Skip to main content

History (BA)

Why study this course

location

Study with passion

Explore interests with subjects ranging from slavery in America to Soviet and Japanese history.

star

Dissertation with a difference

Explore a topic that sparks your curiosity; enhance multiple skills with a presentation and written element.

book

Learn from experts

Benefit from the teaching and support  of research-active staff.

briefcase

Interactive careers workshops

Hone your career skills and gain valuable insights into roles and sectors fit for you.

Our exciting BA History degree lets you shape your passion for history according to your interests, using the latest approaches to study the past with a critical eye and make connections to debates in the public sphere. 

Our expertise reaches an extraordinary breadth of societies, periods and places, spanning the British Isles, Europe (east and west), Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Our modules give you the opportunity to study both well-established areas, such as political, social, cultural and gender history, or explore areas that might be new to you, such as environmental history or digital history. 

Criss-crossing this wide range of time spans and perspectives, our highly respected programme will train you to analyse topics from across the globe, allowing you to put into practice your skills as a historian. Moreover, prestigious collections in the University’s Special Collections and Archives give you access to a wide range of original texts and sources, including some of the world’s oldest printed books. 

While sharing our own cutting-edge research in all our modules, we encourage you to re-evaluate existing understandings of the past and to create new and original interpretations of your own. You will become adept at exploring debates, creatively drawing on our robust grounding to examine history of all kinds. In the process, you will develop the skills so advantageous in our digital age: creativity, empathy, critical thinking, persuasive communication skills and the ability to challenge and question. 

Your degree culminates with you writing original history, researching a topic of personal academic interest in your dissertation. Studying at Cardiff means engaging in historical and public debate - and becoming a historian in your own right. 

Graduating with a range of academic and practical skills – including teamworking, leadership and communication – the confidence to use them and the ability to see the big picture, you’ll be valued by employers and ideally placed to progress into a range of careers. Taught by leading experts in the field, our BA History gives you the skills, training, and knowledge to succeed.

Subject area: History and ancient history

Entry requirements

We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. Typical offers are as follows:

A level

ABB-BBB

Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.


We carefully consider your contextual data (the circumstances in which you've been studying) upon application. Where a grade range is advertised this reflects our typical standard and contextual offers. Eligible students will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range. Where there is no grade range advertised you will usually receive additional points in the selection process. Learn about eligible courses and how contextual data is applied.

International Baccalaureate

32-31 overall or 665 in 3 HL subjects. 

Baccalaureate Wales

From September 2023, there will be a new qualification called the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales (level 3). This qualification will replace the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate). The qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

Other qualifications from inside the UK

BTEC

DDM in a BTEC Extended Diploma in Humanities and Social Science subjects. We will consider BTECs in alternative subjects alongside other academic qualifications and any relevant work or volunteer experience.

T level

Acceptance of T Levels for this programme will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic School. Consideration will be given to the T Level grade/subject and grades/subjects achieved at GCSE/Level 2.

Qualifications from outside the UK

See our qualification equivalences guide

Additional entry requirements

GCSE

Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

At least 62 overall with a minimum of 59 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

You must have or be working towards:
- English language or Welsh language at GCSE grade C/4 or an equivalent (such as A-levels). If you require a Student visa, you must ensure your language qualification complies with UKVI requirements.

We do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects.
We will accept a combination of BTEC subjects, A-levels, and other qualifications, subject to the course specific grade and subject requirements.

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement, including the ability to travel to outside of the UK or to undertake a placement/studies outside of Cardiff University
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.

Tuition fees for 2023 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £9,000 None
Year two £9,000 None
Year three £9,000 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2023/24 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £20,450 None
Year two £20,450 None
Year three £20,450 None

Learn more about our tuition fees

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

You should be prepared to invest in some key texts and to cover the costs of basic printing and photocopying for you own use. You may also want to buy copies of other books, either because they are particularly important for your modules or because you find them particularly interesting.

Accommodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Living costs

We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Course structure

The BA History is structured in such a way that you will acquire over successive years high-level skills to become an independent and critical thinker, equipped for professional employment.

Through a blend of core and optional modules, you will study 120 credits of modules in each year. 

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2023/2024 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.

Year one

Your first year lays the foundations for the degree and is made up of modules which are designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and allow you to explore historical themes and ideas that you may not have encountered before university.

Our core modules introduce you to the different frameworks which underpin historical research and to the big debates over how we understand ‘global’ connections and historical change. Through these modules, you develop your understanding of why historians disagree and gain skills that enable you to participate in these debates.

Optional modules on medieval, early modern and Welsh history give you opportunities to study a variety of periods and regions. You can also take modules which explore themes, such as religion or film, across multiple periods or take modules in ancient history or archaeology, which examine the past from different perspectives and introduce you to different forms of evidence for understanding the past.

Year two

In your second year, optional modules allow you to explore themes across a narrower time range, while encouraging a more comparative approach.

Our core modules develop your skills in understanding the past through exploring different approaches to history and the nature of different kinds of historical evidence and ways of using that evidence. You apply these skills as you research an historical debate which interests you with the support of a supervisor, and also work collaboratively to explore the historian’s role in sharing research beyond the boundaries of academia and the voices they privilege or silence.

Year three

In the final year, you are challenged to think more deeply about the nature of historical developments. You develop your skills at analysing sources and writing history through studying a range of specialist modules on offer.

Supported by one of our expert staff, you will plan and undertake a research dissertation on a topic that is linked to an area you study as part of your degree. The dissertation provides an opportunity for you to develop advanced independent research skills and an in-depth knowledge of a research topic, fully supported by an academic supervisor and a programme of workshops. Our students generally find the dissertation to be the most enjoyable and exciting part of their studies.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Researching History: DissertationHS630040 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Reaching Out: Enterprise, Community and CollaborationHS030120 credits
Digital Games and the Practice of HistoryHS631020 credits
Spies and Espionage in the Medieval WorldHS631120 credits
Kingship: Image, Power and Portrayal, c.1100-1399HS631220 credits
Gender, Identity and Experience in Medieval EuropeHS631320 credits
Witchcraft and Witch-Hunting in Early Modern Europe, 1400-1750HS631420 credits
An Information Revolution: Politics and Communication in Early Modern BritainHS631520 credits
Health and Illness in Early Modern BritainHS631620 credits
Mobile Lives: Travel, Exile, and Migration in the Early Modern WorldHS631720 credits
Slavery and Enslaved Life in the United States, 1775-1865HS631820 credits
Native American HistoryHS631920 credits
Utopias of Extremism: Revolutions in Comparative ContextHS632020 credits
Czechoslovakia: The Twentieth Century in MiniatureHS632120 credits
France under OccupationHS632220 credits
Inside the Third ReichHS632320 credits
Violence and Ideology in the Inter-War Soviet UnionHS632420 credits
War and Freedom in the postcolonial SudansHS632620 credits
Gender and Imperialism, India c.1800- c.1900HS632720 credits
Change, Conflict, and Mass Mobilisation in Republican China, 1911-1945HS632820 credits
The Dark Valley of Fascist Japan, 1930-1945HS632920 credits
Peripheral Reverberations of the French RevolutionHS633020 credits
Mayhem and murder: Investigating the Victorian UnderworldHS633120 credits
The Making of British SocialismHS633220 credits
Britain at War: Culture and Politics on the Home Front, 1939-1945HS633320 credits
Public and Private: Gender, Identities and Power in Twentieth Century BritainHS633420 credits
Jews, Europe and the WorldHS633520 credits

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

Research is central to the student experience at Cardiff and all our teaching is informed by the latest findings.

We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. You will learn through a wide range of teaching methods from interactive lectures, lively discussion-based seminars, and workshops to group work and tutorials. These on-campus activities will be blended with a range of online environments that will enhance your learning experience and enable you to extend your studies beyond the classroom. Seminars and workshops offer a rewarding experience to engage critically with the key ideas and reading on a topic. They provide a valuable opportunity to explore ideas and work closely with your lecturers and to learn from other students. In your second and third year, you have the opportunity to undertake a range of independent projects with the support of an expert in the field and one-to-one tuition.

