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Department

of History

STUDY
HISTORY
AT YORK
See the world differently

contents
Welcome

Reasons to study History at York

Experience History

A global dimension

What you will study

10

Our degree courses

12

Studying the past


preparing for your future

14

Teaching, learning and resources

16

The student experience

18

Entry requirements

19

Contact details

a I have really enjoyed my degree in


History at York. I am intending to pursue
a career in Public Relations and my
degree has been excellent preparation,
developing my skills of research,
time management, assessment and
independent study. A
Kirsty
3rd Year, BA History

Back page

Catalan world map:


Estense c1450

Professor
Stuart Carroll

See the World Differently

Study History at York


As historians we study shifting forms of

With more than 40 full-time academic staff,

Our teaching style is centred around small group

economies, societies, cultures, power and faith.

our department is one of the largest and most

teaching. We bring curiosity and enthusiasm into

History challenges you to think about how

intellectually diverse in the UK. Our groundbreaking

the classroom in modules inspired by the expertise

nations or beliefs are formed, how knowledge,

research influences our teaching and means

of the Department. You will have a personal

violence and ideology reshaped societies and

that our courses are distinguished by a vast

tutor to guide you through your studies and the

how civilisations rise and fall. It encourages

chronological range and broad geographic scope

opportunity to study abroad and to learn a foreign

you to bring independent and informed

- from the fall of Rome to the present day and

language.

perspectives to the world and the challenges

spanning the globe from Britain to continental

we face today.

Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa.

By studying History at York, you will become

Being located in the medieval city of York provides

others and communicate clearly. These skills will

part of one of the finest institutions in

you with a beautiful, rich and diverse backdrop

prepare you well for the changing demands of

Europe for the advanced study of History.

in which to study history. York was founded by

todays world and enable you to see it from new

The Department is consistently ranked as a

the Romans, captured by the Vikings and invaded

perspectives.

top ten history department in the UK and top

by the Normans, so you will be surrounded by

50 in the world.

the past with access to an unparalleled range


of buildings, visitor attractions and archival
resources.

We will encourage you to think independently,


use initiative, challenge received ideas, work with

We very much hope you will choose to study with


us at York and we look forward to welcoming you.
Professor Stuart Carroll
Head of Department
University of York

reasons t0 study History at York


l You will be taught in small discussion groups and seminars by
world-class experts, teaching modules inspired by our
cutting-edge research.
l You will be joining one of the largest and most intellectually
diverse departments in the UK with more than 40 full-time
academic staff.
l You can cover a huge breadth of time and geographical range,
from the fall of Rome to the present day spanning Britain,
Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa.
l You will be studying in one of the UKs most historical and
beautiful cities with Roman, Viking and medieval heritage
and archaeology.

Arab Awakening
Post-war
Reconstruction and
Development Unit

Department of History

l You will have a personal tutor to guide you through your


studies and to provide support and advice.
l You will have access to a wealth of resources and expertise,
including libraries, archives, museums and historical buildings.
l You will have the opportunity to study abroad and to learn a
foreign language.
l You will develop a range of transferable skills that are highly
valued by employers, opening the door to a wide variety of
occupations.
l You will become part of the University of York, a member of the
UKs prestigious Russell Group of elite research institutions and
one of the leading history departments, consistently ranked in
the top ten in the UK and in the top 50 in the world.

a I chose History because I loved what


the past could tell me about why I am
who I am, why I am where I am and
where I could be if I just listened to the
lessons of the past. A
Sara Dixon
BA History 1987
Solicitor now running her own
management consultancy in the legal
services and social impact sectors

University of York

Right: Students
participating in field
work at the National
Railway Museum
Below: the National
Railway Museum

Experience
History

York is one of Europes most fascinating historic cities and has provided
the backdrop to major political events for 2,000 years.
The city was founded by the Romans in 71 AD as Eboracum. Following
the Roman retreat, York, or Eoforwic became a centre for Anglo-Saxon
culture and learning. By the ninth century York was a flourishing centre of
Anglo-Scandinavian trade, and the city continued to prosper throughout
the medieval period as the centre of power for medieval kings and
archbishops.
As a student at York, you will enjoy the citys stunning historic remains and
buildings from the Roman, Viking, Georgian and Victorian periods as well
as the iconic York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe.
In addition to the city, the region boasts some of the finest medieval
cathedrals, parish churches and country houses, which are often the focus
of staff and student research projects.
You will also have access to the Borthwick Institute for Archives, one of the
biggest archive repositories outside London, holding collections from all
around the world.
Meeting professionals and enthusiasts from the wide variety of historical
museums and organisations based in the city or joining one of Yorks
vibrant historical societies will literally bring history to life for you as a
student at York.

