History student examines historical record. BA (Hons) History.
UCAS Code
V100
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2022

Overview

Portsmouth is one of the UK’s most historically rich cities, and here you’ll immerse yourself in the study of social and cultural history across the globe.

You’ll learn how to think like a historian and develop an expert understanding of how people in the past understood their world, how change and continuity shape human existence, and how knowledge of the past helps us understand the inequalities and challenges of the 21st century. 

During your BA (Hons) History degree, you’ll also learn how to understand sources and bias, and can hone your skills in our Centre for European and International Studies Research, the largest facility of its kind in the UK.

With the analytical skills you’ll gain from this degree, you’ll be ready for roles that value research, analysis and building a convincing argument. After graduation, you could have a career in the heritage sector, journalism, research, teaching or local government.

95% Graduates in work or further study (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey conducted in 2019)

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

Entry requirements​

BA (Hons) History degree entry requirements

Typical offers
  • A levels – BBB–BCC
  • UCAS points – 104–120 points, to include A level History or another relevant subject, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • International Baccalaureate – 25

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

What you'll experience

On this History degree course can:

  • Explore our close links with the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and the Portsmouth Museum and Records Service
  • Apply your knowledge during a one-year work placement in locations such as museums, heritage sites and charities
  • Spend a year studying abroad at one of our partner universities
  • Benefit from the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. Earn credits towards your degree through your work, volunteer and research placements
  • 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
  • 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

Focusing on your interests with pathways

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:

Study BA (Hons) History at Portsmouth

BA (Hons) History student Richard Grainger talking about the variety of topics offered on the course and his ambitions to work in the civil service.

Careers and opportunities

When you complete the course, you'll have the ability to analyse and manage large amounts of information, communicate effectively, carry out research in a group or independently, and write in a concise and informative way. This is why employers from every area of industry value history graduates.

What can you do with a History degree?

Your History degree can open doors to further study and academic research. As a historian, you can also put your degree to work in areas such as:

  • Teaching
  • Archives and information management
  • Museums and the heritage sector
  • The law
  • Publishing and Media
  • Corporate governance

What jobs can you do with a History degree?

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • Teacher
  • Barrister
  • Paralegal
  • Archivist
  • Cultural Development Officer at City Council
  • Museum Curator
  • Researcher and writer for TV production company
  • Development Editor for Publishing House
  • Workplace Financial Education Consultant

Our alumni have taken up positions with organisations including:

  • The National Trust
  • Central and local government
  • Higher education providers
  • The Office for National Statistics
  • West Midlands Police
  • Serco

You could also continue your studies at Master's or PhD level.

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.

We'll also be available to help, advise and support you for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

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.

Placement year

After your second year, you can undertake an optional work placement year. This is an exciting opportunity to get invaluable work experience relevant to your intended career path.

The University can provide support and advice to help secure a work placement best suited for you. You can find placements in the UK or beyond, depending on your identified career plans.

History students undertake placements in a variety of areas. Current and recent students have worked in the not-for-profit sector, in museums and heritage sites, in digital content management and with legal firms.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

The history degree at Portsmouth has been very enjoyable and the city itself boasts a wealth of material that has been beneficial to my learning.

Connor Jones, BA Hons History student

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) History degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Modules

Year 1

Core modules

What you'll do

You’ll explore significant turning points and important underlying themes in a chronological fashion.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Describe and discuss core developments and themes across the period and assess their significance
  • Develop an appreciation of various historians' views and approaches to the period
  • Analyse primary source material within its appropriate historical and geographical context
  • Apply your knowledge of specific examples to analyse historical developments within an appropriate historical and geographical context
Teaching activities
  • 23 x 1-hour lectures
  • 22 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 133 hours studying independently. This is around 8 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word coursework project (30% of final mark)
  • an oral assessment and presentation (40% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word written assignment (30% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll explore how historians construct arguments by gathering and interpreting evidence and challenging orthodox views and historical perspectives. You’ll examine how historical debates evolve, how contemporary contexts inform the historians' writing and reflect on how to unpack arguments and employ analysis in your own work.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate awareness of historiography in debates, and identify and appraise different strands of historiography in social and cultural history
  • Describe and reflect on different strands of historiography
  • Describe how historiography has evolved in a number of historical controversies
  • Discuss a variety of historical controversies in small and medium size groups
Teaching activities
  • 23 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2-hour oral assessment and presentation (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,250-word coursework project (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll explore a variety of primary source examples including written, visual and digital materials. You’ll examine issues of the bias inherent in all sources and how historians deal with the impartial and incomplete record of the past they present.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Describe and discuss different types of primary sources
  • Apply historiographical debates about the use of primary sources to specific examples
  • Discuss the nature of primary sources for historians
  • Develop an understanding of the wide range of primary sources that historians now draw on in their work
  • Identify bias and discuss its importance for the ways in which sources might be analysed
Teaching activities
  • 23 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (20% of final mark)
  • a 2-hour oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word coursework project (50% of final mark)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Describe and discuss important developments and themes across the period and assess their significance
  • Develop an appreciation of a range of historiographical views and approaches to the period
  • Analyse primary source material within its appropriate historical and geographical context
  • Apply your knowledge of specific examples to analyse historical developments within an appropriate historical and geographical context
     
