Students exploring HMS

6 June 2024 | Book now

Learn about studying a degree in History, Politics and International Relations at our Taster Afternoon

Our History, Politics and International Relations Taster Afternoon will allow you to ignite a passion for understanding the past, shaping the present and envisioning the future. 

Go on an exciting journey to discover engaging historical lectures, insightful political discussions and interactive sessions into real-world issues. 

At our Taster Afternoon on 6 June 2024 you'll discover the forces that shape our societies and the world at large, and see where you could go with a History, Politics or International Relations degree.

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Taster Day Location

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Guide to Taster Days

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At our History, Politics and International Relations Taster Afternoon you’ll:

  • Pick the areas that you want to find out more about in areas of History, Politics, International Relations and International Development 

  • Learn about England's Tudor past, learning from German experiences, conflict within The Cold War and the role that Nuclear Weapons have in our society

  • Discover degrees that will discuss pressing global issues and challenges including climate change and protecting human rights

  • Spend your afternoon in a city that's bursting with its own fascinating landscape of key historical events

  • Uncover pathways to exciting careers including in politics, security services, museums, publishing and public relations

  • Chat to current students about their experiences at Portsmouth, including the fun side of uni

Why study history at Portsmouth?

Study history in a city that's always been a gateway to the wider world. Meet our academics and students, learn about our placement opportunities, and discover why Portsmouth could be right for you.

Brad Beaven: As students go through the course, you're doing your own research under expert guidance and really producing real history, so it's not a passive type of course, you're going out there doing the research and writing real history.

Beth: BA History is a three year course that gives you loads of scope on what you can research, you can do it with pathways. I did it with Sociology, or you can do it with American Studies.

Brad Beaven: The types of topics we offer on this course are really wide ranging. One week you could be looking at the Opium Wars, Chinese Opium Wars. The following week you'd be looking at Opium Dens in Victorian London, the French Revolution and student revolutions in the 1960s.

Mike Esbester: There are a variety of museums and sites of historic interest that we’re able to take the students to as part of the course. The skills that they develop with us are the ones that employers really look for. So, the ability to analyse critically, produce an argument, make a case, so really practical skills that are really sought after and used in every walk of life. On the course, there are a variety of placement opportunities available. You will work with the Placement and Internship Centre, so a dedicated team who are helping with setting up placements.

Beth: I did a year volunteering at my local museum. I got to work with social sectors that promoted arts and culture. I got to provide walking tours.

Brad Beaven: When we find students come back, they come back with a wholly different attitude to work. They've got real experience in different varieties, so things like PR,

Mike Esbester: law, charities, museums and archive services, i.e. a company that dealt with digitisation.

Brad Beaven: It's a huge opportunity for people to gain those experiences and opportunities.

Beth: I would say to other students to come to Portsmouth because it's just a great city in that you are by the sea. In the summer, it's amazing to go down to the common. The university itself, though, is great in communication, the personal tutors were amazing. Even during my placement, I was kept in contact with my tutor and then throughout the course itself, there are really nice people to get along with.

Mike Esbester: The team are fantastic, really enthusiastic, dedicated and teaching a huge amount of really interesting material about the past.

Brad Beaven: Portsmouth has huge amounts of heritage that gives lots of opportunities for students to do part-time work and job opportunities in that way. Portsmouth is a really student-friendly city.

Mike Esbester: I think the thing that I love most about the course is seeing the current students get it. It's brilliant, really fun and it's a wonderful thing.

Taster Day location and meeting point

We'll meet at Park Building, King Henry I St, PO1 2BZ. Look out for our students in purple T-shirts who'll help direct you.

If you're arriving by coach or minibus, we recommend parking on Museum Road, Portsmouth which is just outside of the Ravelin Sports Centre. For more information on checking in and how to get here, take a look at our guide to taster days page.


Check in opens from 12.45pm at Park Building, King Henry I St, PO1 2BZ

History, politics, international relations and international development shape our society and help us understand the world past and present.

Get an intro to to what's coming up, courses you can study at Portsmouth, and what you can do with a History, Politics or International Relations degree.

*Choose to go to either of the following talks when you save your place.

History and Politics | Rethinking ‘Uncomfortable Pasts’: Learning From The German Experience?

Britain has started to systematically address the legacy of its colonial past through ongoing investigations into the cities and properties that were instrumental to the transatlantic slave trade.

Can Britain learn from the German experience in coming to terms with the legacy of its Nazi past? Discover the debates around how nations address the uncomfortable aspects of their histories. 

History | Speaking Out Against A Tyrant: Challenging The Authority of Henry VIII

Tudor society was fundamentally hierarchical, and obedience was a powerful concept for contemporaries. So what happened when a monarch acted in ways that were seen by his subjects as problematic?

Explore examples of Henry’s subjects speaking out against royal policy, from rude words spoken to neighbours, to printed polemic and propaganda. In doing so, discover the limits to royal authority and the extent to which Henry’s subjects might be seen as a threat to his power.

Quick breather, so grab your refreshments and get ready for the next session.



We'll be blending D Day into today's sessions as we look at 80 years since the historic event took place and integrate the monumental occasion into today's proceedings. 

*Choose to go to either of the following talks when you save your place.

History and Politics | The Battle For Hearts And Minds In The Cold War

At the core of the Cold War was a battle for hearts and minds; convincing people that one system - capitalism or communism - was the "best". This battle was fought from the highest political discussions down to the street.

In this session you'll explore how movies, fiction and sport were used to win people over and investigate how the Cold War inflected in the day to day lives of ordinary people.

International Relations and Politics | Rethinking Aid and Development in the Global South: Does aid really benefit the beneficiary?

On the global scale, the idea of concerted international effort in the provision of aid is attributed to President Truman’s underlying belief that large investment capital together with technical expertise would contribute to growth and development in countries from the Global South. However, 73 years after Truman's famous inaugural speech, countries in the Global South are still dependent on aid from the Global North.

This session will review the debates on how aid perpetuates the Global South’s economic dependency on the Global North.

To conclude our afternoon together, we invite you to put your questions to our lecturers and current students!

This could be about different History, Politics and International Relations degrees, the transition from college to uni, any of the talks you've watched so far, the city of Portsmouth, moving away from home – and/or whatever you want to know about uni.