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BA History

Learn from passionate historians at the cutting-edge of their specialist subjects.

BA History / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course description

Xenia Bellwood

"What I love about Manchester is that it doesn't just explore history from the official perspective.

"You can explore it from a cultural perspective, from a feminist perspective, those who have maybe been left behind."

Xenia Bellwood / BA History Student

Our BA History course will give you the opportunity to tailor your degree to suit your own interests while learning from one of the largest concentrations of historians in Britain.

You will be able to choose course units covering a wide range of periods and topics, including ancient, medieval, modern and economic and social history, as well as the history of science, technology and medicine.

In Years 1 and 2, you can also take course units in other disciplines, including languages, the humanities and the social sciences. There are also opportunities for you to spend part of your degree studying abroad.

Students will have the option to specialise in a particular area of interest or continue to study a broad range of areas in their final year, when you have a choice of units covering topics such as British, European, American, African and Asian history at different periods, culminating in a 12,000-word thesis.

You will receive expert training in analysis and critical reasoning while developing important transferable skills in communication and presentation, argument and debate, teamwork, research, and time management, all of which will help prepare you for life after university.

Special features

Hanna Matt

"We can learn so much from the past. It's made me understand some of the more current problems.

"I think no other university that I looked at before applying gave you so much selection and gave you so much freedom to actually do the modules you want to do."

Hanna Matt / BA History Student

Placement year option

Apply your subject-specific knowledge in a real-world context through a placement year in your third year of study, enabling you to enhance your employment prospects, clarify your career goals and build your external networks.

Study abroad

You can apply to spend one semester studying abroad during Year 2, with exchange partners including those in Europe as well as the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Get involved

Our students have the opportunity to take part in history-related activities outside of the course, including the Manchester Histories Festival .

Explore world-class collections

Enjoy unique opportunities to explore special archived material and carry out research in a wide range of archives, libraries, museums and other research institutions in Manchester and beyond.

Fle xible Honours

Our Flexible Honours initiative may allow you to study an additional arts, languages or cultures subject in conjunction with History.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a variety of channels, including lectures, face-to-face and online seminars, and small group tutorials.

We encourage students to undertake independent study at every level.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment procedures in different course units vary, but our basic objective is to achieve a good balance between formal examinations, continuous assessment and project work.

The Year 3 dissertation is a major piece of original work, accounting for 22% of the final overall mark.

Course content for year 1

Designed to assist students with the intellectual and academic transition to university study, level 1 modules focus on introducing students to key conceptual and methodological issues in relation to studying History. All students take History in Practice, in which students learn important skills in research and writing to equip them for historical study at university level.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
History in Practice HIST10101 20 Mandatory
From Reconstruction to Reagan: American History, 1877-1988 AMER10002 20 Optional
Constructing Archaic Greek History CAHE10011 20 Optional
From Republic to Empire: Introduction to Roman History, Society & Culture 218-31BC CAHE10022 20 Optional
Introduction to Mediterranean & Classical Archaeology CAHE10122 20 Optional
The Making of the Mesopotamian and Mediterranean Worlds. CAHE10131 20 Optional
Discoveries and Discoverers: Sights and Sites CAHE10281 20 Optional
Living and Dying in the Ancient World CAHE10602 20 Optional
The Odyssey CLAH10101 20 Optional
Defining Digital Humanities DIGI10011 20 Optional
Modern China: from the Opium Wars to the Olympic Games HIST10151 20 Optional
Histories of the Islamic World HIST10172 20 Optional
Capitalism in Historical Perspective: 1700-1913 HIST10182 20 Optional
Imperial Nation: The Making of Modern Britain, 1783-1902 HIST10191 20 Optional
Back to the Future: The Uses and Abuses of History HIST10252 20 Optional
An Introduction to the Medieval World HIST10262 20 Optional
Forging a New World: Europe c.1450-1750 HIST10301 20 Optional
States, Nations and Empires. Europe, c.1750-1914 HIST10312 20 Optional
Science & the Modern World HSTM10221 10 Optional
Bodies in History: An introduction to the History of Medicine HSTM10272 10 Optional
Science and the Modern World (20 Credits) HSTM10721 20 Optional
Exploring Enterprise MCEL10001 10 Optional
Entrepreneurial Skills MCEL10002 10 Optional
Religion in Modern South Asian History RELT10222 20 Optional
Standing on The Shoulders of Giants: Foundations for Study in The Arts SALC10002 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 25 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

