At a glance

      • Study an exceptionally large range of modules covering the 6th century CE to the present, including many diverse countries and regions of the world
      • 98% of our submitted research publications were evaluated as worthy of international recognition in terms of ‘originality, significance and rigour’*
      • Our innovative teaching will help you make the transition from school to university-level study and develop a range of intellectual and practical skills

 * Research Excellence Framework, 2014.


What is History?

The study of history offers limitless scope for exploration and discovery. The investigation of the causes and significance of events and societies in the past provides a lens through which we can appreciate the uniqueness of the past and its relation to our own world. As a result, we gain a deeper insight into our own identity as individuals and members of society, and can see more clearly how we have become who we are.  

How will I study?

At the heart of our teaching and learning is the student. We will encourage you to explore, to make your own discoveries, guide you if you stray, and suggest routes to learning, but it is up to you to learn to navigate for yourself. We will enable you to grow as a historian and develop valuable attributes that employers are looking for.

The very nature of studying history means there is a good amount of self-directed study required – reading, researching, preparing for tutorials so you get the best out of them and discussing issues with fellow students in informal sessions. However, we are here to guide and support your learning through a range of direct contact teaching and unscheduled contact time.

Direct contact teaching

Contact time

  • Year one: minimum of 12 hours scheduled contact time a week
  • Year two: minimum of 10 hours scheduled contact time a week
  • Final year: minimum of 8 hours scheduled contact time a week

Academic staff are available outside of scheduled contact time to discuss issues with your studies and progress.


Lectures slides offer a clear and accessible overview of what you are studying. Taught in larger groups they introduce you to the debates about key historical issues and are an effective way of conveying information, ideas, and approaches that may seem indigestible or overly complex in books. They also provide a foundation for seminar discussion and for further reading.

Lecture notes are posted online in advance in case you missed anything during the lecture or want to prepare yourself beforehand.

Seminars and workshops

These smaller groups offer a supportive environment to:

  • discuss and share your ideas
  • consider the opinions of others
  • think through issues raised by the texts you’re studying.

Student-centred seminars

This is where the agenda and approach of the seminar are set principally by students themselves. You’ll have full support from staff to develop the seminar content and facilities such as the Digital Humanities Centre and Manuscripts and Special Collections to help prepare material. We place particular emphasis on these sessions because as well as challenging you academically they help you to develop vital skills employers really value.

Tutorials and supervisions

Both individual and in small groups these offer you the chance to discuss plans for an essay or presentation, or follow up on an area of a module which has interested you.

In your final year, individual dissertation supervisions (which are in addition to scheduled contact hours) are an opportunity to develop your research plans and have focused personal discussions on how most effectively to interpret, structure, and present your research findings.

Outside the classroom


These opportunities allow you to develop different perspectives and to engage with historical material, often in its original setting, on a more personal level.

The benefits of field trips and recent examples


Our online learning environment where you can access teaching materials and resources relating specifically to your modules.


The main library for History students is the Hallward library. As well as History-specific material it offers access to external specialist resources not publicly available as well a range of study facilities.

Hallward library

Manuscripts and Special Collections

An invaluable archive with over three million records in over 600 collections. As well as the opportunity to access original historical material MSS also has links to other global archives.

Manuscripts and Special Collections

Assessing your work

The assessment methods for individual history modules vary. As well as traditional essay writing and exams we also use a variety of other methods such as:

  • individual or team presentations
  • work on the interpretation of document sources or images
  • poster presentations
  • reviews and reflections on the process of study.

Your progress will be assessed each semester. You must pass the first year, but your final degree classification is based on an assessment of your work in the second and final years.



The skills that historians learn are highly regarded by a wide range of employers. Many graduates go on to work in management (particularly marketing and human resources) and there are also openings in accountancy, the armed forces, business, commerce, journalism, law and public relations. Other graduates find themselves usefully prepared for a career in archives, arts administration, heritage management, museums and galleries or teaching.

In 2014, 95% of first-degree graduates in the Department of History who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £22,221 with the highest being £40,000.*

*Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2013/14.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers
(Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2017, High Fliers Research).


Study abroad

We offer opportunities to study in many countries including Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea and the United States of America. Please see our Study Abroad page for more information.

Nottingham has the highest number of any UK university on outward mobility under Erasmus.*

* Erasmus student and staff numbers by institution, Erasmus+ 2014.


Application and interview

Offers are normally made without interview. Students with non-standard entry qualifications, including mature students, may be invited for an interview.  

Open days

UCAS visit days for students offered a place are normally held from late January to March. You are welcome to visit at other times – please contact us or find dates for our open days.  
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Department of History

School of Humanities

The University of Nottingham

University Park



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The University of Nottingham
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