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BA History / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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 can 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. 

Flexible 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
The Odyssey CAHE10101 20 Optional
The Making of the Mediterranean CAHE10132 20 Optional
The Story of Britain CAHE10141 20 Optional
Cities and Citizens CAHE10231 20 Optional
Discoveries and Discoverers: Sights and Sites CAHE10282 20 Optional
Introduction to the History and Culture of Pharaonic Egypt CAHE10651 20 Optional
Decoding Inequality: Reimagining Digital Culture DIGI10031 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 HIST10192 20 Optional
An Introduction to the Medieval World HIST10262 20 Optional
The Manchester History Workshop HIST10272 20 Optional
Forging a New World: Europe c.1450-1750 HIST10301 20 Optional
States, Nations and Empires. Europe, c.1750-1914 HIST10311 20 Optional
Science and the Modern World (20 Credits) HSTM10721 20 Optional
Bodies in History: An introduction to the History of Medicine HSTM10772 20 Optional
Empire and Culture in East Asia JAPA13222 20 Optional
Exploring Enterprise MCEL10001 10 Optional
Entrepreneurial Skills MCEL10002 10 Optional
The History and Sociopolitics of Palestine/Israel (1882-1967) MEST10042 20 Optional
History and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa MEST10711 20 Optional
Travel and Migration in Arab Cinema MEST10911 20 Optional
Introduction to Judaism RELT10192 20 Optional
Bible in Ancient and Modern Worlds RELT10712 20 Optional
The Making of Modern Russia RUSS10251 20 Optional
Standing on The Shoulders of Giants: Foundations for Study in The Arts SALC10002 20 Optional
Humanities in Public: The Past, Present and Future of Ideas that Shape the World SALC10411 20 Optional
Living and Dying in the Ancient World SALC10602 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 33 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

Modules become increasingly specialist and the programme offers significant choice and flexibility. 

