BA single honours or in combination with another subject History 2017/18

Year of entry

History students gave a rating of 98% for teaching quality in the National Student Survey 2016

National Student Survey, 2016

The History programme at Canterbury Christ Church University combines high-quality teaching with internationally acclaimed research in a friendly and supportive learning environment. The student experience is at the very heart of our work with our modules highly rated by external examiners and the History course as a whole regularly scoring well for overall satisfaction in the annual National Student Survey. When it comes to teaching, the History team seeks to emphasise active and shared learning: you will not only learn from your tutors and from your own individual research and reflection, but also hopefully from your peers. Situated in the beautiful cathedral city of Canterbury, Christ Church is steeped in history and culture and is in many ways the ideal location for the study of history. All our tutors are active research historians who publish on such diverse and fascinating areas as medieval queenship, early modern social history, and modern international history, and our students greatly value being taught not just by teachers of history but by professional historians.

Top reasons to choose this course

  • A big span of modules from the Romans to the modern War on Terror.
  • Expert historians, not just teachers, whose research strongly informs their teaching.
  • Friendly, approachable teaching staff who are passionate and committed and put the student learning experience at the top of their priority list.
  • The warm, welcoming and student-centred approach to learning of the History team – and all set against the backdrop of a beautiful, historical and cultural city of world-wide renown.

Students on this programme are also eligible to apply to study for a year in North America as part of their degree.

"I spent three fantastic years at Christ Church developing a variety of skills which have enabled me to pursue my chosen career, most notably: the ability to perform primary research, investigate, question and assess material along with developing a sense of self-confidence in my own abilities".

Louise Watling


You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

more info

In year one we aim to provide you with a grounding in the main themes and issues relating to the major periods of history (medieval, early modern, modern and contemporary) that you will encounter in years two and three. Beyond this, in year one we aim to help you hone the key skills you will need in order to succeed in your degree studies. In year two examples of subjects covered in option modules have included the Crusades, Fascism and the Cold War. In year three, subjects, have ranged from women in medieval history and the Russian Revolution through to the Vietnam War and the troubles in Northern Ireland. In addition, there is the option to undertake an independent study with one-to-one supervision culminating in a 10,000 word research dissertation. The course framework is flexible enough to permit specialisation in certain historical periods in years two and three. Equally, you may continue to vary your module choices much as you did in year one.


The History team has four guiding aims:

  • to provide you with a high quality learning experience that will help you develop an appreciation of the richness of History as a subject
  • to offer you a stimulating and engaging range of History modules
  • to challenge you intellectually by offering a curriculum that progresses in terms of depth of study and complexity of content over the three years of your degree
  • to help you enhance your analytical, interpretative, research, presentational, communication and ICT skills not only to help you succeed as an undergraduate but to provide you with a portfolio of transferable skills to draw on in forging what we hope will be a successful and fulfilling post-university career

Core modules

We continually review and, where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. We will inform applicants of any changes to the course structure before enrolment.

Year 1

Making History: An Introduction to the Study and Writing of History

This module provides you with an introduction to the study and writing of History at university-level. To this end, the module explores the nature of History as a discipline and exposes you to a variety of methods/approaches used by working professional historians. There is a particular focus on developing and honing the kinds of skills – for example, effective reading and note-taking, bibliography construction, and appropriate use of VLE/ICT – which you will need to prosper in your subsequent learning journey.

Year 2

There are no core modules in Year 2

Year 3

There are no core modules in Year 3

Likely optional modules

Year 1

Snapshots in Time: History and Historiographical Controversy

In this module, you will get to study up to four key issues in History. Each of these case studies (normally two modern and two pre-modern) are specifically designed to explain and explore the nature of historiography, and historiographical debate, through intensive study of historical controversies.

Introduction to the Roman World

In this module, you will be introduced to the diversity of the Roman world through an exploration of major themes in Roman history and archaeology from the foundation of the city of Rome through the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and will cover both the central Mediterranean and more distant provinces, including Britain. Textual sources and archaeological evidence are combined to help you formulate an understanding of Roman culture and how this changed over time.

