Frequently Asked Questions - History

Your most common questions answered.

Why should I study history at the University of Chester?

  1. It's a small, friendly department in a historic city.
  2. The lecturers are active researchers and experts in their field.
  3. There's a wide range of modules, from the Norman Conquest to the present day.
  4. There are lots of optional choices.
  5. You can focus on particular places and periods.
  6. You can study history alongside a wide range of other subjects.

What can I study?

History courses at Chester start with a survey of European history from the Middle Ages to the present day. You also do modules on historical skills and theories. You can also take options in medieval beliefs, communism, empires, modern Germany, Ireland or North America - all in your first year!

In the second year you do modules on important historical debates and have a range of options from modules as diverse as the Crusades and the political history of the United States. There are also options that cover Europe from the Renaissance to the present day. You also do a work placement or a historical research project, gaining 'hands-on' experience at local archives.

In your third year you will do a long essay (known as a dissertation) on a subject of your choice. The dissertation usually involves original research by you. You can also choose from a range of specialist courses that reflect the interests and expertise of the lecturers in the department.

What specialist courses can I do?

Our lecturers are experts on a wide range of topics. You can study England's Norman kings or America during the Cold War. Courses also cover the Crusades, the Wars of the Roses, riots and popular protest, the English revolution, the making of Britain, Germany between the world wars and twentieth century Ireland. If you want to, you can concentrate on medieval history. For those who prefer something more modern, you can focus very much on the twentieth century. It's up to you.

I really like history but I'm a bit worried about my prospects when I graduate. Will I get a job?

History graduates don't just become teachers. As a history student you receive an intellectual training that helps you develop an analytical mind and the brain-power to do a wide range of things. Historians have the ability to think creatively and be methodical at the same time. We're multi-taskers. You are assessed in a range of ways that reflects things you might have to do at work, like give presentations, write reports and review books. You will learn how to work in a team, developing problem-solving, communication and written skills - just the things employers are looking for. Our graduates go on to careers in an amazingly broad range of things, including business, administration, management, journalism, public relations, the arts, the heritage industries and so on. Oh, and teaching.

Can I get practical experience of working in history?

Sure can. The department has close relations with the local record office, Chester and Cheshire Archives, as well as the county Military Museum, the National Waterways archives at Ellesmere Port and the St. Deiniol's research library at nearby Hawarden. Students have undertaken research projects at all these places and more.

I'm really into history and already think I would like to study it further. Can I do this at Chester?

Many people would say 'walk before you try to run', but we think it's a positive thing that you are so keen. We run a Master's degree in Military History and our staff supervise research students right the way through to PhD level. A History degree at Chester could be the start of something beautiful for you...

I fancy a job in a museum or with a heritage organisation. Is this the right place for me?

One of the things that makes a history degree at Chester different is the practical element. You can do a work placement in a heritage organization, and a range of optional heritage courses is available, which gives our students skills they can take to the heritage job market. Some of our lecturers have experience of working in museums and for heritage organizations. Museum and heritage professionals also contribute to the programmes. This provides good networking opportunities, too. Many of our graduates have gone on to work for the likes of English Heritage, the National Trust and museum services around the UK. Others have gained places on highly competitive museum and heritage postgraduate courses across the country.

I left school years ago and I'm worried about going back to study. Also, I'm not sure I have the qualifications I need to start a degree course. Any advice?

We have students of all ages and from all sorts of backgrounds. We work hard to make sure that everyone feels comfortable. Small group work and discussion sessions will help you integrate so you don't feel lost in the crowd. In fact, we often find that mature students really blossom when they come here to study. There's a helpful atmosphere in the department that you should come and experience for yourself, either at an open day or less formally. If you want to know more, give us a call. Some people might need to do what's called an Access course before they start. There is also a very active History, Archaeology and Heritage Society run by students for students. It helps students to get together outside the classroom. The society also organises weekends away and social events. The University of Chester provides additional guidance and support through a range of services to help you get used to being a student.