BA (Hons)

Ancient and Medieval History

2018 entry

Features and benefits of the course

  • You will be introduced to a number of different approaches to the study of the ancient and medieval past, which will allow you to explore specialist topics in detail and depth.
  • We can provide you with training in historical methods and research techniques to boost your employability in a wide range of research-based roles after graduating.
  • Year 2 can be spent studying in either the USA or Australia.
  • 94% of History Students are satisfied with the teaching on their course according to the National Student Survey 2015.
  • We are ranked 16th out of 82 UK Universities for the quality of our impact in History research accordiing to the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • 93% of History graduates go straight into employment and/or further study according to the DLHE Survey 2014.

    Placement options

    All history students, whichever degree route you have chosen, can spend their second year on an exchange abroad.  You will spend the full academic year at your chosen institution and there are a wide-range of universities to choose from in Australia and the United States. If you are taking the American History degree it is strongly recomment that you consider an exchange in the United States.

    About the course

    Ancient and Medieval History offers you the opportunity to study the history of Greece and Rome in Classical Antiquity (600 BCE – 700 CE) and how that world developed into the Medieval period (c. 700 CE - 1500 CE). Ancient history is a fundamental area of study: its politics, events and development lie behind our understanding of many aspects of historical societies and, indeed, our own culture. Medieval history shows a world transformed from its archaic predecessor, but a world whose history and consequences are still very much with us today.

    Typical units of study may include

    Year 1

    In Year 1, you will be introduced to a variety of historical periods and themes to introduce you to the academic study of the past. Currently these include compulsory units called the Rise of Persecuting Society, Europe in Turmoil 1900-1939, Introduction to Ancient History and Myths of the Medieval and Early Modern World. 

    Core Units
    Aspects of World History: Introduction to Ancient History

    This unit introduces you to the fascinating world of classical antiquity, and will focus particularly on both Classical Greece and Republican and Imperial Rome. The aim of the unit is not only to immerse you in the vibrant world of antiquity, to bring its classical civilisations to life, but also, through the textual, iconographic and material evidence those cultures left behind, to provide you with the skills required for further study of the ancient world.

    This course is split into three distinct blocks, each designed to introduce students to one aspect of ancient history. In the first block, students will be introduced to the fascinating world of ancient Greece. The second block of the unit explores Gaeco-Roman Egypt. In block three we move on to Rome. 

    Europe in Turmoil 1900-1939

    The momentous events of the early twentieth century have profoundly shaped the modern world. These years were dominated by the First World War and as new nations rose and old empires fell, societies and communities were also transformed. You will study this pivotal period in all its dimensions; statesmen and diplomats rub shoulders with wild-eyed revolutionaries, militant campaigners for women’s rights and war-weary soldiers. 

    From the Medieval to the Modern: Myths of the Medieval and Early Modern World

    There are lots of myths and misconceptions surrounding medieval and early modern history. The popular view is of a time of unfettered violence and warfare, where there was very little learning and most people were ignorant of the world around them. Everyone either followed the beliefs of the church or they were condemned as witches or heretics, but the Reformation swept this away by rejecting Catholicism, introducing reform and a new Humanist way of thinking. You will interrogate this period through four themes – warfare and violence; religion and belief; gender and power; and learning, exploring what this world was really like. 

    The Rise of the Persecuting Society

    From the city streets of ancient Greece and the amphitheatres of Rome, via medieval inquisitions, witch-hunts and crusades, to modern conflict driven by religion, ‘race’ and ideology, this challenging unit charts the dark history of persecution and explores how it has shaped, and continues to shape the human experience.

    Year 2

    In Year 2, you will take Empires in World History. You can then choose from either Culture, Community and Conflict in Classical Greece or Rome: From Republic to Empire. You will also choose either 'The Clash of Civilisations': Islam and Christianity in the Medieval Mediterranean World or Medieval England 1066-1400. You will then choose one additional unit from a large number of options, which will enable you to pursue the interests you have developed during your first year. 

