Answers to commonly asked questions. 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 get in touch.

How many students are there in the History Department?

We generally have around 125 BA History students and 115 dual students in each year of study. 

What should I put in my personal statement?

A good personal statement should show your enthusiasm for the subject, but try to explain and evidence that enthusiasm with examples.

To say ‘I have a passion for History’ will get you so far; but to make your statement stronger, you could tell us about what makes History so interesting to you.

What questions, topics, and readings for instance, have got you eager to find out more? What do you see as History’s significance to society today? If you have done anything extracurricular - wider reading, visits, volunteering, related activities - that will help you stand out too. 

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 an Access to HE Diploma or other foundation programme, we may contact you to provide us with an example of written work.

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

This may be possible depending on availability and further 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 your current course plus the course you'd like to be considered for. 

For changing into history please email history.admissions@sheffield.ac.uk

For changing out of history please email study@sheffield.ac.uk

Current Sheffield students should see our changing your programme page in our Student Hub.

Can I transfer from another university into the second year?

We are unable to consider transfer requests during the course of year one but are able to consider applications to begin BA History and a number of our dual degrees at the beginning of year two. 

This option is not available for BA History and Politics or BA Archaeology and History.

Entry requirements

You should normally meet the minimum qualifications accepted this academic year for the degree you wish to transfer to. This usually means we can accept one grade below the standard entry requirements. Please refer to the information for your chosen degree here

You should be undertaking the first year of a suitable BA History degree or dual degree. Offers will be based on students achieving 60% or above in relevant first year modules and a pass in any remaining modules. For BA History, we usually require 80 credits of history modules. For dual degrees, we usually require 40 credits of history modules as well as appropriate dual subject module credits. 

If you would like to discuss a potential application, please us at history.admissions@sheffield.ac.uk


You should apply via UCAS in the usual way. You will be able to select that you are requesting level two entry as part of your application. You will need to provide details about your marks (so far) from the first year of your current programme. You should list your current degree in your application and you can email a transcript to us. Alternatively we will request one after you have submitted your application. 

Current Sheffield students should see our changing your programme page in our Student Hub.

Can you recommend any reading before I start my course?

We don't have a list of books that we require you to have read - and we don’t assume you’ll have previous knowledge about particular topics - but if you're interested in doing some extra-curricular reading, we'd encourage you to start by delving a little deeper into whatever areas of history you find most interesting: your teachers will be able to advise on this.

If you do want to try something a little different, below 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.

We have also recently created a guide based on our first year module Paths from Antiquity to Modernity, which you'll find here

  • 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)

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