Undergraduate Course

BA History and Law

(including Foundation Year)

BA History and Law

Overview

The details
History and Law (including Foundation Year)
VM11
October 2022
Full-time
4 years
Colchester Campus
Essex Pathways

The foundations of our modern judicial system were laid long ago. What is case law but a practical and binding application of historical precedent? This innovative degree covers a range of historical periods and current practice in diverse areas of the law, to develop your unique insight into how pivotal moments in our history have long-standing legal implications.

This course gives you a thorough training in the complementary disciplines of history and law. You develop critical, reflective and analytical skills that are common to both disciplines. In addition to emphasising aspects common to both subjects, you explore the differences between them, and the approaches taken within legal and historical thought. Your studies will combine a structured introduction to both subjects as well as a range of options which will allow you to pursue your own areas of interest.

We cover a diverse range of topics, including:

  • the history of pandemics
  • the development of human rights
  • history through oral testimony
  • criminal and contract law
  • British history to the present
  • Our Department of History has developed a strong research and teaching profile, with the majority of our research rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014). We also have strong links with the Essex Record Office, which is one of the best county record offices in the UK. Our students love us too: 97% of our history students expressed overall satisfaction with their course (NSS 2018).

    Our School of Law at Essex specialises in commercial law, public law, and human rights law. Our School of Law is Top 20 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014), and we are ranked among the top 50 Law Schools on the planet according to the Times Higher World University Rankings 2018.

    Why we're great.
    • Our History team specialises in public history and we have links with numerous local archives.
    • Our Law lecturers work with the UN, the UK government, and with EU and foreign governments.
    • Employability is built into our degrees. The History Works: Career Portfolio module focuses your mind on finding employment after graduation, whether your path lies within the legal profession, heritage industries - or whether you'll take your skills into an entirely different area.
    THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

    Study abroad

    Your education extends beyond our University campus. We support you extending your education by offering you an additional year at no extra cost. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend your third year studying abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course. Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. We have exchange partners across Europe, in the United States, Canada and Australia.

    Placement year

    Alternatively, on a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. Placement years give you valuable work experience and a chance to develop your legal and professional skills. You can tailor your placement to your interests and could work for a museum, a law firm, a company's in-house legal department, the public sector, a charity or NGO, or elsewhere.

    Our expert staff

    The Department of History and School of Law and have internationally diverse communities of staff and students, which gives us a breadth of cross-cultural perspectives and insights into law, justice and history around the world. This community, combined with opportunities to study abroad during your time with us, ensures you graduate with a genuine worldview and a network of international contacts.

    Your future

    At Essex we don’t just prepare you to become an outstanding legal or history professional. We stimulate your desire to pursue justice and equip you with the skills and knowledge to become an agent for change, whatever career path you choose. From the start of your course, we challenge you to think deeply, broadly and strategically about career paths. Over the first two years, alongside law subjects, you will take a career management module designed to help you identify personal strengths and goals, understand what employers are looking for and enhance your employability profile. We also hold an annual law fair, attended by law firms and vocational qualification providers. Our graduates pursue careers in the law and in a wide range of other sectors including business and commerce, accountancy, insurance, banking, central and local government, academia, teaching, social work and the police force.

    Entry requirements

    UK entry requirements

    UK and EU applicants:

    All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you

    • think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
    • have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
    • are returning to university after some time away from education; or
    • are looking for more support during the transition into university study.

    Standard offer:

    Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.

    Examples of the above tariff may include:

    • A-levels: DDD
    • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP

    If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.

    Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:

    We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.

    International applicants:

    Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.

    International & EU entry requirements

    We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

    Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

    English language requirements

    English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK.

    Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

    If you are an international student requiring a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

    If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

    Additional Notes

    Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College.

    Structure

    Course structure

    We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.

    Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.

    Teaching and learning disclaimer

    Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

    The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

    Components and modules explained

    Components

    Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

    Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

    Status What this means
    Core
    You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
    Core with Options
    You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
    Compulsory
    You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
    Compulsory with Options
    You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
    Optional
    You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

    The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

    Modules

    Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

    In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

    Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

    HR 100  4  FY

    The department or school the module will be taught by.

    In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

    The module number. 

    The UK academic level of the module.

    A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

    A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

    A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

    The term the module will be taught in.

