Best UK Universities For HistoryDr Shafiq
A degree in history will help you opt for various careers, including research, teaching, and journalism. The United Kingdom is a great place to study history. But do you know why? History programs in UK universities offer a wide range of courses from ancient history to modern history. You will also have the opportunity to specialize in particular areas such as European history, British History, and World history. So, let’s dive deeper and see the best UK universities for history.
The Evolving Landscape of History Education
The field of history education is constantly evolving, and there has been a significant change in the landscape in recent years. Now, the old traditional method of learning history, such as textbooks and lectures, has changed, and a more dynamic interactive method has taken its place.
In the traditional method, students are expected to sit in the classrooms, listen to lectures, and note down important points. Textbooks and teachers’ lectures are the only resources to learn. But it has largely changed. Students are now taught in more dynamic and interactive ways using various resources.
The rise of technology and digital resources has had a significant impact on history education. As a result, several resources are now used to teach history, such as using primary sources, simulation and role-playing, and digital databases. Teachers and historians now have access to various sources like photographs, videos, and audio recordings that help them teach history more interactively.
By using these interactive digital resources, students are now able to learn about the past and share them with people all over the world.
Overview of UK Universities’ Ranking Systems
There are several university ranking systems that will help you filter the best universities for history in UK. Many ranking systems are used by students to find the best universities around the world in different disciplines, with each system having its own methodology. The most popular ranking systems in the UK include:
- Times Higher Education World University Rankings
- QS World University Ranking
- The Guardian University Guide
- The Complete University Guide
Every ranking system has its own methodology and uses multiple factors to rank universities. The following are the common factors used by most ranking systems:
- Entry Standard
- Student Satisfaction
- Teaching Quality
- Research Quality
- Graduate Prospects
Top 10 Best UK Universities For History
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is one of the most prestigious universities in the world and constantly ranks among the top 3 universities in the world. It has 31 self-governing colleges and more than 20,000 students in total. The university offers over 50 undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate programs.
Cambridge has one of the most respected History departments in the world. The department has more than 50 world-renowned faculty members who teach a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses from ancient to modern history.
The History department at Cambridge collaborates with other departments, such as archaeology and philosophy. Courses here are taught in the Cambridge system, which is a unique system where students learn in small groups.
The department organizes several workshops and conferences where students can participate and learn from renowned historians.
University of Oxford
Oxford is one of the oldest universities in the English-speaking world and the most prestigious one. With over 25,000 students and more than 38 self-governing colleges, the university offers over 40 undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate degrees.
The History Department of Oxford is among the largest and most highly respected in the world. It has more than 100 faculty members and staff. Along with various undergraduate and postgraduate courses, it has a wide-ranging research interest, covering all periods of history in the world.
Studying at the Oxford History Department is a privilege for students. It has an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to research and teaching. The department has many features that make it unique from others, such as the Oxford tutorial and its research cultures.
Students have the opportunity to learn from the most renowned historians and academicians. Plus, the department has many student societies where students can join and share their thoughts.
University College London (UCL)
University College London is one of the largest and most diverse universities in the UK, with over 40,000 students and more than 500 undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate degrees. It is located at the heart of London and has its own museums, such as the UCL Institute of Archaeology, the Petrie Museums of Egyptians Archeology, and the UCL Main Library.
The History Department of UCL is committed to providing high-quality education to students. There are more than 50 expert faculty members and several undergraduate and postgraduate courses. UCL History Society is a unique society run by students that organizes events for history students.
Students studying at UCL’s history department enjoy a number of opportunities and have an enriched experience. Its Global History Centre brings historians from all over the world to learn and research global history. Plus, there are many extracurricular activities arranged by the department that students can attend.
King’s College London
King’s College London is a research-intensive public university in the UK and one of the best Russell Group universities for history. It offers more than 500 undergraduate and postgraduate courses to over 31,000 students. The university is also home to several world-renowned institutes like the King’s Centre for Global Health and the King’s Centre for Law and Society.
The History Department of KCL has more than 60 faculty members and staff. Its curriculum is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of history in many topics, such as:
- World History
- Cultural history
- Ancient history
- Medieval history
- Intellectual history
- Environmental history
Apart from a world-class education, students of the KCL history department can take advantage of various opportunities, such as various history-based institutions and societies. They enrich the learning opportunities of the students and leave them with outstanding experiences.
The University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh constantly ranks among the top universities in the world. It is divided into four colleges and has over 30,000 students and 10,000 staff. The university offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in a wide range of courses but is particularly known for its History department.
