School of Society and Culture

BA (Hons) History

UCAS tariff 104 - 112
UCAS course code V100
Institution code P60
Duration 3 years (+ optional placement)
Course type Full-time
Location Plymouth

It’s often said that the best way to see the future is to understand the past. History with the University helps you to do just that. Exploring five centuries of human history, you encounter political intrigue, cultural transformation, war, sex and revolution across the globe. Graduate with the problem-solving, research and analytical abilities that give you an edge in the world of work.

History
Careers with this subject

Discover employment and further study opportunities that you could consider once you graduate with a history degree, and learn how you can stand out to graduate employers.

Find out more about where a history degree can take you


Careers service

Careers advice is embedded into your academic programme through workshops, events, placements and networks, working with the academic staff teaching on your course.

We also offer materials, networks and resources online through our 24/7 portal, and a wide-range of activities, opportunities and support centrally in the Careers Service space within the Student Hub.

Learn about our careers service

We are here to help you to explore, connect and succeed.

Key features

  • Study history in Britain’s Ocean City and explore more than five centuries of fascinating history.
  • Work with world leading experts in history from 1500 to the present day to develop your interests and research. We offer modules in British, American and World History.
  • Enhance your career options with a degree that helps you develop highly sought-after analytical and communication skills while you home in on your passion.
  • Participate in local, national and international field trips which are free or subsidised for all students.
  • Our international exchange programme gives you the opportunity to travel and spend either a semester or an entire year exploring history with one of our partner institutions in the US or Europe.
  • Make the most of our excellent history resources and partners in the University library, The Box and wider city of Plymouth and region.
  • Be part of a community of historians by joining the History Society or taking part in our internship and volunteering opportunities.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • In your first year, you’ll get to know the key concepts of history, studying six modules designed to give you a firm foundation in historical methodology while helping you develop practical skills. You’ll study the subject from a broad range of perspectives exploring developments in world, US, European and British history.

    Core modules

    • What is History? (HIS4001)

      What is History? – provides an overview of how the discipline of history operates, and looks at some of the key skills associated with the subject.

    • America from Settlement to Empire (HIS4002)

      This module aims to provide an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural evolution of the United States from 1492 to the end of the 19th Century. It aims to emphasise links to Europe and to give students a broad perspective on their historical studies. It will also provide students with an introduction to use of electronic sources in the study of American history and to the development of vital skills in critical thinking and academic writing.

    • World History since 1850 (HIS4003)

      This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural history of the modern world beyond Europe.

    • Fractured Isles: Britain and Ireland 1640-1990 (HIS4004)

      The module is an introduction to the major themes in political, social and cultural history of Britain and Ireland in the period 1640-1900. This module will include 2, 2 hour talks that introduce our School and programme level employability related opportunities and support, including details of the optional placement year.

    • Fighting for Survival: Living and Dying in Early Modern Europe, 1450-1700 (HIS4005)

      This module introduces students to the political, social, cultural and religious history of Early Modern Europe, 1450-1700.

    • History and Heritage (HIS4006)

      This module introduces students to the field of heritage studies. It directs attention to how historians do heritage (and history) for an external audience. It aims to explore the materials and methods used and how they apply to how we understand, interpret and shape how we live with the past today. Students will study a specific topic in history and heritage individually and/or in small groups through problem based learning with an assessment geared towards public engagement.

  • Year 2

  • During your second year, you’ll have the chance to choose from a range of modules as you develop your historical knowledge and skills. Experience visual, oral, material and archival research – undertaking interviews with living witnesses, examining visual sources and delving into original sources.

    In your second year you will have the opportunity to try modules from other disciplines as part of our 21st Century Curriculum.

    You can also take the opportunity to study in the USA or Canada for up to a year.

    Core modules

    • Research Methods in Visual, Material and Oral History (HIS5005)

      This module investigates the use of oral, material & visual sources as a means of investigating the past. Also, the contextualisation of historical sources and questions in the wider historiographical literature.

    • Preparing for Dissertation Research (HIS5008)

      This module is designed to prepare students for Level 6 dissertation research in History by lectures and workshops that explore key approaches to sources, and practical and theoretical aspects to research in history, before carrying out a small project in independent research. Lectures in the period of the research project will entail an element of choice and also student-generated lectures, based on selection of topics at start of module: with subjects geared to doing research in archives / local studies/ digital resources.

    Optional modules

    • Heritage and Public History (HIS5001)

      The module content will examine the theory and practice of the presentation of the past to public audiences. In it, students will examine the creation, nature, use and understanding of heritage and public history, nationally and internationally. They will examine these issues in case studies of historical ‘sites’ of different types, to gain a critical awareness and understanding of the theories and controversies surrounding heritage and public history. This is a work facing module, where students will consider the theory and practice of ‘using’ ‘sites’ of heritage and public history from the point of view of a range of stake holders.

