• Top 10 in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and The Complete University Guide 2020
  • Top 100 worldwide for History in the QS World University Rankings 2018
  • 8th in the UK for world-leading research
  • Innovative degrees at our Penryn Campus in Cornwall
  • Wide breadth of academic expertise in diverse historical periods and geographical regions
  • Expertise in Digital History

Studying History at the University of Exeter takes you on a journey through the human race in historic times: our activities, ideas, creations, institutions and impact. What you encounter will enhance your understanding of other subjects and areas of knowledge and improve your awareness of different cultures, providing intellectual skills that will be of use throughout your life.

You’ll learn to collect evidence through the use of libraries, archives, the internet, interviews, languages, palaeography and environmental field work, and how to analyse this evidence through authentication, numeracy skills, dating, understanding and interpretation, critical study and reflection, and accurate description. You’ll also learn to present evidence and interpret it in a responsible, well-informed and convincing way, and to place it in context to show how and why it was produced, its relative importance and value, and what impact it has had. These are key skills transferable to a wide range of professions and occupations.

Our History programmes are high quality, modern and innovative, introducing a range of countries, periods and themes in stimulating and intellectually challenging ways. The teaching on our programmes is inspired by the research interests of our staff, which range from the early Medieval period to the 21st century, with strengths in the history of Britain, continental Europe, and in world history.

We have an interdisciplinary perspective and close links to related disciplines including Classics and Ancient History, Archaeology, English, Modern Languages, Philosophy and Politics.

At the Streatham Campus in Exeter we have some of the leading historians in their fields. We’re firmly committed to research and publication of the highest quality and this has a direct impact on the quality of our undergraduate teaching.

Our strengths include Early Modern British and Modern European history, and particular specialisms in the histories of power (including security and conflict), identity (including faith, gender and nation), knowledge (including medicine) and resources (including consumption and sustainable development). Our  research centres, which cover areas including Medical History and Medieval Studies, are a focus for interdisciplinary research activity across the institution and have significant international reputations.

History is a diverse and interdisciplinary subject area and you’ll have the opportunity to choose from a flexible range of history and related options as part of your degree. These range in time from the collapse of the Roman Empire to post-Communist Europe, in place from America to Asia and Africa, and in content from modern political movements and parties to women’s history and material culture. This gives you considerable scope to shape your degree to suit your current and emerging interests.

We aim to stimulate technical and critical approaches to the study of the past and to ensure you are familiar with the wide-ranging disciplines involved. You may decide to extend your knowledge of foreign languages and you’ll be expected to develop a range of key and personal skills including the use of information technology.

You will study as part of a truly international student cohort and will have the opportunity of studying abroad as part of your own degree programme.

History in Cornwall is a dynamic department with a specialist focus on using history to understand the challenges posed by globalisation, ethnic conflict, and scientific and environmental change. We pioneer these environmental and ecological approaches to history alongside more traditional cultural, social, political and economic discourses. We also have a dedicated commitment to public history, manifested through relationships with museums, galleries and schools, which enable rich work experience opportunities that can enable your studies to make a real difference to the community.

Like Exeter, the History department at the Penryn Campus has some of the leading historians in their field and all our members of staff are research-active, publishing their research at the highest international level. Our expertise is concentrated in the Modern period, from approximately 1600 to the present, incorporating many geographical areas, including the Americas, the Far East, the Middle East, Europe and Britain. Whether you study Single Honours History or combine it with another subject, you will be introduced to a stimulating range of periods, areas and approaches to history.

Our pioneering development of environmental history has modules on this theme available in the first, second and third years. These modules explore aspects of the history of mankind’s interaction with the natural world. In addition, optional modules from a range of disciplines, particularly in your second and third years, will give you the chance to explore how History engages with issues of sustainability. Our unique Public History pathway enables first year students to develop employability skills in the context of project work for museums, archives and ‘people’s history’ projects. Projects involve activities such as researching and preparing materials for a museum exhibition; documenting and researching collections of photographs, maps, costumes, minerals, or military memorabilia; researching and writing up short magazine articles; or recording oral histories for a community heritage project.

Our Penryn Campus offers a welcoming atmosphere where it’s easy to make new friends and where staff and students know each other well. The campus’s stunning main buildings have been equipped to deliver the very best in learning and teaching facilities, with lecture theatres and seminar rooms equipped with the latest technologies.

The campus is shared with University College Falmouth, creating a vibrant mixture of students from science, engineering, humanities and arts backgrounds, both on campus and in the local area.

Find out more about studying History at our Penryn Campus.

Why study History in Cornwall?

Hear about studying History in Cornwall from staff and students. View full size.