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 2-hour lectures
  • 22 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 134 hours studying independently. This is around 8 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word coursework project (40% of final mark)
  • a 2-hour oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word written assignment (30% of final mark)

What you'll do

Continuing the work of induction and underpinning the wider first year curriculum, you’ll develop practical and methodological skills that enhance your independent learning and your delivery of well-articulated written and verbal materials for assessment. You'll work intensively with a tutor in weekly small-group workshops, guiding you through all the key elements of the first year of your degree.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Reflect successfully on engagement with the practice of group work at university level, and develop strategies to maximise the educational benefits from this engagement
  • Demonstrate the development of a critical awareness of your own skills and qualities in approaching the reading and writing of academic English, and of strategies and practices to enhance your performance in such tasks
  • Engage in debate over the essential conceptual and methodological frameworks of cultural and social history, and articulate a developing awareness of your own perspectives and decisions in such debates
  • Demonstrate consistent engagement with learning tasks through the VLE, and development of competencies in online and library-based information-handling tasks
  • Proactively identify various personal development needs, and address them through a menu of support options
  • Complete a range of tailored assessments to demonstrate individual and group engagement with the fundamental techniques of historical research, analysis and presentation in written and oral forms
Teaching activities
  • 72 hours of practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 328 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a continuous assessment of tutor-group workshop preparation and contribution (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word portfolio project (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word coursework project (30% of final mark)

Year 2

Core modules

What you'll do

You’ll work in seminar groups on a research project, deciding what you'll study, what you'll produce as an output of the project (for example, museum interpretation panel, blog post, poster) and how it will be assessed. Where possible, you'll be working on ‘real life’ projects with external partners such as museums and archives.

You’ll have the opportunity to decide most aspects of the project work yourself – an exciting process which will help get you ready for your dissertations/major project and for the workplace after University. You'll also reflect upon your work, and think about how you might be more effective in the future.

What you'll learn

This module will help you to design and deliver projects, including developing your research and communication skills.

In particular, you'll:

  • Plan a project and bring it to a successful conclusion
  • Think about the most appropriate means to communicate your work
  • Reflect upon your practice and put those changes into action
  • Prepare your dissertation/ major project topic
Teaching activities

This module will be taught by:

  • 5 x 1-hour lectures
  • 8 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 180 hours studying independently. This is around 16 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module you'll be assessed through:

  • A project output, jointly decided by those involved (40% of final mark)
  • A reflective report (30% of final mark)
  • A dissertation/ major project proposal (30% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you'll do

You'll consider who defines what is and isn’t acceptable, how those standards have changed over time, and how people have resisted the restrictions placed on them. You’ll examine notions of self-censorship and self-regulation, as well as ideas of control and agency as a basis for critically engaging with the notion of state power in different historical periods.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate a variety of sources and appraise different aspects of censorship, state power and control
  • Compare and critically reflect on different notions of human control and agency and the various ways that these operated in different locations under contrasting regimes
  • Differentiate between the historiographical approaches towards notions of censorship, state power and control
  • Communicate ideas and arguments effectively, in a range of different formats
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures/seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

Using material evidence (objects, buildings, landscapes and others) as a starting point, you’ll examine new ways of interrogating existing historiographical questions that include the relationship between private and public in the early modern and modern world, the emergence of a culture of consumerism in Europe (and when this happened), the analysis of encounters and the interactions that formed part of the European colonial projects in the modern world. You’ll use an interdisciplinary approach and draw on a variety of new areas in the study of the methods of historians, including the history of the emotions.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Explore debates about the use of material culture by historians
  • Assess how the use of material culture might help to challenge older historical narratives
  • Apply theoretical and methodological approaches to specific objects/artefacts
  • Conduct focused reading and research on particular examples of material culture, and communicate findings effectively
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll examine various themes including anxiety, aspirations, agency and experience which you’ll use to focus on how popular culture has repeatedly been a source of unease for elites. You’ll explore the fears and moral panics arising from different forms of popular culture in the early modern and modern periods while looking at how popular culture could serve as a form of opposition to respectable ‘norms’, a means of aspiration and social improvement for some, and a form of unity.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the ways in which different social groups have understood and experienced popular cultures over time
  • Communicate ideas and arguments effectively, in a range of different formats
  • Examine and evaluate differing historiographical views on popular culture across the period of the module
  • Analyse a range of primary and secondary sources relating to popular cultures
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at questions of how national identities are constructed, how they change over time, and who is considered part of a national or ethnic community and who is excluded.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Explore the formation of national and ethnic identities through case studies
  • Evaluate scholarly debates about national identities, ethnic identities and nationalism
  • Apply theoretical and methodological approaches to a number of different case studies
  • Conduct research through focused reading, examine primary sources, and communicate findings effectively
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word document commentary (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word documentary essay (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll explore significant themes and debates in the history of slavery in the Atlantic World. Themes include: the intersection of ideas of race, gender, and slavery; the inherent violence of the institutions of slavery, and the persistent forms of resistance by the enslaved; and the development of anti-slavery thought and practices, including revolutionary action and mass campaigning.

