BA History and Philosophy
Analyse beliefs and concepts and consider how past societies worked with our BA History and Philosophy. Studying history and philosophy allows you to question your assumptions and trace the origins of modern societies and cultures.
Discover a thousand years of history whilst experiencing all the specialist areas on offer at the University of Reading. The University of Reading is ranked in the top 200 in the world for History (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023). The History Department's expertise covers a wide range of regions, from Europe and Africa to America, South Asia and the Middle East. Module choices cover diverse periods and topics, from the Crusades to Cold War Berlin and from Medieval Magic to the Rwanda Crisis.
In your first year, your core modules will explore people, politics and revolution, finding out how people struggled for power in past societies; and the culture and concepts those societies developed. We will teach you the skills you need to study and research history through an individual project of your choice.
Studying philosophy will equip you with the ability to think logically, to evaluate arguments critically, and to challenge your own ideas and those of other people. You will be taught by leading experts whose research strengths lie especially in moral philosophy and the philosophy of the mind and language. Your first year will introduce you to the general skills required for all philosophy and you will also have the chance to explore non-western philosophies such as Indian philosophy.
In both subjects, you will be taught in small interactive seminar groups, encouraging discussion and debate with teaching staff and fellow students. We place a great deal of importance on employability skills and offer a range of modules to help students gain relevant work experience as well as explore career options.
You will be encouraged to undertake work placements and there is the opportunity to study abroad for a term in your second year. The University also offers all students the chance to learn a modern language alongside their core subjects.
Placements are a prominent feature of our degree courses and highly encouraged. Placements are a good way to show you how you can use the skills acquired through studying history in the real world. In History we ensure that placements are incorporated into your core learning. In the second year, we offer opportunities for short group placements in museums and heritage and media organisations, and encourage students to reflect on what they have learned from previous employment or voluntary work experience. For third years, two optional modules offer placements of 10 working days in local archives and secondary schools.
Through our links with the Careers Centre, you can source potential employers and help with CVs and letters of application. Staff in the department also have close links with the university’s Institute of Education, Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) and Special Collections (archives), and with external organisations such as the Berkshire Record Office.
You also have the option to study abroad for a term in the second year. Some of the universities we have links with include University of Ottawa, Canada; University of Maastricht, Netherlands; University of Georgia, USA; and Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
For more information, please visit the Department of History website.