History BA (Hons) module details

Year one | Year two | Year three

Year one

Block 1: Modern Britain since 1800

You will be introduced to the social, cultural, economic and political history of Britain from the mid-eighteenth century to the end of the twentieth century, developing and understanding of the shifting beliefs, values, perspectives and practices of British culture in this period. Through close reading of primary source material and the assessment of historiographical debates and trends, you will develop key analytical skills and become confident in identifying change and continuity across the time period. Topics covered may include industrialisation and decline, poverty and the rise of the welfare state, political and electoral change, culture and leisure, social class and social change and multi-ethnic Britain.


Primary Source Analysis, 30%: You will write an analysis of a short primary source.

Portfolio, 70%: You will compile a variety of short pieces responding to a series of essay prompts as well as primary and secondary sources.

Block 2: Empire, nation and revolution in the 19th century

You will explore the role of nations, empires and revolutions in 19th-century global history, developing an understanding of these “building blocks” of modern history. Topics covered will include revolutions both in Europe and the “Atlantic World”, the rise of the nation-state as a unit of political organisation, and the expansion of empires (European and non-European) in the “long” nineteenth century. You will also develop an understanding of different historiographical approaches and an awareness of the diverse types of historical questions.


Secondary source analysis, 35%: You will write a comparison of two journal articles, analysing their historiographical and methodological approaches.

Essay, 65%:  You will write an essay focusing on the history of either nations, revolutions or empires, and analyse examples from at least two case studies.

Block 3: Global Cities

This module examines the role of cities in global history, particularly the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. You will gain an understanding of the significance of urbanisation in modern history, and the development of cities as key sites of global trade and exchange of ideas. Topics covered may include sanitation processes and hygiene movements, city planning, migration, the slave trade, colonialism, sport and leisure, religion and the arts. You will be introduced to cultural and social history concepts and engage with different types of history, such as urban history, medical history, environmental history, visual and material history and migration history.


Presentation, 40%: You will work on one of the themes of the module, comparing how it developed in two different cities.

Portfolio, 60%: You will compile a variety of short pieces on cities explored during the module.

OR you can select to study one route from the list below:

Education Route – Childhood, Social Justice and Education

This module is an introduction to some of the important contemporary debates in Childhood Studies and society. The module will explore and evaluate the construction of childhood, the inequalities which surround childhood, and what it means to be a child in the UK in the 21st century. Drawing on a range of sociological and political conceptualizations of childhood and the many factors that shape our understanding of it, you will critically evaluate key issues impacting on childhood and how these issues are reflected in, or sustained by, or challenged by society. You will be encouraged to contest and interrogate your own thinking and assumptions about children, childhood and society.


Academic poster, 40%: You will produce 1 poster or a series of posters exploring a theme from the module chosen by yourself.

Report, 60%: You will write an academic report exploring a theme from the module chosen by yourself.

English Literature Route – Introduction to Drama: Shakespeare

The module will introduce you to the playwright, William Shakespeare. It will explore textual production and the performance of plays in the early modern period. It will also examine Shakespeare’s meaning in contemporary culture by considering the continued adaptation of his work in other media forms such as novels or films. You will use examples of Shakespeare in adaptation to discuss key topics such as gender, social justice and (post)colonialism. In doing so, the module will explore Shakespeare’s significance to British culture, as well as his global legacy.


Coursework, 40%: Using digital editions of Shakespeare's plays, you will produce a reflection on a 5 minute class presentation.

Blog article, 60%: You will write a blog article on the adaptation of one of the plays studied on the module.

Block 4: Ideology, War and Society in the 20th century

You will examine the centrality of revolution, war and ideology in the twentieth century, especially upon the evolution of European societies, focusing especially upon the years from the First World War until the collapse of communism in 1989 in a global context. The module explores key ideologies such as nationalism, liberalism, communism and fascism and examines economy, society and politics, including the impact of revolution, war and ideology upon everyday life. You will be introduced to key historiographical approaches which have shaped historical writing over the past two centuries, such as the Whig interpretation, Marxist approaches: and postmodernism.


Historiographical essay, 40%: You will write an essay.

Seen exam, 60%: You will answer 2 exam questions.

