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BA (Hons) History/Philosophy

Experience culture. Uncover the past. Understand the world.

Year of entry: 2024/25

UCAS code

VV15

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£23,700 per year

Undergraduate Open Days

Book your place for our Open Days on 22 and 23 June and 6 and 7 September.

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in the UK for history

Complete University Guide 2025

in the UK for the impact of our research in history

out of the Russell Group universities included in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2021).

in the Russell Group for 'Teaching on my course'

of institutions included in the National Student Survey 2023 for philosophy.

This History and Philosophy degree will give you a broad understanding of forces that shape societies and cultures, and of the issues involved in critical philosophical thought. 

Applications for this course are closed to UK (home) applicants for 2024/25. Applications for 2025/26 will open in September.

Historians look to understand past societies and analyse processes of historical change. Philosophers dissect world views and understand the past in relation to the present. Combining these subjects will develop your skills in research, argument and critical thinking, equipping you for a wide variety of careers.

You'll join two highly respected research intensive departments, and graduate with the expertise in the origins of contemporary society, as well as with the tools to analyse issues that arise in the modern world.

Small group teaching

Both departments use small groups for seminar discussions to allow an in-depth understanding of subjects

The city of York is rich in history and culture

York has a rich and turbulent history stretching back to the Romans. Today the city boasts beautiful architecture, museums and archives. There is also a strong sense of social justice; we are the UK's first Human Rights City.

Studying both History and Philosophy allows you to gain such a well-rounded understanding of the world, especially with the range of topics and modules available to study at York. I’ve enjoyed developing many different interests with experts in their field to guide you.

Millie, History and Philosophy student.

Course content

You can choose to focus your studies on specific periods and geographical areas, different types of history (social, political, cultural or intellectual), or different branches of philosophy (from logic and metaphysics, to philosophy of mind, to moral or political philosophy).

You'll take a balance of modules in History and half in Philosophy.

In between your second and third year, you'll get the opportunity to study abroad. You'll be able to pursue opportunities that match your academic interests and we'll support you with learning a language where necessary.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:

Placements

There are opportunities to spend time in industry as part of this course.

Year 1

Your first year develops your basic knowledge of argument, reason and ethics. You'll also dive into popular and important periods throughout history.

Core modules

Optional modules

You will also study two option modules. Examples may include:

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

You'll spend your second year exploring history through the context of the past and present. In semester 1, you'll study one History Explorations option module, and two Philosophy option modules. In semester two, you'll study the core module Historical Thinking. You'll also choose one Philosophy option module and either one History Explorations module or an elective. 

Core module

Option modules

Examples may include:

Philosophy
History Explorations

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Year 3

In your final year of the History and Philosophy degree, you'll have the option of writing a dissertation or taking on a research project, as well as taking multiple in-depth courses in philosophy and history.

All students take one History Special Subject option (taken in two parts, one per semester) and two Philosophy options. They then take:

Option modules

Examples may include:

Philosophy
Comparative History
History Special Subjects

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Communicate in-depth understandings of historical scholarship and a sophisticated appreciation of the use of analytical frameworks and concepts derived from philosophy in interpreting the past.
  • Understand and explain key problems, issues, and debates across a range of areas of philosophy and its history—including some at the forefront of contemporary work – and apply this understanding to the resolution of new problems.
  • Develop and articulate solutions to problems and puzzles, make an evaluation of the merits of different potential solutions and make a measured judgement about what is the best solution in each case, supporting that judgement with a sustained line of argument.
  • Demonstrate versatility in their ability to interpret, evaluate and deploy a variety of information types, including digital resources, material culture, visual imagery, texts, databases and statistical information.
  • Engage critically and constructively with the arguments and ideas of others, with an awareness of historical and cultural context, and make effective use of feedback and self-evaluation to extend their own skills and improve performance.
  • Convey ideas with clarity and precision and make sustained, original and persuasive arguments that utilise evidence and methodologies from history and philosophy.
  • Work effectively and productively as thinkers and learners, individually and in collaboration with others—planning and scheduling, seeking help where appropriate, initiating and pursuing projects, and working with others in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.
  • Engage as informed citizens with the political, cultural, social and ethical aspects of contemporary debates and issues by using insights gained through the study of past societies and ideas, theories and analytical methods from philosophy.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £23,700

UK (home) or international fees?

