Skip Navigation

BA (Hons) History course preparation

To help you feel prepared for your BA (Hons) History studies, we’ve gathered together a range of course related activities including suggested reading, useful websites and some great things to do right now. Read on to find out more.

Suggested reading

You’ll 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 couple of suggested books you might like to read, if you can, before starting your degree. 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, we’d 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

Podcasts are a great way to explore history. You might want to try the following:

  • In Our Time. This long-running BBC series has an enormous back catalogue of high-quality historical debate and discussion.
  • Killing Victoria. This new series, presented by Edge Hill’s own Dr Bob Nicholson, explores the stories of seven men who tried to assassinate Queen Victoria. It demonstrates the kind of archival research you might end up doing on the course.
  • BBC History Extra. Another long-running podcast series covering a wide range of historical themes and periods.

Suggested tasks for summer

  • 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.

Meet your programme lead