History with Politics students using primary sources
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019


There's no better place to combine a study of history with politics than in Portsmouth, a city where there are reminders of the past around every corner.

On this BA (Hons) History with Politics degree, you’ll explore the past and bring it to life, through practical study. You’ll pick the periods of time that interest you most in British and global history, and develop your research and analysis skills. You'll also study the challenges that politicians and the public face in today’s world, as well as the historic flash points that led to the current governance of our society.

After the course, you'll have sought-after qualities you can transfer to the workplace in roles that involve analysis, research, communication and teamwork. 

What you'll experience

On this degree course you’ll:

  • Tailor your studies to your interests and the periods of history that excite you most
  • Have access to primary and secondary historical sources through local organisations and archive subscriptions
  • Increase your understanding of the seismic political events that have occurred in recent years, such as the conflict in Syria, the ongoing tension on the Korean peninsula and the challenges facing the NHS
  • Learn from staff who are members of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), the UK's largest research centre of its kind
  • Explore the current political climate from a range of thought-provoking perspectives
  • Work with your peers and experienced academics to research and analyse various sources of conflict in the modern world, including poverty, the role of government and the limits of human rights
  • Enhance your studies by taking advantage of our close links with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Records Service and the D-Day Museum
  • Explore current debates about the past and how it's interpreted, with expert scholars
  • Study in a city that has played a major role in the history of Britain

You can also:

  • Publish your work in our student journal, adding your insights to a wider audience
  • Diversify your skill set by learning another language as part of your course
  • Immerse yourself in another culture by studying abroad

Careers and opportunities

Employers from every area of industry value history and politics graduates. When you complete the course, you'll have the ability to analyse and manage large amounts of information, communicate effectively, research in groups or independently, and write in a concise and informative way.

Previous graduates have gone on to pursue role in areas such as:

  • journalism
  • law
  • teaching
  • politics
  • administration
  • the heritage sector
  • publishing
  • research for media production companies

Roles they've taken on include:

  • archivist
  • museum curator
  • public relations officer
  • information analyst
  • politician's assistant
  • public affair consultant
  • social researcher
  • conference producer
  • local government administrator

You could also continue your studies at Master's or PhD level.

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry. After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) History with Politics course

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units being studied in 2018

Core units in this year include:

  • Historical Methods
  • Problems & Perspectives
  • Society & Culture in 20th Century Europe
  • The Early Modern World
  • History at University
  • History Beyond University

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Introduction to Historical Research
  • Masses and Modernity: 1750-1914

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • The Way to the Stars
  • Being British
  • Ruins, Revolutions & Reunification Post-War Germany
  • Europe's Maritime Empires
  • Rum, Sodomy and the Lash
  • WW1 Social and Gender History
  • In Darkest England: Culture, Conflict & City
  • Crime, Sin and Punishment
  • Learning from Experience (LiFE)
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Public History Placement
  • International Politics of the Middle East
  • Ideology and Politics
  • Russian and Eurasian Politics
  • Revolution to Dictatorship: Russia and USSR

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Dissertation
  • History Special Subject

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Looking for Utopia, Finding Dystopia? Ideas and Ideologies in the New Millennium
  • Regional Powers, Politics an Security in a Multi-Polar World
  • Protest, Dissent and Solidarity Beyond Borders
  • Democracy and Democratisation

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies and build your CV. Previous students have done projects for community groups and worked with political parties and local government.

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

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

    We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

    Learning support

    As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

    ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

    • academic writing
    • note taking
    • time management
    • critical thinking
    • presentation skills
    • referencing
    • working in groups
    • revision, memory and exam techniques

    If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.

    Support with English

    If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free English for Academic Purposes programme to improve your English further.


    Teaching methods on this course include:

    • lectures
    • workshops
    • seminars
    • one-on-one tutorials

    There's an emphasis on learning the skills to conduct your own research, follow your own initiative, and confidently present your ideas.

    How you'll spend your time

    Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

    • September to December – teaching block 1
    • January – assessment period 1
    • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
    • May to June – assessment period 2

    Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

    There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

    How you're assessed

    You’ll be assessed through:

    • essays
    • articles reviews
    • briefing papers
    • projects
    • close textual analysis
    • group and individual presentations
    • a dissertation

    You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

    You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

    Entry requirements​

    To do this degree, you need to apply for the BA (Hons) History course. This is because it's a 'pathway' degree.

    You’ll study History in depth and add Politics as a complementary subject in years 2 and 3. You’ll graduate with a BA (Hons) History with Politics degree when you finish the course.

    These are the entry requirements for the BA (Hons) History course.

    Entry requirements

    Qualifications or experience
    • 96-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, to include History.

    See the other qualifications we accept

    English language requirements
    • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

    See alternative English language qualifications

    ​Course costs

    Tuition fees (2019 start)

    • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
    • International students – £13,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

    Additional course costs

    These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

    Additional costs

    Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

    You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

    You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

    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.

    You’ll need to cover additional costs, such as travel costs, if you take an optional placement or placement abroad.

    These costs will vary depending on the location and duration of the placement, and can range from £50 to £1000.


    You need to choose BA (Hons) History when you apply for this course, because this is a ‘pathway’ course. This is where you study History in depth and add Politics as a complementary subject in years 2 and 3. You’ll then graduate with a BA (Hons) History with Politics degree when you complete the course.

    If you change your mind after you apply, you can choose not to study Politics in years 2 and 3. You’ll then graduate with a BA (Hons) History degree when you complete the course.

    How to apply

    Want to start this course in 2019?

    To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 5 September. You’ll need:

    • the UCAS course code – V100
    • our institution code – P80

    Not quite ready to apply?

    Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

    If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

    How to apply from outside the UK

    If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

    To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

    Admissions terms and conditions

    When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.