also available in 2017
A Level Requirements
see all requirements
see all requirements
Full time 3 Year(s)
Develop your critical abilities within a vibrant department of like-minded students and expert scholars.
On this course the core first year module is designed to extend and deepen your knowledge of the past and introduce you to major historical topics and themes from the ancient world to the present day. You will gain insights into how historians conduct research and interpret the past and develop your own research, essay-writing and presentational skills.
Many History students choose to take additional, specialised modules on topics ranging from the fall of the Roman Empire to histories of violence and empire in the modern world.
In your second and third years you design your own degree, focusing on the themes, periods and nations which interest you the most, with options that include British, European, American, Asian and Middle Eastern history, from the eighth century BC to the twentieth century.
The Department of History is a thriving centre of historical teaching and research. Our undergraduate programme scored 95% overall satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey and our research environment was ranked 100% world leading or internationally excellent in the most recent Research Excellence Framework. The work of our Regional Heritage Centre puts us at the heart of the local historical community and enables us to offer a pioneering range of placements, with partners such as The National Trust, Cumbria County Council and The Duchy of Lancaster.
A Level AAA-AAB
IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.
International Baccalaureate 36-35 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects
BTEC Distinction, Distinction, Distinction
Access to HE Diploma 36 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 9 Level 3 credits at Merit to 30 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 credits at Merit
We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.
Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of Lancaster's degree programmes are flexible, offering students the opportunity to cover a wide selection of subject areas to complement their main specialism. You will be able to study a range of modules, some examples of which are listed below.
An introduction to the discipline, Lancaster’s first-year History core course offers a fascinating survey of the last fifteen-hundred years. The course focuses on pivotal trends and events in European history, but it encompasses regions of wider world as distant as California, India, Japan and the South Pacific.
You’ll become familiar with a wide range of primary sources used by historians in the writing of history. You’ll gain insights into how historians conduct research and interpret the past, and will therefore better understand the reasons for changing historical interpretations.
In the process, by undertaking directed reading, by independent research, by attending lectures, by participating in seminar discussions, by working sometimes in a team, and by writing and receiving constructive feedback on what you have written, you will develop your study techniques and other transferable skills.
The long chronological range and types of history covered by the course will extend your intellectual and historical interests and enable you subsequently to make informed choices from among the many historical options available to you in Part 2, either as a History Major student or as a Minor.
This module is an introduction to the systemic and episodic violence that characterised Imperial British authority during the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will begin by exploring recent debates about British imperial history and British identity. Has Britain ignored its imperial past? Should Britain apologise for its Empire and, if so, to whom? Subsequent seminars will look at the ways in which violence was normalised as inevitable and necessary during imperial endeavours. The specific topics for lectures and seminars include slavery, genocide, anthropology, photography, imperial sexualities, rebellions and counter-insurgency. The module will draw on examples and analysis from a range of geographic areas: the Translantic, South Asia, Australia, East Africa, North Africa and the Caribbean. The final week will return to Europe’s late-colonial twentieth century and discuss Aimé Césaire’s argument that European fascism represented the return of imperial violence to Europe.
This module combines social, political and military history, and will give you the opportunity to examine some of the current debates concerning the nature and evolution of the Great War, in particular the emergence of 'total war', using certain conceptions of mass industrialised warfare, especially after 1915.
You’ll focus on the Western Front and compare and contrast not only the nature of constantly evolving warfare on the battlefields but also include the so-called 'revisionist' arguments about the wider conflict, examining the unwelcome and unwanted national mobilisation forced upon Britain, France, and Germany and the many different consequences for these three war-fighting societies.
To conclude, you’ll examine the postwar building of memorials and the emergence of new socio-cultural dimensions for the three 'total war' societies.
Britain underwent radical change in the early modern period. In 1500 England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland were insignificant nations on the fringe of Europe. Out of the change came the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland', now a world leader on many fronts: for example, democratic government, religious pluralism, a consumer society and cultural achievements that rivalled France in art, science and philosophy.
This module will enable you to explore how groups of people who were not part of the traditional ruling elite came to exercise more power and control over their lives, and thus played their part in shaping modern Britain.
You’ll also develop an understanding of the periodisation of, and differences between, the medieval, the early modern and the modern, and you’ll develop familiarity with recent historiographical approaches to the period, notably those that emphasise underlying commonalities.