    Core Units
    Empires in World History

    You will focus on historiography within a framework of empires and imperialism, from antiquity through to twentieth-century decolonisation. Areas of study might include Rome; the Mongols; Islamic imperialism; 'first contact' in the Americas and the 'Scramble for Africa'. With a particular focus on 'difference' and 'power' as central dynamics of empires throughout history, the course will ensure that subaltern studies and cultural approaches to understanding the past will be given equal priority to conventional political, diplomatic and economic interpretations. This unit is also designed to help prepare you for your independent study project in your final year.

    Unit Choice 1 - Ancient and Medieval History

    You will choose one unit from the following options

    Culture, Community and Conflict in Classical Greece

    This unit explores the fascinating world of antiquity, concentrating particularly on the distinctive society and culture of Classical Greece. You will learn all about life in the ancient world, discovering in the process how the Greeks lived, loved, fought and feuded. You will look at their religion, politics, diplomacy, wars and conflicts, but also at the less prominent, but no less important, aspects of ancient society, like parties, prostitutes, and popular entertainment. As the course progresses, you will discover how the proud and fractious Greeks were eventually defeated and dominated by the mighty Macedonians, and how the Macedonians, in turn, were crushed and incorporated into the empire of the most successful city-state known to history: Rome.

    Rome: From Republic to Empire

    This unit will focus on the rise and fall of the most successful Empire the world has ever known. You will discover how an insignificant city state on the banks of the Tiber came to dominate the whole of the Mediterranean and Western Europe, and constantly reinvented itself from an oligarchic republic to a divine monarchy. The course will use classical writing, rhetoric and iconography to gain an understanding of the administrative and political developments that characterised the period.

    Unit Choice 2 - Ancient and Medieval History

    You will choose one unit from the following options

    'The Clash of Civilisations': Islam and Christianity in the Medieval Mediterranean World

    The Middle Ages or the Medieval period is marked by expansionist Muslim peoples proclaiming jihad and bursting out of Arabia. Espousing their own holy war, Christian powers began in earnest to reclaim former Christian lands in the eleventh century, which concluded with the First Crusade and the massacre of Jerusalem’s inhabitants - the most spectacular act of Christian sacred violence the world has ever seen. The violent creation of the Crusader States, subsequent crusades and the response and success of the jihadist movement in the East are said to be precursors of the fanatical violence epitomised in today’s so-called “clash of civilisations”. This unit explores the medieval origins of “the clash”.

    The Struggle For Mastery: Medieval Britain, 1066-1317

    This unit introduces you to the history of medieval Britain and the conflict between the kings of England and his neighbours in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Tracing the formation of medieval Britain, it covers themes like warfare, conquest, intermarriage and ethnicity whilst looking at the role of figures like ‘Strongbow’, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.

    Likely Optional Units
    Between the Sheets: Sex and Sexuality from Antiquity to the Present

    This unit will put sex and sexuality at the centre of historical inquiry. We will learn how people from across the expanses of time and geography, from Ancient Egypt to Interwar Germany, have understood themselves, their bodies and their desires.

    Engaging the Humanities and Social Science: Interdisciplinary Learning and Practice

    This is an innovative cross-departmental unit which provides an opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary context alongside other students from a range of undergraduate programmes within Humanities, Languages & Social Science. 

    France, 1914-1968
    The history of France from the 'Sacred Union' during the First World War to the mass revolt of May 1968. Explores politics, society and culture.  Contemporary France continues to feel the impact of the conflicts and divisions that developed during the early part of the twentieth century (from the Left-Right split to issues of national identity, cultural protection and secularism). 
    From Manchuria to Hiroshima: The Second World War in Asia and the Pacific

    The unit will provide a social, political and military history of the Pacific War from the Japanese attack on Manchuria in 1931 to the war tribunals held at Tokyo in 1946–1948. Topics include the ‘rape’ of Nanking, the fall of Singapore, the Japanese occupation of Southeast Asia, Pearl Harbor and Midway, the Burma campaign, the US Navy’s island hopping campaign, and the politics of the ‘bomb’.

