Civil rights march on Washington, D.C. / [WKL]. Original black and white negative by Warren K. Leffler. Taken August 28th, 1963, Washington D.C, United States (@libraryofcongress). Colorized by Jordan J. Lloyd. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

History and Politics BA (Hons)

Study a BA (Hons) History and Politics degree with a central theme of 'changing the world' - one that will equip you to address today's global challenges including social justice, inequality and migration. You'll explore the impact of key moments in global politics, in the past and the present, through studying a combination of interdisciplinary and specialist modules in both subjects.

University of Portsmouth Connected Degree - 3 year course with 4th year placement

Key information

UCAS code:


Typical offer:

96-112 UCAS points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
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Showing content for section Overview


Discover how the politics of the past have shaped the world we know today. On this BA (Hons) History and Politics degree, you'll retrace the political and social conflicts, revolutions and protest movements of yesterday in order to make sense of the here and now and create positive change.

Travel back to pivotal political moments in time from around the globe guided by our expert academics. Craft your own learning experience by choosing to study the historical and political subjects and eras that most inspire you, such as the French Revolution, post war Britain and Germany, or the American Civil Rights Movement.

As this is an interdisciplinary course, each year you'll also study a bespoke combined history and politics module as well as delving into each subject separately.

Through the course's overarching theme of 'changing the world', you'll use what you learn to rethink modern societal issues, such as social justice, racial and gender equality, and global migration.

You'll graduate with an insight into the powers and processes that have formed today's societies and how positive changes are made. Armed with this understanding of the past, you'll be empowered to address the challenges of the future. 

The University of Portsmouth is ranked the number 1 modern university for research quality in Area Studies

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

Read more about our excellent research in Area Studies

Course highlights

  • Study two fascinating and interwoven subjects from 1750 to today, through combined interdisciplinary modules and specialist modules in each subject area
  • Bring new perspectives to contemporary social issues – such as social justice, human rights and environmentalism – through your studies, supported by the course's overarching theme of 'changing the world'
  • Customise your course by choosing your own topics to focus on in years two and three - from censorship in modern Britain to the Opium War, from Nazi Germany to digital democracy, from the American Republic to anti-racism in the 20th century
  • Immerse yourself in Portsmouth's rich heritage, thanks to our close links with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Records Service and the D-Day Museum
  • Learn from staff who are members of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), the UK's largest research centre specialising in humanities and social sciences
  • Go on field trips to locations such as the Houses of Parliament and heritage sites on the south coast
  • Participate in an interactive mock UN meeting called 'Model United Nations' and take on the role of a specific country
  • Choose to spend a year building experience on a work placement at a museum, law firm, government department, charity or other organisation of interest after your second or third year on this Connected Degree - we're the only UK university to offer flexible sandwich placements for undergraduates
  • Take up an exchange opportunity at a university outside the UK, such as University of Prince Edward Island in Canada, Halmstad University in Sweden, Nagoya University in Japan, Caen-Normandy University in France, University of Western Carolina in the USA, or Edith Cowan University in Australia
  • Have the chance to learn a foreign language for free as part of your degree, choosing from Arabic, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish

Why study History and Politics?

Discover how the politics of the past have shaped the world we know today on our interdisciplinary BA (Hons) History and Politics degree. Meet one of our academics and learn about the opportunities you'll have here at Portsmouth.

Jodi Burkett

The theme of the course is changing the world.

The History and Politics course is really exciting because it really combines a good, deep understanding of history with current political ideas so you get a really good sense of why society in the world is the way that it is and also, what we can do about it.

The course is extremely interdisciplinary in that it creates a real foundation.

They get the foundation level four in both history and politics as well as optional modules, so they can go in depth in both the politics and the history side.

I think that really sets them up for a great career because it gives them the opportunity to see how different disciplines work and I think the theme really brings it together so we have lots of really interesting researchers who do work on NGOs and on social movements and on activism, and it brings all of that together to see both how the world currently works and how people are working now to change things, but also how they did in the past.

It's possible for students to do a full year placement which would make it a four year degree for them.

We have the placement and internship centre set up at the university to support them to find a placement that works for them. I think the History and Politics course sets students up for a huge range of different kinds of career opportunities.

