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BA (Hons) - single BA (Hons) / BSc (Hons) - combined

School of History, Philosophy and Culture

Did fascism end in 1945? What do serial killers tell us about modern society? And how can beards reflect the state of a nation? 
Our History degree will take you through the events that have shaped the modern world today, including some of the great political debates that have yet to be settled. As you explore History with us you will gain a greater appreciation of how legal, political and social change comes to pass. You will learn about different societies and ideologies, such as how perceptions of masculinity have changed over time, and look at concepts such as ‘evil’ and ‘power’.
Our degree is incredibly flexible: you can choose to specialise in topics that really interest you and pick subjects you have never studied before. We offer a wide-ranging syllabus which covers topics as varied as: crime and violence, fascism and totalitarianism, the rise of America, poverty and welfare, medicine and gender, and religion and statecraft.
We've reviewed our combinations for this course for 2018 entry - please check the current list of combined honours options in 'Combining this course with another subject'

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112 - 120

Available start dates

September 2018 / September 2019

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.

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.

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.

You can view detailed module descriptions here.

Year 1
  • 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
Year 2
  • History and Documents (compulsory for single and combined honours)
  • Historical Writing (compulsory for single honours)
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 options below.

Combined honours students have one compulsory module in the History field - History and Documents. They then typically 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
Year 3
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 typically 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
  • 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

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.

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.

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

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

International - full time: 2017/18: £12,890 2018/19: £13,150

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



Other typical offers include:

  • BB at A-level plus BB at AS-level
  • AB at A-level plus B at AS-level
  • vocational A-levels are also accepted.

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

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.

Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

International and EU applications

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help students meet the academic and English language entry requirements for their courses and also familiarise them with university life.

Find out more about the international foundation pathways we offer and our pre-sessional English language courses.

Country specific entry requirements

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information and local representatives who can help you to apply, please have a look at our country specific information pages.

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

Full-time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

 Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

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.