Our teaching methods foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management in a supportive environment.

Welsh language teaching

We provide opportunities for learning and teaching through the medium of Welsh. Subject to staff availability, seminar teaching in Welsh is available on some or all of the core modules. Welsh language supervision is also available in Year Two and Year Three for longer projects and for dissertations. You may elect to write all or some of your assessed work and examinations in Welsh.

How will I be supported?

You will be supported by a number of different staff, some focussing on academic performance in a particular area and some looking at learning and progress more holistically.

You will be assigned a Personal Tutor, who is able to advise you on academic and pastoral matters in a confidential and informal manner. Personal Tutors meet with you regularly to discuss progress and provide advice and guidance, and are available for consultation at other times as needed. Additional module-specific support is provided by seminar tutors, lecturers and/or module convenors through one-to-one time in set office hours during teaching weeks, and tutors welcome email contact. Support for projects and for dissertation is provided by an academic supervisor who will meet with you regularly.

You will have access through the University virtual learning environment plus a host of other digital environments and programs to help you in your studies.

Our undergraduate Education Support Team provides academic and student support and is there is to provide information and guidance in response to any queries you may have.

Beyond the School, the University offers a range of services including Student Futures to help you with your career planning, support services and events to help you manage your emotional, mental and physical health, support with financial issues, and support for students with disabilities.

How will I be assessed?

Assessments include source criticisms, research projects, reviews, presentations, creative-critical portfolios and blog posts, alongside more traditional forms of assessment such as essays and tests/exams. Some of our assessments allow you to work collaboratively on a project, while others include writing and creating for different audiences; for example, you might be asked to design a museum exhibition or create a guide for using sources; and you may have the opportunity to create podcasts and digital texts for social media. Long essays allow you to address fundamental historical questions or explore an historical issue or debate in more depth.

In all cases, our assessments are designed to support you in developing your ideas, skills and competencies. They help equip you with skills to link your knowledge to local, national and global issues, and encourage you to be innovative and creative; to find new ways to address problems or ask questions; to collaborate in solving problems and presenting findings; and to present evidence-based arguments. The skills developed and assessed throughout the programme prepare you for entry into a range of graduate careers. Individual and group feedback on assessments and other learning provides you with the opportunity to reflect on your current or recent level of attainment.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you. 

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:

Knowledge & Understanding:   

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

KU1: engage critically and conceptually with the changing assumptions and methods that historians use to explain the past

KU2: identify and critically analyse the diversity of human history, continuity, and change, across a wide geographical and chronological range

KU3: demonstrate systematic knowledge and understanding of the complexity and diversity of the past in a single country or in relation to a particular theme

KU4: demonstrate a critical awareness of the limits of historical knowledge and the evolving nature of that knowledge and understanding

Intellectual Skills:           

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

IS1: critically evaluate the nature of historiographical agreement and disagreement

IS2: utilise knowledge and appropriate skills and methods to identify and critically evaluate historical change

IS3: formulate and justify arguments about a range of historical issues, problems, and debates using historiographical ideas and methods

IS4: identify and locate appropriate primary sources, reflect upon their nature, and analyse them critically to address questions and solve problems

Professional Practical Skills:      

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

PS1: demonstrate critical thinking, reasoning, and the ability to assimilate and summarise complex information and ideas though the independent selection and critical analysis of an appropriate range of evidence

PS2: ask cogent and focused questions and pursue answers to these questions through structured enquiry, selecting and interrogating an appropriate range of evidence

PS3: summarise and critically appraise the relative merits and demerits of alternative views and interpretations and evaluate their significance

PS4: design, undertake, and present an historical, historiographical, or conceptual research project

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

TS1: present complex findings and arguments clearly, concisely, and persuasively in a variety of formats

TS2: show enterprise skills to solve problems and analyse diverse, partial or ambiguous evidence using critical thinking, initiative, and creativity

TS3: prepare and give a presentation and provide clear and accurate supporting materials in an appropriate format

TS4: effectively manage your own learning

TS5: effectively communicate complex information and arguments to diverse audiences, either individually or collaboratively as part of a team

Other information

The degree is team-taught, overseen by the Programme Convenor. You are supported by a number of different staff, some focussing on academic performance in a particular area and some looking at learning and progress more holistically.

