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What will I study?

What will I study?

Studying History at Royal Holloway opens the way to a surprisingly wide world of the past, from Ancient Greece to modern China. We’re proud of our diverse curriculum which offers strong support for gender, minority, and queer histories.

The study of History ensures that the past remains alive, dynamic, controversial, and ever relevant. It is the study of justice and injustice, innovation and continuity, freedom and oppression, race and religion, ideas and ideologies, exploration and discovery, health and illness, sex and death, architecture and art, literature and music. History shows us how our own world came into being, but it also brings to life worlds that have long since disappeared and so stretches our imaginations about possibilities in the present and in the future. “The past is a foreign country”, as L. P. Hartley wrote in The Go-Between (1953), “they do things differently there.”

One of the reasons why we at Royal Holloway think history is so relevant today is that our discipline helps us to appreciate the plurality of people and the diversity of human experience. History introduces us to people from other times and other places, and through studying their histories, we are better placed to understand what diversity means in practice and hopefully we can then translate these insights into a better grasp of the pluralistic world in which we all live.

To be a historian is to be curious and imaginative: ready to question, to challenge and to learn. These are the qualities that we want you to develop during your time at Royal Holloway. You will graduate with a degree in a very respected academic discipline and a repertoire of key skills in critical thinking, interpretation, and communication.

Our students have exciting opportunities to make a difference. For example, they have played a key role in The Citizens Project, a Heritage Lottery Fund project that runs a widely-watched YouTube channel and has influenced how History is taught in schools. Come and join our community of staff and students in a department with an international reputation for its research and teaching. Far from being backward-looking or rooted in the past, studying History is the ultimate passport to the future.

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