Overview

If you’re fascinated by history, there’s no better place to study it than Portsmouth, a city that's played a key role in the past of Britain.

On this BA (Hons) History degree course, you’ll explore the past and bring it to life, through practical study. You’ll pick the periods of time that interest you most, both in British and global history, and develop your skills in research and analysis.

After the course, you'll have sought-after qualities you can transfer easily to the workplace in roles that involve analysis, research, communication and teamwork.

What you'll experience

On this History degree course you’ll:

  • Tailor your studies to your interests and the periods of history that excite you most
  • Have access to primary and secondary historical sources through local organisations and archive subscriptions
  • Learn from staff who are members of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), the UK's largest research centre of its kind
  • Enhance your studies by taking advantage of our close links with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Records Service and the D-Day Museum
  • Explore current debates about the past and how it's interpreted, with expert scholars in the field
  • Study in a city that has played a major role in the history of Britain

Optional pathways

You can follow optional sociology or politics pathways through this degree, or include it as a pathway in our English Literature, American Studies or International Relations courses. It'll lead to one of these awards at the end of the course:

  • BA (Hons) History with Politics
  • BA (Hons) History with Sociology
  • BA (Hons) English Literature with History
  • BA (Hons) International Relations with History

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.

What you'll study 

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Year 1

Core modules

Culture and Conflict in Europe, 1450-2000 – 20 credits

In this module, you’ll examine a broad survey of core developments in the history of European society, from 1450 to 2000. 

Debating the Past: Historical Perspectives – 20 credits

This module introduces you to the writing of history by exploring different historical themes and controversies.

Fragments of the Past: Understanding Sources and Bias – 20 credits

This module challenges your assumptions about what makes a 'good' primary source.

Going Global: Encounters and Exchanges, 1450-2000 – 20 credits

This module introduces you to a broad survey of important developments in global history from the years 1450 to 2000. You’ll explore significant turning points and important underlying themes in a chronological fashion.

History: Academic Enrichment Programme – 0 credits

This module furthers your learning and engagement in your chosen field of study outside of the standard curriculum.

Thinking like an Historian – 40 credits

This module actively supports your transition to university.

Year 2

Core modules

History: Academic Enrichment Programme – 0 credits

This module furthers your learning and engagement in your chosen field of study outside of the standard curriculum.

Introduction to Historical Research – 20 credits

In this module, you’ll gain an understanding of a variety of diverse sources and resources used in the study of history, and the different techniques employed to undertake historical research.

Masses and Modernity, 1750-1914 – 20 credits

On this module you’ll highlight historiographical controversies in eighteenth and nineteenth century European society as well as Europe's relationship with the wider world. 

Optional modules

British Political Leadership – 20 credits

In this module, you’ll explore core issues, debates and controversies in post-1945 British politics, focusing on political leadership.

Danger! Censorship, Power and the People – 20 credits

In this module, you’ll explore the history of censorship and state power in Britain from 1850–2000, probing issues surrounding power, control and resistance.

Family, Career and Generation (L5) – 20 credits

This module focuses on how work is experienced across a person’s life. 

Fear and Fun: Popular Culture and Elite Anxieties – 20 credits

In this module, you’ll explore different aspects of the history of popular culture between 1750 and 2000.

    From Revolution to Dictatorship – Russia and the Soviet Union 1917-1941 – 20 credits

    In this module, you’ll explore the development of Russian and Soviet society from the revolution of 1917 to the Stalinist dictatorship just after the great purges.

    Gender and Sexuality – 20 credits

    On this module you'll explore how gender and sexuality are central to making sense of the world.

    Ideology and Politics – 20 credits

    In this module, you’ll examine the nature and role of ideology from the nineteenth century to the present.

    Imagined Communities: Ethnicity and National Identity – 20 credits

    In this module, you’ll explore the construction of national and ethnic identities by examining a number of national and chronological case studies.

    Introduction to Teaching – 20 credits

    The module will introduce you to the role and expectations of a teacher.

    Modern Foreign Language (IWLP) - 20 credits

    In this module, you'll study 1 of 8 modern languages on the University's free Institution-Wide Language Programme.

    Learning from Experience – 20 credits

    On this module you can gain credits from paid or unpaid work, volunteering, research placements, internships and other work-related learning including self-employment.

    Race and Racism – 20 credits

    This module will introduce you to theoretical and empirical literature in relation to race and racism.

    Russian and Eurasian Politics – 20 credits

    In this module, you’ll focus on questions of transition in Russia and the former Soviet space, the operation of the Soviet system in the post-Stalin period, the role of the Party, the relevance of models such as totalitarianism, and the degree or not of 'stagnation'.

    Slavery and Antislavery in the Atlantic World – 20 credits

    In this module, you’ll examine key areas in the history of slavery in the Atlantic world and look at key themes, such as slavery and gender, slave resistance and punishment, and the development of anti-slavery perspectives and abolition.

