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BA History and Politics

Start date
September
Duration
3 Years
UCAS code
LV21
Course Type
Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee.
Fees for 2021/22:
£9,250 (UK)
£19,740 (International)
More detail.

If you want to understand the past to prepare for your future in a changing world, studying History is the way forward.  A knowledge of politics helps you to understand what governments do, shedding light on how some of history’s pivotal events were motivated by the political leaders of the day.

Whatever your interests - whether cultural, social, military, political, economic or religious history - there is someone in the department teaching your kind of history. Moreover, historians in other departments in the University expand the range of courses on offer, notably in the fields of Byzantine and African history.

The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) has a broad expertise covering all areas of Political Science allowing you to learn from true specialists, with long-established strengths in the fields of political theory, European politics, international relations theory, security studies, diplomatic studies, political sociology, political economy, environmental politics, Pacific Asian politics and British politics.

Both fields of study help you to acquire important analytical and research skills in your degree. You will be investigating unfamiliar territory throughout your course questioning some of the prevailing myths, preconceptions and prejudices that surround history from the Middle Ages to the present day as well as learning about campaigns, elections, protest movements, policy issues and political ideas. 

COVID-19

Please rest assured that we will make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Information for future students and applicants

My favourite module at the moment covers war all the way from the Crusades until the War on Terrorism. It gives me a real depth of knowledge about the art of war and how it has changed throughout time.

Eve

Why Study this Course?

  • Outstanding teaching experience - 92% of our undergraduate students agreed that our academic staff are good at explaining things and made the subject interesting (NSS 2018).
  • Strong employability - 100% of our students enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017).
  • Excellent learning environment - You will benefit from an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment for your undergraduate studies, focused on ensuring you are a fully supported and active learner. 
  • Fantastic resources - You will have access to a wide variety of resources from the University's Main Library, and the Hilton and Styles Libraries in the Arts Building itself. 
  • Cadbury Research Library - is home to the University of Birmingham’s historic collections of rare books, manuscripts, archives, photographs and associated artefacts. The collections which have been built up over a period of 120 years consist of over 200,000 rare printed books including significant incunabula, as well as over 4 million unique archive and manuscript collections.

Open day talks

Full videos on YouTube of recent undergraduate open day talks relevant to this course:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

Visit our FAQs

Modules

Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2020. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Joint Honours flexibility

Every degree programme at the University is divided into 120 credits of study for each year of the programme. In the first year of a Joint Honours programme, you will study 60 credits in each subject as you learn the core elements of the disciplines. We recognise that students on Joint Honours programmes might come to favour one subject slightly more than another. To account for this, we have added more flexibility into the second and final years of our programmes. In the second year, you can stick with the 60-60 split between the two subjects or shift to a 80-40 credit weighting, effectively a major/ minor combination. You can either go back to 60-60 in the final year, maintain the same 80-40 split or reverse the major and the minor and go to a 40-80 weighting.

First year

History compulsory modules

  • Practising History A: Skills in History (10 credits)
  • Practising History B: Skills in History (10 credits)
  • Discovering the Middle Ages (20 credits)

Optional modules   

  • The Making of the Modern World 1500-1800 (20 credits)
  • The Making of the Contemporary World: Modern History c.1800 to the Present (20 credits)
  • The History of Africa and its Diaspora (20 credits)

Politics compulsory modules

  • Introduction to Political Theory (20 credits)
  • Understanding Politics (20 credits)

Optional Politics module (20 credits)

Descriptions of History modules

Descriptions of Politics modules

Second year  

History

  • 80 credits - Group Research; History Option A; choose two from History Option B, History in Theory and Practice, Research Methods or *Professional Skills *please note: places on this module are limited   
  • 60 credits - Group Research; History Option A; choose from either History in Theory and Practice, Research Methods or *Professional Skills *please note: places on this module are limited   
  • 40 credits - Group Research; History Option A

Descriptions of History modules

Politics

  • 80 credits - Analysing Political Worlds; Race, Empire and Modern Political Theory; optional modules
  • 60 credits - Analysing Political Worlds; Race, Empire and Modern Political Theory; optional modules
  • 40 credits - Analysing Political Worlds; Race, Empire and Modern Political Theory

Descriptions of Politics modules

Year abroad

You can apply to study abroad for a year in an approved university around the world. If you achieve a grade of 2.1 or above in your first year then you will be invited to apply for a Year Abroad in your second year. If your application is successful, you will go abroad in your third year and return to us for your final year. Find out more.

