History and Philosophy BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2025
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

two students talking in the library

This joint honours course has the flexibility for you to develop your own areas of specialism and expertise so you can shape your degree to suit you. In the process, you’ll develop a range of skills that will stand out to employers.

Compulsory modules in history will give you a firm foundation in historical skills and in the diverse ways the past is researched and understood. You can also choose from a wide selection of optional modules to explore periods, themes and communities that really interest you, from medieval to modern, and from empires and decolonisation to the history of everyday life.

In philosophy, you’ll discover key concepts and topics such as argument construction, moral and political philosophy, the history of modern philosophy, and the nature of knowledge and reality, as well as applied philosophy in topics such as bioethics, race, gender and the philosophy of war and terrorism.

Both the School of History and School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science are large enough to allow you to pursue an impressively diverse range of research interests across both subjects.

Specialist facilities

The University of Leeds has world-class facilities for students of Philosophy and History. The University libraries are among the largest in the UK and offer a course of workshops and webinars to help you make the most of their collections, digital resources and databases.

Take a look around our libraries:

The Brotherton Library’s Special Collections holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and printed material ranging from the 13th to the 20th centuries. You'll get to explore and handle primary sources throughout your degree and the University has excellent resources for historians. Highlights include:

  • manorial records that explore the lives of ordinary people from the 13th-16th centuries.
  • the Leeds Russian Archive; a resource for the study of Anglo-Russian relations into the 20th century
  • the Gypsy, Traveller and Roma collection that spans the 16th century up to the modern day
  • Feminist Archive North that includes local, regional and international feminist newsletters, journals and pamphlets
  • the Liddle Collection of personal papers from thousands of people who lived through the First and Second World Wars

The Special Collections Research Centre has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment and extension, after a generous bequest from the John Victor Bedford Will Trust. This provides new working spaces for individuals or groups and new teaching spaces that feature visualisers and projectors, allowing you to engage with primary sources using the latest techniques. 

Skills@Library offers training courses to help you make the most of the library’s collections, digital resources and databases. In addition, it can provide one-to-one support to taught students on a wide range of topics, including academic writing, research skills, and data analysis.

Course details

A joint honours degree allows you to study the same compulsory topics as students on each single honours course, but you’ll take fewer optional modules so you can fit in both subjects.

Year 1

You’ll study modules in both subjects, which will lay the groundwork for your degree. These will provide you with opportunities to develop and broaden your historical skills and explore different approaches to the study of the past and key issues in philosophy. You’ll have the chance to take optional modules in both subjects and you can also study discovery modules from across the University.

Year 2

You’ll take two compulsory modules that enable you to learn new skills in philosophical method and explore how studying each of history and philosophy enhances the understanding of the other, as well as explore the key issues involved in putting history into practice. You can then choose from optional modules in each subject, as well as discovery modules.

For your optional modules, you’ll maintain a balance across earlier and more recent history, such as medieval and early modern societies, and across the globe from Britain, Europe, and the Americas to Africa, Asia and Australasia, as well as key areas in philosophy such as moral and political philosophy, theory of knowledge, philosophy of religion, or key thinkers in the history of modern philosophy.

Year 3

You’ll be required to take a special subject module that focuses on a specialist area of history. In philosophy, you’ll be able to choose from a rotating list of optional modules that are closely tied to the research interests of academic staff. Some of these modules are currently in the process of revision, but the list below will give you a flavour of what will be available on this course.

You’ll have the opportunity for genuine research-led teaching throughout the degree, especially in your final year. You’ll conduct an independent research project on a topic of your choice in either subject.  If you decide to take a project in philosophy, you’ll have a choice between two different kinds of research project. Both offer you the guidance of an individual supervisor, but one also offers the scaffolded support of an associated module on the topic of your project. The other allows you the freedom to pursue an independent research project of your own design. In history, you could pursue either a final year project which takes the form of an extended essay or one that produces a public-facing output, such as a website, podcast or documentary.

Throughout your degree you’ll develop your skills in argument, critical thinking, research, interpretation and textual analysis – invaluable skills for whatever career you choose to pursue.

