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Teaching and learning

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Research-led teaching

History at Warwick has a formidable reputation: for research, insight, and passion for the subject, we’re held in high, international regard. Much of this is due to our acclaimed academics – we’re outstanding historians in our fields, and we’ll be the ones you’ll learn alongside.

We are deeply committed to our teaching, which is shaped by the research we do. Your dissertation in the final year, in particular, gives you a great opportunity to work closely with experts to develop your own piece of original historical research.

matt_woodrow__110.jpg"It's been fun to know that the history I’m studying is not simply sourced from a textbook. History at Warwick is inspired by what inspires the tutors in their research which means not only is the content at the cutting-edge, but that they can be genuinely passionate about what they are teaching - something that’s often harder to find in school."

Matt Woodrow, History student and blogger

Challenge your thinking

On your degree you’ll be exposed to topics that are far removed from any A level syllabus, alongside the well-established themes in political, religious, cultural or social history. It’ll be demanding, and intellectually challenging, but you’ll enjoy where this approach will take you. You’ll be taught in a variety of ways, through a combination of lectures, seminars, and tutorials alongside assigned reading. Our tutors also use film, visits to archives, libraries and museums, and other types of field trips to bring modules to life. This is best exemplified by our tutors in Venice, who use the city, its geography, and its art and architecture in their teaching.

Our modules are divided into two types: core modules required for all students and optional modules. For core modules in first year there are usually two lectures and an hour-long seminar per week, and for optional modules one lecture per week plus weekly or fortnightly seminars. During your third year study is heavily weighted towards seminar teaching and includes an individually supervised 9,000-word dissertation. We consider feedback on written work to be an essential part of our teaching. Throughout the year you will have the opportunity to attend feedback tutorials following the submission of your essays.

Staff research areas

Our History Department was ranked first in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) for the proportion of world-leading research activity (4*) in the Department. Here's a snapshot of some of our academics' areas of expertise.

I teach courses on the political history of modern Africa, the Cold War in Africa, and the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya. I'm best known for my publications on colonial Kenya, and especially my involvement as an expert-witness in the High Court trial of 2012, in which the British government admitted to tortures of Kenyan suspects in the 1950s. I'm also an authority on current terrorism in Africa, and have published several important papers on Al-Shabaab and its activities in eastern Africa. My current research examines the history of empire and violence over the 19th and 20th centuries.

Professor David Anderson

I am interested in the political culture of Britain and its colonies, from the sixteenth century Reformation to ninteenth century reform. I am currently researching and writing a book about corruption over that period and working closely with Transparency International, the leading global anti-corruption body. I mainly teach seventeenth and eighteenth century British history, including the second year option ‘Politics, Literature and Ideas in Stuart England’ and the final year option 'The Birth of Modern Society? Britain 1660-1720.

Professor Mark Knights

I'm a historian of medicine, health and the body. Happily, this is a pretty expansive remit, one that allows me to study almost anything I find interesting: politics, lifestyles, social conventions, technologies, industries... you name it. Currently I'm exploring the cultural history of Britain’s National Health Service. We can find traces of the NHS everywhere in British culture, from ‘Carry on’ films to public health campaigns to current reality TV, but most previous histories of the NHS focus on its politics, rather than the way it has physically and socially shaped British lives for the past 70 years.

Professor Roberta Bivins