Undergraduate study
History

BA (Hons) History

UCAS code: V100 BA/His

The BA (Hons) History degree course at Teesside University allows you to explore a broad range of historical themes and periods. You can also focus on a particular area of study, such as modern and contemporary European history, the ancient world, social and cultural history, and modern Irish history.

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Up to 6 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime/evening
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 342308

Contact details

Further information

 

To understand the present fully, we must look to the past. History is concerned with how the world came to be the way it is, and why. It is one of the most popular, respected and enduring academic disciplines.

You get an overview of history from ancient civilisations to contemporary history. You develop your understanding of the nature of historical enquiry, including the relationships between sources, theory and interpretation.

During your degree course, you acquire key transferable skills including critical thinking, and verbal and written communication – all highly valued by employers.

Year 1 introduces you to the practice of history. In Year 2 you develop your historical knowledge and research skills. In your final year you extend your historical knowledge and skills, taking a much greater responsibility for your own learning.

The degree programme is structured in such a way that after Year 1 you may choose either to study modules from a broad range of historical themes and periods, or to select options which enable you to focus on one particular area of study, such as:

  • modern and contemporary European history
  • social and cultural history
  • modern Irish history.
  • the ancient world

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

20th-century Britain

The module provides an overview of Britain during the 20th century, from the tensions and reforms of the Edwardian era to the age of Margaret Thatcher. It takes a largely chronological approach, emphasising the impact of two world wars on British politics and society, the implications of the introduction of the welfare state and Keynesian economic policies during the consensus period, and the shift towards neo-liberal forms of governance in the late 20th century. At the same time the module emphasises longer-term trends such as the growth of the state; secularisation; immigration; and the emergence of new personal freedoms, particularly for women.

English Reformation, 1520-1560

This core module provides a foundation for all level 5 and 6 modules in late-medieval and early modern history. It offers an intensive study of one of the major turning points in English and European history: the revolution in church and state, known as the English Reformation, which took place in 16th century.

European History I, 1850-1918

The period between 1850 and 1918 can be characterised as an era of political, social, economic and cultural transformation. This module provides a survey of these developments, examining industrialisation, population growth, urbanisation and the emergence of mass politics. It was also a period of change in terms of international politics, with the creation of new states, such as Italy, Germany and Romania, and the rise of the new imperialism. These developments contributed to the tensions that led to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, a conflict that would destroy much of the pre-war order.

European History II, 1917-1991

The period between 1917 and 1991 was characterised by a struggle between competing political, economic and social systems. This module surveys these struggles. Consideration is given to the emergence of authoritarian and totalitarian dictatorships in interwar Europe, above all in Italy, Germany, Spain and the USSR. Following the defeat of fascism in the Second World War, the Cold War led to the division of Europe into two mutually hostile blocs with fundamentally different political, economic and social systems. And within each bloc institutions were developed to allow for military and economic integration: North Atlantic Treaty Organization, European Coal and Steel Community, European Economic Community in the west, Warsaw Treaty Organization and Council for Mutual Economic Assistance in the east. The communist Eastern bloc collapsed in the revolutions of 1989 and the USSR finally ceased to exist at the end of 1991. The module ends with an overview of developments since 1991.

Victorian Britain

The module examines the history of Britain in a period of rapid social, cultural, political and economic change. As the first industrial nation at the hub of an expanding global empire, Britain experienced unprecedented growth in terms of both the population and the urban environment, producing extremes of wealth and poverty. The module explores the incomplete and contested processes which saw the emergence of a modern class society by the end of 19th century, using themes such as democratisation, the emancipation of women, the development of commercialised leisure and the declining but still vibrant role of the Christian churches in society.

 

and one optional module

Ancient Greece: History, Culture and Society

This module offers you an introduction to social and cultural history by studying the ancient Greek world of the 5th and 4th centuries BC. As culture is a multi-dimensional phenomenon the module examines many aspects of it in the ancient Greek context. You consider politics, material culture such as buildings and sculpture, technologies, city life, religion morality, gender relationships, education, intellectual life, literature and drama.