Department of History

a I really enjoy the way the Department


incorporates the wider resources of the
University and the city of York. Many
of the modules I took have made use
of the Universitys Borthwick Archives
that provide a huge amount of material,
from medieval documents to Poor Law
badges and so much more. Ive had
a seminar in York Minster which was
pretty special and also used the wellresourced Minster Library on a number
of occasions. A
Frances
MA in Renaissance and
Early Modern Studies
(graduate with BA in
History 2012)

The Kings Manor, part


of the University, is
a medieval building
in the centre of York
and a focus of royal
power in the 16th and
17th centuries, as
headquarters of the
Council for the North

University of York

A GLOBAL DIMENSION

We believe that every student should have the opportunity to gain an international experience of
some kind. At York we will open your eyes so that you see the world differently, not only through
your course and the wide geographical range of topics available for you to choose from, but also
through a range of options to study abroad as well as the chance to learn a foreign language.
History with a Year Abroad
As a History student you will have the opportunity to study every region of the world during your
time at York. Our new four-year degree, History with a Year Abroad, allows you to study for three
years at York with an additional year abroad. Students studying for the BA in History will also have
the option of applying to transfer onto the History with a Year Abroad BA at the end of their first
year. You will have the opportunity to study in English or in a foreign language at some of the best
universities in the world in North and South America, Asia and Europe.

Students at the
University of
Sorbonne, Paris

Global Programmes and Erasmus


Both combined and single subject History degree students can apply to study abroad for all or
part of your second year. We offer student exchanges under the Erasmus scheme, which allows
students who are citizens of EU countries to spend part of the year at another European university.
Destinations include: Paris Sorbonne, Aix-en-Provence, Parma, Madrid, Utrecht and Gttingen. In
addition, we have an exciting programme of international exchanges with prestigious universities.
In recent years our students have studied at the Universities of California and Pennsylvania, as well
as universities in Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore.
For full details, visit: www.york.ac.uk/globalyork
Languages for All
Language skills are a tremendous asset for historians: they give you access to a wealth of new
primary sources for your dissertation research, and they open up exciting new possibilities for
Study Abroad. At York we cater for all ability levels. You can develop a language that you already
study, or choose something completely new.
History students have the opportunity to take a language module in their first year. You can
choose from a wide range of languages, including Medieval Latin and Arabic as well as advanced
French and German.
If you enjoy your language study during your first year at York, we can help you to continue with
that language during the second year. Whether you already have a passion for languages, or if
youre keen to get a second chance to learn one, we have options to support you alongside your
History studies and exciting ideas about how you can use your language skills in the final year of
your degree. Added to this, when you graduate youll have another extremely important skill to add
to your CV.

Department of History

For more information, visit: www.york.ac.uk/study/careers-skills/foreign-language

Caludius Ptolemy
Atlas c1480

View of Hong
Kong harbour

a Being able to develop my German


skills through the Universitys
Languages for All scheme was a real
attraction in choosing to come to York.
I am really enjoying the course and
it will significantly help develop my
employability and contribute to my
future career aspirations. A
Nicole
1st Year, BA History

a Studying at Rutgers
University in New Jersey
has been a highlight of my
academic experience. I gained
insight into a different culture
and academic styles, as well
as exciting opportunities
to travel. From chanting at
American football games to
watching the sun set over
the Grand Canyon, there
was never a dull moment!
My experience has helped
me realise how much I enjoy
exploring how nations relate
to each other, which has
shaped how I think about my
future career. A

a The opportunity to attend the


Chinese University of Hong Kong was an
amazing experience. Led by a range of
distinguished academics, the summer
school programme allowed me to
explore different academic disciplines,
including anthropology and foreign
policy. With an international focus, I was
able to work alongside students from
across the world, many who I remain in
close contact with. Despite its size, Hong
Kong offers an incredible amount to do,
whether youre into food, shopping,
outdoor activities or partying. Its one
of the most exciting places in Asia, filled
with some of the loveliest people youll
ever meet. I would definitely recommend
the experience to anyone! A

