Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2016

History with a Year Abroad BA

Studying history at UCL gives you opportunities to explore the subject which are probably unrivalled anywhere else in the UK or Europe. This four-year degree combines the flexibility of the History BA programme with the opportunity to spend the third year abroad at an institution in North or South America, or Ireland.

Key Information

Degree Programme
History with a Year Abroad BA
UCAS code
4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2016
Subject area
Total intake (by subject area)
175 (2016 entry)
Applications per place (by subject area)
5 (2014 entry)
Research Excellence Framework
82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Entry requirements

A Levels

History required.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C 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 18-19 points in three higher level subjects including grade 6 in History, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 23-28 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D2,D3,D3 - D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including History

A1,A,A-AAA at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher - AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher), including History at Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma Core with grade A, plus 2 GCE A-levels at grades A*A-AA, 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

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

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

For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.

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

  • Spend your third year of study at the Catholic University of Chile, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA, the University of Texas in Austin, USA, University College Dublin, Ireland or the University of Toronto in Canada.
  • Drawing upon UCL History, related UCL departments and relevant University of London Colleges, the programme offers a wide variety of courses spanning extraordinary chronological breadth 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 transnational history.
  • Exceptional resources, including the British Museum and British Library, are within walking distance, and other London-based museums and organisations provide unrivalled opportunities for accessing primary source material.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The programme includes three first-year core courses, a further core course and a research project of 5,000 words in the second year, at least nine months studying at a foreign institution in the third year, a final-year special subject, and options chosen from a range of full-year and half-year courses. During the year abroad you will take the equivalent of 4.0 credits at your host university.

We encourage our students to gain maximum benefit from the chronological range of expertise in the department by taking at least one course 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 1.0 credit a year from another discipline, such as a language, history of art, archaeology or geography. In your second and final year you may choose specialist history courses offered throughout the University of London.

Year One

Compulsory courses

Writing History
Making History
Concepts, Categories and the Practice of History

Optional courses

You will select 2.0 credits of optional courses, including at least 1.0 credit from a wide range of options in History. Options may include:

Building the American Nation: the United States 1789-1920
Enlightenment and Revolution: Europe 1715-1805
Europe in the Early Middle Ages
History and Politics in Latin America c. 1930 to present
The Near East 1200-336 BC: Empires and Pastoralists

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

Year Two

Compulsory course

Evolving History
Research Seminar (5,000-word research project)

Optional courses

You will select 3.0 credits of optional courses, including at least 2.0 credits from a wide range of options in History. Options may include:

Law's Empire: Legal Cultures in the British Colonial World
Penal Era or Golden Age? Ireland 1689-1801
The Human and its Others: Enlightenment Ideas of Ethnicity and Race
The United States and International Human Rights since 1941
Women in Antiquity

Up to 1.0 credit can be selected from another approved interdepartmental or intercollegiate course.

Year Three

Year abroad at an approved university in North or South America or Ireland

Final Year

Compulsory course


Optional courses

You will select 3.0 credits of optional courses, including at least 1.0 credit from a History Special Subject, at least 1.0 credit from History full-year and half-year courses (which may include an approved intercollegiate course) and of up to 1.0 credit from another department or discipline. History Special Subject options may include:

Antipodean Encounters: Aborigines, Convicts and Settlers in New South Wales c. 1770-1850
Abraham Lincoln and the Crisis of the Union, 1854-65
Great Britain and the American Colonies
Mechanisms of Power: Running the Roman Empire

Your learning

Many of our courses include lectures, but our approach to learning mainly places emphasis on active student participation in seminar discussion (usually in groups of 15). Essays you write will be returned to you in individual face-to-face tutorials to provide 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 (2010-2013) of this programme include:

  • Housing Needs Officer, London Borough of Barnet (2013)
  • Research Analyst, CognoLink (2013)
  • Full-time student, MA in History of Political Thought at Queen Mary, University of London (2013)
  • Associate, PricewaterhouseCoopers (2012)
  • Full-time student of Law at BPP London (2011)

*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 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.

Fees and funding


UK & EU fee
£9,000 (2016/17)
Overseas fee
£16,130 (2016/17)


Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance


Scholarships listed below are relevant to the department. Please read the details carefully to check they are relevant to the degree and your own circumstances.

Cassell and Stein History Bursary - NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY

25,000 over duration of programme
Based on financial need

The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.

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 2016


Promising applicants will be asked to supply further information to help us in determining whether to offer a place.

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