Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2019

History BA

Studying history at UCL gives you opportunities to explore the subject which are unrivalled anywhere else in the UK or Europe. This flexible degree programme offers an exceptional range of modules, enabling you to study ancient, medieval and modern history, from the third millennium BCE to the contemporary world.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2019
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2019
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

History required.
(contextual offer)
ABB (more about contextual offers)
(contextual offer)
A in History
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A score of 18 points in three higher level subjects including grade 6 in History, with no score lower than 5.
(contextual offer)
34 (more about contextual offers)
(contextual offer)
A score of 16 points in three higher level subject including grade 6 in History, no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including History

AAA at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher), including History at Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA, including History.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • Drawing upon UCL History, related UCL departments, including the Institute of the Americas and the School of Slavonic & East European Studies, and relevant University of London colleges, the programme offers a wide variety of courses spanning extraordinary chronological and geographical range.

  • Specialisms of the department include the history of the ancient Near East; the history of the Americas; the cultural and intellectual history of Europe; and imperial and transnational history.

  • The flexible programme structure allows you to pursue your own intellectual passions. You are encouraged to study languages and can take courses in related subjects such as archaeology or anthropology.

  • Exceptional resources, including the British Museum and the British Library, are within walking distance, and other London-based museums and organisations provide unrivalled opportunities for accessing primary source material.


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Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The programme includes three first-year core modules, a further core module and a research project in the second year, and a dissertation, a special subject, and options chosen from a range of full-year and half-year modules in the final year.

We strongly encourage all our students to gain maximum benefit from the chronological range of expertise in the department by taking at least one module in each of ancient history; medieval or early modern history; and modern history.

Beyond these requirements the syllabus is very flexible. You may take up to 30 credits a year from another discipline, such as archaeology, geography, history of art, or a language.

In your second and third year you may choose specialist history courses offered throughout the University of London.

Teaching is delivered via lectures and seminars, and one-to-one tutorials provide personal feedback on essays. All seminar groups are capped at a maximum of 15; final-year dissertation subjects at a maximum of 10.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Writing History
Making History
Approaching History

Optional modules

You will select 60 credits of optional modules, including at least 30 credits from a wide range of options in History. Options may include:

The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the End of the Attalid Kingdom
The Medieval Universe
British History 1850-1990
Building the American Nation: The United States 1789-1920
History of Latin America c.1830-c.1930

Remaining credits can be selected from another approved interdepartmental or intercollegiate module.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Research Seminar

Optional modules

You will select 90 credits of optional modules, including at least 60 credits from a wide range of options in History. Options may include:

Enlightenment and Revolution: Europe 1715-1805
London in the Twentieth Century: From Imperial to Global City
American History in Hollywood Film
Islamic Empires in a Comparative Perspective: The Foundations of Mediterranean Politics in the Age of Crusades
Africa, Decolonization and Internationalism

Up to 30 credits can be selected from another approved interdepartmental or intercollegiate module.

Core or compulsory module(s)


Optional modules

You will select 90 credits of optional modules, including at least 30 credits from a History Special Subject, at least 30 credits from History full-year and half-year modules (which may include an approved intercollegiate module) and up to 30 credits from another department or discipline.
History Special Subject options may include:

Competitive Men: The Politics of Competition in Ancient Greece
Passages to Jerusalem: The Crusades and the Medieval World
Great Britain and the American Colonies, 1760-1776
Che Guevara: The Making of a Revolutionary
Race and Resistance in Black Atlantic Thought

Your learning

Our approach to learning places emphasis on active student participation in seminar discussion (always in groups of fifteen or fewer). Some modules, particularly in your first year, will also include lectures. Essays you write will always be returned to you in individual face-to-face tutorials in which you will receive constructive, personal feedback.


Your work will be assessed by a mixture of examinations and written coursework. Significant weight is given to an extended essay, based on original sources, produced in your final year.


The programme is designed to teach many transferable skills: how to gather and organise evidence; how to analyse it and present a structured argument; how to express yourself clearly both in writing and orally.

UCL's History graduates have excelled in a wide range of occupations, as lawyers, financial advisers, stockbrokers, television producers, diplomats, journalists, bankers, teachers, and in the health service, the police and overseas development programmes, as well as in progressing to further study.


First destinations of recent graduates of this programme include:

  • Analyst, Goldman Sachs
  • MA Politics, Security and Integration, UCL
  • Advertising Account Executive, Blac Agency
  • Business Analyst, Deloitte
  • MA History, UCL

Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2014-2016 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2018/19 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2018/19 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2018/19)
Overseas students
£19,390 (2018/19)

Overseas fees for the 2019/20 academic year are expected to be available in July 2018. Undergraduate UK/EU fees are capped by the UK Government and are expected to be available in October 2018. Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The scholarships listed below are for 2017 entry. Funding opportunities for students applying for 2018 entry will be published when they are available.

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

Each candidate's profile is considered as a complete picture, taking into account your interest in and suitability for the degree, as shown in your personal statement and referee's report, as well as achieved and predicted grades. Your ability to present an argument, evidence of intellectual curiosity and your enthusiasm for and commitment to studying history will also be assessed.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2019


We are keen to attract students from a wide range of backgrounds, finding this helps to maintain an intellectually and socially stimulating community. Applicants will normally have studied History; English or a language taken to a higher level is also an advantage.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.