History with a Year Abroad BA

London, Bloomsbury

Spanning ancient, medieval and modern history, our History BA allows you to select modules from an extensive range of geographical regions and time periods from the third millennium BCE to the present day. 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.

UK students International students
Study mode
4 academic years
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme starts
September 2025
Application deadline
29 Jan 2025
UCAS course code

Entry requirements

History required.
English Language at grade B or 6 and Mathematics at grade C or 4.

Contextual offer information

Contextual offers are typically one to two grades lower than the standard offer. Grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including grade 6 in History, with no higher level score below 5.

Contextual offer

Contextual offers are typically one to two grade boundaries (equivalent to A levels) lower than the standard offer. IB Diploma grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

UK applicants qualifications

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

Equivalent qualification

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 33 credits at Distinction and 12 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units. Level 3 units must include elements of History or clearly demonstrated modules with historical approach.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

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.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

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

International applications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

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: ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

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

Course overview

Our modules span over 5,000 years of history, with specialisms in the history of the ancient Near East, the Americas, the cultural and intellectual history of Europe, and imperial and transnational history.

BA History with a Year Abroad includes: 

  • Compulsory modules in the first year.
  • A research project in the second year.
  • At least nine months studying at an overseas institution in the third year.
  • A dissertation and special subject in the final year.

Our modules involve project work, essay writing and active engagement with historical resources designed to encourage creative lateral thinking about the past. You will study key developments in the discipline of history from the ancient to the modern world, develop an understanding of the practice of history, and study the evolution of the discipline from Herodotus and Thucydides to the twenty-first century.

During the year abroad, you will take the equivalent of 120 credits at your host university. Students who wish to attend a non-anglophone university in their third year will be required to take 30 credits in the relevant language in their first and second years.

The flexible programme structure allows you to tailor the degree to match your intellectual interests. Select from various modules spanning an extraordinary chronological and geographical range from within and outside UCL History, including the UCL Institute of the Americas, the School of Slavonic & East European Studies, and other University of London institutions. Subject to availability and eligibility, you can study up to 30 credits a year in modules from another discipline, such as anthropology, archaeology, history of art or a language.

We offer innovative modules that challenge you to think differently about subjects such as war, magic, nationalism, Hollywood films and more! To gain maximum benefit from the chronological range of expertise in the department, we encourage students to take at least one module in ancient history, medieval or early modern history, and modern history.

You will learn in a supportive and inclusive environment. Our first-year curriculum has been designed to support your transition into higher education, introducing fundamental historical approaches and giving you the tools to write, analyse and communicate history.

In addition to UCL’s museums, including the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, studying in London will give you access to some of the world’s premier cultural institutions and collections, such as The British Library and British Museum. You will use these resources as primary source materials as part of the degree, participating in a public history group project in Making History.

What this course will give you

Spend your third year studying abroad. In recent years, partner institutions have included Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Sorbonne Université, the Catholic University of Chile, the University of California, the University of Toronto, and the University of Sydney.

Our world-leading academics bring their research expertise into their teaching, so you benefit from a dynamic curriculum informed by cutting-edge historical research. In the latest Research Excellence Framework assessment, our research was ranked 1st in London and 4th in the UK by GPA.

You will benefit from small class sizes and receive detailed assignment feedback in one-to-one tutorials.

This degree provides excellent preparation for a wide range of careers. You will build a portfolio of highly desirable transferable skills and have access to a dedicated careers support programme, industry connections and alumni network.

Teaching and learning

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).

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in History with a Year Abroad.


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

The first year includes three compulsory modules to develop critical skills and bridge the gap between school and university-level study. You will take at least one survey module of a particular region and period and may choose another survey module or, subject to availability and eligibility, a module from another department.

In the second year, you will take a compulsory research seminar module, at least one further survey module and a module focused on a particular theme. You may also choose an additional survey or thematic module or, subject to availability and eligibility, a module from another discipline.

You will spend your third year studying abroad at an approved institution. Students who wish to study overseas at a non-anglophone university must take 30 credits in the relevant language in their first and second years.

In your final year, you will complete a dissertation and take a special subject module based on a study of original source materials. You will also take two advanced seminar modules and may take a further thematic module or, subject to availability and eligibility, a module from another department.

Optional modules

The Mediterranean World c.800-c.500 BC

The Roman Empire from Augustus to Theodosius I

Empire in Eurasia

Divided Societies: The Mediterranean World in the Age of the Crusades

Compulsory modules

Optional modules

American History in Hollywood Film

Superpower: A Global History of the United States, 1898-1989

Successors to the Habsburgs: East-Central Europe, 1914-1945

Gothic: From High Culture to Subculture

The Great Caliphs, 632-1000 CE

Performance and Social Meaning in Africa

Optional modules

Intelligent Design? Science, Religion and Material Culture 1500-1830

Better Worlds? Jewish Migration and Settlement in Britain and North America

The City of London in the Age of Global Capital 1870-1914

Passages to Jerusalem: The Crusades and the Medieval World, 1095-1291

Identity, Cosmology and the Supernatural in the late Middle Ages

Death and Dying in Ancient Mesopotamia

Your learning

Teaching is delivered via lectures, seminars and one-to-one tutorials. Our approach to learning emphasises active student participation in seminar discussions. 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. All seminar groups are capped at a maximum of 16 students, and final-year dissertation subjects at a maximum of 12.

Each student will engage in 1200 learning hours every year, made up of teaching time (lectures, seminars and workshops), independent study, assessment and feedback.


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


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.


Undergraduate In-person Open Days

Visit UCL in person to explore the programmes we offer, chat with students and staff, learn about student life at UCL and ask any questions you may have. At this year’s event, you will get the chance to explore UCL’s rich and radical history at both our historical Bloomsbury and the new East campuses. You only need to attend one of the two dates, but you are welcome to visit us at both locations. Book your place and start planning your visit on our Undergraduate Open Days page.

The foundation of your career

UCL's History graduates have gone onto to be successful in various occupations, including lawyers, financial advisers, stockbrokers, television producers, diplomats, journalists, bankers, teachers, health service, police, overseas development and academia. (Graduate Outcomes survey carried out by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), looking at the destinations of UK and EU graduates in the 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21 cohorts).


The programme is designed to teach many transferable skills:

  • How to gather and organise evidence,
  • How to analyse evidence and present a structured argument, and
  • How to express yourself clearly, both in writing and orally.

These skills make our graduates extremely attractive to employers across various sectors, including academia, law, journalism, media, creative arts, politics, health and education.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £9,250
Tuition fees (2024/25) £28,100

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 academic year. The UK 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 2024/25 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Additional costs

No additional costs.

In addition, please note that if you study abroad during your programme at UCL, this is likely to incur additional costs. Studying abroad may cost between £200–£1,000 per month depending on where you choose to study. The cost of studying abroad can be difficult to predict as it will depend on your priorities and choices. There is more information available on the UCL Study Abroad website.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding your studies

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 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.

Next steps

Your application

We are looking for applicants who express a genuine interest in studying history and who can evidence independent engagement with the subject. We are interested in hearing your own views and opinions. For instance, if you have undertaken additional reading, tell us what you thought about the topic discussed. Relevant skills include: communication, critical evaluation, creative thinking.

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.


For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

We are keen to attract students from a wide range of backgrounds as this helps us to maintain an intellectually and socially stimulating community. Applicants will typically have studied History, English and related subjects. Studying a language at a higher level is also an advantage.

Got questions? Get in touch

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