History and Philosophy and Ethics

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Why Study History?

"History is indeed the witness of the times, the light of truth"
- Cicero

In today’s world, history remains the most challenging and exciting of disciplines.

You'll acquire an ability to deal with profound questions about the past and to understand people’s lives, beliefs and problems in the present.

You’ll be able to explore a diverse range of sources, periods and themes, ranging from the medieval to the modern world. And, you’ll develop a wide variety of employment skills that will be useful in your future working life.

Lastly, the student of history is taking part in a voyage of discovery, exploring how people acted in the past, and how they dealt with the issues and challenges that still trouble, thrill or engage us today.

Key Features

  • Well-qualified and dedicated staff who are involved in a wide range of projects locally, nationally and internationally
  • Placements and project-based modules through which you can develop your skills and experience
  • The option of exchange visits with American and European universities

We have a flexible approach to learning- and employers welcome historians with their analytical and problem- solving skills.

Why study History?

In today’s world, history remains the most challenging  and exciting of disciplines. 

You'll acquire an ability to deal with profound questions and to provide many answers that can help in the understanding of people’s lives, beliefs and problems in the present day.

You’ll be able to explore a diverse range of sources, periods and themes, ranging from the medieval to the modern world. And, you’ll develop a wide variety of employment skills that will be useful in your future working life.

Lastly, the student of history is embarked on a voyage of discovery of how people acted in the past, but also how they dealt with issues and problems that still trouble, thrill or engage us today.

Course structure

This is a course designed to enable you to explore the aspects of history that most interest you. It will also give you knowledge and understanding of the subject as a scholarly discipline.

Year on year, we offer you a range of individual history modules designed to follow historical periods, places and persons. They enable you  to study different kinds of history, which you’ll view from some unique historical perspectives.

Naturally there are placements available during your course, as we are keen to allow you to link your undergraduate life with the world of work. Some of our recent student placements,  for example, enabled our students to engage in real-time projects with the local schools, Bath Central Library Local Studies; Bath Record Office; Museum of Bath at Work; Jollys Department Store;The Building of Bath Collection ; The American Museum in Britain; Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre; Radstock Museum; SS Great Britain and Downside Abbey.   Some of our students recently developed a free history resource to help primary schools teach young children about the Olympic and Paralympic Games; with a unique focus on Bath and the south west of England. The project was supported by RELAYS and Team West of England, but was fully led by the students themselves.

You will also be able to access a range of overseas study trips and our exchange programmes.

 

 

Like other subjects in the undergraduate modular scheme, the student learning experience in History is based in a 3-year (levels 4-6) degree programme with its modules available to undergraduate students in 40 (core) and 20 credit (optional) formats. Core modules are those modules that we believe are essential to the understanding of the subject; optional modules are those modules which we believe can give our students a choice of developing a more detailed understanding of a particular period, country, or persons, or historical theme. The progressive mix of the two types of modules not only gives our students a broad general historical experience, knowledge and understanding of the subject over the three years, but allows them to acquire qualities of mind in a variety of forms. It also leads to the development of generic and specific skills highly relevant to a wide variety of careers in the postgraduate world.

 

Modules

 

Each History module lasts approx. 26 weeks and has a varied contact time of between 2-4 hours per week (excluding student-staff tutorials).

 

Year One
  • Changing Histories (Core module);
  • Medieval and Renaissance Worlds (Option module);
  • Age of the People: Europe c.1870-1990 (Option module);
  • Age of Discovery to the Gilded Age: America c.1492-1914 (Option module);
  • Unruly Lot: women and social change in Europe and North America c.1550-1914 (Option module);
  • Age of Empires (c.1492-1857) (Option module);
  • Heritage and Applied History*;
  • The Business of Heritage*.
Year Two
  • Making History (Core module);
  • Humanities at Work I (Option module – project-based/work-based learning module);
  • Nineteenth Century Britain and Ireland: Politics and Society (Option module);
  • The Political World of Eighteenth Century Britain (Option module);
  • Hecate’s Daughters: early modern witchcraft (Option module);
  • Revolutionary and Napoleonic Europe 1789-1820 (Option module);
  • Ships, Slaves and Sugar: Britain and France in the Atlantic Trade, 16th-19thCentury (Option Module);

  • Peace, Prosperity, Depression and War: Britain and the USA between the wars (Option module);

  • The British Empire: from the Opium Wars to decolonisation c.1840-1970 (Option module);
  • The Great War: conflict and society (Option module);
  • Immigration and Race in Twentieth-Century Europe (Option Module);
  • Heritage in Context*.
Year Three
  • History Dissertation (Core module);
  • Humanities at Work II/III (Option module – project-based/work-based learning modules);
  • Memory, Slavery and Social Cohesion in Britain and France ( Option module;
  • From Affluent Society to Permissive Society: the era of the 60s (Option module);
  • More than a Game: sport and the modern world c.1801-1992 (Option module);
  • Leisure, Pleasure and Consumption: rise of a consume society c.1750-1950 (Option module);
  • Secret Service: British intelligence and espionage (Option module);
  • Rex Pacificus c.1603-1625 (Option module);
  • Muslim Migration and Islam in Europe in Historical Perspective ( Option module);
  • Heritage and the Wider World*.

