History and American Studies

BA, 3-4 years

This is for you if... you want to explore the history and politics of one of the most influential countries in the world, and examine American developments alongside wider global historical contexts.

Course Description

  • As part of the University of Leicester’s commitment to being a leading academic institution, we regularly review and update our degrees and modules to ensure that they reflect the most up-to-date research, knowledge, ideas and teaching practices, as well as taking into account student feedback. We also have to take into account the availability of key teaching staff where this will impact on the delivery of the course.  As a result, if there are major changes to the course that you have applied for, we will contact you as soon as possible and will ensure that any disruption to your studies is minimised.

The BA in History and American Studies brings together two popular and exciting subjects. You will chart the history of America since its beginnings as an independent state all the way through to the modern day. Along the way, you will study the people, ideas and events that have shaped the nation. Political, cultural and economic factors will all be discussed and you will learn how all of these contribute to the shaping of one of the most influential countries in the world.

You can pursue modules in American history, politics, and culture whilst also studying aspects of British, European and global history. This degree allows you to study American politics and culture in ways that will complement and extend your understanding of both American and world history.

You will also have the opportunity to immerse yourself in American culture by spending a year studying abroad at one of our partner institution in the USA. You also have the option of spending a year in Europe.

Key Facts
Typical offer
UCAS code
Start date
September 2018
American Studies, History

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 2587

School of History website

View Key Information Sets

Why Leicester?

Our staff teach and research across a wide range of topics - from medieval to modern periods and across all the continents. This is reflected in the diversity and breadth of modules that you can study.

Our New History Lab brings together staff and students every fortnight to discuss history over tea and cake. Guest speakers have included newsreader Julie Etchingham and historian Melvyn Bragg.

Our Centre for American Studies Congress to Campus events and Annual Lecture series invites distinguished speakers to deliver talks relevant to the course. Previous speakers include former Congress members Mary Bono and Brian Baird and Professors Hugh Wilford, Brenda Gayle Plummer, and Jacqueline Foertsch.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

In your first year you will develop a strong foundation for the rest of your degree by taking core modules on American, European and global history, US Politics and the Shock of the Modern. You will begin to understand what it is to be a professional historian whilst gaining an overview of the milestones of American history.

Core modules

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

Your second year allows you to develop your knowledge of America's development by taking a closer look at the people, communities and wider world relationships that have contributed to its evolution. You will also develop your critical analysis skills so that you can understand and interpret the past in the core module Perceiving the Past.

Core modules

  • Americas Plural: Latin America and the United States
  • Ethnicity and Diversity in American Life
  • Perceiving the Past

Option modules

Choose three option modules from:

  • All Bourgeois Now? Class in History, 1700-2000
  • Anglo Saxon England Before Alfred
  • Architecture and Rebellion: Ireland's Militarizes Landscape, 1796-1882
  • Blood, Position and Power: The Nobility of Later Medieval England 1066-1485
  • Classical and post-Classical Latin
  • Deviance and Disorder in the Early Modern City
  • Domestic Revolutions: Women, Men and the Family in American History
  • Enter the Dragon: Modern Chinese History 1839-1989
  • From Beer to Fraternity: Alcohol, Society and Culture in North America
  • Global Cities
  • Heritage Field Project
  • History in the Classroom
  • Imperialism and Decolonisation
  • Origins of the Global Economy, 1783-1914
  • Peopling Australia
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Radical Histories
  • Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union
  • Slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction in the United States
  • Stormtroops, Blackshirts, Arrow Cross: Fascist Movements in Europe, 1919-1945
  • The Historian's Craft
  • The Making of Modern British Politics, 1906-2007
  • The Rage of Party: Politics, Religion and Culture in the reign of Queen Anne 1702-1714

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year Abroad (optional)

Year Abroad (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our International Office.

Please note that a year spent abroad still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.You will be expected to produce a photographic essay of your time abroad.

The School of History has links with several European universities, administered through the European Erasmus scheme. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. During your second year at Leicester you will receive appropriate language training.

  • For the latest information on the future of the Erasmus scheme at UK universities please see our Brexit microsite 

We have links with the following universities:

We also have links with some universities outside Europe. If you are receiving financial assistance from Student Finance your support will continue and you may also be eligible to apply for additional travel grants or scholarships. We have links with the following universities:














New York

North Carolina







We have two partners in Canada

We also have partners in Australia

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Final Year

Final Year

Your third year will afford you even more freedom to direct the course of your degree. The only compulsory module is a dissertation which you can write on a subject of your choice from either History or American Studies. If you wish to apply to study for a year abroad then your dissertation must be supervised by a member of staff in American Studies.

