What Is a History Degree?
History is perhaps one of the broadest degree programmes and gives students the opportunity to study humanity from its earliest days. Studying history gives graduates a unique understanding of contemporary issues such as war, poverty and climate change. History graduates have excellent research skills and are analytical and communicative which means that they are highly sought-after in many professions. Related to myriad other disciplines, history students often study alongside law, international relations or sociology.
What will I study?
Throughout your studies, you will learn to research and analyse different kinds of sources thoroughly. You will gain an understanding of different methods of historical research; their strengths and weaknesses. Students are given the opportunity to focus on the area of history which most interests them, for example: early-modern history, twentieth-century European history or ancient civilisations.
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During first year you will study ‘history methods’ which equips you with the knowledge you need to critically analyse both primary and secondary sources. You will study core modules in European history and then choose two elective courses. This could be ‘art in ancient Greek civilisation’, ‘slavery and emancipation in the USA’ or ‘the history of political thought’.
Second year students gain further experience of handling sources during a major module on advanced historical methods. You will have the opportunity to spend some time working with archivists in the field. Alongside core units in European history, students can choose up to four elective modules to complete coursework in. Options in the second year include ‘Post-war German society and culture’, ‘Revolutionary Russia’ and ‘British Film and Cinema 1900-2000’.
Your final year will include a core module on historical methodology; the research, analysis and use of sources. You will then choose a topic for extensive research which will form a 15,000 word submission. This can be on anything that interests you, and you will work under the supervision of an expert tutor. You may even spend time researching archives abroad or undertaking first-hand eyewitness accounts.
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