Studying History at York

As well as being located on a campus close to one of Europe's most beautiful cities, York is a world-class university with a vibrant History department.

Range of study

Our courses cross the globe and take in nearly two thousand years of history, from the fall of Rome to the present day. Our huge range of module choices allow students to follow their own interests, as well as exploring themes and approaches they may not have encountered before.

We also encourage students to reflect on the nature of historical inquiry, and include modules that explicitly address issues relating to the methodology and philosophy of history and the study of historiography (the theory of history).

Research-led teaching

Our department's world class research reputation directly benefits our students. From the very beginning, students are introduced to tutors' particular specialisms and are encouraged to engage with these topics at a high level, often becoming among the first in the world to gain exposure to this cutting-edge research.

We also train our students to develop their own high-level skills in evaluating evidence critically, and forming their own views. They learn how to use and interpret primary sources, especially through the Special Subject in Year 3 and the dissertation, a piece of independent research written over the course of the third year.

The Department offers a dissertation bursary to assist with travel and costs for undergraduate research.

Small group teaching and effective assessments

Our lectures play a valuable role in teaching, but we place great stress on helping students develop as independent scholars rather than learning by rote. The majority of our teaching takes the form of small group discussion (or seminars), supplemented by one-to-one feedback tutorials.

We pride ourselves on the fact that our students are hard-working, self-reliant and highly motivated. They are actively encouraged to develop their own programme of study, guided by a supervisor (personal tutor). All faculty members also offer regular student hours in which students are free come in and discuss any issues relating to their courses, career and development.

Our courses are assessed in a variety of ways to bring out the best in our students. This includes research essays in Special Subjects, collaborative projects, essays written specifically for assessment, 'open' examinations in which candidates collect the examination paper and have between one day and two weeks to return their answers, the dissertation, and some formal examinations.

Campus and city

Our students enjoy the best of both worlds: life at a campus university that is close to one of the most attractive historic cities in the UK.

The main campus at Heslington is a 200-acre landscaped park built around a large lake. It brings together everything you need, including teaching and learning space, the library and archive, accommodation, cafes and bars, and sports facilities.

The city, around a 30 minute walk from the main campus, was founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD, captured and renamed Jórvík by the Vikings in 866, and became York following the Norman Conquest. It boasts one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Europe, as well as fabulous museums, shops, restaurants, and a pub for every day of the week!

York has fantastic transport links across the north of England and further afield. You can be in London in less than two hours by rail, and there is easy access to international airports.