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Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses>History/Philosophy (BA)

Overview Experience culture. Uncover the past. Understand the world.

UCAS code


Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)


3 years full-time

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. 

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.

QS ranks our Department of History one of the best in the world. See for yourself.

QS world university rankings

Course content What you’ll study


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 normally take about half of your modules in History and half in Philosophy. You have the option to write a historical dissertation in your third year on a particular topic that interests you.

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.

  • Reason and Argument
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Ethics
  • Early Modern Philosophy
  • Beginning Philosophy
  • Making Histories
  • Thinking Through History I
  • From Rome to the Renaissance
    Citizens, Comrades and Consumers

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.

This module will:

  • define academic integrity and academic misconduct
  • explain why and when you should reference source material and other people's work
  • provide interactive exercises to help you to assess whether you've understood the concepts
  • provide answers to FAQs and links to useful resources.

Year 2

You'll spend your second year exploring history through the context of the past and present. You'll take three modules from History: 

You will also choose from a range of Philosophy modules which look in depth at some key issues in philosophy:

  • Ethics 
  • Theory of knowledge
  • The philosophy of mind and language
  • Metaphysics
  • The work of key figures in the history of philosophy. 

These will help you to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills that you'll use in more specialised investigations in your third year. 

Year 3

In your final year of the History and Philosophy degree, you'll have the option of writing a dissertation based on a historical period, or taking an in-depth course based on the philosophy of history. You'll also take a number of optional Philosophy modules throughout the year.

Study abroad

You can apply to study abroad during your second year, for the whole year or just a term.

History at York has been ranked 2nd in the UK for the quality, significance and impact of our research in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

Teaching and assessment How you’ll be taught and assessed

Teaching format

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

  • Small, interactive seminars of 10-20 students review module content and outstanding questions.
  • All History modules have an online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).


History and Philosophy degree assessments are varied, but often include research essays and collaborative projects. Most history modules will let you write a practice essay before assessment.

  • Your first year marks don't contribute toward your final degree.
  • Some Economics examinations allow open notes.

Careers Where you’ll go from here

The analytical and communication skills you learn with a history and philosophy degree are the first steps to your successful career. Around 95 per cent of our graduates are employed or in further study six months after graduation.

Career opportunities

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

Transferable skills

  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Responsiveness to new situations
  • Logic building
  • Problem solving
  • Effective communication

Entry requirements How to get here

Course entry

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.

A-levels and GCSEs

A levels

  • AAB at A level
  • Grade A in either History or Classical Civilisation
  • General Studies is typically excluded from conditional offers

Other UK qualifications

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

  • AAAAB at Higher Level
  • AB at Advanced Higher Level, including an A in History

BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)

Cambridge Pre-U
D3, D3, M2

  • Includes a D3 in History
  • Accepted in conjunction with A levels

Access to Higher Education

  • 60 credits overall, with 45 at Level 
    • Of these 45, 30 should be at Distinction and 9 at Merit or above.

International options

International Baccalaureate
35 points, including Grade 6 in History at Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate

  • AAAABB, including A1 in History

European Baccalaureate
80 per cent overall, including 85 per cent in History

English language

6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all units

Pearson (Academic PTE)
61 overall with 51 in all parts

Cambridge Advanced English (CAE)
Grade A

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English
Grade C

Unistats for this course

Enquire Contact our admissions tutor if you have any questions