Study this programme anywhere in the world and receive a fully accredited University of London degree



Available to study anywhere in the world

Stimulate your historical imagination with a degree in history by distance learning. This thoughtfully constructed programme provides a structured route into the past in all its guises.

Dr Sarah Ansari, Reader in History at Royal Holloway, speaks about Gandhi's reputation as both 'saint' and 'politician'.

By studying this programme you will:

  • expand your knowledge and understanding of the past.
  • reflect on the diversity of past human experience.
  • explore a range of interpretations, theories and approaches that historians have adopted and tested over time.
  • cultivate skills that are highly valued by employers, such as the ability to think critically, assess evidence and express ideas with precision.

Programme details

Programme structure, courses and specification

Subjects range from an introduction to ancient philosophy to civil rights in 1960s America, and from ethnicity, identity and citizenship in modern British life to the interpretation and writing of history.

View courses for BA History

Key dates

This programme has one intake date per year: November.

2022 session
Application deadline 30 September 2022
Registration deadline 16 October 2022
Programme starts November 2022

How you study

Independent study

Distance learning offers you the flexibility to balance your studies with your existing commitments. We supply learning materials which are specially designed for independent study. You will also have access to a significant range of online resources, including a fully supported Virtual Learning Environment and online library.

Study materials

We provide the core study materials you need to complete the programme. These include a Programme Handbook of practical information (such as how to enter exams), a subject guide for each course you choose, and past exam papers and commentaries, which give you valuable tips for performing well in exams.

Online support

When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources:

  • The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Here, you can access electronic copies of all printed study materials, resources including audio-visual and revision guides, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others.
  • The Online Library provides access to over 100 million academic electronic items comprising E-books, E-journals, conference proceedings, etc. In addition, students can request items which are not held in the library via the library's Inter-Library loans service with the British Library.
  • Senate House Library provides free reference access for all registered distance and flexible learning students.
  • Your Course Tutor provides support throughout the year and leads online seminars for each course that you study.

Student Support

We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students, regardless of which of our programmes you are studying and whether you are studying independently or with a Recognised Teaching Centre.

You will have access to support through:

  • The Student Advice Centre – provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
  • TalkCampus – a peer support service that offers a safe and confidential way to talk about whatever is on your mind at any time of day or night.


  • The 15-credit courses are assessed by a two-hour written exam.
  • The 30-credit courses are assessed by a three-hour written exam,
  • The dissertation is assessed by a thesis of 10,000 words.

Exams are held in May each year. You can sit these when you are ready at one of our 400 examination centres. A fee is payable to your local centre for hosting the exams.

More about exams.

Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?

For access to the BA History degree, you will usually meet the following criteria:

Even if you do not meet the standard requirements, we will consider each application on its own merits. Our Admissions Panel will consider whether any alternative/incomplete qualifications or work experience you have are suitable for entry to the programme. If we are unable to issue you an offer then if available we will advise on further alternatives such as our International Foundation Programme or on additional qualifications you need to take in order to meet our minimum entrance criteria.

I don’t meet the entry requirements. What can I do?

English Language requirements

You need to demonstrate a good level of English to be admitted to our programmes. We accept a range of evidence, including proficiency test scores. If you don’t have evidence but believe you can meet the standard, we may consider your case.

Do I meet the language requirements?

Computer requirements

We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. For this degree, you will also need Adobe Flash Player to view video material and a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.

More about computer requirements.

Can I transfer credits from other awards?

If you have studied material as part of a previous qualification that is comparable in content and standard, you might be exempted from the equivalent course of our degree. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

More about Accreditation of Prior Learning.


The fees below relate to the 2022-2023 session. These may be increased by up to 5% per year.

Academic year 2022-2023
Registration fee 1102
Half module fee 535
Full module fee 1070
Recognition of Prior Learning (per course) 119
Total programme fee 13942

Disclaimer: Currency conversion tool.

More about programme fees

Additional Costs

You will also need to budget for:

  • Textbooks (could extend to around £300 per year)
  • Exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams
  • Tuition costs if you study at a Recognised Teaching Centre.

How to pay your fees

Please note: all student fees shown are net of any local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or any other sales tax payable by the student in their country of residence. Where the University is required to add VAT, GST or any other sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the fees shown during the payment process. For students resident in the UK, our fees are exempt from VAT.

Further information on Sales Tax

Your payment provider may apply additional transaction fees (if in doubt, please check with them before making a payment).

Further information about fee payment options can be found in the “How to pay your fees” link above.

Career opportunities

Studying history will equip you with a broad range of skills, such as critical thinking and persuasive writing. These skills are transferable across many different careers. History graduates go on to pursue careers in fields including advertising, journalism, teaching and museum curation.

What do employers think of our graduates?

In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.

Academic leadership

The programme is developed by the Department of History at Royal Holloway, University of London. This is the largest History Department in the University of London and offers one of the most diverse curriculums in the United Kingdom. It is currently ranked 20th in the UK in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.

Programme Director

Dr Catriona Cooper is a Senior Fellow in History, Heritage and Media at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is responsible for the department’s distance learning provision and is the school’s digital champion. Her research lies in digital approaches to studying the past with specific expertise in the late medieval and early modern period, buildings and the acoustics of the House of Commons. Catriona has worked at University of Southampton, University of York and the Fitzwilliam Museum (University of Cambridge) prior to joining Royal Holloway in 2019. She holds a PhD in Archaeology from University of Southampton.

Funding your study

Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London degree anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there are additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.

More on funding your study.

What our students think


agreed the reality of their programme was what they expected or better.


were satisfied overall with the quality of the programme.


agreed the flexibility of the programme met their needs.

Welcome from Dr Catriona Cooper, Royal Holloway University of London

Dr Catriona Cooper Programme Director Royal Holloway

"What an exciting time to be a historian! Studying history is to be curious, to look at reasons that drive change and help shape the future."

Apply to History