Year 1 compulsory modules

Exploring History (20 credits) - This module equips all students with the fundamental skills, techniques, and knowledge to be able to flourish as an undergraduate student of history. You will discover the range of ways that the past is researched, analysed, and presented. You will have the opportunity to explore different approaches to researching the past as well as historical concepts, themes, and debates.

How to do Philosophy (20 credits) - This introductory module offers you a foundation in some of the formal and informal reasoning skills used in philosophy.

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Diverse Histories of Britain (20 Credits)
  • Introduction to the History of Western Philosophy (20 Credits)
  • Faith, Knowledge and Power, 1500-1750 (20 credits)
  • The Medieval World in Ten Objects (20 credits)
  • Medieval Lives: Identities, Cultures and Beliefs (20 credits)
  • Global Empires (20 credits)
  • Global Decolonization (20 credits)
  • The Making of the Twentieth Century (20 credits)
  • The Good, the Bad, the Right, the Wrong (20 credits)
  • Knowledge, Self and Reality (20 credits)
  • Philosophy Meets the World (10 credits)
  • Thinking About Race (10 credits)

Year 2 compulsory modules

Philosophical Method (for joint honours) (20 credits) - This module further develops your philosophical skills to analyse and construct arguments, your ability to identify a philosophical issue or problem and apply that understanding to your other joint honours subject, to develop your understanding of how your two subjects relate to each other.

History in Practice (20 credits) - Through this core module you’ll have the opportunity to deepen your understanding of how history is made and communicated, such as working with archival material, learning digital humanities skills, or exploring heritage and the public face of history. You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a research project that presents your work to a wider audience or to apply what you have learnt across a range of innovative assessment tasks.

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Past Thinkers: History of Modern Philosophy (20 credits)
  • How to Live Together: Topics in Political Philosophy (20 credits)
  • Do The Right Thing: Topics in Moral Philosophy (20 credits)
  • How Do You Know? Topics in Epistemology (20 credits)
  • God, Thought and the World: Topics in Philosophy of Religion (20 credits)
  • Reality Check: Topics in Metaphysics (20 credits)
  • Medieval Romans and the Shape of Afro-Eurasia Today (20 credits)
  • Jewish Communities in Medieval Europe (20 credits)
  • Patient Voices: Medicine and Healthcare in the Middle Ages (20 credits)
  • The Tudors: Princes, Politics, and Piety, 1485-1603 (20 credits)
  • Mughals, Merchants and Mercenaries: The Company Raj in India 1600-1857 (20 credits)
  • Sin and Spanish America, 1571-1700 (20 credits)
  • Black Politics from Emancipation to Obama (20 credits)
  • Lost Colonists: Failure and the Family in Southern Africa (20 credits)
  • Russia under the Romanovs, 1812-1917 (20 credits)
  • The Popular Caribbean: A History (20 credits)
  • Later Victorian England: Politics, Society and Culture (20 credits)
  • The Lucky Country? The Social History of Australia in the 20th Century (20 credits)

Year 3 compulsory modules

Final Year Project (in either History or Philosophy) (40 credits) - This final year project option allows you the freedom to design and carry out a piece of extended independent research with the individualised support of a supervisor with research expertise in your chosen area.

History Special Subject (40 credits)
Typical Examples of Special Subject ‘streams’ or ‘pathways’:

  • History of the Manuscript Book in the Digital Age (40 credits)
  • Popular Belief in the Medieval West (40 credits)
  • The Photographic Age: Photography, Society and Culture in Britain, 1839-1945 (40 credits)
  • Exploration, Conflict and Cultural Encounter in Early European Expansionism (40 credits)
  • White Africans: Intimacy, Race and Power (40 credits)
  • A Revolutionary Century: Resistance, Reform, and Repression in Central America, 1900- present (40 credits)

