What is it that comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen, journalist Louis Theroux and former president George W. Bush all have in common? If it weren’t for the title of this page, I doubt most people guess that they all studied history degrees at university.
This is just a glimpse of the diverse opportunities you could go on to access, if you too choose to study history.
This extraordinarily diverse group of graduates – among which Michael Palin and Edward Norton also belong – demonstrates that the study of history can provide a foundation from which to pursue interests in many different fields, be that social politics, human behavior or even international cuisines.
At its core, however, history is the study of past human experience. This study of the past also facilitates insight into present-day situations and future possibilities, contributing to ongoing social development and conflict resolution.
The scope of regions, cultures and historical periods covered by history degrees is vast. If fact, the subject is almost unrestricted – history degree students might focus on representations of women in 19th century art, or perhaps the evolution of advertising in the West, or even the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Whatever the source of your interest in studying history, there’s bound to be a history department somewhere in the world with the resources and expertise to match.
However, the core skills you gain from different history degrees should be the same. These include an ability to analyze various types of cultural artifact, challenge presumptions, identify causal links and trends, conduct independent research, and present your ideas in well-ordered and supported arguments.
Discover the world's top universities for history >