History student examines historical record. BA (Hons) History.
UCAS Code
V100
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2022, September 2023

Overview

Explore the past to understand the now. Dive into moments of chaos, challenge and change. Uncover evidence that shines new light on societies around the world. Across issues of gender, class, race, inequality and power, you’ll see how diverse people responded to the times they lived in – and how their actions still shape our world today. 

The city of Portsmouth is a time traveller's paradise where past and present collide: from historic warships to modern cruise liners, from Southsea Castle to the Spinnaker Tower. It's the ideal place to create your own immersive and relevant BA (Hons) History degree. 

Course highlights

  • Study in a city that’s always been a gateway to the wider world, with options to explore the past of Britain, Europe, Africa, Asia and North America
  • Get closer to history thanks to close links with Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and the Portsmouth Museum and Records Service
  • Tailor your studies to times and themes you find most fascinating - from the British Civil Wars to the Opium War, from Victorian cities to modern Germany, from persecution and migration to anti-racism in the 20th century
  • Learn in a place where historians collaborate with linguists, sociologists and political scientists to answer deep and complex questions
  • Develop demonstrable skills in research, analysis and argument that are highly valued by all kinds of employers
  • Apply your new expertise in a CV-boosting work placement at a museum, heritage site, charity or other organisation of interest
TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

Entry requirements​

BA (Hons) History degree entry requirements

Typical offers
  • A levels – BBB–BCC
  • UCAS points – 104–120 points, to include A level History or another relevant subject, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • International Baccalaureate – 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Typical offers
  • A levels – ABB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112–128 points, to include A level History, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • International Baccalaureate – 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Focusing on your interests with pathways

You can follow optional sociology or politics pathways through this degree, or include it as a pathway in our English Literature, American Studies or International Relations courses. It'll lead to one of these awards at the end of the course:

Richard's story
"Portsmouth has definitely given me the tools I need to achieve..."

Find out what Richard loves about studying a BA (Hons) History degree at Portsmouth, and where he hopes this will take him next.

What I love about history at Portsmouth is the variety that the course offers, it just gives you the different aspects of History that you wouldn't necessarily be learning in school.

I hope to personally work in the civil service so I'd like to work in either regional or national government.

Portsmouth has definitely given me the tools I need to achieve it's given me the confidence and skills I can pass on when I'm going to my next career. 

Careers and opportunities

Employers in all kinds of industries value History graduates. This is because you’ll graduate with much-requested skills including:

  • analysing and managing large amounts of information 
  • carrying out research independently and as part of a team 
  • communicating a persuasive argument 
  • writing in a concise and informative way

What can you do with a History degree?

As a qualified historian, you can move forward to further study and research or put your degree to work in areas such as:

  • archives and information management
  • corporate governance
  • law
  • museums and the heritage sector
  • publishing and media
  • teaching

Graduate roles and destinations

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • archivist
  • barrister
  • development editor in publishing
  • museum curator
  • researcher and writer for TV
  • teacher

Portsmouth alumni have worked with organisations including:

  • central and local government
  • higher education providers
  • National Trust
  • Office for National Statistics
  • Serco
  • West Midlands Police
Hear from BA (Hons) History graduate, Emily

Emily Fryer graduated in 2018 with a BA (Hons) History degree from the University of Portsmouth. She is now a HR Manager. Find out what Emily’s role entails and how she’s applying the skills she learnt during her time with us.

Emily: I am Emily Fryer. I went to Portsmouth three years ago and I studied history.

I've always loved history, it's been my passion since I've been little. My dad loves history as well. We would always go on trips to the museum. We would go to the Imperial War Museum in London loads.

When I was sort of picking what I wanted to do at uni, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for a career. History is a subject that I loved the most and then when I was speaking to the Careers Advisors, they were saying about how many transferable skills history has.

I visited three different universities and Portsmouth was by far my favourite. I think it helped when I visited, it was super sunny and Portsmouth in the sunshine is the loveliest place ever. You've got it all really. You have the student life, but you've also got the beach and all the history. It was just the place really more than anything else that sold me, like I would love to live here for three years.

