Dr Helen Smith - Programme Leader
Dr Helen Smith is a social and cultural historian of twentieth century Britain and her research focuses on sexuality, class, masculinity, and region in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.School Staff List
Modern History at Lincoln specialises in history from 1800 to the present day. This close focus offers the opportunity to better understand and navigate an increasingly socially, culturally, and politically complex world.
The BA (Hons) Modern History is distinctive both for its focus on modern history, and for the breadth of topics that students can choose to study. Students will have the opportunity to study British, European, American, and global history.
While Lincoln is well-known for its medieval cathedral, it also provides an excellent setting in which to study modern history. It is a vibrant city that has strong connections with histories of manufacturing, agriculture, and the Royal Air Force, and previous history students have contributed to the multi-million pound Bomber Command Centre. The University is host to the Media Archive for Central England (MACE), which students in the School have privileged access to.
The School of History and Heritage has a strong research base in modern history with staff specialisms including gender, sexuality, race, media history, Chinese history, urban history, post-colonial history, material culture, American culture, and British politics.
The first year of this programme is designed to provide a solid foundation of modern historical knowledge and introduce the skills needed to become a university historian.
Students can build on this foundation in years two and three, where they can choose from a wide range of optional modules based on the research specialisms of our academic team.
In the third year, students can work closely with academic staff to produce a dissertation (an extended piece of research) on a topic of their choice.
Modules may include: Identities in the Modern World, Forging the Modern State, Accessing Ordinary Lives: Interpreting And Understanding Voices From The Past, 1880 – Present, From Bright Young Things to Brexit: British Media and Society Since 1919, Empire and After: Colonialism and its Consequences, History of Chinese Medicine, and The US Since Reconstruction.
The course is taught via a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, and tutorials.
We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. To help you choose the course that’s right for you, we aim to bring to your attention all the important information you may need. Our What You Need to Know page offers detailed information on key areas including contact hours, assessment, optional modules, and additional costs.
Chairman Mao and Twentieth-Century China introduces students to one of the most important and controversial political figures in the twentieth century: the Communist revolutionary and founding father of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong (1893-1976). Using Mao as the point of anchorage, some of the key developments in twentieth-century China are explored: the demise of the Qing Dynasty, the May Fourth New Culture Movement, the Sino-Japanese War and Civil War, the Sino-Soviet Split, the Great Leap Forward and Anti-Rightist Movement, the Cultural Revolution, as well as the Reform period that followed Mao’s death and that produced China’s “economic miracle” in the 1980s-1990s. No prior knowledge of Chinese history, Chinese language, or Marxist philosophy is required.
This module is designed to introduce students to basic chemistry concepts, and the scientific study of materials commonly found in cultural heritage. Students may develop a systematic approach to scientific investigation and examination of historic objects and an understanding to the nature of different materials, technological factors and the processes of deterioration.
This module aims to equip students with the skills necessary to communicate their learning in an academic environment, and also supports students in adjusting to the demands of higher education. The core objective of the module is to develop students’ critical thinking and writing skills.
This module aims to provide students with a survey of imperial histories, at the same time as introducing some key conceptual and analytical tools for understanding the history of colonialism in a variety of pre-modern and modern contexts, from the perspectives of both colonisers and colonised.
This module provides a thematic survey of European and Atlantic history from the mid-eighteenth century to the final decades of the twentieth century, structured around the research interests of members of the module teaching team. This survey provides an overview of key moments in modern history from 1750-1979, and addresses the complex development of states primarily in western Europe but with attention to the growing influence of the United States and Russia.
This module will interrogate the development and diversity of identities in the modern world. It will take a wide geographical approach to ensure that students are introduced to identities outside of the Western world, and this will allow for comparative analysis over time and place. Students will explore the development of ideas around race, ethnicity, national identity, gender, sexuality, and class in a way that will help them understand the competing and contested notions of those identities in the contemporary world.
This module provides students with the opportunity to explore the ways in which the past has been preserved, displayed, reconstructed and represented in contemporary Britain as well as in earlier decades. It will examine themes such as: Why is the past popular? Who owns the past? and, What is the past used for today?
