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This programme is offered jointly by our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology and our Department of Politics, which gives you the opportunity to study current political ideas and events in combination with an understanding of the wider historical context of the modern world. The study of history and politics develops the ability to understand how people lived, acted and thought in the past, and the ways in which they act politically in the present. We encourage you to assess written and material evidence, to question accepted histories and explanations, and to construct and present your own arguments. The course includes a wide variety of options across both disciplines, from the history of Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Britain, to the study of social and political theory, the analysis of authoritarianism and repressive regimes, and parliamentary democratic practice. You will gain a mix of skills drawn from the two disciplines: the ability to analyse data of different types, to understand the context and meaning of events, and to relate the study of the past to current political issues and developments. The degree provides a mix of core modules which establish disciplinary approaches and methods, and a choice of option modules that allow you to pursue particular themes that interest you. This course is also available for part-time evening study over four years.
Arts and humanities at Birkbeck are ranked fifth best in London, 18th in the UK and 87th globally in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject. Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), History at Birkbeck was ranked sixth in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent. 94% of our eligible staff submitted research and we achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research. Our wide-ranging programmes encompass fascinating periods and areas of study, from human prehistory through to classical civilisation, the medieval and early modern periods, and on to twenty-first-century history, politics and international relations. Our Department of Politics is over 40 years old and has a reputation for the excellence of its teaching and its internationally significant research. Our new survey course options in history range from the ancient to the contemporary world and will introduce you to the key themes you need to know about when studying the past. In keeping with our tradition of teaching an impressive chronological breadth within one department, these modules cover the time from prehistory to the present, moving across continents and cultures. In parallel with these cutting-edge surveys, we offer a range of compulsory ‚How to’ modules which bring you together with academic staff to explore the study of the past and develop the skills needed to research and write history. Every year, as you build your studies and progress towards your degree, you will take one of these courses, helping you to develop your own unique perspective on the past. Both the survey courses and our ‘How to’ courses run annually so that it doesn’t matter whether you study part-time or full-time with us – you will be able to make the most of them. The programme consists of 12 modules of 30 credits each, for a total of 360 credits. There are three kinds of module: compulsory Level 4 modules in core skills; Level 5 option modules which develop knowledge across broad areas of study; and Level 6 option modules which provide focused study on advanced topics. You take a balance of modules between the two disciplines. In Year 1, you take two compulsory history modules and two compulsory politics modules. In Year 2, you take one compulsory history module and choose one Level 5 compulsory politics module from either Contemporary British Politics OR Transformations in Modern Politics, one Level 5 history option module and a Level 6 politics option module. In Year 3, you choose a Level 6 history option module, a Level 6 politics option module and two additional Level 6 option modules from either history or politics. Graduates can pursue careers in journalism, education and politics. This degree may also be useful in becoming a higher education lecturer, museum/gallery curator, civil service fast-streamer or charity officer. We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.