    • Royal Navy in the Age of Sail, 1545-1815 (HIS5002)

      This module examines the royal navy and the development of British naval power between 1545 and 1815. Beginning with the sinking of the Mary Rose in 1545 this module explores changing role of the navy and sea power in defence to the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815. This module also investigates the logistics, technological changes and social history of the navy in this period.

    • The Longest War; Britain, Ireland and the Troubles 1949-2006 (HIS5003)

      This module looks at the complex relationship between Britain and Ireland in the later part of the twentieth century up to present day. It has a special focus on the conflict in Northern Ireland. Students will look the impact of the Troubles on both societies; and study in depth the peace process.

    • Global Cold War: Politics, Culture and Society (HIS5004MX)

      This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural history of the modern world with special focus on the 20th century and the Cold War.

    • First World War at Sea (HIS5006)

      This module examines World War I at Sea. It will investigate the changing role of maritime history and the history of the sea in this period. This module also investigates logistical, naval, cultural, political, technological changes and social history of World War I from a maritime perspective.

    • Eighteenth-Century Empires (HIS5007MX)

      This module is designed to explore the ‘long eighteenth century’ with a broad geographical focus, encompassing, but not limited to the Atlantic Isles, Atlantic world, formal and informal empire, and trading connections. It takes in the slave trade and impact of slavery globally, studies voyages of exploration, examines the scientific and political enlightenment, and wider cultural and social impacts of imperialism.

    • Middle Kingdoms: Themes in Early Modern Asia (HIS5009MX)

      This module introduces the history of early modern Japan (c.16th-19th centuries). At one level, it explores key questions shaping the histories of the late Sengoku (‘Warring States’) and Tokugawa Japan. Building on these questions, it then situates the Japanese experience in a trans-regional perspective with reference to early modern China, Korea, Ryukyu, as well as Europe.

    • America Since 1900 (HIS5010)

      This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social, economic, business and cultural history of the United States since 1900.

    • Other Voices - Marginalisation in Early Modern Europe (HIS5011)

      This course explores the ways in which early modern society confronted difference, and constructed its norms and mores. We will consider the role of religion, race, class, and gender in early modern Europe through the study of those groups who found themselves on the outside.

    • Tudor and Stuart Britain (HIS5012)

      This module examines the political, social and cultural history of Britain from 1485 to 1660, a vibrant and exciting period that witnessed significant developments: the growth of the state; major religious and political upheavals; increased education and literacy; the advent of print and popular politics; exploration and new ways of understanding the world.

    • Culture and Society in Britain c. 1760-1914 (HIS5013)

      The module content will examine key selected themes in the culture and society of Britain c.1760 – 1901. In it, students will examine primary sources such as pamphlets, books and visual material, to gain a critical awareness and understanding of aspects of British culture and society in this period which may include the duel, capital punishment, mourning cultures, gambling, popular science, culinary cultures, race.

    • Dunkirk to D Day: The Second World War in Europe (HIS5014MX)

      The module examines the Second World War in Europe and the Atlantic Ocean from 1940 to late 1944.

    • Stage 2 Professional Development, Placement Preparation and Identifying Opportunities (SSC500)

      This module is for students in the School of Society and Culture who are interested in undertaking an optional placement in the third year of their programme. It supports students in their search, application, and preparation for the placement, including developing interview techniques and effective application materials (e.g. CVs , portfolios, and cover letters).

    • Brave New Worlds: Ethnography of/on Online and Digital Worlds (ANT5008MX)

      This module teaches students how to use ethnographic methods to make sense of the internet, which we now increasingly inhabit. Students learn how to navigate and analyse platforms such as Facebook or TikTok. They study how these technologies transform our relationships, identities, and ideas of truth. The module also examines the socio-cultural and ethical aspects of digital worlds (e.g. Second life).

    • American Novel (ENG5003MX)

      This module will explore the development of the novel in America from its beginnings in the eighteenth century through to the twentieth century. As part of this module, students will consider changes in the novel form with particular reference to America’s literary history.

  • Optional placement year

  • Undertake an optional placement year where you can build a number of key employability skills. Put theory onto practice, get a taste for your chosen career and expand upon your professional network.

    Core modules

    • School of Society and Culture Placement Year (SSC600)

      Students have the opportunity to gain work experience that will set them apart in the job market when they graduate by undertaking a 48-week optional placement year. This year allows them to apply and hone the knowledge and skills acquired from the previous years of their programme in the real world.

