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Find a course in history, politics or international relations

Explore the decisions that have shaped history, the issues of today, and how to shape a brighter future

What can you do with a history, politics, international relations or international development degree?

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

When you do a history degree with us, you'll study in a city that's been central to key historical events for many centuries. You'll focus on different periods and problems faced by societies over time, and explore how history shapes decisions made today.

On our politics and international relations degrees, you'll learn about pressing global issues such as war and conflict, the role of diplomacy and foreign policy, and global challenges such as climate change, sustainability and protecting human rights.

On an international development course, you'll explore the role and purpose of development, build your understanding of world affairs and put your knowledge to work with not-for-profit organisations in developing countries. You can also opt to learn a language alongside your course if you study BA (Hons) International Development with Languages.

6 reasons to study history, politics, international relations or international development with us

  • Develop knowledge and research skills to help you succeed in careers such as historian, museum curator, politician, journalist, civil servant, lobbyist, teacher, communications manager, human resource manager, marketeer and researcher.
  • Study abroad at one of our partner institutions such as Science Po Strasbourg (France), University of Southern Denmark, Maastricht University (Netherlands), The Hague University (Netherlands), Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), Palacky University (Czech Republic), Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) and University of Nebraska (Omaha, United States).
  • You can do a placement after your second year to get valuable work experience before you graduate. Placement destinations include the Ministry of Defence, Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service, the House of Commons and the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
  • For history students, Portsmouth is packed with reminders of the important role the city has played in the past, from the D-Day Story museum, to the Historic Dockyard, home to Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory.
  • Our teaching staff are members of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), the UK's largest research centre of its kind.
  • Combine your interests by studying another subject with your primary course such, leading to degrees such as BA (Hons) International Relations with Politics, BA (Hons) International Relations with International Development, BA (Hons) History and Politics or BA (Hons) History with Sociology.

Discover history, politics and international relations

Watch course leader, Dr. Melita Lazell talk about studying BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics at Portsmouth.

Politics and International Relations - all of the topics and subjects that we study are extremely relevant to everybody. 

It’s about using both traditional concepts and approaches, but also more cutting edge concepts and approaches to try and interpret and understand and critique the world of politics and international relations. 

And that’s really what we aim for our students to be able to do - to have the confidence to critique the arguments of others, and also to build strong arguments themselves. 

They can choose to go onto one of our degree pathways. The degree pathways are International Relations and International Development, and International Relations and History. But they don't have to decide that until they get to the end of their first year. 

We encourage all of our students to take on a placement. They can do that as either a full year, or they can do a half year placement. They can do that in the UK or they can do that abroad. We’ve had students work for the House of Commons, and for the police, and teaching public relations and academia. 

What makes me proud to teach is seeing students develop and seeing them grow in confidence in their own voice and in developing their own opinions and arguments. 

There's a lot of freedom in terms of how you cater the course for what you enjoy, and you're tested in various ways -- from essays and presentations, to marked seminars -- which gives you a great advantage.

Sophie Gardiner, BA (Hons) History

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