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History BA

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The King's History BA degree programme is designed to develop your critical thinking and independence of thought about the past. We encourage you to adopt a comparative approach to your studies, looking at the connections and contrasts between different periods and places throughout the degree. You will explore topics covered at school as well as some that aren’t, such as the history of friendship in Medieval Europe or Contemporary Africa. An unrivalled range of modules ensures that you can choose a coherent programme of study to match your interests whilst studying in central London. History at King's has a world-class reputation, offering graduates excellent career prospects.

Key benefits

  • One of the best history departments in the world, currently ranked 10th in the UK by The Guardian University Guide (2017).
  • Graduates get top jobs in a wide range of sectors, including law, business, government, heritage, finance and teaching.
  • A wider range of periods and places than most history degrees, from medieval Europe to modern India.
  • Students are taught in a friendly and supportive environment by expert historians.
  • Most teaching takes place in small seminar groups providing the opportunity for students to hone their discussion and presentation skills.
  • Studying in a central London location, you will have easy access to world-class museums, collections and libraries.
  • Students have the option to study abroad at one of our partner institutions in the second year. Current options include University of Sydney, Hong Kong University, University of Auckland and Toronto University.

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Please note: Assessed internship placements are not included as part of this programme. However, King’s Careers & Employability can help you to find a range of different work experience options, including internships, placements and shadowing opportunities.

Key information

UCAS code V100

Duration Three years

Study mode Full-time

Course type Single honours

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

DepartmentDepartment of History



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Course detail


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.

Teaching style

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.

Special notes

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:


Year 1

Currently, students study the following modules shown below. King's reviews its modules on a regular basis, in order to continue to offer innovative and exciting programmes and this list is therefore subject to change. Please check here for updates, or contact the School/department for further advice.

Your first year will comprise the following modules.

Required Modules

Required Modules

  • Historical Skills, Sources & Approaches (30 credits)
Optional Modules

You will choose one module from each of the three following periods:

Medieval History

  • The Making of Britain 400-1400 (30 credits)
  • Medieval Europe 400-1500 (30 credits)

Early Modern History

  • Early Modern Britain 1500-1750 (30 credits)
  • Power, Belief and Culture in Europe 1500-1800 (30 credits)

Modern History

  • Europe from 1793 to 1991 (30 credits)
  • Politics and Society in Britain, 1780-1945 (30 credits)
  • The Worlds of the British Empire, c1730-1960 (30 credits)
  • World History 1870s - 2000s (30 credits)

First-year module descriptions


Year 2

You will study two required ‘History and Memory’ modules in the second year, as well as taking a number of optional modules. You will also have the opportunity to study a modern language in the second year. Details of languages offered are available at Modern Language Centre.

Required Modules

  • History and Memory I (15 credits)
  • History and Memory II (15 credits)


Optional Modules


One Group II module, usually offered at other institutions, from a wide range of options that may typically include:

  • The Black Death in England (30 credits)
  • The Civilising Mission: French Imperialism since 1750 (30 credits)
  • Conflict, Coexistence and Cooperation: South Asia’s International Relations since 1900 (30 credits)
  • War in the Pacific, 1898 to 1975 and beyond: Strategy and Diplomacy (30 credits)
  • The Northern Ireland Troubles (30 credits)
  • A range of Intercollegiate Group II modules offered by our partner colleges in the University of London.

One survey module from a wide variety of options that may typically include:

  • London from the Romans to the Middle Ages (30 credits)
  • History of Feminism (30 credits)
  • Making Americans: Peoples, Cultures and Identities in Colonial North America and the United States, 1500-2000 (30 credits)
  • Faraway so Close: The Middle East since 1800 (30 credits)
  • China: From Imperial State to People’s Republic (30 credits)

Also, you’ll take two further modules from a wide range of options that may include:

  • The Hundred Years War (15 credits)
  • Atlantic Slavery: West Africa & the Caribbean, 1492-1807 (15 credits)
  • Orientalism, Race, Islam (15 credits)
  • Europe in the Second World War (15 credits)
  • Electric Cities: The Experience of Modernity in London, Melbourne, New York and Paris, 1870-1929 (15 credits)
  • Modules offered by other departments in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities

View second-year module descriptions

Second year students also have the opportunity to study abroad for the second semester of the second year. In this case, 15-credit modules are substituted for the 30-credit modules above. Partner universities currently include:

  • University of Auckland
  • Frankfurt (German language required)
  • Hong Kong University
  • University of Melbourne
  • Monash University
  • National University of Singapore
  •  University of North Carolina
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Oslo
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Washington (Seattle)
  • George Washington University
  • University of Salamanca (Spanish language required)
  • University of Bologna (Italian language required)
  • Western University

Year 3

Required Modules

There are no core modules in Year 3.

