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History

BA (Hons)

Key facts


UCAS code

V101

Start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Location

Headington

Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years

Department

School of History, Philosophy and Culture

UCAS Tariff Points

112 - 120

Overview


Our History degree allows you to 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'll be taught by active researchers who are experts in their fields. And you'll investigate different societies, ideas and study concepts such as:

  • criminality
  • evil
  • power
  • gender
  • family
  • sexuality
  • race
  • whiteness
  • European identity.

In the classroom and using our historic location in Oxford, you'll learn about the past from:

  • printed texts
  • film
  • art
  • material objects
  • food.

Our exciting field trips will enhance your learning and include:

  • a walking tour through Whitechapel in the footsteps of the notorious Jack the Ripper
  • the Ashmolean Museum
  • Blenheim Palace, the residence of the Dukes of Marlborough.

The Work-Based Learning module will show you the wide range of careers open to you with a History degree.

How to apply


Typical offers

UCAS Tariff Points: 112 - 120

A Level: BBB - BBC or equivalent

IB Points: 30 - 31

BTEC: DDM - DMM

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.

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.

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

Entry requirements

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 qualifications and equivalences

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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.

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.

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

Many of our courses consider applications for entry with credit for prior learning. Each application is individually assessed by our credit entry tutors. 

If you would like more information about whether or not you may be eligible for the award of credit, for example from an HND, partly-completed degree or foundation degree, please contact our Admissions team.

We operate 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.

Application process

Full time Home / EU applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home / EU applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees


Please see the fees note
Home/EU full time
£9,250

Home/EU part time
£750 per single module

International full time
£13,410

Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£13,900

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees


2019/20
Home/EU full time
£9,250

Home/EU part time
£750 per single module

International full time
£13,410

2020/21
Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£13,900

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

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 below.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

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.

Learning and assessment


Year 1 focuses on a range of modules that touch on all our key themes. They take advantage of our beautiful and historic Oxford location.

Our compulsory modules cover the core skills all historians need. They will expose you to the history of all periods from the 16th century to the recent past. You will get a sense of the different issues relevant in those periods.

In Year 2 you can start to specialise in the topics that you have the most interest in. We offer 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.

In Year 2 you will also have the option to take a work placement. We will place you in an organisation with historical links or interests, such as a museum, heritage industry, school or archive.

In Year 3 you will develop your own research. Your dissertation allows you to carry out an in-depth piece of research and you'll have the support of an expert in the field.

Students in Oxford

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

A People’s History of Britain (compulsory for single honours)

This module will reveal Britain’s rich, cosmopolitan history from the Tudors to the modern period, with a particular focus on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It will use life histories, life writing and material culture to unveil the experiences and perspectives of individuals and families. The module will move chronologically with sessions which focus upon key figures of successive centuries with seminar discussion based around alternative perspectives on traditional themes, such as the body, fashion and consumption, material culture, class, demography and welfare.

Europe and the World, 1450-1750 (compulsory for single honours)

The module provides a broad overview of the period from 1450 to 1750, primarily focusing on Europe but also considering the European interaction with the wider world. It offers the chance to develop a long-running perspective on some of the main developments and debates in early modern history, such as the rise of the state and the military revolution. It also looks at the Ottoman expansion and the European encounter with Islam.

Making History: Core Concepts and Skills for the Historian (compulsory for single and combined honours)

This module aims to equip you with the practical and theoretical skills you will need to study history at undergraduate level. It offers you the chance to develop your understanding of the nature of historical enquiry, and your ability to express yourself effectively in a variety of forms. The module provides basic training in some of the principal theories, methods and sources used by historians, while introducing students to some of the key research interests of staff in the History team.

Optional modules

Superpowers: an International History of the Cold War (compulsory for single honours)

An introduction to modern international history within the context of the rise and fall of the two principal world powers, the United States and the Soviet Union, during the Cold War.

