Integrated Degree in History (including Foundation Year)

  • UCAS
  • Length
    1 year (Foundation) + 3 years (undergraduate degree)
  • Department

Course overview

This programme provides a route into higher education for those with an interrupted education or those who wish to return to study. It also suits those who have faced particularly challenging circumstances in their education.

Why study the Integrated Degree in History at Goldsmiths?

  • Success in this ‘Year 0’ entitles you to automatic progression onto our BA History degree (you can also at that stage apply internally for a transfer into our joint honours History degrees
  • We offer something different and exciting – we use innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to the subject, and will encourage you to explore issues, controversies and themes rather than chronological periods
  • You'll work with staff who are enthusiastic researchers, excellent teachers, and international leaders in their field
  • Students who have taken this route are now graduating successfully, and some are proceeding onto postgraduate study

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Programme Convenor, John Price

Modules & structure


During your Foundation Year you take the following modules:

Learning to be a Historian

This module will introduce students to the study of history as a discipline, its changes over time, and the variety of methods and techniques employed in its practice. It will introduce the critical study of historiography, skills of research, analysis and evidence based argument. It will encourage students to take an independent approach to reading and analysing history writing in a range of genres and periods, and to use the research tools available to historians to develop their own skills. 

Age of Transition: From Medieval to Early Modern Society 1400-1650

This module introduces students to the study and interpretation of contemporary written and visual resources that illuminate our understanding of a changing and expanding world between 1400 and 1650.  

The module will consist of a theoretical introduction and 3 blocks chosen from the following major themes and issues affecting European societies over the period: changes in religious culture; developments in science and medicine; social and economic life in urban and rural communities; the impact of travel, trade and exploration that brings interaction with the wider world; communications and the development of print.

Fractured Societies

The purpose of this module is to introduce and develop social and cultural approaches to studying historical events and this is pursued through an exploration and examination of three of the major themes of nineteenth and early twentieth century history in Britain: industrialisation, urbanisation and politicisation. The course will examine the relationships between these three themes and how they impacted upon one another.

The module will effectively adopt a ‘new history’ approach and tackle each theme from different perspectives to more ‘traditional’ studies of the subjects. Case studies may include the Industrial Revolution, women at work, family life, literacy, food and diet, death and disease, popular politics, reform movements, Chartism, socialism, women’s rights and suffrage movements.

Nations, Nationalism and National Identity

This module explores and examines the ideas and concepts that shape our understanding and study of nations, nationalism and national identity. The idea of the ‘nation’ might suggest a definite, legal or state-controlled entity, perhaps defined by geographical boundaries or ethnic continuities, within which people understand themselves as bound or drawn together, with nationalism being the collective behaviour that expresses that union.

Yet nationalism and national identity are clearly more than that and individuals can find themselves united by social, cultural, ideological, religious and a myriad of other links that create ‘imagined’ communities where ideas and feelings of national identity can be formed despite the absence of a definite geographical or political ‘nation’ within which to coalesce.

If you successfully complete the progression requirements of the foundation year, you will automatically progress onto the BA in History. You can also at that stage apply internally for a transfer onto our joint honours History degree.


Your work will be assessed through a combination of essays, oral presentations and exams. Extensive study and writing support is available throughout the programme in small group and one to one sessions.

Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry qualifications for the four-year degree. Instead of formal qualifications, we look for clear evidence of the skills and abilities outlined to the right.

Most applicants will be invited to an interview, and you may be asked to provide a sample of recent extended writing to assess your suitability for the course.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above.

If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us. 

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Read more about our general entrance requirements


History at Goldsmiths is ranked 11th in the UK for the quality of our research**


History at Goldsmiths isn't just a sequence of events - we study the past thematically as well as chronologically.

You will be taught by research-active, publishing historians whose wide range of expertise across different periods and many countries will help you to explore the diversity of past human experience through themes like madness, medicine, revolution, religious beliefs, identitities and the body.

You'll be thinking about the way history is informed by a wide range of other subjects and how knowledge of the past can help you to understand the world we live in today.

Find out more about the Department of History

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

Learning & teaching

On this degree you'll attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning in lectures and seminars, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of that are highly sought after by employers. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches

Skills & careers

If you successfully complete the Foundation Year and progress to degree level, you'll develop your critical and analytical skills, your ability to express ideas clearly and your expertise in gathering insights from a range of subjects. Historical research enables you to gather and select from a range of materials – literary and visual. It teaches you to write with imagination and clarity.

Former students have forged careers in journalism and the media, museums and galleries, the Civil Service, teaching and research, law and the commercial world, but the skills learned are also applicable to many more industries and roles. You can find out more about career options after graduating on our dedicated History careers page.

History at Work

History at Work is an exciting and innovative new initiative which will offer some second and third year students taking History single and joint honours programmes the chance to apply their academic skills within the workplace.

Students spend one day a week over one term undertaking a project within a museum, archive or library: places which collect, process and present the 'raw material' of history.

The project might involve archiving, conservation, building an exhibition, or developing a public engagement project. Students will be invited to apply for places on the programme each February. It should give students a great chance to test out their career ideas, develop skills and increase their employability.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.  

Student profiles


"I've enjoyed every bit of my degree so far, we get taught an alternative History that isn't based solely on Europe."

"I came to Goldsmiths as a mature student after having been out of education for a few years. I was unsure what I wanted to study after my A-levels but after coming in to an open day I was pretty sure I wanted to study History.

I decided on the Integrated History Degree because I felt it would be perfect to get me back into the world of education. Now I am about to go into my final year and I've enjoyed every bit of my degree so far, we get taught an alternative History that isn't based solely on Europe. The university is great, and there is a real community spirit here, frankly I don't want to leave next year, maybe a Masters next!

Fees & funding

How to apply

Writing your personal statement

Instead of formal qualifications, we look for clear evidence of the following skills and abilities:

  • enthusiasm for, and engagement with, history
  • an understanding of the relevance of the discipline to long term goals, including – for example – work, further training or education
  • the ability to work and communicate effectively in groups and alone, demonstrating self-motivation and organisation
  • the ability to communicate effectively in written and oral form, including confidence in written English and the ability to read and understand complex texts
  • commitment to four years of full-time study within the field
  • an understanding of the nature of academic study, including the demands for independent research, changing patterns of thinking, and having new experiences
  • the ability to face and overcome personal challenges

Related content links

University statistics for this course