    Social Power, Elites and Dissent (L5) – 20 credits

    On this module you'll explore the discursive quality of power and the reproduction of society according to norms established by corporate, state, technical and consumerist factions of a global elite.

    Study Abroad – 60 credits

    On this module you'll take part in a study abroad programme in a sandwich year with an agreed partner of the University.

    The Extraordinary and the Everyday: People, Places and Possessions – 20 credits

    This module introduces you to the core methodological issues in the use of material culture, before exploring a series of case studies across chronological and geographical ranges, from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries.

    Underworlds: Crime, Deviance and Punishment in Britain, 1500-1900 – 20 credits

    In this module, you’ll explore the control of crime and deviant behaviour in Britain between 1500 and 1900 and examine the legal framework for control, prosecution and punishment, what was considered a crime at this period, the observed patterns in criminal behaviour, and current perceptions of crime in the media.

    Optional sandwich year

    Work Placement Year - 120 credits

    With support, you'll identify and arrange a placement opportunity with an appropriate company or organisation.

    Year 3

    Core modules

    Dissertation/Major Project – 40 credits

    In this module, you’ll design and complete an extended academic or work based study with clear and specific aims and based on your own enquiry, research, original thought and personal learning of a specialised topic of study.

    History: Academic Enrichment Programme – 0 credits

    This module furthers your learning and engagement in your chosen field of study outside of the standard curriculum.

    Optional modules

    Autocracy and Democracy – 20 credits

    In this module, you’ll examine the nature of authoritarianism, the transition from authoritarianism and the problems of democratic consolidation in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

    Equality or Liberation? Theorising Social Justice – 20 credits

    On this module you'll evaluate the causes, reproduction, and theories of unequal social divisions and structural injustice, such as class exploitation, racism and sexism.

    Learning from Experience – 20 credits

    On this module you can gain credits from paid or unpaid work, volunteering, research placements, internships and other work-related learning including self-employment.

    Looking for Utopia, Finding Dystopia? Ideas and Ideologies in the New Millennium – 20 credits

    Political ideas and ideologies from ancient beginnings to the present day have been driven by a sense of discontent with the present and a desire to improve or perfect the human condition. But realising these imagined utopias has been less than straightforward and the pursuit of progress in human societies has led to new anxieties, fears, confrontation and conflict.

    Nationalism and Migration: Chaos, Crisis and the Everyday – 20 credits

    On this module you'll explore nationalism, both historically and in the present day.

    NGOS and Social Movements – 20 credits

    On this module you'll look at how civil society is a key concept in democratic theory, and transnational non-governmental action is a core feature of globalisation.

    Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates – 20 credits

    On this module you'll develop your understanding of the job application process from the perspective of recruiters and candidates.

    Security Challenges in the Twenty-First Century – 20 credits

    In this module, you’ll examine new security challenges and modes of conflict in the twenty-first century and get an introduction to the most pressing security challenges currently facing policy makers.

    Special Subject: Group Project 1 – 20 credits

    This module encompasses a variety of topics, from which you’ll make your choice, each based around the research specialism of a topic tutor.

    Special Subject: Group Project 2 – 20 credits

    This module encompasses a variety of topics, from which you’ll make your choice, each based around the research specialism of a topic tutor.

    Special Subject: Individual Research 1 – 20 credits

    This module allows you to choose a special subject from a range of topics, each based around the research specialism of your tutor.

    Special Subject: Individual Research 2 – 20 credits

    In this module you'll choose a special subject from a range of topics, each based around the research specialism of your tutor.  

    Violence, War and Society – 20 credits

    On this module you'll analyse war and violence in terms of their social and political organisation, cultural reproduction and personal experience.

    Teaching

    Teaching methods on this course include:

    • lectures
    • workshops
    • seminars
    • one-on-one tutorials

    There's an emphasis on learning the skills to conduct your own research, follow your own initiative, and confidently present your ideas.

    You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

    How you're assessed

    You’ll be assessed through:

    • essays
    • close textual analysis
    • group and individual presentations
    • a dissertation

    You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

    You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

    The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

    • Year 1 students: 8% by written exams, 10% by practical exams and 82% by coursework
    • Year 2 students: 22% by practical exams and 78% by coursework
    • Year 3 students: 24% by practical exams and 76% by coursework

    Careers and opportunities

    Employers from every area of industry value history graduates. When you complete the course, you'll have the ability to analyse and manage large amounts of information, communicate effectively, research in groups or independently, and write in a concise and informative way.

    What can you do with a History degree?

    Previous graduates have gone on to pursue roles in areas such as:

    • journalism
    • law
    • teaching
    • administration
    • the heritage sector
    • publishing
    • research for media production companies

    What jobs can you do with a History degree?

    Roles they've taken on include:

    • archivist
    • recruitment consultant
    • museum curator
    • public relations officer
    • information analyst

    You could also continue your studies at Master's or PhD level.

    When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry. After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

    BA (Hons), BA (Hons) Award
    September Start
    Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
    3 years Duration

    Entry Requirements For This Course

    96-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, to include History or another relevant subject.

    English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

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