Military History (BA (Hons))

University of Kent the United Kingdom

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The award
BA (Hons)

How long you will study
3 Years

Domestic course fees
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How you will study
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Course starts
September

International course fees
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All study options

About Military History at University of Kent

Study war and its effects in the inspiring location of historic Canterbury, with Roman forts and Cold War nuclear bunkers on your doorstep, as well as the battlefields of the First and Second World Wars.   Explore hundreds of years of history, or focus on particular themes that fascinate you. Military History is so much more than just battle tactics; you'll take a journey through time from the fifth century to present day, and develop an understanding of the wider social, ethical and political contexts of warfare.    Why study Military History at Kent?  History at Kent is ranked 1st for research intensity in The Complete University Guide 2023.   Study in historic Canterbury: our campus overlooks the medieval city, home to UNESCO heritage sites of Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martins Church  Tailor your degree to your own interests: few core modules means you’re free to choose from our wide range of options across world history, or find your passion and specialise  Access rare items at Canterbury Cathedral Library and Archives: our own Special Collections archive contains over 150 items, as well as Canterbury Cathedral’s dedicated Library and Archives with materials dating to the 8th century Get career-ready with a course that opens doors to a wide range of opportunities. Meet our graduates and find out more  What our students say “It’s quite a small group compared to some other courses – there are only about 50 of us – which is one of the reasons I chose it; I love history and knew classes would be smaller doing this subject so you’d get more one-to-one teaching.” Jenny Kent, BA Military History  What you'll study A wide range of choice and few compulsory modules means you'll tailor your degree to your interests.   In your first year, you’ll be introduced to historiography, equipping you with the skills you need to study the subject at a higher level. You’ll also explore the British army since its formation.    A range of modules allows you to explore worldwide history from the fifth century to present day, from American civil war to the Wars of the Roses, the Cold War to the Norman Conquest. In your second and third years you can delve into more specialist areas from Communism to how the British media reports on war. You might also study abroad; discovering a new culture, and showing future employers you can adapt to a new environment. Or you might do a placement year in industry. In your final year, you'll complete a dissertation or extended essay in a subject of your choice, supported by a supervisor. Alternatively you can consider a special subject modules. See the modules you'll study

Teaching is through a combination of lectures and seminars. Lectures are often used to provide the broad overview, while seminars focus on 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. Lectures usually last one hour and seminars are one or two hours, depending on the module.

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:

  • how people have reacted to and conceived of war in differing contexts, past and present
  • the origins and development of warfare in human societies, the justifications for war and its outcomes
  • the structure, nature and operation of institutions and states in differing contexts, through the medium of warfare
  • the contestable nature of many interpretations of war, both from original sources and from contemporary academics and commentators
  • questions of genre, content, perspective and purpose within a range of historical and contemporary texts and materials
  • the problems inherent in the historical and contemporary record; awareness of a range of viewpoints, the limitations of knowledge, and the dangers of simplistic explanations
  • war from different perspectives within the disciplines of history and politics/IR
  • the social, political, cultural and military aspects of warfare
  • the power structures and impulses to use war as a form of human interaction.

Intellectual Skills

You gain intellectual skills in the following areas:

  • how to gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of primary and secondary sources
  • the ability to identify, investigate and analyse primary and secondary information
  • how to develop reasoned arguments based on reflection, study and critical judgement
  • how to differentiate between arguments
  • the ability to reflect on and manage your own learning and make use of constructive feedback from peers and staff to enhance your own performance.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • the understanding of the nature of war and its significance as a global and historical human activity
  • the application of methods, concepts and theories used in the studies of history and politics/IR
  • the evaluation of different interpretations and sources
  • the ability to marshal an argument, and to summarise and defend a particular interpretation or analysis of events.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • communication – the ability to organise information clearly; respond to written sources; present information orally; adapt style for different audiences; use images as a communications tool
  • numeracy – the ability to read graphs and tables; integrate numerical and non-numerical information; understand the limits and potentialities of arguments based on quantitative information
  • information technology – the ability to produce written documents; undertake online research; process information using databases and spreadsheets (where necessary)
  • independence of mind and initiative
  • self-discipline and self-motivation
  • the ability to work with others and have respect for others' reasoned views.

The programme aims to:

  • place the study of war, in its historical and political contexts, at the centre of student learning and analysis
  • ensure that students understand modes of theory and analysis used in history and politics/IR and are aware of the differing and contested aspects of these disciplines
  • develop students' capacities to think critically about war in all its forms and interpretations
  • encourage students to relate the academic study of war to questions of public debate and concern
  • provide a curriculum supported by scholarship and research that promotes the breadth and depth of intellectual enquiry and debate
  • assist students to develop cognitive and transferable skills relevant to their vocational and personal development.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardBA (Hons)How you will study find outHow long you will study3 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Full Time UK/EU: TBC EUR | Full Time Overseas: TBC EUR

Entry requirements

Contact University of Kent to find course entry requirements.

Don't meet the entry requirements?

Consider a Foundation or Pathway course at University of Kent to prepare for your chosen course:

What students think about University of Kent

    Inspirational teaching - Patrique Tanque from Brazil is studying for a BSc in Forensic Chemistry.

    “Choosing Kent was an easy decision. The forensic programmes are ranked among the best in the UK and have a high graduate employment rate.

    “The teachers bring fresh ideas and up-to-date materials from real cases to enrich the lectures. They are keen to help out and always make sure we are getting plenty of support.

    “I was very fortunate to be awarded an International Scholarship, which meant I could dedicate myself to my studies.”

    Academic excellence - Stephanie Bourgeois from France is studying for a BSc in Biochemistry.

    “I like the approach to teaching here; academics are happy to answer questions and to interact with students. I find the lectures very motivational, they pique your curiosity and for me the exciting bit is going to the library and pursuing the things you are interested in.

    “The lecturers at Kent are excellent. You get to know them well and, as you move through the course, they are able to guide you towards projects, ideas or career paths that they think you will like.”

    Specialist research - Sally Gao from China is studying for a PhD in Electronic Engineering.

    “I have been very lucky with my supervisor, Professor Yong Yan, who is a world-class expert and the first IEEE Fellow in the UK in instrumentation and measurement.

    “Professor Yong Yan has helped me to become a better researcher. I am inspired by his novel ideas and constructive suggestions. Under his supervision, my confidence has grown through such milestones as my first set of experiments, writing my first research paper and attending my first conference.”

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