The module is framed by the idea of the Atlantic World: a space created by the peoples who inhabited the continents of Europe, Africa, and the Americas; a space shaped by the lives and labour of the enslaved; and a world in which a particularly brutal and exploitative form of racial slavery was developed and eventually destroyed.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Explore various core topics in the history of race and slavery in the Atlantic World
  • Evaluate the historiography of slavery and antislavery in the Atlantic world
  • Critically examine the nature and basis of primary evidence
  • Write effectively using appropriate academic norms and conventions
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll study how behaviours now considered private or medical such as sexual incontinency were formerly monitored and controlled, the role of religious ideas and the participation of neighbours,  and you'll examine changes to criminal justice from when corporal, capital punishment and torture were considered acceptable to the eighteenth-century 'bloody code', to the enlightenment ideas of punishment and modern policing. You’ll also explore the impact of urbanisation on patterns of crime and anxieties surrounding it and the use of criminal prosecution as a means of social control, in relation to enforcing gender-roles and controlling the poor.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate a variety of sources relating to and appraise different aspects of the history of crime
  • Assess methods of social control used at different periods of time, and the extent to which these were challenged
  • Differentiate between different historiographical approaches and arguments in the history of crime
  • Review how legal records can be used as a primary source for the understanding of social history
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll be introduced to theoretical and conceptual ways of thinking about leadership, and to thinking in practice from different disciplinary perspectives. You’ll use different leaders as case studies to draw on conceptual themes such as power/authority, policy, performance, context, chance, and political capital/popularity,

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically assess key moments in British politics from the Post-war period to the present day
  • Distinguish between different leadership styles and evaluate their significance
  • Assess how and to what purpose leadership power is exercised collectively and personally
  • Manage, assess and critically interpret political sources
  • Use a variety of interdisciplinary theories/concepts in analysing British politics and leadership
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll explore why and how Europeans colonised Africa, the reactions of African peoples who were colonised, and challenges to colonial rule within empires and in the international arena. You'll then move on to examining British and French relations with Africa in the post-colonial era, dealing with the unfinished process of decolonisation and the legacies of colonialism in Britain, France and Africa today.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Contextualise the European colonisation of Africa
  • Evaluate justifications for colonial rule.
  • Engage with contemporary debates regarding colonialism, decolonisation and its legacies in Europe and Africa
  • Critically analyse primary and secondary sources
  • Present a reasoned argument in written form, using appropriate terminology
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 2-hour workshops
Independent study time

You will be expected to undertake 164 hours of independent study for this module. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment
  • a 1,000-word annotated bibliography with recorded 5 minute pitch of a primary source (50% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word essay (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll analyse the relationship between ideology and the operation of political parties, social movements and government policy-making and explore how ideologies have developed and what role they play in individual and group identity. You’ll adopt a global perspective to look  at the 'classic' Western-oriented ideologies and considers ideologies from a non-Western perspective and context.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically assess the status, logic and consistency of ideologies
  • Assess and account for the significance and role of ideologies in political contexts and periods
  • Discuss the relationship between ideologies and the conduct of politics (in parties, movements, leadership)
  • Evaluate the contribution of key thinkers to the development of political ideologies
  • Discuss the relationship between ideology and individual and group identities
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars 
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the post-soviet period and the transition in Russia. You'll also analyse the transition in former Soviet states in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Ukraine and Belarus through core themes such as ethnicity, identity, historical memory, security and relations with the West.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate the operation of the Soviet system and assess the relevance of key theoretical models
  • Critically assess the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the problems of transition
  • Compare and contrast the role of important factors such as elites, ethnicity, identity, economic development, security in shaping the post-soviet transition
  • Explain the role of core determinants of the relationship between Russia and the former Soviet states and their relationship with the West
  • Critically account for and assess the extent of democratisation in Russia and the former Soviet states
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • 2 x 2,000-word written assignments (50% of final mark, each)

What you'll do

You'll explore key themes such as the nature of the October 1917 revolution, the consolidation of Soviet power in the 1920s, the origins and nature of stalinism, and industrialisation and collectivisation in the 1930s. You'll also learn about the Soviet Union in the second world war, the Khrushchev reforms, the so-called period of stagnation under Brezhnev and the nature and impact of Gorbachev's reforms.

You'll examine relevant debates between historians and political scientists as well as specific topics that interest you, such as the changing role and status of women, changes in the Soviet state, party and social structure, and the role of individuals such as Lenin, Stalin, Gorbachev.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically assess key debates on the nature of Soviet society, politics and history and understand their context
  • Assess and account for the nature and causes of change in Soviet society and politics
  • Display a critical understanding of the complexities of the operation of Soviet politics and society over time
  • Critically analyse the role played by different factors – individuals, social, economic, ethnic and international – in Soviet politics and society
Teaching activities
  • 11 hours of lectures
  • 11 hours of seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word essay (50% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word essay on a theme of your choice (50% of final mark)

