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3. Guardian University Guide 2021
Gain a rich understanding of how contemporary history has shaped the modern world
Our BA (Hons) Modern History course explores the fundamental areas of contemporary history and their effects on modern society and culture.
You will consider the impacts of the World Wars on politics and societies across Europe, the development of modern British culture, the global impact of the Cold War and the rise of ‘Post Communism’ in Russia and China.
Pursue your interests
The course will allow you to pursue your own area of interest, whether political, cultural or social. You will then develop your knowledge and skills to take a critical perspective on historical events and their outcomes for the modern world.
Learn from experts
You will learn from internationally recognised staff who use the latest research to underpin their teaching to ensure you engage with the current historiographical debates.
On this course you will:
- Examine modern history within British, American, African and European contexts.
- Explore the effects of war, capitalism, urbanism, democracy, nationalism, citizenship, gender and ethnicity in the contemporary era.
- Learn from our team of expert staff at the forefront of their fields.
- Build your degree around your interests.
- Develop your critical thinking, team-working, research and digital skills, all vital for post-degree employment.
Gain a rich understanding of modern history
Our BA (Hons) Modern History degree introduces you to the fundamentals of the period.
You will then be able to branch out to discover your interests and follow your passions to really make your degree unique to you.
In your first year, you will be introduced to the academic standards required of history students such as the necessary research skills and the ability to evaluate primary and secondary historical sources.
You will also explore a variety of social and political context from the period.
You will establish a strong historiographical foundation for your three years of study. This includes modules that introduce you to the study of international relations, contemporary British cultural history, conflicts of the 20th century, and the rise of Russia and China as global superpowers.
In your second year, you will begin to mould your degree around your interests.
You will be able to pursue options that explore papal political influences, the links between political ideologies and modern cultures, British post-war cultural attitudes, conflict in Russia and Eurasia, and much more.
By your final year, you will have a strong sense of what historical area you would like to focus on for your final dissertation project.
Alongside your thesis, you will have the opportunity to explore aspects of history including: 20th century European dictators, Pan-Africanism, the effects of globalisation, and the culture wars of Britain.
Select a year
Rethinking History: Theory and PracticeThe module draws upon the specialist expertise of our History tutors, as you examine a different approach to history each week from a range of contemporary theoretical perspectives. These will include, amongst others, social and cultural history, the history of women, gender and sexuality, ideology and discourse analysis, postcolonial, postmodern and empiricist histories, the history of the visual image, landscape and public history, the legacy of modern war, and heritage studies.
Modern and Contemporary British HistoryThis module examines the fundamental aspects of contemporary British history in a period of rapidly changing global redefinitions and reorganisations. You will consider the introduction of the welfare state within an interventionist economic structure, the shifting power relationship between majority and minority cultures, and the notion of national identity.
War and Peace: Twentieth Century Europe and Global ConflictThis module provides you with an overview of European political, cultural, and military history during the 20th century through the study of its major conflicts and global forces. The central focus of the module is the international history of the major Great Powers between 1914 and 2000. You will examine of some of the common debates that often surround the origins of the First World War; the Second World War; the Cold War and debates on the ‘New World Order’.
The United States: An Introduction (1763 – The Present)This module analyses the distinctive origins of American political thought and constitutional practice, the structures and effects of slavery, the origins of the civil war, the evolution of popular culture with special reference to jazz, the pursuit of civil rights and the emergence of the United States as a world power.
Introduction to International Relations Theory and PracticeThis module introduces you to the study of International Relations. You will learn the origins of the academic discipline and chart its evolution into modern approaches to the field. You will examine the relations between states and analysing some of the most significant ‘real world’ aspects of contemporary global politics, such as war and peace, security and insecurity, international intervention and peace-building, oppression and global inequality, among others.
Thatcherism and AfterThis module examines the historical context to the governments of Mrs Margaret Thatcher, PM and her continued influence on modern British politics. You will consider the meaning of the term 'Thatcherism' as you situate this political belief system in comparison with other forms of Conservatism and consider the ongoing cultural and social impacts of Thatcher and her politics.
Introduction to Soft Power: Britain and its Cultural Diplomacy in the Twenty-First CenturyThis module examines the role of literature, arts and other cultural forms and processes in conducting international relations. It is an introduction to the notions of soft power and cultural diplomacy and how Britain and other states and intergovernmental organisations have used it to exert their power. The module introduces students to the history and practice of organisations such as the BBC; BBC World Service; the British Council; UNESCO
Russia and China: An Introduction To ‘Post-Communism’This module introduces you to the contemporary politics of the two great powers, Russia and China, and explores their comparative journeys into versions of post-Communism. You will understand the evolution and/or collapse of ‘communist’ ideology and practice in each state. It acknowledges the new state-society dynamics in each state, offering an introduction to politics and society in the twenty-first century Russia and China.