Rebecca
3rd Year, BA History

Hussein
3rd Year, BA History

University of York

What you
will study

SOME EXAMPLES OF OUR RESEARCH


The Bain Collection, Library of Congress

From the medieval to the modern, the


French wars of religion, the decolonisation
and development of China to the fall of the
Roman Empire, the present day economic
turmoil in Europe and political challenges in
Iran and Africa, you can study a diverse and
intellectually exciting range of topics. At any
one time, we offer well over 100 courses to
choose from, ranging across the history of the
world and through the past 2,000 years.
Our degrees progress from broad to specialised
topics over three years, which helps expand

Christmas shoppers
in New York c1910

your outlook and encourage work in a variety


of fields, introducing themes and approaches
that students will not have encountered

The Americas

Modern Britain

a My research area is social inequality in the

a I teach modern British history and draw

Caribbean from slavery to independence and

on my research interests, which include:

my teaching deals with the question of race

consumerism in Britain and the USA, modern

in the Americas. In the first year, I teach a

British politics and the history of the 1970s.

course on the Harlem Renaissance, an artistic

My current project is a history of shopping

Our teaching modules are informed by some of

and political movement of African Americans

in Britain and the USA since 1899 viewing

the research our staff are conducting at York.

in the 1920s and 1930s. We look at film clips,

shopping as an everyday activity through which

paintings, poems and extracts from novels as

modern identities are forged around issues of

well as speeches from race leaders. My courses

choice, value and taste. A

in the second and third years examine how

Lawrence Black
Professor of Modern British History

before. You will be able to develop your own


areas of historical interest while following core
modules that provide a solid foundation in the
professional and intellectual skills needed for
historical study.

racial inequalities have changed by looking


at unfree labour, plantation slavery, serfdom
in Russia, the Alabama chain gang and sex
trafficking in Eastern Europe. A
Henrice Altink
Senior Lecturer

Department of History

10

Samurai warriors by
Shuntei Katsukawa
c1818

Barbados women c1765


by Agostino Brunias

King Henry VIII

Asia and the Middle East

Medieval History

a My teaching is influenced by my research and

a I am a medieval historian working on the

knowledge of East Asian history. I am interested

monarchies and aristocracies of France and

in the way that concepts and ideas are

England at the end of the Middle Ages. We have

translated and adapted across different societies

to use medieval literature and treatises to shed

to suit very different purposes. For example the

light on the ideas and values of the people that

development of nationalism and national identity

owned them. One of my specialist areas is Joan of

in early modern and modern East Asia, and the

Arc. By understanding her life and beliefs we have

influence they have had on society, culture and

extraordinarily rich information about France in

politics is intriguing. One of my modules focuses

the middle of 15th century. I encourage students

on the role of the Japanese Empire in the making

to think about different sources of information

of the East Asian order, including Korea, China

and whether they merge truth and fiction. A

and Taiwan. A

Craig Taylor
Senior Lecturer in Medieval History

Oleg Benesch
Lecturer in Modern History

University of York

11

Our degree
courses
With such a wide range of subjects to choose from,
led by world-class experts in their field, studying
History at York is a rich and rewarding experience.
All the courses offer the opportunity to research,
analyse, reflect and really get to the heart of how
and why things happened in our history and the
impact they have had on the world.
You can study a single subject History degree, or
choose a joint degree. Joint degree students follow
the same progression as single subject students,
but take half as many modules per term.
We offer the following BA (Hons) degree courses:
l Single subject History
l English and History
l History and Economics
l History and French
l History and History of Art
l History and Philosophy
l History and Politics
l History with a Year Abroad (four-year degree).
Students build on the core modules taught in
the first year, and then choose from options
including medieval, modern and early modern
offerings, British and global subjects and a range
of intellectual approaches and themes in Years
Two and Three.
There is also the opportunity to learn a new
language and to live and study abroad see
page 8 for further details.

Year One

Year two

The first year equips you with the tools necessary for

The second year allows you to focus in greater

degree-level History and provides a foundation for

depth on the events, themes or periods that

subjects and skills needed for years two and three.

interest you the most.