All the lecturers that I met were so lovely, really passionate and they are all actively researching and publishing as well. So you really get experts in each of their fields. One of my lecturers was Rob James, I ended up getting a first overall, and I think that was largely down to him. Always knowing that I could do better and pushing me and really believing in me.

When I graduated with my history degree, I was kind of unsure about what to do, what career path to take because it is so varied, you can really do whatever you want. I found a job at Cath Kidston. I got a job in HR and it's just something that I've realised is a perfect mix of all of my skills, all of my passions, all into one job.

My degree has actually had a huge impact on my career. I wanted to learn all of the theory behind the stuff I've been doing at work for the last two years. That's why I was so keen to do my CIPD.

I don't even know where I'd be without the University of Portsmouth, it was such a big part of my life. Living here and studying here and all of the people that I met and the tutors. Kind of more than anything, it's instilled that thirst for knowledge and always wanting to know more and always wanting to question things. I think a huge part of history is you're always questioning a source, and the lecturers would say, don't just believe everything at face value, always question things and always want to know more. What really drives me is that I just want a job that I enjoy, a life that I enjoy. That is what makes me want to continue studying so I can just progress in my career and continue enjoying what I'm doing. 

 

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course. We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

We'll also be available to help, advise and support you for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.

Placement year (optional)

After your second year, you can undertake an optional work placement year. This is an exciting opportunity to get invaluable work experience relevant to your intended career path.

The University can provide support and advice to help secure a work placement best suited for you. You can find placements in the UK or beyond, depending on your identified career plans.

Placement destinations

History students undertake placements in a variety of areas. Current and recent students have worked in the not-for-profit sector, in museums and heritage sites, in digital content management and with legal firms.

We'll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You'll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

The history degree at Portsmouth has been very enjoyable and the city itself boasts a wealth of material that has been beneficial to my learning.

Connor Jones, BA (Hons) History student

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) History degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Modules

Year 1
Year 2
Optional sandwich year
Year 3

Core modules

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Describe and discuss key developments in modern European history.
  • Identify and analyse significant themes in the shaping of modern Europe.
  • Develop an appreciation of a range of historiographical views and approaches to the period.
  • Apply knowledge of specific examples to analyse historical developments within an appropriate historical and geographical context.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Describe and discuss key developments and themes across the period and assess their significance.
  • Develop an appreciation of a range of historiographical views and approaches to the period.
  • Analyse primary source material within its appropriate historical and geographical context.
  • Apply knowledge of specific examples to analyse historical developments within an appropriate historical and geographical context.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Explore the experiences of various individuals and groups of people within their historical context
  • Discuss the ways in which historians have investigated historical experiences through the study of individual lives and social groups
  • Identify different primary sources that have been used by historians to research historical lives.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Describe and discuss key developments in the history of these major regions of the world
  • Identify and analyse significant themes in the shaping of regional histories
  • Explore historiographical approaches to these regional histories.

Explore this module

Module Learning Outcomes
  • Explore the experiences of various individuals and groups of people within their historical context
  • Discuss the ways in which historians have investigated historical experiences through the study of individual lives and social groups
  • Identify different primary sources that have been used by historians to research historical lives

Explore this module

Core modules

What you'll do

You’ll work in seminar groups on a research project, deciding what you'll study, what you'll produce as an output of the project (for example, museum interpretation panel, blog post, poster) and how it will be assessed. Where possible, you'll be working on ‘real life’ projects with external partners such as museums and archives.

You’ll have the opportunity to decide most aspects of the project work yourself – an exciting process which will help get you ready for your dissertations/major project and for the workplace after University. You'll also reflect upon your work, and think about how you might be more effective in the future.

What you'll learn

This module will help you to design and deliver projects, including developing your research and communication skills.