Year two

Block 1: Global Cold War

You will develop an understanding of the roots of the Cold War and how it was played out in specific theatres such as Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America between 1945 and 1991. The module explores a variety of historical topics, which might include global geopolitics, sport and diplomacy, the nuclear arms race, the space race, and culture and society in the Cold War era. It also explores the ideological underpinnings of the Cold War, the role of propaganda as a weapon of the conflict and how these ideologies functioned in practice in different societies. You will expand your understanding of historiography, investigate competing interpretations of the Cold War and assess the global legacy of conflict.


Weekly mini quiz, 10%: An online quiz covering different regions, events and historiographies.

Group project, 40%: You will work as a group to produce a report, each focusing on one specific conflict of the Cold War.

Seen exam, 50%: You will answer one exam question on the themes and contexts of the Cold War.

Block 2: Multicultural Societies in History

This module explores the centrality of multiculturalism and ethnicity in the development of the modern world. Focusing mainly on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, you will tackle themes that might include theories and criticisms of the concept of multiculturalism, histories and experiences of migration, theories of diaspora, the social and economic status of minorities, the ways in which ethnic, racial, migrant, religious or other types of minorities interact with the dominant society and culture, and the representation of these experiences in sports and visual culture. You will examine case studies which may include the Jewish community in Britain, the global African diaspora, the origins of multicultural Britain, among others.


Primary source analysis, 40%: You will analyse one primary source related to the topics of the module.

Essay, 60%: You will answer one essay question.

Block 3: Humans and the Natural World

This module will examine how humans have used, adapted, represented, changed and explored the natural world through the sciences and medicine, sport and leisure, industry, religion and visual culture, among others. You will be introduced to a diversity of historical approaches, including the history of science, medicine and technology, environmental history, sport history and visual history.


Thematic essay, 40%: You will answer an essay question related to the themes of the module.

Podcast or video, 50%: You will choose to produce either a podcast or video of 5-10 minutes. You will work in pairs to examine one of the module themes and bring in primary source analysis.

Content notes, 10%: You will write to introduce your podcast or video.

OR continue with the route selected in the first year:

Education Route – Preparing for Professional Practice

The educational landscape of the UK is changing rapidly and the range of graduate professional roles on offer is broader than ever before. This module is intended to support students who wish to go into both teaching and non-teaching-based careers. It will equip you to make informed, critical and confident assessments of the opportunities, debates and challenges that are available to you. You will identify your personal strengths, areas for personal and professional development, and opportunities by which this development might be achieved. You will also gain the practical skills and reflect on the development of your professional identity and application of academic knowledge in practical environments. You will attend career guidance sessions throughout the academic year and have the opportunity to undertake a placement.

Assessment, 100%: You will write a reflective report drawing on your own career interests, aspirations and background experience. This could include employment sector analysis documents, organisational analysis documents, maps and diagrams, a high-quality CV, self-evaluation documents and evidence of completed, relevant professional development.

English Literature Route – Text Technologies

Literary and historical texts have always come down to us in material forms. From stone and wax tablets inscribed with a chisel or stylus to being held as electron charges within capacitors on computer microchips. This module is concerned with how these material forms function and how they have shaped the writings we read. You will explore three topics: '‘Manuscript, writing up to the year 1500’, ‘Printing, 1440-2000’, and ‘Digital texts, the 20th century and beyond'. You will discover the revolutionary aspects of each of these developments in text technologies and how they transformed writing, its dissemination and consumption. We will consider such questions as how print disrupted and displaced manuscript culture, how the changing economics of textual dissemination affect what gets written and disseminated, and how reading is shaped by the medium in which the writing is embodied.


Knowledge-Based Tests, 10%: You will complete a series of short tests to assess the theoretical knowledge you have gained through the compulsory reading material

Case Study, 30%: You will write a case study reflecting on theoretical knowledge and practical experiences of creating a manuscript or a printed document.

Digital Project, 60%: You will use your practical experience of the creation of a digital resource to discuss history of text technologies and one of the key changes that have occurred in in the past 600 years.

Block 4: Investigating the Past

This module will introduce you to a range of historical sources and research methods used in project work to prepare you for your final year dissertation. You will examine core themes in history and the sources/methods associated with them which may include maps; economic data; census; national and local government records; diplomatic and military records; press and media; records of education, health, poverty/charity and criminality; church and religious history; oral history; visual sources. Your learning will be enriched by visits to archives and relevant research depositories.


Primary source analysis, 40%: You will investigate an individually chosen topic through a selection of primary sources in 1800 words.

Project portfolio, 60%: You will produce a portfolio comprised of an annotated bibliography of relevant secondary works, a list of relevant primary sources and a detailed project proposal.