Modules may include:


Making Histories introducing source analysis, approaches
and working methods for the practice of History
Period topics
An intensive introduction to a historical subject. Taught
in seminars by a member of staff, designed to stimulate
your learning and encourage debate.
Topics include:
l Rome: from imperial city to sacred centre
l Shakespeares world
l Violence, miracle and renaissance in

medieval France

l Washington and Napoleon


l Colonial governance in India, 1757 to 1857
l The end of the Cold War.

From Rome to Renaissance the transformation of


traditional societies c400-1650
Citizens, Comrades and Consumers the making of the
modern world, 1650-present
Thinking through History - challenging new ideas on topics
such as vice and virtue, freedom and servitude (This can
be substituted for a Languages for All module.)

You choose two Histories and Contexts modules and


two Explorations modules. These modules pull you
closer into an historical period or problem through
lectures and weekly discussion groups led by a
member of staff.
Module choice is vast and can vary from year to year
but could cover areas such as the end of the Roman
world, the Tudor regime, power and belonging in the
US, sickness and health in early modern England,
Africa and the world since the 1950s and the
economic and environmental history of China.
You will also cover Dissertation Skills which
will help you to develop your research skills in
preparation for the dissertation and teach you how
to use primary materials - this is how to analyse and
utilise historical evidence and information.

Whichever route you take, you will be


challenged, intrigued and surprised.

Department of History

12

Modules are subject to change so please check our website for the
most up-to-date choices. For details on our extensive range, visit:
www.york.ac.uk/history/undergraduate/courses

Year three
The third year is dedicated to advanced, in-depth
historical work.

a The sheer breadth of history that


can be studied at York and the many
opportunities to choose subjects
throughout your degree enable you to
follow your interests as well as discover
new, fascinating areas you may not
have considered studying before. A
Stephanie
2nd Year BA History

a The range of module choice at York


is simply unparalleled. Not only is there
an incredible variety for you to choose
from but the lecturers clearly aim to
make the courses gripping, unusual
and relevant. A
The main component is a Special Subject intensive
historical work using primary materials to study the

Jordan
2nd Year BA History

issues around a historical subject on a wide range of


topics such as the Black Death; Germany from war
to dictatorship; India and Africa since the late 19th
century and the politics of the permissive society in
1960s Britain.
This is supported by modules on Debating Historical
Practice a core module confronting the conceptual
and methodological issues in the practice and use of
history and Comparative Histories, which interrogates
a theme Food, Utopias, Magic across different
periods and places.
You will also write your Dissertation a 10,000-word
original and independent piece of work on a subject or
theme of your choice, written and researched over 12

a I am really enjoying the combination


of engaging, thought-provoking
lectures, and seminars which provide
stimulating and challenging debate with
both members of the Department and
other students. A
Alec
2nd Year, BA History

months.

University of York

13

Studying the past


preparing for
your future

Studying History at York demands a high level of

Once youve completed your degree, you will have a

commitment, tenacity and intellectual creativity.

wide range of opportunities open to you. Over 90%

The breadth and diversity of our courses

of our students achieve upper second or first class

require students to critically analyse complex

degrees and our former students have gone on to

information, challenge and question opinion and

have challenging and rewarding careers in sectors

ideas, and then present arguments of their own

such as law, social work, politics, diplomacy and

in a succinct and compelling way.

government, management, finance, journalism

All these skills are vital for preparing students

Right: Graffiti by
Kaizer, Cairo 2012

and teaching.

to enter todays highly competitive jobs market

Some students choose to remain in academia and

where independence of thought, maturity,

many have developed successful careers in research

team working and communications skills are

both in the UK and overseas, pushing the boundaries

valued highly by top employers.

in the study of history and numerous other subjects.