The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home) fees may increase within the government fee cap in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International fees are subject to increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Additional costs

You will have to pay for the cost of printing some assignments for submission as assessed work in Years 2 and 3.

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

Department funding

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

Gold-standard education

Our teaching, learning and student experience is outstanding, recognised by a Gold rating from the Office for Students in the 2023 national assessment (Teaching Excellence Framework).

Why we’re gold-rated

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

Research-led teaching here at York makes learning interactive and engaging. This includes lecturers, seminars, discussion groups, specialist workshops and field trips.

You'll be taught in small, interactive seminars of 10-20 students, in which you'll engage with the module content and explore any questions. 

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures6 hours per week
Seminars5-6 hours per week

These figures are representative of a typical week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.

Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during semesters. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.

Facilities

We are home to the Borthwick Institute for Archives, a major archive repository in Britain. It holds the records of the Archbishopric of York from the early thirteenth century onwards, and specialises in the study of ecclesiastic institutions.

There are several other important archives housed at York, including the JB Morrell Library and the Raymond Burton Library for Humanities Research. These contain collections covering subjects such as the British Civil Wars, French Revolution and Modern Asian history. Find out more about our libraries.

Teaching location

You will be based in both the Department of History and the Department of Philosophy which are situated on Campus West.

Nearly half of your teaching will take place in the Spring Lane building. The rest of your contact hours will take place in other locations on Campus West. 

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can use the fast and frequent bus service. Take a campus tour.

Assessment and feedback

Your first-year work doesn't contribute toward your final marks. We recognise that students are only beginning to develop over the course of their degree.

From Year 2 onward, formal assessments contribute toward your degree. Most History modules will let you write a practice essay before assessment.

You'll be assessed using a range of methods, including essays, research projects, written exams, group projects and presentations.

A student reading a historical text in the library
A student answering a question in a seminar

Careers and skills

The analytical and communication skills you learn with a History and Philosophy degree are the first steps to your successful career. You'll be able to tackle complex problems with confidence and intellectual independence, as well as communicate your ideas clearly and make persuasive arguments.

Career opportunities

Our graduates have gone on to work in sectors such as:

  • Law
  • Social work
  • Marketing and communications
  • Politics, diplomacy and government
  • Broadcasting and journalism
  • Teaching
  • Publishing

Transferable skills

You'll graduate with invaluable transferable skills such as:

  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Logic building
  • Problem-solving
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Time management
  • Ability to analyse a variety of media
York is a beautiful city. It’s quite a privilege to spend your days encountering that history, stumbling around incredibly long cobbled streets! I really miss it as a place. That’s why I’ve loved coming back for the past nine years to give talks – it feels like coming full circle.
Greg Jenner, BA History Alumni
Public Historian & Podcast Host

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels

AAB including an A in either History or Classical Civilisation

Access to Higher Education Diploma Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 36 credits at Distinction including at least 9 credits in History-related units and 9 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD with an additional A Level or equivalent qualification in History or Classical Civilisation at grade A
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2 including D3 in History.
European Baccalaureate 80% overall, including 85% in History
International Baccalaureate 35 points, including 6 in History at Higher Level
T levels We are currently not accepting T Levels for this course unless an additional A Level (or equivalent qualification) in History has been taken.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Advanced Highers - B in History plus Scottish Highers - BBBB

We may also be able to consider three Advanced Highers or a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers, where an applicant does not meet the grade requirement through Highers alone. Please contact us to discuss your qualifications.
International foundation programme Foundation Certificate from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to three A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. More about widening participation.
Contextual offers If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.
EPQ If you achieve A or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.
MOOCs If you successfully complete our online course Logic: the language of truth do let us know, as you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer More about MOOCs.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, with a minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C / Grade 4
LanguageCert SELT B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
KITE 459 Main Flight score with 426 in each component
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

All applications must be made through UCAS. You don't need to know a foreign language, but it may help for some third-year modules.

We encourage mature students to email the Admissions Tutor for consultation and advice. We also consider applications for deferred entry and requests, after taking up an offer, to take a gap year.

Next steps

Contact us

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Learn more

Department of History, Department of Philosophy

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