Why study this course
Get hands on - it’s not just an academic course. You’ll participate in fieldwork and gains skills in excavation, survey, processing and analysis of finds.
This course will help you develop into a highly employable graduate. Professional archaeologists are currently in incredibly high demand both regionally and nationwide.
Specialises in social and cultural history to encourage students to study the past with empathy and see it from different, and sometimes challenging perspectives.
Small class sizes and an intimate campus sat in the heart of historic Lincoln enable you to find your individual voice as a historian.
If you don’t have, or don’t think you will attain, the normal tariff points for studying at BGU, this course will enable you to study for a degree without any UCAS points. The course is delivered over four years and includes a Foundation Year, which gives you a perfect introduction to what it means to be a university student and prepares you for effective undergraduate study. In your Foundation Year, you will study eight modules, all of which are designed to equip you with the necessary academic skills and knowledge to progress successfully in your chosen subject. You will also engage in a series of bespoke subject sessions delivered by experts, designed to introduce you to your chosen subject area.
Studying Archaeology is ideal if you’re fascinated by both the ancient and more recent past and if you want to explore and investigate the material remains of previous societies and cultures. It will allow you to get hands-on with the past and explore civilisations and people from throughout history, in a practical and interesting way.
While studying a History course at BGU, you will explore a range of fascinating topics spanning a number of historical eras, in a variety of local, national and global contexts; from pirates in the early modern Atlantic World to civil rights campaigners in the 1960s. As well as learning about the people in the past on this undergraduate degree, you will investigate how people today engage with history and consider how the past can be brought alive.
This course is Subject to Revalidation. Learn more.
Mode of study
Bishop Grosseteste University
About this course
Lincoln is the perfect city in which to study Archaeology. With a 2,000 year history, from Roman foundations to industrial renaissance, you’ll be in the ideal position to discover both ancient and modern here at BGU. So, are you ready to take an amazing journey into the physical reality of the past? Do you have an urge to explore and investigate material remains? Do you want the chance to get hands-on with history? We thought so...
Throughout the course, you will have the chance to study material from prehistory through to Roman and Medieval times as well as exploring contemporary archaeology. In addition to studying archaeological evidence from these different periods, you will also explore key ideas and current issues, such as archaeological method and theory, landscape archaeology and community archaeology.
Not only will you gain the practical skills to undertake archaeological fieldwork, including excavation, surveying, and post-excavation studies, you’ll also strengthen key transferable skills, such as analysing data, assessing evidence, presenting your views and constructing arguments using critical reasoning.
Employability is important to us at BGU, and as part of the course you will have the chance to take a work-based placement at a relevant commercial unit, heritage practice or museum, as well as the exciting opportunity to join the annual BGU training and research excavation – where you can put into practice your newly developed skills.
Our specialism in social and cultural history marks us out as different to History courses elsewhere. Here at BGU you are encouraged to study the past with empathy and see the past from different, sometimes challenging perspectives.
Here at BGU in Lincoln, won’t just study history through documents, you’ll learn through placements and site visits to archives and museums. Throughout the course you will explore a range of fascinating topics spanning a number of historical eras, in a wide variety of local, national and global contexts. You’ll analyse data, images and texts, construct arguments and engage in original historical research. You will also look at how history is encountered within the community and take a work-based placement at a school, archive, museum or other site that fits your career goals and direction.
This undergraduate degree will help to build your skills as a historian, from introductory subjects in your first year through to an independent, research-based dissertation in your final year. As well as learning about people in the past, you will investigate how people today engage with history and consider how the past can be brought alive.
Keep up to date with the latest news and activities of the department by following us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BGUHistory
What you will study
As a student on this course, you may study some or all of the modules listed below.
In this module you will explore and consider what it means to be a successful learner at university. You’ll explore the principles of effective learning and engage with a range of tools and techniques to practise and develop strategies for your own learning. These include for example, understanding your needs as a learner, effective time management and organisational skills.
You will learn about a range of resources and practise locating and using these resources to support effective learning. These resources will include, for example, textbooks, websites, academic journals, and popular press. In addition to these key techniques, the module covers academic conventions including referencing, citation and the risks of plagiarism.
