Undergraduate courses

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Our options for undergraduate study in history are designed to offer you a wide variety of choice within a well-structured and coherent programme. We offer two single honours courses in either History or Modern History, and a variety of joint honours options which allow you to combine your studies with other subject areas.

Our courses are based on a flexible modular structure that enables you to build a programme according to your interests. All of our courses can be taken as a four year option including a year of study abroad, which offers an excellent opportunity for personal development.

Single honours

Our BA History offers the greatest flexibility in terms of your choice of optional modules and our BA Modern History is ideal if you want to focus on a particular period.

Joint honours courses with history

  • BA History and Literature

    This course enables you to develop your knowledge of both history and literature, and investigate the ways in which the two disciplines can be integrated. You take an Introduction to Literature module and The Enlightenment alongside your history modules in your first year, and continue to combine history and literature modules in your second and third years. There is a range of relevant options to choose from in both departments, and you can decide the focus of your third-year dissertation.


  • BA History with Film Studies

    These courses help you develop your knowledge of both history and film studies, and investigate the ways in which the two disciplines can be integrated. By combining your study of history with film, you learn how history – its documentation and study – has changed since the advent of the moving pictures. This course allows you to experience both disciplines, and graduate with a strong competence in history and film studies. Our BA History and Film Studies lets you split your time equally between the two subjects. With our BA History with Film Studies you will take more history modules.


  • BA Philosophy and History

    This course is administered by our School of Philosophy and Art History and provides you with a wide-ranging and sound academic grounding in the disciplines of philosophy and history. We encourage you to identify the relevance of philosophy to other forms of enquiry, eg social, political, cultural and in particular historical, and to actively connect these two fields of study. This is facilitated by the shared interests of our two departments and our strong commitment to interdisciplinary study.


  • BA Art History and History

    This course is administered by our School of Philosophy and Art History and promotes awareness of the interactions and differences between history and the visual arts in history. You will be encouraged to understand the ways in which history, ideas and ideologies are manifested in images and to challenge the definitions and perceptions of what documentation and evidence might be. You study the disciplines of history and art history together in order to appreciate the relationships between them with a degree of critical awareness.


  • BA Modern History and Politics

    With this course you will obtain a thorough grounding in the fields of modern history and politics and are encouraged to consider how the two disciplines can be integrated. You take an introductory politics module alongside your history modules in your first year, and continue to combine modern history and politics modules in your second and third years. There is a range of relevant options to choose from in both departments and you choose to write your final-year dissertation in either politics or history.


  • BA Modern History and International Relations

    This course gives you a thorough grounding in the fields of modern history and international relations, and you are encouraged to explore how these disciplines influence one another. You take introductory modules in international relations and politics alongside your history modules in your first year, and continue to combine modules in modern history and international relations in your second and third years. There is a range of relevant options to choose from in both departments and you choose to write your final-year dissertation in either politics or history.


  • BA History with Human Rights

    Our BA History with Human Rights gives you the opportunity to examine human rights in historical context. You will examine how ideas of human rights have developed historically and also be able to choose optional modules that are related to the field of human rights. You will also have the opportunity to research and write a dissertation in history and human rights. This course allows you to experience both disciplines, and to graduate with a strong competence in history and the study of human rights.


  • BA History and Sociology

    With this course you develop expertise in the fields of history and sociology, and are encouraged to explore the ways in which the two disciplines influence and inform one another. You take our The Sociological Imagination module alongside your history modules in your first year, and continue to combine modules in history and sociology in your second and third years. There is a range of relevant options to choose from in both departments and you choose the focus of your final-year dissertation.


  • BA History and Criminology

    With this course you obtain a thorough grounding in history and criminology, and are encouraged to consider the ways in which histories of crime and the discipline of criminology overlap and influence each other. You take the Introduction to Crime, Law and Society module alongside history modules in your first year, and continue to combine modules in history and criminology in your second and third years. There is a range of relevant options to choose from in both disciplines and you can choose the focus of your final-year dissertation.


  • BA History and Economics

    This course is administered by our Department of Economics. It aims to give you an insight into questions like: How have historical events shaped the way we buy and sell goods and services? What impact have historical events had on political, social, economic and cultural contexts? BA History and Economics will give you a solid education in the history of Britain, Europe and the world from 1500 to present day, at the same time as gaining a thorough grounding in economics. You will spend equal time studying history-related and economics-related modules.


  • BA English Language and History

    This course is administered by our Department of Language and Linguistics. It aims to give you an insight into questions like: Which techniques can we use to research how English varies according to age, sex, social and geographical background, and ethnic origins? How has social and geographical mobility given rise to the formation of new accents and dialects of English? How do we use English in everyday conversation? How have historical events shaped the contemporary world, and what is the relationship between past and present? How have factors such as class, gender and race influenced historical change since 1500? How have historical developments differed around the world?


Languages for All

Our Languages for All scheme allows you to study a language alongside your course at no extra cost.

Foundation year options

If you don't meet our standard undergraduate entry requirements, our Essex Pathways Department offers undergraduate pathways that equip you with the necessary academic and English language skills to enable you to progress to an undergraduate history course in our department.

Find a scholarship

Find a scholarship

Search our Scholarship Finder to see the funding we have for you. Our range of scholarships and bursaries to support talented students ensure we remain accessible to all with the potential to succeed, regardless of financial circumstances.

Watch our videos

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Watch a taster lecture, hear our students’ opinions of their study experience and see our staff talking about their latest research. Our videos will show you the passion and enthusiasm that we offer.

Our research

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Our commitment to groundbreaking historical investigation is reflected in more than two-thirds of our research being rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' (REF 2014).

Learn languages

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All our students can learn languages in a number of ways, including as part of your degree, in evening classes or online at no extra cost, or via Essex Modern Language Certificates.