*Modules available as second subject or options from part the Heritage BA/BSc Combined Award

Course assessment

The assessment we use varies on our modules but it is especially geared to helping you learn. It includes assignments that are all designed to test a variety of skills useful in your life beyond University, as well as in the field of history. 

We link our assessment to your course learning outcomes. It is dynamic and it's diverse, but it is very much student orientated, You'll be undertaking some formal examinations, essays, research projects, timed critical analyses, and a number of differing special assignments. Your assessment will be an evolving process, it will allow you not only the opportunity to show what you know, but what you understand and what you can do. You'll be able to access tutorials and one-to one meetings to help you in your work and when you have finished particular assignments you'll have further tutorials to help you understand the next task.

In History we are particularly proud of our cohesive and comprehensive support network that helps you  to achieve the best results possible.

 

You’ll be taught by well-qualified and dedicated history staff. They not only have many innovative approaches in learning and teaching, using new technology for example, but also use their own cutting-edge historical research in the class and lecture theatre.

You’ll naturally gain knowledge and understanding of history as a scholarly discipline, but you’ll also develop a multitude of skills that will be useful in your future working life.

Teaching methods

Your history modules will be taught by a mixture of lectures (which set out the broad themes and issues of a subject), seminars (where we look at document and historical evidence  and where we also include student presentations, group-work, computer assisted sessions and documentary or audio-visual work) and one-to-one tutorials where you'll get individual help with your work. There are also educational visits, such as trips to London and Dublin, as well as to nearby locations. Exchanges with American and European universities are available.

Amongst the innovative ways we deliver the course to you is by encouraging the use of video on your own smartphones, iPads, and flip/digital cameras. ‘Podcasting’ is also used as a supplement to the traditional lectures and as part of our blended learning techniques. Twitter is also used to deliver opportunities for ‘crowd sourcing’ research activities across some of the modules for our students, by getting students to help with gathering information, making observations, undertaking data analysis, transcribing and editing documents.

A key aim of the learning and teaching strategy here is ‘To maximise students’ abilities to achieve successful career outcomes’. Our students can reflect on their personal development via electronic log-books on their learning and its relationship to their future.

'In the [Hy5001-40] seminar this week we had a lesson on networking with Ian Rowe, this was a very interesting and helpful seminar for me as I am an amateur stand-up comedian and spend a lot of my time meeting new people who could help me get better gigs. Ian highlighted the importance of social networking and being very easily contactable, many comedians I have met, especially the professionals, have also emphasised social networking and I have decided to get a twitter account, as well as a business card. We also had to draw a diagram of our own network, I found this very interesting as even though we are all quite young we still have decent sized networks. Also while discussing comedy with Ian, I realised just how difficult it is to meet people inside the industry and how important it is for me to improve my networking skills if I want to progress'

Starting in 2016? Want to get on with some reading? The core module, which all history students have to take, is HY4001-40: London, 1660 - 1969. So, to get ahead of the game, read up as much as you can on the history of London in this period, especially looking at how people lived, what they did, and where differing classes lived. The course text is Roy Porter, London, a social history [any edition]. You should also get a copy of Richard Evans, In Defence of History [2001]. Both books are available on Amazon for around £10.00.

Happy reading!

 

 

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Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS

Course enquiries

Enquires should be directed to Dr Alan Marshall, Head of Humanities:

a.marshall@bathspa.ac.uk

01225875595

Entry requirements

260–300 UCAS Tariff points.

Career opportunities

Employers welcome the analytical and problem-solving skills and the flexible approach to learning that history students acquire. You’ll not only gain knowledge and understanding of history as a scholarly discipline, but you’ll also develop a multitude of skills that will be useful in your future working life. As a result our history students find employment in a wide variety of careers:

  • teaching (subject to PGCE)
  • administration and management
  • lecturing
  • commerce and banking
  • media and tourism
  • museums/heritage
  • librarianship
  • police
  • law and public relations
  • There are also opportunities to undertake postgraduate work at Masters and doctorate level.

