University of East
History at the University of East London
History is offered as a degree or as part of a combined degree Department of Cultural Studies. The department has an international reputation, achieving an ‘excellent’ rating for its teaching in the last TQA, and a maximum ‘5’ for its research in the RAE. We run the Raphael Samuel Centre for Metropolitan Cultural History, which acts as a forum for the exchange of ideas and interests on the study of urban history, with particular emphasis on London.
The university has currently approximately 12,000 students, taught across three campuses – Barking, Stratford and Docklands. The department is located on the exciting new site at Docklands, and all of our students are taught there.
The History programme recruits approximately forty students per year. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and include not only school leavers, but also mature students and overseas students with equivalent qualifications. We are keen, however, to attract students without standard qualifications who have relevant life and work experience and can really benefit from studying on a degree programme. In this respect a desire to make sense of the historical background to contemporary society is important; indeed, some of our best students have come to us with little more than this commitment.
Why study History?
History matters. It matters because it helps us to make sense of who we are by explaining where we have come from. And we are all historians, almost by instinct. Think of how we search for meaning by looking back at events in our lives. The past in this sense provides us with signposts for the present, and perhaps the future.
What applies to us as individuals takes on even greater significance for us as a society. Politicians, commentators, advertisers, journalists and teachers, in short, everybody who claims to provide us with a picture of contemporary society, invoke images of the past. That they often do it falsely makes the task of knowing the past a responsibility for everyone who cares about where we are and where we are going.
So history is vital not so much because of its intrinsic interest, but because it sheds light on the here and now. What we try to do on the programme is develop you own skills of thinking about the past, and about the relation between the past and the present. We cannot guarantee to provide all the answers, but with historical imagination you will be able to think critically and make up your own informed minds about who you are and in what society you live.
Why study History at the University of East London?
The History programme at UEL (UCAS Code V100) is both innovative and challenging. Over the three years of the full-time degree we take a broad view of the historical development of British society from the emergence of a distinct sense of national identity in the eighteenth century to postwar decolonisation. In this we attempt to locate Britain firmly within the constellation of relationships among imperial and colonized powers, and explore the role of cultural imperialism in promoting and sustaining particular forms of domination. Question of class, gender and race are central to our investigations. Running parallel is a concern to explore history as an experience and a practice. We ask to what extent we make sense of our lives from an historical perspective, how the past informs the present, and the ways in which historical evidence is read, understood and used. The degree therefore has a number of distinctive features:
· We recognise the importance of reflecting critically on the relations between past and present, and explore the extent to which a study of history can illuminate contemporary concerns.
· We teach the skills of historical research and writing so that you gain a knowledge and practical experience of 'doing' history.
· We integrate global dimensions into an understanding of British history, for the development of Britain as a world power and its subsequent decline can be seen only in relation to other cultural formations, and other peoples.
Entry requirements guidelines (2000): A Level 12 points
UCAS application course codes.
Load the free UCAS CD-Rom.
UCAS address: Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 3LZ
The range of topics and units covered in the first year includes the study of:
Britain and slavery;
Nation and empire
The Modern self
Representations of the past
Patterns of global change
Revolution and emancipation.
In years two and three we develop some of these themes, and offer more specialised courses:
Witchcraft in early modern Europe
After the revolutions
London and modernity
End of empire.
You will take core units at each level, but nearly half the programme is devoted to special subjects, optional units and dissertations, providing you with ample opportunity to pursue your own particular interests.
This year for the first time you will also have the opportunity to become involved in media production. Since so much history is in the public domain, you can here develop your skills in such media as photography, radio and video to produce your own forms of historical representation. We also organize study visits to Egypt in association with the American University in Cairo, where you will have direct experience of a country whose interests and culture have been historically closely linked to those of Britain.
History is also available as part of a combined degree programme. Here you can take History as a major, joint or minor degree with subjects from other degree programmes. The choice is yours, although we do tend to encourage combinations with other programmes in the department, namely, Literature, Media Studies, Communications Studies, Third World Development or Cultural Studies.
If you would like to have an informal chat with a member of staff about the courses available in this area please contact:
Department of Cultural Studies
University of East London
London E16 2RD
Tel: 020 8223 2746/2743
You can find out more about the university, the Department of Cultural Studies and the History programme on our web site:
University web site: www.uel.ac.uk