The School of History at Kent is one of the leading History
departments in the country, where you are taught by passionate
academics, active researchers and recognised experts. You learn within
an inspiring environment, studying on carefully crafted programmes that
allow you to develop your own skills and interests.
Our degree programme
Our History programme allows you to tailor your degree to your own
interests. These may be incredibly broad, or more focused within
specific themes or historical periods.
There is a huge choice of modules on offer, which reflect the
wide-ranging expertise of our academics. You can explore topics from the crusades to the Cold War; from the impact of science on 19th-century
culture to the totalitarian regimes of Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s
History student, Beccy Noble, talks about what it's like to study the subject at Kent.
Year in professional placement
It is possible to take this programme with a work placement between
the second and third year of your degree – this can provide valuable
work experience and the chance to gain new skills. You don’t have to
make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply.
Year or term abroad
You have the chance to study abroad for a year, or for a term in your third year. Previous destinations include:
California, USAMassachusetts, USAOttawa, Canada.Poitiers, FranceStellenbosch, South AfricaPokfulam, Hong Kong
Facilities to support your studies include:
the British Cartoon Archive, whose 20th-century collection can illuminate many aspects of recent historya rare and complete set of British official histories of both world wars privileged access to rare books and priceless manuscripts at Canterbury Cathedral Library and Archives.
You can get involved with the student-run History Society, which in
previous years has organised lectures, social events and trips across
The School of History also organises talks from visiting speakers that you are welcome to attend. In addition there are regular careers workshops and visits from successful alumni.
We have excellent links with the National Trust as well as local heritage organisations, including:
Canterbury Cathedral Library and Archives The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge Canterbury Archaeological Trust Royal Engineers Museum.
The School of History has also established strong links with academic institutions across Europe and beyond.
Teaching is by a combination of lectures, providing a broad overview, and seminars, which focus on discussing particular issues and are led by student presentations. Lectures and seminars use a variety of materials, including original documents, films and documentaries, illuminated manuscripts, and slide and PowerPoint demonstrations.
The School of History uses a mixture of assessment patterns. The standard formats are 100% coursework or 60% examination and 40% coursework.
The School also has excellent student support arrangements. Alongside our Student Support Officer, each student is assigned an academic tutor. All module convenors keep regular office hours, and the School has a policy of returning at least one essay on each module in a one-to-one personal meeting, allowing for additional verbal feedback and discussion.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the complexities of human existence in the past, while recognising that history does not consist of 'a specific body of required knowledge'
- texts and other source materials, while addressing questions of genre, content, perspective and purpose
- the problems inherent in the historical record itself and the limits within which interpretation is possible
- the value of neighbouring disciplines, recognised through the interdisciplinary nature of history itself
- more than one country, period (medieval, early modern, modern) and analytical approach (social, political, economic, cultural history, history of science).
You gain intellectual skills in:
- conceptualisation: the ability to relate concept to empirical evidence, and the ability to recognise the relative and contested character of concepts themselves
- critical thought and independence of mind: the ability to challenge received conclusions and evaluate the work of others
- the ability to synthesise material from a variety of sources to gain a coherent understanding of issues
- reflexivity – an understanding of the nature of the discipline and our own involvement with it
- recognising and distinguishing between the different sources of historical knowledge (epistemological awareness)
- recognition and employment of what is required to solve particular problems.
You gain subject-specific skills in how to:
- apply a range of historical methods and analytical approaches with awareness of the relevance of other disciplines
- access a range of sources of information, including textual and non-textual material
- present the results of historical work to a critical audience or readership using standard notes, reference systems and bibliography
- marshal an argument: summarise, analyse and defend a particular interpretation or analysis of historical events.
You gain transferable skills in:
- communication – how to organise information clearly; respond to written sources; present information orally; adapt style for different audiences; use of images as a communication tool
- numeracy – how to make sense of statistical materials; integrate numerical and non-numerical information; understand the limits and potentialities of arguments based on quantitative information
- information technology – how to produce written documents; undertake online research; communicate using email; process information using databases
- working with others – how to define and review the work of others; work co-operatively on group tasks; understand how groups function
- improving own learning – how to explore personal strengths and weaknesses; time management; review your working environment; develop specialist learning skills (such as foreign languages); develop autonomy in learning
- problem solving – how to identify and define problems; explore alternative solutions and discriminate between them.
The programme aims to:
- provide students with a firm understanding of the tradition and discipline of history as a means of understanding cultures different from their own and changes in society over time
- develop students' intellectual curiosity and initiative
- encourage independent critical thinking and judgement
- develop new areas of teaching and incorporate the research expertise of teachers into the programme
- provide stimulating learning opportunities based on well-planned teaching strategies and offer effective support for students from a variety of backgrounds
- prepare students for a range of careers and roles in a modern complex society or for further study
- develop a critical understanding of the past
- provide a flexible degree through which students can adopt a structure for their various interests.