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BA (Hons) History

Studying our past to reveal the future

Year of entry: 2023/24

UCAS code

V100

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time

Typical offer

AAA/A*AB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2023(semester dates)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£21,950 per year

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Discover York

in the UK for 'learning opportunities'

of the Russell Group universities included in the latest National Student Survey (2022)

in the UK for History

Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

in the UK for research impact in History

according to the Times Higher Education's ranking of the latest REF (2021)

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.

Study in detail the topics that interest you, as well as exploring themes which span across the centuries. With more than 45 academic staff, the breadth and quality of the modules we offer will ensure that you'll find your niche.

The city of York is rich in history and heritage

York is the perfect place to be inspired to study the past, with a rich and turbulent history stretching back to the Romans. Today the city boasts beautiful historic architecture, as well as a variety of museums and galleries.

A huge range of modules

Our courses cross the globe and take in nearly two thousand years of history, from the fall of Rome to the present day.

Access to archives

The University is home to the Borthwick Institute for Archives and students can also access York Minster Library and the City Archives. We're also close to the British Library Reading Room at Boston Spa where you can consult millions of items.

Course content

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

Study abroad

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

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

Option modules

You will also complete a Historical Project:

The four Historical Project option modules introduce you to the study of a period in history through an independent guided study. Working in groups of five supported by tutorial classes (weeks 10-11), you will complete a guided independent research project presented at a conference in the Common Assessment Period before submitting an individual reflection. To equip you for this, you will attend a series of workshops introducing you to relevant historiography (weeks 2-4), and sources unique to the period as well as the methods for interpreting them (weeks 6-8). Examples of projects include Marco Polo and the Global Middle Ages (medieval), The European Witchcraze (early modern) and Read All About It: A History of Newspapers (modern). To prepare for assessment by group presentation and individual reflection, you'll receive training in teamwork and presentations through careers workshops in weeks 5 and 9.

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information please get in touch.

Academic integrity module

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

Year 2

Your second year builds on the skills you acquired in the first year and gives you the opportunity to broaden your historical knowledge. You will explore different approaches to studying the past and think about how history has been communicated to audiences beyond academia.

Core modules

  • Public History Project
  • Historical Thinking

Option modules

You will also study three option modules, 1 Special Subject and 2 Comparative History modules. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information please get in touch.

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 will also take modules in comparative history, tracing a historical theme across space and over time. Alongside your taught modules you will complete your dissertation, demonstrating the research skills you have learned during your time here.

Core module

Option modules

You will also study three option modules. You will take one Special Subject module and two Comparative History modules. Examples may include:

Special Subjects

Comparative History Modules

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information please get in touch.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

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 broad and deep understandings of historical scholarship, ranging from the medieval to the modern period, and a sophisticated appreciation of the origin and use of different approaches to interpreting the past.
  • Approach problems in a critical and questioning fashion, evaluating arguments and assessing the value and significance of different forms of evidence.
  • Engage with a range of perspectives on a historical event, and make comparisons and connections between different periods, places and societies.
  • Demonstrate highly developed research skills, including identifying useful material, understanding sources in context, producing a research methodology and constructing meaningful and productive research questions.
  • Interpret and deploy a variety of different types of information including digital resources, material culture, visual imagery, texts, databases and statistical information.
  • Convey ideas with clarity and precision in both written and verbal form and make sophisticated, original and persuasive arguments based on evidence, including the production of an extended piece of writing.
  • Manage their time effectively so that they can successfully execute a programme of work.
  • Contribute to their communities and workplaces with an appreciation of the origins and value of social, political and cultural diversity and difference.
The course is constantly being improved so current first years are studying some different modules than I did last year. York is a research based university so module options reflect lecturers interests and specialities as much as possible.
Hayley, BA History

Read more on Hayley's blog

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £21,950

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 2023/24 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 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

We believe that students learn better – and think better – when engaging with others. 

Small group teaching remains at the core of our BA in History, rising to 100 per cent in Year 3. Our tutors work closely with small student groups in seminars and weekly discussions. 

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures4 hours per week
Seminars4 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.

Around your timetabled hours you'll work independently guided by your tutor. History students are the University's most frequent users of the library. You may spend time working with primary sources, accessing archives or working with academic librarians. The skills of independent research and analysis that you develop will not only be pivotal for your course but are also highly valued by employers.

You may also take part in extra activities such as our seminar series featuring visiting speakers and our own staff and students. 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.

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 term time. 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.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of History on Campus West.

Over half of your teaching will take place in the Spring Lane building on campus. Other seminars and lectures will take place in buildings across 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 campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

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. 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 'take-home' examinations.
  • Your dissertation should be a topic that is interesting to you. Don't be afraid to explore.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams42%8%33%
Coursework58%92%67%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17. Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

Lecture content is always stimulating, engaging and thought-provoking, and lecturers try to keep it fresh and interesting. In second year one of my lecturers enjoyed using a fake lightsaber as a pointing aid. That definitely kept our attention!
Lucy, BA History

Read more on Lucy's blog

Careers and skills

As a historian, you’ll develop critical thinking, analytical expertise and excellent communication skills – all valuable assets for your future career.

Career opportunities

Our graduates have gone on to work in the following sectors:

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

Transferable skills

York History students graduate with a wide range of valuable transferable skills. These include:

  • critical thinking
  • excellent communication skills
  • project management
  • independent, high-level research skills
  • ability to work with a variety of media and sources
  • time management

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels

AAA/A*AB including an A in either History or Classical Civilisation

Access to Higher Education Diploma Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 39 credits at Distinction including at least 9 credits in History-related units and 6 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD with an additional A Level or equivalent qualification in either History or Classical Civilisation at grade A
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, D3 including History
European Baccalaureate 85% overall, including 85% in History
International Baccalaureate 36 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.
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.

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 and Indicator) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 169 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
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've not 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. 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.

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Learn more

Department of History

Related courses

You may also be interested in the BA Global Development course, which is led by the Department of Politics and includes some History option modules.

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