Common questions

Here you will find answers to our most frequently asked questions. Click on a section to reveal relevant information. You can also search the University of Sheffield's AskUS question database which contains answers to hundreds of commonly asked questions.


If you have any questions not answered below or would like to discuss your application please do not hesitate to filling in our ask a question formemail us or phone us on +(0)114 22 22552.

BA programme


Common questions

How does the programme work?

You will find information about course structure and modules, as well as teaching and assessment, on the relevant page for your chosen BA programme.

Our BA programmes

Can I study part-time?

Yes. Our BA History programme is available part-time for students who want more flexibility from their studies. You will study alongside our full-time students but spread your module choices out over 6 years.

Part-time BA programme

What size will my classes be?

We believe that small group contact with academic staff is essential, and it is at the heart of our teaching practice.

We ensure that groups for seminars, the discussion-based form of teaching, are kept small to encourage participation. In your first year, seminar groups will be no more than 12 students; in your second year, no more than 15; and in your third year, no more than 16 (at which point most of your learning in the Department will be in seminars). 

The sizes of lectures vary from course to course and level to level. Some of your lectures will have more than 250 students, others will have fewer than 20.

What are the contact hours?

Learning at university-level is very different from learning at school. Lectures provide a framework for your study, while seminars are where you discuss your reading with the module tutor and other students in small groups. Independent study is also a crucial part of our degree, fostering qualities of self-reliance and organisation valued by employers.

In addition to the hours listed below, your lecturers and your personal tutors have set office hours each week, and can also be contacted by email, should you have additional questions.

BA History students

Year one: You will have approximately 9-10 hours of contact time per week. This is based upon three history modules each semester, each of which comprises 2 hours of lecture (taught in two separate 1-hour sessions) and 1 hour of seminar per week (the core module, Paths from Antiquity to Modernity, has an extra hours lecture each week). If you choose to take some unrestricted modules outside the Department, your contact time may vary slightly.

Year two: You will have approximately 6-8 hours of contact time per week. Each of the three modules in each semester is taught through 1 hour of lecture and 1 hour of seminar per week. The course assignment - extended independent coursework - has a number of workshops, plus one-on-one sessions with your supervisor.

Final year: You will have approximately 6-8 hours of contact time per week. There is more focus on seminar teaching in the final year with the Special Subject having two 2-hour seminars each week over the full academic year. Your dissertation has a number of workshops as well as one-on-one sessions with your supervisor. 

Dual students

At each level you will normally do half the amount of history credits and will, therefore, have half the contact time with our tutors. Your overall contact time will depend on your other department's teaching practice, and we would recommend contacting them for more information.

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements vary from AABB to ABB depending on your chosen programme. All degree typically require an A Level in History or Classical Civilisation (or equivalent) and dual degrees may also require an A Level in a relevant subject (or equivalent).

English language requirements are IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in each component (or equivalent).

Check the entry requirements for your chosen degree in our University prospectus.

Our courses University prospectus

Common questions

Do you accept A Level Classical Civilisation or A Levels in specific periods of history? 

Yes. We can accept A Level Classical Civilisation in place of A Level History. We are also happy to accept more specific A Levels such as A Level Ancient History or A Level Modern History. 

Do you accept A Levels in General Studies and Critical Thinking? 

Yes. We accept both General Studies and Critical Thinking for all of our degree programmes when offered in combination with two other acceptable A Level subjects. 

Acceptable A Level subjects

Do you accept the Extended Project?

We are able to accept the EPQ when offered alongside three A Levels. Check the entry requirements for your chosen degree in our University prospectus.

The EPQ topic should be in history or a related subject. If you are unsure whether your EPQ topic is relevant, you can email us to check. 

University Prospectus 2019 Email us


Full-time degrees and History with a foundation year

Applications for all of our full-time degrees and BA History with a foundation year should be made through UCAS. 

UCAS website Application guidance

Students from USA and Canada

If you are currently studying in the USA or Canada we can accept an application from you through the Common Application. However, if you are able to apply through UCAS we would encourage you to choose this route. You can only apply through either Common Application or UCAS, not both.

Please note that we are not able to consider Common Applications from students studying outside the USA or Canada.

UCAS website The Common Application

Part-time degrees and CertHE Humanities with History

Applications to our part-time BA History and part-time BA History with a foundation year degrees and the Humanities Certificate in Higher Education are made through direct to the University via our online application form. 

Apply now

Common questions

Will I need to attend an interview?

We don't invite applicants for our full-time degrees to attend an interview. You may be invited to attend an interview if you apply to one of our alternative route programmes such as the BA History part-time or the BA History with Foundation Year. If you are a mature student studying for an Access Diploma or other foundation programme, we may contact you to provide us with an example of written work.

When will I receive a decision on my application?

We aim to respond to all applications within four weeks.

Can I transfer into the History Department from another course at Sheffield or another university?

Please see our transferring webpage for information. 

More information on transferring

I have received an offer but would like to change to a different degree - is this possible?

This is possible in theory, depending on availability of places on your desired course and subject to consideration of your UCAS form.

You should email us with details of the change you would like to make to discuss your options. Please make sure to include your full name, UCAS Personal ID Number and details of the course you are currently holding an offer. 

Email us about changing to a history degree Email us about changing to a non-history degree

Fees and funding

Information about fees and funding is available on the University's finance pages. 

Find out more

General questions


How many students are there in the History Department?

We generally have around 150 BA History students and 115 dual students in each year of study. 

Can you recommend any reading before I start my course?

Applicants often ask the Department whether we can recommend any reading for the summer before they come to Sheffield. We do not have a list of books that we require you to have read, and we certainly do not look for any particular book to be mentioned in applications! We would encourage you to delve a little deeper in whatever you find interesting: your teachers may well have advice on this. However, if you do want to try something a little different, here is a selection of books, in approximately chronological order, chosen for their influence, innovative techniques, and readability. They should also all be easy to get hold of, for example through local libraries.

  • Bryan Ward-Perkins, The Fall of Rome: and the end of civilization (2006)
  • Robert Bartlett, The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change (2003)
  • John Darwin, After Tamerlane: the rise and fall of Global Empires, 1400-2000 (2008)
  • Keith Thomas, Religion and the decline of magic: studies in popular belief in 16th- and 17th- century England (1978)
  • Olwen Hufton, The Prospect before Her: A History of Women in Western Europe, 1500-1800 (1995)
  • Bob Shoemaker, The London Mob: Violence and Disorder in Eighteenth-century England (2004)
  • Stephanie Smallwood, Saltwater slavery: a middle passage from Africa to American diaspora (2008)
  • Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution (2008)
  • Ian Kershaw, The End: Hitler’s Germany, 1944-45 (2011)
  • Ruth Harris, Lourdes: body and spirit in the secular age (2008)
  • Mark Mazower, Dark Continent: Europe’s 20th century (1999)



*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.