Develop key study and research skills as you discover diverse societies, cultures and individuals with our BA History degree.
Explore the past and what it means to be human as our academics take you on a journey through Britain, Europe, Africa, America, the Middle East and South Asia, spanning the past thousand years.
Choose history at the University of Reading
- Ranked in the top 25 universities in the UK for History (Complete University Guide, 2022)
- Top 125 in the world for History, Philosophy and Theology (Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2022).
- 89% of students agreed that our BA History course is intellectually stimulating and provides opportunities to explore concepts and ideas in depth (National Student Survey, 2021).
- Ranked 5th in the UK for graduate prospects for History (Complete University Guide, 2022).
Your first year acts as an introduction, helping you to transition from school to university and identify your individual areas of interest. You’ll be presented with new and exciting fields of history you may not have considered before, including people, power and revolution, and culture, art and ideas.
Experts from the Department of History will equip you with the skills you need to study and research history, as you start to shape your degree through your choice of optional modules – from time periods ranging from medieval to modern, and from America to Africa.
Immerse yourself in a wide variety of modules, including The Colonial Experience: Africa, Medieval Magic and the Origins of the Witch Craze, The Making of Modern South Asia, 1757-1947, Doomsday Dystopias: Nuclear Disaster in the Cold War Imagination, and Women in American History.
Vibrant, collaborative learning environment
From your first day, you are a historian too. Your learning will take place through small, interactive seminar groups, encouraging discussion and debate with academics and peers.
We place a great deal of importance on employability skills, and our modules History Education, Discovering Archives and Collections, and Going Public all offer short work placements and act as an introduction to career exploration.
Placements and employability support
Placements are a prominent feature of our degree courses, offering an opportunity to demonstrate how you can apply your skills and knowledge in real-world settings.
Through our links with the Careers Centre, you can source potential employers and help with CVs and letters of application. We have close links with:
- National Trust
- English Heritage
- British Museum
- Berkshire Record Office
- Museum of English Rural Life
- Reading Museum.
Our second-year module, Going Public: Presenting the Past, Planning the Future, gives students the opportunity to work with external partners in museums, heritage and media organisations. In your final year, two optional modules also offer placements of 10 working days in local archives and secondary schools.
Study history in context
Field trips in the UK and abroad enable you to access new areas of history within their historical surroundings. Past examples include the National Trust in Winchester and Westminster, and further afield in Paris and Berlin.
Additionally, you can choose to spend a term in your second year at one of our partner universities in Europe, the USA, Canada or Australia. We encourage all our students to seize this opportunity as it can open your eyes to new areas of history, build your confidence and skills, and set you apart in the job market.