Old Portsmouth street with Spinnaker Tower in the background

History BA (Hons)

Get closer to the moments that shaped our world on this History degree course. Choose to explore the times and themes that interest you most. Develop skills in research, analysis and argument that all sorts of employers are looking for. 

University of Portsmouth Connected Degree - 3 year course with 4th year placement

Key information

UCAS code:


Typical offer:

104-112 UCAS points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

Showing content for section Overview


Explore the past to understand the now. Dive into moments of challenge, change and everyday life across six centuries and four continents.

Uncover the ways in which diverse groups of people were shaped by, and themselves shaped, the world they lived in. In doing so, you can reflect on your own values and better understand how history is about the present, and the future.

The city of Portsmouth has its own rich stories to tell, connecting to local, national and global history. Past and present meet on every corner - from its Tudor Castle to the millennial Spinnaker Tower. It's the ideal place to create your own immersive and relevant BA (Hons) History degree. 

The University of Portsmouth is ranked the number 1 modern university for research quality in Area Studies

History contributes to Area Studies. Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

Read more about our excellent research in Area Studies

Course highlights

  • Study in a city that’s always been a gateway to the wider world, with options to explore the past of Britain, Europe, Africa, Asia and North and South America
  • Discover how to interpret a range of historical artefacts and sources, from the possessions of Tudor sailors to 1930s movie magazines
  • Get closer to history thanks to close links with Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and the Portsmouth Museum and Records Service
  • Tailor your studies to times and themes you find most fascinating - from the British Civil Wars to the Opium War, from Victorian cities to modern Germany, from persecution and migration in the 16th century to anti-racism in the 20th century
  • Learn in a place where historians collaborate with linguists, sociologists and political scientists to answer deep and complex questions
  • Develop demonstrable skills in research, analysis and argument that are highly valued by all kinds of employers
  • Have the chance to do a CV-boosting work placement year at a museum, heritage site, charity or other organisation of interest after your second or third year on this Connected Degree - we're the only UK university to offer flexible sandwich placements for undergraduates
  • Take up an exchange opportunity at a university outside the UK, such as University of Prince Edward Island in Canada, Halmstad University in Sweden, Nagoya University in Japan, Caen-Normandy University in France, University of Western Carolina in the USA, or Edith Cowan University in Australia
  • Choose to learn a foreign language for free as part of your degree, from a selection of Arabic, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish


of graduates in work or further study

(HESA graduate outcomes survey 2020/21)


of students said teaching staff were very good or good at explaining things

(NSS 2023)


of students said this course developed knowledge and skills they'll need for the future

(NSS 2023)

Why study history at Portsmouth?

Study history in a city that's always been a gateway to the wider world. Meet our academics and students, learn about our placement opportunities, and discover why Portsmouth could be right for you.

Brad Beaven: As students go through the course, you're doing your own research under expert guidance and really producing real history, so it's not a passive type of course, you're going out there doing the research and writing real history.

Beth: BA History is a three year course that gives you loads of scope on what you can research, you can do it with pathways. I did it with Sociology, or you can do it with American Studies.

Brad Beaven: The types of topics we offer on this course are really wide ranging. One week you could be looking at the Opium Wars, Chinese Opium Wars. The following week you'd be looking at Opium Dens in Victorian London, the French Revolution and student revolutions in the 1960s.

Mike Esbester: There are a variety of museums and sites of historic interest that we’re able to take the students to as part of the course. The skills that they develop with us are the ones that employers really look for. So, the ability to analyse critically, produce an argument, make a case, so really practical skills that are really sought after and used in every walk of life. On the course, there are a variety of placement opportunities available. You will work with the Placement and Internship Centre, so a dedicated team who are helping with setting up placements.

Beth: I did a year volunteering at my local museum. I got to work with social sectors that promoted arts and culture. I got to provide walking tours.

Brad Beaven: When we find students come back, they come back with a wholly different attitude to work. They've got real experience in different varieties, so things like PR,

Mike Esbester: law, charities, museums and archive services, i.e. a company that dealt with digitisation.

