BA (Hons)

European Studies and History

Statue and international flags
  • UCAS code(s): RV91
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

Course overview

If you've got two subjects that you really enjoy, or have career ambitions that demand a particular skill set, then a joint honours degree is a great choice for you. It enables you to shape your study according to your strengths, interests and career ambitions. Combining two subjects can give your degree an international or industry perspective that will make you stand out in the graduate employment market.

Our course combinations are designed so that what you learn in one subject will complement and enhance what you learn in the other. In your final year you can choose either to split your time evenly between your two subjects, or to specialise in one. Our flexible curriculum has been designed to create some amazing opportunities for you too. Your second year of study is divided into two semesters that enables you to take part in optional work placements or go on international exchange.

By choosing History and European Studies you’ll enjoy the freedom to choose from a wide range of optional modules, depending on your own preferences and interests. This combination of subjects will appeal to you greatly if you have a specific interest in European history and society and want to immerse yourself in its study.

Video Icon
Arts and Humanities - Jessica Rose, BA (Hons) History
Jessica tells us about her life as a student studying BA (Hons) History at Nottingham Trent University.

What you'll study

History

History is being made right now. It is a living, breathing subject that is constantly renewing, evolving and revealing new information that teaches us about the past, anchors us to the present and informs our future. Historians are passionate, focused, curious, intellectual and open to new experiences and information. If this sounds like you, then read on.

This course offers a broad curriculum, covering periods from AD 700 to the present day, with subject areas as diverse as dictatorship and warfare to youth and gender. We offer a wide range of options so that you have the greatest possible choice of areas to study in-depth.

European Studies

Europe, and the UK’s relationship with it, is changing; the need to understand those changes has rarely been more important.  This course provides an understanding of the broad historical, social, political and cultural forces which are continuing to shape contemporary Europe.  Unique to this course is the opportunity to specialise in European Politics and Society, European Cultural Studies, or European Cinema.  You can also select a variety of modules across these three subject areas.

  • Year One

    Core modules

    History: Practice and Purpose

    This core module has been designed to equip you with the essential skills that are needed to read, research and write history during university. During the first section of this module you'll engage with some historical case studies ranging across medieval, early modern, modern contemporary and public history and develop a critical understanding of the often contested nature of historical evidence, how it's handled and its interpretation. In the second section you'll be able to understand the kinds of careers that you are attainable for. You'll contextualise the skills and practices acquired in the first half of the module in terms of raising awareness of employability and graduate attributes. Through interaction with employers and external agencies, you will reflect on the utility of a History degree, on the best ways to promote the qualities and competencies acquired over the course of their degree, and the potential of successful History students to excel in the competitive graduate market.

    Pathways Through Modernity

    This module investigates the nature of modernity across national and international settings. It uses primary and secondary sources to explore the ideas, ideologies, and the economic and cultural changes associated with the historical development of modernity from 1750 up to the present day.

    Introduction to European Studies

    Throughout this module you'll explore the meaning of Europe as a historical, geographical, political and cultural entity.  You'll explore some of the key challenges facing contemporary Europe, including Euroscepticism, migration, terrorism, regional separatism, and the role of Russia. You'll focus on understanding the way that the EU is governed, as well as key policy debates around the future of the Eurozone, the Single Market, the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and the strengthening of EU Citizenship.

    Introduction to European Cultural Studies and Cinema

    You'll study a wide range of cultural works from the 20th Century right through to the present day, you'll critically assess the exercise of power and the resistance to it. You'll focus on the study of key texts in the form of film and literature whilst addressing questions regarding nature and the definition of European Culture. In the second half of the module, you'll be provided with an introduction to European cinema and will focus on significant moments in European film history.

  • Year Two

    Core modules

    The Historian's Craft

    This module will challenge you to critically investigate the problems posed by the nature and limits of historical knowledge and consider how history is communicated. The module will allow you to explore final year dissertation research in History, as you'll be informed on how best to identify a research topic and to conceptualise the research thesis.

    Europe in the World, the World in Europe

    Explore ideas of identity in contemporary Europe focusing on local, gender, ethnic, sexual, religious, and European among others. The module will heavily focus on the idea that contemporary Europe is a 'postcolonial society' which has problems of identity and social relationships as well as EU politics and policy.

    Humanities at work

    This module will give you a taste of live industry experience. The placement includes report writing around your experience and clear work-based learning objectives.

    History optional modules

    Land of Liberty: History of the United States, 1815-2000

    Consider the forces which have shaped American history between 1815-2000. The module pays specific attention to the ways that major social, economic and political changes have taken place during this time period. You'll explore key historical debates and study a range of primary sources.