In addition to acquiring these skills on the


degree, students also have access to a wide
range of extracurricular opportunities, including
careers events and workshops, IT and language
courses. In addition, there are internships,
voluntary activities and community activities
that all go towards your personal development
and prepare you for your future career.

a History contains all the


greatest stories from the
past. Thats why it makes
great television. It informs
everything about the
present. A
Dan Snow
TV Presenter
To see a short film made by Dan
Snow see: www.york.ac.uk/ipup/
events/speakers/dan-snow.html

Department of History

14

Left: Eyes of the


Home Skies by
Clayton Kenney 1943

Here are some examples of just where a


degree in History from York can take you

a At the National Railway Museum, Im responsible for developing exhibitions

a History is an excellent training for the legal

a Since finishing my degree, I have worked as an

and other content for the museum this includes researching story-lines and

profession. The ability to produce a sensible,

intern, volunteered abroad and travelled. I wanted

content, choosing objects and images and writing text. Im also involved in the

reasoned argument, well-crafted and presented,

to experience new and different things before

design of what exhibitions look like, how visitors will interact with the content

that persuades the listener to your point of view

embarking on further study. People often assume

and what they do during a visit to the museum.

its the same skills for a historical essay as for legal

that a History degree gives you two career options:

submissions! Honing your analytical and critical skills

to teach or to just become a historian. A History

in the field of History stands you in excellent stead

degree, however, opens so many more doors than

for the analysis needed in the typical legal case, and

this; the skills you develop are recognised and

communication skills are everything in both History

can be applied across a variety of sectors and in

The structure of the History course at York, which offered the chance to cover
a broad range of subjects, and the strong focus on small seminar groups was
particularly attractive. I also liked the community feel of a campus university,
with the added benefit of being so close to an attractive, historic city.

and the Law. I can honestly say (and do frequently)

numerous fields. It is as an opportunity to shape

I now find that I work best in a team environment, and I think, this in part, stems

that not taking a Law degree did not handicap me

how you think and to develop essential skills that

from participating in seminars where debate and discussion were the major

in any way in my profession and indeed has given

will influence decisions about a future career path

components. The research skills that were an integral part of my degree are, of

me a much broader perspective than many of my

and help make it achievable. A

course, very transferable to my current role, as is the practice of taking a large

peers. A

body of information and distilling it to form a coherent narrative. A

Ed Farrelly
BA History 1987
Partner at DWF LLP, specialising in Employment Law

Ella Berny
BA History 2011
Studying for an MA in History
at University College London

Ruth Leach
BA History 2006
MA Early Modern History 2007
Interpretation Developer at the National Railway Museum, York

University of York

15

Teaching, Learning
and Resources

As well as academic curiosity and genuine

Small group teaching

enthusiasm for History, you will find an energy

We teach through a combination of lectures,

here that is hard to beat. We help you bring

seminars and one-to-one supervisions, but the

history to life, make it relevant and real, and give

majority of our teaching, 66%, is in small groups

you a learning experience that will equip you

or personal tutorials. This rises to 86% in the

with skills and knowledge for life.

third year.

The Department has over 40 full-time academic

Each student has a personal tutor whom they see

staff, all leaders in their field, with interests

on a one-to-one basis at least once a term and

spanning the globe and ranging from the fifth to

who helps guide and support them through their

the 21st

century.

In addition to our Departmental team, students


also have access to the University of Yorks fully
resourced, state-of-the-art library and the
unique Borthwick Institute for Archives, one
of the biggest repositories of archives outside
London. The Minster Library is another invaluable
resource, situated in the historic Old Palace next
to York Minster. It is the largest cathedral library
in Britain containing 120,000 volumes covering
theology, history, art and architecture.
Student satisfaction fact: in the 2012 National
Student Survey the Department scored over
90% student satisfaction for its teaching.
Department of History

16

study and preparations for the future.

a The emphasis on small group teaching here at York encourages students to work
together in the best ways: to listen to and engage others, to appreciate difference and
yet articulate their own point of view, and to work together to think bigger. I find this
makes our students braver intellectually: they are not trying to be right, or to make a
question go away, but to explore new avenues and find new ways into a problem. The
small-group teaching also means I can get to know my students as individuals and can
engage with how they think. A
Dr Sethina Watson
Lecturer

a The breadth of the curriculum at York is hard to beat, and students who take up the
opportunity to study here come away with broad and sophisticated understandings of
the past and also the contemporary world. A
Dr Sabine Clarke
Lecturer

a The feedback from students is that the Department is friendly and unpretentious;
the staff approachable and helpful. Students really benefit from the choice of
modules, which comes from being the largest history department outside Oxford and
Cambridge, and appreciate the opportunity to study with tutors who are passionate
and deeply knowledgeable about the subject. A
Dr Simon Ditchfield
Reader in History and Chair of the Board of Studies

a There is an excellent relationship between students and staff within the Department
of History that fosters a mutual interest and appreciation for the study of history. The
contact time with staff here is of a very high quality and the Department is always
willing to help students. York is a truly world-class institution and I am so glad I chose
to study here. A
Thomas
2nd Year, BA History