    From Revolt to Revolution: Imperial Russia, 1825-1917

    This unit studies Imperial Russian History from the Decembrist Uprising in 1825 to the abdication of the last Romanov Tsar Nikolai II in 1917. The nature of Autocracy, its strengths and weaknesses, the Decembrist revolt, the development of political opposition and the debates surrounding Russia's historical destiny, the reforms of the mid C19th, economic modernisation, social developments, the 1905 Revolution and the post-1905 reforms, the impact of World War 1, the abdication of the Tsar and the end of the Romanov dynasty.

    History in Practice
    This unit enables you to experience the deployment of history outside the university, reflect on professional historical practice and complete a specific task focused assessment.
    Indian and South Asian History from the Early Time to the Present Day

    An introduction to South Asian (mainly Indian) history from the beginning to the late 20th century, concentrating on key periods, events and themes. The focus is on political and social history, though economic and cultural issues will be addressed as well. The course is structured chronologically and will concentrate on the important periods, events, figures and themes, introducing both principal sources and relevant historiographical debates.

    Latin Sources for Historians: From Rome to the Medieval World

    Veni, Vidi, Vici! I came, I saw, I conquered! This phrase in Latin, famously pronounced by Julius Caesar, announced his victory over Pharnaces of Pontus in 47 BCE. It is the official language of the Romans, but it is also the language of the early Church Fathers and the legal and ‘scientific’ writers of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period, making Latin an extremely helpful tool in exploring these societies and cultures. Latin language infiltrates modern English – you may quote verbatim or expect a quid pro quo when you are compis mentis, or vice versa. It is the basis for most modern ‘Romantic’ languages (Spanish, French, Italian), and learning it is one of the best ways to develop your linguistic skills and exercise your brain through a series of mental gymnastics. This unit will teach you Latin language in its historical contexts, at a level designed for absolute beginners with no prior language training. 

    Myths Lies and Legends: The American West

    By drawing upon the methods and practices of cultural history, you will encounter, examine, and interrogate the ways in which the American 'West' has been discussed and depicted in various popular culture artefacts, including captivity narratives, dime novels, travel literature, art, photography, Wild West shows, films, and television. You will analyse these images and ideas within the context of their times and compare them with the historical experience of the West documented in academic historiography. The unit seeks to expose you to the extent to which the American 'West' was - and is - as much an imagined and invented collage of connected and occasionally competing 'myths' as it is a geographic region and/or lived experience. Aspects of the curriculum will be fluid in order to draw upon staff expertise and contemporary developments in the mythologisation of the West, but indicative content will include: The Frontier Myth, from Turner to JFK; Euro-American constructions of Native Americans as 'Red Indians' and 'Noble Savages'; 'Annie Get Your Gun': Cowboys, Cowgirls and the Gendered Frontier; Red, White, Black: Race in the West; Reservations, Preservation, and the Invention of 'Wilderness'; Custer's Last Stand and the Massacre at Wounded Knee; Gunslingers, Gunfighters and Outlaws; John Ford, John Wayne, and the Western in the Cold War; Western Iconography and American Politics; Not Disappeared: The American Indian Movement in the Twentieth Century. 

    Nazi State and Society
    This unit covers an in-depth analysis of the Third Reich exploring how the state and society functioned in conditions of dictatorship, vicious racism and total war.
    Reel Histories: Documentary Films and Production in History

    This unit offers you the opportunity to study the production of historical documentaries, both in theory and practise. You will learn to analyse the film documentary as history by critiquing examples of the genre, through formative exercises in the classroom, before moving on to develop the skills to script; film and edit a short historical documentary themselves. The unit will demand both mastery of the historical content and the necessary digital skills to produce the film in equal measure. 

