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History BA

Subject area: Politics and History Undergraduate Open Day How to apply
Mode of study

3-year full-time; 4-year thick-sandwich


V100, V101 with Professional Development

Start date


History BA

Placement Offered This course has a Professional Development option


We host online webinars to give you the chance to find out more about our courses and what studying at Brunel is like.

Our recent Politics and History webinar can now be watched here.

About the course

Studying the societies and events of the past will allow you to look at the modern world from a new perspective, to compare and contrast the past and the present, and understand their connection better.

The History programme at Brunel looks at the history of Britain, Europe and the wider world in the modern period which you will explore from a range of historical perspectives, including economic, social, political, intellectual and cultural.


  • You will learn about diverse past societies and cultures.
  • You will develop your own skills in recovering and interpreting historical evidence, in formulating arguments and in developing your own historical perspectives.
  • You will establish your power of independent enquiry, critical analysis and judgement, planning and time management.


Admissions and Course Enquiries
Web: Admissions Enquiries Information
Tel (before application): +44 (0)1895 265599 (Course Enquiries)
Tel (after application): +44 (0)1895 265265 (Admissions Office)
Contact Admissions or Course Enquiries Online

Admissions Tutor: Dr Martin Hansen

Course Content

You can choose from a wide selection of modules each of which may have a discrete emphasis on social, economic, political, intellectual or cultural history, or may weave one or more of these perspectives together.

The BA consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.

Level 1


  • Revolution, Liberty and the Origins of American Democracy
  • What is History?
  • Capital, Labour and Power: Britain 1707-1939
  • History, Memory and Culture in Europe since 1789
  • The Making of the Modern World
  • Migration and the Settler World, 1600-1914

Level 2


  • Historians and their Craft


Choose 5 from the following:

  • US Foreign Policy from World War 2 to the end of the Cold War
  • Issues in American Politics
  • Slavery and Abolition in the Atlantic World
  • The First World War - Causes, Course, Consequences
  • Australia and The Modern World
  • Themes in the History of Modern Africa
  • The State and Revolution
  • The History of Political Cinema
  • History of the Women’s Movement in the West, c. 1790-1930

Level 3


  • Dissertation


  • Psychogeography
  • The Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • Monstrosity in Political Thought and Literature, 1500-1900
  • Globalisation and Governance
  • Empire, Imperialism and Hegemony
  • Media, Politics and Power in America
  • Marx and Marxism
  • Intelligence and National Security
  • Fascism
  • The Second World War
  • The History and Politics of Heritage
  • The British Maritime World, 1660-1815
  • Crisis and Critique

Final Dissertation

Students produce a 12,000 word dissertation on a subject of their choice. This major piece of work, undertaken with the support of a dissertation tutor, will give you the valuable opportunity to demonstrate research and writing skills. It is written on a subject relevant to your particular course of study and may well relate to your future career plans.

Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.

Special Features

  • Ranked third for History in The Guardian University Guide 2014, with only Cambridge and St. Andrews ahead of Brunel in this subject area.
  • You will have the opportunity to study a range of history from Britain, Europe and the wider world.
  • You will have plenty of opportunities to shape your degree programme to meet your own interests and aptitudes.
  • There is a work placement module available.
  • You will receive expert teaching from lecturers who are recognised in their fields.
  • Students have easy access to multiple resources in London, such as national and international museums, galleries, libraries (including the British Newspaper Library) and the Public Records Office which contains a wealth of information on social and economic history in Britain and Europe.
  • The Department has been a long-standing member of the Erasmus exchange scheme and students have the opportunity to spend part of their degree at the National University of Ireland (Maynooth) and the University of Cyprus.

Teaching and Assessment


The influence of scholarship and experience

Students benefit directly, of course, from the expertise and experience of their teachers. All our courses are informed by the research of lecturers who publish books and well-regarded scholarly articles, present papers at other universities and appear in the media, both at home and abroad.

Student support

We are committed to helping you progress confidently through the levels of your degree programme. To achieve this, we devote as much care to your initiation into higher education, both by entry-level courses and study skills teaching, as to the completion of your learning at Level 3.

By your final year, therefore, you will be in a position to benefit from the specialist research-led courses and will be prepared for the research and writing involved in your dissertation.

Study abroad

You will have the opportunity to study abroad at one of several European universities and participate in an exchange programme in China.

How will I be taught?

Lectures and seminars - Modules are generally taught by a mixture of lectures and seminars. Depending on its credit-rating, you can expect to have one or two hours of lectures per week for each module and a one-hour seminar each week or fortnight.

Private study - The bulk of every student’s work, will undoubtedly consist of private study. On average this should absorb approximately 25 to 30 hours of your life each week.


Level 1 does not count towards your final degree mark. Level 2 is worth a third and Level 3 is worth two-thirds. The final year dissertation is worth a third of Level 3 marks.

Exact assessment patterns vary, but most are based on a combination of coursework and formal written exams. Typically, coursework marks constitute 25-50 per cent of overall module grades.


Emphasis throughout your studies will be placed on gaining transferable skills. You will develop your communications, report writing and presentation skills to a sound level, equipping you well for your subsequent career.


Past students have become managers in retail and industry, chartered accountants, chartered surveyors, journalists, police officers, bankers, civil servants, teachers, lawyers, IT and business consultants and researchers, to name just a few areas. Many also undertake further study in order to become specialists in a given field.

Work Placements

You can choose to study either a three-year degree course or the four-year sandwich degree course.

Students on our four year sandwich course (with Professional Development) have the opportunity to gain professional work experience in a variety of settings. We have excellent links with a wide range of external organisations providing high quality placements.

Students develop invaluable skills and in some cases have been offered graduate positions within the organisations where they undertook their work placements.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2016/17 entry

UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year

International students: £14,100 full-time

See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants


The Government has proposed changes to allow tuition fees for UK and EU students to rise by inflation. These changes are currently subject to approval, but if approved, would result in tuition fees of £9,250 per year from 2017/18.

Entry Criteria 2016/17

  • GCE A-level BBB (all subjects considered).
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in a related subject.
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a related subject, with an A-level at grade B.
  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject, with A-levels grade BB.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related subject Access course, with 45 credits at Level 3 with Merit in all units.


5 GCSEs to include Maths at Grade C and English Language at Grade C are also required.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 55% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.