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Degree type

BA

Course length

3 years full-time

Location

Durham City

UCAS code

V101

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Please note: Courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Applicants will be informed of any changes which we are required to make to course entries as a result of Covid-19.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A Level A*AA
BTEC D*DD
International Baccalaureate 38

Course details

Year 1

In the first year, you will take three modules from History and three from Classics. You must choose at least one History module which is either Medieval or Early Modern; and one which is Modern. The modules on offer reflect the research interests of staff.

History modules have previously included:

  • Reformation Europe
  • Tensions of Empire
  • The Birth of Western Society, 300-1050
  • New Heaven, New Earth: Latin Christendom and the World, 1000-1300.

In Ancient History, you will take two interdisciplinary modules that serve to give you a grounding in the central periods of Greek and Roman culture.

Modules have previously included:

  • Introduction to the Greek World
  • Monuments and Memory in the Age of Augustus.

The third module is a matter of choice. Modules have previously included:

  • Lives of Objects
  • Early Greek Philosophy
  • The Craft of the Ancient Historian.

If you have already studied Latin or Greek, then it is possible to take an Intermediate course in either language.

Year 2

In the second year, you will take three modules from History and three from Classics. Second-year History modules tend to focus more on particular periods and events, and there are fewer survey courses. One of the History modules taken must be ‘Conversations with History’. This is a seminar-driven, student-led module, which encourages you to think about the way in which history is written. You will choose one from a range of possible strands in this module, each of which focuses on a particular historical debate or phenomenon. You must choose one History module which is either Medieval or Early Modern; and one which is Modern (the Conversations strand will count as one of these choices). There is no other restriction on choice.

Modules have previously included:

  • Conversations Strands: the Usable Past; the Built Environment
  • History and Guilt
  • Power and Peoples
  • Inventing the Middle Ages
  • Monarchy
  • Empire, Liberty and Governance.

Other modules have previously included:

  • Hard Times: British Society c. 1800-1901
  • Modern China’s Transformations
  • The American Half-century: the United States since 1945
  • The King’s Two Bodies: Rulership in Late Medieval Europe
  • The Ottoman World, 1400-1700.

In Ancient History, second-year historical offerings have previously included:

  • The Hellenistic World
  • Crisis of The Roman Republic
  • Emperors and Dynasties
  • Roman Buildings and their Decoration
  • Ancient Political Thought and Action.

It is also possible to take a Beginners course in Latin or Greek (this will take up two of your options in Ancient History), or to continue your study of either language.

Year 3

In the third year you may take the equivalent of three modules in each department, or you may take the equivalent of four modules in one and two in the other.

In History, you may choose a triple-module Special Subject, taught entirely through seminars, which involves the close study of primary sources. You will work in a small group with a specialist in the field, with a three-hour seminar every week. Or you may choose to do supervised independent research leading to the writing of an extended Dissertation. Given this emphasis on focused study and independence, there is no requirement for you to study a range of periods in this year.

Third-year single modules are all strongly reflexive in character, encouraging you to think about the ways in which historical knowledge is produced. Third-year History modules are all specialised, research-led topics.

Modules in History have previously included:

Special subjects:

  • A World Turned Upside Down: Radicalism in the English Revolution
  • The Disappearance of Claudine Rouge: Murder, Mystery and Microhistory in Early Modern France
  • Light Beyond the Limes: the Christianization of Pagan Europe, 300-1000
  • From War to Cold War: US Foreign Policy, c. 1944-1948.

Single modules:

  • Anglo-Saxon Invasion? The Search for English
  • Origins Revolution and History
  • Interpreting Conflict in Post-Colonial Africa
  • History of American Capitalism.

In Ancient History, modules have previously included:

  • Roman Syria
  • The Later Roman Empire
  • Greeks and Persians
  • Urbs Roma
  • Writing Alexander.

Placement

You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.

Study abroad

History

The Department participates in the University-wide overseas exchanges with:

  • Boston College (USA),
  • the University of British Columbia (Canada),
  • the University of Hong Kong (China)
  • the National University of Singapore (Singapore).

You can apply to spend an additional year of study abroad. This is normally taken between the second and third years of the degree.

Classics and Ancient History

This course includes an optional European Studies element, where you may spend the third year of a four-year course studying at a European university. We currently have exchange links with universities in Belgium (Liege), France (Bordeaux), Germany (Tubingen, Munich), Greece (Athens), Italy (Bologna, Rome, Milan, Vercelli), the Netherlands (Free University, Amsterdam), Spain (Seville) and Switzerland (Fribourg). Students interested in studying abroad should apply to transfer to the European Studies course after their first year of study.

The Department also participates in the University-wide overseas exchange programme, which offers the opportunity to spend your second year studying at one of our partner universities in North America or Australasia. Find out more

Learning

If you study the Ancient, Medieval and Modern History BA, you will follow a structured course of study comprised of modules delivered by the Department of History and the Department of Classics and Ancient History. You will receive, on average, 7 hours of formal contact per week. However, the exact number of contact hours will depend on your selection of modules as you will be given the option to specialise in ancient, medieval, or modern history as you progress.

Formal academic contact will include a combination of lectures, seminars, and tutorials. Lectures introduce broad historical questions and offer contextualisation and critical commentary; seminars provide an opportunity for you to develop your critical skills through discussion for which you would have prepared in advance. The balance between these activities will change as you develop your knowledge and abilities as an independent learner.

