Skip to main content

Intellectual History

Entry Year: 2022

2 study options

Intellectual History BA (Hons)

Key information

BA (Hons)
3 years
September 2022
UCAS code
Institution code
Entry Requirements
Full entry requirements
UK fees
International fees
Fees for 2021 entry will appear here shortly

*These fees are for the 2020-21 academic year and are provided as a guideline. Fees for 2021-22 have not yet been set.

Intellectual History with Year Abroad BA (Hons)

Key information

BA (Hons)
4 years
September 2022
UCAS code
Institution code
Entry Requirements
Full entry requirements
UK fees
International fees
Fees for 2021 entry will appear here shortly

*These fees are for the 2020-21 academic year and are provided as a guideline. Fees for 2021-22 have not yet been set.


Study how historical events shaped, and were shaped by, new ideas and influential thinkers.

This BA programme gives you the exciting opportunity to study the history of ideas at Queen Mary – home to leading intellectual historians such as Quentin Skinner, Gareth Stedman Jones and Georgios Varouxakis.

In your first year you’ll be introduced to the practice of intellectual history, with a comprehensive module on the foundations of modern thought. You’ll cover key figures in the history of political thought and philosophy, from the Middle Ages through to the 20th century.

From your second year you’ll have the opportunity to personalise your degree. Choose from a vast range of modules covering political, philosophical and scientific ideas, from the Chartists and Suffragettes to Darwin and 20th century totalitarianism. In addition you'll have access to the full range of social, political and cultural history modules offered by our internationally renowned staff.

You can take this degree with a year abroad, immersing yourself in a different culture and society.

Coronavirus FAQs

Advice and guidance for applicants

Find out more


You can complete your Intellectual 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


  • History in Practice
  • The Foundations of Modern Thought: Introduction to Intellectual History
  • Unravelling Britain: British History since 1801
  • Global Encounters: Conquest and Culture in World History

Choose from

  • Building the American Nation: 1756-1900
  • Europe 1000 - 1500: The Middle Ages and their Legacy
  • Europe in a Global Context since 1800
  • Reformation to Revolution: Europe and the World, 1500-1800
  • Screening History: Representing the Past in the Contemporary Historical Film
  • Controversies of Science and Technology in the Making of the Modern World

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

Year 2


  • History Research Project

Choose from over 25 modules, such as

  • Philosophical Britain: Cultural and Intellectual History, 1895-2012.
  • The American Century: The History of the United States, 1900 - 2000
  • The British Empire in Political Thought
  • The Darwinian Revolution: the History of a Dangerous Idea
  • The History of the Emotions
  • Totalitarianism: History & Theory of Twentieth Century Authoritarian Politics

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 Idea of ‘the West’: a history from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century
  • The Kennedy Years
  • The Pursuit of Happiness? The Creation of American Capitalism, 1763-1914
  • The War on Terror

Choose from a range of modules, including

  • Anxieties of Empire: Rumours Rebellion and the Imperial Imagination
  • Reinventing Ourselves: Psychology, Sex and Chemistry in Modern Britain
  • Solitude in Life and Literature in the Enlightenment
  • The Enlightenment (I) and (II)
  • The Troubles in Northern Ireland

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 Intellectual 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.

student profile image

Studying history has given me the chance to explore civilisations I never even knew existed. From medieval monks to modern day Britain, my eyes have been opened to a vast array of cultures.

Fatima Moosa, History (2019)


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 per cent 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.

Entry requirements


Non-UK students

We accept a wide range of European and international qualifications in addition to A-levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please visit International Admissions for full details.

If your qualifications are not accepted for direct entry onto this degree, consider applying for a foundation programme.

English language

Find out more about our English language entry requirements, including the types of test we accept and the scores needed for entry to the programme.

You may also be able to meet the English language requirement for your programme by joining a summer pre-sessional programme before starting your degree.

Further information

See our general undergraduate entry requirements.


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

Intellectual History - BA (Hons)

Intellectual 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.

Contact us

School of History

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8351

Contact us