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History BA (V100)

Find out more about our History degree at Warwick


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Bachelor of Arts (BA)


3 years full-time


26 September 2022


Department of History


University of Warwick


If you're intellectually curious and prepared for your investigations to delve into unexpected territories, you'll be at home in Warwick's History Department.

Our flexible History degree gives you the freedom to develop an independent view on the historical themes that most excite you. Study with us and 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.

In your first year we'll support you as you develop a foundational understanding of the past. You'll then be ready to choose between working towards a Modern or Renaissance and Modern History degree. The Modern History degree offers a diverse, global curriculum of important historical themes and topics. The Renaissance and Modern degree gives you the chance to explore your historical interests while also spending a term in Venice. Throughout your degree you'll have the freedom to develop your own independent view on the historical themes that most excite you.

Students will be offered the opportunity at the start of their second year to apply for an optional Year Abroad. Following the application process, those students who are offered and take up a Year Abroad place transfer to the four-year History (with a Year Abroad), with the Year Abroad as the third of the four years.


In your first year, you'll be given a foundational understanding about the study of European and global history. Before coming to university you may have had to limited opportunity to explore your own ideas; now you can establish your own critical take on sources, evidence and arguments. Your first year will provide you with a firm grounding in historical study, at the same time as you begin to explore new topics and ideas - there are a range of options for you to begin developing your own historical 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 a wide range of historical themes, and to test your developing research capabilities. Renaissance and Modern will 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 one opportunity to test your expanding worldview in the international domain.

If you choose Renaissance and Modern, you'll spend the first term of your third year 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 by actually living in it. Guided tours of major monuments in the city are a key part of the Venice term. For either degree path, you'll also be working on a dissertation, and taking advanced options for which you will 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. This is beautifully exemplified by our Venice term, which uses the city - its geography, art and architecture - as essential teaching materials, but our use of surprising and inspiring sources is a feature of all our teaching.

Modules focus on important themes in political, religious, cultural or social history and many explore topics far removed from the usual A level syllabus.


Seminar groups are small (normally under 16), providing a valuable opportunity for you to work closely with your lecturers and to learn from other students.


For first year modules there are usually one or two lectures and an hour-long seminar either weekly or fortnightly.


Assessments include source analysis, research projects, and presentations, alongside more traditional assessments such as essays and exams.

Some of our assessment tasks also include writing for different audiences; for example, you might be asked to design a museum exhibition, or create blogs, podcasts and websites, or to write a book review. You might be asked to use an object - a piece of clothing, or a painting - to explore a historical topic, or to discuss the ways in which a historical event is represented in film or literature. Or you might address fundamental historical questions through essays of different lengths.

In all cases, the assessments are designed to let you get to the heart of the historical matter you're studying.


Study abroad

On Renaissance and Modern, students spend the autumn term of their final year studying with Warwick tutors in Venice. All students also have the opportunity to apply for an intercalated year abroad at one of our partner universities. The Student Mobility Team based in the Office for Student Opportunity offers support for these activities, and the Department's dedicated Study Abroad Co-ordinator can provide more specific information and assistance.


Placements and work experience

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 training in drafting CVs and covering letters, practice aptitude and psychometric tests, practice online interviews, and other resources to help you research job opportunities.

You will also be able to book an appointment with the History Department careers advisor at any point during your degree. Whether you have no idea what you want to do, or a clear direction in mind, you can take advantage of this focused advice and guidance.


A level typical offer

AAA to include History.

A level contextual offer

We welcome applications from candidates who meet the contextual eligibility criteria and whose predicted grades are close to, or slightly below, the contextual offer level. The typical contextual offer is ABB including grade B in History. See if you're eligible.

General GCSE requirements

Unless specified differently above, you will also need a minimum of GCSE grade 4 or C (or an equivalent qualification) in English Language and either Mathematics or a Science subject. Find out more about our entry requirements and the qualifications we accept. We advise that you also check the English Language requirements for your course which may specify a higher GCSE English requirement. Please find the information about this below.


IB typical offer

38 with at least a 6 in Higher Level History.

IB contextual offer

We welcome applications from candidates who meet the contextual eligibility criteria and whose predicted grades are close to, or slightly below, the contextual offer level. The typical contextual offer is 34 including 5 in Higher Level History. See if you're eligible.

General GCSE requirements

Unless specified differently above, you will also need a minimum of GCSE grade 4 or C (or an equivalent qualification) in English Language and either Mathematics or a Science subject. Find out more about our entry requirements and the qualifications we accept. We advise that you also check the English Language requirements for your course which may specify a higher GCSE English requirement. Please find the information about this below.


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

Year One

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 Gutenberg's 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.

Year Two

Historiography I

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 to articulate this in word and in speech.

Historiography II

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.

Research Project

History should excite and it should illuminate. That’s why a research project is an important platform for demonstrating how history excites you, and how that excitement can illuminate others.

The second year 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.

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.

Year Three


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.


Optional modules

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 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 areas. For example, we offer modules on ‘A Global History of Sport’ and ‘War, Sex and the US Military: from Cold War to "War on Terror"’, alongside modules on the Holocaust, the History of China, and 20th-Century Britain, and many other topics. We cover most of the globe and many, many different themes and subjects.

Your assessments will reflect the sorts of activities undertaken by professional historians in their everyday working life, as well as the many ways in which history features in the world around us. By engaging with these tasks, you’ll acquire a level of critical and imaginative thinking that’s well-suited for today’s challenging working environment.

Optional modules can vary from year to year. Example optional modules may include:

Year One

  • A History of the United States
  • Latin America: Themes and Problems
  • Mind, Body and Society
  • A History of Africa, 1830-1980
  • History and Politics of the Modern Middle East
  • Britain in the Twentieth Century: A Social History

Year Two

  • History of Germany from Bismark to the Berlin Republic
  • America in Black and White? Contemporary US Race Relations
  • A Global History of Sport
  • Corruption in Britain and its Empire, 1600-1850
  • The Supernatural in Early Modern Britain
  • A History of Modern Mexico
  • Race and Science: histories and legacies
  • Freedom fighting: Race, slavery and war in the Revolutionary Caribbean, 1790-1812
  • Out of the ghetto: Jewish history and culture from 1650 to today

Year Three

  • From the Blues to Hip Hop
  • Feminism, politics and social change in modern Britain The Elizabethan Reformation
  • Conquest, Conflict and Co-Existence: Crusading and the Crusader Kingdoms
  • Britain in the 1970s
  • Socialist bodies: Dreams and realities of the physical in Soviet Russia
  • A History of Human rights in Latin America
  • India and the problem of postcolonial democracy
  • Statues must fall? Remembering and forgetting slavery in the Atlantic World
Find out more about fees and funding.
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 or study abroad will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.