This module is designed to enable students’ to develop their research skills in history and their understanding of research as a process of inquiry. Students have the opportunity to deepen skills developed in the first term, such as essay writing in history and information literacy, by working alongside staff from the School in analysing primary and secondary sources relating to specific approaches to History.
This module is a chronological survey of US history from the first colonial settlements to the Civil War. It aims to develop basic knowledge to prepare students for more specialist American history options at Levels 2 and 3. Within the chronological framework the module will explore a number of themes including Native American-European relations, colony-mother country relations, the formation of the American republic, the debate over slavery and Civil War.
This module is a chronological survey of US history from Reconstruction to the present. It aims to develop basic knowledge to prepare students for more specialist American history options at Levels 2 and 3. In particular it introduces key themes including the struggle for equality, the character and scope of the US government and the role of the US in the world.
This module provides students with the opportunity to resurrect and understand the ordinary lives of people like themselves and their forebears from the sources available to us. The course picks up on both well-established and recent trends in historical research that have sought to give voice to ordinary people and promote from the historical records the lives of marginalised people such as homosexuals, women, children, the working classes, ethnic minorities alongside more familiar narratives of the great and the good.
Beginning with the Royal Historical Society’s “Race, Ethnicity and Equality Report” (published in 2018), which raises urgent questions on the diversity of staff, students and curricula at History departments in UK universities, the module analyses live debates on “Decolonising the Curriculum” in higher education. We critique how histories of Empire, colonialism and slavery have been taught in Anglo-American settings, and introduce postcolonial analysis on archives, as well as the “Global South” and “indigenous knowledge” that have often been marginalised in Eurocentric historiographies.
Turning towards the University as a key apparatus of power in the contemporary world, the module then reveals the complex legacies of slavery in the making of a number of UK and US institutions including Liverpool, Bristol, Oxford (#RhodesMustFall), SOAS, University of Virginia and others. Introducing the new field of “Critical University Studies” (CUS), students will learn about the emergence of universities in former colonies including India and South Africa, as well as the phenomenon of “transnational education” that entails the establishment, by prestigious European and American institutions, of satellite campuses around the world. The module then unpacks public understandings of colonial history via recent scholarship on nationalism, patriotism, museums and memories, and ends with a hopeful reflection on pedagogies that will be more inclusive and intersectional in terms of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. This module will be particularly suited to students who intend to develop careers in education.
The cultural heritage sector increasingly offers opportunities for the application of digital technologies as communication, research and recording tools. This module enables students to become familiar with some of these advanced recording techniques for the study and recording of objects.
This module aims to prepare students for designing their dissertation (independent study) proposals and for applying to jobs and postgraduate programmes. Students will explore how to prepare for and ensure success in their dissertations, employment, and study/research by identifying and articulating their transferable skills, breadth of knowledge, expertise, and interests. The module will provide information on how to become aware of opportunities, to plan and prepare for the future, and to build on their undergraduate careers.
This module aims to develop the skills of critical analysis and source interrogation by exploring the relationship between the State, at its central and local levels and the provision of education in England, with particular emphasis on developments since 1945.
The modern period has often been understood as a time when peace was considered the natural state of societies, where states and non-governmental groups have been concerned with achieving a lasting peace and avoiding repetitions of bloody conflict. Wars, however, have not become a thing of the past, and today we live in a condition of seemingly permanent war where civilians are often the primary targets. This module will look at how ideas and practices of war have altered in the last few hundred years, and how these notions have been contested and challenged. The module asks where these ideas came from, and how concepts of war and peace, and violence and non-violence have been reframed in various ways. The course is focussed on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and moves chronologically from the Napoleonic wars, to contemporary conflicts through a series of case studies that cover wars, diplomacy, the aftermath of wars, and peace movements. Each case study will draw on key themes which run throughout the module, including pacifism, militarism, imperialism, culture, race, gender and nationalism.
