Heritage and Public History degree – BA (Hons) – Bath Spa University Skip to main content

History (Heritage and Public History)

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

BA (Hons) History (Heritage and Public History)
School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year. Part time available.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: 3M51 or S172
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email admissions@bathspa.ac.uk with your specific details.

Investigate the ways in which we use the past in the present. It’s all around us – a source of delight, division and debate.

  • Develop your understanding of the past and its uses in the present.
  • Work with historical sources – documents, objects, places.
  • Enhance your skills with our partner organisations – archives, museums, historic houses.

Explore how the past is celebrated, obscured and recreated. You’ll study a wide range of historical subjects, places and periods with a particular focus on heritage and public history.

The Heritage and Public History pathway offers you a solid grounding in historical skills, but extends them to encompass the analysis of places, objects, and buildings. You’ll consider:

  • How we turn ‘history’ into ‘heritage’
  • How cultural heritage has become such an important focus for study and debate
  • Who we think we are and how we negotiate our way through a complex world.

Alongside developing a specialism in heritage and public history, you’ll gain practical experience through activities such as planning a project, writing for the general public, and a placement in a museum or historic house. The insights you gain here could be invaluable in a wide range of jobs, including in the heritage sector itself.

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What you'll learn


By undertaking in-depth study in heritage and public history, you’ll be able to examine and confront the power of the past in the contemporary world. This takes us from the World Heritage City of Bath, on our doorstep, to the destruction of heritage sites in Iraq and Syria; from the history of slavery to its silent, largely unacknowledged memorialisation in the buildings of the city and the great houses set in the surrounding countryside.

Against this background, you’ll also explore the importance of heritage in the local, regional and national economy, how museums ‘work’, the skills needed to work in the museums and heritage sector, and some of ways in which the past is presented to and consumed by all of us. We’ll help you to take complex historical ideas and think about how to present them in different ways to different audiences; and how to apply these skills outside the University.

Course structure

Year one
Provides a basis for developing new historical skills and understanding, and an introduction to the study of ‘heritage’ and the concept of ‘public history’. You’ll think about the different ways in which we approach historical study and about evidence and interpretation. You’ll learn how to ‘read’ a historic object or landscape as you would a document, and about how our attitudes towards such material have changed over time.

Year two
Offers more specialised study, drawing on modules which explore different historical periods and places, and a deeper exploration of why and how the past is valued – and sometimes abused – in the contemporary world. From the broad foundations of year one, you’ll now focus on your chosen subjects in greater depth, developing a more critical approach to your reading of historical texts and sources, and sharpening your own skills in analysing and interpreting evidence – and in presenting your findings.

Year three
Is your chance to show just how far you’ve come. Your final dissertation or project allows you to design, implement and present your own piece of work, examining a historical question which matters to you, and thinking about how you might present your work in different contexts and for different audiences. You’ll also have a range of module choices, usually on topics that most closely reflect the research interests of the History and Heritage team.

Those of you with a particular interest in heritage and public history, and perhaps an ambition to work in the industry, might decide to apply for the Year in Professional Practice placement, between year two and year three. If you are successful, this will give you comprehensive experience of how heritage works, with one or more of our partner organisations, and a great foundation for your final year of formal study.

How will I be assessed?

Work is assessed in a variety of ways, to test different knowledge and skills – essays, presentations, practical projects, writing for different audiences and media, analysing written and material evidence.

How will I be taught?

Teaching happens in lectures and smaller seminars and workshops, on site visits and in the archive or museum. You’ll work as an individual and in smaller groups, looking at evidence, formulating arguments or preparing your presentation.

