Take a journey into the past and explore what it means for our present and future. Discover epoch-making developments from histories around the world on our BA (Hons) History degree in Cambridge.
History graduate Charles reveals how he turned his degree into a career as Senior Aviation Analyst and Forecaster for Jane’s.Read Charles's story
Join a course that scored 95% for Teaching on my Course and 91% for Assessment and Feedback in the National Student Survey 2023.
On our BA (Hons) History degree we’ll take you on a journey into the past, looking at the histories of Britain, Europe, the United States and other parts of the world from 1500 onwards. You’ll encounter major historical figures from Henry VIII to Martin Luther King, and explore epoch-making transitions in human experience such as the development of empires, industrialisation and new technology.
Together, we’ll explore major themes such as the impact of revolutions, imperialism and democracy, at the same time exploring the history of everyday life, including changes in the home, consumerism and popular culture. You won’t just study Hitler and Stalin, but also topics such as James Bond and popular literature too.
You’ll get the opportunity to study different kinds of history, looking at the past both through chronological surveys but also in thematic terms. Your modules will include subjects like the history of crime (from the early modern period up to the present), the treatment of poverty and the media. We’ll explore the history of social structure too, looking at economic change but also gender and race. Together we’ll discover stories in the past that are sometimes inspiring but also challenging, looking at contemporary figures such as Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin as well as major issues such as climate change, and learning how to place them in a historical perspective.
At the end of your degree, you’ll have an impressive story to tell employers. Our History degree is structured to build up skills that can take you into the world of work. We’ll give you training in research and data analysis, exploring how to gain the most from sources. We’ll also show you how to communicate your research, using formats from the printed page through to podcasts, webpages and exhibitions. You’ll also gain access to museums and archives where you will meet professionals working in the field, and take part in live briefs for partner organisations. Some of our students recently worked with Churchill Archives Centre, curating an online exhibition to coincide with a two-day conference.
You can choose to take a work placement as well as a sandwich year, where you can gain important experience of employment, helping to propel you into jobs that are fulfilling and rewarding. Our past students have gone on to a variety of careers from business, administration, the media and the Civil Service through to teaching at all levels. Some have also gone on to work in museums and archives.
You’ll have access to award-winning learning facilities, including our on-campus library and a huge range of digital resources to sustain your research. Studying in the ancient university city of Cambridge will also give you access to many more resources, libraries and institutions both in the city and beyond.
At level 5 and 6 you can also choose to learn, or continue learning, French, Japanese or Spanish as part of your course on our Anglia Language Programme modules.
Our teaching team is made up of trained historians with an international reputation for the work they publish You’ll also have the chance to attend talks by leading historians and other experts.
Join us and share in our passion for the past.
Course Leader: Prof Rohan McWilliam
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Dr Joseph Harley considers how our traditional view of the workhouse might be inaccurate.
A 60 second seminar from Dr Richard Carr, Senior Lecturer in History and Politics at ARU
A 60 second seminar from Dr Sean Lang, Senior Lecturer in History at ARU
Read about Lucy's award-winning research on Britain's 'Brown Babies' and her current work on race relations in the 1930s.Spotlight on Professor Lucy Bland
Professor of Social and Cultural History Lucy Bland talks about her award-winning research on Britain's 'Brown Babies' and her current work on race relations in the 1930s.ARU Spotlight Podcast: Prof Lucy Bland
All our BA (Hons) History students have the opportunity to:
Join our student community in Cambridge and:
Our Creative Showcase shines a spotlight on what makes ARU creative and cultural – our spaces, places and people. Find out more about our community, the difference we make, the stories we tell, and the things that inspire us.
Meanwhile, Present is an exhibition that you curate for yourself. Explore the work of our graduating students in this eye-catching virtual degree show.
Alternatively, take a guided tour and meet our students.
What can you do with a BA (Hons) History degree? The answer: Almost anything! Former ARU History graduates are now at work in the civil service, teaching, museums and heritage management, the police, the armed forces as well as other rewarding and enjoyable jobs.
You’ll also become skilled in data analysis, research, critical thinking and complex problem solving.
Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. You might decide to stay at ARU and study for a Master's, such as our MA History or MA International Relations. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and get 20% off your fees.
Informed by employers, our courses support an integrated approach to employability. You’ll have opportunities to develop the skills and abilities they are looking for and gain a deeper understanding of how your academic learning relates to the world of work through Live Briefs and Ruskin Modules.
To amplify your career ambition, you will need to actively dedicate time outside of your studies, whether you choose to explore placements, internships or volunteering. Or you could make a social impact by collaborating with our partner organisations through our volunteer scheme Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange (SHoKE). These all give you an edge, providing you with experience that you will be able to evidence on your CV and talk about in interviews.
Our Employability and Careers Service offers a range of expert advice and support to build your unique professional profile, including tailored career appointments, advice on writing your CV, and help to complete job applications. You’ll have 24/7 access to the Careers Centre, our comprehensive online digital resource, which empowers you to start building a Personal Career Development Plan from the very start. Design your future at ARU.
"I loved the lectures and the discussions in seminars, not only because I was interested in the subject, but because you could see how passionate the lecturers were."Daisy Murray-Smith
BA (Hons) History graduate and Records Officer with Surrey PoliceDaisy's story
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This course offers a foundation year – an extra year of study to help you prepare for university, and build your knowledge and skills.More about foundation years
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