The Department is noted for its friendly and informal atmosphere. People get
to know each other well in social activities as well as through the teaching and
Teaching is in seminars of around 18 students, supported by weekly lectures.
You will be able to choose from a wide range of optional modules in your second
and third years; in your first and second years you may also follow some modules
in other disciplines even if you are taking a single honours degree. In our more
specialised courses, the majority of your modules will be appropriate to that
In the second year, all students take ‘Making
Histories: Themes, Concepts and Sources’ which introduces you to the ways in
which the discipline is constructed by its practitioners; in your final year you
have a chance to learn more about how a historian works in your Special
Subject and in your Independent Research Project (IRP) . In the Special Subject you study a particular
period or problem through printed (and if necessary translated) original
sources. This offers you further training in historical method. The
IRP, written on a subject of your own choice, enables you to carry out
original research and assess the evidence you have found in the manner of a
professional historian, in consultation with a member of the Department.
in the first, second and final years is by coursework and end-of-year
examinations. After the first year, your marks count towards your final degree.
Students spending some or all of the third year abroad will be partly assessed
by their host university and their results will count towards their final
Independent Research Project counts as the equivalent of one 30-credit module so
that overall traditional examinations contribute to just under 50% of your final
modules are normally assessed on the basis of essays written during the year
(which count for 50% of the final mark) and a written examination in the summer
term (which counts for the other 50% of the mark). The special subjects vary
slightly in their continuous assessment requirements, but retain the examination
papers in the summer term. The IRP has no written examination.
Each year full-time students complete 120 credits. Full-option modules,
Special Subjects and the IRP are 30 credits each. Half-options run in only
one term and equal 15 credits.
The second-year core module
Histories: Concepts, Themes and Sources' is obligatory for all students
taking History courses. It is not open to other students.
The University's Module Directory
gives details of the individual History modules open to students, who can also
consult the Directory for Outside Options open to them in other departments.
Optional modules are open to all students taking a History course. None of these
modules has any prerequisites. Students entering their second year who are
taking courses in American History, British and European History, Social and
Cultural History, Modern History, Contemporary History, should remember that a
minimum of four out their eight components studied during their second and third
years must be taken in their designated field. These four components will
include the third-year Special Subject, the IRP and at least two
optional modules over the second and third years. Details of the options
designated for each of these courses are given in the Department's Module
Special Subjects are obligatory for single honours History students. They are
not open to other students (except, in the case of appropriate area Special
Subjects, to students taking the BA courses in Russian or Latin American
Studies, subject to their meeting the appropriate history module level