History should always be viewed in colour, not in black and white. If you’re intellectually curious, and prepared for your investigations to take you into unexpected territories, you’ll be at home in our History Department. It’s a space in which you’ll be constantly surprised as to where history can take you.
History at Warwick asks you to look critically at the motivations, context and characters behind the events that define world history from the Renaissance to the present day. Our far-reaching approach allows you to explore historical topics in depth from around the globe. The department is studded with expertise spanning the British Isles, continental Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin and North America.
Towards the end of your first year, you’ll choose between working towards a Modern History or Renaissance and Modern History degree. Throughout your degree you’ll have the freedom to develop your own independent view on the historical themes that most excite you.
Enabling you to follow your passion in the Arts, we are awarding Scholarships of £1,000 to home/UK students who achieve AAA or above, or equivalent qualifications if you start your course in 2020 and you have applied through UCAS, adjustment or clearing.
In your first year, you’ll be given a foundational understanding about the study of European and global history. In contrast to your appreciation of history prior to university, you will establish your own critical take on sources, evidence and arguments. Although your first year will provide you with a firm grounding in historical study, this should not feel restrictive – there are a range of options for you to begin exploring modules and develop your own worldview. As you progress through your first year, you’ll become confident and skilled to make the most of the choices open to you in the second and third years of your study at Warwick.
By the end of the second term, you’ll be ready to choose between working towards a Modern History or Renaissance and Modern History degree. If you’re drawn to history in its broadest, more global sense, you can choose Modern. This provides you with numerous opportunities to explore various historical themes, and to test your developing research capabilities. Renaissance and Modern would be your selection if your historical interests are more focused on the Middle Ages, and the events and people of the 14th to 17th centuries. By choosing this, you have the option to apply for a term in Venice in your third year (if you choose the Italian Language module in your first year, you’ll be a guaranteed a space in Venice). This is your opportunity to test your expanding worldview in the international domain.
In your third year, if you choose Renaissance and Modern, you’ll spend your first term in Venice. You’ll take the core module Venice and the Renaissance which gives you the opportunity to study the history of a great Mediterranean city while living in it. Guided tours of major monuments in the city is a key part of the module. For both degree paths, you’ll be working on a dissertation, and on advanced options for which you could be assessed in a variety of ways.
Teaching is delivered through lectures, seminars and tutorials, web forums, podcasts, workshops, presentations, film analysis, group work and field trips. For core modules there are usually two lectures and one hour-long seminar per week, and for optional modules one lecture per week plus weekly or fortnightly seminars. Seminar groups are small, providing a valuable opportunity for you to work closely with your lecturers. Many modules focus on well-established themes in political, religious, cultural or social history while others explore topics far removed from the usual A level syllabus.
You’ll be taught in a variety of ways, through a combination of lectures, seminars, and tutorials alongside assigned reading. Our tutors also use film, visits to archives, libraries and museums, and other types of field trips to bring modules to life. This is best exemplified by our tutors in Venice, who use the city, its geography, and its art and architecture in their teaching.
For core modules in first year there are usually two lectures and an hour-long seminar per week, and for optional modules one lecture per week plus weekly or fortnightly seminars.
Assessments include source analysis, research projects, and presentations, alongside more traditional methods such as essays and exams. Some of our assessment tasks also include writing for different audiences (for example, designing museum exhibitions, creating blogs, podcasts and websites, and writing book reviews).
On Renaissance and Modern, students can spend the autumn term of their final year studying with Warwick tutors in Venice. All students have the opportunity to apply for an intercalated year abroad at one of our partner universities. The Study Abroad Team based in the Office for Global Engagement offers support for these activities, and the Department’s dedicated Study Abroad Co-ordinator can provide more specific information and assistance.
Our Careers and Skills department offer a wide range of workshops, from developing confidence and interview techniques to learning how to articulate what you have to offer in order to impress potential employers. Online resources are also available, including a CV and covering letter example library, practice aptitude and psychometric tests, online interview training and resources to help you research job vacancies.
You will also be able to book an appointment with a careers advisor for History at any point during your degree, whether you have no idea what you want to do, or if you have a clear direction in mind and need specific advice and guidance.
A level: AAB to include History
IB: 34 with at least a 6 in Higher Level History
BTEC: We welcome applications from students taking BTECs alongside one or two A levels, including A level History. Our typical BTEC offers are as follows:
BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate plus 2 A-Levels: D* plus AA including History
BTEC Level 3 National Diploma plus 1 A-Level: D*D* plus A in History
Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.