We also find that the our recent students felt that particular employability skills were developed during the course of the History programme. These include: Time management; IT skills; Written communication skills; Oral communication skills; Working with fellow students; Finding and selecting information from a wide range of sources; Evaluating information from a wide range of sources.

Since 2011, employers such as Unilever, The National Trust, Don Foster (MP),  The Jane Austen Centre, The Bishop's Palace Trust (Wells)  and The Association of Learning Providers have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including Archives and Records Assistant, Historical Researcher, Curriculum Assistant, Part time lecturer and Historical Educator.

What students say...

Recent graduates:

“Studying History at Bath Spa University has proved an excellent foundation for my future academic pursuits. Prior to studying History at Bath Spa I had no real sense of my future career plans. However, the course has provided me with the inspiration, enthusiasm and skills to pursue postgraduate study. The course has also provided me with transferable skills should my projected career plans change.”

“I have found studying History at Bath Spa University immensely enjoyable and rewarding. The History faculty has been supportive, knowledgeable and approachable. I found the course offered real value to my professional and personal development.”

Kindra Jones, History, graduated 2011:

“I run my own business, KITHE, providing historical characters and events to museums, schools and heritage sites in the UK. Covering from early medieval through to the Second World War, I am constantly researching and adding to my wardrobe and artefacts.

All the skills that I need on my current career path were enhanced during my time at Bath Spa. When talking to the public my answers must be concise, well organised and backed by research, skills that the numerous essays and presentations helped me to develop. Professional correspondence and meetings with clients are critical for the bigger events, and I feel that my course prepared me for these very well. When I first started university I suffered from panic attacks when giving presentations, over the course these lessened until they stopped entirely. This was in large part due to my tutors working with me to find ways to make them less stressful and easier for me to cope with. I was so lucky to have great tutors.”

Nicola Tallis, graduated 2011:

“I loved the fact that the course was really challenging, and gave me the opportunity to learn about a wide and varied period of history. The tutors were always friendly, encouraging and approachable. It was a life changing experience, and the best thing I have ever done. The course prepared me for my career amazingly well. I went on to do an internship at Hampton Court Palace, and I could never have done this had I not done my course. I had to give a presentation at the end of my internship, and had I not done this many times at university, I would have had little confidence. As it was, I was complimented on my excellent verbal presentation skills! It improved my writing and referencing skills, and now I’m writing a book. It also made me consider the bigger picture in a way I never have done before, and this is crucial when you are carrying out historical research and writing a book.”

 

This course is concerned with pursuing and answering questions of truth, knowledge, meaning and reality and exploring crucial ethical issues facing humanity. The approach taken is global, contemporary and applied, and enables you to develop as an analytical, critical and systematic thinker.

Philosophy and Ethics is offered as a Major, Joint or Minor component of a Combined degree. If you want to combine it with Study of Religions you should take the Religions, Philosophies and Ethics specialised award.

Why study Philosophy and Ethics?

‘What I love about this course is being able to discuss and explore topical issues within philosophy and religions with an open mind. Bath Spa has a very good reputation and there is a very personal feel to it’

Philosophy and Ethics at Bath Spa is concerned with pursuing and answering the kind of questions that lie behind all academic disciplines and subjects, for example:

  • what is truth?  
  • what can one know?
  • what is ultimately real?
  • what is the meaning of life?
  • how should one live in the world?

Arguably, nothing is outside the reach of philosophical and ethical enquiry.  All human activities are inevitably shaped by particular assumptions, beliefs and values.  It is the aim of philosophy and ethics to explore the nature of those assumptions, beliefs and values.  For example: what precisely is it that shapes our understanding of mind, religion or society?  In what ways are our thoughts limited by our environment, history or language?  How should one evaluate human relationships, the past or works of art?  

By developing and practising philosophical and ethical analysis and enquiry, you can explore any area of human interest with a level clarity, coherence and rigour unrivalled by other academic disciplines and subjects.

Philosophy and Ethics at Bath Spa University has developed a distinctive identity within the national marketplace for undergraduate philosophy provision.

World Philosophies: The programme is designed to allow you to explore philosophy and ethics as a global phenomenon.  That is, in addition to teaching you about Western’ philosophical and ethical perspectives, the subject introduces you to the philosophies and ethics of the Indian subcontinent and China.  This approach challenges the Anglo-American and analytic focus of philosophy departments in the UK and undermines the assertion that ‘Philosophy speaks Greek and only Greek’.

Doing Philosophy: Rather than teaching philosophy primarily as a history of ideas, Philosophy and Ethics at Bath Spa is concerned with enabling you to develop as analytical, critical and systematic thinkers.  The programme has been constructed to foreground teaching and learning events that promote the formation of subject-specific and employment-facing thinking and practical skills.