    Revolution, Dictatorship and Freedom: Histories of Central Europe, 1918-2008

    This unit covers an examination of the 20th century experience of Central Europe; from fascism to communism, to the freedoms of the 1990's. It examines the twentieth century experience of the people of Central Europe, from the end of the First World War until accession to the European Union. In particular, it take a comparative perspectives that considers a number of states, primarily Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Yugoslavia. In comparing these states, it examines, amongst others, the following themes; the impact of war (the Great War, Second World War, Yugoslav wars, etc), the impact of ideologies (fascism, liberalism, communism), the impact of revolution, both national and communist, the impact of social and economic change, the impact of inter-ethnic conflict, the impact of political leaders, such as Stalin.

    Sex, Society and the Family, 1800-1960

    This unit examines changing patterns of family life, sexual attitudes and practices in the past. Topics include sources and techniques, family relationships, childhood, gender roles, sexuality, sexual behaviour and its regulation.

    Slavery and Civil War in America 1619-1877

    In this unit, you will explore the notion that ideologies of race and the institution of racial slavery were the central dynamics of US history, from the colonial period, through the years of revolution and on to the ordeal of the Civil War. You will analyse the origins of those racial ideologies and the growth of slavery, the lived experiences of the enslaved (including their culture, their family lives and their capacity for resistance) and the debates about slavery and freedom that so profoundly shaped the new nation. You will then study the civil war that arose from the political and sectional conflicts over slavery’s future and strive to understand how the United States endured the most devastating crisis in its history. 

    The Spanish Civil War in History and Memory

    The unit will examine the Spanish Civil War, aiming to understand not only the causes of the conflict but its legacy. It will be organised chronologically from 1900 to the debates surrounding the Historical Memory Law in the early 2000s. It will provide a detailed study of the political, social, cultural and economic aspects of Spanish history in the 20th Century. Amongst the themes explored will be the social struggles and debates about the nation in pre-war Spain, the Second Republic, the international dimensions of the Spanish Civil War, the evolution and toll of the conflict, the exile to Latin America, the portrayal of the conflict in literature and cinema, the development of Franco's regime and the role of the Spanish Civil War in the transition to democracy. These questions are central to an understanding of the larger issues that were perceived to be at stake during the civil war and continue to permeate Spanish society.

    The Victorians

    This unit provides an introduction to the key social and economic and cultural institutions and changes in the long Victorian period. It examines the continuities and changes in the social and economic structure of Victorian Britain by focusing on industrialisation, class, gender and ethnicity. We will examine how historians have interpreted the society, and key areas to be examined will include:  demography and urbanisation; work and leisure; education; family, marriage and parenthood; sexuality and prostitution; childhood and youth; poverty and welfare; religious beliefs.

    Twentieth Century Britain: Society, Culture and Politics
    This unit examines the key features of British society, culture and politics during the twentieth century.It aims to give you a detailed understanding of key themes in British culture, society and politics throughout the twentieth century. In particular it examines: the position of Britain at the begining of the twentieth century; the British economy; the nature and development of political parties; the changing role of women; immigration and race relations; the advent of the welfare state; political consensus; the miners strike; Thatcher and Thatcherism; and the rise of New Labour.
    Vox Pop! Everyday Voices from the Ancient World

    This unit will focus on the lives and concerns of the other ninety-nine percent of the populations of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean: women; the oppressed; the poor; the enslaved; children; the aged; religious minorities; non-citizens; foreigners; migrants; and refugees. We will consider historical approaches to a range of themes and topics, including popular culture and entertainment, sex and sexuality, gender, the body, poverty, enslavement, and oppression. You will make use of methodological frameworks, such as feminist approaches, gender studies, Queer theory, and subaltern studies to help you frame your study of ordinary people within an academic approach to cultural, political and gendered activities and constructs. You will work with a broad range of source material, including: Greek and Roman art and vase paintings; Near Eastern art and objects; Greek and Latin epic, poetry, satire, drama and prose; Egyptian papyri; inscriptions and documents; graffiti; material artefacts. 

