History BA (International Hons) 2020 entry

The BA (International Hons) is a joint degree delivered by both the University of St Andrews and the College of William & Mary in Virginia, USA. This joint degree allows you to spend two years at each institution.

At St Andrews, you will learn the history of medieval and early modern Europe, as well as the history of Scotland, England, the British Empire and the Middle East. At William & Mary, your studies will focus on the history of North America from the early colonial period to the 20th century, as well as the history of Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. 

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Course type

Bachelor of Arts (International Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 7 September 2020
  • End date: 30 June 2024

If you started this programme in 2019, you can find information about 2019 entry on the 2019 History BA page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Entry requirements

Admission to the BA (International Honours) is highly competitive. These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry.

Find out more about Standard and Minimum entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.

    • Standard entry grades: AAAAB
    • Minimum entry grades: AABB

    You should also have a strong competency in a second language.

    • Standard entry grades: AAA
    • Minimum entry grades: ABB

    You should also have a strong competency in a second language.

    • Standard entry grades: 38 (HL 6,6,6)
    • Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5)

    You should also have a strong competency in a second language.

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English language qualification.

How to apply

You can only apply for the programme through one institution, and each institution will honour the admissions decisions of the other. You must specify which subject area you wish to apply for on your application form.

If you wish to begin your studies at the University of St Andrews, you can apply through the St Andrews direct application form or the Common Application form.

If you wish to begin your studies at the College of William & Mary, you should apply through the William & Mary Common Application form.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

It is essential that students applying to study History should have a strong competency in a second language.

General entry requirements

All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.

Other qualifications

More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.

Timetables

St Andrews students must meet with their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.

Course information

The BA (International Hons) in History is a four-year course run jointly by the School of History at St Andrews and the Department of History at the College of William & Mary. This degree combines the best of the Scottish and American educational experience.

You will study for two years at both St Andrews and William & Mary, spending the first year of the programme at one institution and the second year at the other. You will then be able to choose where you wish to spend your third and fourth years of study and graduate from either university.

You will apply to the university where you intend to spend your first year, and then you will transfer to the other institution for your second year.

What you will study

If you study the BA (International Honours) in History, you will discover and analyse the full range of human activity over time. Through historical awareness, which enriches contemporary experience by linking the present with the past, you will be able to recognise the cultural and social values that have shaped cultures across the globe. From your studies, you will acquire intellectual skills in evaluating different kinds of evidence, and interpreting and communicating its significance to others.

At St Andrews, your studies will focus on medieval and early modern Europe, including the history of Scotland, England, the British Empire, and Middle Eastern studies.

At William & Mary, your studies will focus on the history of early America, and 19th and 20th century America and Europe, as well as early modern Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

In addition, the joint degree in History requires extensive coursework in a foreign language (Arabic, German, Italian, French, Latin, Russian, or Spanish). Students will typically take one language class during all eight of their semesters.

Your studies will culminate in a significant research project that demonstrates high-calibre scholarship.

The BA (International Honours) is a single Honours degree, and other combinations – such as joint Honours degrees – are not available with this programme. However, during the programme you will have opportunities to study a range of other subjects offered by both institutions. Find out more about the St Andrews – William & Mary joint degree.

Find out more about studying History at St Andrews.

The coat of arms for the BA (International Honours) programme which features crossed keys, gold diamonds, a rising sun, an open book, a griffin, and a lion rampant
The BA International Honours coat of arms represents each university's unique heraldry and symbols. Find out more about the coat of arms.

Modules

Students studying the History BA (International Hons) will take the required modules at both institutions in their first and second years.

The following modules are those offered at St Andrews. Find out more about module requirements at William & Mary.

If at St Andrews for the first year, you must choose two of the following compulsory modules:

  • The Fall of Rome and the Origins of Europe (400-1000): examines how political, cultural and social life changed in the worlds of Byzantium, Islam and the ‘barbarian’ West in response to major upheavals.
  • Scotland and the English Empire 1070-1500: compares and relates the societies of the English crown and the kingdom of Scotland in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest of England.
  • The Early Modern Western World (c. 1450-1770): looks at continental European history in the early modern period, and the expansion of Europe.
  • Themes in Late Modern History (c. 1776-2001): provides thematic coverage of major political and social developments in the Western world during the 19th and 20th centuries. 

You must also take two modules in one of the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Persian
  • Russian.

If at St Andrews for the second year, you must choose two of the following compulsory modules:

  • History as a Discipline: Development and Key Concepts: provides an introduction to key theoretical and methodological approaches which have characterised the emergence of History as a discipline since the Middle Ages.
  • Medieval Europe (1000-1400): examines key themes that helped to shape continental Western Europe from the aftermath of the Carolingian Empire and beginning of the Crusades to the Black Death and the Hundred Years War.
  • Introduction to Middle Eastern History: provides an introduction to Middle Eastern History from the dramatic reconfiguration of the Middle East in late Antiquity to its contested and contentious recent past.
  • Scotland, Britain and Empire (c. 1500-2000): provides an introduction to how and why the British nation state evolved from the separate kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland and how and why it has survived over the last three centuries.