Enlightenment Europe, 1688-1789The ideas of the Enlightenment provided new ways of thinking about science, religion, education, politics and society and the place of ‘mankind’ in the world, but to what extent did the ‘philosophers’ transform society and how enlightened were they? You will explore these ideas as you engage with the works of Locke, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Diederot, Rousseau, Beccaria and Wollstonecraft.
Approaches To ResearchThis module will build on your earlier explorations of research techniques, with a focus on the development of time and project management skills as you begin to prepare for your dissertation. Questions concerning how one starts on a research project and establishes viability of subject to a range of different approaches/theoretical perspectives will be discussed in detail, in relation to how you will choose their own dissertation topic.
Creative Writing Non-Fiction: Writing LivesFocusing on biography and autobiography, this module will build your skills in the genre of creative non-fiction. Developing the narrative and research skills acquired in previous prose modules, you will work towards producing an account of a transformative event in a person’s life.
Heritage In Practice: Work Placements For History StudentsThe aim of the module is to introduce you to the ways in which your learning experiences in the discipline of History can be applied to the working environment. The work placement experience will provide you with an understanding of the practical, ethical and technical issues involved in the collection, cataloguing and preservation or conservation of physical traces of the past.
From ‘Angry Young Men’ To Cool Britannia?: A Historical Analysis Of British Cultural Activity After 1945This module provides you with an opportunity to analyse examples of British cultural activity after 1945 within their artistic, political, and historical contexts. The module discusses a series of key movements of cultural production, for example, ‘the Angry Young Men’; ‘Cold War fictions’; or ‘Thatcherism/responses to Thatcherism’.
Fascism and Post-Fascism in EuropeBy looking at a variety of case studies from across Europe throughout the first half of the 20th century, we will discuss the way in which fascism was both embraced and fought against. In addition, by using literary and cultural forms of post-fascism you will explore how many of the core messages of ideological fascism survived despite being politically discredited.
Popes And PoliticsThis module examines the nature of papal pronouncements and diplomatic interventions in the continuing evolution of the modern nation state. You will consider these ideas in the new ideological landscapes of totalitarian power, in the two world wars and the Cold War. It will involve an analysis of the ideas, culture and structures of the Roman Catholic Church as they were found at work in the contexts of national and international politics in the years 1864-2005.
Oral HistoryThis module will introduce you to oral history as a methodology, as well as the evaluation of oral sources by historians. You will seek to place oral history within the wider debates around history as a discipline, and as a methodological approach to studying past events and experiences. You will also explore the ways in which oral sources have been used in different media, particularly in exhibitions, publications and museums, and to appraise these within a theoretical framework.
Ideologies, Politics And CultureThis module aims to provide you with a robust understanding of the nature of ideology, its operation within different political and cultural contexts, including Marxist, liberal, and conservative approaches. You will also explore and analyse a range of indicative political ideologies, including conservatism, socialism, fascism, feminism and ecologism, enhanced through analysis of historical and contemporary case studies, and discussion of a diverse range of texts.
Environment and State in Britain since 1945This module explores the British state’s evolving stewardship over the environment since the end of the Second World War. You will examine the connected environmental challenges that the state has faced in this time including pollution, urban change, resource depletion, species conservation and control, epidemics, extreme weather, the threat of nuclear war, and climate change.
Re-Litigating The Past: State, Media And Historical Injustice In Contemporary BritainThis module focuses on how public histories have been rewritten in Britain over the past three decades, through the interventions of state, media, and voluntary sector institutions. By studying these forms of investigations, you will learn about how private traumas are integrated into or transformed public memory, the ways in which and reasons why silences are maintained or broken, and the place of ‘the past’ in judicial processes.
Unforgettable Corpses: Literature, Cultural Memory and the First World WarThis module will examine literary products of the First World War, the methods by which the authors reproduced, described and fictionalised their experiences. The second half of the module will also consider the use of First World War tropes in literature produced in the latter half of the 20th century, compare the application of those narrative devices, and critically assess the later use of those devices.
Dissertation in HistoryThe dissertation represents the culmination of your History studies as you complete an individual research project on a topic of your choosing. The 10,500-word thesis will include explicit methodological and historiographical dimensions and where appropriate, theoretical discussions integrated into the text.
