Your second year‌

Your first year provided you with a firm foundation in historical skills and a broad sense of the history of the past millennium and a half. In your second year, you will develop more focused and detailed knowledge of particular periods and subjects and begin preparations for writing your dissertation. By the end of the year you will be well on the way to becoming an expert historian.

Autumn term

In the autumn term you will take Histories and Contexts modules - two of them for single subject History students, one for joint honours students. A mid-point between the long survey courses of the first year and the more focused research courses you take later on, these courses examine either a particular period or region or a way in which historians have approached studying the past.

Throughout our curriculum, we offer a varied range of courses to choose from. In this case, recent options have included Power, Propaganda and Faith: The Tudor Regime, 1485-1603, Power and Belonging: The United States, 1775-1877, and The Modern City. Each is taught through an integrated programme of two lectures a week and a weekly one-hour discussion group.

Meanwhile, joint honours students will also continue their programme of study in their other department, further information of which can be found on the individual degree pages.

Spring and summer terms

In the spring and summer terms you are offered a choice of Explorations modules. These concentrate on a particular topic or theme over a relatively short period of time, and are step toward the special subject courses that you take in your final year. Recent options have included: Chivalry, The European Witch Craze, and Africa and the World since the 1950s. Teaching revolves around weekly two-hour seminar in the spring term and individual or group projects in the summer.

As with the Histories and Contexts, single subject students will take two from the options, while joint honours students will do just one, alongside modules offered by their affiliated department.

You will also take Disciplines of History 1 and Disciplines of History 2, studying different approaches to the writing of history and considering the assumptions that can inform historical writing. This will enable you to analyse the work of others, and support your own practice.

At this point French/History students and History with a Year Abroad students will go abroad for their third year of study before returning for their final year at York. All other students go directly to their final year.

Continue on to find out about your final year's study at York...


Take a look at our undergraduate prospectus to find out more about studying History at York.

Further information

If you have any questions, please e-mail: