History BA (Hons)
BA Hons History
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 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
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) American Studies with History
- 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.
After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
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.
Previous graduates have gone on to pursue roles in areas such as:
- the heritage sector
- research for media production companies
Roles they've taken on include:
- 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.
Tuition fees (2018 start)
- UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £13,200 per year (subject to annual increase)
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
You’ll need to cover additional costs, such as travel costs, if you take an optional placement or placement abroad.
These costs will vary depending on the location and duration of the placement, and can range from £50 to £1000.
What you'll study
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.
Core units in this year include:
- Historical Methods
- History at University
- History Beyond University
- Problems and Perspectives
- Society and Culture in Twentieth Century Europe
- The Early Modern World
There are no optional units in this year.
Core units in this year include:
- Empires and Identities 1750-1914
- Introduction to Historical Research
- Masses and Modernity 1750-1914
Optional units on this year include:
- Crime, Sin and Punishment in Britain – 1500-1850
- France: Crisis, Renewal and Reinvention – 1936 to the present
- From Revolution to Dictatorship - Russia & the Soviet Union – 1917-1941
- Guns, Glory Hunters & Greed: French and British Colonisation in Africa
- In Darkest England: Culture, Conflict and the City – 1790-1860
- International Politics of the Middle East
- Introduction to Teaching
- Learning from Experience
- Masses and Modernity – 1750-1914
- Public History Placement
- Race, Slavery and Emancipation in the Americas
- Ruins, Revolutions and Reunification: Post-War German Society and Culture
- Russian & Eurasian Politics
- The First World War: A Social and Gender History
- The Way to the Stars: Film and Cinema-Going in Britain C.1900-C.2000
Core units on this year include:
Optional units in this year include:
- Urban change and culture in the modern British Empire
- Magic and supernatural belief in 19th century Britain
- 18th century France and the French Revolution
- Crime in early modern and modern Britain
- Religious change in Sixteenth Century England
- Challenges to authority in the early modern and modern world
- Leisure, class and identity in the twentieth century
- Students, Youth and Protest in Post-War Britain
- War, social change and memory in 20th century Germany
- Maritime Empires and cultures in the early modern and modern world
- Gender and Sexuality in the twentieth century
- Mobilities and Safety in modern Britain
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
Teaching methods on this course include:
- 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.
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:
- Autumn teaching block – September to December
- Spring teaching block – January to Easter
- Assessment period – Easter to June
Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There's no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- 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 time you spend in teaching activities such as lectures and seminars varies year on year and will depend on which optional units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:
- Year 1 students: 22% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 78% studying independently
- Year 2 students: 14% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 86% studying independently
- Year 3 students: 10% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 90% studying independently
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
Want to start this course in 2019?
To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 5 September. You’ll need:
- the UCAS course code – V100
- our institution code – P80
Not quite ready to apply?
Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.
If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.