In particular, you'll:

  • Plan a project and bring it to a successful conclusion
  • Think about the most appropriate means to communicate your work
  • Reflect upon your practice and put those changes into action
  • Prepare your dissertation/ major project topic
Teaching activities

This module will be taught by:

  • 5 x 1-hour lectures
  • 8 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 180 hours studying independently. This is around 16 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module you'll be assessed through:

  • A project output, jointly decided by those involved (40% of final mark)
  • A reflective report (30% of final mark)
  • A dissertation/ major project proposal (30% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll explore how historians construct arguments by gathering and interpreting evidence and challenging orthodox views and historical perspectives. You’ll examine how historical debates evolve, how contemporary contexts inform the historians' writing and reflect on how to unpack arguments and employ analysis in your own work.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate awareness of historiography in debates, and identify and appraise different strands of historiography in social and cultural history
  • Describe and reflect on different strands of historiography
  • Describe how historiography has evolved in a number of historical controversies
  • Discuss a variety of historical controversies in small and medium size groups
Teaching activities
  • 23 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2-hour oral assessment and presentation (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,250-word coursework project (60% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you'll do

You'll consider who defines what is and isn’t acceptable, how those standards have changed over time, and how people have resisted the restrictions placed on them. You’ll examine notions of self-censorship and self-regulation, as well as ideas of control and agency as a basis for critically engaging with the notion of state power in different historical periods.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate a variety of sources and appraise different aspects of censorship, state power and control
  • Compare and critically reflect on different notions of human control and agency and the various ways that these operated in different locations under contrasting regimes
  • Differentiate between the historiographical approaches towards notions of censorship, state power and control
  • Communicate ideas and arguments effectively, in a range of different formats
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures/seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

Using a range of material culture – including clothing, ritual objects, gifts and consumer goods – you'll explore the complex world of pre-modern Europe. You'll analyse the ways in which objects are used, re-used and misused, and the ways in which meanings are inscribed upon them. You'll consider objects created and appropriated by European societies between the 15th and 18th centuries, and explore their significance and importance in the 21st century.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Explore debates about the use of material culture by historians
  • Assess how the use of material culture might help to challenge older historical narratives
  • Apply theoretical and methodological approaches to specific objects/artefacts
  • Conduct focused reading and research on particular examples of material culture, and communicate findings effectively
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

You'll explore conflicting interpretations of Nazism, focusing in particular on who held power in the ‘Third Reich’ as well as key policy areas. You will compare and contrast contentious interpretations by historians and explore why there have been major shifts in the debate since the end of World War II. You'll also address debates about the origins and nature of the Holocaust, as well as the impact of the Nazi period on German and international politics and society from 1945.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Explain the rise of Nazism (fascism)
  • Analyze National Socialist ideologies and specific policies
  • Compare types of support for and dissent to Nazism
  • Debate the contested origins and implementation of the Holocaust
  • Analyze the significance of the legacy of the ‘Third Reich’ on German politics and society from 1945 to the present
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures 
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours of independent study for this module. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module. 

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute oral presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 2.000 word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll explore significant themes and debates in the history of slavery in the Atlantic World. Themes include: the intersection of ideas of race, gender, and slavery; the inherent violence of the institutions of slavery, and the persistent forms of resistance by the enslaved; and the development of anti-slavery thought and practices, including revolutionary action and mass campaigning.