Modules become increasingly specialist and the programme offers significant choice and flexibility. Students write a History Long Essay, which is an extended piece of coursework supervised on a one-to-one basis on a topic of the student's choice.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Independent Research Project HIST20390 20 Mandatory
From Jamestown to James Brown: African-American History and Culture AMER20141 20 Optional
The Conquering Hero: The Life, Times and Legacy of Alexander The Great CAHE20042 20 Optional
The Roman Empire 31BC - AD235: Rome's Golden Age CAHE20052 20 Optional
Politics and Society in Classical Greece CAHE20061 20 Optional
Roman Women in 22 Objects CAHE20531 20 Optional
Making of the Modern Mind: European Intellectual History in a Global Context HIST20181 20 Optional
Winds of Change: Politics, Society and Culture in Britain, 1899 -1990 HIST20251 20 Optional
Late Imperial China: From the Jesuits to the East India Company HIST20422 20 Optional
The Cultural History of Modern War HIST20482 20 Optional
Crisis and Prosperity in Twentieth-Century Europe HIST21112 20 Optional
Colonial Encounters: Race, Violence, and the Making of the Modern World HIST21121 20 Optional
From Catastrophe to Crusade: Europe in the Aftermath of the Vikings HIST21141 20 Optional
The Stuff of History: Objects Across Borders, 1500-1800 HIST21152 20 Optional
From Caliphates to Khomeini: the Middle East in Historical Perspective HIST21172 20 Optional
From Cholera to Aids: A Global History of Epidemics HSTM20031 10 Optional
From Cholera to Aids: A Global History of Epidemics HSTM20081 20 Optional
The Crisis of Nature: Issues in Environmental History HSTM20092 10 Optional
The Information Age HSTM20282 10 Optional
From Frankenstein to the Matrix: Science Fiction & Film HSTM20302 10 Optional
The Crisis of Nature: Issues in Environmental History HSTM20592 20 Optional
The Information Age HSTM20782 20 Optional
From Frankenstein to the Matrix HSTM20802 20 Optional
Aesthetics and Politics of Italian Fascism ITAL20501 20 Optional
Science and Civilisation in East Asia JAPA23002 20 Optional
History of Modern Islamic Thought MEST20501 20 Optional
Religion, Culture and Gender RELT20121 20 Optional
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS20242 20 Optional
The Making of Modern Russia RUSS20251 20 Optional
The 1989 Revolutions and their Aftermaths RUSS20471 20 Optional
Beginner's Statistics and Computing in Humanities SALC21002 20 Optional
All about Eve: Encountering the First Woman from Antiquity to Today SALC21132 20 Optional
Essential Enterprise UCIL22001 10 Optional
Essential Enterprise UCIL22002 10 Optional
The Art of Enterprise UCIL24002 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 35 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Students may specialise in the periods and subjects that they have found most interesting. All students write a History Dissertation, which is an extended piece of coursework based on independent primary research and supervised on a one-to-one basis on a topic of the student's choice, which our students generally find to be the most enjoyable and fulfilling part of their studies.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Thesis (40 credits) HIST30970 40 Mandatory
American Hauntings AMER30812 20 Optional
Athens and Attica CAHE30052 20 Optional
The Roman Army and the North-West Frontiers CAHE30882 20 Optional
Egypt in the Graeco-Roman Worl CAHE31401 20 Optional
Screening the Holocaust GERM30481 20 Optional
Culture and Society in Germany 1871-1918 GERM30721 20 Optional
London and Modernity 1880-1960 HIST30102 20 Optional
'A Nation In The Making': India, 1800-1947 HIST30291 20 Optional
Empire, Gender and British Heroes, c.1885 - 2000 HIST30621 20 Optional
Gender and Sexuality in Modern Africa HIST31001 20 Optional
