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BA (Honours) History

This wide-ranging course will develop and deepen your knowledge of different periods of history from around 1500 to the late twentieth century. You’ll tackle such exciting and challenging issues as power and warfare, culture and beliefs, health and medicine, imperialism, class and gender – learning the skills of the historian in studying historical materials; exploring how we understand, interpret and debate past events; and investigating a range of critical approaches.

Key features of the course

  • Explore a wide range of historical topics, periods and places
  • Find out what it means to be a historian
  • Have the opportunity to develop a project based on independent study
  • Study using custom-made teaching materials 
  • Develop skills in research, analysis and communication that are beneficial to a wide range of careers 

We also offer a Diploma of Higher Education in History (W66) that is the same in structure as the first two-thirds of this degree.

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Course Summary

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Degree

Degree

  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Course code
Q01
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
360
How long it takes
Part time – 6 years
Full time – 3 years
Time limit – 16 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • You’ll start Stage 1 with a broad introduction to the arts and humanities followed by up to two modules chosen from a variety of subjects.
  • Next, at Stage 2, you’ll study two compulsory modules covering the history of the British Isles and Europe across different time periods.
  • Finally, at Stage 3, you’ll complete your degree by choosing two modules from a range of options including the history of empire and twentieth-century Europe.  

Optional Access module – visit Entry requirements to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

In Stage 1 you will encounter a variety of different times and places and engage with some fascinating people, art works, ideas and stories. As a history student, this broad foundation will help you develop the skills and the confident, open approach you need to tackle more specialist history modules at Stages 2 and 3.
ModulesCredits
You'll start your degree with:
The arts past and present (AA100)60
You'll complete Stage 1 with a choice of options, we recommend:
Voices, texts and material culture (A105)60
Alternatively, you can choose 60 credits from this list of modules

Stage 2 (120 credits)

Stage 2 includes two compulsory modules: you’ll discover how historians seek to understand change and continuity within the society and culture of Europe between 1500 and 1780; and learn about the British Isles between 1789–1914, a period of rapid transformation, when the United Kingdom became the so-called workshop of the world. 

Stage 3 (120 credits)

At Stage 3, we offer modules on the rise and fall of Empires since 1492 and on conflict and change in twentieth-century Europe. Alternatively, you can research an independent research project on an aspect of Welsh history of your choice. You can also choose to study one module in Scottish or local history, classical studies or religious studies.
ModulesCredits
You’ll choose one from:
Empire: 1492-1975 (A326)60
Europe 1914-1989: war, peace, modernity (A327)60
The making of Welsh history (A329)60
You’ll also choose one from the list above or one from:
The Roman empire (A340)60
Why is religion controversial? (A332)60
Local history via the internet (COXR305)*60
Medieval and early modern Scotland 1100–1707 (CDDR320)*60
Modern Scottish history 1707–1997 (CDDR301)*60
*These modules are produced in collaboration with other universities (go to our Collaborative scheme website for details).

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 21 March 2018.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) History uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • finding external/third party material online
  • working in a group with other students
  • working with specialist reading material such as works of art and musical manuscripts.

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.

It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.

For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


Classification of your degree

On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the BA (Honours) History degree. You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 


Compare this course

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

At The Open University we believe education should be open to all, so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

Even though there are no entry requirements, there are some skills that you'll need to succeed. If you're not quite ready for OU study we can guide you to resources that prepare you, many of which are free.

Answer a few quick questions to check whether you're ready for study success

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Counting previous study

You could save time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study towards this qualification if you have:

  • already studied at university level (even if you didn't finish your studies)
  • other professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

Find out more about credit transfer

Preparing for study with an Access module

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:

  • a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback.
For this qualification we recommend:

Arts and languages Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the arts and languages, and would like to develop both your subject knowledge and your study skills. It explores a range of subjects, including art history, English, English language studies, history, modern languages, and also touches on the areas of creative writing and religious studies.

View full details of Arts and languages Access module

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you.

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £2,928*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £5,856*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £17,568*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.


Skills for career development

Studying history will provide you with an adaptable set of skills that can lead in many directions and are greatly valued by employers. Broadly summarised these are critical thinking, analysis, and communication. You’ll sharpen your IT, writing, and independent thinking skills, and develop an ability to assimilate and evaluate relevant information when constructing an argument. These are key skills in complex organisations, and are highly sought after in the world beyond study – whether you’re already working, volunteering, or changing career.

Career relevance

Study of the arts and humanities requires an understanding of human activities in diverse cultural environments and historical contexts. The breadth of study and range of cultural texts and objects analysed, combined with clear thinking and communication, make the BA (Hons) History relevant to a wide range of careers, including:

  • education
  • museum work
  • public administration, local government, the civil service, art institutions, and social services
  • advertising, journalism, publishing, creative industries and public relations
  • legal work
  • business, banking and retail
  • human resources
  • charities and campaigning.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice. This includes online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

  • teacher
  • museum curator
  • heritage management
  • tourism officer
  • arts administration
  • civil servant
  • local government and NHS management
  • advertising account manager
  • marketing manager
  • journalist
  • publisher
  • public relations manager
  • media researcher
  • lawyer
  • charity campaigner
  • retail manager
  • business and human resources management
  • politician
  • librarian
  • information archivist
  • accountant.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland. 


Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 06/12/2018

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