Regional and Local History (Distance Learning)


  • Entry year 2024
  • Duration Part time 1 year


This new online programme offers the opportunity for those interested in regional and local history to gain an award from a top UK university that is renowned for its expertise in this field and has significant experience in delivering high quality distance programmes.

Regional and local studies offer a well-defined way to approach important historical themes and techniques. Whether you are interested in rural areas or urban centres, counties or kingdoms, uplands or lowlands, this programme will equip you with the skills, knowledge and confidence that you need to conduct primary research of your own in this vibrant and varied field.

You will build up your knowledge and skills through two taught modules, one rooted in medieval history and one at the dawn of the modern era. These modules will enhance your understanding of a broad sweep of history, develop your critical awareness in dealing with historical scholarship, and improve your ability to interpret various types of historical sources. You will then have the chance to put these skills into practice, with the guidance of a tutor, in an independent research project.

The programme will appeal to anyone who is enthusiastic about History, particularly those who wish to deepen their awareness of the importance of local experience in shaping our understandings of national and international trends.

Programme focus and modules
The programme consists of three modules which are focused on the history of the North of England, ranging from the Viking Age to the Victorian industrial era. However, the skills and contextual knowledge that you should develop through this course are applicable to regional and local studies more widely. The final module is a substantial independent research project with individual support and supervision from your tutor. You can find out more about these modules in the programme structure section. While there are no optional modules for this programme, the independent research project provides the opportunity to pursue your particular interests and carry out your own research, with support from our expert tutors.

How will I study?
You will access a range of fascinating learning materials online and will be able to study at a time and place to suit you. A wide variety of primary sources will be introduced and discussed, for example:

  • medieval texts, including chronicles, legal material and manorial records;
  • later written records such as: parish registers; census tables; tithe records; enclosure awards; agricultural statistics; farm surveys; agricultural reports and commissions;
  • other kinds of sources and evidence such as oral testimonies, place-names and medieval buildings including castles, abbeys and pele towers.

You will be able to discuss the different elements of the programme with other students via text-based discussion through the online learning platform. The online learning platform hosts the learning guidance for each week, links to online reading lists, and a wide range of other resources such as videos. You will be in frequent online contact with your course tutors and other students, and you will receive one-to-one supervision for your independent project.

The flexibility of this programme and the learning format is ideal for people who want to pursue their historical interests around family or work commitments, and is suitable for learners accessing the programme from different parts of the world.

We provide guidance on accessing the materials and using the platform, and technical support is available for anyone who is new to this way of learning.

There may also be the option to take part in seminars at the Lancaster University campus, which are organised around the Regional Heritage Centre’s Study Days. These days are useful and informative, but they are not a core part of the course and you will not be disadvantaged if you are unable to participate. There is a small additional fee for attending study days.

Regional Heritage Centre
The programme is based in Lancaster University’s Regional Heritage Centre, which is part of the History Department. The Regional Heritage Centre promotes and celebrates the rich social and cultural heritage of North West England by engaging with the regional community through a range of events and projects.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in History or a relevant subject

We will also consider applications where you have studied a degree in a different subject, and in some cases where you have not studied at university level.

We know that many of our applicants have had a long break from study of any sort but they have developed their interests through activities such as personal research, membership of a local history society and volunteering at a local museum or other Heritage organisation. We encourage our applicants to use their Personal Statement to demonstrate that they have a genuine enthusiasm for regional and/or local history, and to show that they have the interest and ability to undertake this programme of study.

We would encourage those who are interested to contact us for information.

English Language Requirements

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 5.5 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.

Course structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

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. Not all optional modules are available every year.


Fees and funding

2024 Entry

Part-time home fees: £1,920

Part-time international fees: £3,980

General fees and funding information

Scholarships and bursaries

You may be eligible for the following funding opportunities, depending on your fee status and course. You will be automatically considered for our main scholarships and bursaries when you apply, so there's nothing extra that you need to do.

Unfortunately no scholarships and bursaries match your selection, but there are more listed on scholarships and bursaries page.

If you're considering postgraduate research you should look at our funded PhD opportunities.

Scheme Based on Amount
Based on {{item.eligibility_basis}} Amount {{item.amount}}

We also have other, more specialised scholarships and bursaries - such as those for students from specific countries.

Browse Lancaster University's scholarships and bursaries.

Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2024/2025 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.

The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.

More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.