Are you interested in studying History as an undergraduate at university? or are you an adult learner looking to get back into the subject? Maybe you’re an A Level student looking to get some extra revision classes in before your exams. Whatever your relationship to history, you’re going to find the course that suits you here.
As you may have guessed, in this article we are looking at the courses on offer here in the wonderful city of Birmingham. However, you may wish to consider courses in the following places too:
While historical events are factual, not all History courses are the same and cover the exact same content. Photo on Foter.com
Birmingham universities offer first class History degrees, as well as excellent study programmes, and historical training. But the nice thing about Birmingham is that it does all these things whilst at the same time offering a strong cultural scene, its own special history, and a lot of wonderful things to do and see.
So, let’s see what the city has to offer.
We are sure you will agree that History is a fascinating and rewarding subject to study, but an undergraduate degree in a social science also offers a number of other positive outcomes that could help you out in life.
Regardless of the type of History course you apply to or the specialization you choose to pursue, any academic History degree will place emphasis on a wide range of transferable skills. For instance, lectures, seminars, debates, assignments and your final thesis will encourage you to broaden your professional communication skills (both written and spoken), while the researching demands of the course will require you to gain general IT skills. Plus, you’ll gain great critical thinking skills and immaculate concentration!
On the subject of research, you will no doubt acquire distinguished independent research skills and will improve on your ability to critique and analyse historical texts and sources in terms of reliability and other aspects. Along with your newfound cross-referencing capabilities, you’ll also be a strong defender and debater and will be in a position to use all of your knowledge to inform your answers. All of these will be invaluable traits in the eyes of any employer, in any profession.
You may opt for completing a general Global History bachelor of arts or master of arts, or you might find yourself pursuing a specific area or age such as History of Art, Medieval History, European History, Latin American History, Egyptian History, Roman History, Environmental History, or Museum Studies, for instance. And, if you love all the historical research, you might end up majoring in History by going down the path of a masters or PhD in one of the subjects.
The fundamental skills you acquire during each of these courses will be key to improving your employability prospects, thus helping you to find jobs relating to your program of study.
With all of the above in mind, some sectors that are well-suited to History postgraduates are:
Many History students have been known to follow a career in Law. Photo on Foter.com
That said, just because you study History, it doesn’t mean that you must enter one of these professions.
Many people choose a subject simply because they enjoy learning about it and don’t know what they want to do with their lives after education, winding up in a different career altogether when it comes down to the crunch.
Take some celebrities, for example, who majored in History but then their lives took a different turn, like Jonathan Ross, Steve Carell and Sacha Baron Cohen. Famous singer Shakira once took time out from a tour to study History for a month at UCLA, dressed up as a boy so that nobody would recognise her! This shows that History is a subject that interests some of the most prominent celebrity figures of our time.
Birmingham is the second biggest city in the United Kingdom, and much like the capital, it provides a second to none diverse community with a vibrant, multicultural and exciting atmosphere.
Birmingham is easily accessible by road, rail, and air. More than 50 different airlines operate scheduled services from Birmingham International Airport to 100 destinations worldwide. Moreover, Birmingham New Street Station (now Grand Central) offers connections to other locations around the country. London is 90 minutes away by shuttle service, with trains every 20 minutes until the evening.
As a prospective student, you may be interested in knowing more about the educational facilities and campuses on offer in this big city among the top UK universities… or you may just want to know what you can do in your spare time! Leisure is a big part of Birmingham’s tourism appeal, and there are many things you can do when you’re not taking history classes or exams during the academic year.
The iconic Bullring is one of the largest dedicated shopping facilities in Europe. In addition, the city offers international Test cricket, top-flight football, International Championship golf and top-class rugby. Birmingham also boasts over 200 restaurants serving up a range of different kinds of cuisine, not to mention the most Michelin starred restaurants than any other English city outside London! (Perhaps somewhere to take the parents when they come and visit with their credit card?!).
On a more cultural note, the heart of Birmingham is dominated by Symphony Hall, an amazing concert venue where you might see some of your favourite performers. The internationally renowned Birmingham Royal Ballet also has its home at the Hippodrome Theatre, adding even more cultural depth to the city. A brand new £189m Library of Birmingham has recently opened too with more than 200 public access computers, theatres, an exhibition gallery, and music rooms. Libraries will come in handy during your three-year course!
Finally, the City Museum and Art Gallery contains a collection of classical and contemporary works and is a great place to visit with guests.