You must also continue to take two modules in one of the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Persian
  • Russian.

Students will spend either their third or fourth year in St Andrews. You will be able to choose from a wide variety of advanced options.

Here is a sample of Honours modules that have been offered at St Andrews in previous years:

  • Age of Conquest: Edward I - Scotland and Wales (1239-1307)
  • Heretics and Social Outcasts in Western Europe
  • History of Environmentalism: The Politics of Nature in the Western World (c. 1800 to Present)
  • Mediterranean Colonialism: Colonisers and Colonised in France, Spain, Italy and North Africa 1890s - 1950s
  • Nature and the Occult in the Late Middle Ages
  • The Decline and Fall of the French Old Regime (1715-1789)
  • The Formation of Islamic Iran: From the Arab Conquests to the Seljuq Empire (600-1200)
  • The Medieval Castle.

If you spend your fourth year at St Andrews, you may also undertake a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.


The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours-level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules available for the current academic year can be found in the module catalogue.

Teaching

Teaching format

At St Andrews, teaching in first and second year is delivered primarily through lectures (usually 100 to 300 students) and small group tutorials (6 to 8 students). Lectures are given by all members of the School, enabling students to hear active researchers in each field talk about their specialism. Tutorials are an opportunity for students to discuss and develop their thinking in a small and friendly atmosphere, guided by a professional expert. 

In third and fourth year at St Andrews, teaching moves away from large group lecturing. Students meet in groups of about 10 to 15 students for longer classes in which they are expected to participate fully.

Though a good deal of the study of History involves individual effort, group work provides a sense of confirmation, fruitful disagreement, and community to complement the sometimes solitary business of reading and writing.

In addition to these classes, students at St Andrews are expected to undertake substantial independent, but guided, work outside of the classroom. Typically, this will involve:

  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

At St Andrews, you will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of History. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of classes and seminars under the supervision of the module coordinator.

You can find contact information for all History staff on the School of History website.

In addition to your studies in the School, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities webpage

Assessment

Modules in History at St Andrews are assessed by a balanced combination of coursework and examination. Coursework includes:

  • research essays
  • class presentations
  • source analysis.

Classroom examinations often incorporate essays and source exercises. In addition, most modules include a written examination held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.

The School aims to provide feedback on every assessment within three weeks to help you improve on future assessments. 

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please visit the common reporting scale webpage.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Undergraduates

Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 1 April 2020
  • Wednesday 8 April 2020
  • Wednesday 15 April 2020

Fees

Tuition fees for 2020 entry

BA International Hons $42,220 USD

The tuition fee for all students on the BA (International Honours) is the same regardless of domicile, and will always be the pound sterling equivalent of the US dollar amount per year, as converted on 1 June preceding the start of each academic year.

If you commence your studies at the University of St Andrews, you will pay your tuition each year to St Andrews regardless of which institution you are studying at for that year.

Find out more about the cost of attendance.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

The BA International Honours Scholarship is available to students entering first year of the BA International Honours programme commencing at St Andrews.

Further information regarding scholarships available to students on the BA International Honours can be found in the fees and funding section of the BA International Honours web page.

Careers

History students at St Andrews have traditionally moved into a very wide range of careers on graduating. Some continue their academic careers via a postgraduate training degree to doctoral study either in St Andrews or at another university. Other students have often progressed to postgraduate qualifications in teaching, law or accountancy.

Recent history graduates have found careers in:

  • art galleries and auction houses
  • civil service and intelligence services
  • financial institutions and the revenue service
  • journalism and the media
  • sales and marketing.

A degree in History will provide you with transferable skills that will equip you for a future career in many sectors. These skills include:

  • time management
  • project planning
  • group work
  • oral and written expression
  • focused research and presentation.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Student life

Students are fully involved in student life at both universities. Find out more about the student experience at William & Mary.

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Students of History may be interested in joining the following student society at St Andrews:

  • History Society hosts talks with guest speakers on a variety of topics as well as social events including pub nights, garden parties and trips abroad. 

The School of History occupies three sites all within a few minutes’ walk of each other at the heart of the historic town of St Andrews. Students will attend tutorials, seminars and individual meetings with tutors in these buildings, while larger lectures are located in nearby buildings. The School of History sites are:

  • St Katharine’s Lodge, a 19th-century former school near the seafront
  • New Arts Building, a modern building with lecture classrooms and study spaces
  • St John’s House, located on South Street.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As University buildings are located throughout the town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh makes it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews. 

Contact

Admissions
University of St Andrews
St Katharine's West
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AX

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2150
Email: admissions@st-andrews.ac.uk

BA International Honours

Policies

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).