BA History

Discover the excitement of the past ... and how it continues to shape the present.

Key information

Study mode


Course length

3 years

Typical offer

120 points

A Level grades:

UCAS code


Choose an option

Start date

Course overview

Illuminating the past. Engaging the present. Shaping the future.

Our understanding of History influences how we live our lives today.

As a student of History at the University of Hull, you will work to uncover the historical roots of contemporary social, political and environmental challenges. From classical civilisations to modern communities you will explore how all different periods of history continue to influence and shape our world, and to help us understand it better. We’ll ask you to engage with social and cultural history, with war and politics, with the powerful and the underdog, with sudden events and with long term change.

To equip you for the real world, assessments have been designed to allow you to develop the range of skills and competencies you will need for the workplace. Instead of having a series of unseen exams, you'll be encouraged to express your ideas in a variety of ways, to criticise sources of historical information from newspapers to computer games, and to develop your own ideas through channels such as podcasts and online exhibitions.

Throughout your studies with us, you’ll develop key techniques for historians, gaining transferable skills of analysis, digital literacy, teamwork and communication. You will also have opportunities to enhance your employability and breadth of interests beyond your degree through voluntary placements with the Hull History Network.

Under the guidance of expert academics – and benefiting from facilities such as the Hull History Centre – you’ll discover the drama of the past, understand the great challenges of the present, and gain the skills to help shape a brighter future for yourself and the world we live in.

Learn more about your course in our subject sessions

On-demand session



Six reasons to study History at Hull

  1. Top 20 in the UK for Student Satisfaction **
  2. 94% graduate employability rating*
  3. Use the latest technology to explore the past
  4. Archives stretching back to 1086 at the Hull History Centre
  5. 12th Overall in UK †
  6. Work placements through the Hull History Network

What you'll study

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120 credits.

First year modules

  • Compulsory

    History of Freedom

    What does it mean to be free and how has the answer to this question changed over time? In ancient and medieval times, there was no expectation of individual freedom as we understand it today, rather there were degrees of ‘unfreedom’ such as slavery, serfdom, or vassalage. Later, in the age of empire, race determined who could be enslaved, and the slave trade’s legacies of racism persist into the present day: the civil rights movements and the struggle against apartheid are known as some of the most prominent recent fights for freedom. Nonetheless, the idea of freedom has far broader connotations, and you will also have the flexibility to explore diverse issues such as religious, cultural or personal freedoms.

    Revolutions: Continuity and Change

    Revolutions are processes and events of profound and enduring change, but they are not just about politics. Before the great revolutions in America, France, Haiti and Russia, global history experienced sweeping changes in society, ideas and technology. Revolutions are not modern phenomena, and they do not belong strictly to Europe: they are ancient and they have taken place all over the globe since the beginning of ‘recorded’ history. This module will widen your perspective on ‘revolutions’ by examining a number of revolutionary moments in world history, from ancient times to the present. These will range across technological, social, religious and political revolutions.

    All Roads Lead from Rome: the Classical Present

    No matter how modern we think we are, we’re still shaped by the classical past. In every age, the classical world has been used as a benchmark for good taste and has been re-invented for present purposes. Using the artworks, archaeology and artefacts of material and visual culture, this module will explore topics such as how the classical world provided a blueprint for the projection of power through imagery and architecture. From the posturing of great leaders, such as the portraits of Napoleon, to the grand civic buildings of Washington DC or Albert Speer’s designs for Hitler’s Berlin, the classical world has been influential throughout history.

    Human Worlds

    How have humans shaped their environment, and how has the environment shaped them in return? These questions have controlled how and where we live. The availability of resources has encouraged migration and movement from the trade routes of the Silk Road across Asia to the imperial web of coaling stations that developed for the projection of naval power. How do cities grow – like St Petersburg, Delhi or Paris, built and rebuilt that has affected how generations of inhabitants later would live their lives?

    World War Tudors

    Why are TV programmes so obsessed with certain episodes in British history such as the Tudors and the world wars? What idea of Britain is conveyed when we focus on a narrow range of stories like Boudicca’s fight against Rome, victory at Agincourt, Henry VIII’s wives or the Battle of Britain? What gets left out of British history in these simplified versions of the past? This module will invite you to critique popular culture, such as television documentaries or computer games, and to create different fresh ideas for how you think the public could engage with an aspect of the past that inspires you.

    History in the News

    What are the historical roots of what is happening now? You will help to shape the course by identifying some of the most pressing and interesting issues of the world today. We will then work together to research different perspectives on these themes by finding out historical background and historical parallels that help to explain them. The decision as to what we should explore together lies in your hands.