The module is framed by the idea of the Atlantic World: a space created by the peoples who inhabited the continents of Europe, Africa, and the Americas; a space shaped by the lives and labour of the enslaved; and a world in which a particularly brutal and exploitative form of racial slavery was developed and eventually destroyed.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Explore various core topics in the history of race and slavery in the Atlantic World
  • Evaluate the historiography of slavery and antislavery in the Atlantic world
  • Critically examine the nature and basis of primary evidence
  • Write effectively using appropriate academic norms and conventions
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll study how behaviours now considered private or medical such as sexual incontinency were formerly monitored and controlled, the role of religious ideas and the participation of neighbours,  and you'll examine changes to criminal justice from when corporal, capital punishment and torture were considered acceptable to the eighteenth-century 'bloody code', to the enlightenment ideas of punishment and modern policing. You’ll also explore the impact of urbanisation on patterns of crime and anxieties surrounding it and the use of criminal prosecution as a means of social control, in relation to enforcing gender-roles and controlling the poor.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate a variety of sources relating to and appraise different aspects of the history of crime
  • Assess methods of social control used at different periods of time, and the extent to which these were challenged
  • Differentiate between different historiographical approaches and arguments in the history of crime
  • Review how legal records can be used as a primary source for the understanding of social history
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll analyse the relationship between ideology and the operation of political parties, social movements and government policy-making and explore how ideologies have developed and what role they play in individual and group identity. You’ll adopt a global perspective to look  at the 'classic' Western-oriented ideologies and considers ideologies from a non-Western perspective and context.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically assess the status, logic and consistency of ideologies
  • Assess and account for the significance and role of ideologies in political contexts and periods
  • Discuss the relationship between ideologies and the conduct of politics (in parties, movements, leadership)
  • Evaluate the contribution of key thinkers to the development of political ideologies
  • Discuss the relationship between ideology and individual and group identities
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars 
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the post-soviet period and the transition in Russia. You'll also analyse the transition in former Soviet states in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Ukraine and Belarus through core themes such as ethnicity, identity, historical memory, security and relations with the West.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate the operation of the Soviet system and assess the relevance of key theoretical models
  • Critically assess the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the problems of transition
  • Compare and contrast the role of important factors such as elites, ethnicity, identity, economic development, security in shaping the post-soviet transition
  • Explain the role of core determinants of the relationship between Russia and the former Soviet states and their relationship with the West
  • Critically account for and assess the extent of democratisation in Russia and the former Soviet states
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • 2 x 2,000-word written assignments (50% of final mark, each)

What you'll do

You'll explore key themes such as the nature of the October 1917 revolution, the consolidation of Soviet power in the 1920s, the origins and nature of stalinism, and industrialisation and collectivisation in the 1930s. You'll also learn about the Soviet Union in the second world war, the Khrushchev reforms, the so-called period of stagnation under Brezhnev and the nature and impact of Gorbachev's reforms.

You'll examine relevant debates between historians and political scientists as well as specific topics that interest you, such as the changing role and status of women, changes in the Soviet state, party and social structure, and the role of individuals such as Lenin, Stalin, Gorbachev.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically assess key debates on the nature of Soviet society, politics and history and understand their context
  • Assess and account for the nature and causes of change in Soviet society and politics
  • Display a critical understanding of the complexities of the operation of Soviet politics and society over time
  • Critically analyse the role played by different factors – individuals, social, economic, ethnic and international – in Soviet politics and society
Teaching activities
  • 11 hours of lectures
  • 11 hours of seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word essay (50% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word essay on a theme of your choice (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll enter at the appropriate level for your existing language knowledge. If you combine this module with language study in your first or third year, you can turn this module into a certificated course that is aligned with the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFRL).

What you'll learn

When you complete this module:

  • You'll have improved your linguistic skills in Arabic, British Sign Language, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, French, German or Spanish
  • You'll be prepared for Erasmus study abroad
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through: 

  • coursework (100% of final mark) 

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Compare & contrast the ways in which different social groups have understood & experienced popular cultures over time.
  • Communicate ideas and arguments effectively, in a range of different formats.
  • Examine and evaluate differing historiographical views on popular culture across the period of the module.
  • Analyse a range of primary and secondary sources relating to popular cultures.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Contextualise the European colonisation of Africa.
  • Engage critically with justifications for colonial rule.
  • Engage with contemporary debates regarding colonialism, decolonisation and its legacies in Europe and Africa.
  • Critically analyse primary and secondary sources.
  • Present a reasoned argument in written form, using appropriate terminology.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically discuss a number of specific topics within the field of US foreign policy in the twentieth century and its emergence as a superpower.
  • Analyse key historical issues, concepts, evidence and historiographical debates in US foreign policy.
  • Critically analyse the role of the US as a hemispheric and world power.
  • Employ independent learning and research skills.

