Skip Navigation

BA (Hons) History course preparation

To help you feel prepared for your university studies, we’ve gathered together a range of course related activities including suggested reading, useful websites and some great things to do right now. Open the links below to find out more:

Suggested reading

You will be given lots of information about which textbooks to read and introduced to the University Library, as well as the many ebooks we have for you to access, when you begin your studies in September.

In the meantime, there are a few suggested books you might like to read before starting your degree if you can. We don’t recommend rushing out to buy texts before you arrive but if you can pick some up second hand, borrow from a library or access online to read over the summer, we suggest:

Three books to read before starting your degree

HIS1010: The Medieval Outlook

HIS1011: The Dawn of Modernity

HIS1012: Europe Re-Made

HIS1013: Imperialism, Liberation, Globalisation

HIS1016: Time Detectives

HIS1017: History and Society: Theory, Practice and Impact


Useful websites and podcasts

Listen to these podcasts:

Make sure to visit the Prospects website if you’re thinking about a future career in History.


Things to do now

This summer you should…

  • Get into the habit of regularly reading a ‘good’ newspaper. Wrestling with the complexities of the present is good practice for dealing with the complexities of the past.
  • Get into the habit of reading on a regular basis, at least 30 minutes a day. The evidential basis of history has no limit.
  • Try to read in an interactive way – identify the author’s argument, spend time thinking about its validity. Just because something is in print, it is not necessarily either right or accurate.

Apply the above bullet points to the History text that we have sent to you, The Uses and Abuses of History by Margaret Macmillan, and tweet us your findings.


A few more ideas for you to try over the summer


Your programme lead – Roger Spalding


Additional ways to prepare

Preparing to start

This session examines how to make a successful transition to university. From planning your results day, accommodation and commuting tips, extra support available to you and general advice on uni life.

Watch the session

Find out more about who you are

The following information provides an insight into what to expect when coming to university along with some good advice on how to navigate some of the potential challenges you may face.

Start preparing yourself