History at Queen Mary spans a range of historical approaches and periods. You could study the Black Death, Women and Gender in Medieval Islam, and the Crusades. Or in the modern era you will examine the social, technological and cultural forces that shaped our world. Topics might include Building the American Nation, Britain in the Second World War and Europe since 1890. Some modules will teach you traditional political history. In others you could look at the history of art and architecture, or combine history with film or literature. You could investigate topics such as the portrayal of the face in Western art and medicine, the representation of war in contemporary British popular culture or the lifestyle and values of Victorian Britain.
This degree is perfect if you want to experience an extensive range of historical subjects and have the maximum flexibility of choice. In the first year you will gain a broad understanding of the shape of the history of Britain and Europe from 1100AD to the present day. You will then have the opportunity to explore the medieval, early modern and modern periods, perhaps covering subjects as diverse as Anglo-Saxon England and the Kennedy presidency. The modular system allows you great freedom to shape your own studies, either specialising or retaining a broad focus. You will be able to choose from political, cultural, religious, social and economic themes drawn from our strength in British, European, Middle-Eastern and American history.
Why study history at Queen Mary?
In the 2016 National Student Survey,Queen Mary 98% of History students said that staff are good at explaining things. 93% said staff have made the subject interesting.
In the last Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), the research environment in the School of History at Queen Mary was ranked among the top 5 departments in the UK. Our academics are internationally renowned in their fields, and our track record in both research and teaching is excellent. We count the former President of the Royal Historical Society and six fellows of British Academy among our number.
Our staff regularly contribute to academic and public life with books, journal papers, and media broadcasts. Broadcasts from History staff include: BBC Two series Ian Hislop’s a Stiff Upper Lip-An Emotional History of Britain, a series in which Dr Thomas Dixon was a consultant and interviewee. BBC Two’s Behind Closed Doors and At Home with the Georgians and BBC Radio 4’s Voices from the Old Bailey by Professor Amanda Vickery. Professor Julian Jackson delivered a programme on Charles de Gaulle called Monsieur Non for Archive on 4; and Dr Tom Asbridge developed and presented The Crusader’s Lost Fort for BBC2’s Timewatch.
Our intellectual diversity is a key feature of our community. This will enable you to study political history alongside the history of art or film. By following cultural and intellectual themes you could investigate topics as diverse as: the lives of Oscar Wilde; the representation of war in contemporary British popular culture; or the Medieval Islamic world.
You will have membership to the Queen Mary Library and the University of London Library, Senate House, both of which have extensive collections. You will also enjoy reading access to the other college libraries within the University of London, and can take advantage of Queen Mary’s London location and ready access to a wealth of other libraries, museums and archives.
You can choose to apply for a four-year version of this degree with a full year abroad. We have links with universities around the world, including Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia (specific partnerships for each programme may vary).
While there are no extra tuition fees associated with these placements abroad, you will need to cover the cost of your transport to your destination and your living expenses, including accommodation.
Find out more about study abroad opportunities at QMUL.
- History in Practice (QMUL Model module)
At least one of the following modules:
- Europe in a Global Context since 1800
- Unravelling Britain: British History since 1801
At least one of the following modules:
- Europe 1000-1500: The Middle Ages and their legacy
- Reformation to Revolution: Europe and the World 1500-1800
Optional modules may include:
- Building the American Nation 1756-1900
- Global Encounters: Conquest and Culture in World History
- The Medieval World: Structures and Mentalities
- The Foundations of Modern Thought: Introduction to Intellectual History
Modules may include:
- From the Tsars to the Bolsheviks: Russia 1801-1921
- Architecture in London
- Race in the United States: Slavery To Civil Rights
- Victorian Values: Religion, Sex, Race and Deviance in Nineteenth-Century Britain
- History of Modern Political Thought
- The Georgians: Society and Culture in Eighteenth Century England
- Outsiders in the Middle Ages
- A History of Terror in the Modern Age 1858-2008
History Special Subject and dissertation
These may include:
- The Kennedy Years
- Behind Closed Doors: House, Home and Private Life in England, 1660-1850
- The War on Terror
- Slaves on Horses: State and Society under the Mamluks
- Making Thatcher's Britain: The Thatcher Revolution, 1975-1997
Modules may include:
- Cold War America, 1945-1975
- The Atlantic Slave Trade: Africa, Europe, and the Americas from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Centuries
- Islam and the West in the Middle Ages
- The World of the Nun: Convent life in Renaissance Europe
- The Germans and the Jews since 1871
- The World that Jane Austen Knew: Women, Gender and Culture in England
General Admission Entry Requirements can be found below.