Explore this module

What you'll do

You'll develop fundamental skills needed to be a teacher, and the capability to structure and deliver a short lesson.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Analyse the expectations of a professional teacher in terms of skills, knowledge and conduct
  • Discuss the importance of safeguarding students
  • Apply fundamental concepts of teaching and learning theory to plan an effective, peer-assessed lesson
  • Deliver lesson plans with clear objectives, student-centred learning and assessment of learning
  • Reflect on the use of active learning methods within subject specialism
Teaching activities
  • 10 x 2-hour seminars
  • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 10 x 1-hour lectures
  • 4 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute practical skills assessment (50% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word written assignment (50% of final mark)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify future career goals and reflect on these to develop a personal development plan (programme of learning), which includes suitable work experience and skills/knowledge development opportunities
  • Arrange suitable work experience, engage with personal development opportunities and analyse relevant literature relating to enhancing your employment opportunities
  • Critically evaluate and articulate your learning (knowledge, skills and attributes) in relation to your future career goals
Teaching activities

On this module you'll take part in work-based learning and attend lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 188 hours doing work-based learning or studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word report (20% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word report (80% of final mark)

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Explore debates about the use of material culture by historians.
  • Assess how the use of material culture might help to challenge older historical narratives.
  • Apply theoretical and methodological approaches to specific objects/artefacts.
  • Conduct focused reading and research on particular examples of material culture, and communicate findings effectively.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Explore the formation of national and ethnic identities through the case studies of postwar Britain and Germany.
  • Evaluate scholarly debates about national identites, ethnic identities and nationalism.
  • Apply theoretical and methodological approaches to a number of different case studies.
  • Conduct research through focused reading, examine primary sources, and communicate findings effectively.

Explore this module

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Manage and complete tasks in a study relevant to your course, with an appropriate level of skill, initiative, independence and performance
  • Critically reflect on the formal learning experience and student ambassadorial role for the University, and consider the relevance of this learning to future study and/or employability and personal development
  • Critically assess how activities relate to disciplinary knowledge and practice covered on your undergraduate course within the global context
Teaching activities
  • 5 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 595 hours abroad
Independent study time

n/a

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word coursework portfolio (100% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you'll do

Your placement year will be assessed after a period of no less than 30 weeks, on a pass/fail basis.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically reflect on the skills needed in a placement environment
  • Identify and evaluate your learning experience and the relevance of this to future careers and professional development
  • Identify areas for improvement or further training in your professional development
  • Evaluate your success in meeting the objectives identified in your learning agreement
Teaching activities
  • 10 x 1-hour seminars
  • 1,125 hours on placement
Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,500-word coursework portfolio (pass/fail, pass mark of 40)

Specialist subjects

In your third year, you'll specialise in focused topics that most interest you. Alongside your dissertation or major project, you'll take on four special themes (or two, if you're on a pathway course) from subjects such as these:

What you’ll do

You’ll study the causes, impact and military conduct of the devastating civil wars of the mid-seventeenth century, and their important political and religious consequences for Britain and Ireland. You’ll explore the wars’ social consequences as well, including the huge rise in printed news and opinion, the role of the supernatural, and the impact on gender identities. You’ll conclude with the Restoration of 1660, when monarchy and ‘traditional’ religion were apparently restored, yet British society and politics had been transformed by the first modern revolution. 

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Undertake intensive critical work on primary sources relating to a strand of specialist history
  • Analyse and critically evaluate various historiographical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Construct and present arguments effectively and persuasively in a range of appropriate formats
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3 hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll explore British film-making and cinema-going in this period of immense social upheaval. You'll look at commercial film-makers' output, the Ministry of Information’s film propaganda programme, and society’s responses to the films that were produced.

