History BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAA (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
ABB and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

two students talking in the library

You’ll have the flexibility to explore a wide range of new historical topics and then develop your own areas of specialism and expertise. You can explore a range of issues and themes, from the fall of the Roman Empire to the 21st century, spanning across the globe.

Core modules will give you a firm foundation in historical skills and ways the past is researched. You can also choose from a wide selection of optional modules to explore periods and societies that really interest you. From medieval to modern, explore a wide range of approaches and topics, from decolonisation to the history of everyday life.

At the School of History, our tutors are experts in a broad range of areas – and this research will inform what and how you learn. We also have top-class facilities, including one of the biggest university libraries in England.

Leeds has excellent resources for historians, especially primary sources. The world-class Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and printed material in its Special Collections ranging from the 13th to the 20th centuries. 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;

  • and the Liddle Collection of personal papers from thousands of people who lived through the First and Second World Wars.

You’ll get to explore and handle these, and other, primary sources in your modules. The University Library offers comprehensive training programmes to help you make the most of the facilities we have.

Take a look around our libraries:

Brotherton Library
Laidlaw Library
Edward Boyle Library

Brotherton Library Reading Room

Course details

Year 1 is about your transition to degree-level study. A core module provides you with opportunities to develop and broaden your historical awareness, so you can flourish as a Leeds history undergraduate whatever you have studied before. In year 1, you’ll also choose from option modules in medieval, modern and global history that give you a good grounding in historical periods and themes. All of these make use of primary source material, developing research skills you’ll use for the whole of your time at University and beyond.

Once you’ve built that base of knowledge and skills, you can choose optional modules across year 2 to help you focus on the social, cultural, political or economic themes that suit your interests. You’ll study at least two modules in the modern period and two from earlier times, but you can really tailor your degree to suit you.

By year 3, you’ll have a clear idea of how to apply what you’ve learnt to a special subject, focusing on a specific topic in-depth based on primary sources. You’ll also put your knowledge and skills into practice when you research and write a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

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.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read History BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Exploring History 20

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

Module Name Credits
Faith, Knowledge and Power, 1500-1750 20
The Medieval World in Ten Objects 20
Medieval Lives: Identities, Cultures and Beliefs 20
Global Empires 20
Global Decolonization 20
The Making of the Twentieth Century 20

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

Module Name Credits
Sin in Spanish America, 1571-1700 20
Medieval Romans and the shape of Afro-Eurasia today 20
Britain and the Industrial Revolution 20
Imperial Germany 1871-1918 20
Hands on Heritage 20
The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union, 1921-1993 20
Bass Culture in Modern Britain 20
Lost Colonists: Failure and the Family in Southern Africa, 1880-1939 20
The Popular Caribbean: A History 20
Black Politics from Emancipation to Obama 20
Histories of Black Britain 20
American Business History 20
Mao Zedong and Modern China, 1949-Present 20

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
History Dissertation 40

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

Module Name Credits
Hands on Heritage 20
Dividing India: The Road to Democracy in South Asia, 1939-1952 40
The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 40
Body, Mind and Senses: The Social and Cultural History of Disability in Britain, 1833-1998 40
Black British Culture and Black British Cultural Studies 40
The Soviet Sixties: Politics and Society in the USSR, 1953-1968 40
The Photographic Age: Photography, Society and Culture in Britain, 1839-1945 40
War, Regicide and Republic: England, 1642-1660 20
Early Modern Media: Printing and the People in Europe c.1500-c.1800 40
Mapping the Middle Ages: space and representation from the Pacific to the Atlantic 20
White Africans: Intimacy, Race and Power 40
Georgians at War 40
The Later Elizabethan Age: Politics and Empire 40
The Korean War 40
Gender and Slavery in Latin America, 1580-1888 20
Medieval Women Mystics: Visionaries, Saints and Heretics 20

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

We use a variety of teaching and learning styles, including lectures delivered by our expert tutors as well as seminars and group work. Independent study is also an important element of the course, allowing you to develop your research and analytical skills – and we have a wealth of resources from our libraries to computing facilities to help you develop as an independent learner.

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.

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, on field trips, archive visits, and museum handling sessions.

The University offers a variety of tailored support for historians; 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.


Assessment methods vary depending on the modules you choose. Alongside exams and essays modules include group work, oral presentations, source commentaries, annotated bibliographies, book/literature/historiographical reviews, blog postings, Wikis, podcasts, and other methods. We offer plenty of support, including the chance to attend extra classes on issues such as exam technique, public speaking and structuring an essay if you need them.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA

Other course specific tests:

When 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 AAB 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. An interview and a piece of written work are required.


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

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, D3, M1

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall with 17 at Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H2, H2, H2

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AA in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or A in Advanced Highers and AAABB 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: 85%

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 an alternative 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 alternative admissions.

Access to Leeds is an admissions scheme which aims to encourage applications from specific groups of potential students. These include students from low income households, those whose parents did not attend university, those from schools or postcodes that meet specific criteria relating to levels of participation in Higher Education, and those who have had their studies disrupted or delayed in some substantial way. Upon completion of the Access to Leeds programme, a typical Access to Leeds offer is ABB.

Find out more about Access to Leeds.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

If you would like to study arts, humanities, and cultures at university, but don't currently meet the typical entry requirements for direct entry to a degree, you might be eligible to apply for the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year course.


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: £9,250 (per year)

International: £22,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 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 international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

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 about additional costs.

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.

Katrina Honeyman scholarships

All international students who are offered a place on our BA History or BA International History and Politics courses will automatically be considered for a Katrina Honeyman scholarship. These scholarships are awarded in recognition of outstanding academic performance.


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 Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of History

Contact us

School of History Undergraduate Admissions

Email: historyug@leeds.ac.uk

Career opportunities

A degree in History from Leeds will equip you with valuable skills that prepare you for a range of different careers. You’ll be able to think critically and analyse information, asking the right questions and communicating your findings both verbally and in writing. Independence, self-motivation and initiative are also among the skills you will develop, so graduates from History at Leeds are highly regarded by employers.

Our 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. Our career-related modules will help you develop your employability, while your personal tutor and the University’s Careers Service will work with you as you 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

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.

Student profile: Emma Roberts

The course is extremely diverse and you have access to some of the country’s best academics who are renowned in their fields.
Find out more about Emma Roberts's time at Leeds