BA in History (Honours)

The Open University

Program Description

BA in History (Honours)

The Open University

BA in History (Honours)

This wide-ranging and fascinating course will develop and deepen your knowledge of different periods of history from antiquity to the twentieth century. You’ll tackle such exciting and challenging issues as imperialism, politics, social relations, medicine, warfare and religion – learning the skills of the historian in studying historical materials; exploring how we understand and interpret past events; and investigating a range of critical approaches.

Key features of the course

  • Build a study profile that reflects your particular interests
  • At Stages 2 and 3, choose to focus on History or include modules in classical studies, Scottish history or heritage studies
  • Develop transferable skills that are highly valued by employers.

Educational aims

We aim to:

  • explain what the academic study of History is all about (and how it differs from ‘popular history’ on TV or in books). Above all else, we aim to make you aware of the nature of the discipline and subdisciplines of History (for instance, political, economic and social history) and of their distinctive approaches and methods
  • give you a good grounding in the history of the British Isles and Continental Europe from the later Middle Ages to the present, and stimulate and help to satisfy your interest in the subject
  • allow you to set historical study at Levels 1, 2 and 3 within a degree programme that will meet the quality controls agreed by the Quality Assurance Agency and encourage your progression through the various levels of the programme. By the end of the programme, you should be able to engage in independent study with relatively little tutorial support
  • allow you to combine historical study with interdisciplinary work and enable you to set the discipline of History within the context of other arts disciplines
  • allow you to specialise to some extent in certain areas
  • emphasise the practical aspects of ‘being a historian’
  • help you to communicate your knowledge and understanding to a knowledgeable audience.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

In the programme a range of different types of assessment is used, in accordance with the recommendations of the national history benchmarking statement. Most modules adopt the normal OU weighting of 50% continuous assessment and 50% examinable component. The tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) that make up the continuous assessment component may take the form of traditional history essays, extended essays, short-answer questions, statistical and computer exercises, drafts of independent work, and book reviews, depending on the module and the level. (For example, you are more likely to be asked to complete an extended TMA based on independent study at Level 3 than at Level 2.) The examinable component may take the form of a traditional three-hour unseen examination or a project or dissertation or other piece of independently researched work. At the history residential school your oral participation in group discussion and other work may be assessed.


We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost. Fees for study commencing in academic year 2014/2015 are:

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification upfront.
  • If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632.
  • Our current fee is £5,264 – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification currently starts from £15,792 based on our current fees.

NB: Prices are subject to change.

How long does it take?

Part time – 6-8 years Full time – 3 years Time limit – 16 years

Career relevance

Study of the arts and humanities requires an understanding of human activities in diverse cultural environments and historical contexts. The breadth of study and range of cultural texts and objects analysed, combined with clear thinking and communication, make the BA (Hons) History relevant to a wide range of careers, including:

  • education
  • museum work
  • public administration, local government, the civil service, art institutions, and social services
  • advertising, journalism, publishing, creative industries and public relations
  • legal work
  • business, banking and retail
  • human resources
  • charities and campaigning


The Arts Faculty was rated by a Times Higher Education survey as one of the best 100 institutions in the world for the study of the arts. Noted for the strength of our interdisciplinary approaches, our scholars of international standing also teach and research a very wide range of topics and themes in specific subject areas. These include art history; classical studies; creative writing; English; history; music; philosophy; and religious studies. The Faculty also has validated partnerships with several important institutions in the UK and other parts of the world. The head of the Faculty is the Dean, Professor David Rowland.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this degree. You will however need to be proficient in English, to an IELTS standard of 7.0. If you are unsure you will be able to take a free English test as part of the registration process.

Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University

Last updated September 28, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
3 - 16 years
Part time
Full time
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United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Aug. 2018
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school