Brad Beaven: It's a huge opportunity for people to gain those experiences and opportunities.

Beth: I would say to other students to come to Portsmouth because it's just a great city in that you are by the sea. In the summer, it's amazing to go down to the common. The university itself, though, is great in communication, the personal tutors were amazing. Even during my placement, I was kept in contact with my tutor and then throughout the course itself, there are really nice people to get along with.

Mike Esbester: The team are fantastic, really enthusiastic, dedicated and teaching a huge amount of really interesting material about the past.

Brad Beaven: Portsmouth has huge amounts of heritage that gives lots of opportunities for students to do part-time work and job opportunities in that way. Portsmouth is a really student-friendly city.

Mike Esbester: I think the thing that I love most about the course is seeing the current students get it. It's brilliant, really fun and it's a wonderful thing.

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

BA (Hons) History degree entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBC-BCC
  • UCAS points - 104-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find 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.

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBC-BCC
  • UCAS points - 104-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects or GCSEs - 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.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

Focusing on your interests with pathways

You can follow optional Sociology or American Studies pathways through this degree, or include History as a pathway in our English Literature or International Relations courses. It'll lead to one of these awards at the end of the course:

How history comes alive in Portsmouth

Portsmouth is a time traveller’s paradise, with historic tales of royalty, naval exploration, and even the odd ghost… join two of our students for a tour around our historic island city.

Archie and Kimberley

Welcome to Portsmouth!


Our city is a time traveller's paradise with historical tales of royalty, naval exploration and even the odd ghost.


Let us show you around.


Portsmouth is best known for our naval history, and here at the historic dockyard, you'll find the Mary Rose, HMS Warrior and HMS Victory. People arriving and leaving via ships has helped to shape the city, and the city has helped to shape their ideas and actions.


In 1662, Catherine Duchess of Braganza alighted here from Portugal to marry King Charles II. Their wedding took place here in Portsmouth and you can see their marriage certificate in Portsmouth Cathedral.


In the cathedral you'll also find a statue of the Duke of Buckingham, who was assassinated not far away in the Greyhound Inn. The Cathedral is also linked to multiple ghost stories and urban legends, including a sighting of Spring-heeled Jack, a fire-breathing demon.


The city wasn't built to keep out demons, but Portsmouth was vitally important in the defence of the Channel Coast. So a protective circuit was built around the city, including Southsea Castle.


Moving forward in the timeline of the city's defence, the site of popular shopping centre Gunwharf Quays was once home to the ‘stone frigate’ HMS Vernon. This two-tonne monument commemorates its mine warfare and diving heritage.


Like many port cities, Portsmouth welcomes a variety of different cultures and backgrounds, but their histories are not always visible. Historians at the University are working with community activists, curators, archivists and teachers to raise the visibility of black history and to engage locals in the co-production of this knowledge.


As well as visitors, Portsmouth has many famous faces who were born right here, including novelist Charles Dickens, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the engineer.

From engineers to writers, royalty to slaves, Portsmouth has had a number of people come and go over the years.


Their impact lives on. Our historians are discovering new stories from the past that helped shape our future.


Visit us and our historic city. You never know, you might just change its future.

Careers and opportunities

Studying history will give you transferable skills in critical thinking, collaboration, research, analysis and argument, all of which are highly valued by many kinds of employers.

A global survey of 1000 business leaders by the Harvard Business Review [...] found that the skills most in-demand by employers are those in which Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts graduates specialise – from communication, problem solving and creativity, to research and analysis. 

Ian Diamond, The British Academy

What can you do with a History degree?

As a qualified historian, you can move forward to further study and research or put your degree to work in areas such as:

  • archives and information management
  • corporate governance
  • creative industries
  • heritage
  • law
  • primary and secondary education
  • higher education
  • charity / not-for-profit organisations
  • publishing and media
  • trade unions

Graduate roles and destinations

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • administrator for social enterprise
  • barrister
  • case worker for MP
  • development editor in publishing
  • exhibitions project manager
  • founder of a digital solutions company
  • researcher and writer for TV
  • teacher
  • workplace financial education consultant

Portsmouth alumni have worked with organisations including:

  • central and local government
  • higher education
  • National Trust
  • National Maritime Museum
  • NHS
  • the probation service
  • Royal Navy

Hear from BA (Hons) History graduate, Emily

Emily Fryer graduated in 2018 with a BA (Hons) History degree from the University of Portsmouth. She is now a HR Manager. Find out what Emily’s role entails and how she’s applying the skills she learnt during her time with us.

