History students outside Lancaster Castle

First year history at Lancaster

The step up from school to university is exciting but can be daunting. Your first year of History at Lancaster will support you in developing university-level research and writing habits and skills, with academic support available when you need it.

The first year of your History degree at Lancaster will have three components:

  • A core module, ‘From Ancient to Modern: History and Historians’
  • A choice of shorter, optional History modules
  • The opportunity to study a subject in another department

The Core Module

Our core module, ‘From Ancient to Modern: History and Historians’ is taught by a group of our lecturers whose research interests range from Ancient to Contemporary History. This module gives you the opportunity to meet our academics and study a broad variety of topics, often including subjects relating to the histories of Britain, Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East. You'll get a taste of the Histories that you can choose to study in greater depth in your second and third years.

Optional Courses

Our first-year historians can choose from a set of optional first-year modules. These specialised modules include ‘The Fall of Rome’ and ‘Histories of Violence: How Imperialism made the Modern World’.

Another Subject

Finally, you choose a subject in another department. Again, we encourage our students to be bold and try new disciplines that they have not previously encountered.

You could choose a course in Philosophy, Film Studies or Psychology, or use the flexibility of the degree structure to learn a new language or improve your language skills. Some of our students start Chinese, Italian, French, Spanish or German from scratch, or pursue advanced study of French, German or Spanish.

Daisy Lodge
Daisy Lodge

Daisy's view

One of my favourite aspects of the core, first year module was being able to explore areas of history that I had not been taught during school. In particular, one of my favourite lectures was about the fall of the Aztec Empire. I also chose to take a module called ‘Witches, Warriors and Slavers: Exploring the History of Lancaster’ in my first term, and a module called ‘Reform, Rebellion and Reason: Britain, 1500–1800’ in my second term.

I found both of these modules really interesting, and I particularly enjoyed going on a trip to the castle in Lancaster as part of the first module, as it was great to be able to see some of the things we had been looking at in our lectures.

Daisy Lodge, Final-year History student (2022)

Here you’ll find advice from current students and recommendations from our lecturers to help you get ready for your next steps in becoming an undergraduate historian. You can also find insights into some of the historical topics you can explore here at Lancaster.

Preparing for History

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