Kings Queens and Conquerors in Medieval Europe

In this module, you will be introduced to the fascinating and colourful world of the kings, queens and conquerors who ruled medieval Europe between c. 750 and c. 1250. Focusing primarily on England, France and Germany, you will engage with a range of key themes including medieval kingship, the Vikings, the Church and conversion, monasticism and queenship.

Renaissance, Reformation and Revolution in the Early Modern World

In this module, you will be introduced to the major social, political, religious and economic developments which occurred across a broad expanse in Western Europe during the period 1450-1750. Topics covered include the Reformation, Humanism and the Renaissance, the printing press, colonial expansion, the Ottoman Empire, poverty, witchcraft, print, war, women and the Enlightenment. Above all, this module aims to help you forge connections and contrasts between these facets of the past.

The Making of Modernity: Enlightenment, Nation and Empire

In this module, you will be given an introduction to modern history, with a particular focus on some of the principal themes in European history between 1750 and 1914 and their relationship with major events outside Europe. The module will also introduce you to the chronology of the period, highlighting major themes relating to social, economic and political change.

Crisis, Conflict and Collapse: An Introduction to Contemporary History

In this module, you will be made aware of just how greatly the world has been transformed since start of the twentieth century. There have been two world wars, genocide and racial extermination, economic depression and hyperinflation, and the threat of a nuclear holocaust. However, these years also witnessed extraordinary economic growth, the emancipation of women, the birth of youth culture, the rise of the welfare state, and the spread of democratic politics. In sum, this module explores a time of historical change unprecedented in its speed and scale.

Year 2

Castles in Medieval Society

In this module, you will come to appreciate how castles are one of the most visible and imposing reminders of our medieval past. The ruins we see now are the result of dynamic changes in society, culture, politics and architecture. This module therefore investigates castles in their medieval context using archaeological evidence, the landscape and standing buildings alongside written documents. It will consider how castles were viewed in medieval society and chart the evolution of castle studies in the modern era.

The Crusades, c.1095-1229

In this module, you will study the history of the crusading movement from its origins in the 1090s to the end of the sixth crusade. Along the way, you will explore major themes and debates, including, for example, the forces and influences that gave rise to the Crusades; the motives of crusaders; the causes, course and consequences of a series of Crusades; the Islamic response to the Crusades; the development of the crusader states; and the portrayal of the Crusades in film.

Anarchy, Law, War and Tyranny: Angevin England, 1128-1216

In this module, you will study the history of England under the Angevin kings (Henry II, Richard the Lionheart and John) who governed a vast collection of cross-Channel territories. Key topics include the ‘Anarchy’ of King Stephen’s reign (by way of background), the forging of the Angevin Empire under Henry II, Henry II’s fateful quarrel with Archbishop Thomas Becket, King Richard’s role in the Third Crusade and the disasters of John’s reign.

The Age of the Tudors, 1485-1603

In this module, you will study the political history of England and its neighbouring realms from the end of the Wars of the Roses through to the Reformations of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Tying together political history with contemporary political theories, the module considers the major political events of all the Tudor reigns and the roles of major institutions such as Parliament and the Church.

Sex, Deviance and Death in the Sixteenth Century

In this module, you will be introduced to a variety of sixteenth century primary sources and shown how to work with sixteenth century texts and artefacts which which should deepen your knowledge of sixteenth century English history and its sources. Key topics include print culture, health, witchcraft, heresy, gender, and the role of women in sixteenth century England.

'The Monstrous Regiment': Women in Tudor and Stuart England

In this module, you will study how Tudor and Stuart women played a public political role through demonstrating religious piety and through defence of family interests in an overtly patriarchal society. Key topics include the roles of the Tudor and Stuart Queens; the political influence of aristocratic and gentry women and the lives of women below these elites. The effects of the Reformation, the Renaissance and the English Civil Wars will also be examined.