Second year modules

  • Compulsory

    Global Britain and its Past

    Develop specialist skills such as using technology to map time and space, visual literacy, or oral history interviewing whilst learning about the expansion of the English across the British Isles and then across the world as an empire was built.

    History: Then and Now

    This module explores how historians shape and debate the past. Should we study the past on its own terms as we act as neutral observers who are guided by what the sources tell us, or do historians mould the past into their own image, re-writing history for new purposes depending on each historian’s subjective preferences? In this module, we will consider these questions of objectivity, facts, bias, distortion, as well as the need for historians to return to the past and consider it from points of view that are relevant to the present.

    History Group Project

    Using all of the skills you’ve developed through the programme to date to create a piece of public-facing history in cooperation with your peers. You’ll have the freedom and flexibility to choose the historical topic and the means by which you present it. Possible ideas include an exhibition, podcast, a website or something else that you find an effective tool for exploring the past.

  • Optional

    The First Superpowers

    While Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union were the dominant nations of the 19th and 20th centuries, they were not the first superpowers. Some of the world’s most powerful entities of pre-modern times were found in Asia, pre-colonial North America, and in the heart of Europe. The ancient and modern world was formed by superpowers, from the Qin Dynasty of ancient China, to the equestrian empires of the Lakota and Comanche, to the Holy Roman and Ottoman empires that shaped history at the centre and edges of an expanding Europe.

    Three Sixties: Decades that Changed the World

    Tracing how themes such as war & technology, ideas & rights, and culture & morality changed in three different decades: the 1760s, the 1860s and the 1960s. Each of these trends were shaped by changing trading and communication networks, economic developments and shifting notions of leisure and class, and thus enable us to reflect on the interconnectedness of these ideas and their spread around the globe.

    Trends and Treasures

    Using the framework of ‘Treasures and Trends’ we seek to examine how and why different societies (at different points in time) value and classify visual and material remains of the past, often in order to negotiate and understand their contemporary relevance. Looking at trends and fashion as a barometer of taste, popularity, consumerism and acquisitiveness also allows us to explore ways in which these have been shaped by, and further gave shape to material and visual culture, often involving complex networks of trade and exchange that connect local and national histories with wider global forces.

    Interactions and Exchanges: The Roots of Globalisation

    This module is about how people and societies have connected, communicated, clashed, exchanged and evolved over a long span of human history. Focussing on the period of the Columbian Exchange (1492), the emergence of global empires in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the present-day ‘global village’ the module will examine the connections between peoples, the movement and flow of people, things, and ideas, the disruptive effects of war and environmental change, and the connections between the local and the global.

    Shamans, Priests and Witches

    People have often looked to the gods to explain the world around them and magic and the devil are often invoked at times of strife and trouble. This module will look at how religion and ritual have developed in key areas of the globe and how people have understood the world around them.

    History at Home

    The spaces we inhabit often reflect our own position within society and are own cultural taste. This module will explore how the idea of the home has changed over time from a mobile settlement to a wide range of spaces. We will study how the household unit has changed, how material culture of homes can help us identify the use of the space, and look at the daily life during key periods in the past.

    Come Dine with us: A History of Food and Drink

    Come Dine With Us explores the universal theme of food and drink to appreciate how our attitudes to basic sustenance have changed during two millennia. Drawing upon a range of art, archaeology, cookery books and television programmes reveals much about societies ranging from Roman Britain, to Imperial Russia, Colonial America to Imperial China.

    Being Human

    What are the limits and boundaries of humanity? How do we define and explain human experience? How do modern concerns such as ‘family,’ ‘gender,’ ‘sexuality,’ and ‘childhood’ refer back to the way earlier identities were explained and constructed? How different to us were people in the past? These questions go to the heart of what it is to be both human and an individual.

Final year modules

  • Compulsory

    History Capstone Project

    This year-long project will be the pinnacle of your undergraduate studies with us. Follow your passion for a particular topic, develop and research your project and then present it as you choose. It might be a traditional dissertation (12,000 words of writing) or you might channel your scholarship into perhaps a documentary or an exhibition as a way of conveying your findings. Either way, it will be something you will look back at with pride and satisfaction for years to come.

    History co-produced module

    Our programme is shaped by an ethos of students and staff working in partnership and enabling a flexible approach for students to pursue their interests. This module is the ultimate example of that approach, and it will be designed from scratch by students and staff together, and students will be deeply involved in the design and running of the seminars.

    The Past in the Present

    We began the programme by looking at ‘History in the News’, and we will return to the question of how history shapes our understanding of the issues of the present day. We will consider how the study of history and heritage can contribute to social justice, the fairer distribution of rights, wealth, and resources, and environmental and political challenges.