I would expect students to be able to go into local government or national government, or to be able to go into the heritage sector, to the third sector, and to charity work, to teaching, to all sorts of different kinds of things.

Portsmouth is a fantastic city to live in. I really love living in Portsmouth. It's really beautiful along the seafront. There's lots of things. There's always stuff going on because it's quite a vibrant city, especially in the student areas.

I think it's a really great place that combines a big city feel, but actually quite a close knit cohort of students and lecturers.

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements​

BA (Hons) History and Politics degree entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBC-CCC
  • UCAS points - 96-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DMM-MMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and 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

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

How history comes alive in Portsmouth

Portsmouth is a time traveller’s paradise, with historic tales of royalty, naval exploration, and even the odd ghost… join two of our students for a tour around our historic island city.

Archie and Kimberley

Welcome to Portsmouth!


Our city is a time traveller's paradise with historical tales of royalty, naval exploration and even the odd ghost.


Let us show you around.


Portsmouth is best known for our naval history, and here at the historic dockyard, you'll find the Mary Rose, HMS Warrior and HMS Victory. People arriving and leaving via ships has helped to shape the city, and the city has helped to shape their ideas and actions.


In 1662, Catherine Duchess of Braganza alighted here from Portugal to marry King Charles II. Their wedding took place here in Portsmouth and you can see their marriage certificate in Portsmouth Cathedral.


In the cathedral you'll also find a statue of the Duke of Buckingham, who was assassinated not far away in the Greyhound Inn. The Cathedral is also linked to multiple ghost stories and urban legends, including a sighting of Spring-heeled Jack, a fire-breathing demon.


The city wasn't built to keep out demons, but Portsmouth was vitally important in the defence of the Channel Coast. So a protective circuit was built around the city, including Southsea Castle.


Moving forward in the timeline of the city's defence, the site of popular shopping centre Gunwharf Quays was once home to the ‘stone frigate’ HMS Vernon. This two-tonne monument commemorates its mine warfare and diving heritage.


Like many port cities, Portsmouth welcomes a variety of different cultures and backgrounds, but their histories are not always visible. Historians at the University are working with community activists, curators, archivists and teachers to raise the visibility of black history and to engage locals in the co-production of this knowledge.


As well as visitors, Portsmouth has many famous faces who were born right here, including novelist Charles Dickens, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the engineer.

From engineers to writers, royalty to slaves, Portsmouth has had a number of people come and go over the years.


Their impact lives on. Our historians are discovering new stories from the past that helped shape our future.


Visit us and our historic city. You never know, you might just change its future.

Careers and opportunities

Studying history and politics together will give you transferable skills in critical thinking, collaboration, research, analysis and argument, all of which are highly valued by many kinds of employers.

You could also continue your studies at Master's or PhD level in history, politics or a combination of the two.

"As a graduate of a Humanities and Social Sciences degree, your skills will give you the flexibility to take on "careers in a variety of sectors including in those of enormous social value"

(The British Academy)

What areas can you work in with a history and politics degree?

Graduates from our other history and politics courses have taken up roles in the following sectors:

  • central and local government
  • primary and secondary education
  • higher education
  • charity / not-for-profit organisations
  • financial services
  • corporate governance
  • trade unions

Our history and politics alumni have worked with organisations including:

  • National Trust
  • Office for National Statistics
  • Serco
  • West Midlands Police
  • NHS

What jobs can you do with a history and politics degree?

Roles our graduates from other history and politics courses have taken on include:

  • public affairs consultant
  • museum curator
  • archivist
  • development editor in publishing
  • researcher and writer for TV
  • teacher
  • political researcher, Houses of Parliament
  • assistant to Member of Parliament
  • civil servant, Department for the Cabinet Office
  • senior policy advisor, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • communications officer, House of Commons
  • local government administrator, Government of Jersey
Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Placement year (optional)

After your second or third year, you'll have the chance to do an optional year-long work placement to get valuable work experience in a sector of your choice. 

Potential placement roles

Students from our other history and politics courses have secured placements at: 

  • The Ministry of Defence 
  • The House of Commons 
  • National Museum of the Royal Navy
  • Freedom from Torture, a charity which supports survivors of torture who seek protection in the UK
  • Shrewsbury Museums
  • Law firms such as Darton Law Ltd

The sort of activities you could do during your placement year will depend on the field of your chosen placement. Among other activities, our previous placement students have curated exhibitions, worked as paralegals, organised charity events, or supported MPs in their constituency offices.

