From the local to the global, understanding the past is essential to making sense of the modern world. How did America become a superpower? Would women have got the right to vote without struggle? Why do people empower authoritarian leaders? How does climate shape society?

History at Stirling allows you to explore these and many other pressing questions, guided by a committed team of historians passionate about their subjects. 

Thanks to the flexibility of Stirling's academic programmes, you can study history in combination with other subjects, such as education, politics, languages or media studies. In addition to developing your knowledge of the world, you will acquire intellectual and personal skills much in demand in the labour market. Stirling is strong on graduate employability, with more than 96% of our students in employment or further education within six months of graduating (HESA 2017), and a dedicated module in the fourth semester will orient you in the variety of professional careers a degree in history opens to you.

Key information

EU Applicants
The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2018 and 2019 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU Students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree.

  • UCAS: V100
  • Qualification: BA (Hons)
  • Study methods: Full-time, Part-time, Campus based
  • Start date: September / January
  • Course Director: Dr Diego Palacios Cerezales
  • Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Download course leaflet
Download undergraduate prospectus

Dr Diego Palacios Cerezales Programme Director

University of Stirling

View fees and finance

What makes us different?

Stirling is different: in the context of a friendly environment with approachable staff, we offer a unique breadth and chronological depth of options at honours level. We offer a range of courses on American, African, European, British and Scottish history that only few other much larger institutions can match.

You will be taught by specialists. Our staff are active researchers who bring the most recent scholarship into their teaching. In the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework 98% of our research was assessed as of international or world leading significance.

The first two years provide the strong foundations that any student of history needs, while years three and four allow you to choose from a selection of country and thematic specialisms, from the history of ideas to that of gender, or the environment. The final year allows you to become a researcher yourself and thereby practice the skills you have learned and hone your analytical and problem-solving skills for life beyond university. You will have the opportunity to do one "special subject", working closely with our staff in small groups, hands on cutting-edge historical research themes. This level of in-depth study runs in parallel to the final year dissertation, a project in which you show that you have mastered the knowledge, the skills and the autonomy of the well-rounded university graduate.

Studying history is an international experience: History has agreements with numerous universities in Europe, the US, Canada and Australia, so you have the opportunity to enrich your learning experience by doing one semester abroad. 

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

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Live Life

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View our stunning campus and facilities in 3D and find out out why Stirling is a great place to study, live, work and play.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:
ABBB - one sitting.
AABB - two sittings.

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
32 points

BTEC (Level 3):

Three-year Honours degree

SQA Adv. Higher:

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
35 points

Essential subjects:
To include History.

Other qualifications


Minimum entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions.

Advanced entry
May be possible with an HND in Social Sciences.

Modules required - History A, B, C and D.

Access courses:
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Essential subjects:
As listed above or equivalent.

Foundation Apprenticeships:

Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply.

If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

INTO University of Stirling offers an International Foundation programme for those international students who do not meet the required academic and English-language criteria. This course offers a route to study at University of Stirling through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in the high-quality study facilities on campus. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences to the required standard provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

More information on our English language requirements

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Fees and costs

Fees 2018/19

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 12,140.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £9250 – with a generous package of scholarship options

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for overseas undergraduates will be held at the level upon entry.

If you plan to commence your studies at the University of Stirling in January 2018, please note you will be subject to our 2017/18 fees. Please contact us for more information.

Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Structure and teaching

Delivery and assessment

Student learning takes place in lectures, tutorials, workshops, field trips and through independent study. Each module is assessed by a combination of examination and coursework. Assessed coursework may comprise of essays, reports, oral presentations and posters.


Semesters 1 - 3

You will take a core history module and two additional subjects.

  • Semester 1: The making of modern Britain, 1707 – 2000: an introduction. A survey course in modern British history that tackles national identity, modernization, social conditions, politics, women’s rights, imperialism and war.
  • Semester 2: Concepts of history: themes and transformations. Rebellion, Revolution, Class, Religion, Gender, Race, the Environment, Health. This module equips you to address the big issues of past social and political experience across examples from European, American, British and Scottish history.
  • Semester 3: Reputations in history. Karl Marx, Florence Nightingale, William Wallace, John Adams, Nelson Mandela… Their lives in historical context and the resonance of their words and deeds up to the present. An original approach to the human face of the past.