  • Final year

  • In your final year, you’ll continue to advance your skills working alongside our expert historians in their areas of specialism. With one-to-one support, you’ll benefit from your tutor’s experience and knowledge as you create a piece of independent research on a subject of your choice, based on original research and primary resources. You can also continue to explore other subject areas as part of our 21st Century Curriculum.

    Core modules

    • History Dissertation (HIS6001)

      In this module students prepare the ground and complete a Dissertation of 10-12,000 words on a subject of their own choosing, making extensive use wherever possible of primary historical sources. Lecturing staff provide tutorial support and assistance with research and writing.

    Optional modules

    • Piracy and Privateering, c.1560-1816 (HIS6002MX)

      This module explores piracy and privateering activity in the seas around the British Isles and further afield from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the end of the second Barbary War in 1816. This course focuses on the social history of piracy and privateering, the organisation of pirate society, and the economic impact of piracy and privateering.

    • The African American Experience, 1890-1954 (HIS6003)

      Examining the experience of African Americans from Emancipation at the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the Civil Rights movement at the end of WWII.

    • The French Wars of Religion 1558-1598 (HIS6004)

      The module will examine the causes, progress and termination of the French Wars of Religion after 1558. The main topics will be the relationships between Catholic and Protestant, the impact of war on royal authority, the experiences of confessional groups, towns, nobles and peasants, and the resolution of conflict under Henri IV.

    • The Irish Revolution 1912-37 (HIS6005)

      This module examines the political, social and cultural history of Ireland during the period 1890-1937 with particular focus on causes and effects of partition and the nature what is known as the ‘Irish revolution’.

    • America, the United Nations and International Relations 1945 to the present (HIS6006MX)

      This module provides a detailed examination of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Nations in the management of international relations from 1945 to the present.

    • Filth and the Victorians (HIS6007)

      In this module students study the Victorian era from the perspective of environment, public hygiene, cultural values of cleanliness and fear of physical, moral and other forms of contamination. Drawing on urban histories, histories of medicine and science, the module also uses a range of literary and artistic sources.

    • The Civil Rights Movement (HIS6008)

      Examining the African American struggle for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s.

    • From Unification to Reunification: Key Themes in Modern German History (HIS6009)

      This module is an introduction to the major themes of political, social and economic development in Germany, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Themes may include nineteenth century revolution and unification, Imperialism and WW1, from the Weimar Republic to Dictatorship, WW2, the FRG and the GDR; and revolution and reunification.

    • Elizabeth I: The Failure of a Dynasty? (HIS6010)

      This module will allow students to explore how Elizabeth I and her regime dealt with the major religious, dynastic, social and international conflicts and challenges of her reign. Students will explore the limits of the Elizabethan regime’s success, engaging directly with contemporary views, while also considering the subsequent history and mythology of the last Tudor monarch.

    • Inter-War Britain 1919-40 (HIS6011)

      The module examines Britain in the period 1919-40 with an emphasis on Government and politics. The social, economic and foreign challenges facing Britain are examined for their ability to impact on policy and politics.

    • Modern Japan: Transforming Empire and Identity at the Edge (HIS6012)

      This module is an introduction to the major themes of political, social and economic development in Japan, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth century.

    • Anglo-American Relations in Maritime Perspective, 1775-1991 (HIS6013)

      This module introduces students to the major themes of the history of British and American maritime strategy, naval competition, and international co-operation between 1775 and 1991. It challenges students to rethink the so-called ‘special relationship’ through a maritime lens, while providing an exploration of naval history and international relations since the beginning of the American Revolution.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA History Programme Specification Sep22 7216

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 112

A levels

A typical offer will be 104 points from a minimum of 2 A levels including a grade B in History, Art History, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Economics, Government & Politics or Law. General Studies accepted.  

International Baccalaureate

26-28 points overall. A typical offer will be 26 points overall including three subjects at Higher Level and grade 5 at Higher Level in a relevant subject such as History, Art History, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Economics, Government & Politics or Law or equivalent. If overseas and not studying English within IB – you must have IELTS: 6.5 overall with 5.5 in all elements.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
DMM. Please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.  

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information, we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

All access courses
Pass a named Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferably History, Humanities or Combined), with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction to include 12 credits in History (or Art History, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Economics, Government & Politics or Law).

T levels
As a University we will continue to review T Level qualifications as more information becomes available in the next couple of months.

GCSE
Mathematics and English language grade C/4. If you do meet these criteria please seek further advice with the admission team on admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered.

English language requirements

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,600 £15,600
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code.

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

If you are interested in applying for an intercalated degree with the University of Plymouth, please contact our Admissions Team in the first instance applications@plymouth.ac.uk.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

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