This module will allow you to learn to utilise sources in a considered and critical way. You will begin to engage effectively with literature and other sources in a meaningful manner that promotes deep learning and enables knowledge and understanding of a topic. You will also begin to differentiate qualitative and quantitative data and consider their appropriate interpretation and use.
Critical thinking is an integral part of university study. While studying this module you will define critical thinking, its importance and how it can help you in your learning. A range of critical thinking models will be utilised to demonstrate how this works in action, allowing you to recognise critical thinking and identify barriers and challenges.
The skilled use of digital technologies is an important element in university study and is used to support both the obtaining and demonstration of knowledge. This module will develop your digital capabilities and confidence, encouraging you to develop techniques for the purposeful use of a range of digital tools to support learning. These include specific tools such as the Virtual Learning Environment and appropriate and effective uses of wider applications such as social media, email and the internet.
This module explores, compares and evaluates a range of communication types, giving you opportunities to combine written and spoken communication in a range of contexts and for a range of audiences. From a theoretical, sociological perspective you will explore different communication media and styles of discourse, for example, discussion, debate, enquiry and reporting.
Reflection is a powerful learning tool that enables you to consider your existing knowledge and also to plan for your future learning and professional development. The module content includes the principles of reflective learning and collaborative planning with reference to structured models.
Academic writing is an essential element of successful university study, so this module explores a range of techniques to help develop your own academic writing style. It will enable you to draw together your learning throughout the Foundation Year and reflect on the feedback you have received. You will structure a clear and effective piece of academic writing on a subject-linked topic in which you will apply standard academic conventions.
This module serves as an introduction to the subject of archaeology. The module aims to provide you with grounding in the origins, development and character of archaeology as an academic subject. You will consider key areas of theory and practice covered in subsequent modules in archaeology. In addition a range of key study skills will be introduced.
This module provides you with an introduction to the archaeology of prehistoric Britain. It will consider the archaeological evidence for social, cultural and economic aspects of life during this period. In addition differing interpretations of these periods as expressed through the archaeological literature will be considered. The module will provide an opportunity for you to explore and gain an understanding of a particular cultural period of the past through the coherent study a range of complimentary archaeological evidence and secondary literary sources.
This module will introduce you to a range of approaches and techniques used by archaeologists with a focus on the nature of archaeological evidence. A number of core practical skills required of archaeologists in both field and laboratory settings will be introduced and you will be enabled to gain practical experience where relevant.
This module provides you with an introduction to the archaeology of Roman Britain. It will consider the archaeological evidence for social, cultural and economic aspects of life during this period. In addition differing interpretations of these periods as expressed through the archaeological literature will be considered. The module will provide an opportunity for you to explore and gain an understanding of a particular cultural period of the past through the coherent study a range of complimentary archaeological evidence and both primary and secondary literary sources.
This module provides a general introduction to the history of British libraries, museums and archives from their origin in the collecting activities of elite individuals in the early modern period to the ultimate establishment of state-supported public institutions from the mid-18th century and the involvement of non-elite experts and collectors to the present day. The establishment of the British Museum (and Library) will act as a chronological focal point on the module as you will consider its historical significance and legacy in national and global history. The module takes a broadly chronological approach to establish the importance of politics, economics and identities (social, cultural, genderand national) as a rationale for the collection and preservation of books, objects and archival documents in Britain. The module will enhance your knowledge of the general history of library, archive and museum collections, develop your ability to locate and engage with these collections as historians and will help you to understand the origin and significance of source materials that you will encounter in your further studies.
This module will introduce you to the importance of individual and collective identities in the study of history. Through examining a variety of key theoretical texts and biographically-focused case studies, largely but not exclusively centred on British history, you will learn about different approaches to the history of identity and its utility for modern historical studies. you will gain an understanding of a range of theoretical methodologies related to the practice of social and cultural history that will provide a firm foundation for later studies. At its core, the module will introduce you to the principle sources for, and main theoretical approaches taken in, the study of key, often intersecting, identities within the disciplinary area of history, such as: sexuality, class, politics, religion, race, gender and disability.