Dictatorship, Conformity and Resistance in Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy and Stalin’s RussiaThis module explores the distinctive ideologies of Soviet Communism, Italian Fascism and German National Socialism, and to consider if and how these were in fact new forms of religion. The module will also examine the construction of these ‘totalitarian’ states in practice, and the experiences of individual and institutions caught up within these contexts, with particular reference to the churches and to cultural movements
Pan-AfricanismThis module examines the ideologies, political movements and key activists concerned with the political unity and liberation of Africa and the African diaspora from the 19th century onwards. In particular, you will analyse the significance of the ideas of key ideologists and activists, including Edward Blyden, Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, W.E.B. Du Bois, Aimé Césaire, Malcolm X, Kwame Nkrumah, Franz Fanon and Amilcar Cabral.
A Global History Of The Cold WarThis module introduces you to a wider view of the effects of the Cold War beyond the traditional Western-centric view. You will examine the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union in the Middle East, the decolonisation processes in Asia and Africa, the political influence on developing nations in Latin America, and the emergence of China as an additional player.
International LawThis module introduces you to international law: the body of law which governs the legal relations between or among states and nations. You will study the theories, principles and processes of international law, including its sources, legal personality, jurisdiction and realms of responsibility. In addition, you will also be introduced to debates about the regulation of international activities, including the use of force, dispute settlement processes, human rights, and the role of the UN.
Globalization and its MalcontentsThis module looks at key moments in the development of globalization focusing on moments in which the world came together, such as the Bretton Woods conference in 1944, when the terms of global trade were outlined after the rupture of the Second World War. You will use these examples to contextualise the work of theorists like Arjun Appadurai to develop your understanding of how globalization has shaped twentieth-century history and politics.
British Cultural WarsThis module explores conflict within British culture from the start of the 19th century to the turn of the new millennium. You will consider the reaction to obscene publications and other literary controversies and moral panics of Victorian Britain, through to the as the liberal reforms in the 1960s and the self-censorship and the baleful influence of Hollywood on British cinema.
Discover facilities that support your academic learning
Learning Resource Centre
Extensive online History resources
Subject specific librarians
Royal Literary Fellows
Local cultural links
Teaching and Assessment
Feel the support of internationally-recognised research staff
At our University, you will find a friendly atmosphere and an encouraging team of staff who will work hard to support you throughout your learning.
Our record in Student Satisfaction polls for History is second to none and we are delighted that our students find the University a supportive and positive learning environment.
Our team of experienced tutors and experts use the latest research to underlie their teaching. This ensures that you have access the latest debates within the study of Medieval and Early Modern History.
Much of our teaching is in small groups. Our commitment to smaller class sizes allows you to feel more confident to discuss your ideas in a supportive environment.
It also allows your tutors get to know you and how best to aid your development.
Our BA (Hons) Medieval and Early Modern History course uses a range of assessments methods, including:
- Source evaluations and reviews
- Research projects
- Collaborative project work
Modules are assessed at every stage of the course, allowing you to clearly see your academic progress throughout your degree.
Gain vital workplace experience with our local partners
In your second year, you will have the option to work with a sector-leading museums, gallery or heritage sites.
These placements will give you the opportunity to acquire a fundamental insight into the way these institutions preserve for and present history to the public, as well as gain vital workplace experience to increase your employability.
Our prestigious partners include:
- Arundel Castle
- Bignor Roman Villa
- ButserAncient Farm
- Chichester Cathedral
- Chichester District Museum
- D-Day Museum, Southsea
- Emsworth Museum
- Fishbourne Roman Palace
- Mary Rose Museum
- Pallant House Gallery
- Petworth House
- Portsmouth City Museum
- Royal Marines Museum
- Tangmere Aviation Museum
- University of Chichester Archive Collections
- Weald and Downland Open Air Museum
- West Sussex Record Office
- Worthing Library
Open up your future career options
A degree in History provides you with the opportunity to take up a number of career roles after graduation. Our graduates are valued by employers as they possess key skills in communication, analysis and reporting.
The option to study issues of political, social, and cultural significance, as well as work placement opportunities in archives, institutes and research centres, provides you with experience suitable for a range of career paths.
Many of our graduates continue on as teachers, lawyers, accountants, as well as management roles within a variety of settings.
Career paths include:
- Local and national government
- Public service
- Communications and PR
- MA Cultural History
- MRes The History of Africa and the African Diaspora
- MA Creative Writing
- Postgraduate Research (MPhil/PhD)
Typical Offer (individual offers may vary)
Access to HE Diploma
Frequently asked questions
How do I apply?
Click the ‘Apply now’ button to go to relevant UCAS page.
What are UCAS tariff points?
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How do I know what my UCAS tariff points are?
Head to the UCAS Tariff Points web page where you can find a tariff points calculator that can tell you how much your qualification and grades are worth.
When does this course start?
This course starts in September 2022.