What you’ll do

You'll examine the rise of the US from a regional power to a global superpower, and the international pressures upon the USA that caused it to go through periods of isolationism and global engagement. You'll study the 2 global wars, the isolationist interwar years, the Cold War, the Vietnam Conflict, détente under Nixon, and policy in the post-Cold War era from Clinton to Obama.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Discuss topics within the field of US foreign policy in the 20th century and its emergence as a superpower
  • Analyse key historical issues, concepts, evidence and historiographical debates in US foreign policy
  • Critically analyse the role of the US as a hemispheric and world power
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

What you’ll do

On this module you will examine the domestic politics and constitutional framework of the United States of America. This covers key US political institutions (the Presidency, Congress, and US Supreme Court) and contemporary domestic issues. You'll examine the principal institutions, governing processes, and the 2 party political system, and issues such as gun control, abortion, the death penalty, identity politics, and political funding.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Analyse and explain the role of the key institutions of the US federal government
  • Critically examine the inter-relationship of the federal, state and local level of US political life
  • Examine and explain the influence of informal actors on the formal policy making structures within the US political system, including PACs, lobbies, and pressure groups within wider civil society
  • Analyse and explain historically contested issues with particular reference to gun control, abortion, healthcare, capital punishment, the media, and civil rights
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

This module includes writing from Latin America, the Caribbean, the US and Canada.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify key concerns, aesthetics or genres used in texts by women in the Americas
  • Critically evaluate theoretical approaches to a defined problem
  • Produce critically informed close readings of literary texts
  • Conduct independent research about an identified problem and offer a literary analysis in context
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word written assignment including essay (70% of final mark)
  • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll examine the intellectual, social, cultural and political factors influencing writers in this period. Texts you read will explore the American identity, as well as changing attitudes towards religion, race, gender, sexuality and class.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify key concerns, aesthetics or genres that allow for a sub-categorisation of post-1800 US writing
  • Critically evaluate different theoretical approaches to a defined concept within US writing
  • Produce critically informed close readings of US literary texts
  • Conduct independent research about an identified concept and offer a literary analysis of US writing in context
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 7-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 40-minute exam (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll evaluate various sociological, feminist and queer theories on the social construction of gender and sexuality, and apply these to current debates. You'll also develop the analytical tools to challenge contemporary views that we now live in an equal 'post-feminist' society.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of and engage with different sociological, feminist, queer (and related) theories of gender and sexuality
  • Use various theories to analyse the social world and everyday experience
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how gender and sexuality intersect with other social categories and positions
  • Recognise the importance of locating analyses of gender and sexuality in social, historical and geographical contexts
  • Develop a theoretically-informed essay plan based on a set essay question
  • Construct and present a theoretically-informed essay, exploring a topic related to the module in-depth
  • Learn from and implement feedback to develop future work
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3-hour lectures and seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (20% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at the current labour market and the changing definition of a ""career"". You'll also investigate intergenerational relationships, and whether we make career choices alone or instead uphold the work values of our parents and family.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of employment and the labour market, specifically the social science study of careers and work life balance
  • Outline, compare and contrast different understandings of work, why we do this, how it is informed by our background, and how this effects our identity
  • Creatively and reflectively apply key ideas about how work is performed and understood in people’s lives
  • Use learning technologies to assess and evaluate current debates about the social and cultural dimensions of work in written formats
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (20% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll explore the history and ongoing existence of race and racism in the West. To achieve this, you'll look at the development of modern racism in relation to colonial and 'scientific' notions of separate peoples, and in relation to the rise of 'colour-blind' racism.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Engage critically and reflectively with theoretical and empirical literature on race and racism
  • Show independent and analytical thinking in relation to knowledge of the history and/or modern presence of race and racism
  • Reflect on how race and racism intersect with other dimensions of identity and inequality
  • Apply your learning in relation to specific case studies and an overarching context of social justice
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (10% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

Explore the discursive quality of power and the reproduction of society according to norms established by corporate, state, technical and consumerist factions of a global elite. You'll also look at how society has to adapt to many points of resistance in the configuration of power.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify the key causes of social divisions in capitalist democracies
  • Recognise the mechanisms of persuasion that maintain these divisions
  • Evaluate political violence as a historical outcome of failure by the elites to maintain social control
  • Analyse and evaluate the use of ideology in how social control and resistance to elites, are maintained
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (10% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word written assignment (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll organise your own programme of learning activities to total at least 80 hours, supported by faculty-led workshops.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Reflect on your learning and experience to date and use this to organise suitable work experience
  • Propose a programme of learning that will demonstrate and develop your employability skills
  • Critically evaluate your learning and experience and relate this to your future career goals
  • Use reflective practice to communicate the results of your experience
Teaching activities
  • 9 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
  • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 80-hours of work-based learning
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 180 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 4,000-word coursework report (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll enter at the appropriate level for your existing language knowledge. If you combine this module with language study in your first or third year, you can turn this module into a certificated course that is aligned with the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFRL).

