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History at Southampton

Single and combined honours programmes


At present, about 50 per cent of our students follow our single honours programme. This consists of a foundation year, which introduces you to approaches and topics which you may not have studied before, followed by two years of more advanced study in which you are essentially free to build your own curriculum.

Single honours history students may also take up to 25 per cent of their course modules in other disciplines. Alternatively, you may follow one of our combined honours programmes, enabling you to complement the study of history with another discipline. Combined honours programmes are divided 50:50 between each discipline.

Course structure

History's undergraduate programme is modular. This means that your programme is divided into self-contained modules taught and assessed in a single semester. Taught modules may be single (two hours teaching a week), or double (three to four hours teaching a week, depending on the type of module).

Your first year

Compulsory modules In the first year, all history students, single and combined, take the history double module in semester one, History and Historians (HIST1112).
 If you are a single honours history student, you will also take the history double module in semester two, Key Concepts in History (HIST1110).

Cases and Contexts Cases and Contexts courses are detailed studies of a specific episode or theme in the past, making use of primary source material and historical controversies. If you are a single honours student, you will take two Cases and Contexts courses in each semester. If you are a combined honours student, you will take two Cases and Contexts courses in semester two. 
For a full list of Cases and Contexts courses currently running please refer to the programme listings on the Humanities website.

First-year assessment is by a mixture of examinations and written assignments; it does not contribute to your final degree classification, but it does determine whether you can proceed to degree work in years two and three.

Your second year

In your second year, you have the opportunity to study a wide range of options, from the ancient world to the present.

Single honours students take two History Option modules (double modules) in semester one and one History Option module (double module) in semester two (of which at least one must be pre-modern). All combined honours students take one History Option module (double module) in each semester. You may also take two modules from another discipline in place of one History Option module (double module).

For a full list of option courses currently running, please refer to the programme listings on the Humanities website.

The Group Project (single honours only) (two modules)
If you are a single honours student, you will sign up to a designated history project and form part of a group of about seven students. You will be assessed on your own written work for the project, collective assessments, and a group presentation of a public outcome (exhibitions, websites, conferences, short publications etc) at the end of semester two.

Your final year

If you are a single honours student, the final year curriculum consists of three parts:
1) Alternative Histories (double module);
2) the Special Subject (two double modules);
3) a history dissertation (compulsory double module). 
For full information on these courses, please refer to the programme listings on the Humanities website.

1) Alternative Histories (double module)
History at Southampton has recently introduced the Alternative Histories modules. These courses are designed to be broad in scope and chronology, comparative, interdisciplinary and cutting edge in approach and content.

2) The Special Subject Special Subject courses are taught entirely in small, intensive seminar groups, focusing in detail on primary source material on a topic closely related to the research expertise of individual members of staff. The Special Subject is taught in two parts over two semesters.

3) Finally, you will write a 10,000 word dissertation based on your own original research. You may choose to work on a topic closely related to your Special Subject, but need not necessarily do so. You will receive guidance from a specialist tutor on research and writing your dissertation.

Combined honours students If you are a combined honours student, you will take a Special Subject course (part one) in semester one, and either part two of the same Special Subject course or a history dissertation in semester two (which may be linked to, or independent from, the Special Subject).

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