We'll help you to identify opportunities and approach possible organisations and businesses. You'll have support from our Placement and Internship Centre and a personal tutor throughout the year.

We can also help you find shorter placements, internships or volunteering opportunities in and around Portsmouth to complement your studies and build your CV. Previous students have done projects for community groups and worked with heritage sites, archives, political parties and local government. 

You could also choose to set up your own business, or take a voluntary placement.


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

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

What you'll study

Core modules

You'll learn about key analytical and philosophical concepts and their impact in the way we study politics, the processes by which political demands are articulated, and the mechanisms through which governance deals with those demands. You'll explore how people struggle to solve their problems as individuals, in groups and within political systems. By delving into pressing debates in British politics and beyond, you'l build knowledge and begin to form your own ideas and analysis.

You'll investigate formative political, social and cultural developments through time.

By locating events within both their specific regional contexts and also their broader global trends, you'll start to see some of the connections shaping the development of the modern world.

With guidance, you'll explore and challenge narratives of the national and regional histories to gain new perspectives on the underappreciated complexities of these histories.

You'll explore ideas of human nature, the relationship between individuals and societies, the authority of the state, duties and rights, liberty and freedom, social justice, ethics, war and political violence.

By looking at the ideas of both historical and contemporary thinkers, you'll develop knowledge and understanding of the social and political contexts within which these ideas were developed as well as how they continue to inform our thinking about central issues in politics and international relations today.

On this module, you’ll reflect on a number of examples of revolutions and activism, both historically and politically, to explore how people in the past and present have tried to change the world they live in.

Through these examples you'll gain confidence in discussing the past and the present, presenting arguments, and in the foundational skills of university study.

You’ll also build on your skills for degree success - quality writing, critical thinking, referencing, research, source analysis, assessing political developments, data analysis and presenting.

On this module, you’ll learn about the social, cultural, economic and political changes which took place from the mid-eighteenth century until the end of the twentieth century, covering periods of war and peace, revolution and protest, and imperial rivalry and national unification.

You’ll explore how individuals and different communities in countries such as Britain, France, or Germany were affected by the challenges and conflicts of their times but also consider how people actively shaped the events and times they lived through.

Core modules

You’ll explore social movements around a range of themes such as opposition to war, gender and sexuality, race, the environment and conservative and right-wing movements.

You’ll discover how ideas and tactics of social movements have changed over time, as well as examining some areas of continuity across the period. Develop a nuanced understanding of how people organise against power.

Optional modules

You’ll get familiar with the big issues and contemporary debates in education studies as well as the role and expectations of a teacher.

You’ll develops fundamental knowledge and skills that teachers require, as well as your capability to structure and critique a lesson plan.

On this module, you’ll explore the evolving power of media to represent reality, sway opinion and shape identity from the age of empire through swelling post-war pop culture.

Examining sources like newspapers, propaganda films, early TV and more, you'll investigate questions like: What “truths” did the British public consume during wars and upheavals? How did entertainment and advertising convey visions of leisure, lifestyle and “the good life”? And who was included or excluded from depictions of Britishness across eras?

Discover how the media we ingest informs how we envision ourselves, our communities and aspirations - both past and present.

You’ll evaluate sources such as legal records, cheap print, newspapers and novels, to discover what was considered a crime during this period and explore changing approaches towards ‘deviant’ behaviour.

You’ll see how behaviours we now consider private were publicly policed, and how this involved religion and the community. You’ll analyse changes from corporal punishment and torture towards modern ideas of policing.

You’ll also consider debates about the impact of urbanisation on patterns of crime, and the use of criminal prosecution as a means of social control, for example in relation to enforcing gender roles and controlling the poor.

You’ll begin by exploring how countries like Argentina, Chile and Brazil transitioned from military dictatorships to democracies towards the end of the 20th century.

You’ll also learn about the dramatic public protests and negotiations that eventually toppled these dictatorships in the late 20th century as part of the "Third Wave" of democratisation.