On this module you will be introduced to the early modern British Isles, broadly covering the period from the Reformation of the English Church to the 1688 Revolution. The module will consider political, social, military, cultural and economic perspectives on a transformational period in the history of the British Isles. By taking a survey approach the module will support you as you gain a wider understanding of this period of history. Consideration will be given to, variously, social structures and lifecycles, reformation and religious change, the rise of parliament and the state, radical politics and revolutionary change, the impact of print culture, the English Civil War, and the role played by urban, rural and maritime/imperial development as drivers of change. In summary, you will come to understand why the period is referred to as 'early modern', neither wholly medieval or modern. The module will engage you in the excellent digitised resources available for this period and introduce you to the vibrant historiographical and methodological approaches to explaining changes in the early modern British Isles, as appropriate, and you will learn how to apply these to the research and analysis of this period of history.
This module introduces you to the study of history at undergraduate level and is a key part of your transition to university. You will gain an initial understanding of the varied nature of the discipline and the range of approaches to it, introducing key areas of theory and practice covered in subsequent modules in history, such as: the significance of schools of historical thought, key source types and popular interpretative approaches. There will be a focus on some of the key critical and practical skills involved in reading, researching and writing history. The use of an engaging case study will contextualise how historians analyse primary sources and how historians engage with the secondary accounts produced by their colleagues. Introductions to information literacy, academic integrity and a range of study skills, such as the reading of academic texts, will be explicitly embedded within the module. You will be encouraged to reflect on your own study skills, learning strategies and approaches. Taught sessions and assessments will encourage your to express your ideas in written and spoken form through discussion, debate and argument. This module is designed to support your progression through subsequent modules in the subject.
You will study the development of medieval Europe through its archaeological evidence during the course of this module. You will be encouraged to critically review the evidence for social, cultural, urban and economic change during this period and consider the varied and contested interpretations placed upon such evidence. Consideration will be given to the status of British sites and activity within European political, cultural and economic networks. The module will also review the archaeological evidence for medieval urban development.
In this module, you will study the transition from the medieval, to the industrial and then the modern world through archaeology. This period saw dramatic changes in the rural and urban landscape, and a revolution in the modes and scales of production. The module will introduce you to a range of case studies from around the globe that explore the development of settlement, industry, trade, and transportation.
During this module you will study the inter-relationship between the contemporary world and the archaeological evidence for the past. Consideration will be given to the administration, management and application of various processes and techniques to archaeology in the field, whether as landscape, standing-buildings, buried, or marine. The module will review the means by which archaeology is identified, recorded, investigated and protected. It will help you to develop advanced fieldwork skills where relevant through practical demonstrations and workshops.
This module will largely be undertaken through a ‘negotiated’ independent study. You will be allocated a tutor and will receive a series of group, individual and/or on-line tutorials, with the best form of tutorial being selected for the project or placement. This module is deliberately structured in an open-ended way to allow placements and/or projects to be developed which are most suited to your potential future career and to respond to opportunities presented by employers.
You will take an active part in a live archaeological project during the course of this module. You will gain a thorough practical knowledge of the methods and techniques used by archaeologists to survey, record and excavate archaeological features. It will also provide an opportunity for you to gain skills in the processing and interpretation of recovered archaeological artifacts and environmental evidence. By engaging in such activities you will develop a range of skills in site identification, recording methodologies, conservation evaluation, problem solving, public interpretation, project management and team-working.
This module will develop your knowledge, understanding and subject-specific skills related to local and regional history. This will include relevant research methods, including primary source analysis and digital information skills. The module will review the historiography associated with local and regional histories and you will consider a range of perspectives and framings such as the political, social, cultural and economic. A significant focus of the module will be the exploration of the variety of sources available to the historian investigating local history. These will include visual, oral and textual; tangible and intangible; official and private. This activity is normally facilitated by engaging with both physical and digital primary sources. Through practical exercises in the retrieval, synthesis and interpretation of a range of source material you will develop the skills needed to operate successfully in this field.