What you'll learn

When you complete this module:

  • You'll have improved your linguistic skills in Arabic, British Sign Language, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, French, German or Spanish
  • You'll be prepared for Erasmus study abroad
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through: 

  • coursework (100% of final mark) 

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Manage and complete tasks in a study relevant to your course, with an appropriate level of skill, initiative, independence and performance
  • Critically reflect on the formal learning experience and student ambassadorial role for the University, and consider the relevance of this learning to future study and/or employability and personal development
  • Critically assess how activities relate to disciplinary knowledge and practice covered on your undergraduate course within the global context
Teaching activities
  • 5 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 595 hours abroad
Independent study time

n/a

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word coursework portfolio (100% of final mark)

Optional sandwich year

Optional modules

What you'll do

Your placement year will be assessed after a period of no less than 30 weeks, on a pass/fail basis.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically reflect on the skills needed in a placement environment
  • Identify and evaluate your learning experience and the relevance of this to future careers and professional development
  • Identify areas for improvement or further training in your professional development
  • Evaluate your success in meeting the objectives identified in your learning agreement
Teaching activities
  • 10 x 1-hour seminars
  • 1,125 hours on placement
Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,500-word coursework portfolio (pass/fail, pass mark of 40)

Year 3

Specialist subjects

In your third year, you'll specialise in focused topics that most interest you. Alongside your dissertation or major project, you'll take on four special themes (or two, if you're on a pathway course) from subjects such as these:

What you’ll do

You’ll study the causes, impact and military conduct of the devastating civil wars of the mid-seventeenth century, and their important political and religious consequences for Britain and Ireland. You’ll explore the wars’ social consequences as well, including the huge rise in printed news and opinion, the role of the supernatural, and the impact on gender identities. You’ll conclude with the Restoration of 1660, when monarchy and ‘traditional’ religion were apparently restored, yet British society and politics had been transformed by the first modern revolution. 

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Undertake intensive critical work on primary sources relating to a strand of specialist history
  • Analyse and critically evaluate various historiographical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Construct and present arguments effectively and persuasively in a range of appropriate formats
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3 hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll explore British film-making and cinema-going in this period of immense social upheaval. You'll look at commercial film-makers' output, the Ministry of Information’s film propaganda programme, and society’s responses to the films that were produced.

Drawing on the work of the most important production companies, such as Ealing and Gainsborough, as well as a number of smaller studios, you'll use the films to explore issues of censorship, propaganda, and escapism.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Analyse and assess the various historical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Conduct intensive critical work on primary source documentation
  • Explore the relationship between primary and secondary source materials
  • Engage with the methodological and interpretative issues in the historiographical theme identified
  • Individually or within a group context, build upon prior research and construct a coherent presentation in the chosen subject area
  • Demonstrates intellectual, transferable and employability skills appropriate to the field of history
Teaching activities
  • 3 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 3-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you’ll do

You'll explore a number of different groups – Puritans hoping for more radical reform; Catholics living under a Protestant Church and Crown; Protestants from overseas seeking refuge in England; 'those who were martyred for their beliefs.

You'll consider the ways religious and political identities were negotiated in private and public, and how Elizabeth’s subjects responded to the demands of the state church, by drawing on a range of written, visual and material culture evidence.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Undertake intensive critical work on primary sources relating to a strand of specialist history
  • Analyse and critically evaluate various historiographical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Construct and present arguments effectively and persuasively in a range of appropriate formats
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3-hour seminars
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll explore the processes that led to the rapid end of the British and French Empires in Africa after World War II.  You'll consider the contrast between the violent ends of empire in, for example, Algeria and Kenya with the relatively peaceful transition in much of the rest of British and French Africa. You'll start by tracing the relative importance of British and French domestic politics, international factors such as the Cold War, and African nationalist movements in the decolonisation process, then evaluate the legacy of colonial rule in both Europe and Africa and debates around post-colonialism.

You'll make extensive use of primary sources, including UN and other documents, photos, posters and newspaper articles available online, to examine this period's resonance into the present day – for example, with fresh revelations in the 2000s about the use of torture and terror tactics by the colonial states during the 'Mau-Mau uprising' in Kenya and the Algerian War of Independence.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Analyse and assess the various historical approaches to the study of decolonisation and the end of empire
  • Conduct intensive critical work on primary source documentation
  • Explore the relationship between primary and secondary source materials
  • Engage with the methodological and interpretative issues in the historiographical theme identified
  • Individually or within a group context, build upon prior research and construct a coherent presentation in the chosen subject area
  • Demonstrate intellectual, transferable and employability skills appropriate ot the field of history
Teaching activities
  • 3 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 3-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll start by learning about the foundations of US (economic) power and by reflecting on how to study ‘American influence’. You'll study the debates over Americanisation and anti-Americanism, and examine primary sources to understand American influence on European politics, and on the everyday lives of Europeans. You'll also tap into international European history and use literature focusing specifically on the 2 post-World War periods and the Cold War.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Undertake intensive critical work on primary sources relating to a strand of specialist history
  • Analyse and critically evaluate various historiographical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Construct and present arguments effectively and persuasively in a range of appropriate formats
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3-hour seminars
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

Your studies will cover the situation of France as both a global imperial power and an old aristocratic monarchy, and how its contradictions collided with the Age of Enlightenment and propelled the state into collapse in 1789.

