History and Sociology BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
VL13
Start date
September 2025
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
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 exciting and challenging joint honours degree will give you the opportunity to study past and present human societies through a combination of historical and sociological perspectives.

You’ll achieve a systematic understanding of the social, cultural, economic and political processes that have shaped human civilisations over time, considering the complexities of class, gender, race and other factors in different societies. This will enable you to build an understanding of the impact of power, resistance, and social change in British, European and global history. This flexible course allows you to develop your own areas of specialism and a range of skills that are attractive to employers.

The course is taught through compulsory and optional modules. Core modules will ground you in key theories and concepts, while optional modules allow you to study the areas of History and Sociology you are most interested in. You can choose from optional modules spanning the early medieval period to the present day and consider some of the biggest social challenges we face in the modern world.

Facilities

The University of Leeds has world-class facilities for historians and sociologists, including a wealth of original archive material and political documents. The University Library Special Collections include the papers of Zygmunt Bauman, a prolific sociologist and writer, and the Gypsy, Traveller and Roma collection that contains documents from the 16th to 21st century.

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:

Brotherton Library
Laidlaw Library
Edward Boyle Library

Skills@Library also offers one-to-one support to taught students on a wide range of topics, including academic writing and data analysis.

The Brotherton’s Library’s manuscripts are held in the Special Collections Research Centre, which 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 texts and sources using the latest techniques.

In your degree, you’ll explore a range of different approaches to sociology in a challenging and supportive environment in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, home to the Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies, the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, and the Bauman Institute.

Brotherton Library Reading Room

Course details

This BA History and Sociology course brings together two academic disciplines to give insights that neither could provide on their own. A joint honours degree allows you to study the same core topics as students on each single honours course, but take fewer optional and discovery modules, so you can fit in both subjects.

Year 1

In Year 1, you’ll study core and optional modules that will develop and broaden your historical skills, as well as exploring different approaches to the past. You’ll also analyse contemporary British society and culture and explore the key issues and concepts in global sociology.

Year 2

In Year 2, you can choose from an impressive variety of optional modules, reflecting the latest research in both subjects. You could focus on major societal challenges, such as climate change, pandemics, disabilities, crime, racial and gender oppression, as well as the evolution of medieval and early modern societies across the globe, or the recent history of Britain, Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australasia. You’ll also take compulsory modules that focus critical skills and practices in both disciplines.

Year 3

In Year 3, you’ll apply the research and analytical skills you’ve developed in an independently researched dissertation, where you can specialise in a subject of your choice. Working closely with an expert tutor on a research-based ‘Special Subject’ module, you’ll focus on a specific topic in which you engage closely with primary sources, as well as optional Sociology modules that showcase the latest thinking in the discipline.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Year 1
Compulsory modules

Making Sense of Society: Reading Social Theory (20 credits) – In this module, you’ll be introduced to several core concepts and theoretical approaches in sociology. While many of us know a lot about society – because we’re an important part of it – the module will give you the ideas and perspectives to turn your knowledge into a useful critical tool.

Formations of Coloniality/Modernity (20 credits) – This module introduces the key debates around decoloniality and what the present looks when we see it as formation of modernity/coloniality. By exploring key themes, classic and contemporary debates in the formation of coloniality/modernity you'll deploy decolonial thought and explore its impact on conventional accounts of the emergence of modern societies in the world.

Exploring History (20 credits) – This module equips you with the fundamental skills, techniques, and knowledge to be able to flourish as an undergraduate student of history. You'll discover the range of ways that the past is researched, analysed, and presented. You'll have the opportunity to explore different approaches to researching the past as well as historical concepts, themes, and debates. This module provides you with the foundation for your historical studies throughout your entire degree. It supports your transition to university-level study through opportunities to engage in the development of the practical skills necessary to study history.

Diverse Histories of Britain (20 credits) –This module provides you with the opportunity to explore the history of Britain afresh. It is an opening into the rich and diverse history of the places, people, and cultures that make up Britain and how they have changed from the medieval to modern periods. Drawing upon the skills and awareness you developed in the first semester, you'll explore overarching 'national narratives', considering who they include and exclude, and why.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Faith, Knowledge and Power, 1500-1750 (20 credits)
The Medieval World in Ten Objects (20 credits)
Medieval Lives: Identities, Cultures and Belief (20 credits)
Global Empires (20 credits)
Global Decolonization (20 credits)
The Making of the Twentieth Century (20 credits)

Year 2
Compulsory modules

Central Problems in Sociology (20 credits) – This module focuses on the main thinkers of importance in the history of the discipline, showing how they have influenced each other and elucidating their main ideas. It’s organised around the themes of social integration; the individual and society; power and social change; and the social basis of culture, beliefs and consciousness. The conversation is brought up to date with a discussion of contemporary sociologists debating the question of modernity and what if anything may lie beyond it. Empirical materials covered include suicide, religion, bureaucracy, alienation and revolution, ideology, power and authority, sexuality, genocide, contemporary risks and the future of democracy.

