Our Modules

The BA Programme Modules: Overview

A full overview of the BA History programme is available on the University of Northampton BA History page.

This page is designed to give you more insight into the modules themselves, in terms of content and assessment structures. It is designed to be read in conjunction the BA History page.

Tutors may give taster sessions or introductions to their modules during open days or discovery applicant days, along with more detailed information on the structure and content of the modules. Register here to attend an open day at the University of Northampton to find out more!

The programme uses a variety of assessment formats to help students learn new skills for the future, and to accommodate different learning styles. Tutors run dedicated sessions to help students prepare for different assessments forms. As of September 2022, we do not have exam-hall exams!

Students need to pass 120 credits worth of modules per year, using a balanced programme of study.

Each History module is worth 20 credits, with the exception of the final year dissertation. Students can only take a certain number of modules per semester, and per year.

Tutors can help advise on different modules. Please do email module tutors if you have any questions using our contacts’ page.

*Important notice: this information relates to the modules shown here relate to the academic year 22/23. Information on the modules relating to the academic year 23/24 will be available from June 2023. It may not always be possible to run a module every year, depending on staff availability and recruitment to each module.

Overview – Level 4 (The First Year Modules)


HIS1021 Themes and Perspectives in History (Compulsory)
Our core compulsory module, designed to give students the key information and grounding in advanced university-level History study. It explores the nature of History as a relevant contemporary subject with numerous sub-disciplines and fields of study students may not have encountered before. It helps students gain the knowledge, skills and experiences that will enable them to succeed in their degree. Topics include historical controversies, critical source analysis using different forms of source materials, and university level study, research, and writing skills. It is assessed by an essay and a presentation.

HIS1015 Blood and Iron (Optional)
This module explores the origins of the First World War and their Nineteenth-Century roots. It examines the Great Powers and their conflicts, both internal and external. Using a mixture of chronological and thematic studies, the module provides the student with an understanding of why this seminal war occurred. It is assessed by a briefing paper and an essay.

HIS1023 Health and Healers: Histories of Disease and Disability (Optional)
This module offers the opportunity to explore the history of the body, health and healing prior to the development of modern 20th century lab-based medicine. The module will investigate how ideas about body and healing interacted with, and were embedded within, historical understandings of gender, society and culture. There is an emphasis on how we can use primary sources relating to health and the body to uncover hidden or marginalized histories and stories. It is assessed by a case study and an essay.

HIS1024: The Medieval World, 1200-1500 (Optional)
Taking a thematic approach, students study politics, society, culture and religion to gain an understanding of the events and cultural mindset of the Middle Ages period. Students use a range of sources to learn about medieval institutions and the lives of women and men at all social levels, including marginalised groups such as queer people and immigrants who are excluded from some histories. It is assessed via an essay and a poster design.

HIS1028 United States: War and Society, 1610-2020
This modules explores the history of the United States through the interaction of war and society. Students can investigate the interplay between conflict, ideologies, and societal development over four centuries. It is assessed via a document source analysis and an essay.

HIS1029 The Early Modern World, 1500-1800 (Optional)
The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the key cultural, religious, economic and political developments which occurred in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth-centuries. Students engage with the different debates about the early modern period and will investigate various forms of surviving evidence. It is assessed by an essay and blog post writing.

HIS1030 The Holocaust and the Politics of Race (Optional)
This module will introduce students to the main developments of the Holocaust, and will allow them to contextualise genocide in a wider historical awareness of race and politics in Europe. It will explore the ways the Holocaust unfolded in different parts of the continent, and will critically examine how forms of genocide impacted on different communities. It is assessed via a poster presentation and an essay.

Overview – Level 5 (The Second Year Modules)


HIS2038 Communicating History (Compulsory) & HIS2028 Dissertation Research Skills (Compulsory)
These two modules work together and are valued at 10 credits each. They are designed to complement each other, and help students get the most out of their developing professional research skills and communication skills.
Communicating History is a new module, where students work on a live brief for an external partner. The emphasis is on researching professionally, project management, and producing materials for another to potentially use in a media, digital, or broadcast setting. The project outcome and proposed solutons are assessed. Dissertation Research Skills helps students begin the process of narrowing down a topic for their dissertation, exploring which resources are available to them for their research. This results in an assessed proposal for a potential dissertation topic, to help students prepare for third year study.

HIS2010 Crime, Policing and Punishment in England, 1700-1900 (Optional)
The purpose of this module is explore the fundamental changes that occurred in attitudes to, and policies towards crime, policing and punishment in Britain during a period of fundamental economic and social change. It looks at areas such as images of crime, criminal justice, types of crime, gender and offending rates, imprisonment and policing. It is assessed by a portfolio presentation with written element, and an essay.

HIS2013 Comrades and Revolutions! A History of the Communist Movement in Europe and Asia (Optional)
This module looks at the ideas of Karl Marx, and examine how these influenced Communist states in Europe and Asia in the twentieth century. It will include scrutiny of Marxist ideologies, communist regimes, their political, social and cultural history, and promote a comparative approach to global history. It is assessed via an essay and a podcast recording.

