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BA (Hons) - single BA (Hons) - combined

School of History, Philosophy and Culture

What can history tell us about the current revival of populism and racism? How do serial killers inform us about modern society? How has Britain’s place in the world changed over time? Is America really an indispensable nation? Does belief shape identity? And how do emotions reflect the state of a nation, now and in the past? 

Through our History degree you will discover the events from 1450 and across the globe that have shaped our world today. As you investigate history with us you'll gain a greater appreciation of how legal, political, social and cultural change comes to pass. You will discover about different societies and ideologies, such as how perceptions of emotions have changed over time, and look at concepts such as ‘criminality’, ‘evil’ and ‘power’; ‘gender’, ‘family’ and ‘sexuality’; and ‘race’, ‘Whiteness’ and ‘European identity’.

Our degree offers you the opportunity to specialise in topics that really interest you and pick subjects that you have never studied before. In the classroom and using our historic location in Oxford, you will learn about the past from printed texts, film, art, material objects, and food. You can join our exciting field trips: walk through Whitechapel in the footsteps of the notorious Jack the Ripper, on our walking tour. Visit the Ashmolean Museum, and the residence of the Dukes of Marlborough at Blenheim Palace. Our Work-Based Learning module will also show you the wide range of careers open to you with a History degree.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112 - 120

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: up to 6 years

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • History on your doorstep - Oxford is a great place to study history, with famous museums, beautiful buildings and a fascinating history of its own. 
  • A wide variety of choice – we have an exciting range of modules on offer, giving you the chance to investigate everything from the rise of the United States to crime in Jack the Ripper’s London.
  • Excellent teaching - by choosing History at Brookes you will be joining a lively community of students taught by lecturers who are deeply committed to sharing their enthusiasm for history, and who have a proud tradition of giving students all the support they need to get the most out of their degree.
  • Be part of a research community – you’ll be taught by active researchers who are experts in their fields. All of our modules are based upon the research of the lecturers teaching them, so as you work with us you will get to experience history in the making.

History is a popular and hugely rewarding subject to study. At the heart of our programme is flexibility – you will have the freedom to discover and explore your own interests as a Historian. This is all backed up with excellent teaching, a clear sense of progression, and the chance to work with leading researchers in their fields.

Our compulsory modules in year 1 cover the core skills all trainee historians need. They will expose you to the history of all periods from the 16th century to the recent past, and you will get a sense of the different issues and approaches relevant in those periods. Year 1 focuses on offering you breadth, with a range of modules that touch on all our key themes and take advantage of our beautiful and hugely historic Oxford location.

In year 2 you can start to specialise in the topics that you have the most interest in. Our History programme is structured around 7 core themes. We place particular emphasis on the links between teaching and research, so many of our modules are based upon leading research in our department.

We have the following specialisms: 

  • Early Modern History
  • History of America
  • History of Crime
  • History of Ideas
  • History of Medicine
  • Modern Political History
  • Social and Cultural History

We bring these themes to life with modules such as Jack the Ripper and the Victorian Underworld; Gender, Sexualities and the Body; The Making of the American Giant; and Conflict and Belief in the Early Modern World.

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 is heavily focused on developing your own research and giving you the chance to study your chosen topics in depth. The dissertation is a focal point of year 3 and allows you to carry out an in-depth piece of research with the support of an expert in the field.

Final year modules are known as ‘Advanced Study’ modules and are directly linked to the research specialisms in the department. The modules are all double credit, and they stand out from year 1 and year 2 modules (which are typically taught by teams of lecturers) as they are primarily designed and taught by individual researchers in the programme.  This characteristic allows you to acquire considerable knowledge and understanding within a particular field of research, an expertise which builds a strong basis should you wish to go on to further study.

Study modules

As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

Year 1


  • A People’s History of Britain
  • Europe and the World, 1450-1750
  • Making History: Core Concepts and Skills for the Historian*
  • Superpowers: an International History of the Cold War
  • What’s the Big Idea: Adventures in the History of Ideas*
  • World at War: A History of the First World War

*For combined honours students only these modules are compulsory


  • Bloody Histories: Crime and Violence in the West
  • Death, Disease and Doctors: Medicine and Society
  • Oxford in History
  • The Faiths of the West

Year 2


  • History and Documents*
  • Historical Writing

*For combined honours students only this module is compulsory


  • 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
  • Independent Study I (Semester 1)
  • Independent Study II (Semester 2)
  • 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

Year 3

There are seven pathways offered annually (each entitled "Advanced Study in..."), which represent the research specialisms within the History programme. The specific modules within each pathway vary year on year, as they reflects the current research of the department. This final year structure offers you the opportunity to pick one or two pathways and develop a specialism, or opt for a more varied programme and choose a selection of modules from multiple themes. 

In total you will take eight taught modules in your final year plus a dissertation. The dissertation is a focal point of year 3 and allows you to carry out an in-depth piece of research on a topic of your own choosing, with the support of an expert in the field.