What’s the Big Idea: Adventures in the History of Ideas (compulsory for single and combined honours)

The module aims to introduce you to the importance of ideas, abstract ideals and utopian projects in the construction, and subsequent shaping of historical realities in Early Modern and Modern Western History. Using a broadly chronological sequence of ideas/concepts, it also provides fresh insights into the role played by competing ideologies and values in determining the character or dynamics of the main periods of European and US history since the late Renaissance.

World at War: A History of the First World War (compulsory for single honours)

This module explores the history of the First World War, introducing you to a landmark event in modern history. Lectures and seminars approach the history of the conflict from a range of perspectives and sensitivities, helping familiarize you with the insights to be gained from distinct historical traditions, ranging from military and diplomatic history to cultural and economic history. A number of topics will be covered to provide a wide-ranging and in-depth understanding of the experience of the First World War and its broader impact upon modern society

Year 2

Compulsory modules

History and Documents (compulsory for single and combined honours)

This module will concentrate on the skills required to research and evaluate primary sources. It will act as a bridge between the introductory use of primary sources in the first year and the skilled application of source analysis required for dissertation and third-year work. Students have the opportunity to consolidate and focus the methodological and practical skills offered by the programme.

Historical Writing (compulsory for single honours)

Designed to give students the practical skills with which to approach their dissertations. It will prepare undergraduate students for advanced study in history, both in terms of the acquisition of key research skills, and in the development of a critical, reflective engagement with questions of method and interpretation.

Optional modules

A History of Modern Ideas

Builds on those elements in all basic modules which cover or touch on the cosmological, ideological, philosophical, and intellectual process that have shaped early modern and modern history.

Brave New Worlds: Evolution and its Discontents

As recent controversies about human cloning, gene therapy and in-vitro fertilisation have shown, an acceptance of the idea of evolution and its application to the realm of medical practice is far from universal. How and why did the modern theory of evolution develop? How and why did it come to be incorporated so fully into the way medicine is practiced and how individuals and human societies are understood? This module will give students the opportunity to think about these questions by exploring the history of evolutionary ideas and their application to medical, social and cultural practices.

Conflict and Belief in the Early Modern World

What motivates individuals to take up arms or sacrifice themselves in the name of religion? Why would individuals travel across the globe with the aim of converting or killing for their beliefs? The issues of faith, conversion and religious violence, which resonate to the present day, will be tackled in this module, which provides a study in cultural encounters, as well as religious and social change, between 1500 and 1648. It will explore the attempts made to Christianise the world, in the British Isles, Europe, Asia and the Americas in the aftermath of the Reformation of 1517, which shattered the image of a universal Catholic Church.

Crime and Punishment through the Ages

The module focuses on the long-running historical debate on the nature, incidence and causes of crime since the medieval period. It will investigate the forms of punishment adopted by the authorities and how and why they altered so dramatically over the course of history. Students will also be introduced to the theoretical background important for the study of crime, criminality and punishment.

Culture, Community and Family in Britain, 1660-1918

The aim of this module is to deepen your understanding of the cultural, social, demographic, and material culture history of Britain. You will investigate people’s experiences of community and neighbourhood, home and family life, and consider their relationship with state and society.

Gender, Sexualities and the Body

Deepens understanding of social, medical and cultural history through the prism of gender, sexuality and the body from the early modern to the modern period. It will develop students' skills in using and appraising primary sources, engaging in debate and interpretation, and using a variety of information sources.

History Work-Based Learning

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.

Independent Study 1 and 2

These modules involve individual study, under the supervision of one or more members of the academic staff, on a topic chosen by the student. The range and depth of the subject chosen might reflect interests stimulated by the undergraduate programme or by external interests.

Jack the Ripper and the Victorian Underworld

Examines the moral and cultural climate associated with the nineteenth century underworld. Using the phenomenon of Jack the Ripper as a prism through which to view the differing dynamics of Victorian society, the module will analyse attitudes towards prostitution, the criminal class, the development of the penitentiary system and the regulation of policing, in an age when public perceptions of crime and punishment challenged those of the establishment.