    Women in Power in Early Modern Europe

    This unit examines women who filled the highest roles in government and society in early modern Europe, starting with queenship and political power, but moving towards alternative means of expressing power that were increasingly available to elite women in the spheres of family, society, economics and learning. Particular emphasis is placed on the relationship between gender and power, and on contemporary conceptualisations of political culture and patronage.

    Year 3

    In Year 3, the most important element is the independent project, an extended piece of work that allows you to focus on the subject area of your choice and is often based on original source materials. You will choose from two core units - Romans and Barbarians: The Roman Empire in Western Europe or Warrior Societies: War and Combat in Classical Greece. You will then also choose either The Crusades 1095-1291 or The Wars of the Roses. Finally you will choose a further unit from a broad range of options, currently including such varied topics as American Slavery and Latin American Politics. 

    Core Units
    Independent Project

    A negotiated assessment which takes one of several forms: for example a 10,000 word dissertation, a historical project in partnership with an outside organisation, or a product resulting from a work placement scheme (e.g. a museum).

    Unit Choice 3 - Ancient and Medieval History

    You will choose one option from the following units

    Romans and Barbarians: The Roman Empire in Western Europe

    This course explores the complex and fascinating world of Rome and its ‘barbarian’ neighbours from the early days of the Republic to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. Looking at the politics, warfare, trade and social life of the Empire, both in Rome and the Western provinces as they were conquered and developed over four centuries.

    Warrior Societies: War and Combat in Classical Greece

    This unit explores the harsh and violent societies of Classical Greece, focusing particularly on her two leading city-states, militaristic Sparta and democratic Athens, as well as the long and bloody wars they waged against each other for control of Greece and Asia Minor. You will learn how Greek warriors, who survived, indeed thrived, in one of the harshest geo-political environments known to history, fought, thought and lived.

    Unit Choice 4 - Ancient and Medieval History

    You will choose one option from the following units

    The Crusades 1095-1291

    This unit explores the origins, growth and diversity of the crusading movement and the concomitant rise and success of the Levantine Jihad. For nearly two centuries after the preaching of the First Crusade, an innumerable range of people journeyed to, and settled in Syria and Palestine with the main aim of protecting the sacred shrines of Christianity from the `infidel'. Faith, pilgrimage and the sacrality of Jerusalem were key aspects of the ideology of the crusading movement, as were notions of Holy and Just Wars, yet power politics and the desire for land and wealth played their part. From kings and emperors to `marginalised' groups such as women, children and the poor went on crusade in vast, unknowable numbers. Muslims, Jews, and Eastern and Western Christians found themselves in closer contact with each other. The result was a movement that was at the very centre of the medieval world, that not only touched the lives of the ancestors of everyone of European descent, but that also saw a number of diverse worlds and communities interacting with each other and forming new and fascinating types of relationships that throw a great deal of light on the modern day relations between eastern and western societies.

    The Wars of the Roses

    This course looks at the civil war in England between the houses of York and Lancaster from c.1455-1485, and the rise of the Tudor claimant to the throne, the future Henry VII. Charting the rise and fall of the Lancastrians, the origins and impacts of the wars and the contribution of women to the Wars.

    Likely Optional Units
    A Queer History of the Twentieth Century

    This unit asks: how have the experiences, interpretations and self-understandings of gays and lesbians changed since 1900?

    By placing queer sexualities in their relevant social and political context, this unit offers an excellent example of how historical change operates in both a 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' manner. You will learn that queer history, and more widely, histories of sexuality and gender, is no niche matter, but a field that can open windows onto central issues of twentieth century history. For example, we will consider: the consequences of urbanisation and rising affluence; the role of World War on community formation; the appeal of nationalism; the changing roles of science and medicine; how sexual 'deviance' came to be associated with both communism and fascism; the relationship between commerce and politics; the rise of human rights, and the impact of globalisation. 