Timetabled contact is only the beginning of your learning. It provides a starting point for your development as an independent, self-motivated learner. Resource packages and reading lists will be provided to guide your independent learning.

Typically, during your first year, you can expect to receive around 8 hours of formal contact per week. You will study modules that introduce you to a range of perspectives (not just historical) and different forms of evidence, and prepare you for a wide range of more specifically historical modules about politics and society, as well as the study of ancient literature, language, and philosophy, in your second and third years. The modules offer engagement with different periods and approaches to the study of the past, and experience of the way in which History, as a community of practice, encompasses the diversity of the human experience. Two core modules, 'Introduction to the Greek World' and 'Monuments and Memory', include seminars with a special emphasis on research skills.

In your second year there is an increased emphasis on the development of critical and analytical skills. As you become more adept at independent research, the intensity of contact in more specialised areas will increase. You can expect to receive around 7 hours of formal contact per week.

In the third year you will take further responsibility for managing your own time. The curriculum, while continuing to offer support and guidance, will require you to use the skills in independent study and time management which you have developed in the two preceding years. The dissertation, in particular, gives you the opportunity to establish your own research agenda and identify primary historical sources and extended reading lists, and so to engage, at an advanced level, with creative cutting-edge research at the forefront of the discipline. The exact number of contact hours that you receive will depend upon your module choices and specialisms. You will be expected to spend at least 35 hours each week in independent research. Because of this, you can expect to receive, on average, around 5 hours of formal contact per week.

Throughout the course you will also benefit from the ready accessibility of staff. All module coordinators advertise their formal ‘office hours’ so that you can arrange one-to-one meetings to discuss particular issues. This un-timetabled contact often focuses on a specific issue of analysis or argument and gives students a strong sense of personal engagement with learning. In addition to this, you will be allocated an academic adviser with whom you will discuss your module choices within the context of your interests and aims (academic and personal).

You will be encouraged to attend the extensive programme of research-related activities in both departments, including the research seminar series, public lectures from high-profile guest speakers, and events organised by the student-run History Society and Classics Societies. In addition to this, you will be invited to attend regular events organised jointly by the department and the Careers, Employability, and Enterprise Centre.

Entry requirements

A level offerA*AA including History.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended DiplomaD*DD and grade A History A level.

IB Diploma score38 with 666 in higher level subjects, including History, Ancient History is only acceptable in conjunction with History.

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. Please contact our Admissions Tutor.
  • Classical subjects are not essential for any of our courses.
  • Ancient History is acceptable as one of three A levels but History A level must also be taken.
  • We welcome enquiries regarding applications for deferred entry which may be considered in special circumstances. Please contact us using www.durham.ac.uk/study/askus/

Science A levels

Applicants taking Science A levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A levels with an English examination board.

Alternative qualifications

International students who do not meet direct entry requirements for this degree might have the option to complete an International Foundation Year.

English language requirements

Country specific information

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £9,250 per year
EU students £23,250 per year
Island students £9,250 per year
International students £23,250 per year

The tuition fees shown for home students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.

The tuition fees shown for overseas and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Classics and Ancient History

Of those students who graduated in 2018:

  • 83% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 84% are in a professional or managerial job
  • Average salary of £25,000.

(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found here www.graduateoutcomes.ac.uk)

History

Of those students who graduated in 2018:

  • 85% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 83% are in a professional or managerial job
  • Average salary of £27,000.

(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found here www.graduateoutcomes.ac.uk)

Department information

Classics and Ancient History

Specialise in a wide range of artistic, historical, literary, linguistic, cultural and philosophical aspects of the Graeco–Roman world. We offer a wide variety of modules: ancient Greek and Latin for every level of ability, surveys of the main periods and themes of Greek and Roman history, and teaching in all aspects of classical culture, including philosophy, art and literature in translation.

For more information see our department pages.

Rankings

  • World Top 15 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2021.
  • 2nd in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.
  • 4th in The Guardian University Guide 2021.

Staff

For a current list of staff, please see the Classics and Ancient History Department pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • Ranked joint 2nd in the UK for Internationally Excellent and World-leading research impact (REF 2014).

Facilities

We have an extensive collection of ancient texts in the original and in translation, modern scholarship, and reference works. Our library is particularly strong in ancient philosophy, but also provides valuable resources for students in all our programmes and a useful reference library for researchers. The collections amount to approximately 8,000 volumes, across three rooms. Students may borrow the books, and many also use the library as a quiet study space to use between lectures, or for informal discussion sessions and reading groups.

More information about our facilities.

History

We have one of the most highly regarded history departments in the UK and our students love being here. This reputation is the product of the quality and commitment of our staff, and the breadth of our teaching, which reflects the research interests of a Department with an international outlook.

For more information see our department pages.

Ranking

  • World Top 40 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2021.
  • 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2021.
  • 4th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.

Staff

For a current list of staff, please see the History Department web pages.

Facilities

The Department of History is located in the heart of Durham, next to Durham Cathedral and Castle, which together form the UNESCO World Heritage Site. We are within easy reach of all university colleges, libraries, lecture rooms, and other facilities.

The Department occupies a group of historic townhouses on North Bailey and Palace Green. Originally built as coffee houses and lawyers’ offices in the 17th and 18th Centuries, these buildings now accommodate academic staff, administrative staff and seminar rooms. All postgraduate classes and supervision meetings take place within the History Department.

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Use the UCAS code below when applying:

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V101

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) handles applications for all undergraduate courses.

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