Year three

Block 1: Culture, Society and Conflict

This module explores the social, political and cultural aspects of global conflicts focusing on case studies such as the German home front during the Second World War, Britain and the home front, everyday life under conflicts through cultural objects and sources such as the Mass Observation archive and the development of conflict photography in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. You will have the opportunity to engage with different historiographical traditions on the cultural and social interpretations of conflicts as well as different types of sources.


Primary source essay, 50%: You will analyse several sources related to a case study

Podcast or video, 40%: You will choose to produce either a podcast or video of 5-10 minutes. You will work in pairs to examine one of the module themes and bring in primary source analysis.

Content notes, 10%: You will write to introduce your podcast or video.

Block 2: Independence Movements

This module introduces you to the history of anti-imperialist independence movements and the creation of new nation-states. It explores the ideologies and histories of independence movements, post-colonial conflicts, nation-building processes as well as the social and economic legacies of imperial rule in the post-colonial world. You will explore specific case studies which might include South Asia, Central and South America, Sub-Saharan Africa as well as the Balkans. You will develop an understanding of the ideologies of resistance against imperial rule, as well as decolonisation processes, and critically reflect on these.


Thematic essay, 40%: You will an analysis of the ideologies of independence movements, such as anti-imperialism, nationalism, or self-determination, paying particular attention to the historiographical approaches which historians have employed in their writing about these movements.

Regional portfolio, 60%: You will choose one region or country’s nation-building and post-colonial legacies to explore in more depth, building a portfolio comprising responses to several distinctive essay prompts and primary source analyses.

Block 3: The World on Display

This module explores the complex histories of collecting and displaying. You will examine the relationship between museums and history by looking at the origins of museum objects and the histories that shaped collecting practices. You will examine these which may include public history and heritage sites, the impact of colonialism and decolonisation processes in the formation of museums, as well as the effects of the emergence of academic disciplines such as archaeology and anthropology in the shaping of collecting and displaying practices.


Literature review, 40%: You will review and analyse secondary sources related to one of the module themes.

Online Exhibition, 45%. In pairs, you will work on an online exhibition related to one of the themes of the module. You will include primary sources and a final bibliography.

Critical reflection, 15%: You will write 500 words reflecting on the work you have done for this module focusing on the knowledge and skills you have learned.

OR continue with the route selected in the first year:

Education Route: Reflection on Practice: Teaching and Learning

You will undertake a placement in a learning environment which could be within schools, arts and community projects, gallery education, post-compulsory education, prisons, early years settings, Scout groups, extra-curricular clubs, hospital schools, as well as alternative educational settings. You will adopt the approach of a reflective practitioner and get involved in the 'process' of critical reflection. In so doing, you will use this as a tool for developing and consolidating your knowledge and understanding of the teaching and learning process.


Presentation, 30%: You will choose a 10 minute microteach or a presentation of an artefact to critically reflect upon a strategy or resource that supports effective teaching and learning drawn from your placement experience.

E-portfolio, 70%: You will write an e-portfolio, critically reflecting on your time in the placement setting.

English Literature Route: World Englishes: On the Page and Beyond

This module explores a diverse range of ‘World Englishes’ or English-language literature from across the globe. You will develop your knowledge on the production of English literature in a variety of national, ideological, historical, or social contexts and examine examples both on and off the written page. The module focuses on the legacy of colonisation in anglophone and/or postcolonial nations, and the literature thereof. There is an emphasis on the interactions between text and context, and you will be encouraged to explore a range of concepts such as memory, nationality, class, ethnicity, and gender.


Blog entry, 40%: You will submit 4 weekly blog posts responding to one of the set texts discussed, comprising of either written word of 4 minutes of video content.

Research essay, 60%: You will write an essay examining several texts through a specific argument.

Year long: Dissertation

The dissertation provides an opportunity for sustained work of an independent nature in an area of personal interest, allowing the exploration a particular issue, topic or problem in considerable depth. You will define and analyse a question or problem, or test a hypothesis, arising from your personal historical interest. The dissertation provides an opportunity to look beyond the textbooks and other secondary sources and to get to grips with primary evidence including textual, material or visual sources. You will develop key skills in research, critical thinking and writing.


Presentation, 10%: You will present a 10-minute summary of your work in progress to peers and a member of the History team, enabling you to receive feedback on your ideas and research plan.

Dissertation, 90%: A piece of writing on a topic related to your own historical interests.