You'll explore what kinds of conflict challenged the idea of a smooth transition as radical republicanism first toppled the monarchy in 1792, then consumed itself in civil war that, at the same time, saved the Republic from its foreign enemies in “the Terror” of 1793 and 1794.

You'll examine what was left of the Revolution’s ideals after years of warfare, and how its heritage survived Napoleon’s dictatorship.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Undertake intensive critical work on primary sources relating to a strand of specialist history
  • Analyse and critically evaluate various historiographical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Construct and present arguments effectively and persuasively in a range of appropriate formats
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3-hour seminars
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

In this specialist subject, you'll explore crime, class and racial tensions in Britain’s domestic cities, and examine contemporary fears that the modern city could be threat to civil order and to the Empire itself.

What you'll do

You'll examine how the city became a place of contestation over popular forms of ‘scandalous’ entertainment and how the pioneers of social research attempted to categorise and contain the ‘people of the abyss’. You'll also look at the ways urban elites attempted to foster local and imperial loyalty through schools, pageantry and civic architecture, and the representation of slums in popular literature during this period.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Analyse and assess the various historical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Conduct intensive critical work on primary source documentation
  • Explore the relationship between primary and secondary source materials
  • Engage with the methodological and interpretative issues in the historiographical theme identified
  • Individually or within a group context, build upon prior research and construct a coherent presentation in the chosen subject area
  • Demonstrates intellectual, transferable and employability skills appropriate to the field of history
Teaching activities
  • 3 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 3-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you’ll do

You'll look at a broad range of supernatural practices and beliefs in the modern period. You'll examine the continuation of witchcraft and popular magic, the rise of occult societies towards the end of the 19th century, and how supernatural ideas and practices adapted and took on new meanings. Rather than viewing magical thinking and supernatural beliefs as a lingering cultural remnant from a previous age, the module explores how attitudes towards the supernatural helped shape a sense of being ‘modern’.

You'll explore the enchantment of Victorian stage illusionism, the social and imperial fears expressed in late-Victorian Gothic literature, and the resurgence of magical practices in the First World War. You'll analyse how mesmerism, hypnotism and Spiritualism blurred boundaries between the supernatural and the scientific, and how the Society for Psychical Research established the scholarly study of ghosts and hauntings.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Undertake intensive critical work on primary sources relating to a strand of specialist history
  • Analyse and critically evaluate various historiographical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Construct and present arguments effectively and persuasively in a range of appropriate formats
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3-hour seminars
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you’ll do

What is Germany and who is German? You'll be looking at changing ideas about the answers to these questions over the last 200 years. You'll start with the Napoleonic Wars, when the idea of a united German nation first emerged, look at the racial nationalism in the 20th century which resulted in the ideology of Nazism, and explore the difficult task of constructing national identities in a divided and morally bankrupt post-war Germany. You'll also study today’s reunified Germany, where the question of who is German is once again at the centre of the public debate.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Undertake intensive critical work on primary sources relating to a strand of specialist history
  • Analyse and critically evaluate various historiographical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Construct and present arguments effectively and persuasively in a range of appropriate formats
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3 hour seminars
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll examine the events in China, India, Great Britain, and the wider world that led to the Opium War. You'll study the first major Sino-Western trading dispute through primary sources written by merchants, diplomats, parliamentarians, and missionaries, who all joined the debate about the opium trade and about the British decision to go to war. Of note are Lin Zexu’s letter to Queen Victoria (1839), William Gladstone’s speech to the House of Commons (1840), and the Treaty of Nanking (1842).

You'll discuss the reasons behind the war and the immediate legacy of this Sino-British hostility in the 19th century. Additionally, you'll examine the diverging historiographies of the Opium War in China and the West in the twentieth century. As China and the West grow increasingly interconnected, the history and historiography of the Opium War give us a good opportunity to understand today's international relations and conflicts.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Analyse and assess the various historical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Conduct intensive critical work on primary source documentation
  • Explore the relationship between primary and secondary source materials
  • Engage with the methodological and interpretative issues in the historiographical theme identified
  • Individually or within a group context, build upon prior research and construct a coherent presentation in the chosen subject area
  • Demonstrates intellectual, transferable and employability skills appropriate to the field of history
Teaching activities
  • 3 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 3-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you’ll do

You’ll explore the lingering impacts of the British empire on British political and social history throughout the second half of the twentieth century. You'll examine how ideas of race and racialisation have shaped government and popular attitudes across a range of issues from immigration legislation to education policy, policing, music and TV.

You'll also explore how a variety of people, black and white, British and foreign, have worked to oppose racist ideas and practices and forge a new idea of what post-imperial Britain should be.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Undertake intensive critical work on primary sources relating to a strand of specialist history
  • Analyse and critically evaluate various historiographical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Construct and present arguments effectively and persuasively in a range of appropriate formats
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3-hour seminars
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll consider historical debates around the power dynamics between men and women in public and private, changing ideas about gender, and the role these ideas have played in shaping social structures.

What did intellectuals perceive as the main differences between men and women, and how influential were their ideas? How important was masculinity to the exercise of political power? Did women conform to patriarchal restrictions or find ways to work within an unequal system? What happened to those who pushed the boundaries of accepted gender norms?