Politics, Society and Culture in Modern Britain

The aim of the module is to introduce students to some of the key elements of modern British politics, society and culture - from the early nineteenth century to the time of the Second World War and beyond. Students will gain a better understanding of their own historical heritage and identity, and of the culture currently being reworked and renegotiated under the pressures of globalisation.

The Crisis of the West

Students will study the period of crisis that characterised Western, mainly continental European, society in the first half of the twentieth century. The module will consider a wide range of topics and developments that contributed to the prevailing sense of crisis that befell Western society at the time.

The Early Modern State

In this module students begin to specialise in early modern political and cultural history. State building was one of the key developments of the early modern period. The module will encourage students to see this process in a comparative perspective that includes Britain as well as major European countries. The module will develop students' skills in using primary sources.

The Making of the American Giant, 1861-1945

This module introduces you to the history of the United States within both a domestic and international setting and within the broader context of its gradual emergence as a leading international power, economically, militarily and politically.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

History Dissertation or Project (compulsory for single honours, optional for combined honours)

This module has three purposes. First, to act as a focus for the accumulated knowledge of history students in the final year of their undergraduate programmes, allowing them to undertake a lengthy piece of self-guided historical research in a framework of individual supervision. Second, to bring to fruition the skills training element of the History programme. Finally, to confirm the link between research and teaching demonstrated elsewhere in this programme by giving students the opportunity to receive individual tuition in areas related to the research and publication interest of History staff.

History Interdisciplinary Dissertation or Project (compulsory for single honours, optional for combined honours)

This module allows students to undertake a lengthy piece of self-guided historical research with individual supervision, as a focus of the accumulated knowledge in the final year of their undergraduate programmes. It also provides a link between research and teaching demonstrated elsewhere in this programme by giving students the opportunity to receive individual tuition in areas related to the research and publication interest of History staff.

Optional modules

Advanced study in Early Modern History: Deviants and Social Outcasts

Looks at historical social exclusion on the basis of race, ethnicity, and sexuality in Europe; including the position of immigrants and prostitution. In particular the course will focus on changing attitudes and will consider the reasons why certain minority groups were discriminated against, and will consider the commonalities that existed or emerged with regard to the stereotype and perception of these minority groups.

Advanced study in Early Modern History: Power and Freedom in the Early Modern Period

Introduces the cultural history of politics in early modern Europe, exploring the complex interrelations between the ‘rulers’ and the ‘ruled' in pre-revolutionary Europe and Britain and the wider cultural system in which they existed. It looks at this cultural system with its rituals and institutions, through which power had to be channelled if it was to be effective.

Advanced study in Early Modern History: God, Man, Spirit: Christianity in Western Society 1500-1700

Deals with the key problems of the intellectual and cultural history of early modern Europe including Britain. The churches and their teachings are embedded in a much wider cosmos of faith; interacting with philosophy as well as with spirituality and the so-called superstition of everyday culture.

Advanced study in Early Modern History: The Tudors: Reformation and Rebellion

The Reformation had a significant impact on early modern politics and society. This option will explore the implications of the introduction of new religious ideas, of the Break with Rome and of the Dissolution of the Monasteries for the government and for the English people. We will consider the implementation of these measures as well as the popular resistance to them.

Advanced Study in Modern Political History: Britain and the Sea since 1600

Examines Britons' relationship with the sea from the time of the Spanish Armada to the close of the twentieth century. It will explore themes as diverse as the sea's perceived role in fostering British Liberty, to naval warfare's role in the development of banking and national finance; from shipbuilding to Britain's fisheries; from the creation of masculinity to the dark side of slavery.