    A Special Relationship? The United States and Britain in the Twentieth Century

    Commentators have often observed that the United States and Great Britain have a `Special Relationship', but what do they mean by this and has it ever been true during the twentieth century? The period witnessed seismic shifts in the balance of world power and dramatic change in the relative position of the United States and Great Britain to each other and to other nations. The course tracks the course of diplomatic, political and military relations between the two countries from the rapprochement of the late nineteenth century, through the period of the two Worlds Wars, to the Cold War and beyond.

    A Women’s History of North America: From Pocahontas to Present Day

    This unit studies a women's history of North America from colonial times up to present day. It will explore the diversity of women's lives in the context of key events, issues and themes such as slavery, war and social reform movements. 

    Apocalypse Now? The End of the World in the West 1640 – Present

    This unit examines the development of apocalyptic worldviews in Britain and the United States from the 1640s to the present, and their impact on politics, warfare, religion and popular culture.

    British India, 1757-1947: a Conquest and its Consequences
    A study of the history of British India (1757 to 1947) incl. Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Burma (Myanmar) in the context of the British Empire, covering both major events in a chronological order and selected important general themes.
    Cold War Mentalities
    The unit explores the 'home fronts' of the Cold War in the 1950s showing how the conflict impacted on society, culture and mentalities. It seeks to explore the ways in which the Cold War made an impact on society, popular culture, gender and sexuality in both East and West.
    Edwardian Britain and the First World War

    This unit examines the state of Edwardian society and politics. This is followed by a study of the Great War itself and the various ways in which it impacted on Britain. 

    History and the Politics of Belonging

    The purpose of the unit is to enable you to understand and engage with debates about citizenship and belonging within modern society. You will consider a variety of theoretical approaches to the study of citizenship, investigate how identities of citizenship intersect with those of nation, race, class, and gender, and examine historical case studies that illuminate the practice of citizenship in Europe, the United States, and the wider world. You will also explore the potential ways immigration, multi-culturalism, ideas of post-nationalism, globalisation and ‘glocalization’ may be transforming our understanding of citizenship, especially by detaching the concept from an exclusive grounding in the nation-state. 

    Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry

    A study of Nazi persecution of the Jews between 1933 and 1945, it includes the decision-making process, the the switch to genocide, the mentality of the killers, Jewish responses and the role of recuers.

    Latin American Politics

    This unit offers both a historical background to, and analysis of, contemporary Latin American politics. The unit is in 2 sections -the first offers discussion of the institutions, processes and key factors which influence Latin American politics and the second offers in-depth analysis of individal Latin American countries.

    Prohibition to the Swinging Sixties: American Society and Culture 1918-1969

    You will focus on the social and cultural history of the United States since the First World War, especially 1918-1969, based on in-depth analysis of primary sources. You will cover topics like the Ku Klux Klan; prohibition and the link to crime and the rise of the gangster; the Great Crash of 1929; urban America; music from jazz to psychadelic rock; campaigns for rights for blacks, Native Americans and women; and US involvement in the Second World War, Korea and the Vietnam War.

    Revolutions in Britain and France, 1660-1815

    This unit will compare these two revolutionary events, as well as the period in between known as the Enlightenment, in an effort to understand how and why European society went through such rapid and sometimes violent change, and how it might still affect our world today. The first half of this unit looks in detail at the development of contrasting forms of government in England and France: the myths and realities of absolutism under Louis XIV, and the rise of limited monarchy and political parties under the late Stuarts.  The second half of the unit focuses on reactions to these changes in both Britain and France, including the convulsions of the middle of the century that led to both countries losing influence in North America.  The final weeks will be devoted to the French Revolution itself, the shift from a moderate to a radical revolution, the creation of the First Republic, the reactions of the British establishment, and the emergence of the dictatorship of Napoleon Bonaparte.

