History with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad)

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Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
History with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree

Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

A-levels: BBB

IB: 30 points. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Entry requirements for students studying BTEC qualifications are dependent on units studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis. The standard required is generally at Distinction level.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Dr Mark Williams

Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History

Cardiff University

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 27 January 2020 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2019/20

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  HR100-4-FY  The Making of the Modern World since 1750  Core  30 
02  HU100-4-FY  Foundations of Human Rights  Core  30 
03    Option from list  Optional  30 
04    History option  Optional  15 
05  HR101-4-AU  Becoming a Historian  Compulsory  15 
06  HR510-4-FY  History Works: Career Portfolio  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2020/21

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  HR211-5-AU  Approaches to History  Compulsory  15 
02  HR291-5-SP  Human Rights in Historical Perspective  Compulsory  15 
03  HU200-5-AU  Human Rights Organisations: International and Regional Institutions  Compulsory  15 
04    History option(s) or outside option(s)  Optional  30 
05    History option  Optional  15 
06  HR231-5-SU  Choosing Your Past: How to Design and Manage a Research Project  Compulsory  15 
07  HU201-5-SP  Social Dimensions of Human Rights  Compulsory  15 
08  HR510-5-FY  History Works: Career Portfolio  Compulsory 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  AW600-6-FY    Compulsory  60 

Year 3 - 2022/23

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  HR831-6-FY  Research Project  Compulsory  30 
02  HU300-6-FY  Selected Issues in Human Rights  Compulsory  30 
03    History option(s)  Optional  30 
04    History option(s)  Optional  30 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

This course aims to:

Enable students to study a range of historical topics, providing both an outline of the principal developments and focused study on a range of specific themes.

Enable students to examine historical events and changes in cross-national, thematic, and comparative perspective, with an understanding of political, social, economic and cultural contexts.

Develop students' understandings of the relationship between the past and the present.

Familiarise students with models of historical analysis and varieties of primary sources.

Enable students to design and conduct an independent study on a specialist topic of their choice.

Develop skills of research, analysis and argument that are valuable for a wide range of future careers, further study, and lifetime learning.

Enable students to develop an understanding of human rights theory and practice, and the historical origins and context of human rights theory and practice.

The outcomes listed above represent the minimum that might be expected of a graduate of the Department of History of the University of Essex; it is the intention of the Department that the vast majority of graduates will achieve significantly more.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the making of the modern world 1789-1989

A2: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of thematic historical topics

A3: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of specialised historical topics in greater depth

A4: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of fundamental principles of historical analysis, such as concepts of continuity, change, and comparative analysis. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of some historical, philosophical, political, sociological and legal perspectives on human rights in greater depth

A5: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the sources available for historical research

Learning methods

The structure of the degree is based on progression from outline topics in the first year (A1) to more specialised courses (A2 and A3) in the second and third year.

Knowledge of A1-A5 are acquired through lectures, seminars, independent reading and coursework.

A4 is developed in particular in the second-year course Making Histories: Concepts, Themes and Sources.

A5 is the focus of the third-year Independent Research Project.

Assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding of A1-5 is continuously assessed through coursework and examination.

Essays are the principal form of coursework assessment, supplemented by a range of other assessments which may include document analyses, book and film reviews, and other shorter assignments; assessed presentations and oral contributions; and in-class tests.

The independent project tests knowledge of A5 in particular through a dissertation of up to 12,000 words.

The ability to produce, under set time conditions and without access to notes, cogent arguments demonstrating the interconnectedness of themes, concepts and issues covered in the course components is assessed by end-of-year examinations in all years of the course.

Examinations are principally unseen, essay based, and of two or three hour duration.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1: Assemble, analyse and synthesise primary and secondary data

B2: Formulate and answer historical questions

B3: Evaluate and compare historical interpretations

B4: Explain historical events, contexts and change with reference to social, political, economic and cultural forces and factors. Identify and interpret some of the historical dimensions of human rights issues

B5: Reconstruct the mentalities of past societies

B6: Formulate and present ideas and arguments, using historical evidence

Learning methods

All skills are introduced and developed through in-class discussions, essays, and other written and oral assignments.

The teaching environment of seminars, which emphasises student-focused discussion, enables students to develop all six skills through discussion and practice, and to receive feedback from peers and tutors.

Assessment methods

All skills are assessed through the usual means of coursework and examination: a variety of types of coursework across the curriculum assess skills specifically.

The ability to understand questions and produce answers under set time conditions and without access to notes is assessed by the first-year examination of the History pre-requisite module for the course.

C: Practical skills

C1: Critically read and evaluate primary sources

C2: Critically read and evaluate secondary sources

C3: Work in groups to consider a question or clarify a topic

Learning methods

Participation in seminar discussion, focusing on prepared readings or set questions, develops skill C3; preparation of written work and oral presentations develops skills C1 and C2.

The Independent Research Project enables students to take skill C2 and in some cases skill C1 to a higher level.

Students have one-to-one supervision on their IRPs but are required to conduct their own bibliographic research and formulate their own lines of investigation.

Assessment methods

All skills are assessed through the usual means of coursework and examination.

In particular, C1 is assessed by document analysis, C2 by essays, C3 in HR100 by an evaluation by seminar teachers of seminar participation, including working in groups.
The practical skill of working under pressure and without notes to produce cogent arguments in written work is assessed by examinations in all three years of the course.

D: Key skills

D1: Communicate ideas effectively using oral and written means including essays, other written work, oral presentations or contributions, and discussion

D2: Make appropriate use of information technology to research and present materials

D4: Analyse and explain data, understand and produce answers to essay questions, and manage work timetables

D5: Participate effectively as a member of a group to the benefit of oneself and others

D6: Use feedback from tutors to improve written and oral work and reflect on progress

Learning methods

D1 (verbal communication) and D5 are practised in seminars on all modules; D1 (written communication) and D4 are practised in all types of written assessed work (including exams); D2 is practised in all types of written work, including the IRP; D6 is encouraged through disucssion of feebdcak in seminars and by means of reflective types of assessment on HR101 and HR211.

Assessment methods

All types of written work (coursework; exams; IRP); all seminars (in some cases including formal assessment of participation and/or presentations); HR101 skills portfolio; HR211 reflective journal.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: crt@essex.ac.uk.