Examples of modules from previous years can be seen below:

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
  • War and Medicine from the French Revolutionary Wars to Afghanistan

Advanced Study in Modern Political History

  • Britain and the Sea since 1600
  • 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


Modules in detail » Module diagrams »


Work placements

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.


Work placements » 


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.

Sample lecture/work

Professor Anne-Marie Kilday talks about the year 2 module Jack the Ripper and the Victorian Underworld.

Additional costs

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.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Teaching and learning

Your learning will be informed by the latest academic thinking. All of our academics are active researchers and many are internationally renowned for their expertise.

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, discussion, seminars and tutorials. We also use a variety of teaching methods to keep things interesting, including student presentations, debates, blog posts, poster design and quizzes. 

Our department has been recognised for teaching and assessment of the highest quality by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 15%85%0%
2 15%85%0%
3 10%90%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 18%82%0%
2 17%83%0%
3 17%83%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 18%82%0%
2 22%78%0%
3 9%91%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 16%84%0%
2 14%86%0%
3 13%87%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 24%76%0%
2 22%78%0%
3 (sandwich year)0%0%100%
4 15%85%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 16%85%0%
2 16%84%0%
3 10%90%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 15%85%0%
2 16%84%0%
3 11%89%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 16%84%0%
2 16%84%0%
3 12%88%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 17%83%0%
2 15%85%0%
3 10%90%0%

Approach to assessment

You will be assessed predominantly by coursework and with some examinations. Coursework takes many forms, including source analyses, research essays, book reviews, and group projects, and culminates in a final-year dissertation.

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 13%0%88%
2 6%0%94%
3 0%0%100%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 19%0%81%
2 13%0%88%
3 15%0%85%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 13%0%88%
2 8%0%93%
3 0%0%100%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 25%0%75%
2 25%0%75%
3 19%0%81%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 23%0%77%
2 14%0%86%
3 (sandwich year)0%0%100%
4 4%0%96%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 25%0%75%
2 13%0%88%
3 0%0%100%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 25%0%75%
2 0%0%100%
3 9%0%91%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 13%0%88%
2 6%0%94%
3 0%0%100%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 25%0%75%
2 13%0%88%
3 0%0%100%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module. 2019/20: £750 per single module.

International - full time: 2018/19: £13,150 2019/20: £13,410

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112 - 120

A-Level: BBB - BBC or equivalent

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

IB Diploma: 30 points


Our innovative modular system, combined with our total commitment to student support and close interest in each student’s progress, means that we are able to admit students from a huge range of backgrounds. Students with non-traditional careers paths or backgrounds are welcome to contact us. If we are unsure of your suitability for the course we may interview you.

If you accept a Conditional offer to this course as your Firm choice through UCAS, and the offer does not include a requirement to pass an English language test or improve your English language, we may be able to make the offer Unconditional. Please check your offer carefully where this will be confirmed for each applicant.

For combined honours, normally the offer will lie between the offers quoted for each subject.

Applications are also welcomed for consideration from applicants with European qualifications, international qualifications or recognised foundation courses. For advice on eligibility please contact Admissions: admissions@brookes.ac.uk

Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an  international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our  pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

International applicants

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford is steeped in historical significance and contains an abundance of resources for the student of history. There are a range of outstanding museums in Oxford as well as the Old Oxford jail and castle, perfect for inspiring the mind for those with an interest in the history of crime.

Our proximity to London allows easy trips to visit inspiring collections like the Wellcome Trust or Imperial War Museum.

The world-famous Bodleian Libraries are one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and house over 12 million printed items - an amazing resource that can be invaluable as a final-year dissertation student. You can apply for a pass and have access to unique resources that are held in world famous surroundings.

Oxford is also a city rich in student culture, with a vibrant programme of social activities all year round, as well as a thriving arts scene, including theatres, cinemas and museums.

Support for students studying History

There are a number of people, including academic advisers, programme administrators, and a student support co-ordinator, all working within the department itself, who can help you with your course.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

History degrees offer a wide range of highly valued intellectual and transferable skills, which enable graduates to compete favourably in the employment market.

Recent History graduates from Oxford Brookes have embarked on professions and occupations in a wide range of spheres, including IT, advertising, publishing, teaching, business, the civil and diplomatic services, public relations, law, sales and marketing, and the heritage industry.

A number of graduates also go on to study at master's and doctoral level - many here at Oxford Brookes.

You can also read more about the destinations of some of our recent graduates here.

Further study

You can stay with us to continue your studies: we offer taught masters programmes in History and History with a specialist pathway in History of Medicine. We have a strong postgraduate community including more than 25 students undertaking research for their doctorates.

You can see more about our postgraduate courses here.

Course downloads

  • History brochure
  • History module diagrams
  • Related courses

  • History of Art
  • Law
  • Philosophy