Semesters 4 – 6

You will choose from a wide range of historical subjects in American, European, African, British and Scottish History, in addition to a core module on professional careers for history graduates and another on dissertation preparation. Here is a selection of the modules we run, which may vary each year.

Semester 4

  • Back to the Future: putting history and heritage to work (core module)
  • Africa in the Nineteenth Century
  • American History from 1787 to 1890
  • Europe in the Long Nineteenth Century, 1789-1914
  • Scotland in the Age of Wallace and Bruce
  • Everyday Life in Victorian Britain: Hands on History
  • Union, Rebellion and 'ages' new: Scotland 1707 to c.1830

Semester 5

  • American Indian History and Policy: From Survival to Sovereignty
  • Castles: Power and Authority, Landscapes and Contexts
  • History of Political Thought
  • History, Heritage and Tradition
  • Interwar Europe: Communism, Fascism and Democracy, 1914 to 1945
  • Picts in Perspective: archaeology and the historian
  • Protests, Riots and Propaganda: Popular Politics in 18th Century Britain
  • Radicalism to Labourism: Popular Politics 1800-1914
  • Safer spaces: the use, abuse and protection of the Environment in 20th Century Britain

Semester 6

  • Africa in the Twentieth Century
  • Black People in Britain, 1750-1950: Racism Riots and Resistance
  • Death, Disease and Disability: The State and the Hazardous Working Environment 1800-1914
  • Dissertation Preparation for Honours History (core module)
  • Feeding the masses: ‘Cold flesh’ and environmental degradation in Europe c.900-c.1400
  • From World War to Cold War: Europe 1944 – 1989/90
  • Gender in Britain, 1750-1930
  • Heritage Protection: theory and practice
  • Interpretation and Exhibition Design
  • Nineteenth Century Scotland, c.1800-1914
  • Stewart Scotland II: 1488-1542 – The Glory of Princely Governing?
  • The United States since 1890.

Semester 7 and 8 (year-long special subjects)

  • Apartheid in South Africa, 1948-1994
  • 'Around 1968': Protest Movements and Social Activism in the UK and Europe
  • Britain in the Age of the American and French Revolutions
  • Environment, Landscape and Improvements in the North Atlantic World c.1500 to c.1900
  • Government and Society in Scotland 1800-1918
  • Immigration in Britain, 1880s-1990s
  • Mobilise! Petition Drives and Popular Politics in the West, 1600 to the present
  • The American Revolution
  • Transnational Histories of the 20th Century United States

Combined degrees

History can be studied with:
CourseUCAS Code
English Studies QV31
English Studies/Professional Education QXHC
Film and Media PV31
French RV11
Journalism Studies VP15
Law MV11
Philosophy VV15
Politics LV21
Politics/Professional Education LX21
Education VX11
Religion VV16
Religion/Professional Education VXC1
Sociology LV31
Sociology/Professional Education VXD1
Spanish RV41
Sports Studies VC16

(For a Combined Honours degree the higher entrance requirements of the subjects usually apply.)

Learn more about studying these subjects

Related degrees

Scottish History

Recommended reading

Recommended reading suggestions by module are listed and can be viewed in the History Handbook which is available via the History and Politics website at

Modes of study

Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).
January entry also available - see semester dates

Find out more

Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

The programme below is a typical example, but your own programme may be different. You will have many choices!  A full Honours degree in History would develop on the following lines (see degree course above):

Year Semester Subject 1 Subject 2 Subject 3
1 1 Britain, 1707-1914 Politics English Studies
2 Concepts of History Politics Journalism 
2 3 Reputations in History Criminal Law Film and Media
4 Back to the Future: putting history and heritage to work America 1787-1890 Politics
3 5 Africa, in the 20th century Gender in Britain, 1750-1930 Interwar Europe. Communism Fascism and Democracy
6 Popular politics in 18th century Britain Approaches and Methods: Dissertation Preparation American Indian History and Policy
4 7 Special subject dissertation  
8 Special subject dissertation  

Why Stirling?



At the last RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) whereby research quality is audited by external auditors, History was commended for the international quality of its research.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes applications from all countries.