Birmingham boasts a number of Michelin star restaurants, including Adams on Waterloo Street. Photo credit: ell brown on Foter.com / CC BY-SA
Whether your interests lie in the history of war, art, or civilisation, you’ll find something that suits you in Birmingham – and that’s no matter your prior knowledge, career goal, or age. So, if you are more interested in the politics of the twentieth century than the decorative styles of the sixteenth, there needn’t be any reason why you can’t find what inspires you.
Here are some of your best options. But, if your thing isn’t listed here, with some of your own research, we’re sure you’ll find the right thing for you. Here we go!
|Revision Classes in High School History||Try MPW - or the Birmingham Tuition Centre.|
|University Level History||Check out the University of Birmingham or Newman University for their history courses.|
|Adult Education in History||The Birmingham Adult Education Service and further education colleges such as the South and City College Birmingham provide quality adult training.|
|For Everyone||Check out Superprof for tailored private tuition.|
We all know that revision for GCSEs and A Levels – whether for history or for any other high school subject – is never a fun task. And we know that getting as much support, assistance, and guidance as possible is the best way to ensure success in your examinations.
To this end, it is worth considering some of the options available in your city for revision classes – which are designed to help you, just before your history exams, to have the best chance possible to succeed.
And that’s why we’ve put together a list here of some of these options. We hope you find it helpful!
Besides advising you with the best revision and studying strategies out there – to make that history knowledge actually stick in your brain – Mander Portman Woodward will take you through all the key facts, themes, and interpretations that’ll get you where you want to be.
MPW are a group of independent schools in London, Birmingham, and Cambridge, and they have gained a reputation both for their proper, full-time schooling and their Easter exam preparation courses that are open to everyone.
The training they offer is relevant to all exam boards – whether OCR, Edexcel, or AQA – and the teaching is intensive, as you’ll be required to attend full-time over the length of the course you have chosen.
Regardless of the intensity, it’s gonna improve your grades.
A bit of a novel way of doing things is to take a crash course in an A Level subject. This means studying it intensely over your holiday periods.
The Birmingham Revision Centre offer just this. As the name suggests, a crash course is a course which you study intensively, quickly, and it usually fills up the entirety of your time. The BRC suggests that you are going to be in lessons between morning and late evening, and you will be required to complete assessments at this time too.
This one is an option of the brave – or the desperate! But either way, it’s a great opportunity to excel in a subject – and to know it inside out.
If you already know which humanities career path you wish to pursue, then you can start to focus all of your attention on making that happen. And it all starts with picking the right university course and history department! You may have heard that most universities across the country offer History degrees, however, not all of these courses are the same so it is wise to research the course content (i.e. tuition, coursework, thesis) for each before you get too carried away with the admission deadline or settle on a location and accommodation.
University of Birmingham – History BA
“History is not a plain narrative of events. It is an attempt to discover how and why our own world emerged.
Studying History is an exciting chance to investigate global unfamiliar territory and to question some of the myths, preconceptions and prejudices that surround the subject.
Times Higher Education ranked the Department 1st in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise. We are also ranked in the Top 100 in the QS World University Rankings 2018. We offer a wide choice of specialist courses taught by academic staff world-renowned for their teaching and research. The size and quality of the department enables us to offer you a wide range of options across the medieval, early modern and modern periods, and over a vast geographical span.
If you want to study History from both the medieval and modern periods with a global reach and experience a range of historical approaches, then our History programme could be for you.
History at Birmingham is one of the largest and most diverse departments in Britain, with over 30 full-time academic staff operating on an international level. Whatever your interests – whether global, cultural, social, diplomatic, military, political, economic, military or religious history – there is someone in the department teaching your kind of history. Moreover, historians in other departments in the University expand the range of modules on offer, notably in the fields of Byzantine and African history, which broaden your learning opportunities even further.
Much of your first year will consist of the foundational study of core subjects. Choice increases as your studies progress in to the second and third/final year and we encourage you to tailor your studies to suit your own historical interests. You are also able to choose a subject for your final year dissertation in consultation with a member of our teaching staff.”
Newman University – History BA
“This course will give you the opportunity to explore a wider range of periods, themes and approaches to the study of history than you are likely to encounter at other universities. Whatver your interests – political, cultural, intellectual, social, economic, or international – you will study modules that will fire your imagination and open employment opportunities.
