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BA (Hons) History

Studying our past to reveal the future

2018/19 entry

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

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

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2018/19)

International fees

£16,620 per year (2018/19)

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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.


Leading research

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

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.

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

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.

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


Academic integrity module

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

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.

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 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, including the evaluation of the arguments of others and the assessment of the value and significance of different forms of evidence.
  • Analyse complexity by engaging with a range of perspectives, making comparisons and connections between different periods, places and societies, and assessing the relative importance of different factors that have shaped an event.
  • Demonstrate highly developed research skills, including identifying useful material, understanding sources in context, producing a research methodology and constructing meaningful and productive research questions
  • Have the versatility to 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.
  • Know how to extend their own knowledge and skills and manage their time effectively so that they can successfully execute a programme of work, alone or in a group, or lead a project without supervision
  • Use awareness of the multiple processes, issues and events that have shaped the modern world at both the local and global level to contribute to their communities and workplaces with an appreciation of the origins and value of diversity and difference.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £16,620

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

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.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars168 hours
180 hours
108 hours
Independent study1032 hours
1020 hours
1092 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

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 on Campus West.

Over half of your teaching will take place in the newly built Spring Lane building on campus. Other seminars and lectures will take place in buildings across 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

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.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams42%8%33%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Careers and skills

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

Qualification Grade
A levels

AAA or A*AB with a minimum A in History

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

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 BTEC National Extended Diploma (QCF): DDD. We accept a range of BTEC qualifications equivalent to 3 A Levels. An additional A Level or equivalent qualification in either History or Classical Civilisation is required alongside any BTEC qualification.
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, D3 including History (in conjunction with A levels)
European Baccalaureate 85 per cent overall, including 85 per cent in History
International Baccalaureate 36 points including Grade 6 in History at Higher Level
Irish leaving Certificate H2, H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, including H1 in History
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AAAAA at Higher level AA at Advanced Higher level, including 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. 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

Contact our admissions team if you have any questions

Learn more

Department of History

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