Russia and the Soviet Union, 1861-2000: Revolution, Continuity and Change

In this module, you will engage with a broad survey of Russian and Soviet history. Beginning with the emancipation of the serfs and the roots of the collapse of tsarism, you will go on to look at the revolutions of 1905 and 1917, the civil war and the rise, experience and collapse of Stalinism. You will also consider how social history (including labour history, women’s history and cultural history) has transformed research of Russia and the Soviet Union.

Fascism in the Twentieth Century

In this module, you will study the experience of fascism using the methods of comparative history. As well as Italian fascism and German Nazism, the module draws examples from France, Spain, Portugal, Britain and Romania. It also considers regimes that imitated or embraced elements of fascism (such as Salazar’s Portugal, Franco’s Spain and Vichy France) before concluding by considering attempts to resurrect fascism after the Second World War.

Terror, Consent and Resistance in Nazi Germany

In this module, you will study the relationship between the Nazi regime and the German people, examining in particular the extent to which the notion of a ‘peoples’ community’ put down roots amongst women, workers and youth. The module also questions attitudes towards the persecution of the Jews and other ‘social outsiders’ and further considers ‘resistance’ and problems of measuring it.

Land of Hope and Glory? Britain since 1900

In this module, you will be reminded that at the beginning of the twentieth century, Britain was the first modern society and the first superpower - a Land of Hope and Glory. This module will go on to explore the changing nature of Britain's role in the world during a period that saw the rise and fall of empires, the two most devastating wars in history, Europe divided, and power shift steadily from the global north to the global south.

‘Isolation to Domination’: the United States of America, 1914-1945

In this module, you will study some of the most important themes and events in American history between 1914 and 1945. Topics covered include: the emergence of the US as the dominant Western power, internal political and economic reform, and related social and cultural matters. The module will ask you to reflect on how these events helped to shape both the modern USA and the world.

The Cold War

In this module, you will study the origins, course and consequences of the Cold War, the conflict which dominated international relations for nearly half a century after the Second World War. Key topics include the historiographical debate surrounding the origins of the conflict; local Cold War hot wars such as Korea and Vietnam; and the Cold War within the Cold War, the Sino-Soviet split.

Year 3

Independent Study – 10,000-word research dissertation

In this module, you will undertake a formal, long-form independent dissertation project, entailing detailed analysis of primary and secondary sources, one-to-one supervision with a qualified member of staff, and significant independent study. You will submit a topic proposal in the spring of your second year, and consult with staff from then onwards about the nature and scope of your chosen research area.

Roman Frontiers: Life and Interaction at the Edges of Empire

In this module, you will examine historical and archaeological materials and perspectives related to the frontiers of the Roman Empire and cultural interactions within and beyond the edges of the Roman world, with a particular emphasis on northern Britain. Rather than focus on the Roman military and its fortifications, this module emphasises emerging themes of frontier life and communities, including across traditional Roman/native and military/civilian divides.

From Norsemen to Normans, 911-1106

In this module, you will discover how and why historians have long fascinated by the Normans – not least because of the quantity and quality of the historical writing that celebrates their achievements and their magnificent architecture. Although 1066 is a date that looms large in British history, the Normans also settled in other areas of Europe. This module considers the principal ideas, approaches and debates that inform historians currently researching the Normans in Normandy, England and Southern Italy c.911-c.1106.

King Stephen, Empress Matilda and the Anarchy: The Anglo-Norman Dominions, 1120-54

In this module, you will study some of the major aspects of the civil war between King Stephen (reigned 1135-1154) and the Empress Matilda, a period often described as ‘the Anarchy’. Themes explored include the causes and consequences of the civil war; the fate of English power in Northumbria and Normandy; the role of the Church and disputes over the election to bishoprics; the activities, loyalties and ambitions of major barons; and the forces and influences that helped to restore peace.

