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BA in History

Engaging with India’s myriad pasts to understand ourselves in relationship with the world. 


The study of history teaches us that the past is always contested. In India, we encounter these myriad contested pasts in our everyday lives.

The History programme aims to inculcate historical consciousness amongst its students. It prepares students to examine the past in a clear, comprehensive, and critical manner. Our courses will familiarize students with different periods and themes within Indian history. We train students to examine historical arguments and claims independently to assess their validity. Students are exposed to a range of primary sources, such as inscriptions, texts, architecture, and the archives. We also teach students to communicate History in diverse contexts, across different platforms, and to speak to History from their own experiences.

Visit our History microsite for further details of the programme, links to digital archives and other interesting online sources of history.


Our degree encourages you to explore and follow your interests. We design our courses to ensure that you can specialise in a subject of your choice while learning a variety of subjects across disciplines.


You will meet all your classmates at the beginning of your degree to build all the tools you need for your three years of study. This includes foundational courses, an understanding of India, interdisciplinary studies, and a workshop in creative expressions.


We provide active academic assistance and ensure that you are able to meet the requirements of the academic programme to fulfil your aspirations.


We ensure that no student has to drop out of university because of financial trouble or social disadvantage. We provide financial assistance to deserving students.

Image Credit: Dr Sharmadip Basu

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Course structure

In our classrooms, we train you to grow familiar with different kinds of archives and primary sources that make up the practice of history. We will explore different theoretical and empirical fields of enquiry within the discipline. We believe that it is important to understand the past as an active part of material and discursive lives.

We bring in opportunities for practicing history with some archaeology, oral history, heritage and folklore. Our courses have an interdisciplinary openness, bringing in sociology, economics, environmental science, political science, cultural studies and literature into our examination of history. You will learn about different historical periods across specific topics that examine society, culture, politics, religion and ecology. We will study different times and spaces and take a close look at the lives of marginalised communities. These courses will train you to think historically, working with facts to analyse and critically evaluate the past in relation to the present.

We will train you to read, write and think critically, and to examine ideas of ethical responsibility and action. Reading and writing matter not only for your study of history but for future careers, and written and oral communication across a range of platforms are an important part of this programme.

BA in History (84 credits)

This is elementary for the undergraduate degree with a Major in History.

BA in History with Honours (96 credits)

We offer you the opportunity to take up an additional research project around a topic and work closely with a member of the faculty to write a thesis.

You will meet all your classmates at the beginning of the year for these set of courses. These courses help you understand the broader contexts of each discipline and the porous borders between them. We help you build all the tools you will need for your years of study in the undergraduate programme. 

We introduce you to different modes of thought and themes, including writing and communication skills, strong critical abilities, a facility for language, and the ability to connect ideas across fields of study and inquiry.

We encourage you to make links between your chosen field of study and the world in which we live.

  • Foundations

    These courses will help you develop a toolkit to prepare for your undergraduate study. You will develop your critical reading and writing skills and communication abilities.

    The key areas you will work on are language capacities, reading, writing and speaking. We will work with different forms of writing, ranging from autobiographical writing to mappings and note-taking. These classes will include classroom discussions, presentations, collaborative works, group work and practicums.

  • Creative Expressions

    In this set of courses, you will explore embodied ways of learning through a sustained practice of an art form or a sport. You could choose from a variety of interests including, but not limited to woodwork, martial arts, music, theatre, dance, yoga and visual art.

  • Understanding India

    In these courses, we will explore the nature and diversity of the Indian experience. We study the vast diversity of historical, cultural and linguistic aspects that define Indianness.

    You will learn to understand how the subcontinent has changed in its environment, across geography, geology and territory. We will think together about debates on the people who live here, their culture, and the larger questions around population and inequality. Most importantly, we examine the many structures that organise Indian society.

  • Interdisciplinary Studies

    You can choose one interdisciplinary area of study of four courses and a field practice of two weeks. These courses are about current Indian and global scenarios, whether social, political, cultural or ecological conditions.