The Making of Modern Ireland

An introduction to the political, social, cultural and economic history of modern Ireland, and the major debates in the historiography of modern Ireland. Particular stress is placed on the revisionist controversy, a debate about the relationship between professional historiography and popular perceptions of Irish history. The module looks at a number of key events and themes in modern Irish history including the 1798 Rebellion, Act of Union, Great Famine, Land War, Anglo-Irish relations, emigration, nationalism, unionism and partition.

Themes in American History and Culture

This module provides an introduction to some of the core approaches, concepts, sources and methodologies employed in the study of the history and culture of the USA. Through a thematic approach to social, political and economic continuity and change, it examines key themes such as the ideology of freedom, significance of race, emergence of regional identities, consequences of industrialisation, immigration and urbanisation, or the socio-cultural impacts of wars, both foreign and domestic.

 

Year 2 core modules

War and Society 1

You explore the impact of the First World War on the societies of the major combatants. You explore how the world’s first total war influenced social change, either by accelerating or preventing it, and whether any social changes that occurred due to the war had lasting effects. It does all this in a transnational and comparative framework.

War and Society 2

You explore the relationship between war and social change by conducting a case study of a particular war as part of a small group, working under the supervision of a tutor. This module emphasises group work and presentation skills, as well as individual writing.

 

and four optional modules

1848 Revolutions

After the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815, much of Europe entered a period of political reaction, of which the so-called ‘Metternich system’ was the clearest manifestation. However, this system came under increasing pressure in some areas from liberal and nationalist movements; the widespread economic crisis of the mid-1840s increased popular discontent, until the old order suddenly appeared to be swept away in a series of revolutions in the first quarter of 1848.

The divisions and uncertainties among the revolutionaries soon became apparent: some, primarily middle-class liberals, were concerned mainly with limited political reform, others saw the establishment of nation-states as the first priority, whereas yet other, more radical participants saw the opportunity for a fundamental restructuring of the social and economic order.

Middle-class fears of popular radicalism and a recovery of confidence by the rulers meant that what has generally been seen as a conservative reaction set in by the end of the year. Does this mean, however, that the revolutions of 1848 were simply failures representing the turning point at which history failed to turn? Or did they have profound repercussions for the future development of the states involved, in terms of both the longer-term impact on liberal and popular politics, and the rethinking necessary on the part of conservative ruling classes in an attempt to maintain their position?

Careers for Historians

This module provides you with an opportunity to enhance the skills and personal attributes that help with employability after graduation. You have the opportunity to undertake a work-based project with an employer or a voluntary organisation. These organisations may be related to the heritage and/or public history sector, but are not restricted to this category. The placement, which will last for up to six weeks, must be recognised as providing an experience that corresponds to graduate employment. You are assessed by a written self-reflective exercise evaluating your work-based project demonstrating your enhanced transferable skills. In addition you present your work-based project verbally in an assessed practice interview.

Chaucer's England

This module examines life and society in 14th-century England using a modern verse translation of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales as its key text. We explore some of the central themes that recur in the tales – youth and old age; religion and the church; courtly and bawdy behaviour; relationships between men and women – and consider how these themes might be used to interpret aspects of late-medieval life. We will also consider other survivals from the period, including literary works like The Vision of Piers Plowman, The Book of Margery Kempe, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Paston Letters; the architecture of religious buildings; art; and elements of landscape and townscape, as we attempt to discover how far The Canterbury Tales might be said to mirror the age in which they were written.

France in Conflict, 1934-1946

In the 1930s the French Third Republic became increasingly torn by divisions. A polarisation of politics, economic depression, social conflict and a climate of violence led many to talk of national crisis. This ‘crisis’, and the attempts to counter it, form the first part of this module. When the French army was defeated in 1940, the entire political system collapsed amid much recrimination. The second part of the module examines the collaborationist régime of Pétain, the national revolution, occupation and resistance. Liberation brought France to a state of virtual civil war as scores were settled officially and unofficially (épuration) and the module ends with consideration of the épuration and legacy of the Vichy period.

From Easter Monday to Good Friday: Radicalism in Ireland, 1916-1998

This module examines the development of radical political ideas in Ireland in the 20th century, and their impact on Irish society. You look at the development and course of ideologies such as nationalism, republicanism, unionism, socialism, feminism and loyalism; analyse the individuals and movements that sought to pursue these ideas; and assess the nature of their impact throughout Irish society as whole.