    • AU: Autumn term
    • SP: Spring term
    • SU: Summer term
    • FY: Full year 
    • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
    • PS: Spring and Summer terms
    • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

    COMPONENT 01: CORE

    1939 – 2019: Eighty Years in the Life of the United Kingdom
    (30 CREDITS)

    Britain has experienced unprecedented changes in the last 100 years. What has brought about these changes and how have they affected the Britain of today? This course will outline political, economic, social and cultural change in the UK during the Twentieth Century and beyond and offer an insight into Britain’s place in the modern world.

    View 1939 – 2019: Eighty Years in the Life of the United Kingdom on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 02: CORE

    Research and Academic Development Skills
    (30 CREDITS)

    This blended-learning module is designed to support students in their academic subject disciplines and to strengthen their confidence in key skills areas such as: academic writing, research, academic integrity, collaborative and reflective practices. The students are supported through the use of subject-specific materials tailored to their chosen degrees with alignment of assessments between academic subject modules and the skills module.

    View Research and Academic Development Skills on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 03: CORE

    Introduction to Law
    (30 CREDITS)

    Do you have no previous knowledge of UK law? Want to understand the general principles of the legal system? And know how the law works in practice? Gain understanding of law and the basic legal concepts. Discuss legal issues in practical scenarios, learning to construct and defend legal arguments.

    View Introduction to Law on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 04: CORE WITH OPTIONS

    IA118-3-FY or IA158-3-FY or IA120-3-FY
    (30 CREDITS)

    COMPONENT 01: CORE WITH OPTIONS

    HR100-4-FY or HR111-4-FY
    (30 CREDITS)

    COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

    Becoming a Historian
    (15 CREDITS)

    Gain the necessary tools with which to study history at university level. You will be introduced to history as an academic discipline and will develop the skills employed by professional historians, as well as gaining key transferable skills. This module has no single geographical focus, but uses examples from a range of different historical themes, time periods and countries.

    View Becoming a Historian on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 03: CORE

    Legal Skills
    (15 CREDITS)

    Understand fundamental features of the English legal system? Can you explain the meaning in a legal case? Do you cite legal/academic sources correctly? Examine the structure and role of legal institutions and professionals. Develop key skills for legal study, including group work, presenting information orally and researching legal materials.

    View Legal Skills on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

    Foundations of Property Law
    (15 CREDITS)

    What are the key features of property law? And what is the framework within which a property lawyer operates? Study the fundamental principles of the law of property in England and Wales. Satisfy the property law requirements of professional bodies if you wish to practise law in England and Wales.

    View Foundations of Property Law on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

    Foundations of Public Law
    (30 CREDITS)

    This module introduces the fundamentals of the UK constitution and the foundations of judicial review. The module explores: the nature of the constitution; the structure of governmental power; the sources of constitutional rules; and the fundamental principles underpinning the UK constitution. The module considers the functions of the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial) and how they are accountable. The module examines the framework for protection of human rights in the UK and introduces the grounds of judicial review.

    View Foundations of Public Law on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 06: OPTIONAL

    History option from list
    (15 CREDITS)

    COMPONENT 07: COMPULSORY

    History Works: Career Portfolio
    (0 CREDITS)

    This module runs across three years of your degree and is designed to help you reflect upon, and develop, your plans and skills for your career in the long term. The module is compulsory for all History undergraduate students, but is designed not to be onerous, and to be as flexible as possible. You can use it to either prepare yourself for your dream career, or to explore the options open to you. You will meet former Essex History students to talk about the professions they decided to go into with their history degrees. While some of these professions are closely linked to the subject of history, others are not obviously so – but historians are nonetheless well-equipped for them. We hope that hearing from History graduates, finding out about the range of career options open to History students, and gaining insights into and confidence with recruitment and the labour market, will help students to feel confident about their life after History at Essex.

    View History Works: Career Portfolio on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

    Criminal Law
    (30 CREDITS)

    How effective is criminal law? How do you break down a criminal law statute to its component parts? And how do you then interpret it? Understand criminal law in England and Wales. Read and critically analyse judicial decisions. Assess and answer factual problems, raising issues of criminal liability.

    View Criminal Law on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

    Approaches to History
    (15 CREDITS)

    This module will illuminate everything you study in history. It encourages you to think about the many and diverse ways in which historians approach the writing of history. You’ll be introduced to important historical concepts that have shaped recent historical writing, such as microhistory, class, gender and race, or to an important historical theme, such as consumption, literary history and global history.