Drawing on the work of the most important production companies, such as Ealing and Gainsborough, as well as a number of smaller studios, you'll use the films to explore issues of censorship, propaganda, and escapism.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Analyse and assess the various historical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Conduct intensive critical work on primary source documentation
  • Explore the relationship between primary and secondary source materials
  • Engage with the methodological and interpretative issues in the historiographical theme identified
  • Individually or within a group context, build upon prior research and construct a coherent presentation in the chosen subject area
  • Demonstrates intellectual, transferable and employability skills appropriate to the field of history
Teaching activities
  • 3 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 3-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you’ll do

You'll explore a number of different groups – Puritans hoping for more radical reform; Catholics living under a Protestant Church and Crown; Protestants from overseas seeking refuge in England; 'those who were martyred for their beliefs.

You'll consider the ways religious and political identities were negotiated in private and public, and how Elizabeth’s subjects responded to the demands of the state church, by drawing on a range of written, visual and material culture evidence.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Undertake intensive critical work on primary sources relating to a strand of specialist history
  • Analyse and critically evaluate various historiographical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Construct and present arguments effectively and persuasively in a range of appropriate formats
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3-hour seminars
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll explore the processes that led to the rapid end of the British and French Empires in Africa after World War II.  You'll consider the contrast between the violent ends of empire in, for example, Algeria and Kenya with the relatively peaceful transition in much of the rest of British and French Africa. You'll start by tracing the relative importance of British and French domestic politics, international factors such as the Cold War, and African nationalist movements in the decolonisation process, then evaluate the legacy of colonial rule in both Europe and Africa and debates around post-colonialism.

You'll make extensive use of primary sources, including UN and other documents, photos, posters and newspaper articles available online, to examine this period's resonance into the present day – for example, with fresh revelations in the 2000s about the use of torture and terror tactics by the colonial states during the 'Mau-Mau uprising' in Kenya and the Algerian War of Independence.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Analyse and assess the various historical approaches to the study of decolonisation and the end of empire
  • Conduct intensive critical work on primary source documentation
  • Explore the relationship between primary and secondary source materials
  • Engage with the methodological and interpretative issues in the historiographical theme identified
  • Individually or within a group context, build upon prior research and construct a coherent presentation in the chosen subject area
  • Demonstrate intellectual, transferable and employability skills appropriate ot the field of history
Teaching activities
  • 3 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 3-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll start by learning about the foundations of US (economic) power and by reflecting on how to study ‘American influence’. You'll study the debates over Americanisation and anti-Americanism, and examine primary sources to understand American influence on European politics, and on the everyday lives of Europeans. You'll also tap into international European history and use literature focusing specifically on the 2 post-World War periods and the Cold War.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Undertake intensive critical work on primary sources relating to a strand of specialist history
  • Analyse and critically evaluate various historiographical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Construct and present arguments effectively and persuasively in a range of appropriate formats
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3-hour seminars
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

Your studies will cover the situation of France as both a global imperial power and an old aristocratic monarchy, and how its contradictions collided with the Age of Enlightenment and propelled the state into collapse in 1789.

You'll explore what kinds of conflict challenged the idea of a smooth transition as radical republicanism first toppled the monarchy in 1792, then consumed itself in civil war that, at the same time, saved the Republic from its foreign enemies in “the Terror” of 1793 and 1794.

You'll examine what was left of the Revolution’s ideals after years of warfare, and how its heritage survived Napoleon’s dictatorship.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Undertake intensive critical work on primary sources relating to a strand of specialist history
  • Analyse and critically evaluate various historiographical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Construct and present arguments effectively and persuasively in a range of appropriate formats
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3-hour seminars
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

In this specialist subject, you'll explore crime, class and racial tensions in Britain’s domestic cities, and examine contemporary fears that the modern city could be threat to civil order and to the Empire itself.

