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. Researching, discussing and thinking about the past encourages both intellectual rigour in argumentation and a solid grasp of historical events. We can gain a personal understanding of various historical processes, events and persons though reflection on and the discussion of many perspectives, methodologies and opinions. The past is infinitely diverse. It is this attempt to understand and make sense of the past - to plot themes and to shape narratives - that constitutes the basis of history and historical thinking. In turn, our understanding and conception of the past affects how we view the present.  

How will I study?

At the heart of our teaching and learning is the student. We encourage you to explore, to make your own discoveries and to take responsibility for your intellectual development as a historian. We guide you and suggest possible routes to learning, but it is up to you to learn to navigate your own individual path. We enable and facilitate you to grow as a historian and to develop skills for future employment.

The very nature of studying history means there is a good amount of self-directed study required - reading, researching, preparing for tutorials - in order for you to get the most from your degree. We give lectures and direct seminars, which often involve discussing issues with fellow students in informal sessions. We guide and support your learning both in direct contact teaching and generally in your time at University.

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 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 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 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 lectures and reading.

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

These can be individual or in small groups. They 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

Field trips

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 as offering arange 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 2016, 93.2% of undergraduates in the School of Humanities who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £20,205 with the highest being £38,000.*

Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

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

Choosing where to study for the next few years of your life is a difficult decision. By coming to an open day you can see for yourself why Nottingham could be the place for you.

If you make an application to study at the University of Nottingham and are successful in being made an offer, you will receive an invitation to attend an offer-holder event. These events take place between February and April.

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Department of History

School of Humanities

The University of Nottingham

University Park



Call us:
+44 (0)115 951 5559
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The University of Nottingham
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Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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