However, installing democratic systems has not been easy - you’ll also analyse the political, economic and social challenges that societies across the region are grappling with in the 21st century. To what extent have the region's new democracies been able to challenge deep seated inequalities in class, gender and race/ethnicity? And what do ordinary people think about development and democracy across the region?

You’ll explore ideas around modernisation, colonialism and nationalism and how they shape education, gender roles, ethnicity, class, sexuality and everyday life in this part of the world.

By comparing the experiences of different countries when it comes to industrialisation, democratisation and conflict, you’ll learn how to appreciate complex regional dynamics.

You’ll collaborate with students on other courses to explore and address societal and environmental challenges faced by local and global communities. You’ll choose projects from a range of topic areas aligned with the university's Civic Strategy.

With input from local organisations, you’ll think about your topic from multiple perspectives, developing your interdisciplinary thinking and ability to work with others.

You’ll analyse the essence of security, exploring how security needs are addressed around the world and on a national level, down to a community and even an individual basis.

You’ll explore different forms of societal risk and insecurity, and approaches to dealing with security threats, taking into account the nature and impact of economic and political developments.

You'll learn how to think critically about the key concepts that link language, culture and communication, considering the benefits and limitations of these ideas.

You'll explore the different ways in which communication intersects with culture across themes such as identity, education, gender, and the media.

Alongside what you learn, you'll improve your skills in analysis, research and intercultural awareness.

You'll learn about consumer behaviour and brand strategy, and spend time examining real-world marketing campaigns. You'll also think about how social, political and technological forces can affect the way businesses approach marketing their products and services.

Skills you'll develop include carrying out market research and learning how to use what you learn, crafting targeted messaging across different marketing channels, and presenting your ideas verbally and in writing.

You'll learn about major economic, political and cultural changes in Western Europe over the nineteenth century, and how these affected the rest of the world as time went on.

You'll explore the big ideas that have shaped the modern world, and weigh up the benefits and perils of globalisation. Skills you'll develop on this module include independent research, critical thinking and effective communication.

You'll also learn to understand the opportunities and challenges of today's world from an informed, global perspective.

You’ll look critically ideas of nationalism historically and today with a focus on the everyday, intimate and embodied boundaries of nation-states and how these shape our lives, including those of us living in the most privileged parts of the world.

You’ll explore real-world cases to understand the individual and societal impacts on human lives, developing your analytical skills and imagining more compassionate alternatives.

You’ll unpack the language of tabloids, broadsheets and online news, analysing how journalists shape public understanding of current events.

Develop your critical thinking by confronting moral panics and polarised politics in reporting.

Create your own news stories and gain real insight into mass communication in a rapidly changing landscape.

You'll analyse major cases of economic crime and weigh up their wider societal implications.

You'll also learn how to recognise disciplinary perspectives, become familiar with the key investigating organisations, identify investigative techniques, and gather and analyse real case information.

You’ll analyse American texts against the backdrop of intellectual, social and political change, evaluating how writers grappled with emerging ideas around national identity, race, gender and more.

By honing skills for contextual analysis and independent thought, you’ll form your own interpretations of iconic works that reflect the American experience.

Through interactive lectures with academics, speakers and professionals, you'll discuss, debate and complete practical exercises exploring wildlife crime alongside your classmates.

You'll spend time examining wildlife crimes and the factors behind them, as well as environmental justice and sustainability.

Explore academic, official and journalistic sources and learn how to form your own coherent arguments.

You'll develop your research skills and understanding of research methodologies while sifting through various answers, identifying those that are credible versus those based on unfounded or misleading information.

You'll learn how to assess competing truth claims and information, and gain the practical know-how to ask your own questions, offer your own answers and conduct your own research.

On this module, you’ll learn how the practice of academic history can be transferred and applied to a vast range of practical projects that involve thinking about, working with, or drawing-upon knowledge and understanding of the past.

You’ll also carry out a self-guided project, with support from tutors and potentially in collaboration with internal or (subject to availability) external partners. Your project will reflect the opportunities that history will provide for your future career.

With a minimum 80-hour commitment, you’ll apply what you’ve learned so far on your degree to real-world professional settings within our community of local businesses, social enterprises, and third-sector organisations.

