History and Sociology (Including Foundation Year)

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Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
History and Sociology (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree

Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

UK and EU applicants should have, or expect to have:

72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.

Examples of the above tariff may include:

  • A-levels: DDD
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP

Essex Pathways Department accepts a wide range of qualifications from applicants. If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.

Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. 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 required. 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

Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen 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.

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.


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 - 2020/21

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 SC111-4-FY The Sociological Imagination Core 30
02 HR100-4-FY or HR111-4-FY Core with Options 30
03 SC101-4-FY Researching Social Life I Compulsory 30
04 HR101-4-AU Becoming a Historian Compulsory 15
05 History option Optional 15
06 HR510-4-FY History Works: Career Portfolio Compulsory 0

Year 2 - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 SC201-5-FY Continuity and Controversy in Sociology: Sociological Analysis II Compulsory 30
02 HR211-5-AU Approaches to History Compulsory 15
03 History option Optional 15
04 SC203-5-FY or HR231-5-SU and a History option Optional 30
05 History or Sociology option from list Optional 30
06 HR510-5-FY History Works: Career Portfolio Compulsory 0

Year 3 - 2022/23

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 SC301-6-FY Current Disputes in Sociology: Sociological Analysis III Compulsory 30
02 History or Sociology option(s) Optional 30
03 History option(s) Optional 30
04 HR831-6-FY or SC831-6-FY Compulsory with Options 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

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 European history c 1500-1750 and/or of the making of the modern world 1789-1989
A2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of thematic historical topic and/or of key sociological concepts and theories
A3 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of specialised historical topics in greater depth
A4 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of fundamental principles of historical and/or sociological analysis, such as concepts of continuity, change and comparative analysis and of social diversity and culture
A5 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of sources available for historical research and/or the epistemological, ethical and political dimensions of sociological research
A6 Demonstrate a knowledge of the intellectual foundations of sociology
A7 Demonstrate a knowledge of key sociological concepts and theories
Learning Methods: The structure of the degree is based on progression from foundational work in the first year (A1, A6) to more specialised courses (A2 and A3) in the second and third year.

In sociology there is a strong emphasis on developing students' theoretical understanding of sociological work through the progressive structuring of material in the first, second and third year compulsory core courses (A6-A7).

Knowledge of A1-A4, A6-A7 is 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 dissertation.
Assessment Methods: Knowledge and understanding of A1-A4, A6-A7 is continuously assessed through coursework and examination.

Essays are the principal form of coursework assessment for history and sociology, supplemented by a range of other assessments which may include document analyses, reviews, and other shorter assignments; assessed presentations/seminar participation and oral contributions, in-class tests and self-reflexive journals.

The independent dissertation tests knowledge of A5 in particular through a 12,000 word dissertation.

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 the first-year examination of the History pre-requisite module for the course.

History and Sociology examinations are principally unseen, essay based, of two or three hour duration, for which revision classes are provided.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 Assemble, analyse and synthesise primary and secondary data
B2 Formulate and answer historical and/or sociological questions, with use of historical evidence and sociological tools
B3 Evaluate and compare competing historical and/or and sociological theories and interpretations
B4 Explain historical events, contexts and change with reference to social, political, economic and cultural forces and factors
B5 Reconstruct the mentalities of past societies
B6 Formulate and present reasoned and effective historical and/or sociological arguments
B7 Understand, summarise and critically assess sociological and/or historical work
Learning Methods: Skills 1-7 are introduced and developed through seminar discussions, essays, and other written and oral assignments.

The teaching environment of seminars and classes, which emphasises student-focused discussion, enables students to develop all eight 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 history and sociology curricula 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 Retrieve relevant sociological and historical evidence using bibliographies and web searches
C2 Critically read and evaluate secondary and/or primary historical sources
C3 Summarise, report and evaluate sociological arguments, sociological texts and sociological findings
C4 Work in groups to consider a question or clarify a topic
Learning Methods: Participation in seminar discussion, focusing on prepared readings or set questions; preparation of written and oral presentations in history and sociology courses develop skills C1-C3.

Methods develop the abililty to abstract and synthesize relevant information from a range of primary and secondary sources, using printed, electronic and, where appropriate, archival sources; the methods produce the ability to write or present an analysis assimilating complex arguments and significant level of data and to express oneself clearly and with cogency.

The final-year dissertation enables students to take skills C1-C3 to a higher level, demonstrating an ability to frame a research proposal and to identify and apply appropriate research methods.

Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their dissertations with members of academic staff but are required to conduct their own bibliographic research and formulate their own lines of investigation.
Assessment Methods: All skills Coursework consists of essays, self-reflexive journals (SC111, HR211) and textual analysis, all of which are graded, and students are provided with written and oral feedback.

The practical skill of working under pressure and without notes to produce cogent arguments in written work is assessed by the first-year examination in the History pre-requisite course for the scheme.

D: Key skills

D1 Communicate ideas effectively using oral and written means including essays, other written work, oral presentations or contributions, and discussion
D2 Use of relevant information technology to research and present work
D4 Analyse and explain historical and/or sociological 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: Information technology is taught through independent learning supported by the University's online key skills package and the Computing Service.

Students are encouraged to use the University's key skills online package.

They are expected to make routine use of word processing packages, bibliographic and web searches, internet discipline-based resources, and e-mail as part of effective course participation.

The use of electronic library catalogues and other relevant electronic bibliographic resources and the use and interpretation of relevant material via the internet is introduced in the first year.

Students build on these skills in subsequent years.

Where relevant, students are encouraged to use, present or evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form.

Numeracy skills are assessed in the assignments for SC101, which includes a statistics test.

Problem-solving, communication, working with others and improving own learning and performance are implicit throughout the degree.
Assessment Methods: Key skills are assessed through continuous coursework, including evaluation of seminar performance and/or presentations, the independent research project and unseen written examinations.

Management of work timetables is assessed by the requirement that students meet coursework deadlines and deadlines in the preparation and submission of their final-year dissertation.

The self-reflexive coursework journal for HR211 requires students to reflect on their progress.

Outcomes are reinforced through the processes of planning, researching and writing a substantial independent study in the dissertation.


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.