Queens, Maidens and Dowagers: Women in Medieval England

In this module, which draws on chronicles, letters and records, you will reflect on the diverse nature of women’s experiences in medieval England. The module investigates the roles open to queens, aristocratic ladies, peasant women, townswomen, anchoresses and nuns in an era when women were widely regarded as the weaker of the two sexes. Topics covered typically include the impact of the Norman Conquest on women, queenship, royal daughters, estate and household management, religious devotion, and women at work.

From Richard II to The Wars of the Roses: Politics and Society, 1377-1509

In this module, you will study the history of England during the fifteenth century, particularly the causes, course and consequences of the civil wars known as the Wars of the Roses. It assesses the crisis of kingship occasioned by the Lancastrian revolution of 1399 and the characters of the men who sat upon the English throne in that period. Political turmoil in England is set against the context of social and cultural change throughout late medieval Europe.

Crimes, Courts and Social Protest in Early Modern England

In this module, you will study the structure and functioning - in theory and in practice - of the English criminal law and its courts in the early modern period. You will study primary sources associated with pre-trial investigation as well as prosecution in court. Popular and elite perceptions of crime are also considered as are examples drawn from popular crime literature. Riot and disorder is also addressed.

The Stuart State: Britain, 1603-1714

In this module students will study the development of the Stuart State through civil war and revolution, and consider the roles of the Monarchy, Parliament and the Church in seventeenth century politics. Key topics include the reign of Charles I, the causes and impact of the English Civil Wars, the Cromwellian Protectorate and the Restoration. The legacies of civil war will be examined in the formation of political parties and the regime change of 1688-9.

Poverty, Prostitution, Plague: The Problems of English Society, 1600-1800

In this module students will study the social and cultural history of three powerful ‘problems’ central to life in England, c. 1600-1800. The module examines the history of welfare, sexual cultures, and medicine in a bid to recover the lived experiences of a broad majority of England’s population. Key topics include: early modern mental illness, transgressive sexuality, roguery and counterculture, and the English poor laws.

The Russian Revolution, 1917-21

In this module you will study the Russian revolution of 1917, the civil war of 1918-20 and the initial years of Soviet government. The focus will be on primary sources with a key aim of developing your appreciation of the methods used by historians in evaluating and analysing historical material, and the way in which historiographical debates are conducted with reference to primary sources.

'The Troubles': War, Rebellion and Loyalty in Ireland

In this module you will study the main elements and development of the Irish Question from the nineteenth century. Topics include the home rule crisis; the impact of the Great War; the 1916 Easter Rising; the Anglo-Irish and Irish Civil Wars 1919-23; the battle between the British state and the Provisional IRA in Northern Ireland; Loyalist paramilitaries; and attempts at finding a solution to the ‘Troubles’ including the Peace Process and the negotiation of the ‘Good Friday‘ Agreement.

War and Revolution in Vietnam, 1930-1975

In this module, you will study the origins, course and consequences of one of the most violent conflicts of the twentieth century. While the US war of 1965-1973 will feature strongly, the module also seeks to understand the conflict in its wider international context, and to give the Vietnamese, both northern and southern, a prominent place in their own story.

The Global Sixties

In this module, you will discover that ‘Sixties’ - stretching from the late 1950s to the early 1970s - remain a powerful myth. In the last few years, however, historians have begun to question the nostalgic take on the era that is fed by TV shows, historical novels, and fashion revivals. This module explores from a global perspective why, where and when the Sixties ‘happened’. The Sixties offers a way of addressing key questions regarding democracy, cross-border exchange, memory, and identity.

A Superhero History: Truth, Justice and the American Way

In this module, you will be introduced to a new interdisciplinary area, comics studies. Through engagement with this area, you will be able to track and consider changes in American society from the 1930s to the present day and how superhero narratives have operated as both a means of representing change and a space through which audiences have been able to negotiate it. You will consider social, political, economic, cultural, and legal developments that informed narratives and society.