Study abroad opportunities

You have the opportunity to apply to study in the US under the University’s exchange scheme with a wide range of European, American and Australian universities and colleges. Students doing a Combined Honours degree with French or Spanish are normally required to study in the appropriate country for one semester.


History retains strong connections with a range of historical and heritage industries and former students who have achieved employment in such areas. Contacts are also strong with SATH, the Scottish Association of Teachers of History. 

Our staff have a range of academic expertise nurtured by a strong research ethos. In particular, late medieval, early modern, environmental impact, computer applications, gender, race relations, conflict, revolutions and political and social change are taught within the wide geographical spread of Europe, America, Africa, Britain and Scotland.

Our students

How would I summarise my time at Stirling? Friendly students, supportive staff, great opportunities, a warm community.
Sarah Bolton BA (Hons) History, Graduated 2016
"I really appreciated the flexibility at the beginning of the course that gave me time to consider what I wanted to specialise in. My modules were taught to a very high standard but I particularly enjoyed studying America in the 19th Century and Europe: From World War to Cold War. I also really appreciated the ‘my door is always open’ style support I received whilst writing my Dissertation."
Richard Palmer, BA (Hons) History and Politics, Graduated 2017


Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Employers have always valued a History degree because of the intellectual challenges it offers and the particular skills it fosters. Stirling history graduates possess the qualities that employers usually seek, together with the resources for understanding the complexities of the modern world.

A degree in History develops many useful skills, including:


Expand your horizons

As part of the History degree you will take the core module HISU9X4: Back to the Future: putting history and heritage to work, to help you map and make the most of the career options the degree opens to you.  You will also be able to choose a range of optional modules* which offer activities and skills to prepare you for your future career. These include:

  • Undertaking a work placement to put your learning into context
  • Business, accounting and management modules
  • Law modules
  • Business writing and digital literacy modules
  • French/Spanish language modules
  • Receive talks from visiting speakers from industry and alumni
  • Go on field trips
  • You will also be encouraged to take part in clubs and societies

    *modules are subject to availability and dependant on your chosen degree structure

    We are here to help

    We offer a comprehensive employability and skills programme to help you maximise your time at university and develop the graduate attributes required by employers. We have a dedicated Faculty Employability and Skills Officer and a Career and Employability Service who work in partnership with academic staff to ensure you get the best out of your University experience and are given the right opportunities to make you ready for the world of work.

Our Alumni

Our alumni go into a range of careers but notable alumni include:

  • Hon Dr John Reid – Former Secretary of State for Defence.

Career options

From the museums and heritage trusts to the civil service and the world of marketing and journalism, a degree in History opens up a broad range of career opportunities.

Jobs directly related to history degree include:

Jobs where history degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so do not restrict research or imagination to the jobs listed here.

Typical employers

History graduates are typically employed by:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so do not restrict research or imagination to the jobs listed here.

Typical employers

History graduates are typically employed by:

  • Accountancy firms
  • Banks
  • Higher education institutions (HEIs)
  • Law firms
  • Management consultancies
  • Publishing companies
  • Retailers
  • Schools
  • Television and radio broadcasters.

National and local government and the public services also attract history graduates, particularly the civil service (with some graduates applying to the Civil Service Fast Stream), NHS management, the police and armed services.

International development organisations, charities and heritage organisations are also potential employers, as well as museums and libraries.

Work experience

Look for volunteering or work experience opportunities with organisations and businesses that you are interested in working for, or that will help you develop the skills relevant to your career interests. For example, if you're interested in a career in curatorship, try to get experience working with museum collections.

Volunteering to work for a heritage organisation or museum is another useful way of getting into the sector. Use any opportunities to build up a network of contacts.

For careers in other sectors building up your work experience via an internship or volunteering will be a useful way to test your interest and suitability.

Further study
Many history graduates continue with further study of their discipline, possibly with the intention of pursuing a career as a lecturer, but often due to develop their knowledge of the subject further to improve their career prospects. Other graduates chose to study something vocational at postgraduate level - common areas have included law, publishing and journalism. For careers such as law, lecturing and teaching, further qualifications are essential. For careers such as journalism and advertising, a postgraduate qualification may be useful, but it is relevant work experience that is essential.
Relevant further study available at Stirling includes:

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