This module will engage you in a wide-ranging study of the Atlantic World in the early modern period with a particular focus on the 17th and 18th centuries. Through a critical review of secondary texts and a variety of primary source material you will analyse the political, economic, technological, social and cultural history of the Atlantic World, with a particular focus on the ‘Anglophone Atlantic’, its origins, growth and contact with European empires and indigenous peoples in the Americas and Africa. You will engage with historiographical debates concerning the character of the ‘Atlantic World’ with its competing empires and entities and consider whether this is a useful concept for understanding this period of history. Key themes to be explored include: the importance of the trade in goods and the movement of people, including the trans-Atlantic slave trade; the significance of conflict and co-operation between states, sub-state groups and individuals; the importance of identities and how they changed as a result of the Atlantic experience; and the role of science, knowledge and communication in the Atlantic World.
This module will engage you in a long view of the history of magic, witchcraft and folklore. The module will begin by surveying the complex relationship between religion, health, miracles and magic during the later medieval period. It will then examine the subsequent development across early modern Europe of a culture of witchcraft persecution and prosecution, which will be considered through the lens of fear, often exacerbated by social status and/or gender. You will finally be tasked to evidence, explain and challenge the meta-narrative for the apparent decline in belief in a witch cult from the 18th century onwards. You will critically examine evidence for the persistence of pagan and magical beliefs as well as the development of folklore and fairy stories into the ‘modern’, ‘enlightened’ age. You will be exposed to relevant primary and secondary material in order to engage fully with the case studies and historical sweep of the module, and will be expected to critically explain and defend your interpretations. A parallel strand running throughout will be critical analysis of the trajectory of historiographical debate associated with the history of magic and, in particular, witchcraft and paganism.
On this module you will explore modern urban history from the global to the regional and local levels. Content is organised thematically, enabling you to engage with historiographical debates and theoretical approaches to the modern city with case studies drawn from every continent. The chronological focus is on cities of the modern age (broadly post-1800). However, the module will include discussion of pre-modern cities (e.g. ancient Greece and Rome), tracing their lineage into the modern period from bustling Victorian industrial cities, coastal conurbations and imperial ports, to twentieth-century skyscrapers and megacities. You will analyse changes in the form and function of urban spaces and explore the profound demographic, architectural, environmental, social, cultural and political changes that took place in these urban spaces and contributed to the very concept of ‘modernity’. On this module you will gain understanding of the urban sphere beyond Britain, taking a comparative approach to a wide variety of case studies and engaging with recent research by urban historians outside the Anglosphere, including India and China. Close reading and discussion of theoretical texts and historiographical debate will be combined with primary source research in physical and digital formats.
On this module you will undertake a critical and detailed study of the disciplinary area of conflict archaeology. The module will review a range of conflict archaeology contexts including battlefield archaeology, wreck sites, standing buildings evidence and material culture in both military and civilian contexts. Chronological range will be addressed by use of critical examples of archaeological projects from differing time periods from the classical world to the contemporary. Similarly consideration will be given to conflict archaeology projects undertaken across a variety of differing geographical locations both in the UK and overseas. Finally, you will consider and evaluate the challenging professional and ethical issues that frame many aspects of archaeological activity within this disciplinary area.
This module provides a critical approach to the study of archaeological artefacts from both an applied and theoretical perspective. You will undertake a wide-ranging critical study of the character and interpretation of archaeological artefacts. The processes of artefact management – from excavation to archiving or display – will be considered. You will develop skills associated with a number of relevant analytical techniques and theoretical approaches and thereby develop your subject specific professional and problem-solving skills.