China & the West: From the Opium War to the Olympic Games HIST31201 20 Optional
Contesting the Supernatural in the Early Modern British Isles, c. 1600-1800 HIST31292 20 Optional
Sex, Drugs and Shopping: Readdressing Inter-war Britain HIST31341 20 Optional
'First Modern Economy' and 'First Industrial Nation': The Netherlands, England, c.1600-1850 HIST31382 20 Optional
The Great Irish Famine and Its Impact, 1845-1900 HIST31451 20 Optional
The Comparative and Transnational History of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany HIST31521 20 Optional
John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and U.S. Foreign Policy in the 1960s HIST31551 20 Optional
Defining the Deviant: Crime and British Society, 1888-2000 HIST31591 20 Optional
Christ's Knights: Hospitallers and Templars in the Latin East and Beyond HIST31621 20 Optional
The Aftermath of War in France, Britain and Germany: Violence and Reconstruction after WW1 and WW2 HIST31671 20 Optional
A History of Capitalism in 7 Commodities HIST31701 20 Optional
Fire, Famine and Flood: An Environmental History of England, 1500-1800 HIST31712 20 Optional
The Black Freedom Movement, 1955-1975 HIST31751 20 Optional
Savagery and Civilisation: Early European Encounters with the New World, c. 1492-1628 HIST31782 20 Optional
War, Memory and Politics of Commemoration in Eastern Europe HIST31842 20 Optional
Mass Violence in Modern Asia: Culture, Politics and the Environment HIST31851 20 Optional
Seaborne State? Venice and the East 1150-1550 HIST31861 20 Optional
Culture in Ottoman Society, ca. 1300-1800 HIST31871 20 Optional
Material Encounters in the Early Modern World, 1400-1800 HIST31881 20 Optional
'Brains and Numbers': Intellectual Life in Victorian Britain HIST31891 20 Optional
Caste Politics in Twentieth Century India HIST31911 20 Optional
From Imperial Encounters to Soviet Frontiers: Migration, Displacement and Diaspora in the Caucasus HIST31922 20 Optional
Becoming Christian in The Early Middle Ages HIST31952 20 Optional
The Normans between Islam and Byzantium: multicultural encounters in the Mediterranean World HIST31991 20 Optional
Establishing Empire: The English Atlantic World, 1585-1655 HIST32002 20 Optional
Curating War and Human Rights: methods in cultural and public history HIST32011 20 Optional
Responses to Globalisation, 1450-1650 HIST32021 20 Optional
Madness and Society HSTM30832 10 Optional
The Nuclear Age HSTM31212 10 Optional
The Nuclear Age HSTM31712 20 Optional
From Sherlock Holmes to CSI: a history of forensic medicine HSTM32011 10 Optional
From Sherlock Holmes to CSI: a history of forensic medicine HSTM32511 20 Optional
Climate Change & Society HSTM33201 10 Optional
Climate Change & Society HSTM33501 20 Optional
Madness and Society HSTM40332 20 Optional
Beyond the Text: The Book and its Body ITAL30432 20 Optional
Bodies, Sex and Gender in Japan JAPA33071 20 Optional
Tools and Techniques for Enterprise MCEL30001 10 Optional
Tools & Techniques for Enterprise MCEL30002 10 Optional
Enterprise Feasibility MCEL30052 10 Optional
Historical controversies in the Study of Israel/Palestine MEST30722 20 Optional
Russian Popular Culture RUSS30801 20 Optional
The Politics of Business in Latin America SPLA31092 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 54 course units for year 3


As well as taking advantage of the University Library and study spaces such as Alan Gilbert Learning Commons, you will be able to explore a wealth of archives, libraries, museums and other research institutions in Manchester and beyond, including the John Rylands Library and the Manchester Museum.

Visit the Facilities page on the History website to find out more.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants from the Disability Support Office .