Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code

V101

Entry requirements

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

Length

3 years full-time or 4-6 years part-time

Department

History

Course overview

History is a relevant, dynamic, fascinating, and important field of study which, at Goldsmiths, is approached in creative, innovative, and exciting ways.

History is the study of the past. Through history, we uncover the richness of human experience across different societies, cultures, times, and places. We learn how the everyday representations and realities of our lives came to be. History enables us to better understand ourselves. History helps us make a better future.

Many aspects of Goldsmiths BA History set it apart from other history degrees. In the 2021 National Student Survey (NSS), 96% of students said that staff are good at explaining things. 94% of students said that staff made the subject interesting.

Goldsmiths has a rich heritage of social awareness, civic engagement, creative arts, digital innovation, and equality, diversity, and inclusion. As a Goldsmiths’ graduate, you will be among the most critically engaged, interdisciplinary educated, and socially aware graduates of the University of London.

Why study BA History at Goldsmiths

  • We are global. You will learn about the history of the world from Britain to the Balkans, from Ireland to India, and from Africa to America. You will learn about the depth and breadth of global connections that span our multicultural world.

  • We are relevant. You will learn about key events in history, from the Silk Road to the Cold War. You will discover their continuing legacies. You will learn about the long history of ideas such as democracy, liberalism, identity, equality, terrorism, gender, health, and sexuality. You will learn how to think critically about knowledge production and communication; to look beyond the words on the page, delve into the emotional meaning of images and spoken word, and to dig into the truth behind the data.

  • We help you explore your interests. Across the degree, you will be able to choose from a wide variety of optional modules. In years 2 and 3, you can choose to study module options at Birkbeck, Kings College London, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, and University College London. In your final year, you will undertake a research dissertation on a topic of your own choosing.

  • We are interdisciplinary. In year 1, you will learn key academic skills and explore connections between history and other disciplines such as management, computing, and education. You will learn about issues of identity and environment. In year 2, you will undertake project work to address UN Sustainable Development goals. You can also choose an interdisciplinary module option from another academic disciplines such as Anthropology, Politics, Media Studies, and Sociology. This is part of our Connected Curriculum.

  • We are research-led. You will learn how to think critically by being introduced to cutting-edge research in fields like non-traditional military history, Black British history, and Queer history. You will be introduced to innovative historical methods from oral and public history. Archival collections at Goldsmiths and Senate House, and numerous digital collections, will be at your disposal.

  • We help you achieve academic success. Whatever your prior learning experiences, you will learn how to sharpen your academic skills. You can for study through our online module so you’re ready to hit the ground running when you arrive on campus. You will meet your personal tutor during induction and once per term to help you set goals and improve your skills. You will participate in diverse assessments, so you can apply your learning to practice. You will learn with the support of peers in small group seminars, field trips, and film screenings.

  • We develop you to succeed in your future career. You will gain career knowledge and experience, including through our work placement module which will help you stand out to future employers. You make your voice heard by becoming a student representative or taking part in our Student Ambassador scheme.

  • We open doors. Whether you see your future in law, business, teaching, or further study, this degree will help you get there. If you are not sure what your future holds, studying History can help you find your path. Take your first step, by choosing BA History at Goldsmiths.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Erica Wald.

What you'll study

The programme can be undertaken full-time (three years across three levels) or part-time (four to six years across three levels). You take 360 credits in total, 120 credits at each level.

Year 1

In your first year, you'll take the following compulsory modules. You'll also be able to choose two optional modules from across the Department of History from a list that is published annually.

Examples of these modules can be seen in the full list of year 1 option modules.

Module title Credits
Global Connections: the violence and exchanges that shaped the modern world 30 credits
Historical Controversies 15 credits
Reading and Writing History 15 Credits
Identity, Agency & Environment 1 15 credits
Identity, Agency & Environment 2 15 credits

Year 2

Your second year will give you the chance to broaden your intellectual horizons, and have more freedom over what you study. You'll have 90 credits worth of optional modules, which may comprise of modules from the Department of History, relevant modules from other departments (known as Connected Curriculum), and up to 30 credits from a University of London Intercollegiate Group II module from a list approved annually by our partner institutions.

Partners include: Birkbeck; King’s College London; Queen Mary; Royal Holloway; University College London.

See the full list of Year 2 modules

Compulsory modules

Module title Credits
The Goldsmiths Elective 15 credits
Goldsmiths’ Social Change Module 15 credits

Year 3

Your final year will be spent developing your specialist interests and knowledge.

You'll undertake a Special Subject module, worth 60 credits, that includes a dissertation and runs for 20 weeks across the autumn and spring terms.

You can choose to undertake your Special Subject module at Goldsmiths or you can choose a University of London Intercollegiate Group III Special Subject module from a list approved annually by our partner institutions. Partners include: Birkbeck, King’s College London, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, University College London.

You also have a free choice of modules to the value of 60 credits which can include both 30-credit and 15-credit modules. Up to 30 credits can be a ‘related studies’ module taken in another Goldsmiths department.