Contemporary / Applied: The programme is aimed at exploring how philosophical and ethical analysis can be applied to a range of contemporary debates, issues and problems.  Staff research interests usefully inform teaching and learning events at this point, notably through applied projects and the teaching of such topics as the ethics of war, ecological ethics and the philosophy of gender.

Course structure

In Year 1 we offer a core module which introduces philosophical and ethical enquiry, providing you with the tools of philosophical and ethical analysis, and critically examining core concepts in epistemology, metaphysics and ethics. There is an optional module in global religions and philosophies, looking at major traditions and movements, and key thinkers.

The core module in Year 2 focuses on philosophy in Indian and Chinese traditions. Optional modules include ethics within religious and humanist traditions, on topics such as medical ethics and social justice, and philosophy, religions and the environment, on topics such ecological degradation and nonhuman rights

There is also a Special Project in which you can explore topics of your choice, engage in a placement or project relevant to employment, or take part in a summer school in another country such as Korea.

In the third year, options include a philosophical module on the meaning of human existence, encompassing such topics as absurdity and purpose, identity and mortality and a module on religion, philosophy and gender. There is also a special research project which could focus on Applied Ethics, a Dissertation which allows for in-depth concentration on a topic of your choice, or an employment related project.

 

NOTE: You will need to study another subject to study with Philosophy and Ethics.

 

 

Modules

 

 

Year 1:

  • Beyond Belief: Introduction to the Study of Religions and Spiritualities (core module);
  • Truth and Value: Introduction to Philosophical and Ethical Enquiry (core module);
  • Global Religions and Philosophies

Year 2:

  • Darshana, Dharma and Dao: Philosophy in the Indian and Chinese Traditions (core module);
  • Ethics, Religion and Humanism: Contemporary Moral Dilemmas;
  • Special Project;
  • Philosophy, Religions and the Environment

 

Year 3:

  • Dissertation;
  • Employment related placement (alternative to Dissertation);
  • Religion, Philosophy and Gender;
  • Life and Meaning;
  • Advanced Special Project;
  • Culture and Counterculture: from Orientalism to the ‘Hippy Trail’.

Course assessment

Mainly by coursework such as essays, reports, projects, presentations, on- line discussion board participation. There are also some timed elements such as critical analyses or examinations.

The approach taken to the study of Philosophy and Ethics at Bath Spa is distinctive in taking a global approach. Philosophies studied include South and East Asian philosophies as well as Western approaches. We stress ‘doing philosophy’ and developing your own abilities to argue a case and analyse appropriate evidence. We apply philosophical and ethical thinking to address contemporary concerns such as gender and sexuality, environmental ethics, war and conflict and medical ethics. There are opportunities to follow up your own interests or career plans in a variety of special projects, employment related placements and a dissertation.

We offer excellent teaching with attention to individuals, and staff are active in research and scholarship in their specialist areas. We welcome non-traditional entrants and mature students.

Teaching methods

We offer excellent teaching with attention to individuals, and staff are active in research and scholarship in their specialist areas. We welcome non-traditional entrants and mature students.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS

Course enquiries

Please contact our Admissions team (see above)

Entry requirements

260–300 UCAS Tariff points.

Career opportunities

Philosophy and Ethics develops many skills valued by employers such as clarity and precision in thinking, the ability to recognise unnoticed assumptions, the expertise to present a strong case, and to see the ethical issues involved in everyday decisions. Graduate careers for which Philosophy is good preparation include: law, civil service, local government, journalism, financial institutions, management, and IT. Some of some of our students have gone on to teach Religious Education, Philosophy and/or Citizenship in secondary or primary schools, where there is a shortage of specialists. Others have gone on to further academic study.

Since 2010, employers such as Global Xchange. Ethicall, Citizens' Advice Bureau and Birmingham University have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including Healthcare Assistant, Fundraiser,  Children's Home Activities Coordinator and Assistant to the Communications Director.

What students say...

Lindsay Horler, Philosophy & Ethics with Study of Religions, Year 3:

“I chose to study this particular course because I was interested in studying Eastern as well as Western philosophy, and Bath Spa is probably the only University in the UK which offers such an in-depth enquiry into Eastern philosophical thought. While studying Philosophy & Ethics with Study of Religions at Bath Spa I have not only enhanced my intellectual skills, but I have also developed as a person. By thinking critically about philosophical ideas from Anglo-American, European and global perspectives, I have been able to think critically about my own philosophical beliefs.

What I enjoy most about Bath Spa University is that I can speak to my course tutors whenever I have questions to do with my course, or anything else for that matter.”