Introduction to Intellectual History

An introduction to the study of the history of ideas and the history of political and social thought. You examine some of the key concepts in intellectual history through the writings of some of history’s most prominent authors. Among the themes examined are democracy, liberty, republicanism, citizenship and the origins of society itself.

Modern Scandinavia

In the modern era the term Scandinavia elicits characterisations such as neutrality, the benevolent welfare state and a steadfast commitment to social democracy. The world also acknowledges modern Scandinavia for its contributions to popular music (ABBA), flat-packed furniture (IKEA), mobile telephones (Nokia) and sport. This course surveys the history of the Scandinavian countries, including Denmark, Norway and Sweden, in the modern era. It explores themes such as the pursuit of neutrality during the two world wars; the historical context for the Nordic welfare model as well and the factors that contributed to the startling success of these small national economies during the 20th century.

North-Eastern England, 1500-1700

This module examines political and religious conflicts and changes in north-eastern England by focusing on the rising of the northern earls in 1569 and the civil wars of the 1640s. It will also concentrate on the dramatic rise of the coal trade, especially in the 1580s and 90s, and its impact on north-eastern society. And it will review the traditional notion of the north-eastern counties as isolated and backward. You explore these elements in relation with one another to try and arrive at a broad understanding of this particular corner of the kingdom.

Patronage, Popery and Power in the Age of Pepys

This module will examine post-restoration England through the eyes of Samuel Pepys. His diary provides a social and political commentary on the later Stuart monarchy. You will study the content for the Restoration; the Royal Society, Fire of London and reconstruction of the city, court politics, the cult of the Royal mistress, religious conflict, parliamentary ambitions, naval expansion and Royal absolutism.

Red, White and Black - Peoples and Power in Colonial British America, c1607-1763

This module examines North American history from the earliest English settlements to the eve of the American Revolution. Focusing on the many peoples and powers that struggled for control of the continent and its resources, it examines cultural contacts and conflicts between various Native American tribes peoples, Europeans of several nations and enslaved Africans uprooted from diverse societies. This collision of societies and cultures – which European thinkers quickly came to understand in racial terms, even as they were in the process of redefining the concept of race – influenced emerging social, cultural and political forms amongst diverse peoples whom historians tend to regard as becoming variously ‘American' in the course of these interactions. By examining the complex historical relationships between religious, political and socio-economic arrangements, this module explores this process to develop your understandings of the contingency of political, social and cultural change. Contextualised within the frame of Atlantic world history, this modules aims to demonstrate how these various contests were already shaping modern America at a time when none could even have dreamed of the Empire of Liberty.

Rome: from Foundation to Fall

Russian Revolution

This module analyses an event of world-historical proportions and its aftermath: the Russian Revolution. Focusing on the origins, development and socio-political aftermath, this module pays close attention to the course of the revolutions in Russia (later the Soviet Union) at the end of the Tsarist regime, under Lenin, and then under Stalin. It charts the revolutionary changes engendered by the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ in the USSR and its subsequent effects on global politics.

Sport and Leisure in 19th-century Britain

This module explores the modernisation of sport and leisure in Britain in the second half of the 19th century. It examines the social, economic and political forces that led to the codification of sport and greater regulation of leisure during this period. It was common practice to depict sporting activities as enhancing the character as well as physical wellbeing. Sport was seen as a way of fostering the practices and principles that matched the needs of imperial and modernising societies. You consider the ways in which gender, social class and education determined how leisure time was spent and explore the ways in which industrialisation and commercialism impacted on the built sporting landscape.

Terrorism and Political Violence

Women in 20th-century Britain

This module provides a survey of various aspects of women’s experience in 20th-century Britain and aims to increase awareness and understanding of the theories, methods and debates used by historians in this field. You approach this module thematically, paying particular attention to the diversity of experience produced by class, age ethnicity and locality within the broad framework of 20th-century women’s lives. Topics for discussion include gender relations, the politics of reproduction, power in the home, women’s paid work, the home, consumption, leisure, politics and the shaping of women’s minds and bodies by the education system, media, health professionals and the fashion industry.

