School of Humanities and Performing Arts

BA (Hons) History with Foundation

Six centuries, six continents: war, sex, faith, beauty, the human experience. It’s all there to discover. But, for some reason, you’ve not submitted your application. You wonder if you’re the type of person who goes to university. Perhaps you don’t have 48 UCAS points or other qualifications. Our four-year BA may be perfect for you.

In your first year, you’ll be equipped with an enabling inter-disciplinary knowledge of the humanities. You’ll acquire a toolkit of skills in a supportive environment, and the confidence to know how to use it. Upon successful completion of your first year, you’ll join the rest of the undergraduate BA (Hons) History community for three lively years of discipline-specific study and inter-disciplinary enquiry that gives you the chance to explore the past and discover your future.

Careers with this subject

The importance of employability is reflected in our pedagogy which offers you access to all the employability initiatives open to students on our BA programmes: skills training; a wide range of internships and placements including paid and volunteer opportunities in sectors including schools (primary/secondary); archives and libraries; heritage sector including museums, NT properties; opportunities to contribute to INK (the English and Creative Writing magazine) and other university publications; work experience opportunities. 

Your personal tutor and University careers advisers will help you reflect on your career aspirations and encourage you to make full use of the extra-curricular opportunities offered by the department, the University and the city of Plymouth, as well as offering guidance on practical skills such as the writing of CVs and interview techniques.

Our students progress to a wide range of careers in, for example, government, public administration, law, accountancy and finance, teaching, marketing, PR and media, museums and the heritage industry, arts management, archival and library posts, graduate management training schemes, and postgraduate study.

Key features

This four-year course is designed to give you the grounding necessary to progress through your undergraduate studies in History, and through the many opportunities we give you,

find the best possible direction to grow your love of learning. 

Your first year will: 

  • welcome you to an exciting and eclectic curriculum which will develop your knowledge of the disciplines of history, English literature, and creative writing while also engaging with lively interdisciplinary enquiry across a wide range of historical periods and literary forms.
  • provide training in all the skills required for a successful passage through your undergraduate study: research, use of digital resources, essay-writing, academic argument, presentations, independent study.
  • introduce you to supportive and accessible academic staff in a welcoming community.
  • immerse you in an academic environment offering a wide range of field trips, access to free cultural events through The Arts Institute, student-led magazines, internships and extra-curricular work experiences.
  • give you access to state-of-the-art facilities, library and learning resources on our city-centre campus.
  • Enable you to find a route for you, whether you are returning to education after a break or if you come with qualifications other than A levels.
  • Be required to attend classes only on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Wednesday mornings.

 

When you join the BA (Hons) History with Foundation, you’ll: 

  • Enhance your career options with a degree that helps you develop highly sought-after analytical and communication skills while you home in on your passion.
  • Gain workplace experience with local public history and heritage sites so you can kick-start your career as soon as you graduate.
  • Plot your own course through the centuries as you take the lead in your research projects and choose areas of study from our flexible range of modules, creating a tailor-made degree.
  • Have the opportunity to join our international exchange programme which gives you the opportunity to travel and spend either a semester or an entire year exploring history with one of our partner institutions in the US or Europe
  • Explore history with your friends and course mates by joining the History Society, a lively and supportive community hosting educational and social events.
  • Discover the most up-to-date ways of studying history through our online history resources including a vast eBook library, and array of online lectures and resources.

 

We’re very proud of our National Student Survey (NSS) 2018 return showing 99 per cent of students found our staff are good at explaining things, and 97 per cent found the course intellectually stimulating.*

Course details

  • Year 0
  • KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, CONFIDENCE

    In your first year, you’ll you acquire the knowledge and skills you’ll need to progress through your studies and become a confident, independent learner. You’ll take four modules focusing on the interplay of history, literature, and culture in the past and the present, examining the historical and literary stories that have shaped our world. 

    The autumn semester contains two discipline-specific 30 credit modules, one in history and one in English and creative writing. The spring semester comprises an interdisciplinary module that broadens out the meaning of the humanities and an independent study project module. All modules will have a strong focus on study skills related to the progression to higher education.

    Entering full-time study can require many adjustments. To help you make the transition, all your classes will take place on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Wednesday mornings.

    Core modules
    • HUM001 Stories that Changed the World

      This module explores the key texts and voices that have changed the ways in which we think and write the Humanities. From the formation myths of the ancient world and the poets of the Renaissance to Imperialism, Marxism and Feminism in the modern world, we will investigate how thinkers, poets and writers have shaped our contemporary world, and the ways in which we study it. The module will have a distinct strand of study skills to assist students in acquiring the tools needed for progression to Higher Education. This module will contain a particular focus on reading, note-taking and essay writing.