In Search of the Past: The Meanings of Heritage

In this module, you will explore the past through the idea of ‘heritage’ as it appears in history and culture. Topics covered will include antiquarianism, heritage tourism and travel writing; the development of museums and their collections; the formation of national heritage bodies in the Twentieth Century, popular culture and heritage in the age of global media; archaeology and its popular appeal. The rich heritage of Kent will supply examples, case studies and field trips.

The History team takes very seriously your future employability, advising and encouraging you on career choices. Employers value the skills that a History graduate brings with them, including the ability to discern the vital from the less important in a mass of data, to analyse and think critically, to problem-solve, and to express themselves lucidly and cogently both on paper and orally. Our graduates have gone on to work in a wide variety of areas including print and television journalism, business and management, industry, advertising, law, armed forces, local government, archives administration, public administration, finance, education, museums, heritage and leisure.

"Since graduating, I have worked in marketing roles for a consumer magazine publisher, a top digital agency and now, for an international television channel. My History degree has equipped me with a wide range of capabilities that have been required in both my current and past employment; I am able to express myself clearly when writing reports, agency briefs and evaluations; I can assess and sympathise with the viewpoints of others in both meetings and at events; and I can accurately disseminate documents as well as find and capitalise on opportunities. So all in all I would recommend a History degree at Christ Church to anyone who wants to leave University with a plethora of work based skills!"

Laura Jones 


The 2017/18 annual tuition fees for this course are:

Full-time £9,250* £11,000**
Study Year in North America £1,385 (Additional costs apply for studying in North America) N/A
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

*Full-time courses which have a Foundation Year 0 will have a 2017/18 UK/EU tuition fee of £6,165 in Year 0.

**Tuition Fee Scholarship discounts of £1,500 are available to eligible overseas students. Visit the International webpages for further information.

Please read the 2017/18 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2017/18 tuition fees and year on year fee increases

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Composition of the course

History modules are usually delivered through a variety of lectures, seminars and workshops. Module tutors also hold regular office hours, when you can drop by informally to discuss the module or your assignments, and all staff are also available by appointment for longer discussions e.g. to provide feedback on your coursework. The amount of time you spend in class will vary depending on which modules you choose. A module which involves fieldtrips to historic sites may result in comparatively more contact time than a module which is campus-based. You will be expected to spend the ‘non-taught’ portion of your week in self-study, whether completing assignments or preparing for your workshops and seminars. Your module tutor(s) will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities that you will be expected to complete before lectures or seminars. If you opt for the independent study in year three, you will conduct independent research under the supervision of a member of the History team, and will be expected to meet with your supervisor on a regular basis for one-to-one tutorials.

Academic input

The full-time History team is extraordinarily well qualified and includes four Professors (one in medieval history, one in early modern history, and two in modern history) who are fully engaged in the undergraduate teaching programme. Beyond this, all members of permanent History staff possess a Doctorate, while even our sessional support lecturers either possess or are studying for a Doctorate. Postgraduate students sometimes assist in delivering aspects of some modules, but the vast majority of lectures and seminars are taught by our most experienced academics.

History modules are assessed by a variety of methods but principally by written examinations and/or coursework. The coursework component typically involves essays, presentations, portfolio assignments, and/or VLE-based projects.

While the History course does not in itself require anything in the way of specialist facilities, it is worth pointing out that the Canterbury campus is modern, attractive and up-to-date in its teaching and learning resources, and that these broad ‘facilities’ help generate an on-campus atmosphere that is both friendly and conducive to study.

BA (Hons) History with Arts and Humanities Foundation Year

This course can also be studied over four years with an additional foundation year (Year 0) for those without the formal entry qualifications. The foundation year is designed to provide you with the grounding you need to progress on to the degree. Find out more.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Admissions Enquiry Team:

Email: admissions@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel:+44 (0)1227 782900


Contact our International Team

Print or share this page

Connect with us

Last edited: 27/04/2017 16:48:00