Advanced Study in Modern Political History: The Soviet Revolution, 1914-1941

This option introduces you to the world’s first socialist society, the USSR. The option will examine the Russian revolution of 1917 against the backdrop of Russian imperial history and world war. It will go on to chart the development of the Soviet state through the 1920s and 1930s as the Communist leadership sought to construct a viable modern state along radical new lines, coping with the challenges of international hostility and the social, economic and cultural legacies of the Russian empire.

Advanced Study in Modern Political History: The Unravelling of Russia, 1825-1917

Assesses late Imperial Russian politics and society. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the world’s most powerful and mysterious autocracy initiated an unprecedented effort to reform its institutions. Beginning with the elimination of serfdom, the Russian state sought to modernize its polity, economy and society to make it more competitive with the other great powers of Europe. The struggle over these reforms led to a period in which the state was beset by threats from reactionaries and revolutionaries, chauvinists and terrorists.

Advanced Study in Social and Cultural History: Childhood and Youth in the West, 1750-1950

The aim of this option is to give you an in-depth understanding of the history of childhood and youth from the early modern to the modern age. It will encourage critical evaluation of the social construction of childhood and youth, different ways of studying and appraising childhood in the past, and the use of different types of documents. The option will cover the shaping and conception of childhood and youth by contemporaries and scholars, child-rearing, welfare, work, health, education, leisure, and mortality.

Advanced Study in Social and Cultural History: Life in Renaissance Italy

Many people who lived through the Renaissance are household names: Machiavelli, da Vinci, Michelangelo. Although we recognise these individuals, we still know surprisingly little about what life was like in Italy during a period in which the peninsula was thought to be at its political, economic and cultural apogee. This option will present a detailed consideration of the social and urban history of Italy, engaging with the complex notion of the Renaissance, and the debates it has engendered.

Advanced Study in Social and Cultural History: Making Men: Masculinities in England, 1700-1918

The module spans a period which saw significant change in cultural ideals of men's behaviour alongside fundamental continuities in men's experience. How and why did ideals of masculinity change over time? What was their impact on men's identity and behaviour? How did social class, wealth, employment, and age inflect masculinities? What role did religious ideals, political rhetoric and the contingencies of war play?

Advanced Study in Social and Cultural History: The History of Food: Politics and Society

This module will get your taste-buds - and your brain cells - tingling, as we cross a wide range of themes touching on the ways that food shapes our society. We examine colonialism, race, gender, celebration, national identity, taboos, famine and foodie fashions, ranging from the medieval to the modern period. Students will be asked to engage with foodstuffs of their own choosing to explore these themes and the philosophies behind them, and also to delve into the primary sources we hold here at Oxford Brookes.

Advanced Study in the History of America: Anglo-American Relations

This option will examine the diplomatic, military and financial relations between the United Kingdom and the United States during the period when the latter replaced the former in the role of world policeman. As well as examining formal diplomacy, we will explore the links between the policy-making elites in the two countries.

Advanced Study in the History of America: Reagan and his Legacy

This option offers you the opportunity to examine arguably the key period in contemporary American history. It encourages you to develop an informed and critical overview both of the history of the Reagan era and of how it is used in contemporary America. The use of coursework and extensive seminar discussions means that the module also gives you the opportunity to reflect on your own progress during the course, with the aim of enabling you to identify the skills, knowledge and awareness that will be of use to you in future historical study.

Advanced Study in the History of America: The United States and the Vietnam War

This option will focus on the United States and its involvement in Vietnam, 1945-75. It is designed to provide a thorough overview of the Vietnam War from the perspective of the United States. By the end of this option, students will have a fuller appreciation of the origins of the war, the escalation of the conflict, the tactics and strategies employed by the United States to pursue the war, the domestic discontent generated towards the war, along with the longer-term consequences of the war for the United States both domestically and internally.

Advanced Study in the History of Crime: Forensic Medicine in Western Society

Provides a comprehensive overview of the history of forensic medicine in the West in the post-medieval period; explored through an area of specialisation and informed by up-to-date research. Students will develop an in-depth understanding of how and why medicine has played an active part in shaping legal, political and social change.

