Are you interested in studying History as an undergraduate at university?
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.
For example, you may wish to consider courses in:
Here, however, we will focus on courses in Birmingham.
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, but will you be accredited a first class honours degree in History?? We will now tell you a bit more about those degree programs and what you’ll be applying for.
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
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 excperience 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 milennia.
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.”