King's has a world-class reputation for the study of History and our graduates have excellent career prospects. The King’s history degree is designed to develop critical thinking and independence of thought about the past, as well as excellence in oral and written communication and argument. Our unrivalled range of options ensures you can choose an exciting programme of study to develop your interests.
Students begin the degree by taking modules offering a broad sweep of history, which deliver an understanding of the context of events over a broad period of time and are intended as introductory level modules. During the second year students’ move on to select more focused options. These modules introduce thematic study across a narrower time period encouraging a more comparative approach to history. Study becomes even more focused in the third year, where students choose a ‘Special Subject’ module which involves studying primary source materials and writing a research dissertation. This specialised approach is balanced by choosing one Thematic Special Subject, in which students think comparatively and theoretically about the different periods and places they have studied in their degree so far.
You will have regular and varied contact with staff and other students in lectures, seminars and supervisions. Most teaching takes place in seminars, which usually have between 15 and 25 participants and are a forum for discussion in which students have the opportunity to hone their discussion and presentation skills. Our first-year compulsory module is taught in small supervision groups of 5 or 6 students, allowing for close discussion of historical texts and sources, and detailed feedback on your written work. If you choose to write an independent piece of historical research in your final year, which can be on any topic, this will also be taught on a one-to-one basis with a tutor. From the beginning of the degree, you will analyse primary sources as well as the writings of historians. We ensure undergraduate students are exposed to many different approaches to history, and encourage you to adopt a comparative approach, looking at the connections and contrasts between different periods and places throughout the degree. The discipline of research and writing is essential to the development of the skills of the historian. At King's, therefore, we require an extensive amount of written work and independent study.
Structure of course and assessment
The King’s History degree lasts three years and each year students normally take modules totalling 120 credits. The degree is assessed through a combination of essays, examinations, presentations, group work and dissertations. Students choose from a wide range of modules, which cover historical topics from Medieval times (c400AD onwards) through to the present day.
In the first year, students choose modules that span Medieval, Early Modern and Modern History as well as taking ‘Historical Skills, Sources & Approaches’, which is taught in small groups. In the second and third years, students select more focused options. All our modules are designed by the lecturers in the department and reflect their own scholarly research specialisms. In the final year, students have the opportunity to undertake a research dissertation on a topic of their choice, working under the one-to-one supervision of a member of staff who is a specialist in the field.
As King’s is part of the University of London, second-and final-year students also have the option of taking history courses at other institutions (such as UCL, and Royal Holloway), which means our students have an unrivalled choice of modules to choose from.
The King’s History programme is unique in its pair of compulsory second-year ‘History and Memory’ modules, where students consider the role of history in the present day, from its social and public uses to the conflicts and controversies it can generate and do so by using London as a real, living source. Field trip teaching on these modules is delivered through downloadable podcasts.
We will assess your progress and attainment on all the modules you choose for the History BA degree through a range of techniques including written examinations, coursework, assessed essays and presentations. You may also benefit from some informal assessment during individual modules to help steer your studies and enhance your learning.
The Department of History at King’s is centrally located on our Strand campus, and is within walking distance of the capital’s famous landmarks, such as the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, the River Thames and the South Bank. London offers unparalleled historical resources, including the British Museum, British Library, Imperial War Museum and National Gallery.
Please note that locations are determined by where each module is taught and may vary depending on the optional modules you select.
All students are offered the opportunity to study abroad as part of their History degree at King's and recent popular destinations include The University of North Carolina Chapel, The University of Auckland and The University of Hong Kong.
Find out more about studying abroad: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/studyabroad