Students write an Independent Research Project, 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
Work and Play in the USA, 1880-2020 AMER20112 20 Optional
From Jamestown to James Brown: African-American History and Culture AMER20141 20 Optional
The American Civil War AMER21001 20 Optional
The Conquering Hero: The Life, Times and Legacy of Alexander The Great CAHE20041 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 CAHE20532 20 Optional
Weimar Culture? Art, Film and Politics in Germany, 1918-33 GERM20262 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
The Cultural History of Modern War HIST20482 20 Optional
Colonial Encounters: Race, Violence, and the Making of the Modern World HIST21121 20 Optional
The Stuff of History: Objects Across Borders, 1500-1800 HIST21151 20 Optional
Back to the Future: The Uses and Abuses of History HIST21182 20 Optional
Histories of the Islamic World HIST21192 20 Optional
Capitalism in Historical Perspective: 1700-1913 HIST21202 20 Optional
A Transnational History of Europe in the Short Twentieth Century, c.1917-1991 HIST21212 20 Optional
Silk Roads: Eurasian Connections from the Mongols to Manilla, 1200-1800 HIST21242 20 Optional
Revolutionary Cities: The Urban World of the Middle Ages HIST21251 20 Optional
From Cholera to COVID-19: A Global History of Epidemics HSTM20081 20 Optional
The Crisis of Nature: Issues in Environmental History HSTM20592 20 Optional
Information visions: past, present and future HSTM20782 20 Optional
In Frankenstein's Footsteps: Science Fiction in Literature and Film. HSTM20801 20 Optional
Aesthetics and Politics of Italian Fascism ITAL20502 20 Optional
The Italian Renaissance ITAL21011 20 Optional
Themes in the Histories of Arab and Jewish Nationalisms MEST20271 20 Optional
History of Modern Islamic Thought MEST20501 20 Optional
Religion, Culture and Gender RELT20121 20 Optional
End of the World and Apocalypticism RELT21081 20 Optional
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS20242 20 Optional
The 1989 Revolutions and their Aftermaths RUSS20472 20 Optional
History of Latin America SPLA20361 20 Optional
Entrepreneur: Innovator and Risk-Taker UCIL24002 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 34 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
Slavery & the Old South AMER30022 20 Optional
The Visual Culture of US Empire AMER30521 20 Optional
American Hauntings AMER30812 20 Optional
Families in the Greek and Roman Worlds (6th c. BCE - 3 c. CE) CAHE30442 20 Optional
The Roman Army and the North-West Frontiers CAHE30881 20 Optional
Slavery in the Ancient Greek World CAHE34502 20 Optional
Greece in Britain CAHE39352 20 Optional
Culture and Society in Germany 1871-1918 GERM30722 20 Optional
London and Modernity 1880-1960 HIST30101 20 Optional
Gender and Sexuality in Modern Africa HIST31001 20 Optional
China & the West: From the Opium War to the Olympic Games HIST31202 20 Optional
From National Crisis to National Government: British Politics, Economy and Society, 1914 - 1939 HIST31281 20 Optional
Sex, Drugs and Shopping: Readdressing Inter-war Britain HIST31342 20 Optional
Heroes and Holy Men: The Irish Sea World in the Viking Age, c. 780-1100 HIST31362 20 Optional
The Holocaust: History, Historiography, Memory HIST31492 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
The Aftermath of War in France, Britain and Germany: Violence and Reconstruction after WW1 and WW2 HIST31672 20 Optional
The Black Freedom Movement, 1955-1975 HIST31751 20 Optional
War, Memory and Politics of Commemoration in Eastern Europe HIST31842 20 Optional
Seaborne State? Venice and the East 1150-1550 HIST31861 20 Optional
Culture in Ottoman Society, ca. 1300-1800 HIST31872 20 Optional
Becoming Christian in The Early Middle Ages HIST31952 20 Optional
The Normans in the Mediterranean World (1000-1200) HIST31992 20 Optional
Curating War and Human Rights: methods in cultural and public history HIST32011 20 Optional
Responses to Globalisation, 1500-1700 HIST32022 20 Optional
From Greed to Grandezza: A History of Capitalism from the Renaissance to Modernity (1250s-1900s) HIST32121 20 Optional
From New Left to New Times: Socialist Ideas in Post-War Britain HIST32152 20 Optional
Black Britain: Power, Neighbourhoods and the Everyday, 1948-1990 HIST32172 20 Optional
British Catholics and the Post-Reformation World HIST32192 20 Optional
Disease and Ecology in Global History HIST32201 20 Optional
Collecting and Exhibiting the Empire in Britain, c.1750-1939 HIST32211 20 Optional
Africa and Development: A Political History of the Social Sciences HIST32222 20 Optional
Reshaping the World: Thinking About Global Politics in the Twentieth Century HIST32232 20 Optional
Cultural Entanglements: Life and Death in Seventeenth-Century North America HIST32242 20 Optional
Roots of the Special Relationship: The Anglo-American Connection & National Identity in the long C19 HIST32252 20 Optional
Chinese Christianities Jesuit Missionary Astronomers to the People’s Republic’s ‘Patriotic’ Churches HIST32262 20 Optional
Health is a Human Right: The Global Quest for Universal healthcare HSTM30732 20 Optional
The Nuclear Age: Global Nuclear Threats from Hiroshima to Today HSTM31712 20 Optional
From Sherlock Holmes to CSI: a history of forensic medicine HSTM32511 20 Optional
Climate Change & Society HSTM33501 20 Optional
Madness and Society HSTM40332 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 MEST30721 20 Optional
Culture, Media and Politics in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia RUSS30601 20 Optional
History of the Spanish Atlantic World: Empire, Trade, War SPLA31152 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 50 course units for year 3

What our students say

I've just returned from Venice where I conducted some archival research in the Archivo di Stato di Venezia as part of my history dissertation.  

It was one of the highlights of my course and a completely new experience for me.  

I got to work with 16th century hand-written documents which was so exciting and challenging.

Vendula Hoppe, History with French BA

Facilities

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 Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre, 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 .