All our degrees follow a broad structure which emphasises core understanding and basic skills in the first year, range and depth in the second year, and specialisation and expertise in the third year, which will include a special subject with dissertation.
This page outlines the structure for a typical three-year undergraduate History degree. For information about specific subjects, browse our degree course listings.
The first year
In the first year you will take a mix of compulsory and optional modules. The compulsory modules are designed to give you a common foundation from which to develop your skills and interests.
Which modules are compulsory depends on the degree course you have chosen. The following example is based on the general history course.
Compulsory modules (60 credits)
All students take the History in Practice module (15 credits).
Students must also take at least one of the following:
- Europe in a Global Context since 1800 (30 credits)
- Unravelling Britain: British History since 1801 (30 credits)
and one of:
- Reformation to Revolution: Europe and the World 1500-1800 (15 credits)
- Europe 1000-1500: the Middle Ages and their Legacy (15 credits)
to make up a total of 60 credits.
Optional modules (60 credits)
First year History undergraduates can choose the remainder of their credits from all level 4 modules including those listed above, and:
- Building the American Nation 1765-1890 (15 credits)
- The Medieval World: Structures and Mentalities (15 credits)
- History of the Medieval Islamic World, 600-1500 (15 credits)
- The Foundations of Modern Thought: Introduction to Intellectual History (15 credits)
- Introduction to Film History: Alfred Hitchcock (15 credits)
You can also choose modules from other Schools.
The second year
In your second year you are free to choose from a wide range of more focused, in-depth modules.
Optional modules (120 credits)
Examples of second year modules include:
- The Clinton Years
- Outcast London? The East End from 1800
- Making the Modern City
- Madness and Medicine in Modern Britain
- Race in the United States: Slavery To Civil Rights
- The Crusades 1095-1291
- Outsiders in the Middle Ages
- Narratives of the Raj: The History of Modern India 1757-1947
- From the Tsars to the Bolsheviks: Russia 1801-1921
- Rewriting Europe: 1989 and the End of Communism
- Japanese Film: History, Culture and Fantasy
- Mandela's World
- History of Western Political Thought
- London on Film: Representing the City in British and American Cinema
Your staff advisor will help you decide on options and explore with you how to design a coherent range of choices. You can also choose modules from other Schools.
The third year
In the third year you can mix freedom with specialisation. History students take a Special Subject with a dissertation, as well as a range of module options.
Special Subject with dissertation (60 credits)
Examples of dissertation subjects include:
- English and British Political Culture c1595-1606 and the Accession of King James I
- Behind Closed Doors: Houses, Interiors and Domestic Life, c. 1660-c1830
- The Kennedy Years
- The Russian Revolution and Civil War 1917-21
- The Lives of Oscar Wilde
- 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland
- Reinventing Ourselves: Psychology, Sex and Chemistry in Modern Britain
- Anxieties of Empire: Rumours, Rebellion and the Imperial Imagination
Optional modules (60 credits)
Examples of third year modules include:
- The Reform of Islam: the Legacy of Ibn Taymiyyah 1263-1328
- The Hussites: Reform, Revolution and Apocalypse in the Fifteenth Century
- Marx, Engels and the Making of Marxism
- A History of Terror in the Modern Age 1858-2008
- The Germans and the Jews since 1871
- Between the Citizen and the State: Voluntary Action in Modern Britain
- We the People: Americans and their Government from the Constitution to the Civil War
- The British Empire in Political Thought
- The Atlantic Slave Trade: Africa, Europe, and the Americas from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Centuries
- Solitude in Life and Letters in Enlightenment Britain