On this module, you will be required to undertake a research-based project, drawing on academic advice as well as your own interests and intellectual skills, to produce a research-driven, written dissertation of 8-10,000 words. You will conduct your research by addressing self-formulated questions, supported by the critical selection, evaluation and analysis of primary and secondary source material. By these means you will devise and sustain a core argument, and/or solve relevant archaeological problems, to support the premise of your research question. Taught sessions will help you to explore and understand the research methodologies and issues of presentation required for the production of a successful archaeological dissertation. Through such workshops specific guidance is given with regard to appropriate research skills for the topics chosen. You will then have further individual tutorials spread across both semesters, in which allocated dissertation supervisors closely monitor and advise on the development of appropriate, distinctive, and critical arguments in respect of the chosen subject of study.
Each generation has left its mark on the landscape, which are superimposed on what went before. In this module, you will study the way in which humans have changed the physical appearance of the environment. Using an interdisciplinary approach combining archaeology, history and geography, you will learn how the landscape has evolved from prehistory to the present day.
During this module you will undertake a wide-ranging critical study of British imperial development during the nineteenth century. The narrative underpinning the module is the increasingly global and expansionist nature of European empires at that time, with Britain in the vanguard of imperialistic, globalising forces. You will examine the impact of British political and military power, money, technology and culture on the peoples, societies and environments it came into contact with. You will likewise analyse the agency of human responses to imperialism through a mixture of adaptation, co-operation and resistance and be introduced to scholarly research on the geographical and environmental signifance of industrialised imperialism. Additionally, the ways in which British society and culture was transformed by the imperial experience will be a crucial point of consideration with its legacies stretching into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. You will utilise relevant secondary texts and a variety of primary sources in order to understand the most significant political, economic, technological, social and cultural aspects of the imperial experience and engage directly with classic and recent historiographical debates about the nature of the British Empire, its origins, purpose, meaning and legacies.
On this module, you are required to undertake a research-based project, drawing on academic advice as well as your own interests and intellectual skills, to produce a research-driven, written dissertation of 8-10,000 words. You will conduct your research by addressing self-formulated questions, supported by the critical selection, evaluation and analysis of primary and secondary source material. By these means you will devise and sustain a core argument, and/or solve relevant historical problems, to support the premise of your research question. You will proactively manage the first stage of the development of your dissertation by forming conceptual ideas and related arguments and compile aresearch outline, research question and working, annotated bibliography to summarize both quantitatively and qualitatively the research you plan to undertake. Taught sessions will help you to explore and understand the research methodologies and issues of presentation required for the production of a successful history dissertation. You will then have further individual tutorials spread across both semesters, in which allocated dissertation supervisors closely monitor and advise on the development of appropriate, distinctive, and critical arguments in respect of the chosen subject of study.
This module provides you with a critical study of the history of the Cold War ‘conflict’ between the US and its allies, and the Soviet Union during the second half of the 20th century. Through a wide-ranging study, based on primary and secondary sources, the module will review the political, diplomatic and social manifestations of the Cold War. A specific element of the module will focus on the foreign relations between the Soviet Union and the United States of America, examining the historiographical debates that surround the origins and the end of the Cold War. Key features such as Soviet and U.S. foreign policy, ‘proxywars’ and the role of secret intelligence alongside events such as the founding of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, Korea and Suez, the Chinese and Cuban Revolutions, Vietnamese and Afghan Wars will be examined. Popular protest movements will also be considered, such as CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) and the Anti-War movement. Key actors, episodes, events and crises will be addressed through an international lens encouraging you to take a global historical view on the issue of when, or indeed if, the Cold War ended. The module will consider relevant historiographical and methodological approaches, and you will learn how to apply these to the research and analysis of aspects of this period of history.
This module will explore the political history of the French and Haitian revolutions with a focus on the question of how far these revolutions represented the birth of ‘modernity’? In approaching the topic in this way, you will be encouraged to rethink the political ‘events’, personalities and ideas of the period and key economic, military, social and cultural changes in order to focus on the global significance of these revolutions and thus question more deeply the very concept of ‘modernity’. You will utilise the latest scholarship on figures such as Robespierre, Toussaint Louverture and Napoleon and examine case studies from the Fall of the Bastille to the Haitian Declaration of Independence in order to engage with concepts such human rights, racial and gender identity, terrorism, warfare and political violence, as well as questions of individual liberty, slavery, representative government and the role of the nation state in modern society. You will learn and apply the latest historical methods and approaches to an area that has consistently been one of the most creative (and divisive) in terms of historical theory and in so doing will learn about the role of historiographic debate in driving progress in the historical profession. By the end of the module you will be able to understand and intervene in discussions about the meaning and legacy of two revolutions which are frequently said to stand at the gateway to the modern world.