You’ll have support from interactive workshops, tutorials, and guest speaker events, encouraging you to set achievable professional goals and evolve your professional identity.

You’ll explore the rise of the US across the twentieth century from a regional power to a global superpower and the domestic and international pressures upon the USA that caused it to go through alternating periods of isolationism and global engagement.

You’ll also delve into the two global wars and why the US entered them later than most other nations, the isolationist interwar years, the start of the Cold War, the Vietnam Conflict and the War on Terror.

In this module, you’ll explore European colonisation of Africa, asking questions like - how did they justify colonial rule, and how did African peoples respond to these colonisers?

You’ll learn how, after World War II, colonial rule was increasingly challenged from both within the empire, by growing African demands for political rights, and in the international arena, with the global trend towards trusteeship, development and self-determination.

You’ll also explore European relations with Africa in the post-colonial era, looking at themes which may include ideas about civilisation, universalism and race, modern attempts to 'rehabilitate' empire in the media, and the legacies of colonialism in Britain, Europe and Africa.

You'll investigate how specific gender ideologies have shaped global and national policies in relation to a range of key areas including reproductive rights, violence against women, the environment and sustainable livelihoods.

You’ll analyse diverse transitional justice approaches balancing community healing and judicial accountability after mass atrocities.

Comparing mechanisms like war crimes tribunals, truth commissions and reparations programmes, you’ll evaluate effectiveness in restoring dignity and preventing recurrence.

With case studies from Europe to Africa, from Latin America to Asia, you'll examine tensions between western models and local cultural perspectives, assessing what ‘justice’ means to vulnerable peoples.

Throughout, you'll trace incremental human rights legislation advances, assessing global institutions’ roles protecting civilians from authoritarian regimes and wartime abuses.

Optional modules

It's up to you what your dissertation or project is about – this will be your chance to showcase your passion for history and politics by choosing a subject area or topic that most interests you.

You'll draw on everything you’ve learned so far to investigate, analyse, craft and refine your dissertation or project, using existing texts, sources and artefacts to support your arguments and give them context. You'll have the support of a dedicated dissertation tutor to guide you throughout this module.

This real-world, project-based module lets you address an identified need or gap by designing an innovative product, service or resource.

With support from university staff and external partners, you'll demonstrate critical thinking, ethical awareness and project management abilities.

Your final project and presentation will showcase your employability and capacity for high-impact solutions.

On this module, you’ll explore this human side of the past by investigating how accidents of all kinds shaped society and culture in Britain from 1850 to 1970.

Learning from a wide variety of sources including cartoons, government reports and safety campaigns, you’ll explore why was it once normal to send postcards of accidents to your friends, and how questions of whose 'fault' the accidents were was a contentious issue.

We'll examine how ideas of blame and prevention altered as society, politics and technology changed.

You’ll gain critical perspective on issues of power, responsibility, and governance in British culture that still impact society today.

You'll investigate grassroots campaigners alongside major international NGOs - evaluating their tactics, contributions and accountability.

By probing the relationships between volunteer networks, businesses and government, you'll develop new ideas on what can and cannot be achieved by public advocacy. Do civil society organisations challenge or reinforce the prevailing world order?

On this module, you’ll explore issues around race in post-war Britain.

Examining music, film, politics and more, you'll discuss questions like: How did stereotypes and discrimination take root in institutions? How did minorities resist and rally for change? And what lessons remain as racism persists today?

You’ll learn how to challenge assumptions about British identity and understand how individuals and groups worked to create and critique multicultural British society.

You'll get to grips with some of the most pressing security challenges currently facing policy makers, reflecting on new debates in security studies while critically examining the enduring relevance of strategic thought in the face of contemporary challenges.

You'll consider a range of contemporary events and issues, analysing the various modes and causes of contemporary global threats and the options and responses of those security actors tasked to deal with them.

You’ll study the primary sources written by merchants, diplomats, parliamentarians and missionaries, who all joined the debate about the opium trade and about the British decision to go to war.

You’ll discuss the reasons behind the war and the immediate legacy of this Sino-British hostility in the nineteenth century. You’ll also examine the diverging historiographies of the Opium War in China and the West in the twentieth century.

The history and historiography of the Opium War will give you a good opportunity to understand international relations and conflicts, which remains relevant today.