This module examines British media and society in Britain from the end of World War I, through World War II, and into the uncertain waters of the postwar period and the 21st century. A range of domestic and international factors that shaped modern Britain will be investigated throughout the module, including the interwar slump, World War II, decolonisation, increased immigration, the ‘decline’ of the welfare state, the ‘Troubles’ in Ireland, the election of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister, and Britain’s unsteady relationship with Europe. These events not only shaped Britain itself but also occurred in dialogue with the increasingly powerful role of media in the 20th and 21st centuries. This module will bring specific attention to the ways in which the press, cinema, radio, television, music, and also the web reflected, engaged with, and sometimes shaped popular understandings of society, culture, and politics in the period. We will examine this history of media in conjunction with a history of British society in order to investigate claims by historians that a ‘democratic culture’ emerged in 20th century Britain.
This module will interrogate aspects of the history of gender and sexuality in Britain over a 250-year span, coinciding with the arrival of ‘modernity’. It will introduce students to debates over the relationship between gender, sexuality, and structural changes in society, economy and politics, as well as thinking about gender and sexuality as discourse and subjectivity. Further, it will introduce students to a wide range of source material for the social and cultural history of early modern and modern Britain and seek to develop their confidence in using such diverse sources skillfully.
The module takes a thematic approach, although within each theme, specific chronological examples will be examined. Thus continuity and change can be highlighted, and it is intended to resist a narrative of progress towards ‘modern’ liberal views of gender and sexuality. However, a clear chronological framework will also be developed through examples which will help students gain a clear understanding of context.
The United States emerged from the Second World War a superpower, with, to an extent, a belief that it could remake the world. The challenges of the Cold War years were to demonstrate how limited was that power. This module explores the key social, political, economic and cultural developments in the United States between 1945 and 1990.
Works of fiction are not just a source of entertainment. They are a crucial and exciting route into understanding the past. Novels, short stories and poems allow us to understand how debates and ideas about society and identity circulated and how writers attempted to reinforce or change the way that readers looked at the world. This module will examine how a wide range of fiction produced in Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries addressed the key themes of class, politics and gender. Students will have the opportunity to examine the treatment of these concepts in genres as varied as crime fiction, popular romance, children’s literature, science fiction, war writing and feminist fiction.
This module analyzes how physicians, other practitioners, and the public understood the body, disease, and health from antiquity to the modern era. The first part of the module will delineate how the medical system of Galen (2nd century AD) and humoral medicine guided Western medicine from antiquity until the 1800s. Students will then analyze the major challenges to this system from physicians such as Paracelsus, Vesalius, and William Harvey, as well as with the discovery of the germ theory of disease. Students will also explore the evolving role of states and local governments for public health, the development of the medical marketplace, changing understandings of the body, disease, and mental illness, and gender and medicine. The history of medicine will thus be placed in a greater religious, social, and cultural context, with a consideration of the role of medicine in popular culture. The module will therefore “embody” a cultural and intellectual approach to history and introduce students to the major historiographic debates in the history of medicine. Seminars will be primarily devoted to student-led case studies on specific themes, such as: Galenic case studies; Vesalius and anatomy, quackery in England; childbirth and midwifery; the rise of the medical profession; anatomy and the Anatomy Act; disease control and public health; madness and society; sexual health and the patient narrative.
This module explores the relationship between madness and British society from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Students can examine how institutional approaches to the treatment of insanity have changed, from the eighteenth-century madhouse, to the Victorian asylum, to care in the community in the twentieth century. They will assess changing medical, legal and lay responses to insanity, including the role that class, gender, family and community played in defining insanity and its treatment.
This module aims to introduce students to the different approaches to the study of history which have developed, with a particular focus on twentieth-century ideas and innovations, such as ‘history from below’, women’s and gender history, history of sexuality, cultural history, post-colonial approaches, and recent developments in the field. Students will be encouraged to think critically and creatively about how history has developed within the academy, as a particular branch of knowledge and as a discipline with its own rules and procedures.