Students learning
how to read historical
manuscripts in the
Borthwick Institute
for Archives

University of York

17

the student
experience

The University of York is based at Heslington, on the

cities including London, Edinburgh, Leeds and

edge of the historic city of York, where our colleges

Manchester, as well as the wealth of beautiful

are set in an attractive landscaped campus. It is

countryside and coastline offered in Yorkshire

compact, easy to get around and is a safe, friendly

and beyond.

environment in which to study and socialise.


The campus also offers excellent sports facilities,
including the new York Sport Village.
Youll become part of the Universitys close
collegiate environment. Its emphasis on support
and pastoral care, means youll make friends and
settle in quickly.
York is also one of Britains best connected cities,
offering great transport links to other major

a population of 190,000, it is big enough to


feel cosmopolitan but small enough not to be
overwhelming. It is a friendly place with a diverse
range of shops, galleries, clubs, cafs, museums,
music groups and sports clubs. A place you can
settle into quickly and with something for everyone.
For more information on student life in York, visit
the website at www.york.ac.uk/study/student-life.

The University of York is one of the success

As a member of the UKs prestigious Russell

stories in UK higher education. Recognised as

Group of elite research institutions, we have

the best young university in the UK and eighth

an impressive research profile both nationally

in the world among universities under 50

and internationally, which means that our

(Times Higher Education), 90% of our students

teaching at undergraduate level is relevant

are satisfied with the quality of our teaching

and cutting-edge.

(National Student Survey 2012).

Department of History

18

Life in York is varied, colourful and lively. With

a York is quite simply one of the finest


cities in England. It really is a beautiful
city and the Minster is awesome. There
is bags of culture here, and some
fantastic shopping, and the night life is
good fun too. A
Claire
1st Year, BA History

entry
requirements

We welcome enquiries from all potential History

a I was drawn to York initially because


of the flexible nature of the course and
its chronological breadth. I was also
keen to attend a university with a high
academic reputation and to be in a city
that had an interesting historical past.
York was the perfect choice for me. A

undergraduates.
As well as a passion for History, our entry
requirement is typically AAA at A level (or equivalent),
including an A in either History (any syllabus) or
Classical Civilisation. Please see our website
www.york.ac.uk/history/undergraduate/courses
for details of all entry requirements.
We use your personal statement, exam performance
and the reference on your UCAS form when
considering aptitude for studying History at degree
level. If you are offered a place, you will usually
receive an invitation to visit the Department where

Charter of
Fulk Fitzwarin
c1200,
Borthwick
Institute for
Archives

Sian Barber
BA History 2001
Lecturer in Film at Queens University, Belfast
and author on British Cinema and censorship

you will have the opportunity to meet our staff and


current students.
We welcome applications from mature students who
would like to study History. We take into account any
formal qualifications that you may have, but lack
of them is not necessarily a barrier to admission.
The individual circumstances of all applicants are
carefully considered.
For details of how to apply, see our website at:
www.york.ac.uk/history/undergraduate/courses
or contact our friendly admissions tutor, email:
history-ug-admissions@york.ac.uk

University of York

19

Herman Molls A New Map


of the Whole World with
the Trade Winds c1736

Join the world-leading Department of History at the


University of York, close to the historic city of York. See the
world differently by studying a vast chronological range
from the fall of Rome to the present day and spanning
the globe from Britain to continental Europe, Asia, the
Americas and Africa. Gain invaluable skills for the changing
demands of todays world.
For full details of all the courses available and information
about the Department, please see our website at
www.york.ac.uk/history or the undergraduate prospectus
at www.york.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/prospectus

Contact details:
Please contact our admissions tutor on Tel: +44 (0)1904 322977
Email: history-ug-admissions@york.ac.uk
Web: www.york.ac.uk/history/undergraduate/courses