Advanced Study in the History of Crime: In Cold Blood: Violence in the Modern Era

A comparative study of crime in Britain and America in the modern era. It will be taught through a series of case studies in order to examine specific themes which are especially pertinent to criminal justice history during the modern era. The types of issues to be addressed include the rise to 'social' prominence of the serial killer and spree killer (beginning with the Jack the Ripper case at the end of the nineteenth century); the influence of gang culture on criminal activity; the role of the media in the portrayal of 'modern' crime; and the debate over the use of the death penalty for violent offences.

Advanced Study in the History of Crime: Witchcraft, Magic and Belief in Early Modern Europe

This module examines the history of the interplay between belief, magic and witchcraft over the broadly defined early modern period. It involves detailed work with historiography and primary sources.

Advanced Study in the History of Ideas: Evil in European Thought and Culture, 1750- 1950: From Candide to Eichmann

This module examines the problem of evil within European thought and culture, from the time of the Enlightenment to the mid-twentieth century. It will begin with the gradual breakdown of theodicy during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and end with the Holocaust. Throughout, you will be encouraged to think critically about the problem of evil in its modern context using canonical texts and authors.

Advanced Study in the History of Ideas: Race and Modernity: A Global History

What led so many intellectuals, politicians and scientists to believe in, and insist on, the existence of race? To answer this question this module will examine various comparative themes in the history of race, including nationalism, imperialism, colonialism, eugenics, biopolitics, fascism, Nazism, and communism, from 1789 to the present day

Advanced Study in the History of Ideas: The Storm of Progress

This module explores the relevance to modern history of the conflicting diagnoses of the state of Western civilization at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries proposed by artists, writers and thinkers, as well as by the protagonists of utopian social and political movements.

Advanced Study in the History of Medicine: Debating Issues in Health, Past and Present

Focuses on current debates in the field of healthcare and their historical context. It will engage with the politics of health and the health service, recent scientific advances and the question of medical ethics. We will deal with topics that raise moral, ethical, legal, economic, political or class/life-cycle issues. It will tackle subjects such as the science and ethics of abortion, the treatment of disability, euthanasia, honour killings and maiming, organ donation, the use of human tissue, stem cell research and the clinical trial.

Advanced Study in the History of Medicine: War and Medicine from the French Revolutionary Wars to Afghanistan

Explores the relationship between war and medicine and is at once thematic and chronological in focus, tracing how war in the long nineteenth and twentieth centuries affected the development of surgery, drugs, hospitals, battlefield and naval medicine, neuro-psychiatry, nursing, and civilian medicine. The module will include a visit to the Imperial War Museum in London.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

Your learning will be informed by the latest academic thinking, and will be taught with a mixture of:

  • lectures
  • discussion
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • student presentations
  • debates
  • blog posts
  • poster design
  • quizzes.

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

  • Lectures and seminars
  • Placement
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.)

Year 1

  • Lectures and seminars - 15%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 85%

Year 2

  • Lectures and seminars - 15%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 85%

Year 3

  • Lectures and seminars - 10%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 90%

Learning and teaching percentages are indicative. There may be slight year-on-year variations.

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

You will be assessed predominantly by coursework, with some examinations.

Coursework takes many forms, including:

  • source analyses
  • research essays
  • book reviews
  • group projects
  • a final-year dissertation.
  • Written exams
  • Coursework
  • Practical exams

Year 1

  • Written exams - 13%
  • Coursework - 87%
  • Practical exams - 0%

Year 2

  • Written exams - 6%
  • Coursework - 94%
  • Practical exams - 0%

Year 3

  • Written exams - 0%
  • Coursework - 100%
  • Practical exams - 0%

Assessment method percentages are indicative. There may be slight year-on-year variations.

Study Abroad


You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

After you graduate


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.

Read more about the destinations of some of our recent graduates.

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.

See more about our postgraduate courses.

Student profiles


Free language courses


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.

Information from Discover Uni


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.