Ever since the English historian Edward Gibbon wrote his ground-breaking work The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in the late eighteenth century, the question of caused the loss of the Empire’s western provinces and the transformation of its eastern half into Byzantium has preoccupied historians. They have identified much relevant data, but they continue to disagree as to what happened to the Empire between the third and the seventh centuries AD and why. For some historians the barbarian invasions of the late fourth and fifth centuries were crucial, but others have argued that they merely finished off a society that was already in deep moral, social and/or economic decline. For some historians the Empire’s ‘decline and fall’ was a disaster; but others have maintained that the Empire never regressed, that the foundations of medieval (and even modern) civilisation were forged in the cultural ferment of the later rather than the earlier Roman Empire, and that the barbarian takeovers in the West made little difference to the lives of those who lived there. An introduction to this exciting period of history, this course invites you to discover what really happened and to assess the theories and interpretations that currently command historians’ support.
What is ‘good’ history, and what is ‘bad’ history? What should historians do in theory, and what do they do in practice? Why, moreover, does history matter? This module offers you the opportunity to think through these fundamental questions, and it invites you to think critically about the nature of the discipline of history – its good practices and its bad practices, its methodologies and different genres, its relation to both past and present, its limitations and its opportunities. The module is organized around a set of broad themes, including history and context; sources and evidence; and history and the public sphere. Each of these themes is explored through carefully selected case studies. The topics covered in these case studies varies from year to year, but their purpose is to sharpen your awareness of the varied nature of the discipline of history and the ways that historians ‘create’ history when designing and writing up their research. To this end, the case studies usually explore the scholarly standards that inform the ways historians research, reference, deploy and assess their evidence and source materials. These case studies are accompanied by weekly introductory lectures that address the broad themes of the module.
HIST251 is designed to make you more aware of the processes you have to follow to define a research topic for yourself, whether an essay question or a dissertation; locate it in its field; test its viability; and scope available sources. To help you prepare for your dissertation, you will construct detailed research proposals; conduct a feasibility study; present your preliminary findings; and respond to feedback from professional historians. It is taught through lectures in the Lent Term; a Dissertation Conference early in the Summer Term; consultation sessions in the Lent and Summer Terms; and Moodle-supported independent learning. The lectures introduce you to the variety of geographical and temporal possibilities for your dissertation; support your engagement with primary and secondary sources; emphasise the significance of titles; and discuss how to hone your research proposals and prepare for the months of independent research ahead. The Dissertation Conference (held over two days) enhances the relevant skills you will need to conduct independent research. Staff offer a range of skills sessions and Third Year students share their experiences of writing a dissertation.
By what means was Indian independence seized from the British Empire in 1947? This module explores opposition to British rule in India from the end of the nineteenth century until 1947 when colonial India was divided to create the nation states of India and Pakistan. In particular, we will explore the modes of resistance that emerged from the Indian freedom struggle and in particular, the role of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Gandhi transformed the Indian National Congress, an organization that had been founded in 1885 as a loyal and moderate organization. Gandhi created a mass movement that challenged the colonial state in extraordinary ways. British rule in India gradually lost credibility and struggled to find the means of maintaining control in the face of massive resistance to its right to govern India. You will explore Gandhi’s philosophies of personal restraint and political resistance to the injustices of the colonial state. You will also trace the emergence of religious politics in India during this period and the increasing pace of communal conflict, in particular Hindu-Muslim antagonism. What was the role of the colonial state in firing communal anxiety? Did Gandhi’s political ideas allay or encourage the conflation of political action and religious identity? The course ends with the partition of India, the largest migration in history and a process in which over one million people lost their lives, and the event that led, in 1948, to Gandhi’s assassination by a Hindu fundamentalist.
After a brief survey of the main events leading to the declaration of war and the invasion of Poland, this module allows you to explore resistance and collaboration in countries that were first occupied in 1940, namely, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Holland and the Netherlands. The transition between active collaboration to increasing resistance is next traced through Vichy France. The module then moves to the Eastern and Mediterranean fronts where the resistance was more effectively organized. The countries studied in this segment include Yugoslavia, Greece, and the USSR (Belarus, Russia, Baltics and Ukraine). Lastly, you’ll examine countries that were first part of the Axis and eventually switched sides from 1943 onwards (Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania). Special attention will be given to the treatment of Jews, the Holocaust and the difficulties of coming to terms with what remains a contested past. Besides political documents, you will engage with photography, posters, films, documentaries and personal memoirs.
