Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code

V320

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

Length

3 years full-time or 4-5 years part-time

Department

History

Course overview

The past physically surrounds us: in landscapes, in places, people, museums, buildings and in the streets. People’s innate curiosity about the past is driving an expansion of the history and heritage industries.

These fields rely on people skilled in historical research and analysis, as well as those who understand the nature of the past in a modern post-colonial world. This dynamic and innovative programme will develop the skills you need to creatively use your discoveries in a range of public history and heritage contexts.

Gain transferable research skills

Over three years, you will learn the skills and methodologies of the historian, the relevance of historical awareness, and the importance of public history. You will also develop your understanding of the history and heritage sectors. You may have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in archives, museums, galleries, and other heritage organisations through a work-placement module. You graduate with a comprehensive portfolio of valuable and transferable knowledge and skills in public history and heritage, thus widening your career opportunities.

Bring your research to life

In your final year, you will create and deliver a real-world public history project derived from original historical research. This is where you will put into practice everything you have learned about conducting historical research. The project is designed to showcase and synthesise the knowledge, understanding, practical skills, and experience acquired throughout the programme. Overall, it provides invaluable preparation for a career working in public history.

Gain hands-on experience

In your second year, you take a placement in an organisation directly involved in working with history, for example, a museum, archive, or gallery. We have strong partnerships with an exciting range of these throughout London, including some local to Goldsmiths.  You may also choose our History in Practice module, which runs all year and reflects on the theories which inform public history. Alternatively, you may also choose to specialise in Black British History, by combining a taught module on that subject with a Public History Placement. 

Study with your career in mind

Alongside intellectual and personal development, we equip you with the skills and experience you need to progress into a rewarding career. This might be through our History in Practice work-placement module or through other career-orientated opportunities and forms of assessment. Find out more in the Careers Section below.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Professor Alex Watson.

What you'll study

Year 1

In your first year, you will take a number of compulsory modules, and two 15 credit modules offered by the Department of History.

Year 1 compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Global Connections: the violence and exchanges that shaped the modern world 30 credits
  Historical Controversies 30 credits
  Reading and Writing History 15 Credits
  Historical Perspectives 15 credits

Year 2

In your second year, you will select 90 credits of year 2 modules approved annually by the Department of History, one of which may be a Special Subject or related studies module offered by another Goldsmiths Department.

You will also choose one of the following module combinations (see table below for module details).

History in Practice

OR

Making Black British History AND Public History Placement

Year 2 compulsory modules Module title Credits
  History in Practice 30 credits
  Making Black British Histories: Community, Preservation and Public History 15 Credit
  Public History Placement 15 credits

Year 3

In your third year, you will take the following 30 credit Special Subjects or a University of London Intercollegiate Group III module. You will complete a 30 credit dissertation in the form of a Public History Project alongside your chosen Special Subject.

You will also choose 60 credits of option modules from a list approved annually by the Department of History.

Year 3 compulsory module Module title Credits
  Public History Project 30 credits

Teaching style

The programme is cumulative and progressive, with knowledge and skills building on previous years and growing year on year. Basic skills and competencies are delivered in the first year which sets the broad agenda for the programme as a whole. In the second year, the modules contain increasingly challenging and demanding material which provides the foundations for the significant independent scholarly work required and undertaken in the final year.

Teaching may be delivered in the form of lectures and seminars or other forms of contact time such as extended seminars, workshops, field trips, and film screenings. Lectures introduce subject specific skills and understandings and provide the basis for discussions, activities, group work, and debates. Seminars linked to lectures provide a space for further exploration of the lecture topics and materials and they reinforce the knowledge gained from the lectures and from independent reading and studying. Seminars also involve field-trips and site visits to relevant places including museums, galleries, archives, and sites of historical interest.

Lecturers also make themselves available for tutorials either during their Consultation and Feedback hours or by appointment. These provide opportunities to ask questions about modules and their content, to receive support and guidance on independent work, and to receive feedback on submitted work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 15% scheduled learning, 85% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 15% scheduled learning, 85% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

A wide and innovative variety of different methods are used to assess learning, these include essays, reviews, source analyses, blogs, videos, walks, presentations, exams, and dissertations. Some modules are assessed by portfolios of coursework, or by a combination of coursework and an examination. Others are assessed by long essays or dissertations on topics approved with the tutor. Assessments vary in length according to the type of assessment and/or level of module.

