Our BA History with Foundation course offers insights into the variety of human experience through the ages, while enabling you to develop core academic skills.
This four-year programme includes a foundation year that leads directly into the three-year course. It provides an excellent route to a degree in history if you do not have the typical entry requirements. Following the successful completion of the Foundation Year, you may be eligible to join one of our many joint degree programmes (unless the partner degree has specific requirements).
Discover a thousand years of world history, spanning Britain, Europe, Africa, America, the Middle East and Asia. Immerse yourself in subjects such as crusading, totalitarianism, witchcraft, gender and sexuality, race and colonialism.
Taught by experts from the Department of History, you will unlock people, places and perspectives otherwise impossible to access in a lifetime.
By choosing to study history at Reading, you will benefit from:
- the ability to shape your own degree. Our wide variety of optional modules allow you to study the aspects of history you are most passionate about.
- research-led teaching. You will learn from academics at the forefront of their disciplines, whose research feeds into your studies. This ensures you have exposure to the latest developments in the field.
- our focus on student satisfaction. In 2020, we achieved a 91% satisfaction score for the teaching on our BA History course in the National Student Survey (for more details, ask us at www.reading.ac.uk/question).
- dedicated career support. Employability modules and work placements form part of our careers guidance. Designed to complement your core learning, they also develop your research, analytical, teamwork and communication skills.
Your learning structure
The aim of the foundation year is to prepare you for your history degree. As you progress, each stage builds upon your prior learning:
- Foundation year: Your core modules will provide you with subject-specific knowledge and study skills including writing, critical thinking and research. You will cover familiar topics and exciting new areas.
You will complete two skills-based modules: Foundation in Academic Skills develops your academic writing, research, referencing, critical thinking, teamwork, study techniques and study management; and Persuasive Writing explores how writing shapes our lives, and how it’s used for social media, journalistic and political persuasion.
Two additional modules develop skills specific to your degree: Identities explores identity in relation to national/race identity, gender, changing identities and sense of self, examining everything from texts and objects to film and cultural documents; and Perspectives enhances your ability to study and understand problems, events, objects and texts from a variety of perspectives: historical, moral and self-reflective.
One of the most popular topics on the Perspectives module is ‘The History and Politics Surrounding Statues’ where we debate what questions we need to ask when critiquing statues for either erection or removal, why people care so much about statues and what role they play in public understandings of the past.
- First year: you will be introduced to long-term historical change across the medieval, early modern and modern periods. Become familiar with the political, intellectual and cultural history of the times, and develop essential research, presentational, organisational and essay-writing skills.
- Second year: develop more specialist knowledge across a broad array of historical periods and geographical areas. You’ll explore a variety of primary sources and research approaches to help you identify a topic for your dissertation.
The third year of your course will offer more in-depth study opportunities, through:
- supervised, independent research for your dissertation
- selection of a special subject, requiring close reading of primary sources relating to the research interests of departmental staff
- a range of optional modules available in the Department of History and elsewhere in the University.
Your learning environment
Alongside your lectures, you’ll be taught in small, interactive seminar groups that encourage debate with teaching staff and fellow students. As you prepare for classes and build on the topics covered in your seminars, there will be plenty of opportunity for independent study and research.
Classes are designed to offer guidance from teaching staff and explore different kinds of learning, such as formal and informal presentations. Field trips in the UK and abroad provide the opportunity to see history in context and view historical artefacts up close.
Our academics are actively engaged in research and contribute to current historical debate. Wherever possible, they will tailor their teaching to incorporate their cutting-edge research.
Placements opportunities with BA History with Foundation
At Reading, we ensure that placements are incorporated into your learning. You can undertake a short placement in a museum or heritage organisation in your second year, or choose modules in your final year that offer 10-day placements in local archives and secondary schools.
We also offer the opportunity to undertake a professional placement before your final year of study.
Our dedicated placement co-ordinators provide one-to-one support and training to ensure that you are fully equipped to secure a top-quality placement.
Staff in the department have close links with the University’s Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) and Special Collections, as well as external organisations such as Cliveden House, English Heritage and Reading Museum. Through these links with employers and external partners, we can help you find a professional placement that suits your interests.
In your second year, you can spend a term studying abroad at one of our partner institutions in the USA, Canada, Australia, or countries across Europe.
To find out more, visit our Study Abroad site.