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Modern and Contemporary History

Entry Year: 2020

2 study options

Modern and Contemporary History BA (Hons)

Key information

BA (Hons)
3 years
September 2020
UCAS code
Institution code
Clearing entry requirements *
A-levels: BCC with at least a B in History
IB: HL 28 with at least a HL 5 in History
* Clearing entry requirements are indicative only and subject to change. Please check this page regularly for updates.
UK/EU fees
International fees
Funding information
Paying your fees

Modern and Contemporary History with Year Abroad BA (Hons)

Key information

BA (Hons)
4 years
September 2020
UCAS code
Institution code
Clearing entry requirements *
A-levels: BCC with at least a B in History
IB: HL 28 with at least a HL 5 in History
* Clearing entry requirements are indicative only and subject to change. Please check this page regularly for updates.
UK/EU fees
International fees
Funding information
Paying your fees
Modern and Contemporary History


Focus on the historical events that shaped the world we live in today.

Our BA in Modern and Contemporary History is taught by internationally renowned academics with expertise in modern British, European and American history and the international relations that have defined the world as we know it.

You’ll build specialist knowledge of the history and historical techniques of the modern era, and apply a historical perspective to a sweeping range of contemporary issues. You’ll choose from modules focusing on Europe and the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, exploring leadership, government and broader social and cultural contexts. You’re also free to take modules which provide global perspectives or consider earlier historical periods.

Your classes will teach you how to engage with contemporary history using critical analysis: whether biographical, such as Kennedy or Thatcher; national, such as British or American history; or thematic, such as the history of terrorism or political thought.

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You can complete your Modern and Contemporary History degree in three or four years. If you choose to study abroad, this will take place in Year 3 and Year 3 modules will instead be studied in Year 4.

Year 1


  • Europe in a Global Context since 1800
  • History in Practice
  • Unravelling Britain: British History since 1801

Choose from

  • Building the American Nation: 1756-1900
  • Europe 1000-1500: The Middle Ages and their Legacy
  • Global Encounters: Conquest and Culture in World History
  • Life and Death in the Victorian Home
  • Race and the Desire for Difference
  • Reformation to Revolution: Europe and the World, 1500-1800
  • Screening History: Representing the Past in the Contemporary Historical Film
  • The Foundations of Modern Thought: Introduction to Intellectual History
  • The Medieval World: Structures and Mentalities

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

Year 2

Choose from over 50 modules, including

  • A Century of Extremes: Germany 1890-1990
  • Architecture in London II 1837 - to the Present
  • British Horror: Film, Television and Literature
  • Madness and Medicine in Modern Britain
  • Race in the United States: Slavery to Civil Rights
  • The Clinton Years
  • Winning on the Western Front: the British Army 1914-1919

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

Year 3


History special subject and dissertation module in one of 15+ subjects, which may include

  • Making Thatcher's Britain: the Thatcher Revolution, 1975-1997
  • The French Civil 1934-1944
  • The 'Heart of Darkness'? Identity, Power, and Politics in the Congo c.1870-2010
  • The Kennedy Years
  • The War on Terror
  • We the People: Democracy in America 1787-1861

Choose from over 50 modules, including

  • A History of Terror in the Modern Age 1858-2008
  • Alfred Hitchcock and the New Film History
  • Gotham: the Making of New York City 1825-2001
  • Modern Art, 1900-1950
  • The British Empire in Political Thought from the 18th century to the 20th century
  • The Germans and the Jews since 1871
  • The Supernatural in Modern Britain

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

Study options

Apply for this degree with any of the following options. Take care to use the correct UCAS code - it may not be possible to change your selection later.

Year abroad

Go global and study abroad as part of your degree – apply for our Modern and Contemporary History BA with a Year Abroad. Queen Mary has links with universities in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia (partnerships vary for each degree programme).

Find out more about study abroad opportunities at Queen Mary and what the progression requirements are.


What I enjoy most about my course is the ability to tailor my degree to my interests, due to the vast range of modern and contemporary modules offered.


Teaching and learning

For each module you’ll usually receive two hours of weekly contact time, typically comprising a one-hour lecture followed by a one-hour seminar.

Formal teaching is supplemented by one-to-one discussions in staff office hours and feedback sessions.

For every hour spent in class, you'll complete a further two to three hours of independent study. This time is spent reading, preparing for study sessions, working on projects and revising for exams.


Assessment typically involves a combination of examinations and coursework, or coursework only. Coursework may include essays, diaries, case-studies and oral presentations.

In your final year you’ll work on a dissertation worth 25% of your final year mark, researching a specialised area of history that particularly interests you.

Resources and facilities

The School offers excellent resources to aid your studies, including:

  • membership of the Queen Mary Library, the University of London Library at Senate House, and reading access to other college libraries within the University of London
  • a vibrant History Society
  • the Queen Mary History Journal, a major scholarly publication stocked by the British Library, which is written, produced and edited entirely by students
  • a central London location that offers ready access to a wealth of world-class libraries, archives, museums and galleries
  • opportunities to attend Public History Unit Lectures.


Loans and grants

UK students accepted onto this course are eligible to apply for tuition fee and maintenance loans from Student Finance England or other government bodies.

Scholarships and bursaries

Queen Mary offers a generous package of scholarships and bursaries, which currently benefits around 50 per cent of our undergraduates.

Scholarships are available for home, EU and international students. Specific funding is also available for students from the local area. International students may be eligible for a fee reduction. We offer means-tested funding, as well as subject-specific funding for many degrees.

Find out what scholarships and bursaries are available to you.

Support from Queen Mary

We offer 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.

Take a look at our Student Advice Guides which cover ways to finance your degree, including:

  • additional sources of funding
  • planning your budget and cutting costs
  • part-time and vacation work
  • money for lone parents.


As a history graduate, you can apply your degree knowledge directly to a career in museums, education or the arts and heritage sector. Our graduates are also highly employable in other sectors and commonly enter roles in publishing, journalism, policy, consumer and social research, management consulting and the Civil Service – making use of skills gained from the programme, including verbal and written communication, research, critical analysis and attention to detail.

Recent graduates from the School of History have been hired by:

  • Bank of England
  • Croud Marketing
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Gillamor Stephens
  • J.P. Morgan
  • LexisNexis.



Career support

The School of History has a dedicated Careers Consultant who can offer specialist advice. We hold an annual ‘History Futures’ event where you can meet former students and discover how their studies have helped them progress in their career.

The Queen Mary careers team can also offer:

  • advice on choosing a career path
  • support with finding work experience, internships and graduate jobs
  • feedback on CVs, cover letters and application forms
  • interview coaching.

Learn more about career support and development at Queen Mary.

Unistats data for these courses

Modern and Contemporary History - BA (Hons)

Modern and Contemporary History with Year Abroad - BA (Hons)

About the School

The School of History is ranked 11th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018. Our staff are at the forefront of research in their respective fields - world-leading scholars engaged in innovative teaching and bringing history to the wider public on TV and radio.

We regularly collaborate with other institutions such as the Royal Collection Trust, the National Maritime Museum, the Geffrye Museum and the V&A – giving you unique opportunities to meet curators and attend private viewings.

The School is home to a number of exciting research centres, including Centres for the Study of the History of Political Thought, Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, and the History of the Emotions, so the teaching you receive is informed by leading-edge research.

This course is in Clearing

Call our Clearing hotline
+44 (0)207 882 5511

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