Application for this course is via UCAS, although there is no formal requirement for UCAS points to access the course (normally GCSE English or equivalent is desirable). As part of your application you will have the opportunity to speak with a member of BGU Admissions staff to resolve any questions or queries you may have.
Different degree subjects may have specific entry requirements to allow you to progress from the Foundation Year. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, you will need to have met these by the time you complete the first year of this four year course.
How you will be taught
There is no one-size-fits-all method of teaching at BGU – we shape our methods to suit each subject and each group, combining the best aspects of traditional university teaching with innovative techniques to promote student participation and interactivity.
You will be taught in a variety of ways, from lectures, tutorials and seminars, to practical workshops, coursework and work-based placements. Small group seminars and workshops will provide you with an opportunity to review issues raised in lectures, and you will be expected to carry out independent study.
Placements are a key part of degree study within many courses at BGU. They provide an enriching learning experience for you to apply the skills and knowledge you will gain from your course and, in doing so, give valuable real-world experience to boost your career.
During the Foundation Year, you will have opportunities to experience a range of formative and summative assessments. These include short-form writing, annotated bibliographies, presentations, digital technologies, reflective journals, and academic essays. All modules involve early, small, and frequent informal and formal assessments so as to be supportive and build confidence, while ensuring development of the core academic skills required for successful study throughout your degree. Assessment strategies are balanced, diverse, and inclusive, ensuring that you will experience a range of assessments to support comprehensive preparation for undergraduate study. You will also have the opportunity for self-evaluation and personal reflection on your own learning progress and development of skills.
In Archaeology, assessment is carried out using wide-range of approaches, including written assignments, coursework, essays and reports. There are a few exams throughout the course but these often include analysis of provided source material, either text or images. You will also carry out a small number of oral presentations, produce portfolios of research material, and undertake some practical assessments.
In History, a variety of assessment methods are used, which include essays, reports, presentations and written tests. We support you in this work through a mix of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical workshops and a wide range of field visits. History is primarily a written subject and consequently, much of the assessment of the course is based on essays and reports. There are a few exams, which often include analysis of provided source material, either text or images. There are also a smaller number of oral presentations and the production of portfolios of research material.
Careers & Further study
As well as learning a number of highly practical skills, Archaeology also teaches you how to assemble and assess evidence, analyse data and present and defend your views – all of which are highly sought-after by employers upon graduation. Possible future careers for Archaeology graduates may include Commercial Archaeologist, Heritage Consultant, Archivist, Researcher, Museum education and outreach, or Editorial work or journalism.
Studying History at BGU enhances your employability by focusing on highly desirable and transferable critical thinking and analytical skills, professional writing practices and the art of constructing persuasive arguments.
Possible future careers for History graduates include education in the schooling and heritage sectors, marketing, journalism and publishing, law and policing, public policy, information research and management, working as an archivist, librarian or museum curator. History is a highly respected qualification amongst the Top 100 Graduate employers in the finance, commercial, legal and logistics sectors. Successful graduates of this course are also able to continue to study for a PGCE or Master's degrees at BGU and elsewhere.
All History students are guaranteed an interview for a PGCE Primary or Secondary course at BGU & a free place on our 'Preparing for Teaching' courses.
Your tutors will utilise long-established, experienced contacts to take you beyond the classroom on educational visits and work placements in Lincoln and further afield and you will be supported in finding the right placements and gaining the right experience to enable you to apply for a range of future roles.
What Our Students Say
Discover what life is like at Bishop Grosseteste University from our students.
Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.
We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.
Fees & Finance
A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.
Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. For 2023 entry, the application fee is £27, and you can make a maximum of 6 choices. For 2024 entry the application fee is £27.50.
For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.