This module gives a broad thematic overview of the history of Germany in the twentieth century. Few country’s histories have been more tumultuous over the past two centuries than that of Germany. Rapid industrialisation, varied federal traditions, revolutions, the launching of and defeat in two world wars, responsibility for war crimes and genocide on an unparalleled scale, foreign occupation and re-education, and political division for four decades have made German history, and the ways in which Germans have remembered it, contentious and of broad public concern. In few countries have visions of the nation's history been so varied and contested, and few peoples have created and faced such challenges when confronting their 'transient' or 'shattered' past. In order to provide a thematic focus, this module will examine in particular the reasons for the rise of National Socialism, the character of National Socialism, and the difficulties of the Federal Republic of Germany to deal with its difficult and contentious past, that is the attempt at 'coming to terms with the past' (Vergangenheitsbewältigung).
This course explores the period known colloquially as the English Civil War and the Interregnum, bounded by the traditionally-accepted dates that allow for a discussion of the causes of war and the final collapse of constitutional experimentation. It will look at the controversies which have whipped up successive generations of historians; at the birth of a republic in England; the role of Scotland and Ireland, the rise of the gutter press, and the birth of modern political campaigning; (in)famous characters such as ‘Freeborn’ John Lilburne and the radical preacher Praise-God Barebones; ask if Oliver Cromwell was a dictator, a king or a saviour; and explore the trial and execution of a king whom many believed was the Lord’s anointed and the fount of all justice.
Islam is deeply set in world history and the roots of many debates and issues in the modern Middle East can be traced back over a long period. This module provides an introduction to many such questions by offering an overview of the political, cultural, religious and social history of the main Islamic lands of the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Syria and Iraq/Iran covering roughly the first five centuries from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the Crusades.
You’ll develop an understanding of the diversity and fluidity of both Muslim identity and the nature and priorities of the early and developing Islamic community, and you’ll also engage with key debate regarding the source material on the period, both literary and artistic.
In particular you’ll explore Islam's place in Late Antiquity; the rise and fall of the caliphal dynasties of the Umayyads and Abbasids; the evolution of political and religious authority; the cultural and political position of non-Arab converts to Islam; the impact of non-Muslim influence on politico-religious debate in Islam, as well as sectarianism and the rise and fall of key dynasties in North Africa, Egypt, Syria and Iraq.
The module addresses the history of United States involvement in Vietnam beginning with the emergence of the Cold War and US support for the French colonial regime in the 1950s and the structure of US strategic thought during the period from 1945 to 1975. It goes on to address the advisory period, military escalation, the air war, the use of counter-insurgency strategy, Vietnamese Communist strategy and political organisation, the US antiwar movement, and debates about the war in the media and Congress. Using a variety of materials including photojournalism, soldiers' narratives and film, you will examine pro- and anti-war propaganda, public opinion and the perspectives of those who fought on both sides. The module considers the international and domestic political repercussions of the US defeat in Vietnam.
The Dissertation (HIST300) is a module that progresses from the methodological understandings acquired in Second-Year courses.
You will write a 10,000-word dissertation exploring a challenging historical problem. While, in many cases, we expect that the topic chosen will arise from courses you are studying, it should also be possible to accommodate topics which do not have a direct bearing on your taught courses. The aim is to give you the opportunity to work in depth on a topic of your choice, and to gain the satisfaction of working independently and of making a subject your own. Research for dissertations will usually combine work on secondary literature with the use of primary sources (in translation where necessary). You are expected to demonstrate knowledge of the wider historical context of the subject being explored by including a critical review of relevant published work and to show an awareness of the limitations of primary sources used.
Many writers have described the years of unprecedented historical change that surrounded the turn of the twentieth century as a time of 'cultural crisis'. This interdisciplinary module in US cultural history explores that so-called crisis through the close reading and analysis of a variety of important written and visual texts, including fiction and non-fiction, architecture and urban design, painting, photography and cinema. Course themes include: technology and culture, labour and capital, imperialism and the 'myth of the west', immigration and urbanisation, celebrity and consumer culture, reform politics, the Great War, and cultural modernism.
This module will explore how objects defined as ancient, beautiful or ugly, antique, artistic or collectable reflect the history of British Imperialism in South Asia. From the end of the eighteenth century, European scholars and bibliophiles were fascinated by Indian landscapes and objects. Sculptures and architecture could be described as beastly and regarded as dangerously erotic or they could be lauded as worthy of emulation. The pursuits of art history and archaeology were used to justify the necessity of foreign power in India. Antiquities were classified according to religious and chronological divisions, separating 'Buddhist', 'Hindu' and 'Muslim' materials. Museums and Art Schools were established to teach western aesthetic mores and technologies. By the end of the nineteenth century, Indian artists and art historians rejected these understandings of Indian art and art was used to challenge the colonial state. The course will familiarise you with a range of sculptural, painted and architectural forms from India and the changing interpretation of those objects. The objects we will explore date from the third millennium B.C. to the 1940s.