Contextual data and differential offers
Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).
- Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP)
All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP website.
- We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
Taking a gap year
Applications for deferred entry welcomed.
We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.
Making of the Modern World
We live in the here and now. But what got us here? This module studies the string of major social, political, and cultural developments that established our modern world. Radical (and not so radical) ideas from the Enlightenment, the industrial revolution’s structural transformations of how we work, build and buy things, and the struggles and stumbles of imperialism, capitalism and globalisation have gone far to set terms of life in the twenty-first century. The module will also help you develop your critical voice as a historian while asking comparative questions about historical difference across the world.
Europe in the Making 1450-1800
Seismic change. Gradual shift. Both? Or neither?
Between 1450 and 1800, Europe saw profound developments take place: whether it was the invention of the printing press, Columbus’ ‘discovery’ of America, or Martin Luther’s challenge to the papacy, the events of this ‘Early Modern’ period dramatically changed the social and political landscape of the times.
And yet, this was a period that could equally be viewed as slow-paced: for example, did the people of Europe experience significant changes to life expectancy or social hierarchies during the period?
Through this module, you’ll consider the differing historical viewpoints of both Europe and the Early Modern period itself. You’ll think about the individuals of the time too, considering the notions of European identity, and understanding encounters and relationships between Europeans and non-Europeans. And, through the comprehension of key historical and historiographical terms, you’ll begin to ascertain the roots of modernity.
In order to understand your own strengths as a historian, it pays to understand to the methods of historians of the past.
In this Historiography module, you’ll start to ready yourself for the academic challenges of the final year of your degree. You’ll be asked to think more deeply about the questions posed by notable historians and to ask yourself what questions you should ask about the past. Do you pose different questions if you adopt a non-Western viewpoint? How should you go about answering those questions? And why should you study the past in the first place?
During Historiography I, you’ll learn about the theoretical approaches adopted by historians since the Enlightenment in the 18th century, and appreciate why these historians’ methods retained credibility into the 1990s. As the module progresses, you’ll develop your own critical approach to historical research, and learn techniques on how to articulate this in word and in speech.
For any developing historian, it’s just as important to reference contemporary historical methods as it is the methods of years gone by.
This is how Historiography II complements your learning from Historiography I. You’ll explore themes from 1990s to the present, each week focusing on a different theme, theory or methodology. These topics, which are currently hotly debated among academic historians, will be presented by one of Warwick’s experts within that particular area. You’ll be given an insight into your lecturer’s individual methodological and theoretical approach, while gaining awareness of what’s currently exciting and important in academic history writing.
Throughout this module, you’ll develop skills and experience to leave you suitably prepared to choose and deliver a dissertation in your final year of study.
History should excite and it should illuminate. That’s why a research project is your platform for demonstrating how history excites you, and how that excitement can be translated into illuminating others.
A research project allows you to take your curiosity into an area of history that really intrigues you. With the support of your seminar tutor, you’ll explore your curiosity through the analysis of a broad range of primary source materials, all of which will be identified by yourself. By bringing your own sources into the development of your research, and developing the skills to critically assess those sources, you’ll find yourself determining your own independent learning style.
As well as uncovering new insight into historical themes, you’ll also improve your ability to express and present that insight through oral, written and digital formats.
At Warwick, we encourage you to go beyond simply studying history. We can guide you towards developing the worldview and analytical capabilities that mark out the most talented historians.
Our applied options allow you to devote attention to an area of history that really fascinates you, while providing you with demonstrable skills development. Those options can take you into unexpected and surprising themes. Some examples include: A Global History of Football; A Social History of Cricket; War, Sex and the US Military: from Cold War to "War on Terror" and ‘The Two Island Empires’: Britain and Japan.
You’ll be assessed based on tasks undertaken by professional historians in their everyday working life. By engaging with these tasks, you’ll acquire a level of critical and imaginative thinking that’s well-suited for any intellectually-challenging working environment.
Crossing Boundaries and Breaking Norms in the Medieval World (Renaissance and Modern only)
Cross-dressing, witches and prostitution: there was much to occupy the thoughts of those living between 800 and 1500. And that’s before we consider the impact of broader themes such as the Hundred Years War or the Rise of the Ottomans.
This module provides you with an introduction to this time of great upheaval and non-conformity across Europe. Often using a wide range of primary source materials, you’ll assess the economic, religious and spiritual life of the people of the medieval world. Through this study of the later Medieval and Renaissance periods, you’ll learn to communicate ideas and findings, and develop your own critical approach to analysing the sources that you use.
An Early Modern History option (Modern only)
What have you learned? What are you most interested in? And what do you want to tell us about history?
Over the previous years of study, you’ll have gained skills and understanding that will enable you to research, analyse, critique and discuss key historical themes – all the attributes you need to become a critical and imaginative thinker.
Your final-year dissertation is your opportunity to demonstrate this. It’s your platform to choose and explore an area that truly fascinates you, based on a module in your second or final year, or your year abroad. It’s your chance to prove yourself as a capable historian.
By working on your dissertation, you’ll undertake a substantive piece of historical research and produce an article-length piece of work. You’ll call upon the theoretical approaches you explored in the Historiography modules, and critically assess a wide variety of primary sources. You’ll have the scope to outline, write and sustain a coherent and logical argument.
Help is on hand throughout. You’ll be allocated a supervisor in term one of the final year, and there is also a Dissertations Coordinator available for general guidance and queries. If you’re spending a term in Venice, your tutors there will be able to support you too.
Venice in the Renaissance - Venice Term (Renaissance and Modern only)
One of the first international financial centres. A city of enormous architectural and artistic significance. A metropolis of myth and empire. There is a lot that people already know about Venice; for a budding historian though, there is much more to unearth on this remarkable city.
This module will give you ample opportunity to learn about Venice through a range of primary textual, visual and material sources. And, by spending a term studying in the city, you’ll be able to put your learning into practice through a series of site visits.
Through this immersive study of Venice, you’ll find yourself getting closer to the city’s history between the late 14th century and the late 16th century. Venice will also act as a base from which you can explore wider issues, including gender, violence and church reform.
Advanced options (two for Renaissance and Modern and three for Modern)Examples include: The World of the Tavern in Early Modern Europe; Conquest, Conflict and Co-existence: Crusading and the Crusader Kingdoms; Britain, the Mandates and the Modern Middle East; A History of Human Rights in Latin America; Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Europe; Society and Politics in Southern Africa; From the Blues to Hip Hop; Stalinism in Europe 1928-1953; Feminism, Politics, and Social Change in Modern Britain; Medicine, Empire and the Body, c.1750-1914.
Examples of optional modules/options for current students
First year: Empire and Aftermath; Latin America: Themes and Problems; Mind, Body and Society; A History of Africa from 1800; China 1500-1800; A History of the United States; History and Politics of the Modern Middle East
Second year: Nation and Memory in Russia, Poland and Ukraine, 1800 to the Present; The British Problem: Empire, Conflict and National Identities; Being Human: Human Nature from the Renaissance to Freud; History of Russia Since 1881; The Formation of American Culture, 1876-1929; Violence in Early Modern Europe; Britain in the Twentieth Century: A Social History; Individual, Polis and Society: Philosophical Reflections in History; Go-Betweens: Crossing Borders in the Early Modern World; Caravans and Traders: Global Connections, 1200-1500; Visual and Material Cultures of the Spanish Empire; Science, Technology and Society, 1400 to Present; Globalisation and Reform: Catholicism c.1500-1648; War, Sex & Gender in the United States: from Civil War to WWII; History in Practice: Public History and Heritage
Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for employers including: Admiral Group, Advent, BBC, Bloomsbury Publishing, Civil Service, Deloitte, ESI Media, Ipsos Mori, KPMG, Lloyds Banking Group, M&S, Ministry of Defence, Penguin Random House, Sky, Teach First and UBS.
They have pursued roles such as: archivists and curators; arts officers, producers and directors; actuaries, economists and statisticians; barristers and judges; business sales executives; chartered and certified accountants; conservation professionals; financial account managers; journalists, newspaper and periodical editors; public relations professionals; researchers and solicitors.
Helping you find the right career
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant who works within Student Careers and Skills to help you as an individual. Additionally your Senior Careers Consultant offers impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events, tailored to our department, throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- A Career to suit you
- Discovering Careers in the Creative Industries
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- The Historian’s Toolkit – Career planning for first years
- History – CV review session
Find out more about our Careers & Skills Services here.
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Department of History
3 years full-time
28 September 2020
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
Find out more about fees and funding
Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.
This information is applicable for 2020 entry.
Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.
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