By analysing a range of sources including letters, diaries, paintings, objects, government papers and printed texts, you'll examine the role that sex and gender played in the exercise of power and influence in early modern society.

What you'll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Analyse and assess the various historical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Conduct intensive critical work on primary source documentation
  • Explore the relationship between primary and secondary source materials
  • Engage with the methodological and interpretative issues in the historiographical theme identified
  • Individually or within a group context, build upon prior research and construct a coherent presentation in the chosen subject area
  • Demonstrate intellectual, transferable and employability skills appropriate to the field of history
Teaching activities
  • 3 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 3-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time 

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll put together your own personal, independent research which can take many forms depending on the aims and focus of the dissertation/major project. You’ll complete this significant and individual piece of work over an extended period of time using self-managed learning.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Design a viable dissertation/project proposal
  • Use current research or equivalent advanced scholarship in the relevant field
  • Deploy established and relevant techniques of analysis and enquiry in an ethical framework to a specific and focused area relevant to history
  • Critically evaluate assumptions, arguments and data (which may be incomplete) to form a judgement, frame further questions and identify potential solutions
  • Manage and reflect on your learning and communicate in writing to a specified audience relevant to the academic or workplace community
Teaching activities
  • 10 hours of project supervision
  • 10 hours of workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 380 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (10% of final mark)
  • a 9,000-word dissertation (90% of final mark)

Optional modules

If you're following a pathway, you'll complement your specialist subjects with two relevant options from these modules:

What you’ll do

You'll explore the long civil rights movement, examining organisations and individuals, such as Booker T. Washington, the NAACP, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Ella Baker, Malcolm X, the Black Panther Party, Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama. You'll study social and political history, as well as social movement theory in order to understand what makes a successful rights movement.

You'll also analyse cultural influences on civil rights activism and mainstream society through changes to Hollywood movies and TV shows due to progressive gains, as well as the role of civil rights music across the 20th century, and other cultural markers (such as the art of the Harlem Renaissance and the role of sport in civil rights advances).

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Undertake intensive critical work on primary sources relating to a strand of specialist history
  • Analyse and critically evaluate various historiographical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Construct and present arguments effectively and persuasively in a range of appropriate formats
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3 hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll study the emergence of the United States from the time of the Revolution (1776) until the death of Thomas Jefferson in 1826. In this period the US became a republican state, embarked upon significant territorial expansion into the West, and experienced significant social and cultural development.

Jefferson, who was an author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third president of the USA, was intimately involved in these processes. He also embodied the contradictions the United States: a land of liberty that relied upon slavery.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Analyse and assess the various historical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Conduct intensive critical work on primary source documentation
  • Explore the relationship between primary and secondary source materials
  • Engage with the methodological and interpretative issues in the historiographical theme identified
  • Individually or within a group context, build upon prior research and construct a coherent presentation in the chosen subject area
  • Demonstrates intellectual, transferable and employability skills appropriate ot the field of history
Teaching activities
  • 3 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 3-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll critically analyse stereotypes of US masculinity from a cultural and historical perspective. You'll explore how constructions of US masculinity relate to, and are affected by, constructs such as gender, nationality, race, class and sexuality.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Compare and contrast key theories and concepts in the study of masculinity
  • Evaluate theoretical models and use them for the critical analysis of representations of masculinity
  • Demonstrate critical awareness by identifying contextual research and analysing textual representations of masculinity
  • Communicate knowledge of masculinity studies and use it to analyse a range of texts
  • Identify and use key concepts in masculinity studies to produce a theoretically-informed analysis of the literature
  • Demonstrate a wide range of independent research
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment including essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at contemporary social movements that have envisioned and enacted an end to oppression, and the relationship between social justice and education. You'll also be encouraged to develop your own political framework for challenging oppression.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate one key concept explored on the module, describing how it has been employed as a political framework for dismantling oppression
  • Examine key debates related to at least one social justice issue, demonstrating awareness of the interlocking nature of different structures of oppression
  • Reflect on how structures of oppression relate to your own life and experiences, as part of developing your own political framework for challenging oppression
  • Critically reflect on the relationship between education, knowledge production and social (in)justice
  • Plan and manage self-directed and independent learning
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
  • 4 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 160 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word written assignment (50% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word coursework portfolio (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll consider the various social and cultural dimensions of food production and consumption, including the role of food and taste in the construction and maintenance of identities.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Formulate a plan to combine academic sources and relevant cultural texts
  • Synthesise literature about food and culture from a range of relevant sources
  • Critically analyse specific examples to evaluate more general arguments about food
  • Critically assess the relationship(s) between food and other facets of contemporary society
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (15% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (85% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll also look at the recent emergence of the sociological study of happiness, and debates around self-help and self-improvement. 