Assessment supports student progression across the programme, as assessments in the first year aim to measure a set of baseline skills and competencies which are enhanced, deepened and broadened in subsequent years. Lecturers return assessments and provide useful and constructive feedback in a timely manner so as to ensure that students learn from the feedback and have the opportunity to improve subsequent work.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 44% coursework, 56% written exam
  • Year 2 - 88% coursework, 13% written exam
  • Year 3 - 100% coursework

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2019/20. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about .

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Download the programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

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

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%, preferably including History
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

Additional requirements

At Goldsmiths we offer innovative and challenging degrees, in a stimulating environment, amongst a diverse and exciting community of students. Many of our students have achieved high A-level grades, and that is reflected in our standard A-level offer.

Above all, though, we are looking for potential students who can demonstrate the range of skills, talents, and interests necessary for this work, either through traditional A-levels or otherwise. We believe that all able students, of whatever age and background, who have the ability, should have the opportunity to study at Goldsmiths. We actively encourage applications from students with a wide range of relevant qualifications, especially the access diploma.

We also offer a foundation year for students who need more preparation and experience before embarking on the BA. This is a longstanding commitment and practice and, over many years, a large number of our students have come from non-traditional backgrounds.

If you're interested in applying to Goldsmiths, whether you're currently studying or have been out of education for some time, we'd be delighted to hear from you. If you'd like further advice or have specific questions, please get in touch with the Admissions Officer listed above.

Given the range of students that the programme is designed to attract, applicants may be asked to attend an interview, where the following criteria are evaluated:

  • reasons for applying to study this particular degree
  • reasons for applying to Goldsmiths
  • background knowledge/expectations of the discipline(s)
  • intellectual potential and analytic skills
  • ability to express ideas verbally and engage in debate
  • motivation to complete the programme

Performance at interview can alter the usual criteria for entry on a case-by-case basis.

Above all, we're looking for potential students who can demonstrate the range of skills, talents and interests necessary for this degree, either through traditional A-levels or otherwise. We actively encourage applications from students with a wide range of relevant qualifications, especially the access diploma.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Fees & funding

To find out more about your fees, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

We offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, and our careers service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.

About the department

You will learn from and interact with nationally and internationally recognised award-winning experts in their fields. Our interdisciplinary approaches to the subjects we teach encourage you to explore and study the past thematically, rather than chronologically, and we venture into often overlooked issues, areas, and topics.

Our staff are excellent educators who foster independent and progressive study in challenging but supportive environments. They will stimulate your critical and analytical thinking and encourage you to tackle the subject in creative and imaginative ways, taking you beyond its traditional boundaries.

Careers

Equipping graduates with the flexibility, skills, and confidence needed to achieve their ambitions and ensuring that all students have clear opportunities to develop within, and beyond, their curriculum (through, for example, work placements and overseas study) are essential components of this degree programme.

History is a very transferable degree and the Department of History at Goldsmiths has an excellent pedigree in providing careers-orientated opportunities for students.

A wide array of transferable skills is acquired throughout the programme. All modules foster skills in: effective reading; critical analysis and evaluation; assessment of arguments, ideas, and evidence; independent thinking and working; academic writing within a specified word-limit; group-working and collaboration; designing and delivering presentations; and creating a wide variety of outputs and materials. Students learn how to: effectively manage their time and their timetable; meet deadlines, to sensibly and pragmatically schedule time and activities; present themselves with self-assurance and confidence. Information and resource management skills are developed and honed as part of wider research processes and a wide range of library and IT skills are also delivered.

Links with employers, placement opportunities and career prospects

The department establishes and fosters a range of partnerships with some of the leading historical and cultural organisations in London and beyond, including the Black Cultural Archives, the George Padmore Institute, English Heritage, Historic England, Historic Royal Palaces, the Horniman Museum, the National Archives, and Queer Britain.

In addition to the resources provided by the programme and by the department, the Goldsmiths Careers Services offer significant support to students as they pursue their career, with general support in such areas as preparing a CV and interview skills, as well as bespoke events that work in partnership with the degree programme.

You can read more about career options after studying History on our Department of History careers pages. Find out more about general employability at Goldsmiths