Is it okay to study history at uni if you don't study it for a-level? Watch

jess_r_66
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Hey, I was just wondering if it's okay for me to consider studying history at university even though I don't take history at a-level?
I've loved history since I was young, so I studied it for GCSE but opted not to study it at a-level as I was concerned about losing my passion for it. Instead I took Politics, Sociology and Psychology, which are all essay/source questions based subjects, although I do think that a History degree course would open up more career opportunities than these subjects at degree level. I definitely enjoy these a-levels so I'm wondering if they're a good base to start from if I was to apply for a History course at uni.
If any history graduates/students could offer their opinions then that would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again x
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Geek5
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The best unis probably won't take you. The lower ranked universities might consider you, but you have no facilitating subjects at A Level so your prospects aren't great in that respect. You could consider doing a foundation year? The jump from GCSE history to A Level is big, and the jump from GCSE to degree level is even bigger. I can't see how you'd be prepared to cope with the academic demands of a History degree.
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Geek5
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On a more helpful note, Plymouth University will consider you for their BA in History as you do Politics. You might have more luck overall if you apply for joint honours History and Politics degrees though.
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jess_r_66
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(Original post by Geek5)
The best unis probably won't take you. The lower ranked universities might consider you, but you have no facilitating subjects at A Level so your prospects aren't great in that respect. You could consider doing a foundation year? The jump from GCSE history to A Level is big, and the jump from GCSE to degree level is even bigger. I can't see how you'd be prepared to cope with the academic demands of a History degree.
Thank you for replying, I have to admit I am regretting not doing a-level history but a foundation degree may be the way to go in this instance. I know my parents will find this a waste of time, but I suppose it's the best option. Thanks again
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jess_r_66
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(Original post by Geek5)
On a more helpful note, Plymouth University will consider you for their BA in History as you do Politics. You might have more luck overall if you apply for joint honours History and Politics degrees though.
Thanks, that's definitely a more cheerful note😂 I have looked at History and International Relations courses so that could be possible to do instead. Joint honours may be more stimulating and have better career options so that's another bonus
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harrysbar
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[QUOTE=jess_r_66;81287324]Hey, I was just wondering if it's okay for me to consider studying history at university even though I don't take history at a-level?

Hi, my son was in a similar position and he decided to apply for Ancient History and History degree courses because for quite a few of them, you don't need A level History (his subjects were English, Maths and Physics).

He got offers from Exeter Uni, Southampton, Leeds, Birmingham and Royal Holloway and is now enjoying studying his history degree at Exeter. He gets to choose from a wide range of modules so it's up to him how much or little he does of the Ancient stuff.
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jess_r_66
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(Original post by harrysbar)
(Original post by jess_r_66)
Hey, I was just wondering if it's okay for me to consider studying history at university even though I don't take history at a-level?

Hi, my son was in a similar position and he decided to apply for Ancient History and History degree courses because for quite a few of them, you don't need A level History (his subjects were English, Maths and Physics).

He got offers from Exeter Uni, Southampton, Leeds, Birmingham and Royal Holloway and is now enjoying studying his history degree at Exeter. He gets to choose from a wide range of modules so it's up to him how much or little he does of the Ancient stuff.
Thank you, that definitely helps.
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harrysbar
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(Original post by jess_r_66)
Thank you, that definitely helps.
You're welcome!
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Royal Holloway, University of London
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(Original post by jess_r_66)
Hey, I was just wondering if it's okay for me to consider studying history at university even though I don't take history at a-level?
I've loved history since I was young, so I studied it for GCSE but opted not to study it at a-level as I was concerned about losing my passion for it. Instead I took Politics, Sociology and Psychology, which are all essay/source questions based subjects, although I do think that a History degree course would open up more career opportunities than these subjects at degree level. I definitely enjoy these a-levels so I'm wondering if they're a good base to start from if I was to apply for a History course at uni.
If any history graduates/students could offer their opinions then that would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again x
Hi jess_r_66,

It looks like you've received some great advice already, but I thought I would share my own experience.