 

Final-year core modules

Dissertation

An opportunity for you to engage in a piece of advanced historical research. It prepares you for the workplace by enabling you to apply all the skills you have acquired and developed during the course of the history degree. You prepare a presentation to be delivered and discussed in a professional manner which will satisfy the knowledge exchange agenda and provide interview experience. A final individual project – comprising an abstract and culminating in an extended piece of historical enquiry that engages with primary sources and/or the historiography in the manner of a scholarly article –demonstrates your research skills, reflexivity and overall intellectual maturity.

History in Depth

This core module is designed to build on skills developed in the core modules – War and Society and Explorations in History – at Level 5. You choose from an extensive portfolio of options across a broad geographical and temporal range offered by experts in the field to undertake an in-depth study of a particular theme or period in history based on an increased focus and engagement with primary source material. Accordingly, you are encouraged to develop your own research skills as well as enhancing your historiographical capacity to emerge as critical, creative and confident graduates.

 

and two optional modules

Culture, Politics and Society in the Age of Thatcher

This module examines the cultural, political and social history of Britain during the period of Margaret Thatcher's leadership of the Conservative Party and Premiership (1975-1990). As well as a study of Thatcher and Thatcherism, you consider a range of oppositions to the Thatcher government, prominent social issues of the era and broader aspects of popular culture in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Fascism: Theory and Practice

This module provides an in-depth examination of competing theories of generic fascism such as Marxist theories, liberal interpretations, socio-psychological approaches, modernisation theories, ideological models and the 'new consensus'.

Images of Alexander

This module examines the life, historical circumstances and historiographical debates surrounding Alexander III of Macedon (Alexander the Great) and considers his contemporary and later reception in art, literature, media and popular culture. We attempt to separate the man from the myth while examining the contrasting views expressed in primary and secondary sources. But we are also interested in the image of Alexander and the impact that it has had, and still has, on successive generations. Analysis of primary historical texts figure prominently into this module as do the historiographical issues presented by the study of this extraordinary individual. The module also entails historical material from North Africa, Middle East, India and Afghanistan and so has global and international applications.

Napoleon: Emperor and Legend

This module examines how Napoleon forged an empire that dominated Europe as well as his own legend and well as the impact of that legend on 19th-century France. You use a wide range of primary sources, from the Emperor’s own letters, declarations and memoirs, to cartoons and pamphlets published abroad in opposition to him, to works of art produced for him and about him after his death. Themes include the formation of the Napoleonic Empire, creation of the Napoleonic legend, the legend after Napoleon’s death, and the Black Legend created by Napoleon’s enemies.

Nazism and the Holocaust

The module provides an overview on a major issue of world history that continues to generate general interest, historical debate and controversy. It raises questions of chronological sequence, of particular events and their origins, and of differing perspectives for the same series of documented historical events. It considers how historians have recounted and explained the Holocaust. The first part of the module considers the evolution of Nazi racial policy through the accession of Hitler and the Nazis to power, the growth of anti-Semitic policies in Germany and Austria in the middle and late 1930s, the impact of war and of the administration of Poland on policies and practices, to full blown genocide with the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. You also cover recent historical interpretations of the underlying motives and timings of these developments. The second portion shifts from perpetrator policy to Jewish reactions and subsequent debates by historians.

Public History

This module provides you with an in-depth examination of the central themes underpinning the production of history in the public domain. You are introduced to the conceptual and methodological frameworks relevant to understanding the various ways in which the past is represented to contemporary societies. You examine the methods appropriate to delivering public history, based on the specific case study of public history in television and film. Drawing on the resources of the North East Film Archive, you develop an assessment that explores how the past is represented to the public in this branch of the heritage sector. The module also develops critical awareness of digital and contemporary media approaches to public history.

Representations of Elizabeth I

The module explores the Elizabethan age through contemporary representations of the queen, which were used by her supporters to enhance her image as a ‘worthy’ female ruler and as a force to be reckoned with in England and abroad. Representations of Elizabeth I evolved during her reign, crafted in the visual and literary arts of the period. They offer a valuable insight into the political and cultural norms of late 16th-century society, in particular attitudes towards female kingship.