Emily: I am Emily Fryer. I went to Portsmouth three years ago and I studied history.

I've always loved history, it's been my passion since I've been little. My dad loves history as well. We would always go on trips to the museum. We would go to the Imperial War Museum in London loads.

When I was sort of picking what I wanted to do at uni, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for a career. History is a subject that I loved the most and then when I was speaking to the Careers Advisors, they were saying about how many transferable skills history has.

I visited three different universities and Portsmouth was by far my favourite. I think it helped when I visited, it was super sunny and Portsmouth in the sunshine is the loveliest place ever. You've got it all really. You have the student life, but you've also got the beach and all the history. It was just the place really more than anything else that sold me, like I would love to live here for three years.

All the lecturers that I met were so lovely, really passionate and they are all actively researching and publishing as well. So you really get experts in each of their fields. One of my lecturers was Rob James, I ended up getting a first overall, and I think that was largely down to him. Always knowing that I could do better and pushing me and really believing in me.

When I graduated with my history degree, I was kind of unsure about what to do, what career path to take because it is so varied, you can really do whatever you want. I found a job at Cath Kidston. I got a job in HR and it's just something that I've realised is a perfect mix of all of my skills, all of my passions, all into one job.

My degree has actually had a huge impact on my career. I wanted to learn all of the theory behind the stuff I've been doing at work for the last two years. That's why I was so keen to do my CIPD.

I don't even know where I'd be without the University of Portsmouth, it was such a big part of my life. Living here and studying here and all of the people that I met and the tutors. Kind of more than anything, it's instilled that thirst for knowledge and always wanting to know more and always wanting to question things. I think a huge part of history is you're always questioning a source, and the lecturers would say, don't just believe everything at face value, always question things and always want to know more. What really drives me is that I just want a job that I enjoy, a life that I enjoy. That is what makes me want to continue studying so I can just progress in my career and continue enjoying what I'm doing. 

Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

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 (optional)

After your second or third 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.

You could also choose to set up your own business, or take a voluntary placement.

Placement destinations

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

Current and recent students have secured placements at:

  • Freedom from Torture, a charity which supports survivors of torture who seek protection in the UK
  • Shrewsbury Museums
  • Darton Law Ltd
  • Posada & Company (Law)
  • Everyday Loans
  • Narrativia (independent production company)

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


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.

What you'll study

Core modules

You’ll discover the dramatic changes that disrupted people’s lives in Europe from the fifteenth century to the mid-eighteenth century, including religious controversy, international and civil wars, European colonialism and climate crisis.

Explore how people at the time grappled with new ways of thinking about identity and status, along with complex notions of gender and ideas of 'race'.

Learn about how people who lived through this era of change and conflict understood their world and how they sought to adapt to or change it.

You'll investigate formative political, social and cultural developments through time.

By locating events within both their specific regional contexts and also their broader global trends, you'll start to see some of the connections shaping the development of the modern world.

With guidance, you'll explore and challenge narratives of the national and regional histories to gain new perspectives on the underappreciated complexities of these histories.

On this module, you’ll learn about the social, cultural, economic and political changes which took place from the mid-eighteenth century until the end of the twentieth century, covering periods of war and peace, revolution and protest, and imperial rivalry and national unification.

You’ll explore how individuals and different communities in countries such as Britain, France, or Germany were affected by the challenges and conflicts of their times but also consider how people actively shaped the events and times they lived through.

On this module, you’ll discover how to step-up from your previous learning to the independence that's essential for success in your degree.

Reflecting upon the historical topics you’ll study each week across the degree, this module will help you gain confidence in discussing the past, presenting arguments, and in the foundational skills of university study.

