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BA (Hons)

History and Politics

Study how societies change and develop

VL12UCAS code 3yrsfull time 1yrplacement option

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

Are you interested in the connections between today's politics and their wider historical contexts? This course allows you to examine, question and analyse the primary materials, both historical and political, and encourages you to specialise in particular controversies.

What will I experience?

In this course you can:

  • Explore current debates about the past and how it is interpreted with expert scholars in the field
  • Tailor your course to reflect your particular interests
  • Undertake work or research placements, volunteer roles and internships alongside your study or opt to spend a sandwich year working at home or abroad

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course will equip you with skills that are easily transferable to the workplace such as effective communication, organisation and teamwork. You will have the qualities to go into a range of careers such as publishing, marketing, PR as well as roles in the business sector.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • journalism
  • law
  • teaching
  • administration
  • archive and museum work
Stephan Yates, BA (Hons) History student

With the History Department having such an excellent reputation, it seemed clear that Portsmouth would be the ideal university for me.

Stephan Yates, history student

Want to start this course in 2017?

Apply through UCAS Clearing

Our entry requirements may be different during Clearing

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Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score A LEVELS
96-120 points from 3 A levels or equivalent, to include 32 points from A level History. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications

96-120 points from 3 A levels or equivalent, to include 32 points from A level History. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications


UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*

International students
2017/18 entry: full time: £12,600 p/a**

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 5566
School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
Programme specification


History, Politics and Social Studies

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The diverse spread of subjects offered and ability to complete your own research
  • The critical thinking, analytical and debating skills you’ll develop
  • The passionate lecturers with a wide range of specialist research expertise

Browse all courses in History, Politics and Social Studies

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

  • Historical Methods
  • Society and Culture in Twentieth Century Europe
  • Introduction to Political Thought
  • Introduction to Governance and Politics
  • History Skills Foundation
  • Global Issues

Year two

  • Masses and Modernity, 1750-1914  
  • Comparative Politics

Options may include:

  • Crime, Sin and Punishment in Britain, 1500-1850
  • Democratisation in Latin America
  • Europe's Maritime Empire 1600-1800
  • Fighting over Europe
  • From Revolution to Dictatorship - Russia and the Soviet Union 1917-1941
  • German Unity and Its Consequences
  • In Darkest England: Culture and Conflict in the City (1790-1860)
  • Key Issues in Development
  • Policy and Politics - Analysing Public Policy
  • Race, Slavery and Emancipation in the Americas
  • Rum, Sodomy & the Lash: Outlaws at Sea 1600-1800
  • US Government and Politics
  • History Workplace Experience
  • Languages (University Wide Option)
  • Learning from Experience (Faculty Wide Option)

Year three

  • Dissertation: an independent research project, in either History or Politics
  • Modern Political Ideologies
  • EITHER Democracy & Democratisation OR Strategic and Security Studies
  • History Special Subject I & II. These units will allow you to conduct an in-depth study on a specific topic, using both primary and secondary sources

Teaching and Assessment

Our teaching approach involves lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You will be expected to participate fully in group discussions and projects, as well as develop and apply word processing skills. You will be allocated a personal tutor who will guide you through study skills, research management and dissertation work during your three years of study.

How are you assessed?

We use a range of assessment methods including essays, close textual analysis, presentations and a dissertation. The final classification of your degree award is determined by your overall performance in the second and third year.

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Monitor Facilities & Features

The Study Centre

A suite of rooms with a comfy seating area, desks where you can work, printers, Mac workstations and access to the wireless network so you can log in using your own laptop. There are also several study rooms where you can work on group projects, alongside access to the University 3rd Space.

Research-Active Staff

You will be taught by specialist staff who are actively undertaking research in this field, ensuring your learning keeps you abreast of the latest developments. Staff are members of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), the UK's largest research centre of its kind.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

There may be travel costs for placements undertaken during your course. This will be in the region of £500.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

Employers value History and Politics graduates because they know that they bring a wide range of highly developed and useful skills to the job. As a graduate from Portsmouth, you will have skills that are easily transferable to the workplace, such as the ability to analyse and manage large quantities of information, to research in groups or independently and write in a concise and informative fashion. You will also leave with excellent communications skills, qualities that are essential for the modern graduate.

You’ll also possess a firm foundation to study at Master’s or PhD level should you want to continue with your research.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • archivist
  • recruitment consultant
  • museum curator
  • public relations officer
  • information analyst

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunities
Employment boosting opportunities

During your time at Portsmouth, there are plenty of opportunities to gain paid and unpaid work experience alongside your studies.  For example, the School of Social Historical and Literary Studies offers a number of internships: students can gain valuable experience in a range of local organizations during their degree course. Current internships include placements at the National Museum of the Royal Navy; the New Theatre Royal, and the office of a local MP.

This course also allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option, which means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you’re involved in alongside your study.

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Our next Open Day is Saturday 7 October 2017

Book now

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