This module explores the origins of modern ‘consumer society’ in Britain, introducing you to an exciting and innovative new field of historical research. In the hundred years from the abolition of advertising tax in 1853 to the birth of commercial television in the 1950s, advertising became a ubiquitous feature of modern capitalism. You will examine the causes and consequences of this process of commercialisation using a variety of primary sources, from press reports, novels, and cartoons, to business archives, social surveys, and, of course, the advertisements themselves. You will explore the changing relationship between people and their possessions, new retail environments, including the department store and the supermarket, how advertising has shaped modern gender identities, and how ethical consumerism was pioneered by the co-operative movement. Advertising is political, and you will also see how it helped Britain win two world wars and market the Empire to its own people. You will learn how advertisements work by designing your own advertising campaign in a particular historical context. You’ll never look at shops or advertisements in the same way again.
With its invention of democracy, the grandeur of the Parthenon, and the drama of Aristophanes, the Classical period in ancient Greece is often said to be the ‘Golden Age of Athens’. This module investigates religious, social and cultural life in ancient Greece in the Classical age, paying particular attention to how the Greeks negotiated relations with their gods, and how Greek religion interacted with politics, culture and other categories in the historical process. Major themes include Athenian democracy, gender identity, archaeology of sacred space, monumentalisation of the Greek past, deification of kings, dedicatory practices, divination and other means of communication with the divine.
The labelling of the Second World War as the People’s War in Britain draws attention to the importance of the men and women who waged it. With the blurring of the Home and Battle Fronts, the conventional gender contract in which men fight to protect the vulnerable at home and women keep the home fires burning was challenged, not least by the revolutionary act of conscripting women to the war effort. In this module you will examine how the Second World War was experienced by a wide spectrum of British men and women, some of whom identified with the war effort, some of whom were deliberately excluded, or chose to challenge gender conventions in their choice of role. You’ll consider different categorisations of experience (military/civilian; home front/ battle front; male/female) and explore whether there was a hierarchy of service and subsequently of remembrance. Were gender roles in Britain really transformed by the exigencies of war? Through a wide range of written and visual sources, including autobiographical materials, poems, photographs, films, parliamentary minutes, newspapers, posters and cartoons, we will seek to understand individual and collective experiences of the war, and their gendered dimensions.
Despite the title, this module explores a breadth of issues that preoccupied the educated elite of seventeenth-century England. We look at religious, political, intellectual, social and economic and intellectual factors affecting the emergence of the ‘new natural philosophy’ in England. One of the most debated questions in the history of science is whether there was a ‘Scientific Revolution’ in early modern Europe. Mid seventeenth-century England underwent profound change, and makes an ideal test case. The achievements of Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke and Isaac Newton (“the last magician”) provide intriguing evidence, as do more co-operative ventures such as the founding in 1660 of the Royal Society and the earlier efforts of radical Puritans. Can we connect changes in thinking with the political crises of the English Civil War, The Restoration of the Monarchy, and the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688? (We can!) What were the roles of religious conflict and of England’s emergence as a modern capitalist society? (Big!) The course begins with overviews (helpful for those new to the subject) of the developments we will study. It goes on to consider what we might mean by a revolution in thinking, and examines four leading historical explanations. We turn to the influence of Francis Bacon and his New Atlantis, his vision of a pious scientific utopia. We ask whether he inspired Royalists like William Harvey, Cromwellians like Samuel Hartlib and, later, the moderate Fellows of the Royal Society like Robert Boyle. Recent reassessments of Boyle and Newton as alchemists lead us to ask how new was their “new philosophy” or “new science”. Likewise, although The Royal Society is a prestigious institution today, how did it fare when first founded by Charles II, and did it produce useful knowledge and inventions of the kind foreseen by Bacon?