See the list of third year modules and Special Subjects.

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 understanding 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 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 14% scheduled learning, 86% 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 - 100% coursework
  • Year 3 - 74% coursework, 26% written exam

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2020/21. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about how this information is calculated.

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.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

What our students say

Lukasz Czacharowski

My lecturers without a doubt contributed largely to my academic development during my time at Goldsmiths.

Fascinating modules and academic development

What I enjoy the most about Goldsmiths is the wide range of studies available to me. From Histories of Sexualities, The First World War to Social History and American History, all modules which I took at Goldsmiths were intellectually challenging and fascinating.

My favourite part about this university is definitely the staff which I found always very helpful. My lecturers without a doubt contributed largely to my academic development during my time at Goldsmiths. They encouraged me to pursue further academic career.

My stay at Goldsmiths also exposed me to collaboration with other students from all around the world. Studying at Goldsmiths proved to be a truly international experience

Personal development at Goldsmiths

My main advice to students coming to Goldsmiths is to be proactive and ask as many questions as possible. I found lecturers at Goldsmiths to be very engaged in encouraging students' personal development. Assistance from my lecturers allowed me to further develop my interest in modern American Political and Intellectual History and helped me to prepare for my Masters application.

International student support

As someone from outside the UK, studying at Goldsmiths allowed me to gain experience with a very different educational system. Naturally, it also allowed me to further master my English skills. Both of these things will be useful for me later in my academic career.

A diverse, vibrant, quiet and peaceful place to study

South East London is without a doubt a very diverse place where everyone can find something for themselves. New Cross itself is very vibrant with lots of cafés, bars and restaurants. Places like Brockley or Telegraph Hill, however, are much more quiet and peaceful.

Samia Khatoon

You had students from all over the world studying at Goldsmiths and that was quite a unique and enjoyable experience.

My time at Goldsmiths

What surprised me about studying at Goldsmiths was the diverse number of students. You had students from all over the world studying at Goldsmiths and that was quite a unique and enjoyable experience for me. My degree helped me develop skills in research, analysis and has also given me practical experience from my placement module.

My favourite part about studying at Goldsmiths is the café on campus. It's a great place to go to study!

My future plans

I am currently interning for the Goldsmiths Marketing department where I have developed skills in digital content that will be incredibly useful for my future plans in publishing. In the coming months, I will be starting a masters in publishing.

For anyone thinking about studying at Goldsmiths, I would say take advantage of all the opportunities at university, whether that's joining a society, or making use of the career service, do it all.

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 history, as well as a stimulating environment amongst a diverse and exciting community of students. Many of our students have achieved very high A-level grades, and that is reflected in our standard A-level offer.
  • But above all we're 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 chance to study at Goldsmiths, and we actively encourage applications from students with a wide range of relevant qualifications, especially the access diploma.
  • 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 Tutor 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.

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

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2022/2023 academic year.

From August 2021 EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for 'Home' fee status. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will be classified as 'International' for fee purposes, more information can be found on our fees page.

  • Home - full-time: £9250
  • Home - part-time: £4625
  • International - full-time: £17560

If your fees are not listed here, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time under a student visa. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

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.

Careers

Equipping you with the flexibility, skills and confidence needed to achieve your ambitions are central components of the BA History at Goldsmiths.  It provides you with the knowledge and skills that employers seek. According to the Institute of Student Employers, 82% of employers do not specify degree subjects when recruiting graduates. The Hay Group found that 91% of recruiters believe that graduates with refined people skills will advance faster in their organisations.

A degree in history can take you to almost any place you want to go. From teaching to the civil service, and business to social work. History graduates have known expertise in understanding and navigating different organisational cultures, and adapting their knowledge, understanding, and skills to different sorts of complex problems. 

History at Goldsmiths offers a range of opportunities for further study. It delivers several internationally renowned and ground-breaking MA programmes, including MA Queer History and MA Black British History. Through these programmes, the department establishes and fosters a range of partnerships with some of the leading historical and cultural organisations in London and beyond, including English Heritage, Historic England, Historic Royal Palaces, the Black Cultural Archives, and the George Padmore Institute.

Careers service

Goldsmiths' Careers Services offer tailored support to your individual needs. They can help you identify your career interests.

Support includes:

  • Giving you practical advice in preparing a CV
  • Teaching you important interview skills
  • Providing networking opportunities with future employers who are particularly interested in the skills of Goldsmiths History graduates 

Work placement

Students on all BA History programmes can also choose to undertake History’s work placement module. Placement opportunities have included: St Paul's Cathedral, the Jewish Museum, the Cinema Museum, the National Maritime Museum, the London Metropolitan Archives, the Bishopsgate Institute, the Museum of London Docklands, and the Wellcome Library and Archive.   The Connected Curriculum module in year 2 also offers you the opportunity to work with other Goldsmiths’ students towards addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals in partnership with external organisations.