You’ll place the rights struggles in the USA of the twentieth century into a national and global perspective.

You’ll explore theories and strategies of activism, from integration and non-violence to radical concepts of resistance and tactics against mainstream white power structures.

You’ll also learn about social movement theory and discover the connections between the African American civil rights movement and other rights movements, including first and second wave feminism, Native American activism, LBGTQI+ movements, Hispanic/Latinix identities and Asian American groups.

You'll consider schools of thought from socialism to transhumanism, thinking about how they have created social movements that lasted decades.

By applying diverse ideological lenses to different ideas about human progress, you'll weigh up the insights and limits of utopian and dystopian thought in relation to how societies understand and address the challenges facing humanity in the twenty first century.

With a minimum 80-hour commitment, you'll apply what you've learned so far on your degree to real-world professional settings within our community of local businesses, social enterprises, and third-sector organisations.

You'll have support from interactive workshops, tutorials, and guest speaker events, encouraging you to set achievable professional goals and evolve your professional identity.

You'll evaluate diverse cases of religion intertwining with critical issues like nationalism, peacebuilding, violence and more.

Discussing the perspectives of policymakers to extremists, you'll tackle intriguing questions head on.

How do religious ideas still drive political agendas worldwide? How does faith unite communities yet fuel divisions? And could rediscovering religion's role in human life hold keys to solving global problems?

You'll rethink European (market) integration from the perspective of state, non-state, and regional actors across the globe, focusing on the question of how and to what extent EU institutions and policies have contributed to shaping international economic governance.

Tackling different interpretations of the EU as a regional and global power, you'll explore though-provoking questions: As the EU negotiates new trade deals and economic partnerships, who really benefits? Does the EU attempt to use its global market power to create a safer world? And to what extent have colonial legacies shaped the EU as an economic superpower?

On this module, you’ll discover how these questions were asked in a very specific way at the end of the eighteenth century.

The French Revolution destroyed an absolutist monarchy, created a culture of individual rights, but also sank through civil war into Terror, dominated by the bloodthirsty machinery of the guillotine.

You’ll study the events and individuals that drew France into the great Terror of 1793-94, assess the political ideals and social goals that brought such deadly conflict, and consider the complex question of the Terror's legacy to the politics of radicalism and revolution throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Optional modules

During your study abroad year, you’ll expand your global perspective and develop additional skills to boost your future career, as well as making memories, new friends and career contacts.

You could also improve your foreign language and intercultural communication skills. This is an amazing opportunity to expand your horizons and set yourself up for your future career by studying abroad and becoming a student ambassador for our university.

We'll help you find and secure a work placement that inspires you in a destination you can explore and make home during your placement year.

You'll have the chance to try out skills and gain experience that'll help you clarify your next career steps, while building capabilities employers seek and applying what you've learned on your degree so far to a real-world working environment.

Return feeling confident and re-energised for your final year or first year of your career, ready to make an immediate impact in whatever you choose to do next.

Changes to course content

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, course content is revised and regularly reviewed.  This may result in changes being made in order to reflect developments in research, learning from practice and changes in policy at both national and local levels.

How you're assessed

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 10% by exams and 90% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 5% by exams, 95% by coursework and 0% by other means
  • Year 3 students: 100% by coursework
  • Year 4 students: 100% by coursework

Your coursework may include:

  • essays
  • article reviews
  • briefing papers
  • projects
  • podcasts
  • individual and group presentations
  • simulations
  • website creation
  • blogs
  • 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.


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.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a web connection.

Teaching staff profiles

Mathias Seiter Portrait

Dr Mathias Seiter

Associate Head (Academic)

School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Jodi Jeannette Burkett Portrait

Dr Jodi Burkett

Senior Lecturer

School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Lee Sartain Portrait

Dr Lee Sartain

Senior Lecturer

School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means your face-to-face teaching will be supported by online activities during your studies. As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your History and Politics degree.

In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 13 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, independent reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course.

You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty 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 disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

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 In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year, including our Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £17,200 a year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

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 show your accommodation options and highlight how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

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

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.

If you take a placement year or study abroad year, tuition fees for that year are as follows:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)


How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – VL29
  • our institution code – P80

Apply now through UCAS


If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

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

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in our international students section

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.