People have migrated as long as the human race has existed and this module places this fundamental aspect of human experience at its heart. Issues surrounding migration and the movement of peoples are central to contemporary politics and society, as the management of people seeking refuge and better prospects preoccupies governments around the world. This situation makes ever more urgent our need to understand the history of migration and how it has shaped cultures across time and space. People on the move focuses upon the movement of people at particular points in modern history, considering the forces that propel people to risk their own lives and possibly those of their families, uproot from home and enter the potentially perilous and peripatetic life of a migrant. We will discuss the prospects and challenges of migration, and subsequently how diasporic cultures develop and the benefits and tensions surrounding integration. We will consider what happens when communities come into contact due to migration and the subsequent influences upon culture, religion, politics and identity. Through a series of in-depth case studies from the modern period, from the forced movement of the colonial era to twentieth century migration across the Atlantic, we will encounter a variety of geographical regions and processes of migration. A variety of historical sources will be interrogated to access the stories of migrants and about migrants, including texts (such legal and government documents, letters, memoirs and oral histories), images, objects and architecture. Addressing themes such as empire, economics, identity and religion in different contexts allows us to make meaningful comparisons between migrations across time and space.
This module introduces students to history of the US presidency by investigating selected past presidents from Washington to Trump. By reading and analysing the biographies of various presidents, key historical discussions as well as primary sources, including presidential addresses, campaign speeches, policy documents, and internal White House documents, and media accounts, students will be able to discuss and evaluate the major themes associated with the Office of the President.
The main question students will be asked to engage with through this course is “what makes an effective president?” In answering this question students will discuss themes ranging from the establishment of the office during the American Revolution, the ability of presidents to pass civil rights reform, the rise and fall of the imperial presidency, the decline and restoration of presidential influence, hidden illness in the oval office, the growth of partisanship, the impact of the media and presidential communication strategies, and the changing presidential electorate. By exploring these themes as well as the achievements, scandals and the legacies of various presidents, students will be able to determine how individual presidents have coped with the pressures of the office and what influence they have exerted on the office.
This module looks to provide an introduction to the preventive conservation skills needed to set out as a practicing conservator. Students have the chance to develop an understanding of practical preventive conservation and collections management procedures, and can gain experience in environmental monitoring and surveying. Topics such as integrated pest management and emergency planning are also discussed.
East Africa became a significant theatre of empire from the mid-nineteenth century, when David Livingstone championed European intervention to bring ‘Christianity, commerce and civilisation’ to the region. This module will explore the expansion of the British Empire into East Africa from the late nineteenth-century era of ‘high imperialism’ until decolonisation in the 1960s. This region provides rich opportunities to deepen an understanding of imperialism and offers key themes in the history of empire, including exploration, slavery, race, identity, gender, imperial networks, cultural representation and indigenous agency.
This module tests the claim that the period from the 1880s to the First World War was an ‘Age of Transition’, which witnessed the birth of modern British politics. Through an analysis of this argument, students are introduced to some of the major developments in British political history in the period 1885-1914, including the birth of the welfare state, the creation of the Labour Party, the conflict over ‘Votes for Women’ and British foreign policy before World War One.
This module will aim to introduce students to the history of Italian Fascism and the opposition to the regime: the Resistance. It will cover the history of Italy from the beginning of the 20th Century until the end of the Second World War and the establishment of the Republic in 1946. Historical interpretations of these key events in Italian and European history have always been very contentious and have aroused heated debates due to their ongoing political implications.
In the Twentieth Century new aviation technologies transformed understandings of war, peace, civilian and military. The module considers how ideas about air power developed, what informed this understanding of war, and what the consequences were. This is not a traditional military history concerned with narrative accounts of battles or armies, but one that asks questions about the relationship between military and civilian in society and culture in the twentieth century.
This module will explore the different schools of thought and the political activities of the various groups and individuals that comprised the anarchist movement. Anarchism is a political doctrine based on freedom, egalitarianism and social justice and that developed in Europe as a political movement in the mid-XIX century. Anarchism never reached the ascendancy achieved by liberalism or communism; however, it had a significant influence on the political ideas, social movements, culture, and education of the international labour movement.
