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

Overview Studying our past to reveal the future

UCAS code


Typical offer

AAA or A*AB with a minimum A in History (full entry requirements)


3 years full-time

A BA in History gives you an in-depth view of the world. It enhances your understanding of the forces that play a part in economies, societies, cultures, power and faith.

Historians are critical readers of evidence. They understand how to construct knowledge. They're quick to recognise context. And they're adept at constructing engaging arguments and proposing alternative solutions.

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

Course content What you’ll study


The BA in History progresses from broad to specialised topics. Core modules in the first year introduce you to the broad sweep of history across time and place and historical problems. You develop this in the following years, which cultivate expertise, leading up to your 10,000-word dissertation

Year 1

Your first year will introduce the study of History at a degree level. You'll develop research skills and study prominent periods of interest.

Core modules

Optional modules


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

Your second year will be about preparing for your final dissertation and reports. You'll begin to design your project and learn how to use the tools needed to complete it.

You'll also broaden your knowledge on a particular theme or period. You'll take two Histories and Contexts modules, as well as two Explorations modules.

Year 3

In your final year of the BA in History, you'll participate in Special Subject seminars focusing in depth on a historical process or problem. You'll also complete your dissertation, demonstrating the research skills you have learned during your time here.

Study abroad

You can apply to study abroad during your second year, for the whole year or just a term. We also offer a four year course which includes a year abroad.

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

QS world university rankings

Teaching and assessment How you’ll be taught and assessed

Teaching format

Small group teaching remains at the core of our the BA in History, accounting for half of our first-year teaching and rising to over 80 per cent in Year 3. We believe that students learn better – and think better – when engaging with others.

  • Tutors work closely with small student groups in seminars and weekly discussions.
  • All modules use online materials in a Virtual Learning Environment.


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. In your third year, your 10,000-word dissertation focuses on a specific topic of your choice.

  • Assessments range from research essays, to collaborative projects, to open-note examinations.
  • Your dissertation should be a topic that is interesting to you. Don't be afraid to explore.

Careers Where you’ll go from here

Some 60 per cent of our graduates are in employment six months after completion of their studies. Many of our students also move on to postgraduate study.

Career opportunities

  • Education
  • Law
  • Social work and justice
  • Politics and government
  • Finance
  • Media
  • Business, commerce and public relations

Transferable skills

  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Analytical thinking
  • Flexibility and responsiveness to unexpected situations
I like teaching courses that are based on my own research, such as the Explorations modules in Year 2 and the Special Subject in Year 3, which make me consider my research topics in a new light.
Henrice Altink
Senior Lecturer in Modern History

Entry requirements How to get here

Course entry

All applications must be made through UCAS. We also consider applications for deferred entry and requests, after taking up an offer, to take a gap year.

We encourage mature students to email the Admissions Tutor for consultation and advice.

A-levels and GCSEs

A levels
AAA or A*AB with a minimum A in History

An A level in General Studies is usually excluded from conditional offers

Other UK qualifications

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

  • AAAAA at Higher level
  • AA at Advanced Higher level, including History

BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)

Cambridge Pre-U
D3, D3, D3 including History (in conjunction with A levels)

Access to Higher Education
Obtain Access to HE Diploma with:

  • 30 credits achieved from units awarded Distinction
  • 15 credits awarded Merit or higher.

Distinctions are expected in History-related units.

International options

International Baccalaureate
36 points including Grade 6 in History at Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate
AAAAAB including A1 in History or H2, H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, including H1 in History

European Baccalaureate
85 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