On this module, you'll use a wide range of primary sources, ranging from written texts to a diverse array of non-written materials, to learn more about the lives of people in the past.

You'll also look at the uses to which historians have put primary sources, and explore questions of why and how interpretations of the past constantly evolve.

Core modules

You’ll discover how within historical study our understanding constantly evolves, and how these changing understandings help us to think about the importance of history in the present.

You’ll hear your lecturers introduce important historical debates in their own field of research.

Through discussing, exploring and bringing to life a number of case studies which draw on a variety of chronological and geographical areas, this module will help you to advance your critical skills in reading and argument.

On this module, you’ll learn how the practice of academic history can be transferred and applied to a vast range of practical projects that involve thinking about, working with, or drawing-upon knowledge and understanding of the past.

You’ll also carry out a self-guided project, with support from tutors and potentially in collaboration with internal or (subject to availability) external partners. Your project will reflect the opportunities that history will provide for your future career.

Optional modules

On this module, you’ll explore the evolving power of media to represent reality, sway opinion and shape identity from the age of empire through swelling post-war pop culture.

Examining sources like newspapers, propaganda films, early TV and more, you'll investigate questions like: What “truths” did the British public consume during wars and upheavals? How did entertainment and advertising convey visions of leisure, lifestyle and “the good life”? And who was included or excluded from depictions of Britishness across eras?

Discover how the media we ingest informs how we envision ourselves, our communities and aspirations - both past and present.

You’ll get familiar with the big issues and contemporary debates in education studies as well as the role and expectations of a teacher.

You’ll develops fundamental knowledge and skills that teachers require, as well as your capability to structure and critique a lesson plan.

You'll explore early modern Europe's complex world through everyday objects, analysing diverse artefacts - shoes, monuments, religious objects, food - and how they offer new perspectives for our understanding of the past and the present.

You'll consider how the study of objects can lead to new interpretations of historical narratives such as 'the consumer revolution', the development of a global economy, the emergence of new forms of inequality, and changing understandings of public and private.

You'll unearth the multiple lives and 'afterlives' of objects, engaging with debates about their significance and importance in heritage contexts in the 21st century, with access to some of the rich material culture available within the city, including the Mary Rose Museum.

You’ll evaluate sources such as legal records, cheap print, newspapers and novels, to discover what was considered a crime during this period and explore changing approaches towards ‘deviant’ behaviour.

You’ll see how behaviours we now consider private were publicly policed, and how this involved religion and the community. You’ll analyse changes from corporal punishment and torture towards modern ideas of policing.

You’ll also consider debates about the impact of urbanisation on patterns of crime, and the use of criminal prosecution as a means of social control, for example in relation to enforcing gender roles and controlling the poor.

You’ll collaborate with students on other courses to explore and address societal and environmental challenges faced by local and global communities. You’ll choose projects from a range of topic areas aligned with the university's Civic Strategy.

With input from local organisations, you’ll think about your topic from multiple perspectives, developing your interdisciplinary thinking and ability to work with others.

You’ll analyse the essence of security, exploring how security needs are addressed around the world and on a national level, down to a community and even an individual basis.

You’ll explore different forms of societal risk and insecurity, and approaches to dealing with security threats, taking into account the nature and impact of economic and political developments.

You'll learn how to think critically about the key concepts that link language, culture and communication, considering the benefits and limitations of these ideas.

You'll explore the different ways in which communication intersects with culture across themes such as identity, education, gender, and the media.

Alongside what you learn, you'll improve your skills in analysis, research and intercultural awareness.

You'll learn about consumer behaviour and brand strategy, and spend time examining real-world marketing campaigns. You'll also think about how social, political and technological forces can affect the way businesses approach marketing their products and services.

Skills you'll develop include carrying out market research and learning how to use what you learn, crafting targeted messaging across different marketing channels, and presenting your ideas verbally and in writing.

You'll learn about major economic, political and cultural changes in Western Europe over the nineteenth century, and how these affected the rest of the world as time went on.

You'll explore the big ideas that have shaped the modern world, and weigh up the benefits and perils of globalisation. Skills you'll develop on this module include independent research, critical thinking and effective communication.