This module focuses on the phenomenon of 'Stalinism' in the USSR, but seeks to understand it by cutting across the usual chronological boundaries, in order to understand both its origins and its lasting consequences. The first set of seminars examine the origins of Stalinism by exploring the vexed question of whether earlier patterns of hierarchical authority and a poorly developed civil society in Tsarist Russia can in any useful sense be seen as factors in shaping post-revolutionary developments (in effect interrogating the old cliché that Stalin was a ‘Red Tsar’). The next set of seminars then examine the 1920s, not so much in terms of ‘Stalin's rise to power’, but rather in terms of seeing if that process was merely one outcome of a range of possible outcomes following the death of Lenin. The third set of seminars - the largest part of the module - examine the nature of Soviet politics and society during the time of Stalin's rule. Extensive use is made of diaries and memoir accounts to investigate the texture of ordinary life under Stalin (including the experiences of those in the gulag). This material is used to break down conventional assumptions about the nature of Stalinism by showing the extent to which everyday life continued even in a society marked by high levels of violence and terror. The final set of seminars then examine the 'shadows' of Stalinism in the USSR and Russia, by seeking to understand why both Stalin himself and the mythologised 'Stalin era' continue to exercise a degree of popular appeal on contemporary Russia. Students will engage throughout the module with a range of primary sources (memoirs, diaries, posters, propaganda films, etc). Each seminar will revolve around a defined set of secondary and primary sources.
In this module you will study the content, character and function of Nazi propaganda as it was presented in film. The films will be used to understand how National Socialism tried to sell its messages, ranging from the ideal of a harmonious national community, national strength and a militaristic attitude, to anti-Semitic hatred, the commitment to total war and relentless fanaticism. You will also study the retrospective presentation of the Third Reich in film ranging from the struggle to come to terms with a difficult past to the financially successful marketing of history. This will show both a wide variety of perspectives on National Socialism as well as the function such representations serve at the time they are articulated and visualised. The module thus enables you to explore the challenges and opportunities films provide as historical sources in trying to understand the past.
The Vikings inspired both fear and fascination in medieval times, and they continue to exercise a powerful hold on the modern imagination. In this Special Subject you will explore the Viking Age in the Irish Sea region and the Isles. The course ranges from the first Viking raids to the creation of the kingdom of Man and the Isles, a ‘sea-kingdom’ that encompassed numerous islands. The course offers you the chance to develop a sophisticated understanding of textual sources as well as non-textual material. You will gain a grasp of political history, and you will also have the opportunity to study the economy, culture, ethnicity and gender. The field is flourishing, and exciting new finds such as the Silverdale Hoard continue to refresh our understanding of the period. You will have access to plenty of secondary literature, but there is scope for developing original interpretations by studying the primary material. There will be some focus on the prolific evidence from north-west England, including artefacts in local museums and impressive stone monuments. You will participate in two field trips to sites and museums (you should set aside approximately £35.00 for local transport). The local evidence will be set in the broader context of Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the North Atlantic.
Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster visit our Teaching and Learning section.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
Our graduates have a number of career paths open to them, including journalism and publishing, marketing, PR and retail management. Core skills including independent research, critical analysis and effective presentation have enabled recent graduates to gain roles with major employers including Marks & Spencer, Santander, BskyB and Sainsbury’s. The interdisciplinary research methodologies, critical analysis, organisational and writing skills developed over the course of our degrees can lead to career destinations including business, marketing, the media, publishing, the Civil Service and the public sector. Many of our graduates decide to progress to postgraduate studies with us or other institutions, often entering into research and teaching positions.
Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, but that you also graduate with relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2018/19 entry fees have not yet been set.
As a guide, our fees in 2017 were:
Some science and medicine courses have higher fees for students from
the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. You can find more details here:
Lancaster University's priority is to support every student to make the most of their life and education and we have committed £3.7m in scholarships and bursaries. Our financial support depends on your circumstances and how well you do in your A levels (or equivalent academic qualifications) before starting study with us.
Scholarships recognising academic talent:
Continuation of the Access Scholarship is subject to satisfactory academic progression.
Students may be eligible for both the Academic and Access Scholarship if they meet the requirements for both.
Bursaries for life, living and learning:
Students from the UK eligible for a bursary package will also be awarded our Academic Scholarship and/or Access Scholarship if they meet the criteria detailed above.
Any financial support that you receive from Lancaster University will be in addition to government support that might be available to you (eg fee loans) and will not affect your entitlement to these.
For full details of the University's financial support packages including eligibility criteria, please visit our fees and funding page
Please note that this information relates to the funding arrangements for 2017, which may change for 2018.
Optional field trips may be offered on this course for which students will be required to pay their travel costs.
Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews.