Gain an understanding of the economies, societies, faiths, and cultures that have shaped our world over time.

Studying history will allow you to read and analyse texts and evidence, and gain an in-depth understanding of the forces that have shaped our modern world.

You could combine history with other subjects like English, languages, or economics, and focus on particular periods of history you’re fascinated by. The research and critical thinking skills you gain will equip you for roles in a variety of industries such as local and central government, journalism, education, heritage, publishing, and academia. You could also go on to further study.

Around 85% of humanities graduates are in work, study or both 15 months after graduating (JISC). 

The impact you could make
  • Work in marketing or communications for a heritage site you’re passionate about.
  • Use your knowledge of history, society, and politics in the civil service for the greater good.
  • Be a history teacher, working your way up to headteacher, and become a role model in your pupils’ history.
What you could study
  • Political communities in world history
  • Societies and economies in world history
  • 19th and 20th century Britain
  • Europe in the making
  • Disease and society
  • Theory and practice of oral history
  • Arguments and analysis
  • Evidence and methods
  • Latin America: themes and problems
  • History and politics of the modern Middle East
  • Contemporary US race relations
  • Corruption in Britain and its empire

Study options

Options to study in this field include:

Chat to a current history student

Chat to a current history student using UniBuddy.

Some conversation starters for you:

  1. Ask which modules they really enjoyed.
  2. Find out how easy it was for them to make friends on their course.
  3. Do they have any tips on your personal statement?
  4. Did they do anything to prep for uni before they went?
  5. Are there books, podcasts or YouTube channels they would recommend?

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Example module
“Queer history in 20th Century Britain. How the political affects the social and cultural elements of a certain country.”
Second year history student, University of Manchester
Example assignment
“I was lucky and was placed in a group that looked at how Ancient Rome is presented in film and TV…. so I chose Horrible Histories. Being able to watch a sketch comedy show for my degree was great.”
Second year history student, University of Cambridge

Subjects it's useful to have studied first

Some history courses or apprenticeships will have requirements for previous qualifications in certain subjects. Entry requirements vary, so always check with the provider.


Second year history and sociology student, Queen’s University Belfast

What things do you love most about history?
I love observing how important the past is in shaping the modern day, and how the past can repeat itself across different eras.
Hard skills you'll develop
  • Exhibitions
  • Archives
  • Curation
  • Marketing
  • Cataloguing
Soft skills you'll develop
  • Communication
  • Management
  • Research
  • Customer service
  • Planning

Careers: Where it can take you

Find out more about your career prospects from studying history. The following information is based on a typical archivist, conservator, and curator role.

Available jobs
14,085 vacancies in the past year
4.23% growth over next eight years
Average salary
Up to £54,140

Career options

Arts and heritage


Art gallery manager

Museum curator

Arts administrator

Antiques dealer

Heritage manager

Teaching and research



Public relations

Publishing assistant

Administrative and support services

What is a… policy officer?

You may not have heard of a policy officer, but they can work for government, charities, think tanks, and other organisations, researching, analysing data, and feeding back information on a particular topic. What they focus on will depend on the needs of the organisation they work for, but it could be things like health and safety policy, economic and financial policy, or foreign policy. History graduates’ research and analytical skills, alongside good presentation and communication skills, are highly useful in this role. 

Getting in: Entry requirements

Find out more about what you'll need to study history at university or as an apprenticeship.

Average requirements for undergraduate degrees

Entry requirements differ between university and course, but this should give you a guide to what is usually expected from history applicants.

A levels
Scottish Highers
Other Level 3/Level 6 qualifications (e.g. Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma or SQCF Level 6) may be accepted as an alternative

Considering an apprenticeship?

Applying for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a normal job. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Deadline

    Apprenticeships don't follow the same deadlines as applying to uni, the deadline is down to the employer.
  2. Where to apply

    You apply directly through the employer.
  3. No limits

    You're not restricted to one apprenticeship application; you can do as many as you like.
  4. Apply to university and apprenticeships

    There's nothing stopping you applying to university through UCAS, while also applying for apprenticeship vacancies.

Explore further

Go deeper into topics around history with the following:
  1. Careers with history

    Watch these videos from the Historical Association, with people talking about the different jobs you could do with history. 
  2. Tell Me These Stories: Bias in History Books

    To start you thinking about context and critiquing historical texts and documents, check out this TEDxYouth talk about potential bias in history books
  3. History Channel

    Watch the BBC’s dedicated history channel for programmes on everything from Black British history, Roman history, the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and the rise of the Nazis. 
  4. Museums Association campaigns

    If you’re interested in working at a museum, or in how history is portrayed to the wider public, scroll through the Museums Association campaigns section on decolonising museums, anti-racism, and climate change. 

Application advice

Whether it's personal statement tips or what to write in a cover letter for an apprenticeship application, our advice will help you get ahead in your history journey.
Skills, experiences, and interests to mention
  • Can you write about a programme, book, or museum that’s inspired your interest, and made you want to study this subject further? Also mention if you’re a member of a local history society or relevant club.
  • Have you had any work experience at a local museum or heritage site? Or could you arrange to shadow someone like a librarian or archivist who deals with historical texts?
  • What are your other hobbies? History is all about people, politics, and culture, so show what your interests are outside of school, whether that’s sport, music, voluntary work or even reenacting historical events.
  • Think about demonstrating your ability to work well individually and in a team. As well as your studies, what weekend jobs or activities do you have, like Duke of Edinburgh or team sports, that illustrate these skills?
  • Finally, if you can, show your ability to think independently and carry out research. This can relate to school coursework, but also something you’ve been interested in, like researching the history of your local area, or your family tree.

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