This module explores the history of science, sexuality and politics in the UK, Continental Europe, the US and Latin America from 1850 to 2000. It will give students an excellent grounding in modern and contemporary history that will complement further modules at level 3 that deal with sexuality, gender, race, science and medicine. It module examines the controversial rise of eugenics movements as a global phenomenon. The purpose of this module is to sustain a balanced and informed discussion about how race, reproduction, and the improvement of human heredity have acquired great political relevance in the modern period. It explores how scientists and different governments became preoccupied with hereditary theories, race, reproduction and sexual behaviour. It examines how societies across the Atlantic developed government policies around areas such as family planning, pronatalism, sterilisation, and race, which culminated in the implementation of euthanasia programmes in Nazi Germany. This module looks at eugenics programmes and politics in a transnational context, exploring how, for example, Nazi Germany’s sterilisation programmes were inspired by those already implemented in the US and how a number of Latin American countries adapted and transformed eugenics policies from Southern Europe and developed whitening policies.
This module explores the various ways in which the world was put on display in the nineteenth century, and with what aims and effects. The nineteenth century was a period during which museums, galleries, exhibitions, zoos and circuses all expanded in numbers and took on distinctive modern forms; it was also one where the ‘freak show’ became both popular but also frowned upon, while optical toys and attractions reformed ‘ways of seeing’.
This module explores the transformation of the United States from a set of thirteen colonies to an independent republic. Topics considered include: the causes of the Revolution, the governance of the new republic, the place of the new republic in the world, the experiences of excluded groups (loyalists, native Americans, African Americans).
Students at level three have to undertake an Independent Study project. This is an extended piece of work that gives them the opportunity to demonstrate they have acquired the skills to undertake historical inquiry and analysis.
This module covers the history and historiography of one of the most popular and sophisticated systems of medicine in the world: Chinese medicine. Starting from a comparison of the conceptualisation and representation of the body in early China versus ancient Greece, the module introduces students to key ideas in Chinese medicine such as “Yin Yang”, “Five Processes”, “Qi”, “Meridians” and “Five Organs and Six Bowels”. Diagnosis (including pulse-taking and tongue examination) and therapy (including moxibustion and acupuncture) are explored, alongside the Chinese tradition of “self-cultivation” and the various techniques that promote health –– and even immortality. Theories concerning food and drugs are dissected, and the tremendous plurality of practitioners throughout the history of Chinese medicine are analysed in detail. No prior knowledge on the history of medicine, Chinese history, or Chinese language is required.
The module will give students practical experience of the workplace. Students will normally define, plan and undertake a specific project. In addition students will gain experience of a range of tasks appropriate to sector-specific professional skills.
This module explores how criminal lunatics - criminals who developed insanity in prison and individuals who committed a crime whilst insane - were represented and treated in nineteenth century Britain. Students can examine why some criminals were deemed insane and others were not; how criminal lunacy was defined in medicine and in law; how and why the institutions, people and practices for treating the criminal and criminal lunatic changed over the period; the role gender and class played in crimes, trials, diagnoses and treatment; and how criminality and criminal insanity were represented by laymen.
The 20th century saw unprecedented social, economic, political and cultural change in Britain. However, the equally dramatic shifts in how sexuality and masculinity were experienced and represented are often ignored. This module aims to enable students to study the history of 20th Century Britain while using the lens of gender and sexuality to understand how ordinary men lived their lives. Students will get the opportunity to work with a wide variety of primary sources such as: court records, newspapers, film (including use of the MACE archive), photographs, music, autobiographies, oral history and literature.
This module will investigate the history of imperial Britain through material culture. The objects of study will range from trophies looted in battle and a drum transported with slaves to Virginia, to African sculpture depicting Europeans. Historians increasingly recognise the fresh insights that objects offer to major themes in imperial history such as gender, race and class. This module responds to these new academic developments and will use objects and their biographies to study key phases and themes in the history of the British Empire. Tracing the long history of such objects can enable us to explore how objects change meanings as they move through various colonial and post-colonial contexts.