What you'll do

You'll examine how the city became a place of contestation over popular forms of ‘scandalous’ entertainment and how the pioneers of social research attempted to categorise and contain the ‘people of the abyss’. You'll also look at the ways urban elites attempted to foster local and imperial loyalty through schools, pageantry and civic architecture, and the representation of slums in popular literature during this period.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Analyse and assess the various historical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Conduct intensive critical work on primary source documentation
  • Explore the relationship between primary and secondary source materials
  • Engage with the methodological and interpretative issues in the historiographical theme identified
  • Individually or within a group context, build upon prior research and construct a coherent presentation in the chosen subject area
  • Demonstrates intellectual, transferable and employability skills appropriate to the field of history
Teaching activities
  • 3 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 3-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you’ll do

You'll look at a broad range of supernatural practices and beliefs in the modern period. You'll examine the continuation of witchcraft and popular magic, the rise of occult societies towards the end of the 19th century, and how supernatural ideas and practices adapted and took on new meanings. Rather than viewing magical thinking and supernatural beliefs as a lingering cultural remnant from a previous age, the module explores how attitudes towards the supernatural helped shape a sense of being ‘modern’.

You'll explore the enchantment of Victorian stage illusionism, the social and imperial fears expressed in late-Victorian Gothic literature, and the resurgence of magical practices in the First World War. You'll analyse how mesmerism, hypnotism and Spiritualism blurred boundaries between the supernatural and the scientific, and how the Society for Psychical Research established the scholarly study of ghosts and hauntings.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Undertake intensive critical work on primary sources relating to a strand of specialist history
  • Analyse and critically evaluate various historiographical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Construct and present arguments effectively and persuasively in a range of appropriate formats
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3-hour seminars
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you’ll do

What is Germany and who is German? You'll be looking at changing ideas about the answers to these questions over the last 200 years. You'll start with the Napoleonic Wars, when the idea of a united German nation first emerged, look at the racial nationalism in the 20th century which resulted in the ideology of Nazism, and explore the difficult task of constructing national identities in a divided and morally bankrupt post-war Germany. You'll also study today’s reunified Germany, where the question of who is German is once again at the centre of the public debate.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Undertake intensive critical work on primary sources relating to a strand of specialist history
  • Analyse and critically evaluate various historiographical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Construct and present arguments effectively and persuasively in a range of appropriate formats
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3 hour seminars
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll examine the events in China, India, Great Britain, and the wider world that led to the Opium War. You'll study the first major Sino-Western trading dispute through primary sources written by merchants, diplomats, parliamentarians, and missionaries, who all joined the debate about the opium trade and about the British decision to go to war. Of note are Lin Zexu’s letter to Queen Victoria (1839), William Gladstone’s speech to the House of Commons (1840), and the Treaty of Nanking (1842).

You'll discuss the reasons behind the war and the immediate legacy of this Sino-British hostility in the 19th century. Additionally, you'll examine the diverging historiographies of the Opium War in China and the West in the twentieth century. As China and the West grow increasingly interconnected, the history and historiography of the Opium War give us a good opportunity to understand today's international relations and conflicts.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Analyse and assess the various historical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Conduct intensive critical work on primary source documentation
  • Explore the relationship between primary and secondary source materials
  • Engage with the methodological and interpretative issues in the historiographical theme identified
  • Individually or within a group context, build upon prior research and construct a coherent presentation in the chosen subject area
  • Demonstrates intellectual, transferable and employability skills appropriate to the field of history
Teaching activities
  • 3 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 3-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you’ll do

You’ll explore the lingering impacts of the British empire on British political and social history throughout the second half of the twentieth century. You'll examine how ideas of race and racialisation have shaped government and popular attitudes across a range of issues from immigration legislation to education policy, policing, music and TV.

You'll also explore how a variety of people, black and white, British and foreign, have worked to oppose racist ideas and practices and forge a new idea of what post-imperial Britain should be.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Undertake intensive critical work on primary sources relating to a strand of specialist history
  • Analyse and critically evaluate various historiographical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Construct and present arguments effectively and persuasively in a range of appropriate formats
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 3-hour seminars
Independent Study Time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll consider historical debates around the power dynamics between men and women in public and private, changing ideas about gender, and the role these ideas have played in shaping social structures.