Spain in Conflict: The Spanish Civil War

This module examines the origins of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), distinguishing between long-term structural causes and more immediate causes. You discuss the reaction of the international powers and the reasons for, and implications of, intervention by Germany, Italy and the Soviet Union; as well as the reasons for British and French non-intervention. It charts the course of the conflict; the politics and power struggles of the opposing sides (Nationalist/Republican); the contribution of foreign volunteers; and the political consequences, both domestically and internationally, of Nationalist victory. Finally, you consider the legacy of the war on Spanish society.

The Early Stuart Age, 1603-1660

This module focuses on England in the period between 1603 and 1642 from a variety of angles. It looks at the legacy of Elizabeth Tudor, the accession of James Stuart and the ramifications of ruling multiple kingdoms. You consider the structure of early Stuart government from the perspective of the crown and the localities. You explore relations between varieties of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, particularly regarding their impact on society. England's place in the wider European context is traced, especially its involvement in the Thirty Years’ War. The reign of James I is contrasted with that of Charles I. Finally, you examine the causes of the English Civil War in relation to ongoing debates in the long-term and current historiography.

The People’s War

This module explores the creation of the home front in Britain during the Second World War. By examining a range of primary sources including written material, film and visual propaganda, you look at the nation at war – as it was and as it was imagined. The notion of a 'people's war' became iconic: a popular myth of a period in which everyone pulled together, and social and cultural attitudes were transformed. By engaging with recent historiographical debates on the subject, the module allows for a re-examination of what lay behind the myth, and how that myth was constructed. You cover various topics including evacuation, the blitz, the construction of citizenship, artistic and cinematic representations, and post-war reconstruction.

The Rise and Fall of King Cotton: Southern History c1792-1877

This module examines the development of Dixie’s unique identity as the Land of Cotton. Its focus is on the spread and growth of cotton culture from the sea-island plantations of the Early Republic to the vast ‘factories in the field’ that typified cotton production on the south-western frontier, to Civil War and Reconstruction, and the emergence of the New South. By situating the South’s distinctive identity in terms of the significance of cotton cultivation and its consequences – including Westward Expansion, racial slavery, secession and defeat – this module links questions about the lives of Southerners, whether enslaved or free, planter elite or poor ‘cracker’, to an examination of the development of the South’s unique political and economic history under King Cotton.

The Troubles

The politics of the past have been violently contested in Northern Ireland. This module addresses the specific problems that face historians of a divided society. It discusses historiography and assesses the reliability of primary and secondary source material at times of crisis. The Troubles were televised and reported across the world. You look at the importance of representation and propaganda. And you examine in detail the outbreak and development of conflict by employing a variety of sources including official reports and correspondences, newspapers, pamphlets, posters, memoirs, film and television programmes.

Voices from the Street: Popular Culture 1920-1970

You examine oral history as a research method for historians. You are introduced to a broader understanding of what constitutes history – who is written for and why? You examine theoretical and influential case study texts to develop an understanding of how collecting eye-witness accounts of historical periods and events has transformed the scope of historical research on a broad range of themes in society including childhood, family, working lives, culture, race and immigration, and politics.

There is an oral history research component to this module. You work as part of a group on a topic relating to life in the North East of England in the post-1945 era. Possible examples include working lives, industrial decline, youth culture, gender and class, ethnic and religious identity. You develop your knowledge and understanding of an aspect of 20th-century social history. You also develop your knowledge of oral history by conducting interviews and analysing transcripts of those conducted by others in the class.

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

The programme makes use of a variety of teaching methods including classes, lectures, seminars, tutorials and group work.

How you are assessed

Modules are continuously assessed so that you receive regular feedback to help you improve your skills and abilities. Methods of assessment include essays, critical reviews, small group presentations, bibliographical exercises, primary source evaluation, conventional and seen examinations.


Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
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Find out more about financial support
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Career opportunities

A variety of career paths will be open to you, including law, accountancy, social work, librarianship, journalism, public relations, teaching, retail management and local government work.

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 96-112 tariff points from at least two A levels (or equivalent).

We also encourage you to apply if you've an Access qualification.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

Part-time

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Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Up to 6 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime/evening
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 342308

Contact details

Further information