BA History and Ancient History
|Typical offer||AAA–AAB; IB: 36–34; BTEC: DDD|
A degree in History and Ancient History at the University of Exeter is the first step on a journey through the human race in historic times: our activities, ideas, creations, institutions and impact. You will examine the past to uncover the changes in societies, conflict, culture, religion, politics and science that led us to where we are today. Looking back even further, you will explore the two most significant civilisations ever to have existed; Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, which bore some of the greatest thinkers, warriors, scholars, philosophers, artists, athletes, architects and politicians. Covering exciting topics such as government, conflict, religion, gender, sexuality, migration and economy you will learn to use the past to better understand the world around you.
In History, you will be guided from the Medieval period right up to the 21st century, spanning many geographical areas including the Americas, parts of Asia, Britain and Europe. Students can experience cutting-edge research through current work our expert faculty are undertaking in areas such as the history of Britain, continental Europe and on world and public history. With support from your tutors, you will learn essential skills like source evaluation and interpretation and historical writing to hone your talents as a historian. Ancient History sits within the Classics department, one of the largest and most vibrant departments in the country where you join an open, friendly and dynamic community in which to live and study. Our highly-active Classics Society is run by students who organise a lively social and academic programme for you to take advantage of including; plays, balls, debates, film nights, museum visits and opportunities to travel abroad.
The University of Exeter is ranked top 10 for History and Ancient History in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and the Complete University Guide 2020. We are in the Top 100 worldwide for History and are 8th in the UK for world leading research. During your studies, you’ll get to know Exeter, a city bursting with history and heritage that offers museums, art galleries and a wide range of historical architecture. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, Exeter is the perfect place to study if you enjoy the outdoors.
On completion of this course, you will graduate with a solid foundation of transferable skills including; communication, persuasion, problem-solving, critical analysis and collaborative working. With 95% of our graduates in employment or further study six months after graduation, you will be well placed to pursue a variety of jobs. Recent graduates are now working in areas such as finance, the police, business development, consultancy, law, publishing and journalism.
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 and Ancient 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.
The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of history and ancient history theory and concepts. You will also gain important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks.
In the second year you will advance your grasp of history and ancient history knowledge and methods through a set of compulsory modules. Optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics.
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 from previous years, please visit our Humanities student website.
Entry requirements 2020
AAA–AAB; IB: 36–34; BTEC: DDD
Additional selection criteria
We are looking for well-qualified students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the subject.
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.
International students should check details of our English language requirements
If your academic qualifications or English language skills do not meet our entry requirements our INTO University of Exeter centre offers a range of courses to help you reach the required language and academic standards.
International Foundation programmes
Preparation for entry to Year 1 of an undergraduate degree:
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 of our History degree programmes 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.
History graduates from the University of Exeter have an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and compete very successfully in the employment market.
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:
- Retail Management
- Finance and Accounting
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
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.