What did intellectuals perceive as the main differences between men and women, and how influential were their ideas? How important was masculinity to the exercise of political power? Did women conform to patriarchal restrictions or find ways to work within an unequal system? What happened to those who pushed the boundaries of accepted gender norms?

By analysing a range of sources including letters, diaries, paintings, objects, government papers and printed texts, you'll examine the role that sex and gender played in the exercise of power and influence in early modern society.

What you'll learn

When you complete this specialist subject successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Analyse and assess the various historical approaches to the study of a strand of specialist history
  • Conduct intensive critical work on primary source documentation
  • Explore the relationship between primary and secondary source materials
  • Engage with the methodological and interpretative issues in the historiographical theme identified
  • Individually or within a group context, build upon prior research and construct a coherent presentation in the chosen subject area
  • Demonstrate intellectual, transferable and employability skills appropriate to the field of history
Teaching activities
  • 3 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 3-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time 

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the specialist subject.

Assessment

On this specialist subject, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll put together your own personal, independent research which can take many forms depending on the aims and focus of the dissertation/major project. You’ll complete this significant and individual piece of work over an extended period of time using self-managed learning.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Design a viable dissertation/project proposal
  • Use current research or equivalent advanced scholarship in the relevant field
  • Deploy established and relevant techniques of analysis and enquiry in an ethical framework to a specific and focused area relevant to history
  • Critically evaluate assumptions, arguments and data (which may be incomplete) to form a judgement, frame further questions and identify potential solutions
  • Manage and reflect on your learning and communicate in writing to a specified audience relevant to the academic or workplace community
Teaching activities
  • 10 hours of project supervision
  • 10 hours of workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 380 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (10% of final mark)
  • a 9,000-word dissertation (90% of final mark)

Optional modules

If you're following a pathway, you'll complement your specialist subjects with two relevant options from these modules:

What you'll do

You'll get an understanding of sociological issues in an international setting, and enhance your job prospects.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Manage and complete tasks relevant to your course while abroad, with an appropriate level of skill, initiative, independence and performance
  • Critically reflect on your learning experience and ambassadorial role for the University
  • Consider the relevance of your learning to future study and/or employability and personal development
  • Critically assess how activities covered on your course relate to disciplinary knowledge and practice in a global context
Teaching activities
  • 5 x 1-hour seminars
  • 1,195 hours studying abroad
Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 3,000-word coursework portfolio (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

Your placement year will be assessed after a period of no less than 30 weeks, on a pass/fail basis.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically reflect on the skills needed in a placement environment
  • Identify and evaluate your learning experience and the relevance of this to future careers and professional development
  • Identify areas for improvement or further training in your professional development
  • Evaluate your success in meeting the objectives identified in your learning agreement
Teaching activities
  • 10 x 1-hour seminars
  • 1,125 hours on placement
Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,500-word coursework portfolio (pass/fail, pass mark of 40)

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through a variety of formats. The emphasis is on giving you a range of ways to demonstrate what you’ve learned and how your thinking has developed.

Your history degree with us is weighted more towards coursework than traditional exams. Assessment types include:

  • blogs
  • essays
  • project reports
  • group presentations
  • individual presentations
  • in-class contributions
  • a dissertation

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so that you can continue to develop and improve

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • one-on-one tutorials

There's an emphasis on learning the skills to conduct your own research, follow your own initiative, and confidently present your ideas.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

I love the direct learning offered. It relates so well to teaching and the lecturers have so much experience.

Jessica Jenkins, BA (Hons) History Student

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your History degree.

In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 11 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, independent reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course.

You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next scheduled meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.


Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2022 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year, including our Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £16,200 a year (subject to annual increase)

You won't pay any extra tuition fees to another university for taking part in a study/work abroad activity if you choose to do it for the whole academic year. During a year abroad you'll only have to pay a reduced fee to the University of Portsmouth.

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

If you take a placement year or study abroad year, tuition fees for that year are as follows:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £925 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £925 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £1,800 a year (subject to annual increase)

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – V100
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

To start this course in 2023, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – V100
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.