The History and Heritage staff provide support through group and one-to-one tutorials, and there are lots of other forms of advice and guidance available to you, to help you to develop your research, writing and time and project management skills.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules
  • Europe and the World I: Encounters and Perspectives
  • Europe and the World II: Revolution, Nationaism and Modernity
  • Worlds of Ideas
  • Narratives of Belonging
  • Protest and Persuasion
  • Thinking Together: Humanities in the 21st Century
Year two (Level 5) modules
  • The Practice of History: Archives, Analysis, Evidence
  • History Matters? The public, Politics and the Past
  • How to do Things: Objects, People and Place
  • Presenting the Past
  • People, Politics and Belief in Early Modern Britain
  • Diaspora, Migration and Race
  • Digital Humanities
  • Working Together
  • Transformative Communities
  • Professional Placement Year
Year three (Level 6) modules
  • History Project
  • Conflict and Community: The Politics of Heritage
  • The Past as Professional Practice: Archaeology, Museums and Heritage
  • The City in Global Contexts
  • People, the Past and the Environment
  • Nation and Race in the Early Modern Atlantic World
  • Propaganda, Censorship and Intelligence
  • Suffrage, Status and Society
  • From Decolonisation to Globalisation
  • In Harm's Way: War, Politics and Cultural Heritage


Study abroad

As part of your degree, you could study abroad on a placement at one of Bath Spa’s partner universities.


From archaeology to art, you’ll have opportunities to participate in fieldwork across the History modules. Please note that you may have to pay for some of these study visits.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Our students have worked on placements and projects with a wide range of museum and heritage organisations in the city of Bath and the wider region. We work closely with the National Trust, English Heritage and Arts Council England, and with local organisations such as the Bath Preservation Trust and the Holburne Museum in Bath, the ss Great Britain in Bristol, and Radstock Museum in North Somerset – from the Royal Crescent to steam ships, great art to coalmining.


History and Heritage graduates have entered a range of professions including teaching, event management, and heritage management. Our graduates now work for organisations such as the National Trust, Wiltshire County Council and Bath Preservation Trust. Some of our students go onto to study for a Masters degree, including our own highly regarded MA in Heritage Management, and then to a PhD.

Global Citizenship

If you’re a full-time undergraduate student starting your first year at Bath Spa University, you can apply for the Certificate in Global Citizenship, which you’ll study alongside your degree.

You’ll gain global awareness and add an international dimension to your student experience, and funding is available. On successful completion of the programme, you’ll be awarded a Certificate in Global Citizenship. This is in addition to your degree; it doesn’t change your degree title or results.

Adobe Creative Campus

Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

Professional placement year


This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.


Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

As a History (Heritage and Public History) student you’ll be taught at Newton Park campus. You’ll benefit from access to:


UK students full time

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 £9,250
Year 3 Published autumn 2024

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published autumn 2024
Year 3 Published autumn 2025

2025/26 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published autumn 2024
Year 2 Published autumn 2025
Year 3 Published autumn 2026
UK students part time

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,625
Year 2 £4,625
Year 3 Published autumn 2024

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,625
Year 2 Published autumn 2024
Year 3 Published autumn 2025

2025/26 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published autumn 2024
Year 2 Published autumn 2025
Year 3 Published autumn 2026
International students full time

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £15,050
Year 2 £15,750
Year 3 Published autumn 2024

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £15,750
Year 2 Published autumn 2024
Year 3 Published autumn 2025

2025/26 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published autumn 2024
Year 2 Published autumn 2025
Year 3 Published autumn 2026
All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for imaginative and creative individuals who are interested in the past and the present.

We value forward thinking, an awareness of current debates and challenges, and a willingness to look outward for ideas and inspiration: places you might have visited, or events you’ve read about.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level – grades BBB-BCC including a Grade B in History or a related subject.
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades from Distinction Distinction Merit (DDM) to Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) in a related subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit preferred in a relevant subject.
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum of 28 points are required with a minimum of grade 5 in History at Higher Level.
  • Access to HE courses – typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, at Merit or higher).

If you don’t meet the entry requirements above, we may be able to accept your prior learning or experience from outside of formal education. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) page to learn more.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

How do I apply?

We've closed this course due to a high demand for September 2023 entry, and will reopen it in September for 2024 entry. For more information on the application process, please contact our Admissions service on +44 (0)1225 876 180 or admissions@bathspa.ac.uk

Get ahead

Visit a museum or a historic building, and think about what it stands for – why it matters to us now. Talk to friends and family about why the past matters to them – or whether it does. Think about an aspect of history you love, and how you would tell that retell that story.

Course leader: Dr Alison Hems
Email: a.hems@bathspa.ac.uk

Three year course
With placement year

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk