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BA (Hons) History

BA (Hons) History video
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From the polite conversation of the eighteenth century coffee-house to the agitation of twentieth century acid-house, this course gives you the opportunity to explore modern British history, with a media twist.  Rooted in social, cultural and political history, there is also a strong focus on Europe as well as wider global contexts.

The course sits within our Faculty of Media & Communication which means that, as well as studying history in the traditional sense, you will be using newspapers, on-line sites, sound recordings, television and film as a way of exploring a broad range of topics. Public history is also an important aspect of the course and throughout your degree you will work with a range of outside agencies such as museums, archives and heritage organisations.  

To complement your studies, you’ll have the opportunity to put theory into practice with a work placement: either four-weeks, if you are studying a three-year degree, or 30-weeks, if completing a four-year course. Not only will this add valuable experience to your CV, but it will help you to use the transferable skills you have already learned and ultimately improve your career options once you graduate.

You will be joining an active history community which combines both the social and the scholarly, with a lively History Society and membership of our internationally renowned Centre for Media History.  

99% of our students feel that the staff are good at explaining things. Join us on live chat now to find out more, or register to meet us at an open day.

Interested in studying this course part-time? Enquire now.

This is a new course and therefore the NSS figures published by Unistats are aggregated from similar social studies courses at BU. All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018, September 2019


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


3 years including a 4-week placement (or 4 years including a minimum 30-week placement). Full-time

Entry requirements:

For 2018 entry: 104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2018 entry requirements page.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component or equivalent. For more information check out our International entry requirements page

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students.

Year 1

Core units

  • Being an Historian (part one): Concepts and Methods: You'll be introduced to what history is and to what it means to be an historian in the digital age.
  • Being an Historian (part two): Sources and Archives: Alongside books and public records, you'll be introduced to a wide range of materials including newspapers, letters, diaries, photographs, artefacts and oral testimony as well as film, websites, exhibitions, television and radio programmes as historical sources.
  • Media, Communications and Society in Britain (part one): 1500-1900: The development of media and communications in Britain coincided with major social, political and cultural transformations and this unit considers how these impacted on our understanding and perception of Britain and the wider world.
  • Media, Communications and Society in Britain (part two): 1900-2000: The second part of this unit focuses on the twentieth century exploring the history and development of modern mass media and its impact on British society.
  • History of Political Thought: This unit introduces the development of political thought and to key and contested concepts in political theory. You'll consider both the historical and the contemporary with a focus on how historical debates and disputed meanings relate to current political realities.
  • History in the Public World: The focus of this unit is the creation and interpretation of history in the public sphere, exploring how history is disseminated outside the confines of academia.

Year 2

Core units

  • European Histories 1800 - 2000: This unit explores European political, social and cultural history from a range of historical perspectives including revolution, national unification, war and peace and the development of the contemporary European Union.
  • The Home Front: From the Napoleonic Wars to Afghanistan: You'll study the Home Front in times of war and look at how civilian populations have responded to the emotional, practical and militaristic impact of conflict.
  • Interpreting History: You'll be introduced to the diversity of specialisms within the discipline such as family history, women’s history, gender history, black history, and ‘history from below,’ and to the ways this history is presented.
  • Community Histories: This unit builds on your understanding of local history and ‘people’s history’, focussing on the ways in which individuals have discovered recorded and presented the history of the locality or community in which they have lived and worked.

Option units (choose two)

  • Being Victorian: This unit examines Victorian society through the lens of the human life-cycle, such as birth, childhood, education, marriage, work and old age, with a focus on contemporary works.
  • Women and Equal Rights 1850-2000: This unit traces the campaigns and changes in British society that led to women being granted equal rights, with a focus on material culture.
  • Inter-War Britain: Continuity and Change: You'll explore key themes and approaches to inter-war history, a period that ranged from the Bright Young Things to chronic unemployment.
  • The Cold War 1945-1991: You'll discover the key developments of the Cold War and its impact on politics, culture and society, drawing heavily on media sources.
  • Youth Culture and Politics: an International 1945 to the Present: This unit explores the intersections of youth culture and politics drawing on political and cultural movements from around the world.
  • Strikes, Riots and Black-outs: Britain in the 1970s: This unit will explore the intense political and ideological social divisions of the time, often expressed in cultural forms including Punk and alternative and community media.
  • Migration Histories 1800-1989: You will explore histories of migration and will examine different historical and geographical examples such as the Swedish, German, Italian and Eastern European emigration from Europe to North America in the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth century, the Caribbean and Asian immigration to Britain in the post-war period, and East-West migration in the Cold War.
  • Word of Mouth: Oral Histories of Britain, 1850- Present : This unit explores the history of modern Britain through the prism of oral histories, using the testimonies of people who were actors in, and witnesses to, some of the most significant events and changes in Britain since 1850.

  • Before the Deluge: Europe and the World on the Eve of the First World War: This unit charts global political, economic, and social change prior to the war, challenging notions that pre-war Europe enjoyed the calm before the storm.

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Year 3

A minimum 4-week or optional 30 week (minimum) placement, intended to develop your abilities and understanding of the workplace. It also provides a platform for successful entry into the workplace following graduation.

Year 3/4 (final year)

Core units

  • Dissertation: You'll carry out a significant piece of academic work on a topic of your choice (in consultation with the university). This takes the form of a 10,000-word dissertation which develops and demonstrates critical, analytical and research skills.
  • Graduate Project: Working in small teams, you'll work on a proposal for a public history event in collaboration with a heritage/history-focussed external organisation. This will culminate in both a group presentation and an individual evaluation.

Option units (choose two)

  • The Suez Crisis: You'll consider the social and political impact of the Suez Crisis of 1956, one of the most significant and dramatic moments in twentieth century British history.
  • Woman’s Hour: Being History, Making History, Telling History: This unit explores sixty years of British women’s history and social change through the lens of the long-running radio programme.
  • The Shaping of the Middle East by Colonial Britain: This unit explores the post-First World War origins of today’s Middle East countries, and how and why they were created by the Allied victors.
  • Weimar Republic: Aesthetic & Propaganda: This unit uses film, photography and literature to explore the social, cultural and political impact of the Weimar Republic of post- 1918 Germany.
  • Britain Through Three Exhibitions: This unit explores Britain through three public exhibitions; the Great Exhibition, 1851; the Festival of Britain, 1951; and the Millennium Experience, 2000.
  • History and Political Struggle: International Perspectives through Film: You'll explore how key political events, ideas and conflicts in history are represented in fiction and non-fiction film.
  • Cabinets, Conventions, and Crises: International Responses to Conflict and Security, 1856-1939: This unit considers British public and governmental responses to international crises and conflict from the mid-Victorian age to the outbreak of the Second World War. With the rise of public opinion and democratic government, foreign-policy decision making had to account for more voices and perspectives on issues of world affairs.
  • No Place Like Home: Housing, Homes and Homelessness Since 1900: This unit explores and evaluates the history of housing in Britain during this period. Using a variety of approaches and sources, the unit examines the policy, provisions, attitudes to, and experiences of homes and houses.

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during each year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

Year 1 – 18% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 216 hours
  • Independent learning: 984 hours

Year 2 – 21% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 258 hours
  • Independent learning: 804 hours
  • Placement: 114 hours

Year 3 - 9% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 108 hours
  • Independent learning: 1094 hours

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found on the programme profile in the programme specification for your course. As an indication, 79% of the most popular units on this course in 2016/17 were assessed by coursework.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BA (Hons) History.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

Placement opportunities

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career; therefore we now offer every new student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course.

We will provide a great deal of support to help you find the most appropriate work placement for the subject you’re studying and the career you’re interested in, which means you could be based anywhere in the UK, or even overseas.

A placement should be a highly rewarding experience for you and the employing company and we do our best to ensure that everyone involved feels that they have got the most that they can from the experience.

The benefits to you as a placement student are many. You will have the chance to:

  • Put the theory learnt throughout the course into professional practice
  • Enhance your study and help you decide on subject options (where appropriate)
  • Learn a wide range of skills such as time management, problem solving and team work (all of these are important to succeed in any career)
  • Make contacts, as it is not uncommon for our students to be offered permanent positions to return to after graduating
  • Gain a real insight into how the industry operates in roles that would be almost impossible to achieve for an outsider
  • Many of our students, during their placement, are given responsibilities normally associated with graduate trainees.

How long is my placement?

You will begin your placement after completion of your second year of study and will undertake a compulsory 4 week placement or can choose to complete a minimum 30 week placement.

Find out more about placements and our student experiences here.

Your application

Background and experience

We want astute, eager, driven students who are going to make a real difference to the course they are studying. Our students learn from each other, as well as from academic staff, so it is really important to us that you can show how much you care about the course you are interested in.

Your UCAS personal statement is a great place to do this. Tell us about your personal achievements or any relevant work experience you have done, and show us how they make you the ideal candidate for a place on the course.

Selection methods

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications, there are no interviews or selection activities needed. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply web pages.

Our offer making process

Our offer making will typically be based on your main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.

Unconditional offer scheme

Applicants who are predicted to achieve strong academic results will be eligible for BU’s Unconditional Offer Scheme in recognition of their academic performance and potential to succeed at university. If you are selected for the scheme and commit to us as your firm choice of university, then we will match this commitment by making your offer unconditional, which will guarantee your place at BU.

You will receive a standard conditional offer based on the entry requirements for your course via UCAS Track and your offer letter – it will advise that you are eligible for the unconditional offer scheme. We will then update your offer to unconditional should you choose BU as your firm choice on UCAS Track. We believe that unconditional offers reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible, and we will reward you with an Academic Excellence scholarship of £1,000 in your first year if you achieve AAA or above at A-level or equivalent.

2018 entry requirements

We use the UCAS Tariff to show our entry requirements and will accept a combination of grades from your qualifications. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to tariff points.

The entry requirements for this course are 104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.

Excluded subjects: General Studies

GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications.

Numeracy and literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes, but is not limited to, GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.

Other qualifications: We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service, it may be that we can still consider it.

Access courses: 102 - 112 tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.

BTEC qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent.
  • BTEC National Foundation Diploma/90-credit Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.
  • BTEC National Extended Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma:104-112 tariff points from 2 principal subjects.

Cambridge Technical qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.
  • Introductory Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 28-31 points overall including grade H5 from 2 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Advanced Highers: 104-112 tariff points from 2 Advanced Highers.

Welsh Baccalaureate: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.

Extended Project Qualification: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by 2 A-Levels or equivalent.

Deferred entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

International entry requirements

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.

Academic entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students’ page.

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.


Our History degree examines modern British history with a slant on the media and will provide you with an excellent understanding of the academic study of history in a modern digital age. You'll develop a range of transferable skills during your course, giving you a variety of career options once you graduate.

Within six months of finishing their course, 80% of our students are in work or further study.

Many of our graduates go on to find work in education, marketing, local and central government, tourism, publishing and broadcasting, as well as working within museums, historical attractions and the arts sector.

Industries worked in

  • Education
  • Museums
  • Marketing
  • Publishing
  • Broadcasting.

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Your lecturers

Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the history sector which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Find out more about some of the staff and their research activities who will be teaching on this course below.

Dr Kate Murphy

I joined Bournemouth University in September 2012 initially as a Senior Lecturer in Radio Production and also to develop the new BA History degree. Prior to this, I worked at the BBC for 24 years, mainly as a Senior Producer on Radio 4 Woman's Hour. As well as being a radio practitioner, I have always been passionate about history, in particular women's history, and in 2005 I began studying part-time for a PhD at Goldsmiths. My thesis: 'On an Equal Footing with Men? Women and Work at the BBC 1922-1939’ was completed in 2011. After leaving the BBC in 2011, I worked as Guest Curator for the exhibition 'The Long March to Equality: Treasures of the Women's Library’ which marked the transfer of the Library to the LSE. My book 'Behind the Wireless: An Early History of Women at the BBC' was published by Palgrave Macmillan in April 2016.

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide.
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Optional fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the students section of the website.

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies (with or without attendance), you may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit. 

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Course Changes

The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text

After an annual review of the placement year tuition fee,  a price increase in line with current inflation, equating to 3% has been introduced.

Fees £790

104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent

Key facts and 2018 entry requirements 

The entry requirements for this course are 112-120 tariff points from 3 A-levels. BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM.


2018 GCSE entry requirements have changed, this course requires GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications. 2018 entry requirements

This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including Maths and English or equivalent qualifications.


Required subject of History removed.

Key facts

Required subject- History.

Additional information

Students in Dylans Bar

Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding, including scholarships and bursaries.

Open Days

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Purbeck House common room

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.