HistoryUniversity of Cambridge
Price on request
- Bachelor's degree
- Cambridge (England)
What you'll learn on the course
Teaching is provided through a combination of Faculty lectures and classes to cover course content, and College supervisions. On average, you attend eight to 10 lectures each week.
Your weekly supervisions, for which you typically write an essay, give you the opportunity to debate and develop your ideas with a senior historian and expert supervisor.Years 1 and 2 (Part I) Breadth
Part I lasts two years (six terms) and comprises six papers, the first five of which are broad survey papers designed to give you an overview of a period in history. You study one each term for the first five terms and sit a written examination in each at the end of Year 2.
- You take at least one paper on a period of British political history and at least one paper on a period of British economic and social history.
- For the other three papers it’s possible to study any period of European history from the Greeks to the present, global and imperial history, the history of North America and the United States, and/or the history of political thought. If you wish, you can begin to specialise, for example in ancient and medieval papers, or almost entirely in the twentieth century.
For the compulsory sixth paper – Themes and Sources, an introduction to the handling of primary sources – you submit a 3,000-5,000 word essay. There’s a wide choice of topics, typically investigating a major comparative theme in history (such as the environment, money and society, or the history of the body). The essay is written over a period of some months and involves individual research.Year 3 (Part II) Depth
You take five papers, three of which are compulsory:
- Historical Argument and Practice – a general methodological paper that reflects on the broad issues of historical argument and practice arising out of work throughout the degree course (themes range from empire to gender, and from revolutions to race)
- a Special Subject – consisting of two papers (one assessed by a long essay of 6,000-7,000 words, the other by a written examination) that provide an opportunity for advanced in-depth study of an important historical period, process or problem (eg the Angevin Empire, Indian democracy, the Black Death, the history of Ireland,) through detailed examination of primary sources
For your remaining papers, you can either choose two Specified Subjects from a selection of topics or comparable themes in history, or choose one Specified Subject paper and write a dissertation of 10,000-15,000 words on a topic you have devised.
Specified Subject papers cover many different time periods and parts of the world, from the Roman world to the twentieth century, and from the history of the Pacific Ocean to America’s involvement in Vietnam.
Though the dissertation isn’t compulsory more than half of our students take the opportunity to write one, and many find it one of the most rewarding aspects of their time here at Cambridge. Recent examples of dissertation titles include Crime and the Entertainment Industry of Chicago 1921-33, The Decline of Vauxhall Gardens 1780-1859, and Robert Clive and the ‘Gift’ in Eighteenth-Century India.
For further information about studying History at the University of Cambridge see the Faculty of History website.