  • Optional

    Fame and Fortune

    Fame and Fortune allows final year students to critically and historically engage with that seemingly most modern concept, Celebrity. Benefitting from recent scholarly scrutiny that engages with a range of related inter-disciplinary approaches, students will be able to choose a historical figure and to assess how, when and why they have emerged as a celebrity, and to communicate their research digitally.

    Insiders and Outsiders: Community and Belonging in History

    For the ancient Greeks, citizens ruled. But their notion of a citizen was exclusive: men ruled over women, children, slaves, animals and things. In ancient societies, most people were excluded from power, participation, markets, resources and opportunity – they were ‘outsiders’. Over time, or so the story goes, societies have worked to ensure the inclusion of outsiders, whether through voting rights, civil rights, access to educational and career opportunities. This module explores the ways in which groups, communities, and nations determine and decide: who belongs.

    New Frontiers: Small Steps and Giant Leaps in History

    This module examines new frontiers: spaces where the old meets the new, and where we can see the operation of profound shifts in politics, society, technology and the environment. Humans have always applied their curiosity to the world around them, inventing, exploring, building, and reshaping themselves and their environments. In some instances, this has resulted in profoundly creative advances, and in others it has unleashed processes of disruption and destruction. In this module, you will explore past and present-day examples where humans have opened up new frontiers.

    Fear and Terror

    Are fear and terror the tools of the weak or of the strong? Totalitarian regimes from Stalin to Pinochet’s Chile have used extreme violence, secret police and state sponsored terrorism and assassination to assert their authority. Meanwhile, non-state actors, such as the IRA, Al-Qaeda and the ANC, relatively small in terms of number and weak in terms of infrastructure, have used campaigns of sporadic violence to effect change. Are they ever justified in doing so? Sometimes terror tactics have had important racial and ethnic dimensions as in the exercise of colonial power and in genocidal campaigns. In wartime, is the inducement of fear unavoidable or are atrocities deliberate? Are some acts beyond the pale, to be punished as war crimes? Can Truth and Reconciliation activities in the wake of such acts achieve their goals.

    Justice and Law

    This module seeks to examine the notion of justice and law both in a national, international and global perspective reaching back over 2000 years. How can a historical perspective help us understand assumptions about a free trial and social justice.

    Innovation and Invention

    What have been the major innovations and inventions in the past and where and how did they happen? What impact did the age of steam have on global networks, how has medicine improved the health of the world’s population and has the development of computers made humans redundant? We will examine how different areas of the global have contributed to innovations and inventions and look forward to inventions yet to come.

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

How you'll study

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

Holly Cockerham History

Why I chose History at Hull

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Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A level grades BBB

  • BTEC grades DDM

  • Points required 120

Work out your estimated points

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

Points can be from any qualification on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 80 points from

  • A levels
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Scottish Highers
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
  • or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications

Alternative qualifications

  • IB Diploma: 30 points
  • Pass Access to HE Diploma overall with a minimum of 118 UCAS tariff points

Worried you don’t quite meet our entry requirements?

We consider experience and qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations above.

But it’s not just about the grades – we’ll look at your whole application. We want to know what makes you tick, and about your previous experience, so make sure that you complete your personal statement.

If you have any questions, our admissions team will be happy to help.

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

If you require a student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

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Take a tour of the facilities

Our students benefit from access to the city's specialist historical resources which include the Hull History Centre.

Fees and funding


£9,250 per year*


£15,400 per year

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

The fees shown are for 2023 entry. The fees for 2024 have not yet been confirmed and may increase.

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course and a maintenance loan of up to £9,978 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of our website.

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

An affordable city for students

From bills, to meals, to pints – you’ll find that your money goes a lot further in Hull.

Your future prospects

  • Researcher
  • Teacher
  • Civil servant
  • Historian
  • Archaeologist
  • Museum or gallery conservator
  • Auctioneer
  • Heritage management
  • Archivist

The way we teach history gives you skills that employers value. By explaining, supporting and defending your ideas, you’ll become a better communicator.

We also develop your digital literacy through diverse teaching and learning methods, helping you build skills that you can draw on throughout your career.

Open Day at University of Hull

Ready to apply?

You can apply for this course through UCAS. As well as providing your academic qualifications, you’ll be able to showcase your skills, qualities and passion for the subject.

Not ready to apply?

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This. Is. Hull.

A place where we stand up to kings, do deals with the world and take a wrecking ball to the slave trade. A place where culture stands out and the phone boxes are a different colour. A place where we're free-thinking, independent and proud of it.

** (Joint 19th) The Complete University Guide 2023

* Number of students in work or further study 15 months after graduating: UK domicile full-time first degree leavers, Graduate Outcomes survey for the academic year 2017/18, published by HESA 2020.

† The Guardian University Rankings 2023