Teaching methods include a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops, individual work and group tasks, one-to-one tutorials, and self-directed learning. You will also undertake independent study and research, with guidance from academic tutors. These teaching methods enable you to develop communication and analytical skills, and to develop critical thinking in a supportive environment. The teaching covers all the key competencies, and is enhanced by the inclusion of digital learning resources.

The focus of assessment is on supporting you to develop your ideas, skills, and competencies. We use a wide range of assessment methods, including coursework essays, source criticisms, critical reviews, examinations, online tests, posters, oral presentations, and group presentations. Progression is built into assessment, in that you will do smaller guided tasks in year one, as well as formative work in years two and three. As part of your skills training in year one, you will be supported in understanding how the assessments work, what is expected of you, how you will be marked, and how to make the most of your feedback. Progression is also evident in the growing emphasis on lengthier, independent work culminating in a 10,000-word dissertation in your final year.

Welsh language teaching

We provide significant opportunities for learning and teaching through the medium of Welsh. Subject to staff availability, seminar teaching in Welsh is available on some or all of the major core courses, and at least one Welsh language option is offered in years two and four. Welsh language supervision is also available for long essays and dissertations, and students may elect to write all or some of their assessed work and examinations in Welsh.

Careers and placements

Career prospects

We encourage our students to think about life beyond university from day one, offering modules and support to give you a competitive advantage on graduating no matter what path they follow.

Our degree equips you with a lively and critical understanding of the past, its enduring legacies, and how it connects to the present, and important skills which employers’ value from collaborative working and communicating with a wide range of audiences to critical thinking and finding new ways to address problems. We provide you with opportunities to attain and develop enterprise skills as you progress from pitching your ideas on global history on first year modules and working collaboratively on a project in year 2 to credit-bearing placements in year 2 and your final year. A range of option modules extend these opportunities and support you to develop these skills further.

Training and careers events are delivered in and out of the curriculum with a focus on developing skills while in university and articulating those skills successfully in future applications. We work closely with Student Futures who not only deliver training and workshops on our core modules, but also offer a wealth of opportunities. Beyond your formal studies we run programmes that provide you with opportunities to engage with local schools and communities or work with local heritage organisations to develop your own skills and profile whilst allowing you to make a difference.

The Cardiff Award provides you with a framework through which to develop your employability, while you can take advantage of a wide range of university programmes from Languages for All (to try out or improve your language skills) to support from the Enterprise and Start Up team to bring your ideas to life.

Graduate careers

  • Broadcast journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Advertising executive
  • Teacher
  • Historian

Placements

We ensure that placements can be incorporated into your learning. Opportunities for diverse, bespoke placements are offered in Year Two on a module which focuses on translating the skills you gain through your degree into the workplace. In your final year, we offer the opportunity to take a module through which you can develop your enterprise skills, and which equips you with the skills to communicate and collaborate with external organisations. Staff also have close links with a range of local heritage and other organisations, which offer placement opportunities both in and outside semesters.

Through our links with the Student Futures, you can source placements and on-campus internships from 35 hours part-time placements to fit in around your studies to paid summer placements. In addition, Go Wales provides additional support to help you gain work experience.

Studying in Welsh

Up to 28% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

Next steps

icon-academic

Open Day visits

Sign up to receive our latest news.

icon-international

International

Learn more about our truly global university.

icon-contact

Get in touch

Contact us for help with any questions you have

icon-pen

How to apply

Find out how to apply for this course


HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.