    • HUM002 Imagining the Past: Voyages into Time, Space, and Experience

      This module will introduce three concepts central to historical study in the Humanities: Time; Space; and Experience. Students will work with a range of sources to understand how historians engage with the past. With a distinct emphasis on study skills, students will develop the tools needed for progression to Higher Education, with a particular focus on analysing textual materials and essay-writing.

    • HUM003 Writing the Now: Literature, History and Visual Culture

      This module examines the role of the Humanities in the contemporary world exploring the ways in which literature, art, film, media, memory and heritage impact on history and writing today. Students will examine a range of contemporary literary texts as well as visual and media sources and consider the role of technologies in the Humanities. The module will be constructed around the exploration of key themes, for example gender and sexuality, faith, war, and race and ethnicity, using interdisciplinary approaches to identify how they have shaped the Humanities of the 21st century. The module will have a distinct strand of study skills to assist students in acquiring the tools needed for progression to Higher Education. This module will contain a particular focus on collaborative work, presentation skills and the Digital Humanities

    • HUM004 Independent Project

      Students will undertake, with supervision, an individual project. A choice of topics, based upon the specialisms of HPA staff will be provided. It can be an extended critical essay in English or History, or a creative writing project supported by a substantial critical reflection. The module includes a core of taught research skills sessions with an additional focus on work planning and time management.

  • Year 1
  • BROAD SWEEPS OF TIME

    In your second of four years, you'll progress your knowledge of the key concepts of history, studying six modules designed to give you a firm foundation in historical methodology while helping you develop practical skills. You’ll study the subject from a broad range of perspectives exploring developments in world, US, European and British history.

    Core modules
    • HIST401 What is History?

      What is History? ¿ provides an overview of how the discipline of history operates, and looks at some of the key skills associated with the subject.

    • HIST406 America from settlement to Empire

      This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural evolution of the United States from 1492 to the end of the Nineteenth Century.

    • HIST407 World History since 1850

      This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural history of the modern world beyond Europe.

    • HIST409 Fractured Isles: Britain and Ireland 1640-1990

      The module is an introduction to the major themes in political, social nd cultural history of Britain in the period 1640-1900.

    • HIST410 Fighting for Survival: Living and Dying in Early Modern Europe, 1450-1700

      This module introduces students to the political, social, cultural and religious history of Early Modern Europe, 1450-1700

    • HIST411 History Tomorrow

      This module introduces students to the field of heritage studies. It directs attention to how historians do heritage (and history) for an external audience.  It aims to explore the materials and methods used and how they apply to how we understand, interpret and shape how we live with the past today. Students will study a specific topic in history and heritage individually and/or in small groups through problem based learning with an assessment geared towards public engagement.

  • Year 2
  • BEGIN TO SPECIALISE

    During your third year, you’ll have the chance to choose from a range of modules as you develop your historical knowledge and skills. Experience visual, oral, material and archival research – undertaking interviews with living witnesses, examining visual sources and delving into original sources. You can also take the opportunity to study in the USA for up to a year. 

    Optional modules are available this year, but may be subject to change in subsequent years.

    Core modules
    • HIST502 Preparing for Dissertation Research

      This module is designed to prepare students for Level 6 research in History by lectures and workshops that explore key approaches to sources, and practical and theoretical aspects to research in history, before carrying out a small project in independent research. Lectures in the period of the research project will entail an element of choice and also student-generated lectures, based on selection of topics at start of module: with subjects geared to doing research in archives / local studies/ digital resources.

    • HIST522 Talking History, Seeing History: Research Methods in Visual and Oral History

      This module investigates the use of oral, material & visual sources as a means of investigating the past. Also, the contextualisation of historical sources and questions in the wider historiographical literature.

    Optional modules
    • HIST505 Middle Kingdoms: Themes in Early Modern Asia (China, India, Japan, and/or Korea)

      This module introduces themes in early modern Asian history (c.16th-19th centuries). At one level, it explores key questions shaping the histories of the Mughal Empire, the Qing Empire, Tokugawa Japan, and/or the Joseon Kingdom. Building on these questions, it then develops a comparative analysis of selected topics from a trans-regional perspective, an example of early globalisation emanating from Asia's middle kingdoms.

    • HIST506 The European Reformations

      This module is an examination of causes, processes and results of the religious Reformations, Protestant and Catholic, in sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Europe, including the British Isles. Emphasis will be on the evaluation of primary sources and on historiographical debate.

    • HIST509 America Since 1900

      This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social, economic, business and cultural history of the United States since 1900.

