, ranging from the pattern and nature of ‘petty’ crimes, such as poaching and defamation, to more ‘serious’ crimes, such as murder and treason. You will be encouraged to reflect on the motives for crime and what such activities can tell us about early modern society. Considerable emphasis will be place on understanding the system of justice and the nature of law enforcement in the period. To this end, you will identify, consult and undertake qualitative and quantitative analyses of online historical datasets and databases, such as The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, and will be encouraged to reflect on the ethical implications of using such resources for historical research.
The Age of the Cold War, 1945-1991 - 15 Credits
This broad survey module will examine the origins, nature and end of the Cold War in a global context between 1945 and 1991. The first section of the module assesses the nature of the Cold War in comparative historical context, before investigating the origins of the Cold War, the nature of superpower conflict, and the global expansion of the Cold War. The module then adopts a thematic approach, concentrating on the ideological, diplomatic, economic, political, military and cultural dimensions of the Cold War of the 1950s through to the 1980s. The module will consider the conflict between the superpowers, but also the effect of the Cold War on the periphery and unaligned nations. The final section of the module deals with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies in Europe following Gorbachev’s rise to power in 1985, and the diplomacy and events that brought the Cold War to an end.
Online Journalism - 15 Credits
The course will consist of 12, two-hour workshops in which students will - through a mix of, demonstrations, discussion and practical tasks - learn the basics of Online Journalism. This will include an appreciation of the massive impact that digital communications technologies have had on the publishing industry, as well as a detailed understanding of how writing for the internet differs from so-called ‘off-line’ Journalism.
Students will also learn, through the use of a Content Management System (CMS), how to upload and format content – both written and multimedia – which is suitable for publication.
Journalism Skills Portfolio - 30 Credits
This module content enables you to practise your journalism skills in real world settings, enhancing your employability and developing an awareness of the variety of uses for those skills.
You spend at least five days, generally more, in the first semester either working for a relevant company e.g. a newspaper, magazine, PR company or freelancing and gain an understanding of the media world from that perspective.
You also create a varied portfolio of journalism pieces including a news piece, feature and interview to showcase the skills you have learnt.
International Politics and Reporting Global News - 15 Credits
*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s
Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.
GCSE Maths grade 4 (D) and English Language grade 4 (C) or above.
The University of Hertfordshire is committed to welcoming students with a wide range of qualifications and levels of experience. The entry requirements listed on the course pages provide a guide to the minimum level of qualifications needed to study each course. However, we have a flexible approach to admissions and each application will be considered on an individual basis.
All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.