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Explore how past societies developed and behaved to better understand our present and future lives, on our full-time History degree in Cambridge. Choose to study abroad in Canada, take part in European field trips and local fieldwork, and get support to find work placements. Broaden your historical knowledge and develop analytical and research skills that, together, can lead to careers in fields such as heritage, museums and genealogy.
- Join a history course that came 4th in the UK for ‘Satisfied with Teaching’ and 8th for overall satisfaction in The Guardian University Guide 2019
- Master the top two most required skills for 2020*: complex problem solving and critical thinking
- Become a researcher and uncover the motivations of major figures from Martin Luther to Martin Luther King
- Study a diverse selection of periods and places, with options that allow you to further your own interests
- Receive specific careers advice on our core module ‚History Today’
- Study abroad in Canada, and apply for funding to help cover the cost
- Broaden your experience on our European field trips – in 2018 we visited Berlin
On our BA (Hons) History degree, you’ll consider many historical approaches to a range of different, and often unfamiliar, periods and places. This will both develop your historical knowledge and also help you form an understanding of why people and societies think and behave as they do in the context of their lifetimes.
Focusing on the histories of Britain, Europe, the United States and imperialism from 1500 onwards, you’ll research, read and interpret documents, engage in discussions and take part in fieldwork to make rational sense of how historical events have shaped our world today.
This thorough investigation will sharpen your ability to critically analyse and tackle complex and relevant problems, such as how social divisions arise and dictators come to power. You’ll also form an awareness of the problems inherent in our historical record, the limitations of our knowledge and the dangers of simplistic explanations.
On our optional modules, you’ll have the chance to further your understanding of the areas of history that interest you most, with topics including ‚The First World War’, ‚Thatcher and the New Right’ and ‚Russian: Revolution and Reaction’, while the final major project will allow you to complete a substantial research project of your own choosing, practising all the skills you have developed throughout the course. You can even study some options you might think of as unusual, such as food and history or the history of sport.
Throughout the course, you’ll be supported by a teaching staff with diverse expertise, including Course Leader Professor Rohan McWilliam (Victorian Studies, Labour history), Dr Jonathan Davis (Russian/Soviet history, the 1980s) and Dr Sean Lang (British imperialism, the First World War). Professor Lucy Blandis one of the leading historians of gender in the UK, whilst Dr Richard Carr is not only an authority on modern politics but has written a biography of Charlie Chaplin.
We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need: they help us review what we teach and how we teach it.
Our BA (Hons) History degree will prepare you particularly well for roles that require a substantial body of historical knowledge, such as heritage manager, museum curator or broadcast journalism.
The key skills you’ll learn include research, data analysis, critical thinking and complex problem solving, which are sought after in many disciplines, but make a particularly strong pairing with historical knowledge in areas such as archaeology, genealogy, archiving or the Civil Service.
Our History course, which includes elements of Personal Development Planning, will help you find the most suitable career path or even move on to a postgraduate degree, such as our MA History or MA International Relations.
Modules & Assessment
Year one, core modules
Global Histories Ideas Connections Spaces and Objects
Uniting the Kingdoms: Early Modern Britain 1485-1715
Creating the Past
Revolution and Crisis in the European World, 1500-1800
Making of Modern Britain 1714-1832
Year two, core modules
Britain in the 19th century
19th Century Europe
History Today: Methods and Approaches
Britain in the 20th Century
Year two, optional modules
The British Empire
The Growth of the USA
A Social History of Medicine in Europe 1500-1750
The United States in the 20th Century
Europe in the Age of the First World War
Gender and Sexuality in Britain: 1880s-1980s
Year three, core modules
Undergraduate Major Project
History Special Subject
Year three, optional modules
Russia: Revolution and Reaction
Leisure and Popular Culture in Britain, 1800 to the Present
End of Empires
Capitalism in Crisis: The Depression and War in Europe
The Cold War: the world divided
The Era of Thatcher and Blair
Optional modules available all years
Anglia Language Programme
For a full breakdown of module options and credits, please view the module structure.
Your assessment will comprise a variety of methods designed to emulate real-world approaches to history and encourage you to practise the skills that will likely be required in your future career.
As well as exams and essays, these include field trip reports, internet search reports, document analyses, case studies, book reviews and geography tests.
Where you’ll study
Your department and faculty
At the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, we believe in thinking critically about the past, present and future to challenge perceptions and better understand communities and people.
With expertise from gender issues to literary analysis to exploring how the past has shaped our modern world, all our staff members are active researchers. This is reflected in our teaching, allowing us to support our students with the latest theories and practices, as well as essential employability advice.