2018 Entry requirements
|A-Level||Grades ABB at A-Level. This must include A-Level History. Excludes General Studies and Critical Thinking.|
|IB||International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 32 points overall, including 6,5,5 from three Higher Level subjects. This must include History at Higher Level.|
|BTEC||See our detailed subject and grade requirements|
|Access HE||We consider applications from students with the Access to Higher Education Diploma. The minimum academic requirement is to achieve 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 15 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. This must include at least 6 Level 3 credits in History modules at Distinction.|
|GCSE||Minimum five GCSE passes including English and Maths at grade C or 4.|
|EPQ||Alternative offers may be made to applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification.|
|Contextualised admissions||We consider every application on its individual merits and will take into consideration your individual educational experiences and context. More information on how academic schools and programmes use this information as part of the admissions process, can be found on our contextualised admissions pages.|
General Admissions Entry Requirements
English Language Proficiency
All applicants to QMUL must show they meet a minimum academic English language standard for admission and to be successful on the course, to the indicated levels for the area of study. See our guidance on English Language requirements for all degree programmes.
Vocational and Other Qualifications
The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.
If you are taking a combination of qualifications at Level 3, we will consider your academic profile and may make offers on a case-by-case basis. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (email@example.com) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Subject to the policy of the programme, it may be possible for students to join undergraduate degree programmes at the beginning of the second year of a three or four year degree programme or, sometimes, the beginning of the third year of a four year programme. Please note, not all schools will consider advanced entry. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) before making an application for individual advice.
If you are applying for advanced entry on the basis of a post A-Level qualification, such as the BTEC HND, you should apply via UCAS in the usual way. If you wish to transfer your degree studies from another UK higher education institution, you will be considered on the basis of your original A-Level or equivalent qualifications, current syllabus, academic references and results.
We typically expect you to have achieved a 2.1 standard on your current programme and have already met the standard equivalent first year entry requirements. Applications must be submitted via UCAS.
European and International Applicants
Our students come from over 162 countries and we accept a wide range of European and International Qualifications for entry, in addition to A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please see our International Admissions webpages for further details of our academic requirements, and information regarding how we assess the equivalence of your qualification.
Applicants will typically be expected to be taking academic subjects relevant to the programme of study. You are advised to review the A-Level and IB requirements for an indication of these subjects. If you are at all unclear, the Admissions team (email@example.com) is happy to advise you further.
For any other enquiries directly relating to our entry requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office directly.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5511
See our information and guidance on how to apply.
Learning and teaching
Learning and Teaching:
Most modules are taught in a one-hour lecture followed by a one-hour seminar each week. All of our seminar-based classes are capped at 15 students-some extended seminars have more students. Some modules will include extended field trips such as visits to art galleries, museums, the Houses of Parliament and longer study visits, for example study visits to other cities. In your final year you will take a Special Subject that is taught as a two-hour-long seminar. Most students have eight hours of classes per week. This is supplemented by one-to-one discussions in staff office hours and feedback sessions.
For every hour spent at University you will be expected to complete a further 2 - 3 hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
Assessment is typically by a mixture of examination and coursework, but some modules are assessed entirely on coursework. Coursework may take the form of essays, diaries, case-studies or book reviews. Some modules use screen or slide tests as part of their assessment. Oral presentations may also contribute to your overall mark. You will be provided with feedback to help you improve your performance and understanding of the subject. In the final year you will have the opportunity to work on a special subject research dissertation. These special subject modules are worth half your final year mark and allow you to work closely on primary source material and carry out your own research in a specialised area which particularly interests you.
Fees and finance
Tuition fees for Home and EU students
Tuition fees for International students
You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.
Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.
For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.
See more general information about fees.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.
Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students
There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.
Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.
Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students
There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.
Find out more about international scholarships.
Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.
Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs
Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.
Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):
- A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
- A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
- Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
- You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.
Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:
- How to apply for student finance
- What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
- What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
- What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance
Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary
We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.
Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:
- Additional sources of funding
- Planning your budget and cutting costs
- Part-time and vacation work
- Money for lone parents
For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.
Graduates from Queen Mary’s BA History and Film Studies programme go on to work in a wide variety of careers spanning the media, government and politics, academia, business, finance, the charity sector and legal services.
The national 2014-15 destination survey confirmed that 93% of graduates from the School of History were in employment or study six months after graduation with 80% of this group already working or studying at graduate level. Graduates from Queen Mary’s School of History also have a strong earning power, with a median salary of £21,406.