    The Crusades

    The triumph of the First Crusade (1099) resulted in the establishment of a Western European community in the Levant for almost 200 years. In this course you'll investigate not only why such an event took place, but trace its impact and the development of subsequent expeditions through the 12th Century. You'll investigate the events that took place in both the Muslim world and Western Christendom directly before the advent of the crusades.

    Conflicts and Cultures in Mid-Victorian England 1850-1880

    Much of the period between 1850-1880 has been interpreted as an ‘Age of Equipoise’: a time of relative stabilisation in society, politics, and culture after decades of turbulence and disorder. The module will critically connect with this idea and will provide you with an opportunity to develop a rigorous understanding of this period and its interpretation. You'll also be able to engage with historical debate and handle primary sources that entail more detail and those that are considered more complex. You will utilise your findings through debates, presentations and academic writing.

    Heritage Matters

    Material and immaterial culture offers a detailed research resource for the historian to study the past, but how can artefacts be ‘read’ to elicit knowledge and understanding? In this module you'll discuss and investigate what can be learnt from objects, but will also ask questions about the justifications which are given regarding the selection and display of objects and artefacts in museums as well as collections in personal, local, national and international contexts. This module is supported by a field trip and regular close engagement with collections, objects and artefacts.

    The Age of Reformations

    Explore one of the major historical events of the early modern period: the Reformation(s) of Martin Luther, John Calvin and the Tudors and Stuart monarchs.

    Revolutionary Transformations: Russia and China in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

    Examine the similarities and differences between the revolutionary transformations that gripped Russian and Chinese societies.This module takes a comparative approach, encouraging you to explore the similarities and differences between the revolutionary transformations that gripped Russian and Chinese societies in the modern period. This module encourages you to explore the historical change of revolution in wider social, economic and cultural terms to broaden your knowledge and skills in relation to what revolution was and what it signified to the societies who experienced it.

    The Eagle and the Snake: Conquests and Colonisations of Mexico

    This module will examine the civilisations of Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish. You'll analyse  the social, political, and cultural characteristics of the native Mexican civilisations. Through lectures and seminars you'll examine a range of 'clash of cultures' that happened, for example when the first European settlers arrived.

    European Studies optional modules

    European Cinema and the City

    Consider representations of the city in a range of European cinemas, making strong links between films and evolving European and national contexts. The module focuses broadly on themes of identity and change, community and exclusion, history and conflict.

    Class, Identity and Exile in British and European Fiction

    Study a range of texts which give broad coverage of issues relating to class, identity and exile in Britain and Europe in the 20th Century. You'll consider the ways in which class divisions, social and political change have impacted the way literary texts of individual and collective identities have been construed.

  • Year Three

    Core module

    Dissertation

    The final year dissertation module enables you to undertake a sustained, single piece of independently researched work on a topic of your choice, under expert supervision.

    History optional modules

    Real-Life Work Project

    This module will give you the chance to develop and apply historical skills to real world situations for external clients. The module will enhance your chances of employability post university, enhance your confidence and awareness of transferable skills whilst developing and delivering work to external client briefs. External clients will include museums, heritage sites, charities, trusts, local organisations and private businesses.

    Britain, World War Two and Reconstruction 1939-1951

    Study the nature of World War Two and how it is represented to the British people. This module starts with the outbreak of war in 1939, and more particularly with the need to plan for the future and to rebuild Britain after the war.

    Crusading Cultures and Communities

    This module will allow you to explore the impact of crusading activities on societies in Medieval Europe. It will start by providing an overview of crusading in the 12th and 13th Centuries, and go on to look at a series of case studies in order to highlight the pervasive and Protean nature of the crusade agenda.

    Rustic and Rude: Rural Cultures 1840-1880

    Examine the history of rural society in the mid 19th Century and gain a fresh perspective of the rural past. This module will encourage you to engage with a variety of sources and historical perspectives through a critical evaluation to develop you own interpretations of the rural past and especially its social and cultural relations.

    Early Modern Revolution and War

    This module contextualises the civil wars across the British Isles in the period 1639-1660 within the context of the debate on the concept of military revolution with the wider background of the European Sphere, the Dutch Wars and the Thirty Years War. The module will also include a study of leadership and political / religious commitment, again within the background of the revolution / evolution debate.

    Magna Carta: Origins, Impetus and Legacy

    Explore the circumstances which brought Magna Carta into being in England in 1215 and the influence it has had on the development of laws, rights and liberties thereafter. You'll examine the importance to rulers of gaining the consent of the ruled, using sources such as the laws of the Anglo-Saxons and the coronation charters of the Norman and Angevin kings of England, who, like all medieval kings, believed they had a ‘God-given’ right to rule.