    • Development

      Development aims to create social conditions for individual and social well being. How are development issues framed and what issues are involved in bringing about social change? What are the theoretical, conceptual and practical contestations around the political project that is development? This set of courses explores the many interdisciplinary fields like the humanities, social sciences, science and technology that inform development challenges.

    • Education

      In this set of courses, you will learn the nature and content of education, and its context and structure, especially in India. We begin by a broad overview of what a democratic conception of education entails, and what the values and ethics that define educational structures are. We examine aspects of education that encourage learning and the role of a teacher in the learning process. will explore and evaluate classroom practices and environments and learn how educational processes determine what is worth teaching.

    • Media and Democracy

      Over the course of time, human communication has been mediated by market-driven technology and gadgets. In turn, these forms of communications shape the public sphere in which ideas of what we are circulate. Modernity has had a close relationship with communication technologies.

      This is a set of courses to help you understand what role media and technologies play in shaping democracy, democratic policies and publics in India. We live in a world of unprecedented access to information. Media and communication have the capacity to deepen democracy but also the ability to foster anti-democratic politics.

    • Climate Studies

      These courses will help you develop the knowledge necessary to understand the earth’s climate systems. You will examine and analyse the role of human activity on the earth’s climate and its effects on the present and future climate scenarios, and identify the effects of climate change on biodiversity through the lens of historical changes in the Holocene. We hope you will apply systems thinking to examine the origins of the climate crisis and proposed solutions and grow comfortable with civic engagement and transfer of knowledge and resources for climate solutions at different levels.

    • Data, Democracy and Development

      The set of courses will orient you to think about data as an essential part of building empathy and democratic values. We ensure you have the requisite tools for data collection, analysis, presentation, and dissemination so that you can construct the right platforms and build technologies that embody democratic principles. These courses will foster a culture of investigation with data, keeping in mind questions of ethics and politics.

      • Development as Freedom

        Common Curriculum

        Build a broad based perspective on poverty, inequality, social policies and constitutional principles using the capabilities approach.

Core courses develop domain knowledge, hone methodological skills, and teach key historiographical debates, with a focus on reading, writing, and critical thinking.

An important aspect of our course is that we believe it is important not only to understand the role of history in society but to preserve and conserve historical knowledge. The role of tradition and heritage whether in museums of urban planning, or art and architecture in archives and folklore, or oral histories, are a very important part of this programme. 

These elective courses are for you to pursue a particular interest in a set of themes or methods to deepen your knowledge of history as a discipline. We have thematically oriented courses across historical periods. 

You can choose two elective courses each semester that are on offer. You are required to take a mix of writing courses, or a field and practice based course. 

  • Economy, Labour, and Environmental Histories

    Using well-established historiographic approaches and subfields in the discipline of history, this set of courses explore key social, economic and political processes that have had impacted labouring peoples and historically marginalised social groups across time.

  • Intellectual and Cultural Histories

    This is a set of courses that look at the meta questions of history and the everyday and material aspects of social life across different time periods. These courses explore intellectual and conceptual history, the history of ideas, the philosophy of history and historiography. These courses are concerned with theoretical movements in the humanities and social sciences, especially anthropology which looks at culture.

  • Public Histories

    In these courses, you will explore the interface between disciplinary aspects of history and the popular dissemination through media. You will also explore contemporary practices of historical preservation, from documents to monuments.

    We hope these courses will help you communicate history for popular audiences. You will explore a wide range of practices in history, from ‘guide’ narratives, folklore and oral history to institutional practices.

  • Global and Connected Histories

    Courses in this cluster of electives will expose students to history in an interconnected and global perspective. They break away from a nationalist mooring of the discipline of history (and its implicit Eurocentrism) to ask questions about shifting territorial and fluvial frontiers, oceanic worlds, diasporas and migrations, and the travel of people, cultures, and ideas across the globe.

We offer you the opportunity to take up an additional research project around a topic and work closely with a member of the faculty to write a thesis. This includes a practice element in which you will work with data visualisation, cataloguing, collection, archiving, surveying and preserving historical materials. 

You will need to complete 12 additional credits.

Total 96 credits