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Analyse the social and cultural aspects of health and 'wellness'
  • Critically evaluate how people make sense of their selves and bodies
  • Evaluate social scientific perspectives on happiness and well-being
  • Analyse and evaluate empirical social scientific material
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • 2 x 2,000-word written assignments (50% of final mark, each)

What you'll do

You'll look at the sociology of taste and value in relation to culture, including the extent to which taste is a marker of social class and the significance of celebrity culture. You'll examine the tensions between culture and market forces, individual and group judgements, and cultural appropriation and appreciation.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Independently formulate a question on a relevant topic
  • Develop an essay plan to evaluate the distinctive character of sociological thinking on culture
  • Critically assess the contribution of various approaches to the sociological study of culture
  • Communicate knowledge of complex ideas, concepts and themes, and issues explored on the module
  • Distinguish between various analytic perspectives in relation to contemporary cultural phenomena
  • Produce a critically engaged and coherently argued essay, synthesising information from a wide range of sources
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (essay plan) (10% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written essay (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll discuss and apply core theories of authoritarianism and democracy and the factors that promote democratic consolidation and authoritarianism, looking at them from contrasting regions and countries. You’ll also examine alternative themes and compare them, such as the way that human rights, media, religion and identity are affected by authoritarian systems and democracies, and you'll explore variations in the nature and responses to threats and challenges such as terrorism populist movements and protest.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate competing theories of democratic consolidation and authoritarianism
  • Compare and contrast the role of procedural and substantive conditions in determining the success of democratic consolidation and the maintenance of authoritarianism
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of competing explanations of democratisation and authoritarianism through an in-depth study of one country or region, taken from the late twentieth or early twenty-first centuries
  • Critically examine the relationship between democracy and authoritarianism and factors such as religion, identity media and political culture
  • Assess the resilience and response of democratic and authoritarian systems to challenges and threats such as terrorism, populism, protest, corruption and economic problems
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word practical skill assessment (10% of final mark)
  • a 3000-word coursework report (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

In this module, you’ll examine utopian ideas, ideologies, and practices as a basis for engaging critically with the idea of human progress at the beginning of a new millennium.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate awareness of a variety of sources, identify and appraise different strands of utopian and dystopian political thought
  • Compare and reflect critically on different ideas about human progress and the difficulties of pursuing utopias under conditions of complexity and uncertainty
  • Creatively apply relevant aspects of utopian and dystopian thought to contemporary political issues across local, national and global contexts
  • Assess the insights and limits of utopian and dystopian thought in relation to how societies understand and address the challenges facing humanity in the twenty-first century
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
  • 1 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
  • 5 hours of supervised time in a studio/workshop
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 172 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute assessment (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word coursework assignment (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

Grassroot political activist movements have grown fast and now international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are increasingly visible advocates in various policy areas as well as important service providers, particularly in fragile and post-conflict states. This module encourages you to reflect on the legitimacy and accountability of NGOs and social movements, and consider the political consequences of their activism.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the accountability of core civil society actors
  • Critically evaluate the composition, competencies and influence of core civil society actors
  • Critically engage with debates on the potential and challenges of civil society activism
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 2-hour lectures
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 750-word written assignment (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

From a conceptual perspective, you’ll examine new debates in security studies and critically examine the enduring relevance of strategic thought in the face of contemporary challenges. You'll also explore contemporary events and issues, analysing the modes and causes of contemporary global threats and the options and responses of those tasked to deal with them.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the underlying causes and implications of contemporary security challenges
  • Critically review perspectives on the strategic options for managing these issues
  • (Re)appraise the use of traditional strategic concepts with respect to new forms of global (in)security
  • Demonstrate independent thought with respect to novel solutions to global (in)security concerns
  • Effectively communicate research findings for academic or professional audiences
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
  • 1 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 175 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word written assignment (70% of final mark)

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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through a variety of formats. The emphasis is on giving you a range of ways to demonstrate what you’ve learned and how your thinking has developed.

Your history degree with us is weighted more towards coursework than traditional exams. Assessment types include:

  • blogs
  • essays
  • project reports
  • group presentations
  • individual presentations
  • in-class contributions
  • 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 that you can continue to develop and improve

The way you're assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous academic year of how students on this course were typically assessed:
  • Year 1 students: 8% by written exams, 10% by practical exams and 82% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 22% by practical exams and 78% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 24% by practical exams and 76% by coursework
Richard's story
"Portsmouth has definitely given me the tools I need to achieve..."

Find out what Richard loves about studying a BA (Hons) History degree at Portsmouth, and where he hopes this will take him next.

What I love about history at Portsmouth is the variety that the course offers, it just gives you the different aspects of History that you wouldn't necessarily be learning in school.

I hope to personally work in the civil service so I'd like to work in either regional or national government.

Portsmouth has definitely given me the tools I need to achieve it's given me the confidence and skills I can pass on when I'm going to my next career. 

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • 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.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your History degree.

In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 11 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, independent reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course.

You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next scheduled meeting.

Learning development tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty 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
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2022 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year, including our Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £16,200 a year (subject to annual increase)

You won't pay any extra tuition fees to another university for taking part in a study/work abroad activity if you choose to do it for the whole academic year. During a year abroad you'll only have to pay a reduced fee to the University of Portsmouth.

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

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.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

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.

For optional placements or placements abroad, you may need to pay additional costs, such as travel costs. These costs will vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. They'll range from £50 to £1000.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – V100
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also 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. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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