You'll also learn to understand the opportunities and challenges of today's world from an informed, global perspective.

You’ll look critically ideas of nationalism historically and today with a focus on the everyday, intimate and embodied boundaries of nation-states and how these shape our lives, including those of us living in the most privileged parts of the world.

You’ll explore real-world cases to understand the individual and societal impacts on human lives, developing your analytical skills and imagining more compassionate alternatives.

You’ll unpack the language of tabloids, broadsheets and online news, analysing how journalists shape public understanding of current events.

Develop your critical thinking by confronting moral panics and polarised politics in reporting.

Create your own news stories and gain real insight into mass communication in a rapidly changing landscape.

You'll analyse major cases of economic crime and weigh up their wider societal implications.

You'll also learn how to recognise disciplinary perspectives, become familiar with the key investigating organisations, identify investigative techniques, and gather and analyse real case information.

You’ll analyse American texts against the backdrop of intellectual, social and political change, evaluating how writers grappled with emerging ideas around national identity, race, gender and more.

By honing skills for contextual analysis and independent thought, you’ll form your own interpretations of iconic works that reflect the American experience.

You’ll analyse diverse transitional justice approaches balancing community healing and judicial accountability after mass atrocities.

Comparing mechanisms like war crimes tribunals, truth commissions and reparations programmes, you’ll evaluate effectiveness in restoring dignity and preventing recurrence.

With case studies from Europe to Africa, from Latin America to Asia, you'll examine tensions between western models and local cultural perspectives, assessing what ‘justice’ means to vulnerable peoples.

Throughout, you'll trace incremental human rights legislation advances, assessing global institutions’ roles protecting civilians from authoritarian regimes and wartime abuses.

Through interactive lectures with academics, speakers and professionals, you'll discuss, debate and complete practical exercises exploring wildlife crime alongside your classmates.

You'll spend time examining wildlife crimes and the factors behind them, as well as environmental justice and sustainability.

You’ll explore the rise of the US across the twentieth century from a regional power to a global superpower and the domestic and international pressures upon the USA that caused it to go through alternating periods of isolationism and global engagement.

You’ll also delve into the two global wars and why the US entered them later than most other nations, the isolationist interwar years, the start of the Cold War, the Vietnam Conflict and the War on Terror.

In this module, you’ll explore European colonisation of Africa, asking questions like - how did they justify colonial rule, and how did African peoples respond to these colonisers?

You’ll learn how, after World War II, colonial rule was increasingly challenged from both within the empire, by growing African demands for political rights, and in the international arena, with the global trend towards trusteeship, development and self-determination.

You’ll also explore European relations with Africa in the post-colonial era, looking at themes which may include ideas about civilisation, universalism and race, modern attempts to 'rehabilitate' empire in the media, and the legacies of colonialism in Britain, Europe and Africa.

With a minimum 80-hour commitment, you’ll apply what you’ve learned so far on your degree to real-world professional settings within our community of local businesses, social enterprises, and third-sector organisations.

You’ll have support from interactive workshops, tutorials, and guest speaker events, encouraging you to set achievable professional goals and evolve your professional identity.

On this module, you’ll explore key areas of the history of slavery in the Atlantic World, and highlight significant themes and debates.

Themes you’ll think about include the intersection of ideas of race, gender, and slavery, the inherent violence of the institutions of slavery, the persistent forms of resistance by the enslaved, and the development of anti-slavery thought and practices, including revolutionary action and mass campaigning.

Core modules

Led by a subject specialist, you'll study how the practice and ideas related to empires and/or identities shaped the lives of people in a specific time period, and how they themselves resisted or negotiated the impositions of forms of inequality.

Example topics include: The Opium War, 1839-1842; The Imperial City: Popular Culture, Slums and Scandal in Britain, 1780-1939; and Racism and Anti-Racism in Post-war Britain.

In doing so, you'll explore how they were impacted by political change, and also how they challenged inequalities.