I'm a joint degree student of History, Politics and International relations at Royal Holloway, University of London. Although I haven’t studied History as part of my A-Levels, I always took an interest in it. At my college, I studied Politics, Drama and Law. When I came to university, I came across Modern History, Topics of Conflicts and Purpose of War. It was very fascinating to learn something new, given that such topics always interested me. With regards to International Relations, History benefited me a lot.

There is a choice to study different periods of time in History meaning that no one is limited to choose one period of time. In my first year, I chose “Conflict and Identity” which covered Enlightenment, Napoleon era, Agricultural Development, World War I, II, Cold War and Collapse of Soviet Union. If you wish to study straight History, you can choose more modules with ancient and modern history. At the beginning of the year, you are asked to choose your preferences.

Though I hadn't studied History as part of my A-levels, it didn't feel like I was behind compared to other students who studied it in school or college. All of us were appointed a tutor who can help whenever you need them. History has a lot of required reading for seminars but even if you studied the subjects that do not involve a lot of reading, you can adapt easily.

It is fine if you cannot decide which period you wish to take during the first year. You can study both. History is a subject where you can explore facts and events. A compulsory module which you will study is “History and Meaning”. This is where the department invites alumni who pursued a career related to History.

It doesn't matter if you haven't studied History, as long as you have a desire to learn, that’s all that matters. I am glad that I chose History in my joint degree with Politics and International Relations because it taught me how to look at the events from different perspectives and how to analyse them. In addition, History teaches you written skills through its’ academics very well, benefiting you in the future.

If you would like to ask me any questions about the course, you can send me a message on our website here.

Ilona
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mackers_ire
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(Original post by jess_r_66)
Hey, I was just wondering if it's okay for me to consider studying history at university even though I don't take history at a-level?
I've loved history since I was young, so I studied it for GCSE but opted not to study it at a-level as I was concerned about losing my passion for it. Instead I took Politics, Sociology and Psychology, which are all essay/source questions based subjects, although I do think that a History degree course would open up more career opportunities than these subjects at degree level. I definitely enjoy these a-levels so I'm wondering if they're a good base to start from if I was to apply for a History course at uni.
If any history graduates/students could offer their opinions then that would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again x
Hi Jess,

I also have no history A-Level. In fact I entered Queen's University of Belfast as a mature student to do a joint BA History and International Studies. We covered many modules from ancient history right up to the interawar (1930s) period. The modules in 1st year tend to be introductory so you'll be fine, and most people I KNEW on the history modules did not have a History A-level!

From that I was offered scholarships to UCL, and another scholarship to Leeds where I'm currently doing a History Master degree. In my opinion you wouldn't need a foundation year, history draws from so many threads that you'll be fine- my A-level were the same as yours (except my science was in biology) and now I have had 4 scholarships, 1 uni academic prize, and 2 international awards all in history, and am considering a PhD. Not trying to toot my own horn here lol just highlighting how far you can go without a History A-Level. I managed it and so can you
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artful_lounger
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The majority of history degree courses require UK school-leaver applicants to have taken A-level History from what I have seen. Mature students or those from different educational backgrounds may be considered individually, but generally they will expect you to have some historical background. You should contact universities you are interested in applying to and ask, but prepare yourself for the realistic possibility that many if not all will require you to have done A-level History.

You could see if you could take it in a gap year however; some schools allow students to stay on for an additional year to sit an A-level intensively over one year if it is a requirement for their desired degree course and they haven't taken it due to not realising this beforehand. You will be funded by the local authority if you are under the age of 19 when the course starts, although your school may require you to pay a fee for the exam entry itself. Speak with your school (or other nearby schools/colleges offering it) to see if this is an option. History is also a common option on Access to HE courses, but check with any courses you may want to apply to before applying to any Access courses, with details of the specific course (e.g. the content and course provider) to see if it would meet their requirements.
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