    View Approaches to History on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 03: OPTIONAL

    HR231-5-SU or option from list
    (15 CREDITS)

    COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

    Foundations of the Law of Obligations
    (15 CREDITS)

    What are the principles of contract formation? And what are the remedial consequences of breach of contract? Study key concepts in contract and tort, and how they are placed in the wider framework of the common law of obligations. Apply your knowledge to resolve legal problems in simulated cases.

    View Foundations of the Law of Obligations on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

    Contract Law
    (15 CREDITS)

    What are the legal consequences of contract failure? How do you calculate damages? Examine key aspects of contract law. Identify legal issues in simulated case studies and learn to construct legal arguments. Apply legal principles and precedent cases to resolve simulated legal problems. Build the numerical skills to calculate damages.

    View Contract Law on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 06: OPTIONAL

    Option(s) from list
    (30 CREDITS)

    COMPONENT 07: COMPULSORY

    History Works: Career Portfolio
    (0 CREDITS)

    This module runs across three years of your degree and is designed to help you reflect upon, and develop, your plans and skills for your career in the long term. The module is compulsory for all History undergraduate students, but is designed not to be onerous, and to be as flexible as possible. You can use it to either prepare yourself for your dream career, or to explore the options open to you. You will meet former Essex History students to talk about the professions they decided to go into with their history degrees. While some of these professions are closely linked to the subject of history, others are not obviously so – but historians are nonetheless well-equipped for them. We hope that hearing from History graduates, finding out about the range of career options open to History students, and gaining insights into and confidence with recruitment and the labour market, will help students to feel confident about their life after History at Essex.

    View History Works: Career Portfolio on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

    Research Project
    (30 CREDITS)

    History is actively constructed and not simply rediscovered in the records of the past. Historical research involves a process of selection and interpretation, and there is an active exchange between theory and empirical data. The Research Project gives you a unique opportunity to explore the making of history. You undertake a piece of detailed, critical and/or possibly original historical research. Meetings and workshops provide practical guidance on formulating a topic, researching, writing and presentation.

    View Research Project on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 02: OPTIONAL

    Final year History option(s) from list
    (30 CREDITS)

    COMPONENT 03: OPTIONAL

    Final year Law option(s) from list
    (30 CREDITS)

    COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

    Law or History option(s) from list
    (30 CREDITS)

    Placement

    On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

    Year abroad

    On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

    Teaching

  • Your teaching mainly takes the form of lectures and classes, the latter involving about 20 students
  • A typical timetable includes a one-hour lecture and a one-hour class for each of your four modules every week
  • Our classes are run in small groups, so you receive a lot of individual attention
  • Assessment

  • Your assessed coursework will generally consist of essays, reports, in-class tests, book reviews, individual or group oral presentations, and small scale research projects
  • Fees and funding

    Home/UK fee

    £9,250

    International fee

    £17,700

    Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

    Home/UK fees and funding information

    International fees and funding information

    What's next

    Open Days

    Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

    • tour our campus and accommodation
    • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
    • meet our students and staff

    Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

    2021 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

    • Saturday, November 13, 2021

    Applying

    Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.

    Our UK students, and some of our EU students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Independent applicants in the UK or EU can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

    The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are 'L' and 'S' respectively.

    You can find further information on how to apply, including information on transferring from another university, applying if you are not currently at a school or college, and applying for readmission on our How to apply and entry requirements page.

    Please note that this course is not open to international applicants

    Applicant Days and interviews

    If you are an undergraduate student who has received an offer from us to study with us from October 2021, you will be invited to attend a Virtual Applicant Day so that you can get to know us from the comfort of your own home. Our Virtual Applicant Days will run until June 2021 and give you the chance meet academics online from the department you’ve applied to, and attend live talks and Q&A’s on our Virtual Applicant Day platform.

    Some of our courses also require a compulsory interview. If you have applied to one of these courses you will receive an invite to a Zoom interview via email, along with further details about the interview process.

    Colchester Campus

    Visit Colchester Campus

    Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

    The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

     

    Virtual tours

    If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

    Exhibitions

    Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

    At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.


    Find out more

    The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

    The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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