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Bioethics (20 credits)
  • War, Terror and Justice (20 credits)
  • Philosophy of Sex and Relationships (20 credits)
  • Feminist Philosophy (20 credits)
  • Kant (20 credits)
  • Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art (20 credits)
  • Metaethics (20 credits)
  • Continental Philosophy (20 credits)
  • Ancient Philosophy (20 credits)
  • Philosophy of Language (20 credits)
  • The Body in Australian History, 1788-2007 (20 credits)
  • Apartheid in South Africa: Origins, Impact and Legacy (20 credits)
  • In the Shadow of Franco: Terror and its Legacy in Spain, 1936-Present Day (20 credits)
  • Order and Disorder in Early Modern France: Understanding the French Wars of Religion (20 credits)
  • Gender and Slavery in Latin America, 1580-1888 (20 credits)
  • Colonial Bodies: Life and Death in British India 1757-1900 (20 credits)

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area. This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Our tutors are experts in their fields and their teaching is informed by their own cutting-edge research.

We use a range of teaching methods to help you benefit from their expertise, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. However, independent study is also central to this degree, since it allows you to develop your skills in research and analysis. You'll be able to apply your skills and knowledge in a final year research project on a topic of your own choice.

Academic staff have bookable office hours for advice and feedback, and you’ll also benefit from working closely with your tutors during one-to-one supervision sessions, our personal tutoring schemes, and on field trips (such as archive and museum visits).

The University offers a variety of tailored support for historians and philosophers; the University Library runs free classes and workshops so you can learn how to use them.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


We use many different types of assessment. These include: essays, exams, vlogs and podcasts, online discussion posts, wikis, zines, and blogs, annotated bibliographies, book/literature/historiographical reviews, group work and oral presentations.

At the upper levels, assessments may be student-led, with students selecting their own essay questions or designing their own independent research project.

You'll typically complete an ungraded formative exercise during a module, that serves as a stepping-stone towards your final graded assessment for the module.

There'll also be support on hand. For example, our Library Skills Team provides exam skills training and we also provide subject-specific sessions on essay writing. Teaching staff will be available throughout term-time to talk to you one-on-one about how to get the most out of your assessments. New students will have a suite of study skills modules to help with the transition to University teaching and assessment.

Assessment is not just a way of testing you, but a key way to consolidate your learning on the degree. We design our assessments to reflect the most valuable skills our subjects can teach you – how to construct a well-developed argument, explain complicated ideas clearly, or critically evaluate and interpret historical or philosophical texts. Assessments will provide the means to develop technical and digital literacies, such as designing and editing podcasts/blogs/vlogs/slides.

Not only will these skills allow you to perform well in your degree, but they'll also help you excel in your future career.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB

Other course specific tests:

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be ABB at A Level and grade A in the EPQ.

We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. Contact the Admissions Office for more information. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required.


We will consider this qualification in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M1, M2

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall with 16 at Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or A in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 80%

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Students may be required to purchase core texts for some modules, but our policy is to provide as much as we can through the library and as online texts available to all students.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
School of History

Contact us

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Admissions

Email: artsadmissions@leeds.ac.uk

Career opportunities

You’ll gain a broad base of skills from a joint honours degree in History and Philosophy.

As well as in-depth subject knowledge, you’ll have good research skills and be able to analyse complex information from a range of sources. You’ll be able to construct clear and persuasive arguments, and present and defend them using your advanced communication skills. You’ll also have good organisational skills from juggling two different subjects.

Recent graduates have gone into careers in business, the Civil Service, education, finance, heritage, teaching, publishing, fashion, journalism, law, local government, media, marketing and politics to name just a few.

Read more about Graduate destinations .

We do everything we can to help prepare you for your career. Student-run career groups allow you to get together with other students who share your career goals, while you could also become a peer mentor or apply for one of our paid internships. Or you could take one of our career-related modules to develop your employability or explore your options.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

All University of Leeds students can apply to spend a year studying abroad. It’s a great way to gain an insight into another culture, as well as gaining valuable experience that will look great on your CV.

The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science has exchange links with universities in Denmark, France, Spain, and Greece, along with many other locations.

Some of these global opportunities are taught in English, whereas others require a level of language proficiency. In all cases, language support is available to students beforehand.

There are also opportunities for a horizon year abroad and a summer abroad option.

Read more about Study abroad in Philosophy, Religion and History of Science

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.