Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

72 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

This course is available as a Joint Honours degree.

View Joint Honours optionsView Joint Honours options

Course description

History is a subject for anyone with a sense of curiosity and a desire for a deeper understanding of the world around them.

History has the power to make us question who we are, how we have come to act the way we do, and the experiences that have shaped people’s lives in the past. Studying History will turn you into a critical thinker, ready to challenge received wisdoms.

This course provides you with a firm grounding in the skills and knowledge you need and introduces you to the subject of history, enabling you to achieve your full honours degree in four years.

A deep sense of perspective

With particular emphasis on modern and contemporary history, this course is academically rigorous, intellectually stimulating and politically relevant. As well as covering broad historical themes, you will explore a wide range of specific topics - everything from the First World War to the history of medicine and nineteenth-century slums.

You will also explore the history of non-European societies, with modules spanning the history of China, the Cold War and the impact of European imperial rule in Africa and Asia.

Raise your profile

In a unique project, you will inspire others by organising and marketing a public history conference and presenting your research to a wider audience. Topics explored at this conference have included the experience of British prisoners-of-war during the First World War, the fight against the Apartheid regime in South Africa, and gay riots in 1960s America.

At our 2014 Public History Conference, students attracted TV and radio coverage with their thought-provoking papers on forgotten aspects of the Great War. They will now see their work in print as published scholars: the conference proceedings are set to be published by an academic publishing house.

Inspirational projects

You will use your research and creative skills to interpret the past for the benefit of the wider community. We provide exciting opportunities for projects involving international arts and heritage organisations, including work placements.

Explore history outside the classroom

We offer study visits and fieldtrips to bring your learning to life. You will explore the practical and intellectual applications of history in museums, art galleries, country houses, parks and heritage sites.

Recent visits have taken us to the Imperial War Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the city of Chester and the urban heartland of Manchester. And, of course, Derbyshire is the ideal location to study history - with its rich industrial past and thriving heritage industry, including a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Study in America

You can spend part of your second stage in America, experiencing a different academic culture and deepening your global perspectives. You will study at one of our partner universities:

Real world learning

You will also have opportunities to engage in ‘real-world learning’, giving you a chance to apply the skills you have acquired to real-world settings. ‘Contemporary Issues in the Creative and Cultural Industries’ will present you with a challenge facing a real organisation or business in the creative and cultural industries and will require you to use your research and problem-solving skills to find solutions which you will pitch to an audience external to the university. This will allow you to demonstrate your capacity for leadership and will equip you with the skills necessary to manage high-level professional projects.

In your final year you also have the chance to complete a year-long ‘Work-based Learning’ project, which allows you to carry out a major piece of research for an external organisation, from businesses to schools and museums. 

Combine History with another subject - find out more about our joint honours degrees. Or consider our Integrated Masters in History where you can combine both undergraduate and Masters-level study.

Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more

Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.

Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.

What you will study

You will study modules such as:

  • Study skills
  • Creative Project
  • History
  • Literature
  • Culture and Ideas
  • Political Studies

If you don’t have either English or Maths GCSE, you will need to substitute one or two of the above for a module in English and/or Maths.

  • Historical Methods and Sources
  • Britain in the Age of Innovation, 1790-1914
  • Reaction, Reform and Revolution: Russia, 1825-1924
  • Religion, Empire and Ideas: The Making of British Identity, 1485-1789
  • Renaissance and Enlightenment: Europe, 1453-1789
  • Romanticism and Revolution: Europe, 1789-1914
  • Close Encounters: European Imperialism and Decolonisation, 1757-1960
  • Public History: Marketing and Presenting the Past
  • Research Project
  • Society, Culture and Politics in the First World War
  • Behind Closed Doors: Gender and Sex, 1685-1870
  • European Cultural Identities and Ethnic Minorities
  • Goodbye Lenin: The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union
  • The Making of Modern Medicine
  • Triumph of the Dark: Europe Between the Wars, 1918-1939
  • Contemporary Issues in the Creative and Cultural Industries
  • History Independent Study
  • Work-Based Learning
  • Beyond Opium and Take-Aways: China and the World since 1839
  • British Country Houses and their Families
  • Continuity and Change in Contemporary Britain
  • Exploring the Slum: The Politics of Poverty in Britain
  • France: Conflict and Society, 1940-1962
  • Historians and Material Culture
  • Keeping the Peace: Conflict, Power and Diplomacy since 1945
  • The People's War, The People's Peace: Britain 1939-1951
  • Yugoslavia and After: 1980 to the present

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Smiling girl with scarf sitting in cafe with cup of coffee

Find out more about History

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Open DayBook your Open Day

How you will learn

During your foundation year you will be assessed mainly by coursework, and with some in-class tests.

For the rest of your degree you are assessed on 100% coursework: there are no exams. Assessment incorporates different formats including essays, document analysis, the examination of material culture and the built environment, book reviews, projects, website design, posters and exhibitions, oral presentations and debating skills.

Who will you meet

You will be taught by our team of engaging, passionate and inspiring subject experts. They include:

Rebecca Banks - Rebecca is a Graduate Teaching Assistant. She is also currently completing a PhD on Military Service Tribunals during the First World War.

Prof Paul Elliott - Paul is an expert in eighteenth and nineteenth-century British history and has published several books in this field. He is particularly interested in the history of science and medicine, as well as environmental and landscape history.

Dr Cath Feely - Cath is an expert in the social, cultural and intellectual history of nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain. She teaches widely in this area and is particularly interested in British attitudes towards the writings of Karl Marx.

Prof Robert Hudson - Robert specialises in the history of Russia and Eastern Europe, but is also interested in twentieth-century French history. 

Dr Ruth Larsen - Ruth is an expert on British social and cultural history, focusing in particular on gender history and country houses. 

Dr Tom Neuhaus - Tom teaches international history, focusing on relations between Europe and Asia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has published a book on Tibet in the Western imagination.

Dr Ian Whitehead - Ian is the Deputy Head of Humanities. He is an expert on twentieth-century British history, with a particular focus on the First World War. He has published a book on the role of doctors in the First World War and edited an important collection of essays about the two world wars.

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points72 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-levelN/A
Specific requirements at GCSE

GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at L2 as part of your course of study.

IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year*



£14,045 per year


* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


Skills for success

At Derby you will gain attributes beyond those traditionally associated with History graduates. You will not only build your academic capabilities but also apply your historical knowledge to the workplace. We encourage you to develop skills in areas such as presentation and teamworking, which will help you stand out in the job market.

You can approach your future career with confidence: latest Unistats figures show that 95% of our students were in work or further study six months after completing their course.

Wide-ranging career opportunities

With a History degree you can follow a wide range of careers in the education profession, libraries, museums, archives, law, the civil service, management, marketing and the uniformed services. Recent graduates have, for instance, taken up professional roles in local authorities; in marketing for major national businesses; and in project consultancy advising global companies.

A growing number of our graduates also use their degree as a platform for rewarding postgraduate study in subjects such as History, Museum Studies, Archive Management and International Relations.

Ensuring you’re ‘work-ready’

Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate - industry aware, motivated and enterprising. Throughout your studies, you will also benefit from our Personal Development Planning (PDP) scheme which enables you to reflect on your learning and develop your career ambitions. The support continues once you have completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.

Ruth Larsen

Dr Ruth Larsen
Programme leader

As a Senior Lecturer in History, Ruth Larsen is the Programme Leader for undergraduate History programmes. She has research expertise in British History of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, especially relating to gender history and the history of the country house.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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