You'll start by studying two topics for the first half of the module. For the second half of the module, you'll choose to focus on one of the strands to prepare for the module’s final assessment. Example topics may include: Sex, Gender and Power in Early Modern England; Civil Rights USA; Rebels, Reformers, Refugees: Religious Identities in Elizabethan England

These cultures reflected perspectives on the world and changing values, revealing important insights into the hopes, fears, and identities of people and society.

Many forms of popular culture have substantial historical roots - including literature and music - whilst others are very modern - such as film and television.

You'll start by studying two topics, before deciding to specialise in one of these for your final assessment. Example topics may include: Cinema-Going in Wartime Britain, Accidents and Safety in Britain, c.1850-1970, Magic and Modernity.

Led by a subject specialist, you'll study a specific example of how a society was transformed by the forces of revolution: the political, social, and cultural pressures that fomented a revolutionary response leading to new ways of conceiving and ordering society.

Example topics that you may study include: The French Revolution; Britain in Revolution; Thomas Jefferson and the Making of the American Republic.

Optional modules

It's up to you what your dissertation or project is about – this will be your chance to showcase your passion for history by choosing a subject area or topic that most interests you.

You'll draw on everything you’ve learned so far to investigate, analyse, craft and refine your dissertation or project, using existing texts, sources and artefacts to support your arguments and give them context. You'll have the support of a dedicated dissertation tutor to guide you throughout this module.

This real-world, project-based module lets you address an identified need or gap by designing an innovative product, service or resource.

With support from university staff and external partners, you'll demonstrate critical thinking, ethical awareness and project management abilities.

Your final project and presentation will showcase your employability and capacity for high-impact solutions.

Optional modules

Work Placement Year or Study Year Abroad

Boost your employability by taking an industry-based work placement year or immerse yourself in another culture by studying for a year at one of our partner universities worldwide.

This is an amazing opportunity to either put everything you’ve learned so far into action in a real workplace in the UK or overseas, or to expand your horizons and set yourself up for your future career by studying abroad.

If you choose a work placement year, we’ll help you find and secure an exciting placement opportunity within an appropriate company or organisation. You’ll have the chance to try out skills and gain experience that’ll help you clarify your next career steps, while building capabilities employers seek. 

If you choose to study abroad, you’ll expand your global perspective and develop additional skills to boost your future career, as well as making memories, new friends and career contacts.

This is a Connected Degree

We're the only university that gives you the flexibility to choose when to take a work placement. Take it after your second year, before returning to finish your studies. Or after your final year, connecting you into the workplace.

If you're not sure if or when to take your placement, don't worry. You'll have plenty of time to settle into your studies and explore your options before making your choice. 

Find out more about Connected Degrees

Changes to course content

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. 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:

  • written essays
  • written reports
  • blogs
  • podcasts
  • individual presentations
  • group presentations
  • 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 may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 10% by exams and 90% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 95% by coursework and 5% by other means
  • Year 3 students: 100% by coursework
  • Year 4 students: 100% by coursework


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.

Studying history provided me with independence, flexibility, and research skills so that I can always meet the changing demands of my role in corporate governance.

Rory Herbert, BA (Hons) History

Teaching staff profiles

Catherine Mary Gibbons Portrait

Dr Katy Gibbons

Principal Lecturer

Senior Lecturer


School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more
David Robert Andress Portrait

Professor David Andress

Professor of Modern History


School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Robert Terence James Portrait

Dr Robert James

Senior Lecturer


School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more

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 use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

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 15 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 you

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 to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

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 meeting.

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

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.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

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.

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

  • 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 – £17,200 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.

  • 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 – £17,200 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 show your accommodation options and highlight 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.

You’ll need to cover additional costs, such as travel costs, if you take an optional placement or placement abroad.

These costs will vary depending on the location and duration of the placement, and can range from £50–£1000.

During your placement year or study abroad year, you’ll be eligible for a discounted rate on your tuition fees. Currently, tuition fees for that year are:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)

The costs associated with your specific destination will be discussed during your second year, as well as possible sources of additional funding.


How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

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

Apply now through UCAS


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.

To start this course in 2025, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

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

Apply now through UCAS


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.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in 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.