In your first year you will take a short introduction to the discipline, which will introduce you to our virtual learning environment. You will go on to study a range of modules focusing on, Medieval, Early Modern, Modern British History and American. You will also be introduced to the ancient world by looking at both Greece and Rome. In your second year you start building your degree to suit your interests and strengths, beginning to take modules which focus on your preferred aspects of history. You will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement which will provide you with valuable and exciting experience within an area you may be considering for a career. As you progress into your third year you will be able to tailor your degree by choosing modules on the historical topics that are of particular interest to you. All our final year modules are taught by expert researchers, currently working in these fields.
History has been taught at Newman for over 30 years. During this time, Newman has developed an outstanding collection of resources, including its own local history archive. Our tutors are recognised as experts in their field, who publish frequently, and feedback from existing students comments on how helpful staff are when discussing individual projects.
You will study a broad curriculum – from Ancient Greece to 9/11. allowing you to study aspects of the history of human society across four millennia.
You will benefit from our strong links with regional museums, heritage sites and heritage organisations, including the Black Country Living Museum.
The History Subject Area offers fantastic support to students, consistently achieving high student satisfaction scores in the National Student Survey. You will be part of a tight-knit, supportive community of undergraduates, postgraduates and staff.”
Not everyone who has left school has the requirements to get into university. And not all adults even want to pursue an undergraduate or graduate program. Depending on what you are after, Birmingham will have the course that suits you best – don’t worry about that.
Here are some of the broad range of options available, whether for academic, vocational, or recreational training.
For anyone that wants to be an undergraduate student but does not yet fulfill the degree requirements for entrance to a university, a great option is to study A Levels. These are designed to make young adults think critically, however they are intellectually stimulating and provide an essential part of the university admission application for all. If you are an adult thinking about university a bit later in life, these might be your best bet.
In the UK, most further education colleges offer these courses, and, in Birmingham, one of your best options is the South and City Colleges. You’ll study the History A Level in a course designed for learners aged nineteen or over – and, over a two-year course of study, you’ll have the qualification that should get you into that humanities or arts degree.
Birmingham is blessed with one of the best services for adult education in the country – an organisation that is committed to providing adults like you with opportunities to study. Whether that’s professional studies, an online degree, or any other vocational or academic programs.
The Service offers courses in English language learning or in topics from the arts and humanities to social care training or British Sign Language. And sometimes, they have dedicated history courses too.
A really renowned and special service, doing great work for Birmingham.
If you are not so fussed about getting yourself a recognised qualification or degree, you could consider Birmingham’s Midlands Arts Centre for recreational courses in art history.
The Art in Context class, for example, will have you painting in a group – however, you will have to do your own historical research in your own time. So, what do the symbols in seventeenth-century British painting refer to? How did painters draw people before the fifteenth century – and why? How is Christ portrayed in art throughout history? These are all questions you’ll need to engage with as an artist – and the historical reasons behind these questions are fascinating.
The MAC is an arts complex that seeks to provide one of the broadest educational and event experiences in the country. It has over a million visitors every year – and its catalogue of classes covers everything from ceramics to samba, cinema to spoken word. Luckily for us, there is some history in there too.
The Open University is one of the most celebrated higher education institutions in the UK, and it is a world leader – and pioneer – in the field of distance learning. That means that you can study for degree programs and graduate courses without actually needing to attend a class – or being tied to a university in a specific place.
Across three years – or twice that if you are studying part-time – you will study everything from the importance of material culture to the central methodological concerns of the humanities. Meanwhile, you’ll cover all historical periods from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century.
Because the Open University believes that education should be for all who want it, there are no strict entry requirements beyond a certain proficiency in English and an ability to use computers.
A really solid option for anyone looking to study history at the degree level.
If none of these courses take your fancy, you can always rely on Superprof to provide the teaching that you need.
Superprof is an online platform connecting students to private tutors. Right now, our site hosts over six million tutors across the world – teaching in over a thousand subjects, from personal training to the trombone, from cookery to chemistry. Of course, history is there too.
The benefit of private tuition is that it is entirely flexible and tailored to you. If you’re struggling to find a moment in the week to fit in a lesson, your personal tutor will accommodate for you. If you want to spend x amount of time on one particular topic, but feel like you’re pretty strong on most other things, then your tutor will change their lesson plans to suit you.
There needn’t be any more sitting in lessons knowing the topic that your teacher is talking about already. Nor need there be any frantic catching-up whilst you try and figure out what’s going on. A private tutor will go at the pace you need.
Get yourself taught by a scholar or a graduate student or alumni – and, once you are finished with history, move onto a different subject entirely! There are plenty of them.