    • HIST511 Heritage and Public History

      The module content will examine the theory and practice of the presentation of the past to public audiences. In it, students will examine the creation, nature, use and understanding of heritage and public history, nationally and internationally. They will examine these issues in case studies of historical `sites¿ of different types, to gain a critical awareness and understanding of the theories and controversies surrounding heritage and public history. This is a work facing module, where students will consider the theory and practice of `using¿ `sites¿ of heritage and public history from the point of view of a range of stake holders.

    • HIST513 Royal Navy in the Age of Sail, 1545-1815

      This module examines the royal navy and the development of British naval power between 1545 and 1815. Beginning with the sinking of the Mary Rose in 1545 this module explores changing role of the navy and sea power in defence to the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815. This module also investigates the logistics, technological changes and social history of the navy in this period.

    • HIST515 Other Voices - Marginalisation in Early Modern Europe

      This course explores the ways in which early modern society confronted difference, and constructed its norms and mores. We will consider the role of religion, race, class, and gender in early modern Europe through the study of those groups who found themselves on the outside.

    • HIST517 The Longest War: Britain, Ireland & the Troubles 1949-2006

      This module looks at the complex relationship between Britain and Ireland in the later part of the twentieth century up to present day. It has a special focus on the conflict in Northern Ireland. Students will look the impact of the Troubles on both societies; and study in depth the peace process.

    • HIST519 Tudor and Stuart Britain

      This module examines the political, social and cultural history of Britain from 1485 to 1660, a vibrant and exciting period that witnessed significant developments: the growth of the state; major religious and political upheavals; increased education and literacy; the advent of print and popular politics; exploration and new ways of understanding the world.

    • HIST520 Global Cold War: Politics, Culture and Society

      This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural history of the modern world with special focus on the 20th century and the Cold War.

    • HIST523 The Peculiar Institution: Enslavement in North America, 1619-1865

      This module will examine the ways in which Africans and their descendants responded to their enslavement in British North America and the United States. It will do this through analysing a variety of primary sources and examining key historiographical debates

    • HIST524 From Company Rule to Independence: Colonial India, 1757-1947

      This module explores the major themes that influenced culture, politics and society in colonial India between the middle of the eighteenth century and Partition in 1947. British perspectives on what India was 'really like' and how it should be reformed during this period were central to the development of a broad range of issues, including criminal justice, religion, and medicine.

    • HIST525 Culture and Society. Britain c.1760 -1914

      The module content will examine key selected themes in the culture and society of Britain c.1760 ¿ 1901. In it, students will examine primary sources such as pamphlets, books and visual material, to gain a critical awareness and understanding of aspects of British culture and society in this period which may include the duel, capital punishment, mourning cultures, gambling, popular science, culinary cultures, race.

    • HIST526 Dunkirk to D-Day: The Second World War in Europe

      The module examines the Second World War in Europe and the Atlantic Ocean from 1940 to late 1944

  • Year 4
  • BECOMING A HISTORIAN

    In your final year, you’ll continue to advance your skills working alongside our expert historians in their areas of specialism. With one-to-one support, you’ll benefit from your tutor’s experience and knowledge as you create a piece of independent research on a subject of your choice, based on original research and primary resources. 

    Optional modules are available this year, but may be subject to change in subsequent years.

    Core modules
    • HIST601 History Dissertation

      In this module students prepare the ground and complete a Dissertation of 10-12,000 words on a subject of their own choosing, making extensive use wherever possible of primary historical sources. Lecturing staff provide tutorial support and assistance with research and writing.

    Optional modules
    • HIST604 Piracy and Privateering, c 1560 - 1816

      This module explores piracy and privateering activity in the seas around the British Isles and further afield from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the end of the second Barbary War in 1816. This course focuses on the social history of piracy and privateering, the organisation of pirate society, and the economic impact of piracy and privateering.

    • HIST605 African-American Experience 1890-1954

      Examining the experience of African Americans from Emancipation at the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the Civil Rights movement at the end of WWII.

    • HIST606 The Civil Rights Movement

      Examining the African American struggle for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s.

    • HIST607 Japanese History: from Tokugawa Japan to Hirohito

      This module is an introduction to the major themes of political, social and economic development in Japan in the nineteenth and twentieth century.

    • HIST609 The French Wars of Religion 1558 - 1598

      The module will examine the causes, progress and termination of the French Wars of Religion after 1558. The main topics will be the relationships between Catholic and Protestant, the impact of war on royal authority, the experiences of confessional groups, towns, nobles and peasants, and the resolution of conflict under Henri IV.

    • HIST610 The Irish Revolution 1912-37

      This module examines the political, social and cultural history of Ireland during the period 1890-1937 with particular focus on causes and effects of partition and the nature what is known as the `Irish revolution¿.

    • HIST612 Empire of Law. Ruling the British Empire 1760-1960

      The module introduces the methodology of using law as a window to political and social history. It will deal with legal governance in the British Empire, examining how laws were created, applied, resisted and recast; how law related to powerful ideas and how legal disputes can be used as windows to social changes. The empirical content will focus on the British empire in south and south-east Asia, with frequent comparisons made with Africa and Australia.

    • HIST614 Culture and Society in Britain c. 1760-1901

      The module content will examine key selected themes in the culture and society of Britain c.1760 ¿ 1901. In it, students will examine primary sources such as pamphlets, books and visual material, to gain a critical awareness and understanding of aspects of British culture and society in this period which may include the duel, capital punishment, mourning cultures, Sunday Schools, culinary cultures, race and xenophobia.

    • HIST616 America, the United Nations and International Relations 1945 to the present

      This module provides a detailed examination of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Nations in the management of international relations from 1945 to the present.

    • HIST619 From Unification to Reunification: Key Themes in Modern German History

      This module is an introduction to the major themes of political, social and economic development in Germany, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Themes include nineteenth century revolution and unification, Imperialism and WW1, from the Weimar Republic to Dictatorship, WW2, the FRG and the GDR; and revolution and reunification

    • HIST620 Elizabeth I: The Failure of a Dynasty?

      This module will allow students to explore how Elizabeth I and her regime dealt with the major religious, dynastic, social and international conflicts and challenges of her reign. Students will explore the limits of the Elizabethan regime¿s success, engaging directly with contemporary views, while also considering the subsequent history and mythology of the last Tudor monarch.

    • HIST621 Inter-War Britain 1919-40

      The module examines Britain in the period 1919-40 with an emphasis on Government and politics. The social, economic and foreign challenges facing Britain are examined for their ability to impact on policy and politics.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Hons History with Foundation Programme Specification 2018 19 6435

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

48

Don’t have 48 UCAS tariff points? We will consider ‘non-standard’ applications on a case-by-case basis.

A levels
: minimum of 2 A levels excluding General Studies. (Note these programmes will accept AS levels). 

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: PPP Refer to tutor, however BTEC are usually only considered with another qualification ie A level. 

International Baccalaureate: 24 overall 

All Access courses: Pass a named Access to HE Diploma (e.g. Preferably English, humanities or combined), including GCSE English and Mathematics grade C/4 or above or equivalent.

GCSE English: Grade C/4 or above, if your grade is lower then please refer to the institution for further advice.

We are looking for applicants with good potential including with non-standard qualifications and background, so will consider every application on a case by case basis.

Get in touch with our friendly admissions team on +44 (0)1752 585858 or email us at admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

£500 Humanities Foundation Bursary

We in the School of Humanities and Performing Arts like to reward those applicants who show a significant commitment to studying with us.

Therefore all applicants holding a valid offer for the BA (Hons) History with Foundation Year will be eligible to receive a bursary of £500 which will be automatically deducted from their tuition fees upon enrolment onto the course in September 2018.

How to apply

There are two ways to apply for the foundation course. 

Route 1: applications can be made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code.

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates through this route, please visit the UCAS website.

Route 2: non-standard applications. If you come with other qualifications and/or do not have 48 UCAS tariff points, please get in touch with our friendly admissions team on +44 (0)1752 585858 or email us at admissions@plymouth.ac.uk. 

We will consider all applications on a case-by-case basis. 

International students: Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Not quite got these qualifications, or you bring with you other relevant experience? We will consider ‘non-standard applications’.   

Get in touch with our friendly admissions team on +44 (0)1752 585858 or email us at admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

£500 Humanities Foundation Bursary

We in the School of Humanities and Performing Arts like to reward those applicants who show a significant commitment to studying with us.

Therefore all applicants holding a valid offer for the BA (Hons) History with Foundation Year will be eligible to receive a bursary of £500 which will be automatically deducted from their tuition fees upon enrolment onto the course in September 2018.

Teaching 

The foundation runs over two semesters, each 15 weeks in length. It is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Typically, lectures provide key information on a particular area and this is consolidated through seminars. Some modules will contain practical classes for IT skills. 

There will also be one to one tutorial support, both academic and pastoral, offered by your tutors and Foundation manager. Normally you will receive 8 to 12 contact hours per week but further consolidation takes place through independent study and/or voluntary workshops provided outside formal contact hours. Emphasis is placed on developing confidence and seminar classes will be small to ensure individual needs can be met.

Assessment

Assessment is by 100% coursework. Examples of the types of assessments include: critical essays; portfolios of critical and analytical writing; portfolios of creative writing; evaluation of group presentations; digital media writings such as blogs or wiki posts. 

There will be both individual and group assessment to enable students to practise and rehearse skills and knowledge individually and in teams.