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.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

State of Emergency: Social science and the COVID-19 pandemic (20 credits)
Australia and the World (20 credits)
The Tudors: Princes, Politics, and Piety, 1485-1603 (20 credits)
Sin in Spanish America, 1571-1700 (20 credits)
Communist Eastern Europe, 1945-89 (20 credits)
Race, Gender and Cultural Protest in the US since 1865 (20 credits)
Histories of Black Britain (20 credits)
Mao Zedong and Modern China, 1949-Present (20 credits)
Sociology and Social Policy Research Methods (20 credits)
Crime, Law and Regulation (20 credits)
Disability Studies: An Introduction (20 credits)
The Sociology of Gender (20 credits)
Crime, Race and Ethnicity (20 credits)
Debates in Childhood and Youth (20 credits)
The Sociology of Culture (20 credits)
Sociology and the Climate Crisis (20 credits)

Year 3

Final Year Project, choose either:

History Dissertation (40 credits) – Addressing a historical problem in-depth, you’ll write a dissertation of 12,000 words based on your own research, utilising primary and secondary sources according to a research method and programme designed in consultation with the supervisor. The dissertation can be written on a topic of your choice, provided it can be supervised by a member of staff from the School of History.

Sociology Dissertation (40 credits) – You’ll independently formulate and research a sociology question, conducting independent research to demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of sociological debates in your chosen topic of enquiry. You’ll evaluate the sociological debates and/or empirical evidence to write an extended piece of work.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)


Dividing India: The Road to Democracy in South Asia, 1939-1952 (40 credits)
The Harlem Renaissance: Black Culture and Politics 1919-1940 (40 credits)
The Third Reich, 1933-1945 (40 credits)
Europe in an Age of Total Warfare (40 credits)
Black British Culture and Black British Cultural Studies (40 credits)
War, Regicide and Republic: England, 1642-1660 (20 credits)
Mapping the Middle Ages: space and representation from the Pacific to the Atlantic (20 credits)
Georgians at War (40 credits)
The Later Elizabethan Age: Politics and Empire (40 credits)
Gender and Slavery in Latin America, 1580-1888 (20 credits)
The Global Vietnam War (40 credits)
Medieval Women Mystics: Visionaries, Saints and Heretics (20 credits)
Quantitative Social Research (20 credits)
Disability and Development (20 credits)
Contemporary Children, Young People and Families (20 credits)
Global Terrorism and Violence (20 credits)
Gender, Technologies and the Body (20 credits)
Ethnicity and Popular Culture (20 credits)
Pacific to the Atlantic (20 credits)

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. Intellectual curiosity and debate are central to both History and Sociology and we will connect you to the latest research and thinking in these fields. Our tutors are also dedicated teachers who strive to create safe learning spaces to ensure everyone can participate.

You'll learn in lectures, seminars, one-to-one tutorials, and by creating and sharing content (such as presentations, posters, blogs, and reviews). As well as meeting other students in lectures and seminars, you’ll also work with each other on field trips and in archive visits and museum handling sessions.

These activities are underpinned by digital technologies that structure your learning and intellectual development. You’ll have the opportunity to produce podcasts, vlogs, digital exhibitions, network graphs, text analyses, timelines, storyboards, maps, and bibliographies using the latest digital tools and platforms. Our online spaces are integrated with in-person teaching activities, allowing you to review lectures, ask questions and reflect upon your learning outside the classroom.

Independent study is also central to this degree and essential for building your skills in research and analysis. Self-motivated learning allows you to develop skills in research and analysis, equipping you with experience in independent working, managing time, and self-awareness. Your skills and knowledge will be applied in a Final Year Project on a topic of your own choice, benefitting from the supervision and advice of an expert in a specialist area of History or Sociology.

Fieldwork

During your time studying History and Sociology at Leeds, you will have the opportunity to engage in research outside the classroom, including in archives and museums (the University’s Special Collections, the on-campus M&S Archives, the West Yorkshire Archives Service, the Leeds Museums and Galleries, and the Royal Armouries). Students will also have the opportunity present their own research at the University of Leeds Undergraduate Research Conference.

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.

Assessment

Informed, relevant and appropriately communicated ideas and analysis, as well as ’real life’ employability skills, form the basis of the assessments you’ll undertake. ‘Take home’ exams and essays are just two of the modes of assessments used in this degree course. Some modules may also include group work, oral presentations, source commentaries, annotated bibliographies, book/literature reviews, blog posts, wikis, podcasts, vlogs, digital exhibitions and self-directed heritage trails as part of the assessment mix.

We offer plenty of support, including the chance to attend extra classes on exam technique, public speaking and structuring essays if you need them. This variety of assessment methods will help develop a range of transferable skills needed in professional life.

Throughout your degree, you will be presented with choices about your assignments, whether it be selecting an essay question, choosing primary sources to analyse, or developing you own lines of inquiry in your Final Year Project.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB

GCSE: Grade 4/C in Mathematics

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.
Please contact the Admissions Office for further information. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required. Grade 4/C in GCSE Mathematics is required.

BTEC

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 overall (16 higher, including 5 standard points in mathematics)

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AABBB overall (AB at Advanced level) OR AAABB (A at Advanced level).

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.

International

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information, contact the School of History Admissions team.

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.

Fees

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.

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.

Applying

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 History
School of Sociology and Social Policy

Contact us

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Admissions

Email: artsadmissions@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

A joint honours degree in History and Sociology equips you with a wide range of skills that are attractive to employers.

With a thorough understanding of some of the key issues faced in modern society, you’ll be a strong independent researcher. You’ll be able to analyse information from different texts and sources, forming your own conclusions and presenting them clearly, both verbally and in writing. You’ll also work comfortably in a team and have strong organisational skills from studying two demanding subjects.

Graduates have gone into a wide range of careers, including social work, the charity sector, the civil service, journalism, law, education and the creative industries. Others have pursued postgraduate study or professional training.

Read more about Graduate destinations.

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

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.


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.