BA History

UCAS codeV100
Duration3 Years
Typical offerA*AA-AAB; IB 38-34
Location Streatham (Exeter)


The Single Honours History programme is a progressive one, building on a broad foundation in the first year, to highly specialised work in the final year, including the study of a particular subject in depth and a dissertation on a topic of personal interest.

There is a huge amount of choice built into the History curriculum. You can build your own degree programme, selecting from a number of types of modules in each year with the choice of taking up to one quarter of your modules in another department. Our students often take modules in Information Technology, English, Theology, Classics, Politics, Sociology and Arabic and Islamic Studies, and a variety of modern languages.

At the Streatham Campus our research expertise ranges from pre-history through to the twenty-first century incorporating international, economic, cultural and social history and many geographical areas including the Americas, parts of Asia, Britain and Europe. Our particular strengths lie in political, social, maritime, military, naval and medical history. You may therefore be able to choose from options ranging in time from the the Roman Empire to the 1960s covering topics as diverse as the Vikings, early medieval empires, British politics since 1900, women in society, the Norman conquest, magic and witchcraft in early modern Europe and reformation London.

Programme variations

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

The History degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.

Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.

Year 1

The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of historical theory, concepts and periods. You will also gain important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks.

Year 2

In the second year you will advance your grasp of historical knowledge and methods through a set of compulsory modules. Optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics.

Year 3

The centre-point of the final year is the dissertation. This provides you with the opportunity to explore an area of interest and to demonstrate what you have learned over the previous years of your degree. You will also take up to three other specialist modules to create a programme of work fully reflecting your interests.

Full module descriptions

For full module descriptions please visit the History website.

Entry requirements 2017

Typical offer

A*AA-AAB; IB 38-34

Required subjects

GCSE English Language grade B

Additional selection criteria

We are looking for well-qualified students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the subject.

We receive a large number of applications from well-qualified applicants and may not be able to make offers to all those applicants who have achieved or are predicted to achieve grades in line with the typical offer shown above.

In addition to the specific requirements listed above, we look for excellent A level* results/predictions and we may also take into account results up to and including GCSEs* and AS Levels* as part of our holistic assessment of an application.

*Equivalent qualifications will be considered. For more information about our equivalencies for specific qualifications please contact our Admissions Office.

Programmes with Study Abroad

Entry for programmes ‘with Study Abroad’ is offered on the basis that you will spend your time abroad at an institution where the teaching and examining is delivered in English. However, we also have partners that teach in French, Spanish and German. Should you wish to study at one of these institutions you will need to take modules through the Foreign Language Centre up to ‘Advanced’ standard in the appropriate language. In order to reach this standard before the year abroad, students usually need to have entered the University with the equivalent of a good GCSE or AS level (or higher) in that language.

International students

International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programmes.

Further information

Please read the important information about our Typical offer.

For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.

Learning and teaching

Throughout the programmes stress is laid on the need to analyse, discuss and deploy historical evidence in a variety of settings and not simply on the ability to memorise. You will learn through lectures, tutorials and seminars, with a growing emphasis at each successive level on student-led learning.

Modules are designed to encourage you to think about long-term developments and processes of historical change, and to make comparisons between countries and cultures. This helps you progress from the more tightly defined topics studied at A level. Modules are also designed to encourage you to think and write analytically about these broad subjects. They emphasise historical questions that require you to identify patterns across time, or between countries, and to isolate common or competing trends, instead of concentrating on short-term or single explanations.

You’ll have on average 1-3 teaching hours per module and will need to allow for up to nine additional hours of private study. You should expect your total workload to average about 40 hours per week during term time. As well as attending lectures and writing essays and assignments, you’ll be expected to make presentations in seminars or tutorials. We encourage your presentation work, because it involves you actively in the teaching and learning process and develops important life skills such as good verbal and visual communication and effective interaction with other people. You’ll also develop a range of professional skills, for example, time management and team working. You’ll gain valuable critical, analytical and communication skills, and technical skills will include accurate note-taking from presentations, research and IT skills. Subject-specific skills gained will include using historical evidence or identifying ethical issues.

You'll have a personal tutor as well as tutors in individual subjects and they will work with you to monitor your progress, as well as offering pastoral support and other help. You will have a chance to make your mark on the programmes through regular student evaluations and participation in the Student-Staff Liaison Committees and the student History Societies on both campuses.


All the degrees in the Department of History have assessments and examinations each year. Although formal examinations are important tests of skill, up to 50 per cent of your marks will come from other forms of assessment, including coursework essays, projects, dissertations and measures of your skill in presentation and oral work.

The exact balance will depend on the modules you choose and you’ll be informed of the methods of assessment before making your choices. You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. For three-year programmes, the assessments in the second and third years contribute to your final degree classification. For four-year programmes the assessments in the second, third and fourth years all contribute to your final degree classification.

Study abroad

A four year ‘with Study Abroad’ degree programme is available. A full year abroad, at one of our renowned partner institutions, is generally taken in the third year of a four year degree programme. You can apply directly for the four year 'with Study Abroad' programme, or transfer from another programme once you are at Exeter.


History graduates from the University of Exeter have an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and compete very successfully in the employment market. Six months after graduation 96.3%* of our History graduates are employed or in further study.

Studying History at the University of Exeter provides you with skills that are attractive to employers and relevant for a wide range of careers. Alongside in-depth subject knowledge you’ll develop skills in researching; analysing and assessing sources; written and verbal communication; managing and interpreting information and developing ideas and arguments. Our recent graduates have since secured positions in the Heritage and Arts sector, with organisations such as the National Trust and TVF Media.

Studying in History will also equip you with valuable skills for graduate-level work in other sectors. A degree in History provides good opportunities to develop skills that are attractive to many employers, such team work; problem solving and organisational skills. Our recent History graduates have pursued careers in:

  • TV
  • Education
  • Retail Management
  • Recruitment
  • Charities
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Journalism

Other recent graduates have progressed to postgraduate courses in:

  • MA Conflict, Security and Development
  • Graduate Diploma in Law
  • MA English Literary Studies
  • MA History
  • MSC International Management
  • PGCE


The services offered by the Humanities careers and employability team are complementary to the services offered by our central Career Zone, where you can participate in practical sessions to develop your skills; access paid internships and volunteering opportunities; explore postgraduate study options; meet prospective employers; get one-to-one advice and learn how to secure the right job for you. 

*First–degree University of Exeter graduates of History. HESA Performance Indicator sourced from the DLHE survey 2013/14.

‌Find out more about careers in History

Contact us

Streatham Campus, Exeter

Phone: +44 (0)1392 724202

Penryn Campus, Cornwall

Phone: +44 (0)1326 371801

Website: Visit the History website