    The Cold War, 1945-1991

    This unit examines the causes, nature and impact of the Cold War between the two superpowers, the USA and the USSR, from the end of World War II to the collapse of the USSR. Topics include: the origins of the Cold War; the Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam conferences, the Atomic bomb and the arms race; the two superpowers and their allies; the Korean War; the Cuban Missile Crisis; Ostpolitik and Détente; the New (Second) Cold War; Superpower rivalry in the 1970s and 1980s; Reagan and the Evil Empire; Gorbachev and his New Thinking on foreign policy; the end of the Cold War.

    The Motor Car and British Society

    This unit considers the role of the motor car and associated industries in the major social, cultural and political changes in Britain in the twentieth century. It discusses how the motor car moved from reviled plaything of the rich to a mass produced banality. In doing so, there are likely to be five thematic blocks: motoring for the few in a changing society; making and driving cars; mass motoring; motoring and the built environment; pollution, environment and looking to the future. 

    The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union, 1917-1991
    This unit examines the Bolshevik Revolution, the creation and development of soviet socialism and the collapse of the USSR.  It covers topics such as Lenin and the Bolsheviks, the October-November 1917 revolution, the creation of the soviet state, the USSR as a revolutionary society, the debates and power struggles in the 1920s, Stalin and Stalinism, De-Stalinisation, Soviet society, Neo-Stalinism and Stagnation, Gorbachev and Perestroika, explaining the end of the USSR.
    The World of Graeco-Roman Egypt

    This unit offers students one of the ancient world’s greatest civilizations, under the rule of another: Egypt in the Roman empire. Egypt’s history of great pyramids, temples and pharaohs lived on in its culture and politics and, by the time Augustus annexed it onto the Roman Empire in 31BCE, its population was more culturally and ethnically diverse than ever before. Egypt’s unique papyrological and archaeological sources provide a window through which we can observe social, economic, political and cultural processes up to the Coptic and monastic Christian communities -- from the 1stto the 5th centuries CE. We will study a range of papyri (translated into English), visual, monumental and literary evidence for everyday life and interaction between social groups and the Roman State. Through Roman Egypt you will explore central themes in ancient history: death, cultural interactions, the city, social status, sex and sexuality, economy, religion, magic and medicine, gender, the body, Christianity and monasticism. We will touch on the related disciplines of papyrology and Egyptology, incorporating visits to the Egypt collection at Manchester Museum and the papyrus collection at John Rylands Library, Deansgate – for tours and talks from colleagues working with the material at those sites. 

    Tudor England: 1485-1603
    This unit combines a detailed study of Tudor history through a range of primary sources. You will cover a range of key themes and developments in Tudor England, while gaining an appreciation of the primary sources upon which recent historiography is based. You will use a number of primary documents, provided by the tutor, to explore a number of key topics including: Henry VII and the end of the wars of the roses; Henrician Reformation; acephalous politics; nation building in Tudor England; the gloriana cult; renaissance 'self-fashioning'; Mary I and the Spanish empire.
    War, Welfare and Depression: Social Change in Britain, 1921-1951

    This course explores social, cultural and political change during one of the most pivotal moments in the history of modern Britain. You will begin in the great depression, an age of austerity where unemployment, poverty and political turbulence dominated, yet also where many were more affluent than they had ever been. As well as considering this paradox, you will look at the inter-war economy, living standards, health, and the social and psychological consequences of depression. You will then spend a large part of the course examining the impact of the Second World War domestically, in particular, the social and cultural changes it brought about. The course concludes with an examination of post-war British society. You will consider the issues of planning a post-war world, assessing both physical and social reconstruction and the introduction of the welfare state. 

    Wars Without End: Civil Wars and Revolutions in the Twentieth Century

    The unit will consist of chronologically-ordered case studies, with a broad scope addressing different geographical areas, and events related to the phenomena of civil war and revolution through 20th Century history. The syllabus will be flexible to allow for the future incorporation of new advancements in the area, but indicative content might include the Mexican and Cuban revolutions, Ireland 1916, the Russian, Spanish and Greek civil wars, the cultural revolution in China, the Prague Spring, Berlin 1989, revolutionary Iran. With a particular focus on the connections between civil war and revolution, the course will provide students with the opportunity to explore the possibilities of comparative history for a better and more nuanced understanding of the past. The unit will allow for the identification of similarities, differences and transnational connections among different events and nations. 

