A Guide to History Courses

A history degree will allow you to explore the events of the past, and understand how these came to happen. You will be given the opportunity to study the great and progressive moments of history, as well as the regressive and harmful historical events, whilst discussing why these things occur, and how we can avoid repeating negative history.

You will be able to discover how history plays a role in today’s society, and how the history we are creating for future generations will shape the modern world.


An undergraduate degree in history will cover a broad spectrum of historical elements. These can include major historical events, such as World War II, as well as other important historical periods, such as ancient history.

Your degree will mainly be delivered through lectures and seminars. You will be presented with the opportunity to participate in discussions about significant historical occurrences. A history degree will allow you to develop your research and analytical skills, your communication skills and your ability to solve problems.


Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This will give you the chance to further develop your knowledge in a chosen area of history. Common specialisations include:

  • Art History
  • European History
  • Early Modern History
  • Political and Cultural History
  • Colonial and Postcolonial Studies

If your degree programme requires you to write a dissertation, this will allow you to research a favoured area to a greater extent.

Accreditation and Certification

The award gained from your degree will depend on where you choose to study. Different countries have varying accreditation systems. In the UK, it is most common to be awarded a bachelor of the arts degree in history.

Studying History at University

You can study History at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level at University.

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Timeframe and Further Studies

Typically, an undergraduate degree in history will take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years when studied full-time.

On successful completion of your undergraduate degree, you can either seek employment in your chosen field, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies can be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or PhD, or a graduate certificate or diploma.

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements of a history degree will vary from institution to institution. Some universities may require you to sit an entrance exam, others may reply on your previous exam results. Some universities might prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others may consider previous relevant work experience.

You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their history programmes.

  • UK – 6.0 IELTS
  • US – 3.0 GPA

Funding Your Studies

Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.

You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.

Career Options

The wide range of skills gained by history graduates means that the career options available are varied. You may choose to pursue a career in teaching, or you may find employment in the civil service. You might work in a museum, gallery or library, or become a conservator, information officer, archivist or records manager.

Top Courses in History

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