History with American Studies BA (Hons)
BA Hons History with American Studies
If you want to explore history, while specialising in the politics and culture of the USA, there’s no better place to study it than Portsmouth, a city with a rich heritage of its own.
On this BA (Hons) History with American Studies degree, you'll study the periods of British and global history that interest you most, while you focus a proportion of your studies on the United States of America. When you explore the USA, you'll examine contemporary and historical issues about American society, such as its politics and constitution, literature and culture, its foreign policy and global impact, the founding of the Republic, and minority and gender histories.
You'll develop your skills in research and analysis across global cultures, and gain sought-after workplace qualities in communication and teamwork.
To do this degree, you need to apply for the BA (Hons) History course. This is because it's a 'pathway' degree.
You’ll study History in depth and add American Studies as a complementary subject in years 2 and 3. You’ll graduate with a BA (Hons) History with American Studies degree when you finish the course.
These are the entry requirements for the BA (Hons) History course.
BA (Hons) History degree entry requirements
- A levels – BBC–BCC
- UCAS points – 104–112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, to include History or another relevant subject (calculate your UCAS points)
- International Baccalaureate – 25
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
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 degree course you’ll:
- Tailor your studies to your interests and the periods of history and American studies that interest you most
- Have access to primary and secondary historical sources through local organisations and archive subscriptions
- Engage with archives from North America, including government and personal papers and cultural sources
- 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
- Develop a critical understanding of the world we live in
- Get an in-depth understanding of our society and how we interact with it
- Learn how our lives intersect with wider social structures
Careers and opportunities
Employers from every area of industry value today’s history and sociology 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.
What can you do with a History degree?
Previous graduates have gone on to pursue a role in areas such as:
- the heritage sector
- postgraduate study
- research for media production companies
- health and social care
What jobs can you do with a History degree?
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.
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.
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.
What you'll study on this BA (Hons) History with American Studies 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 currently being studied
Core modules in this year include:
- Culture & Conflict in Europe, 1450-2000
- Debating the Past: Historical Perspectives
- Fragments of the Past: Understanding Sources and Bias
- Going Global: Encounters & Exchanges, 1450-2000
- History: Academic Enrichment Programme
- Thinking Like An Historian
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- History: Academic Enrichment Programme
- Introduction to Historical Research
- Masses and Modernity, 1750-1914
Optional modules on this year include:
- British Political Leadership
- Danger! Censorship, Power and the People
- Family, Career and Generation
- Fear and Fun: Popular Culture and Elite Anxieties
- From Revolution to Dictatorship - Russia & the Soviet Union 1917-1941
- Gender and Sexuality
- Ideology and Politics
- Imagined Communities: Ethnicity and National Identity
- Introduction to Teaching
- Learning from Experience
- Modern Foreign Language
- Race and Racism
- Russian & Eurasian Politics
- Slavery and Antislavery in the Atlantic World
- Social Power, Elites and Dissent
- Study Abroad
- The Extraordinary and the Everyday: People, Places and Possessions
- Underworlds: Crime, Deviance & Punishment in Britain, 1500-1900
On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
Core modules on this year include:
- Dissertation / Major Project (History)
- History: Academic Enrichment Programme
Optional modules in this year include:
- Autocracy and Democracy
- Challenging Global Inequality
- Equality or Liberation? Theorising Social Justice
- Learning from Experience
- Looking for Utopia, Finding Dystopia? Ideas and Ideologies in the New Millennium
- Nationalism and Migration: Chaos, Crisis and the Everyday
- NGOs and Social Movements
- Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates
- Security Challenges in the Twenty-First Century
- Special Subject: Group Project 1
- Special Subject: Group Project 2
- Special Subject: Individual Research 1
- Special Subject: Individual Research 2
- Violence, War and Society
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:
- written essays and tests
- group and individual projects
- seminar participation
- speech writing and reports
- a 10,000-word 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.
Teaching methods on this course include:
There's a practical focus on this course. You'll take part in group debates and discussions and get hands-on experience with different research and interview techniques.
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.
At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.
We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your 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.
The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.
It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- Teaching block 1 – September to December
- Assessment period 1 – January (and early February for some courses in 2020/21 only)
- Teaching block 2 – January to May (February to May for some courses in 2020/21 only)
- Assessment period 2 – May to June
Extra learning support
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 face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:
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
- 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 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.
Tuition fees (2021 start)
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £15,500 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 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.
You need to choose BA (Hons) History when you apply for this course, because this is a ‘pathway’ degree. This is where you study History in depth and add American Studies as a complementary subject in years 2 and 3. You’ll then graduate with a BA (Hons) History with American Studies degree when you complete the course.
If you change your mind after you apply, you can still choose not to study American Studies in years 2 and 3. You’ll then graduate with a BA (Hons) History degree when you complete the course.
How to apply
To start this course in 2021, 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
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). 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.