BA History Part-time

Course code: HSTU24
Duration: 6 years

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Entry requirements
Tuition fee information

Are you interested in getting a degree in History, but don't want to study full-time? This degree option is for you.

History is the world's collective memory, helping us to understand our current culture and society. Studying History at Sheffield allows you to explore great events, extraordinary documents, remarkable people, and long-lasting transformations, from the ancient world to the modern day, and across the globe.

We have around 40 members of academic staff, teaching and researching in ancient, medieval, early modern, modern and contemporary history. Our historians address themes including society and culture, politics, religion, gender and the history of violence and peace, in Britain, Europe, America and the wider world. This provides you with the ideal environment to develop your historical research skills and explore your individual areas of interest as well as developing a broad range of transferable skills to help you prepare for your future. 

More about our academics and their research areas 

How it works



As a part-time student, you will study for your BA History over a period of six years, with each level taking two years to complete. You will study alongside our full-time students and be able to choose from our full range of modules giving you the opportunity to explore a variety of approaches to the study of history.

Our teaching and assessment system is modular, meaning that across all three years you can tailor your course to suit you. You will have core modules at each level of your degree: these help you to develop your skills and give you a strong foundation for your historical knowledge. Our wide range of option modules give you the opportunity to complement your core learning by specialising in the topics that interest you most. These option modules offer a wide chronological and geographical coverage of history from the ancient world to the modern day and reflect a variety of approaches and methodologies, so you can choose to focus on themes such as political, social, cultural or religious history.


Each year you will take 120 credits. This is normally split into 60 credits in the autumn semester and 60 credits in the spring semester. Most History modules are 20 credits each, although some specialist modules at level three are worth 40 credits.

Year one

Getting you started

The first year programme is designed to help you to make the transition from studying History at school or college to studying it at degree level. It introduces you to core academic skills and provides a solid grounding in historical study and research, giving you the foundations you'll need to deepen your understanding of historical events and processes throughout your degree and setting you off on the path to becoming an independent historian.

Our first year option modules introduce you to our main areas of teaching and research and give you insight into what you can study in the coming years, so that you can better shape your degree to your individual interests.

You will take two core modules (40 credits) over the two years of study. You will take History Workshop in year one and will be able to choose to take Paths from Antiquity to Modernity in either year one or year two. You will take at least one history module in each year of study, so if you choose to take Paths from Antiquity to Modernity in year one, you will choose another history module in year two.






History Workshop

Gives you the confidence to step up to university-level history by teaching a range of skills through engagement with real historical questions and introducing you to our historians' research at an early stage.

20 Core 1 1

Paths from Antiquity to Modernity

Introduces you to the broad structures of Western history from the Roman Empire up to the present day. Topics include the Black Death, the French Revolution and decolonisation with thematic seminars to train you in key research skills.

20 Core 1 1 or 2
Empire: From the Ancient World to the Middle Ages 20  Option 1 or 2
The 'Disenchantment' of Early Modern Europe, c. 1570-1770 20  Option 1 or 2
The Making of the Twentieth Century 20  Option  2 1 or 2
The Transformation of Britain, 1800 to the Present (not running in 2020-21) 20  Option   2 1 or 2

Want to try something new?

The flexible structure of your first year at Sheffield means that you also have the chance to experience modules from across the University. Your 80 credits of option modules may be made up of further history modules - a minimum of four of the above options will run each year - or modules from a list approved by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Our students regularly take modules in topics such as languages, English literature, journalism, sociology and politics alongside their History modules.

Year two

Building your skills and knowledge

Your second year builds on what you've learnt so far, furthering your knowledge in areas of history that you have already encountered and introducing you to new and exciting topics. A wide range of modules will help you to explore new areas and discover where your main interests lie ahead of your final year. 

These modules will not only help you mature as a historian, challenge assumptions and appreciate the bigger picture, they will also develop professional skills of analysis, judgement and communication.

We want your History degree to be coherent, so our core modules (40 credits) continue to give you a strong foundation for your historical knowledge and you will build a broad historical understanding by choosing option modules (80 credits) across the following three time periods: pre-1500; 1500-1800 and post-1800. Your Writing History topic will relate to one of your Option modules or your Document Option.






Historians and History

Introduces you to some of the most significant and influential developments that have shaped the way historians think and write about the past and helps you develop a more critical approach to the secondary literature that you will engage with through your degree.

20 Core 1 1

Writing History

Gives you the chance to carry out a detailed independent study on a topic related to one of your options. Collaborative feedback and support from a supervisor and students working in similar areas enable you to develop your research and academic writing skills.

20 Core 2 2
Document Options 20 Option x 1  1 1 or 2
Options 20 Option x 3   1 or 2

We want you to continue to have flexibility, so you can choose replace one 20 credit option module with a module from another department, subject to the approval of the Department.