The History Department at Edinburgh has over 50 academic staff and provides several undergraduate and postgraduate programs. It has a broad research interest in the fields of history, with particular strength in areas like early modern Europe, the history of the Middle East, and the history of science. This history department has many unique features. One of them is that the department regularly hosts public lectures and events.
The Department of History at Edinburgh University has a vibrant and active student community with many opportunities to learn and grow. It provides students with world-class facilities, such as a rich library, archives, and digital resources. Plus, the department facilitates students to work with and learn from world-renowned historians and academicians.
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
London School of Economics and Political Science is a small university with a close-knit community of 5,000 students. It offers several undergraduate and postgraduate programs in social sciences, such as economics, politics, and history.
The Department of History at LSE has a long and distinguished history. Some of the most prominent historians of the 20th century, like Eric Hobsbawm, E.P. Thompson, and Gertrude Himmelfarb, have studied at LSE’s history department. There are about 28 faculty members in this department.
LSE History department has many unique features that benefit students and create many opportunities for them. Students get access to cutting-edge research projects. Plus, the department organizes events and trips to historical places for history students, which allows them to expand their learning.
University of Warwick
The University of Warwick is one of the top universities in the UK and ranked 10th in the Complete University Guide 2023. It is a public university and was founded in 1965. In Coventry, England.
The History Department of Warwick is respected for its research profile. 92% of its research was rated as 4 stars and 3 stars in the 2021 REF. It has a large department of more than 60 academic, research, and teaching staff. Students can study in a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses covering various periods and themes.
Students at the History Department of Warwick have access to state-of-the-art research and academic facilities. The university has one of the largest libraries in the UK, which is a great resource for history students.
University of Durham
Durham is among the top 100 universities in the world. Divided into 8 academic faculties, it has over 17,000 students and 3,000 academic staff. The university has a beautiful campus with many historical buildings like Durham Cathedral and Castle.
The History Department of Durham has over 50 academic staff and offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. It strongly focuses on interdisciplinary research works, with its faculty members working in various areas like environmental history, gender history, and digital history.
Durham’s History department has a high standard of teaching and encourages students to participate in research projects and gain knowledge through field works. The department is also very unique and vibrant, with more than 100 international students.
University of St Andrews
St Andrews is an old public university in Scotland. It is among the top universities in the world and is particularly known for its social science, history, and medicine programs.
Its history department is one of the largest in the UK, with many faculty members who regularly publish papers in leading academic journals and work on major research projects in the field of history. So, students of this department get the unique chance to work on these projects.
The expert faculty members of St Andrews History department always support students in their studies. They get many great opportunities that enhance their academic and personal experience, which they can apply to their professional and personal life.
University of Manchester
The University of Manchester is the first provincial university in the UK, as well as one of the largest and most comprehensive ones, with more than 40,000 students from all around the world.
The Department of History at Manchester is very well-respected in the field of history and has a strong reputation for research intensity. It offers several undergraduate and postgraduate programs in history.
Manchester’s history department also has many institutions and research centers like the Centre for the Cultural History of War and the Institute for Social Change. It allows students to learn about history intensively.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a University for History
Here are the factors you must consider while choosing the best universities for history UK:
- Course content and specializations: Make sure the university you are choosing offers the course content and specializations in the course of history you are interested in.
- Faculty expertise and reputation: The quality of faculties is very crucial. So, make sure faculties are well-reputed for their expertise.
- Resources available for research: You must consider. The more research resources available, the better for your learning.
- Alumni success and career prospects: Choose a university that has a strong alumni network and excellent career prospects.
- Location and lifestyle: Be sure to consider the location and its lifestyle while choosing a university for history.
Other Notable UK Universities for History
Here are some other notable universities in the UK for studying History:
- University of Exeter
- University of Birmingham
- University of Suffolk
- University of Bristol
These universities also have strong history departments with expert faculty members and adequate resources for teaching and research.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best history program in the UK?
The “best” history program can vary based on individual preferences and needs, but the University of Oxford is often regarded as one of the best in the UK and worldwide for history. It offers a comprehensive and rigorous program with a wide range of specialization options and has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence and producing leading historians. Other notable options include the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics.
Where is the best place to study history?
The best place to study history can vary for each individual, but globally recognized institutions include the University of Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, Harvard and Yale in the USA, and the Sorbonne in France. These universities offer comprehensive history programs and have produced leading historians and scholars.
Is a history degree worth it UK?
A history degree in the UK can be very valuable. It develops critical thinking, research, and writing skills that are applicable in many fields. Moreover, UK universities are globally renowned for their history programs, making a degree from the UK particularly prestigious.
A degree in History from a UK university will help you get your dream career in the field of history. As you can see, there are many of the best UK universities for history, and you can choose any of them. But you should put importance on your personal preference and career goals in making the final decision.