Final year

History

  • 80 credits - History Dissertation or Special Subject A and B; Advanced optional modules
  • 60 credits - History Dissertation or Special Subject A and B; Advanced optional module
  • 40 credits - History Dissertation or Special Subject A and B

Descriptions of History modules

Politics

  • 80 credits - either Politics Dissertation and optional modules or Politics Dissertation and optional modules; or neither and choose optional modules 
  • 60 credits - either Politics Dissertation and optional module or Politics Dissertation and optional modules; or neither and choose optional modules 
  • 40 credits - either Politics Dissertation or Politics Dissertation and optional module; or neither and choose optional modules 

Descriptions of Politics modules

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2021, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:

  • UK: £9,250
  • International: £19,740

Eligibility for fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.


Tuition fees when studying abroad

For those spending a whole academic year abroad (where available):

  • Students who are classed as UK for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as International for fee purposes are required to pay 50% of their normal annual tuition fee

For those studying abroad for just one semester (where available), normal annual tuition fees apply.

Note - Study abroad opportunities vary between courses; please see the course description for details of study abroad options offered.

How To Apply

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
AAB
Required subjects and grades:
A Level History, Medieval History or Ancient History at grade A.

IB Diploma:
6,6,5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall.

BTEC qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM, plus an A at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Diploma: DD, plus an A at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D, plus AB at A-level, including an A in the required A-level subject/s mentioned above.

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.

International Students

We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

As far as I know, this is a unique case. I think you’ll agree that it’s exceptional in many ways, but historians often undertake micro-histories of cases like this in order to expose some of the more generally relevant conditions of the past.

Professor Karen Harvey

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to higher education when you start at Birmingham. 

Personal tutors – You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.

Wellbeing Officers –You will also have access to dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or to talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond if you need it.

Our Academic Skills Centre helps you to become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.

The Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) provides guidance on writing essays and dissertations if you need it. You can receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects too.

Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They offer research opportunities, study skills support, and help you prepare for your post-university career. They also organise social events, including trips.

Teaching staff

Students at the University of Birmingham are taught by a mixture of professors, senior lecturers, lecturers and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

You can find out more about the members of staff (including their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest) in their academic profiles linked below.

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials, to self-study and peer group learning (for example preparing and delivering presentations with your classmates).

To begin with you may find this way of working challenging, but rest assured that we?ll enable you to make this transition. You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues, and a formal transition review during your first year to check on your progress and offer you help for any particular areas where you need support.

Contact hours

On the History side of your degree, you can expect 4 contact hours per week in your first year, about 3.5 to 4 in your second year and about 3.5 to 4.5 in your final year depending on the focus of your dissertation.

On the Politics side of your degree, you can expect approximately 6 hours per week in your first and second year, with 1 lecture and 1 seminar for each of your 3 modules. In final year, you can expect roughly 2 contact hours per module, not including the dissertation.

Assessment Methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • coursework, such as essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • and formal exams

Feedback - you will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.

Year one

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year two

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year three

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

100% of our students enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017). 

As a History and Politics student you will have an excellent opportunity to develop skills that are attractive to employers, including:

  • Strong communication skills
  • A deep understanding of the past
  • The ability to research, analyse and interpret complex information
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Handling complex information
  • The ability to form concise and articulate arguments
  • Managing your time and prioritising your workload

These are key skills that will enable you to pursue either further study in History or Political Science disciplines or move into employment in a wide range of other careers. Our graduates have gone on to careers in: 

  • Accountancy
  • Charity work
  • Housing
  • Human Resources
  • International Development
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Publishing
  • Politics
  • Retail Management
  • Teaching
  • Library and Archive work
  • Postgraduate study 

Developing your career

There is a range of opportunities through our Careers Network and beyond. For example, our innovative Cultural Internships offer graduates the opportunity for a six-month paid internship at a leading cultural institution in the West Midlands. These internships will give you professional experience to set you apart in a competitive graduate market.

Current partners include Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, and the Library of Birmingham. There are also internships available at the University’s own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

There are regular events each year covering careers in teaching, events management, working with charities and more, to help you meet potential employers and learn more about a range of sectors.

There are also summer internship opportunities and work experience bursaries, which allow you to apply for funding to support you during any unpaid internships.

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you may want to engage in extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and your network of contacts.

Our College of Arts and Law Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project run by one of our researchers in drama and theatre. You gain work experience over the summer after your first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.

Our employer-endorsed Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

There are also a huge number of student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students, our students’ union, which cover a wide variety of interests across drama and the arts.

With more than 300 societies and groups at The Guild, there is something for everyone.If your interest does not yet have a group, then The Guild will support you to set it up and find likeminded individuals to join you.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities