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 studying abroad at an institution overseas. In the past, students have had opportunities to study at institutions in North America, South America, and in Ireland, as well as other locations.
- UCAS code
- Full-time: 4 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2018
- London, Bloomsbury
- Applications per place
- 5 (2016 entry)*
- Total intake
- 200 (2018 entry)*
- History required.
- 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
- 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:
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 Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades A*AA - AAA, including History.
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.
Spend your third year of study abroad. In recent years institutions have included the Catholic University of Chile; the University of Texas in Austin, USA; the University of California, USA; University of Leiden, the Netherlands; University College Dublin, Ireland; the University of Toronto in Canada; and the University of Sydney in Australia.
Drawing upon UCL History, related UCL departments and relevant University of London colleges, the programme offers a wide variety of modules 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.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: History.
- 82% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
A short video with more information.
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In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 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 1.0 credit 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 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 modules. 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 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 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 modules offered throughout the University of London.
Teaching is delivered via lectures, seminars and one-to-one tutorials. 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)
Concepts, Categories and the Practice of History
You will select 2.0 credits of optional modules, including at least 1.0 credit from a wide range of options in History. Options may include:
The Near East 1200-336 BC: Empires and Pastoralists
Europe in the Early Middle Ages, 400-1000
Britain and the Wider World, 1878-1982
Building the American Nation: the United States 1789-1920
History and Politics in Latin America c. 1930 to the Present
Remaining credits can be selected from another approved interdepartmental or intercollegiate module.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Research Seminar (5,000-word research project)
During the spring term students will participate in the Study Abroad Preparation Programme, the successful completion of which is a prerequisite for progression to the year abroad.
You will select 3.0 credits of optional modules, including at least 2.0 credits from a wide range of options in History. Options may include:
Britons Abroad: The British Experience in Continental Europe, 1689-1800
Queer Histories in Britain 1880s-1980s
The World on Film: Cinema History 1895-1929
Templars, Heretics, Hermits and Antipopes
African Cities - Past and Present
Up to 1.0 credit can be selected from another approved interdepartmental or intercollegiate module.
Year abroad key information
Students will follow modules over one academic year at another institution in lieu of modules they would have been taking at UCL. For students interested in the Chile exchange, Spanish is required. No allowances will be made for non-native speakers by our partner institutions, so students must be confident operating in the target language at an advanced level. Students will receive guidance for their year abroad and allocation of placements from the department during the autumn term of the second year. Work placements are not offered.
Year abroad: further details
In recent years host institutions for this programme have included:
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Texas at Austin
- University of California
- John Hopkins University in Baltimore
- University of Michigan
- University of Toronto
- Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC-Chile)
- University of Leiden
- University College Dublin
- University of Sydney
Note: students cannot study at an institution where UCL does not have a bilateral exchange set up.
Visit UCL Study Abroad for further details including passports and visas, accommodation, and tuition fees.
Download departmental study abroad information sheet.
Core or compulsory module(s)
You will select 3.0 credits of optional modules, including at least 1.0 credit from a History Special Subject, at least 1.0 credit from History full-year and half-year modules (which may include an approved intercollegiate module) and up to 1.0 credit from another department or discipline. History Special Subject options may include:
Mechanisms of Power: Running the Roman Empire c. 70 BC-AD 275
Antipodean Encounters: Aborigines, Convicts and Settlers in New South Wales c. 1770-1850
A Perfect Dictatorship? State and Society in Mexico, 1940-1982
Between Order and Disorder: Cities in the Late Medieval Mediterranean World
Moving the World: The Automobile as the Fetish of the Twentieth Century
Many of our modules 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 (2013-2015) of this programme include:
- Full-time student, MA in Journalism at Columbia University
- Business Development Analyst, Pitch Book
- Graduate Research Analyst, Miller Research
- Freelance, Writer and Researcher
- Foreign Correspondent, Reuters
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 2013-2015 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
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. 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)
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.
The scholarships listed below are for 2017 entry. Funding opportunities for students applying for 2018 entry will be published when they are available.
- Applications open from February 2018
- £10,416 25/yr
- UK, EU
- Based on financial need
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
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 2018
Promising applicants will be asked to complete and return a questionnaire 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.