    Youth in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

    This unit covers an introduction to the history of youth in Britain, from 1800 to the 1990s. A range of topics are explored through case studies, key readings and primary materials. It will introduce students to various historiographical debates and the theoretical problems of defining youth and adolescence. Themes explored include images of youth and changing ideas of adolescence; Victorian and Edwardian youth culture; courtship and sexual relationships; gender differences; schooling; uniformed youth movements; moral panics; gangs and delinquency; the inter-war expansion of leisure culture and growth of the commercial youth market; post-war sub-cultures and popular music; youth culture and Americanization; debates over the emergence of the first 'teenagers'; the generation gap; youth rebellion and counter-cultures; 'race', ethnicity and youth; changing media representations; the lengthening of adolescence.

    Programme Review

    Each programme of study that we offer undergoes an annual review to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. In addition, we undertake a major review of the programme, normally at 6-yearly intervals, but this can take place at a more frequent interval where required. Applicants should note that the programme currently provided may be subject to change as a result of the review process. We only make changes where we consider it necessary to do so or where we feel that certain changes are in the best interests of students and to enhance the quality of provision. Occasionally, we have to make changes for reasons outside our control. Where there are changes which may materially affect the current programme content and/or structure, offer holders will be informed.

    Assessment Weightings and Contact Hours

    10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

    • Year 1 20% lectures, seminars or similar; 80% independent study
    • Year 2 20% lectures, seminars or similar; 80% independent study
    • Year 3 15% lectures, seminars or similar; 85% independent study
    • Year 1 55% coursework; 10% practical; 35% examination
    • Year 2 65% coursework; 35% examination
    • Year 3 75% coursework; 25% examination

    Teaching Staff

    Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject. Details of departmental staff can be found at:

    Typical entry requirements

    These typical entry requirements apply to the 2017 academic year of entry and may be subject to change for the 2018 academic year. Please check back for further details.

    UCAS Tariff points/Grades required



    Minimum 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A Levels or equivalent (such as BTEC National Extended Diploma at Level 3 DMM or Advanced Diploma) .

    Specific GCSE requirements

    GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

    Non Tariffed Qualifications

    Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with a minimum 112 UCAS Tariff Points

    International Baccalaureate points


    IELTS score required for international students

    6.0 with no element below 5.5

    There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

    Your career prospects after the course

    Graduates may be employed in a wide range of industries including: museums, galleries, heritage sites/historic houses, The National Trust, heritage organisations and charities, record offices, archives, building conservation, horticulture and nature conservation, national and local government, libraries and universities.


    In 2014, over 94% of our graduates went directly into work or further study within 6 months of graduation

    DHLE survey 2014, for all respondents available for employment or further study and whose destinations are known

    How do I apply for this course?

    Applications through UCAS

    Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

    Unistats Information

    Find out more about Unistats and the Key Information Set.

    Find out more about Unistats and the Key Information Set.

    Confirmation of Regulator

    The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

    Important Notice

    This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate and up to date. Please note that our programmes are subject to review and development on an ongoing basis. Changes may sometimes be necessary. For example, to comply with the requirements of professional or accrediting bodies or as a result of student feedback or external examiners’ reports. We also need to ensure that our courses are dynamic and current and that the content and structure maintain academic standards and enhance the quality of the student experience.

    Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us.

    The provision of education by the University is subject to terms and conditions of enrollment and contract. The current Terms and Conditions Applicable to the provision of the University’s Educational Services are available online. When a student enrolls with us, their study and registration at the University will be governed by various regulations, policies and procedures. It is important that applicants/students familiarize themselves with our Terms and Conditions and the Key Contract Documents referred to within. Applicants will be provided with access to an up to date version at offer stage. This can be found within the Information for Offer Holders document.

    Undergraduate Study