Portrayals of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lives on screen are under increasing scrutiny from audiences, activists and media scholars. But, for much of the history of film and television, non-normative sexual and gender identities have been marginalised or hidden. This module examines the history of queer representations in screen culture from the era of silent films to the present day. Students will have the opportunity to work with examples from a range of national contexts, including (but not limited to) Britain and America, as well as engaging with influential scholarship in queer theory and the history of gender and sexuality.
Media and screen culture were powerful means of defining ‘Englishness’ as a racial construct in the 20th century. This module examines the complex relationship between race, media, and screen culture from World War I, when representations of the British empire were increasingly available to British audiences, up to the 1980s, when tensions over immigration were evident on film and television screens throughout the UK. Students will examine constructions of race across a variety of primary sources including ‘empire films’ from the 1930s, documentaries, home-movies, and television, as well as media authored by Black and Asian Britons in the post-war period. Students will gain a critical in-depth understanding of the place of race within British screen culture, media, and society in the 20th Century.
This module aims to examine how living in cities shaped the ways our lives and society have developed since the 19th Century. In the early 19th Century the population of Europe largely lived in rural settlements, yet 100 years later the populations of Western Europe's cities had exploded. Cities produced new forms of social organisation: for the first time drag queens and prostitutes rubbed shoulders with housewives, the rich discovered the poor on their very doorsteps and the unregulated spaces of cities became havens for counter-cultures, deviant sexualities and radical politics.
† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.
Students are assessed through a wide variety of methods on the course to help them build their skills as historians, and to develop skills needed for employment.
Assessment methods may include: essays, exams, source analysis, presentations, assessed seminar participation, and digital assessments such as exhibitions or blog posts.
The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to students promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date.
The way students are assessed on this course may vary for each module. Examples of assessment methods that are used include coursework, such as written assignments, reports or dissertations; practical exams, such as presentations, performances or observations; and written exams, such as formal examinations or in-class tests. The weighting given to each assessment method may vary across each academic year. The University of Lincoln aims to ensure that staff return in-course assessments to students promptly.
Going to university is a life-changing step and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.
For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. The University of Lincoln offers a variety of merit-based and subject-specific bursaries and scholarships. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.
GCE Advanced Levels: BBC
International Baccalaureate: 29 points overall
BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit
Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 1212 UCAS Tariff points
Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, which must include English. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may be considered.
The University accepts a wide range of qualifications as the basis for entry and will consider applicants who have a mix of qualifications.
We also consider applicants with extensive and relevant work experience and will give special individual consideration to those who do not meet the standard entry qualifications.
Non UK Qualifications:
If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.
EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page.
If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.
University preparation courses for International students:
The University of Lincoln International Study Centre offers university preparation courses for international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements for their chosen degree course. Upon successful completion, students can progress to degree level study at the University of Lincoln.
Please visit https://www.lincolnisc.com/ for more information.
If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email email@example.com
Students undertaking the course may have the option to study overseas for a term at one of the University’s partner institutions in Europe, North America, or Canada. This offers the chance to discover new cultures and experiences. Students are responsible for their travel, accommodation, and general living costs during the term overseas.
Students on this course can undertake a work placement during their final year. Previous students in the School of History and Heritage have taken on roles in museums, heritage sites, schools, law firms, and charities. Students can organise their own placement to fit their interests, or use contacts developed within the School.
They may also choose to complete their placement inside or outside of term time and in a location of their choice. Please note that those who choose to undertake optional placements are responsible for their travel, accommodation, and general living costs.
Graduates may find employment in a wide range of sectors. Lincoln graduates have gone on to careers in education, government, the civil service, media, journalism, finance, the corporate world, heritage, and the arts. Some choose to pursue postgraduate study.
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Explore the rich artistic and architectural heritage of the past with a degree in Art History and History.
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History may be concerned with questions about the past, but the knowledge it reveals is relevant to how we think about society today.