HIS2014 First World War (Optional)
This module explores the First World War through the conceptual framework of Total War. It examines the military operations as well as the diplomatic, political, social and economic dimensions of the conflict. It is assessed via a literature review and an essay.

HIS2025 Family and Lifecycle in Early Modern England (Optional)
The purpose of this module is to explore how intimate relationships forged by ties of blood and marriage shaped the lives of women and men, rich and poor, from infancy to old age in England between the end of the middle ages and the start of the Industrial Revolution. It is assessed via a series of blog posts and an essay.

HIS2030 Medieval Chivalry and its Afterlives (Optional)
Chivalry: more than just knights in shining armour jousting for the love of fair ladies. Chivalry was in fact the overarching cultural ethos of the medieval world. From the twelfth to fifteenth centuries, chivalric values profoundly shaped medieval political, literary and artistic cultures, while also influencing how people framed wider social values. The module is assessed via two blog posts and a poster presentation.

HIS2034 Life on the Margins? Poverty and the Poor in Britain, 1660-1834 (Optional)
This module offers you the opportunity to explore different aspects of the lives, and perceptions, of poorer people during a critical period of social and cultural change in Britain. Using digital sources, this module investigates why, and how, people experienced poverty, and what we can learn by studying the history of poverty and socio-economic deprivation, marginalization and health inequalities. It is assessed via a series of short written pieces and a research project, where students can study a specific historical group first-hand through digital sources.

HIS2035 Shadows of Empire: Movements and Migrations (Optional)
The purpose of this module is to help students understand the nature of global and international history and to build an awareness of the contours and contexts of imperialism and colonialism both in history and in the way they shape contemporary society and culture. It is assessed via a presentation and an essay.

HIS2037 From Pleasure to Anxiety: The English Aristocracy, 1750-1950 (Optional)
The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the history of the landed upper classes through both historiographical and primary source material. It is assessed via a presentation and an essay.

Overview – Level 6 (The Third Year Modules)

HIS4001 Dissertation (Compulsory) – 40 credits
This module enables students to select and develop a historical research question of their own interest, and to complete an independently researched project culminating in a 10,000 word dissertation, with support from tutors.

HIS3018 Citizenship and Gender in Britain, 1760-1918 (Optional)
The purpose of this module is to explore what it meant to be a citizen in a context where this question was commonly negotiated in terms of what it meant to be a man or a woman. How did Georgians, Victorians and Edwardians conceptualise the duties and attributes of the citizen, and who did they seek to exclude? Assessment is via an essay and a presentation.

HIS3027 Secret State: British Intelligence, 1558-1945 (Optional)
Study the complexities of intelligence history, specifically the contribution of the intelligence services to Britain’s security from the early modern period through to the mid-twentieth Century. The module looks at foreign intelligence, military intelligence, and security intelligence in both peace and war. The module assessments are an essay and a document analysis.

HIS3028 The English Country House, c. 1660-1830 (Optional)
Develop a higher understanding of the English Country House during the long eighteenth century through its historiography and primary sources. The module is assessed by an essay and a podcast recording.

HIS3029 Gender and Work in Early Modern England (Optional)
Examine the working lives of women and men in England between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries in this module. Students research a historiography informed by various ideological and methodological perspectives alongside primary sources such as conduct manuals; cheap print; legal records; pauper petitions; and life-writings. It is assessed by blog posts and an essay.

HIS3032 Death and Bereavement in Britain, 1500-1914 (Optional)
You can explore key themes in British cultural and social history in this module, through the analysis of the changing historical experience of death and dying. Themes include population change, religious belief, gender, popular culture and folk belief, magical and ghost belief, and health, disease and medical knowledge, and capital punishment (the death penalty). It is assessed via a primary source analysis and an essay.

HIS3037 The Wars of the Roses (Optional)
This module enables you to study an important period of transition between the York and Tudor dynasties of England. You will use multiple types of primary sources and sophisticated historiography to consider how the Wars of the Roses have been portrayed since the time of Shakespeare. It is assessed via a blog post exercise and an essay.

HIS3038 Jack the Ripper’s East End: Crime and Popular Culture in the Late Nineteenth-Century City (Optional)
The purpose of this module is to explore late Victorian urban society and London through a number of social and cultural historical themes, such as social reform, housing policy, attitudes towards the popular press and investigative journalism, radical politics, gender, and ethnicity. It is assessed via a short audio-visual presentation and an essay.

HIS3040 Cultures of Fascism in Europe and America from Mussolini to the Alt-Right (Optional)
This module looks at the wide-ranging history of fascist movements throughout the twentieth century. It looks at the histories of fascist states in Italy and Germany alongside lesser known fascist movements. It looks at the debates on how we have defined fascism over time, and other key concepts, to structure this comparative survey of the phenomenon. It is assessed via a blog and an exam.

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