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BA (Hons) History/Philosophy

Experience culture. Uncover the past. Understand the world.

2018/19 entry

Show 2017/18 entry

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

Fees for 2018/19 to be confirmed. See fees and funding.

International fees

£16,620 per year (2018/19)

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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.


Small group teaching

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

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 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.

Study abroad

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

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.

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.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

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/EU International
£9,250 (2017/18)

Fees for 2018/19 are subject to increase in line with government policy. Updated fees information will be published as soon as possible after the government announcement.

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

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.


We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. 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.

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

How you'll spend your time

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars204 hours
156 hours
96 hours
Independent study996 hours
1044 hours
1104 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17. Subsequent years' courses may differ.

Independent study may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1200 hours a year learning.

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. 

Course location

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 campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

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.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams54%43%17%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17. Subsequent years' courses may differ.

Careers and skills

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

Qualification Grade
A levels

A levels

  • AAB at A level
  • Grade A in either History or Classical Civilisation
  • General Studies is typically excluded from conditional offers
Access to Higher Education Diploma 60 credits overall, with 45 at Level
Of these 45, 30 should be at Distinction and 9 at Merit or above.
BTEC BTEC National Extended Diploma (QCF): DDD An A Level or equivalent qualification in History is also required at a grade A
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2
Including a D3 in History
Accepted in conjunction with A levels
European Baccalaureate 80 per cent overall, including 85 per cent in History
International Baccalaureate 35 points, including Grade 6 in History at Higher Level
Irish leaving Certificate AAAABB, including A1 in History
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AAAAB at Higher Level
AB at Advanced Higher Level, including an A 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


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

Contact our admissions team if you have any questions

Learn more

Department of History

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