Final year

Developing your expertise

Your final year is where you can choose to focus on one of the areas of history that you're most passionate about, using the academic skills and historical knowledge that you have acquired in years one and two to undertake focussed primary source research.

All students take a Special Subject and a dissertation, as we think that they are important staples of a History degree. These modules give you the chance to explore your chosen topic in detail, alongside a leading expert in the field, helping you to further develop your knowledge and research skills. The unusually wide-ranging research expertise at Sheffield means that, with modules focusing on themes such as gender and domesticity; art; war and violence; cultural change; medicine and science, you'll be spoilt for choice.






The Uses of History

In this module you will critically engage with public history by exploring its theory and practice, communicating your scholarly work to new audiences, and reflecting on the possibilities and challenges of translating history between academic and non-academic settings. The module will also offer the opportunity to engage with a range of practitioners of public history such as filmmakers, activists, and heritage professionals.

20 Core 2 1 or 2


Gives you the opportunity to focus on a piece of independent research in an area of your choice. You will develop your skills in research, including critical analysis of primary source materials and advanced engagement with secondary literature. 

40 Core 1 and 2 2
Comparative Options 20 Option x 1 1 1 or 2
Special Subjects 40 Option x 1 1 and 2 1

You can choose take one unrestricted 20 credit module from another department in place of the thematic option, subject to the approval of the Department.

Teaching and learning

You will experience a variety of teaching by leading historians who bring their award-winning research to life.

This will include regular lecturers and seminars complemented by individual tutorials and supervision sessions. We firmly believe in the importance of high-quality, small group teaching so your seminars will be including a maximum of 12 students in the first year and 16 students in the second and final year.

As you progress through your degree these seminars will become more important - the Special Subject is taught through 4 hours of seminar each week throughout the full academic year.

Our campus and how we use it:

We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus, the details of which can be found on our campus map. Teaching may take place in a student’s home department, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space.

Academic support

Your academic and personal development is important to us.  

Our personal and level tutor system ensures that you have a wide range of support and advice available to you whenever you need it. This is complemented by a wide range of support across the University.

Your academic tutors will also be available to discuss your learning and assessment in their office hours, which they hold each week during term-time.


We use a range of assessment, including coursework, exams and presentations, all designed to help you develop a wide variety of professional skills.

As you progress, your assessment will include more analysis of primary sources and you will further develop your research, analytical and academic writing skills through independent research projects.

year one year two final year

A summary of learning and assessment information across all years of the degree is available on the 'Learning and Assessment' tab of the University's online prospectus.

Witness ProjectPersonalise your degree

Get the most out of your degree by getting involved with student projects, gaining work experience or spending time studying abroad.

You can apply to gain practical experience by spending a year in industry with the Degree with Employment Experience or you can take advantage of opportunities available through the History Society and the Careers Service.

You can also apply to spend time studying abroad through our Erasmus and Study Abroad programmes.

Please note that the ability to study abroad or take a year in employment is not guaranteed, it is subject to availability and academic progress. If you’re interested in studying abroad, you’ll be able to apply after you arrive in Sheffield.

Student projects

Studying history at Sheffield also gives you the opportunity to get involved in a range of exciting extra-curricular activities, helping you to engage with history in new ways and get even more out of your student experience.

These activities can also help you to enhance your CV by gaining valuable transferable skills and experience in areas such as interviewing, film-making, and working with school children.

Find out more

Degree with employment experience

Spending a year in employment as part of your degree is an excellent opportunity to put your skills and knowledge to practical use and gain experience that will help you in your future career.

There are lots of year-long placements available in the UK, as well as opportunities around the world.

Find out more

Study abroad and Erasmus

Join us and you'll be able to apply to spend time studying abroad as part of your degree.

The University's study abroad scheme gives you the opportunity to spend a year studying in the USA, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong or Singapore.

Our Departmental links include France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.

Find out more

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have, or expect to achieve, AAB in three A Levels typically including an A in History or Classical Civilisation. Please see the University's online prospectus for full entry requirement details. This includes information about Access Sheffield for applicants who are eligible for additional consideration or an alternative offer. If you have a question, or would like to discuss your individual qualifications, just get in touch.

Online prospectus 2020 Access Sheffield Common questions Email us


Alternative routes and additional support information 

Returning to education and don't have the usual qualifications?

Our BA History with Foundation Year might be the degree you're looking for. It is specially designed for mature learners who have been out of education for some time and haven't previously accessed higher education.  Find out more

Information for disabled students

We're committed to responding effectively and appropriately to individual support needs. Find out more.


*Please note that the course details set out here may change before you start, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the course start date. The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.