This integrated degree brings together the two complementary disciplines of politics and history. We combine the teaching of comparative 20th century politics and political ideas with modern global, political and social history, with a focus on Britain, Europe and America.
Examining past issues of conflict, poverty, marginalised communities, environment and gender throughout history will aim to enhance your understanding of today’s socio-political problems and associated decision-making.
We have an outstanding track record for graduate employability – an average of 97% employed or in further study six months after graduating. The development of academic and professional skills valued by employers is embedded into the course. You should improve your powers of reason, judgment, critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving.
Combining the study of history and politics, you will be taught how power, authority, dissent and violence influence governance and impact of society, comparing historical events to understand how and why things change.
In the second and third year, you can tailor your course by choosing from a wide range of optional modules, studying specific periods and places in history or political movements.
You could choose to explore the developing area of environmental history, which examines the impact of humans on the natural world over time. We will consider a broad range of issues, including the birth and impact of environmental groups and Green parties, together with the debates surrounding climate change and humanity’s ethical relationship with the natural world.
Alternatively, you may wish to examine in more detail the major political ideologies of the 20th century in Britain, Europe, North America and the Third World.We look at the political effect of 10 influential ideological currents on political parties, movements and the policies and legislation of governments – conservatism, Christian Democracy, far right populism/neo-fascism, liberalism, socialism, the New Left, feminism, ecologism, political Islam and anti-colonialism.
Why choose this course?
Studying history and politics together provides you with a more robust understanding of each area, deepening your understanding of past events, political actions and the lessons learned through history.
Our highly-accomplished and multidisciplinary teaching team includes respected authors and experts in the politics and history of Britain, Germany, Italy, the Middle East, Africa and North America. They will share knowledge of security studies, social theory, development, peace studies, foreign policy analysis, national and international politics and the history of international political thought.
We will explore some of the 20th century’s most defining historical events – from women’s suffrage in Britain to the American civil rights movement. We’ll examine the strengths and weaknesses of different political systems, use and abuse of power, democracy, human rights and more.
We maintain a strong relationship with the local city councils and the Houses of Parliament, organising a range of guest talks from the people involved in contemporary politics and international relations. This has previously included British MPs, high commissioners from African states and speakers from major global corporations. Recent topics have included ‘Britain and the EU’, ‘Women in Politics’ and ‘Ethnic Diversity in Politics’.
You’ll also have the option to spend a year on professional placement, applying your academic skills within the workplace and gaining valuable work experience. Past students have spent time with an MP’s office, working for local government, for historical societies like The Herbert Art Gallery and organisations such as The British Council.
The course provides an excellent foundation to pursue a range of careers in the public, private and voluntary sectors within areas like local administration, communications, diplomacy, intelligence, development or international organisations.
International experience opportunities
This course has an inherently international perspective, studying the history and contemporary politics of a range of countries from around the world. The course is taught by both British and non-British staff and a regular proportion of students are recruited from the EU and overseas, providing a multicultural learning experience.
We are keen to provide an internationalised student experience, so will also support you if you wish to study abroad and have links with some of the most prestigious European universities, such as the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy (ICD) in Berlin, Science Po in Bordeaux, the University of Heidelberg in Germany and the University of Lundt in Sweden. If you do not speak a foreign language, we can arrange a study year at an institution where courses are taught in English.
We organise an annual study trip abroad to a range of different destinations. For example, previous students have travelled to the United States to visit the Houses of Congress, the Pentagon, the Supreme Court, Ground Zero and the Constitutional Hall of Philadelphia. Another group spent a week in Sicily examining how the anti-mafia organisation Libera has been working to combat organised crime.
The skills and knowledge gained on this degree can lead to careers in government, business, media, lobbying, campaigning, voluntary organisations and international organisations like the United Nations (UN) or the European Commission.
Throughout the course, your academic study will be combined with broad-based skills development. When you graduate, you’ll have developed a range of transferrable skills, which are highly valued by employers, including excellent communications, critical thinking and analysis, strong presentation and listening skills.
Our Creative Futures employment team is on hand to offer tailored career and enterprise support if you wish to gain employment or take advantage of professional practice opportunities within course specific industries. You’ll have access to a designated employability officer who can advise you on career opportunities and give support to help you develop tailor-made job applications.