The broad range of skills gained through programmes in the School, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, have enabled students to move into careers and postgraduate study such as:
Bank of England
Public Relations Policy Assistant
Royal Albert Hall
Graduate Diploma in Law
MA Middle Eastern History
MSc International Relations
King’s College London
MA Cultural & Creative Industries
MA European History
We offer a series of workshops and events to help students to identify career options, train them in recruitment & selection methods and offer networking opportunities. These are tailored to the needs of students from History and will be run by the School’s Careers Consultant.
In the past year the programme included the History Futures day enabling students to explore a variety of careers in just one day. In addition there are events and workshops throughout the year, such as those exploring careers in Journalism, Publishing and Teaching. Events planned will help students to explore careers in Law, Marketing and Public Affairs.
History students are be able to access dedicated Careers resources to build their career related knowledge of options and opportunities, or to develop their employability skill set.
Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers pages.
Name: Chloe Rodgerson
Studying: BA History
Why did you choose History at QMUL?
I felt that the course offered gave me the ability to study a spectrum of extremely interesting topics from a range of time periods and areas of history. After being given the opportunity to experience lectures and seminars through the taster days offered, I found QM to be a friendly and encouraging place. Being able to meet students and professors was extremely encouraging.
Are there any modules that you have particularly enjoyed, and why?
Unravelling Britain had allowed me to greatly expand my love for British history and has expanded my knowledge of the era from 1800 onwards.
What do you enjoy about being a student here?
The access to London means that at QM you will never be bored. I also love the atmosphere here on campus that makes you feel part of a community.
What is your favourite thing about being based in the East End?
Being on a campus university yet still feeling like you are in the heart of London.
What are your favourite local haunts and what makes them special?
Within London there are a whole wealth of markets and small shops that you can find that offer very quirky items and goods. In the East there are a series of restaurants and bars there are nice and also cheap, so perfect for students.
For those student moving from rural areas we have a series of lovely parks around our campus, such as Victoria Park, that will make you feel more at home.
How would you describe the School in three words?
Strong community atmosphere.
Name: Jack Baldan
Studying: BA History
Why did you choose History at QMUL?
I chose to do History at QM because it offered a much wider range of history to study. It gave me the opportunity to broaden my knowledge into areas of history that I had previously not heard of or thought existed.
Also there was the appeal of studying at a university that was growing in terms of size and achievement. This has grown as I have been here with the university, and the school of History itself becoming more successful with each year.
Are there any modules that you have particularly enjoyed, and why?
Madness in Medicine was a brilliant module that delved into the dark side of mental illness and how it has been viewed, explained and treated over time. It is a module that seemed to look at things in a different way to other more traditional historical modules.
What do you enjoy about being a student here?
I love working with academics that are at the top of their game in terms of teaching and research. At the same time they are also extremely down to earth and welcoming to any of the student’s needs. This homely environment has allowed me to work well as I am in an environment which helps me learn and improve.
What are your favourite things about being based in the East End?
It offers the opportunity to be part of a massively diverse location where you can come across people from all areas of the world. This allows you to take on a greater appreciation of different culture that is not possible elsewhere. There is also the growth that is taking place in the area in that there are so many opportunities for work and social life. The traditional image of the East End is coming together with an exciting new atmosphere where you are guaranteed to find something you will love.
Name: Sam Amrani
Studied: BA History, graduated 2010
Currently: CEO, Executive Corporation
Why did you choose Queen Mary?
I chose Queen Mary because it’s the only campus based university, minutes from the centre of London and because of this; it has a great atmosphere and definitely makes its place in the University of London unique. I had heard good things about its overall reputation, and being a part of Queen Mary means I was able to learn from lecturers who were internationally recognised for their research, and use world class facilities provided by the whole University of London.
How did you find out about your current job?
I’ve been working for my own company for the past three years, which has done surprisingly well, so for now, I am planning to continue with that. At some point in the future I want to start a career in law.
"All the staff I met at Queen Mary were really supportive, enthusiastic and approachable."
How did your time at Queen Mary prepare you for work?
All the staff I met at Queen Mary were really supportive, enthusiastic and approachable. They were happy to give me advice and guidance on matters academic or otherwise. They encouraged me to work on my strengths and become a better all rounder by improving the skills that I was not as proficient in.
What does your current job involve day-to-day?
It’s quite varied, but a day generally involves: Meeting and dealing with potential clients, both domestic and corporate from all over the world; taking orders via the website, telephone and email; expanding the business via new marketing channels; expanding the range of the business by looking at new products and divisions to launch. This involves talks with other companies (eg suppliers and designers).
What are your most and least favourite aspects of your job?
Most favourite: I am my own boss, I can choose what and when to do things. This gives me a great sense of achievement when things go right. Least favourite: Long hours, lots of bureaucracy, different atmosphere to working in a global company with many employees. At the end of the day, I am accountable for anything.