Ever wondered how past events shape our current world? Or why some current events are eerily similar to things that happened centuries ago? This course will help you understand how the modern world came to be and what this might mean for the future. We offer a flexible programme of study, where you’ll be encouraged to combine theoretical knowledge with practical skills. You’ll be able to choose many of your modules, so you can specialise in those areas you are interested in most. You’ll gain a solid foundation in many branches of history, whilst learning the practical skills needed in the field of work.
Your lecturers at Herts have won prizes for their work and even contribute to radio and television, both in the UK and abroad. You’ll study at a University that has contributed to ‘Harry Potter: A History of Magic,’ part of a British Library exhibition. You’ll learn about national as well as international history, from Europe to Africa and America. Our course focuses on the connection between past and present, linking people’s history and everyday lives.
The history department offers an interactive and collaborative approach to studying. Your time in class will consist of some lectures, where you learn the theory that underpins the area of history you investigate. But your main mode of learning will be through interactive workshops and seminars, where you’ll do practical tasks and engage in group discussions. This way, you can learn from your lecturers as well as your course mates. You will develop your independent research and critical thinking skills and learn how to argue your points effectively.
Herts is one of the few Universities in the UK with an active Oral History team. Oral history is all about recording people’s stories before they are lost forever. This can be on topical issues, such as immigration and retirement, or you can set up your very own project. We have run projects involving football clubs, well-known companies, and people from the local community. This optional co-curricular is great for your CV. It helps you develop new skills that employers value. In 2018, some of our students produced interviews for a BBC Radio 4 programme, which was commended for the Public History Prize by the Royal Historical Society.
What's the course about?
In your first year you’ll study modules that will give you an insight into the making of the modern world. Explore faith, magic and medicine and campaigns for freedom and equality. You’ll learn about Africa and the world, and about America from Hamilton to Trump.
In your second year you’ll be able to choose all your modules. This means you have the chance to specialise in those areas that fit your interests. Look at family life in the 18th century, politics in the 20th century, crime, and society in the 16th century, British imperialism and more. You can even choose to learn how to make a historical documentary, giving you a host of transferable skills.
Work placement/study abroad option: Between your second and final year, you’ll have the option to study abroad or do a work placement for up to a year. Not only will this give you an amazing experience to talk about but will also give your CV a boost. If you’d rather go straight to your final year, that’s absolutely fine too.
In your third and final year, you will continue to study those areas you love. You’ll also have the chance work on a final history project, known as a dissertation, on a topic of your choosing. This is the year in which you combine all those skills you’ve been gaining, preparing you for the world of work when you leave us.