Core module

  • Dissertation

Option modules

Choose four option modules from:

  • Agincourt and Orleans: Lancastrian England and Valois France, 1413-1453
  • Clothing and Fashion in Historical Perspective
  • Facing Modernity: Jews in Central Europe
  • Food, Diet and Health in Early Modern Europe
  • Fourteenth Century Crisis in England? Politics and Society, 1297-1413
  • From Empire to Nation: Modern South Asia c.1857-1947
  • Genocides and Mass Violence in Europe and its Colonies in the Twentieth Century
  • How Soon Is Now? A Social History of Urban England, 1945-1985
  • Ideals of Womanhood in Nineteenth Century America
  • Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, c. 1350-1650
  • Israel/Palestine: The Story of a Land, 1882 to the Present
  • Making Nazis: Propaganda and Persuasion in the Third Reich, 1933-1945
  • Parties and Politics in Britain, 1914-1974
  • Political Satire, 1681-1792
  • Poverty and Welfare in Britain, 1597 to the Present
  • Power, Politics and Everyday Life in Post-War Ireland, 1945-1973
  • Slavery in the Americas
  • The Age of Bede and Alcuin
  • The American Presidency
  • The American Revolution, 1763-1789
  • The British Abroad: Europe, the Atlantic and the Formation of Britain, 17th-18th Centuries
  • The Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1968
  • The Crusading Movement in the Fourteenth Century
  • The Decline of a World Power: British Foreign and Defence Policy 1892-1968
  • The French Revolution, 1789-1804
  • The Holocaust: Genocide in Europe
  • The Imperial Economy: Britain and the Wider World, 1815-1914
  • The Medieval Natural World
  • The Presidency of Franklin Roosevelt
  • The Transformation of Leicester, 1945-1980
  • The USA and the Vietnam War
  • When Two Dragons Fight: China and Japan at War in the Twentieth Century
  • Women in American Society from Civil War to First World War

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Major/Minor Degrees

Major/Minor degrees enable you to create your own degree. You can study a core area in depth (your major subject), while also exploring an additional area (your minor subject).

Why not complement your Major with a subject that you enjoyed before, or which has vocational elements that can boost your career prospects? Alternatively, you may want to try something completely new that you’ve always been interested in, like a language.

Find out more

Teaching and Assessment

You will be taught by a variety of methods, ranging from large lectures to seminars to individual tutorials. Lectures are used to provide historical narrative and to raise key questions and areas of debate. Seminars are where you share your opinion about those debates and put forward your interpretation of the topic.

Assessment is through exams and coursework (both long and short essays), source analyses, group projects and presentations. Approximately two thirds of your final degree mark will be based on your coursework; one third on your exams.

You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether they be academic, financial, housing, career or social issues.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.

Overall workload

Typical workload hours for History courses in 2016/17:

Year 1: 14% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 168 hours
  • Independent learning: 1032 hours

Year 2: 15% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 180 hours
  • Independent learning: 1020 hours

Optional year abroad: If you’re spending a year abroad, your contact hours will vary depending on the institution you’re studying at.

Final year: 9% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 108 hours
  • Independent learning: 1092 hours

While your actual contact hours may depend on the option modules you select, the above information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities for each year of your course.

Academic support

Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:

  • study and exam skills
  • academic writing
  • presentations
  • dissertations
  • numerical data skills
  • referencing sources

Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Entry Requirements

  • A/AS-levels: ABB at A-Level. We prefer A-Level History, though this is not essential. Two AS-Levels considered in place of one A-Level. General Studies is accepted.
  • EPQ with A-levels: BBB at A-Level + EPQ at grade B. We prefer A-Level History, though this is not essential.
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass relevant diploma with 45 credits, 30 of which must be at distinction.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 30 points including grade 6 in one Higher Level subject.
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma with DDM.

Other national and international qualifications considered. If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC provides academic and English language support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester.

Second Year Entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors including previous exam results.

Applicants are not normally interviewed. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the department.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

  • Starting in 2018

    • £9,250 in your first year. After 2018/19, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation and is subject to government regulations.
    • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year.

    Find out more about scholarships and funding.


  • Starting in 2018

    • £15,980 per year
    • Year Abroad: your fee will be £3,995 which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee.
      Find out more about scholarships and funding.

    Career Opportunities

    The University’s annual Festival of Careers is a four day event that attracts graduate employers from across a wide variety of sectors and industries. This is the perfect opportunity for you to think about where your degree will take you and gain face-to-face time with employers.

    The growth of the global market means that many jobs in the public and private sectors have an international and often a transatlantic dimension. Employers are looking for independence, creativity, maturity and a broad cultural outlook, all of which are provided through the course.

    The 'History in the Classroom' module includes practical teaching experience by incorporating a placement in a local school.


    Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

    Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
    History and American Studies BA 3 years full-time VT17 Apply Now
    History and American Studies with Year Abroad BA 4 years full-time VT17 Apply Now
    History and American Studies
    3 years full-time
    UCAS Code
    History and American Studies with Year Abroad
    4 years full-time
    UCAS Code

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