BA (Hons)

History

English civil war memorabilia on a table
  • UCAS code(s): V100 / PSA8
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time (day)
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: 3 / 4 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

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Course overview

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.

History at NTU offers exciting opportunities to discover and understand the past through a range of skills and approaches. Our expert staff have strong links to the modern heritage industry and historical research groups, giving you opportunities to work on real-life projects and take work placements with some of the most prestigious heritage sites in the country. You’ll also have the opportunity to study abroad at one of our international exchange partner universities.

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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

This course will help to develop your knowledge and understanding of diverse cultures, nations and ideas from medieval and early modern right through to modern and contemporary history across the globe.

The course offers a wide range of options which places the emphasis on student choice, enabling you to study in-depth specialist areas during your degree.

Year One introduces you to key historical skills and practices, alongside introductory modules that focus on medieval, early modern and modern history.

In Year Two you’ll study two core modules and select a number of optional modules based on your individual interests. There's also an opportunity to spend the second half of the year on international exchange at one of our partner universities.

Year Three offers a range of specialist options and you'll complete a dissertation on a specialist research topic of your choice under the guidance of expert supervision.

  • Year One

    Core modules

    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.

    Medieval and Early Modern Worlds


    This module offers a thematic introduction to Medieval and Early Moderns Worlds. It maps the transition of a society in ‘darkness’ through to the eve of ‘modernity’, looking ostensibly at European culture and society, but also examining European interaction with the wider world through exploration, trade, crusade and evangelisation. As well as offering you a good basis on which to develop your studies in medieval and early modern history, the module will provide you with a useful background for studying modern society.

    Pathways Through Modernity

    During the first half of the module you'll investigate  the nature of modernity in Britain and Europe through the use of primary and secondary sources. By exploring the ideas, ideologies, and the economic and cultural changes associated with the historical development of modernity from the late-17th to the mid-19th centuries. You'll consider periods such as: Romanticism, industrialisation, The Rise of Civil Society, The Enlightenment, Revolution and Transformation .In the second part of the module you will explore China and the United States' historical development in regards to cultural encounters, imperialism and resistance. You'll also pay attention to aspects such as race, identity and rebellion.

    History Matters

    This module will promote a lively debate setting about why history matters and the second part will address the matter of history in relation to archival documents, objects, artefacts, literature, arts and film. You'll examine a range of case studies drawn from diverse contexts and will address issues such as politics, nation states, museums, popular culture and economics.

  • Year Two

    Core module

    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.

    History At Work

    This module offers you the opportunity to gain work experience whilst still attaining bespoke lectures and seminars on the employability of history graduates. This involvement with the workplace will help you to understand the relevance of the theoretical and academic approaches you engage with on your course within a professional context. You will therefore be combining practical experience with academic work.

    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 – 2000

    Much of the period between 1850 – 2000 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 19th and 20th 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.

  • 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.

    Optional modules

    Choose four modules from:

    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.

    Memory and Identities in European Writing, Cinema and Society

    This module explores the way in which European writing and cinema investigates the links between identity, the individual and the collective in the post-war era.

    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.

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?

As well as traditional lectures and seminars, your learning is designed to help you hone your skills of research, critical analysis and intellectual discussion. You will be involved in group work, live projects, tutorials, presentations, visits and workshops that will help you to develop your teamwork and communication skills, as well as your ability to present complex arguments.

You will also carry out independent project work where you’ll have the support of NOW, our virtual learning environment.

How will I be assessed?

All modules make extensive use of coursework and throughout your course you will produce portfolios of practical work, notebooks and commentaries, reports, reviews and biographies. We will also assess essays and presentations, both oral and written.

Some modules are entirely assessed through coursework while others include a seen or unseen examination. All examinations are assessed anonymously as is the majority of coursework.

International Exchange

Our flexible curriculum has been designed to create some amazing opportunities for you. Your second year of study is divided into two semesters, giving you the opportunity to take part in international exchange. Our international exchange partners include universities in Australia, Europe, USA, Canada and Thailand.

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
  • boost your career prospects.

Find out more about the ULP.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (75%) and written (25%)
  • Year 2 coursework (83%) and written (17%)
  • Year 3 coursework (82%) and written (18%)

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 (23%), independent study (77%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (22%), independent study (76%) and placements (2%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (22%), independent study (78%)

92% of students would recommend History at NTU (NSS 2017).

Careers and employability

Your career development

Knowledge and understanding of the past is of incalculable value both to the individual and to society, and as one of our History students you will gain a wide range of academic and transferable skills to achieve this.

…at university

As well as through study, the combination of skills gained from work experience and extracurricular activities can help boost your job prospects and develop a well-rounded CV. Undertaking volunteering or work experience with organisations and businesses that you are interested in working for will help you develop some skills that are relevant to your career interests. For example, experience working with museum collections if you want to pursue a career in curatorship.

During your second year of study, you’ll be supported by your course leader to secure relevant sector work experience through a placement as part of the Humanities in the Workplace module. The placement includes report-writing around your experience and clear work-based learning objectives. It will give you the hands-on work experience that employers are looking for.

… on graduation

History graduates find employers respect and desire the skills they acquire. Popular career routes include:

  • research or teaching
  • politics
  • law
  • business
  • social care
  • arts and museum curatorship
  • journalism
  • librarianship and archiving.

Some graduates choose to progress to further study, either to continue their research within History, or to gain more direct vocational qualifications such as museum and heritage management, teaching, or tourism.

Our History course also has established links with its former students, through which we receive employment opportunities for graduating students. Our graduates have gone on to forge successful careers both within large, well-known organisations and the small to medium-sized companies that constitute much of the UK economy.

“My history degree has allowed me to build and develop an ever-growing skills base which is certainly helping me on my Law conversion course.  As well as learning how to work under pressure and manage large workloads, the study of the past has taught me how to be analytical, how to research and debate, and is helping me to memorise legal cases more easily.  All of these skills are essential for law which is why history is a great course to do if you want to pursue this career path. After completing the Graduate Diploma in Law course, I‘ll be applying to study the Bar."

Mark Perez, BA (Hons) History, Graduate Diploma in Law, Nottingham Law School

Career and Placement Centre – enhancing your employability

Our friendly and experienced careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the Internet. Find out more about our Careers Service.

97% of our History undergraduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree (DLHE 2016-17).

Entry requirements

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

If you’re unsure whether your qualifications will 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.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please email our International Team for advice.

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.

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

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.

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.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418