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BA (Hons) History/Politics

See the world by understanding its past

Year of entry: 2020
Show year of entry: 2019

UCAS code

VL12

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAA (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fees

£17,890 per year (2020/21)

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Understanding the past is crucial to responding to the political challenges of the future.

This exciting combined degree in History and Politics will help you attain a global understanding of events, institutions and structures. You'll explore how human society works now, and how it has worked in the past. You'll analyse the meaning of ideas such as freedom and democracy, and investigate the factors that have shaped society and culture around the world over time.

You'll join two highly respected research intensive departments, being taught by academics at the forefront of their field. You'll graduate with the knowledge and the practical skills to play your part in tackling some of the world’s most important problems.

The way history is taught at York... lends itself to an informal, sociable atmosphere. Tutors are always keen to provide a quick response to any question you may have and supervisor meetings one-on-one give you all the support you need.
Penny
History student

Choose your course

You can tailor your degree to what interests you with our wide variety of modules

UK top 10

We're ranked 7th in the UK for politics in the 2019 Guardian university guide.

Course content

One of the most exciting aspects of the History and Politics degree at York is living and learning in a city with such a long and varied history. You'll be surrounded by evidence of the city’s rich heritage. Stretching from the Romans, through the Vikings to the Georgians, there's a heritage that we actively draw on in our teaching.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:

Year 1

You'll begin examining the broader concepts of how history has shaped the modern world. At the same time, your required Politics modules will focus on contemporary politics with an emphasis on the state. You'll also take one Politics module of your choice.

History

Core modules
  • Thinking Through History (20 credits)
  • Group Research Project (20 credits)
Option modules

Choose one from:

  • Political Communities in World History (20 credits)
  • Societies in World History (20 credits)
  • Knowledge and Beliefs in World History (20 credits)

Politics

Core module

Option modules

Choose one from: 

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

Your second year in the History and Politics degree will be about preparing for your final dissertation and reports. You'll begin to design your project and learn how to use the tools needed to complete it. Political Text and Process options examine underlying philosophies, and how they're put into practice.

History

Core module
Option modules
  • Histories and Contexts (20 credits): choose one module from typically around eight options.
  • Explorations (30 credits): choose one module from typically around 18 options.

Politics

Option modules

Choose one Group A option, usually from around five options:

Choose either a Group B option usually from roughly four to five options:

or a Group C option usually from roughly four to five options:

Year 3

In your final year, you'll take a specialised, in-depth module on a particular historical topic, along with two Politics module options. You'll also write a 10,000-word dissertation on a political or history topic of your choice.

Dissertation

Choose either:

Option modules

History

Choose a Special Subject module, typically from around 16 options.

Politics

Choose two Politics option modules - one in the Autumn Term and one in the Spring Term, typically from around 15 options. Recent options have included:

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Communicate in-depth understandings of historical scholarship, and a sophisticated appreciation of the origin and use of different approaches to interpreting the past 
  • Approach problems in a critical and questioning fashion, including the evaluation of the arguments and analytical methods of others and the assessment of the value and significance of different forms of evidence. 
  • Understand the origins, evolution and contemporary dynamics of politics. 
  • Undertake independent research by constructing meaningful and productive research questions, applying appropriate theories and concepts, producing a research methodology, understanding sources in context, gathering and interpreting data and arriving at appropriate conclusions 
  • Demonstrate versatility in their ability to interpret and deploy a variety of information types, including digital resources, material culture, visual imagery, texts, databases and statistical information. 
  • Convey ideas with clarity and precision and make sophisticated, distinctive and persuasive arguments based on evidence and the use of analytical frameworks. 
  • Achieve goals by demonstrating initiative, self-organization, and time management in individual or collaborative work. 
  • Use insights gained from the study of the factors that have shaped societies and their institutions across history, and around the world, to engage constructively and critically as global citizens with the political, cultural, social and ethical aspects of contemporary debates.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £17,890

Additional costs

You will have to pay for the cost of printing some assignments for submission as assessed work in Years 2 and 3.

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2020/21 throughout the year.

Department funding

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

Most of your teaching will take place in lectures and seminars. In addition to these, you may have:

  • One-on-one meetings with dissertation advisors
  • Essay feedback sessions
  • Module briefings
  • Optional plenary lectures by visiting speakers
  • Webinars
  • Student hours, when staff hold weekly office hours for students to drop in and discuss questions.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars216 hours168 hours120 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1,200 hours a year learning.

Teaching location

You will be based in both the Department of History and the Department of Politics on Campus West.

Nearly half of your teaching will take place in the Spring Lane building. The rest of your contact hours will take place in other locations on Campus West. 

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Your first-year work doesn't contribute toward your final marks. We recognise those students are only beginning to develop over the course of the History and Politics degree.

From Year 2 onward, formal assessments contribute toward your degree. In your third year, your 10,000-word dissertation focuses on a specific topic of your choice.

  • Assessments range from research essay to collaborative projects to open-note examinations.
  • Your dissertation should be an interesting topic to you. Don't be afraid to explore.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams36%55%17%
Coursework51%45%83%
Practical exams13%0%0%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Careers and skills

A degree in History and Politics will prepare you for a wide range of careers. 

Career opportunities

Our graduates have gone on to work in sectors such as:

  • Law
  • Social work
  • Justice
  • Local and national government
  • Public administration and NGOs
  • Finance and accountancy
  • Teaching and academia

Transferable skills

You'll gain invaluable transferable skills such as:

  • critical thinking
  • excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • time management and self-organisation
  • independent research skills
  • ability to work with a variety of media
  • insight into contemporary history and politics

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
A levels

AAA including an A in History or Classical Civilisation

General Studies is typically excluded from conditional offers

Access to Higher Education Diploma Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 39 credits at Distinction including at least 9 credits in History-related units and 6 credits at Merit or higher.
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD with additional A Levels or equivalent qualifications in French and either History or Classical Civilisation
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, D3 including History
European Baccalaureate 80% overall, including 85% in History
International Baccalaureate 36 points including Grade 6 in History at Higher Level

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 51 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 162 each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking, 17 in Writing
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

All applications must be made through UCAS. We also consider applications for deferred entry and requests, after taking up an offer, to take a gap year.

We encourage mature students to email the Admissions Tutor for consultation and advice.

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

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Department of History, Department of Politics

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