Optional Modules

You are required to complete the Group III module and its associated 30-credit Dissertation in Year 3 choosing from a wide range of options that typically include:

  • Romans & Barbarians: The Transformation of the Roman West 350-700 (30 credits)
  • The Enlightenment (30 credits)
  • The Experience of Power in Nigeria since 1900 (30 credits)
  • Red, White and Blues: Jazz and the United States in the 20th Century (30 credits)
  • Women & Gender in Early Modern England (30 credits)
  • Additional University of London Intercollegiate Group III modules and associated 30 credit dissertations.

In your final year, you’ll also take an additional ‘Thematic’ module chosen from a range of options that may typically include:

  • Ritual
  • Nations
  • God
  • War
  • Wealth.

Additionally, you can choose either to study second-year modules worth 30 credits or write a free-standing essay of 10,000 words on a research topic of your choice. Again you’ll also have the opportunity to study a modern language in your final year. For details of languages offered see Modern Language Centre.

View final-year module descriptions

Entry requirements


Required grades:


Required grades:

35 points overall and three Higher Level subjects at 666

Required grades:

45 Level 3 credits: 36 must be awarded at Distinction, with the remaining Level 3 credits at Merit

Required grades:

D3 D3 D3

Required grades:

Further information below

Required grades:

Further information below

Required grades:

Further information below

Required grades:

85% overall

Visit our admissions webpages to view our international entry requirements and English language entry requirements.

Required subjects


Preferred subjects



Further information and other requirements

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements

General Studies and Critical Thinking - College policy: Please note that AS/A level General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted by King's as one of your A or AS levels. However, if offered the grade achieved may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has just fallen short of the conditions of their offer

A-levels: AAA including History

Access to HE Diploma: Access to Humanities (or similar) Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits: 36 must be from units awarded at Distinction (including substantial study of History), with the remaining Level 3 credits at Merit.

Cambridge Pre-U: Three Pre-U Principal subjects at D3 D3 D3 including History . Combinations of Pre-U principal subjects and other qualifications (such as A-levels) considered

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF from 2010): DDM with eleven Distinctions and two A levels at grades AA, including History at grade A.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma (QCF from 2010): DM with six Distinctions and two A levels at grades AA, including History at grade A.

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (QCF from 2010): D with four modules at Distinction and two A levels at grades AA, including History at grade A.

Scottish Highers & Advanced Highers: AAB at Higher in one sitting and AA at Advanced Higher, including grade A in Advanced Higher History (we do not count the Higher and Advanced Higher in the same subject).

International Baccalaureate: Pass the IB Diploma with a total of at least 35 points, with three Higher Level subjects at 666 including History at HL6. Note the total point score of 35 includes TOK/EE.


Selection procedure

Application deadline: January 15 2017.

Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees UK:

The UK tuition fee for the 2017-2018 academic year is £9,250 per annum.

Please note that the UK tuition fee may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


Full time tuition fees EU:

Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee.

The UK tuition fee for the 2017-2018 academic year is £9,250 per annum.

Please note that the UK tuition fee may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


Full time tuition fees International:

The International tuition fee for the 2017-2018 academic year is £17,050 per annum.

Please note that the International tuition fee is subject to annual increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

All International applicants to Undergraduate programmes are required to pay a deposit of £2,000 against their first year’s tuition fee. This deposit is payable when you firmly accept an unconditional offer to study with us, and will be offset against your tuition fees when you join King’s.


For further information, please visit our fees and funding pages.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Career prospects for King's History graduates are excellent. Former King's History students have found employment with national newspapers, law firms, civil service, state and private schools, heritage, banking and business sectors as well as in many different universities across the globe.

Prominent King's History graduates include Ronan Bennett (novelist and screenwriter), Janice Hadlow (Controller of BBC Two) and Georgina Henry (Executive comment editor of the Guardian newspaper).

Career destinations

Career destinations

Recent graduates have found employment as:

• Academic Historian

• Dealers’ Assistant, Bonhams

• Research Analyst, Ministry of Defence

• Junior Accounts Executive, Chelgate

• Project Assistant, Heron Evidence Development

• Trusts & Statutory Fundraiser, Crisis UK

• Support Worker, Sense

• Departmental Runner, BBC



Next steps

View our undergraduate prospectus

Learn more about undergraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our prospectus in PDF format.

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Page last modified on 03 February 2017.