    Museum Matters

    Museums and heritage organisations have become significant institutions of public cultural life in recent decades as they can help us to understand the past. This module provides a critical and creative investigation of modern issues in museums and heritage within a local, national and international context.

    The African American Experience in History and Memory

    This module will examine the historical experience of black people in the United States of America. You'll consider slavery in the United States and investigate how both slavery and racism took place and spread across North America during the colonial period, to the mature plantation society and right before the Civil War. During the second part of the module you will consider African-American experiences after Emancipation.

    Living and Dying in Reformation Britain

    This module explores key themes in the social and cultural history of Reformation Britain. You'll debate with your peers on the continuities and changes in religious belief and experiences, social attitudes, and cultural practices.The first part of the module explores the lasting impact of the Reformations on various aspects of life and lived experience in early modern England. The second part will explore the end of life, in regards to aspects of death and remembrance.

    Mission Impossible? Converting the New World

    During this module you'll investigate the numerous attempts of the Catholic and Protestant missionaries to convert the indigenous peoples of the Americas and East Asia to the Christian faith. This module will enable you to evaluate large issues within the study of conversion from a global and long-term perspective.

    European Studies optional modules

    European Cinema: Globalisation and Resistance

    Consider European responses to globalisation by studying public film policy, the economic strategies of national and European film industries, and individual film texts. You'll look at how cinema is an important channel to address political resistance to economic globalisation and culture.

    Memory and Identities

    You'll look at the ways in which European writing investigates the links between identity, the individual and the groups in the post-war era. One of the key elements of this module considers the idea of 'home' and what it means for an individual to have a home, or to feel at home.

    Gender Politics in Europe

    Analyse gender relations in Europe by focusing on the relationship between national and EU policy-making. You'll study a series of case studies dealing with contemporary, high-profile issues in European politics and society. Social issues will include: migration and asylum; prostitution and trafficking and third world domestic labour.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

How will I learn?

Each year you’ll choose a range of core and optional modules from the lists above. The first year is normally divided equally between the two joint honours subjects but at the end of Year One, you’ll have the opportunity to select between an equally weighted joint honours course and a more specialised pathway, depending on your interests.

Teaching principally takes place through a combination of lectures, where tutors introduce the key ideas, and seminars, where smaller groups discuss those ideas.

Contact hours

If you’re struggling with a topic or require additional support or guidance, you can arrange to see your tutors in small groups or one-to-one, to discuss essay plans or to seek some specific academic guidance.

It is the nature of the subjects offered in the School of Arts and Humanities, however, that much of your time will be spent engaged in independent study. We recognise that this marks a change of culture from school or college, and we have in place a system of study support to help you adapt to this.

Excellent placement opportunities

You can opt to take a work placement module in the second half of your second year. Placements will be short and intensive and include an academic assessment or project as part of your degree. These placements could have a European context. Recently, students have worked with:

  • The Galleries of Justice Museum;
  • Nottingham Castle;
  • Mansfield Museum;
  • The Royal Armouries in Leeds;
  • Northamptonshire Black History Association;
  • The Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard;
  • The National Trust; and
  • Wollaton Hall.

Your placement will give you the experience you need to boost your CV. It will also help you with future career choices.

International exchange

You’ll also have the option to take part in an international exchange at a partner university. Or you could source work placements abroad. These options will enable you to gain impressive international experience, and broaden your perspective and career ambitions.You’ll experience other cultures, travel the globe and open your eyes to a world of opportunities. Our exchange partnership with a number of international universities enables you to live and study in another country in your second year. Watch our video to find out more.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. Learning a new language can: enhance your communication skills; enrich your experience when travelling abroad; and boost your career prospects. Find out more about the University Language Programme.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (75%) and written (25%)
  • Year 2 coursework (83%) and written (17%)
  • Year 3 coursework (53%) and written (47%)

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (79%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (77%) and placements (2%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (22%), independent study (78%)

Careers and employability

Your career development

This is a major part of the curriculum. Key transferable skills are emphasised and there are opportunities to develop links with organisations and potential employers. Joint honours courses develop a wide range of skills. These include written and oral communication skills, critical analysis and a variety of IT skills. But you’ll also become more self-motivated, be able to work independently and in teams, and develop excellent time management skills.

91% of our history joint honours undergraduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree (DLHE 2015-16).

Entry requirements

  • 104 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent)
  • GCSEs - English and Maths grade C / 4

If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Keeping up-to-date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on +44 (0)115 848 2494.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Find out more about our terms and conditions of study for this course.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Please see our fees page for more information.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Find out more about our terms and conditions of study for this course.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418