The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.
In the first year of a Joint Honours degree programme study is split equally between the two disciplines. Following this you have the option to alter the balance of your study, meaning that you could change to a major-minor weighting. In your final year you have the option to maintain your second-year balance, switch your major subject to your other discipline or revert to an equal balance. If you wish, you can maintain an equal balance throughout your degree. This flexibility allows you to tailor the course throughout your degree programme, once you have had the time and experience to consider where your strengths and interests lie. The list of modules below are based on studying half of your modules (60 credits) in Geography and half in History (60 credits).
The modular structure of the degree allows you maximum flexibility in developing your own interests without channelling you into decisive choices too early. In the first year you will be exposed to the main principles of human and physical geography, to global environmental issues, and various practical skills. You will also explore contemporary urban issues using Birmingham as a real-world laboratory. The first semester includes residential fieldwork in human and physical geography. You will study modules spanning the early medieval to late modern History periods. You can choose two modules out of five of Discovering the Middle Ages, Living in the Middle Ages, Reformation, Rebellion and Revolution: the Making of the Modern World 1500-1800, The Making of the Contemporary World 1800-2000 and War and Society (20 credits per module). These explore fundamental themes and issues focused on key periods and indicate the kinds of questions historians explore and some of the methods they employ in answering them. You will also study Practising History (A): Skills in History (Autumn term) and Practising History (B): Approaches to History (Spring term), which look more closely at the techniques of the historian and at the nature and evolution of key historical debates.
Choose two out of these five modules, one in the Autumn Term and one in the Spring Term:
- Discovering the Middle Ages (Autumn)
- Living in the Middle Ages (Spring)
- Reformation, Rebellion and Revolution: the Making of the Modern World 1500-1800 (Autumn)
- The Making of the Contemporary World 1800-2000 (Spring)
- War and Society (Spring)
You are now introduced to specialist techniques in Geography such as computer cartography and the use of databases and spreadsheets. You learn how to develop a research proposal, which may be the starting point for your dissertation in the final year. Training in more advanced fieldwork skills is provided by courses held in European centres. You also choose from optional modules in many different branches of Geography. You engage in a Group Research module in the Autumn Term and extend your historical knowledge through a subject-specific module chosen from a wide range available from Option B in the Spring Term. You can then choose one of the following 20 credit modules: History in Theory and Practice, Research Methods (Dissertation Preparation) (please note this module must be studied if a History 40 credit dissertation is to be taken in the final year) and may also be able to take a Professional Skills module (please note that places on this module are limited).
Compulsory modules (History)
- Group Research
- Option B (History)
Choose from one of the following:
- History in Theory and Practice
- Research Methods (Dissertation Preparation) (please note: this module must be studied if a History 40 credit dissertation is to be taken in the final year)
- Professional Skills (please note: places on this module are limited)
Examples of Geography Options (there are no compulsory modules for second year Geography):
- Ecological Systems
- Geomorphological Processes
- Hydroclimatology: Climate and Water
- Cultural Geography
- Environmental Transfer Processes
- Environmental Assessment and Management
- Reconstructing Quaternary Environments
- Social and Political Geography
This four year route offers you the additional educational benefit of a year of study in an approved University in Europe or in English speaking countries. Students with grades of 2.1 or above in their first year will be asked to apply for the Year Abroad in the first term of their second year and if successful, will go abroad in their third year. In addition to the tutor support given from the host University, students who choose to take a Year Abroad will be allocated a member of staff from the Department of History who will monitor their progress while overseas through regular contact.
In your final year you select from a wide range of modules that provide the more specialised knowledge and skills in the areas of Geography that appeal to you. The third/final year represents the culmination of undergraduate study and the final stage of your transition to an independent learner. You hone your historical skills in Advanced Option A or Advanced Option B and you also undertake an in-depth Special Subject module, which is chosen from a variety of available subjects. Joint Honours students can choose to substitute the 20 credit History Advanced Option A or B with a Joint Honours History Dissertation (20 credits).
Compulsory modules (History):
- Advanced Option A or Advanced Option B
- Special Subject
Examples of Geography options (there are no compulsory modules for final year Geography):
- Applied Micrometerology
- Biodiversity and Conservation Management
- Contemporary Issues in Urban Development and Planning (for Geographers)
- Global Quaternary Climatic Change
- Cultural Geographies of Development
- Environmental Justice
- Environmental Protection
- War and Peace in the Middle East
- Wetland Environments
- Landscape and Urban Ecology
- Post-Socialist Transformation: Moscow
- Professional Placement for Geographers
- Regenerating Urban Communities (for Geographers)
- Restoration of Freshwater Systems
- Weather, Climate and Society
- Welfare, Work and Wealth