Year 1 will give you an overview of historical topics from the 16th century to the present day. You will look at the origins of the early modern world and also develop important skills in historical enquiry that will prepare you for the rest of your degree.
In year 2 you’ll specialise in the topics that interest you the most. We offer a wide-ranging syllabus which covers topics as varied as:
- Crime and violence
- Fascism and totalitarianism
- The rise of America
- Medicine and gender
- Poverty and welfare
- Religion and statecraft
In year 2 you will also have the option to take a work placement as part of your degree. This allows you to enhance your CV whilst you study and also gain valuable work experience. We will place you in an organisation with historical links or interests, such as in a museum, the heritage industry, schools or archives.
Year 3 gives you the chance to focus on your own research, with extended modules and a dissertation so you can study your chosen topics in more depth.
As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module list
you choose from may vary from that shown here.
- Age of Revolution and Popular Protest (compulsory for single honours)
- Early Modern World (compulsory for single honours)
- Making History: Theory, Methods and Sources (compulsory for single and combined honours)
- Rise of the Modern World (compulsory for single and combined honours)
You will then pick further optional modules until you have a total of eight module credits. You can pick your credits from our History modules or choose a ‘wild’ module from another subject.
Optional History modules include:
- Disunited Kingdoms
- Everyday Life in Britain 1680-1880
- Medicine and Society, c.1650-1918
- Superpowers: an International History of the Cold War
- History and Documents (compulsory for single and combined honours)
- Historical Writing (compulsory for single honours)
students need eight module credits, two of which are compulsory - History and Documents
and Historical Writing
. They are then free to choose their remaining modules from the below options.
Combined honours students have one compulsory module in the History field - History and Documents. They then choose three other history modules, and make up the rest from their other subject.
- A History of Modern Ideas
- Brave New Worlds: Evolution and its Discontents
- Conflict and Belief in the Early Modern World
- Crime and Punishment through the Ages
- Culture, Community and Family in Britain, 1660-1918
- Gender, Sexualities and the Body
- History Work-Based Learning (offering a limited number of work placements with organisations which have historical links or interests)
- Independent Study I (Semester 1) involves individual study, under the supervision of one or more members of the academic staff, on a topic chosen by the student.
- Independent Study II (Semester 2)
- Ireland, Britain and the Wider World
- Jack the Ripper and the Victorian Underworld
- Politics, Society and Culture in Modern Britain
- The Crisis of the West
- The Early Modern State
- The Making of the American Giant, 1861-1945
Final year modules are double credit, which allows you to study each topic in great depth. There are eight modules offered annually (each entitled "Advanced Study in..."), which represent themes within the History programme. The specific content of each theme varies year on year, as it reflects the current research and specialisms of the department.
The eight 'Advanced Study in' modules are:
- Early Modern History
- History of America
- History of Britain, Ireland and the Empire
- History of Crime
- History of Ideas
- History of Medicine
- Modern Political History
- Social and Cultural History
Single honours students will study three taught modules plus a dissertation.
Combined honours students will study two modules in which the dissertation is optional.
Examples of modules from previous years can be seen below:
Advanced study in the History of Britain, Ireland and the Empire
- Britain and the Sea since 1600
- The Troubles: Northern Ireland, 1967-1998
Advanced study in Early Modern History
- Deviants and Social Outcasts
- God, Man, Spirit: Christianity in Western Society 1500-1700
- Power and Freedom in the Early Modern World
- The Tudors: Reformation and Rebellion
Advanced Study in the History of Ideas
- Evil in European Thought and Culture, 1750-1950: From Candide to Eichmann
- Race and Modernity: A Global History
- The Storm of Progress
Advanced Study in the History of Medicine
- Debating Issues in Health, Past and Present
- Sexuality and Medicine in the Western World: 1800 to the Present
- The History of Madness, circa 1700-2000
- War and Medicine from the French Revolutionary Wars to Afghanistan
Advanced Study in Modern Political History
- The Evolution of Fascism
- The Soviet Revolution, 1914-1941
- The Unravelling of Russia, 1825-1917
Advanced Study in Social and Cultural History
- Childhood and Youth in the West, 1750-1950
- Life in Renaissance Italy
- Making Men: Masculinities in England, 1700-1918
- The History of Food, Politics and Society
Advanced Study in the History of America
- Anglo-American Relations
- Reagan and His Legacy
- The United States and the Vietnam War
Advanced Study in the History of Crime
- Forensic Medicine in Western Society
- In Cold Blood: Violence in the Modern Era
- Witchcraft, Magic and Belief in Early Modern Europe
You will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement module as part of your degree. This could involve gaining experience in libraries, the heritage industry, schools, museums or archives.
As well as enhancing your CV, such experience will broaden your skills base, make you more employable, and support applications for further study.
Work placements are facilitated by the university, however students are responsible for their own travel and associated costs. Most travel costs are minimal as placements are organised to be within easy reach of the campus or in local Oxford. Placements in the surrounding area, such as at Blenheim palace or Witney, will require bus travel which can amount to between £3-8 for a return ticket.
Find out more about work placement opportunities in the School of History, Philosophy and Culture.
Study abroad You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Exchanges take place in the second year.
Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:
- increasing your employability within an international market
- boosting your language skills
- building your confidence in adapting to new situations
- improving your knowledge of different cultures.
While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.
We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.
There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.
For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges
Free language courses for students - the Open Module
Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.
Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.
We do not expect students to purchase any compulsory course books, as they are all available in the library. If students wish to purchase additional books to supplement their reading this is at their own discretion.