Studying history

Your course structure

Our degree programmes follow a clear progression from your first to your final year. Our first year modules are designed to help you make the transition to studying history at degree level, by developing your historical skills and expanding your historical horizons. In your second year you can choose from a wide selection of optional modules to explore periods and societies that really interest you. In your final year you’ll become an expert in a particular field of history. You’ll use primary sources to investigate a specific topic in depth in your Special Subject, and you’ll research and write a final year project. You can explore the structure and content of your course in detail here.

How you study

You’ll benefit from a variety of teaching and learning styles, including seminars, lectures, workshops, and individual supervision. Weekly small group seminars are a key element of most modules, and allow you to participate in debate and exchange ideas. Independent study is also an important element of your course, allowing you to develop your research and analytical skills. We use a variety of assessment methods, including exams, essays, book reviews, oral presentations, online discussions and group projects.

Innovative modules

We have a distinctive and innovative curriculum, which includes a diverse range of modules. Our staff share cutting-edge research and their passion for the subject with our students. We encourage our students to think of themselves as researchers and historians from the outset. As well as modules which focus on a particular place and period of history, we also offer:

  • Research Placement. Working in a small group and liaising closely with an academic member of staff, students taking this module get involved in the latest research. Students undertake research tasks and create new knowledge which they present at an undergraduate research conference. Recent projects include a First World War heritage trail; a guide to lives of junior officers at the Battle of Waterloo; and an EPQ resource about the lives of women students at the University of Leeds in the First World War.
  • Thinking about History. This module explores the changing ways in which historians have approached the study of the past since the late nineteenth century. It introduces developments in historical method and examines the challenges and influences from other disciplines, including Marxist ideology, gender studies and literary theory.

For information on typical modules for BA History, see the programme catalogue. For information on typical modules for BA International History and Politics, see the programme catalogue.

Visiting/exchange students

We offer a wide variety of options for international students wishing to spend either a semester or an academic year in Leeds.  The majority of undergraduate modules are available to visiting or exchange students (subject to pre-requisite qualifications in some areas). We welcome international students either via exchange arrangements with specific institutions or as direct fee-paying visitors.  To find out more and apply, see our exchange and study abroad pages.