History and Politics BSc

Study a BSc History and Politics degree course at Aston University to grow your understanding of the world we live in and learn about the past to build a better future for all. Make the most of your potential by combining your studies in global contemporary history with politics, and completing an integrated placement year for a flying start to your career.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

 

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Placement year (UK/abroad)

Duration

4 years with integrated placement year / 3 years without placement year only available for international students.

UCAS code(s)

See course outline

Start date

Overview
Explore History and Politics BSc at Aston University

Here's for the ones who do things differently and carve out their own path

Best University Careers Service Award

Here to support you.

Aston University recognised as the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service' at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2020.

Amal Al-Azzani History and International Relations

“History at Aston is unique as it focuses on modern, contemporary history, from the 19th and 20th centuries rather than traditional history courses where you study ancient, medieval periods. The small classes and mixture of lectures and seminars really help to develop your understanding of a topic. I really do love all aspects of my course – from the modules we study to the lecturers who teach them.”

Amal Al-Azzani

BSc History and International Relations

Amal Al-Azzani History and International Relations

“History at Aston is unique as it focuses on modern, contemporary history, from the 19th and 20th centuries rather than traditional history courses where you study ancient, medieval periods. The small classes and mixture of lectures and seminars really help to develop your understanding of a topic. I really do love all aspects of my course – from the modules we study to the lecturers who teach them.”

Amal Al-Azzani

BSc History and International Relations

Course outline and modules

What you’ll learn

Working closely with experienced historians, you’ll have opportunities to study topics such as nationalism, state-building and inter-state relations; the history of war and peace; religious and ethnic conflict; trauma and memory; and issues of globalisation in the present that can only be understood by looking to the past. For example, you’ll learn how the British Empire helped to create the NHS, why Britain voted to stay in the EU in 1975 and why Margaret Thatcher became the first pop star of British international relations.

With a global outlook, our teaching is informed by exciting historical research. As part of the course, you’ll participate in field trips to historical sites and get your hands dirty by digging into local archives, as well as conducting original research on a topic of your choosing. Studying cutting-edge techniques such as digital and oral history will give you new insights and further boost your employment prospects.

Combine your passion for history with study of politics to broaden your horizons and boost your employability.

In your third year, you will spend an integrated placement year either working or studying in the UK or abroad, to add further value to your degree. Unlike some other universities, the placement year at Aston is not a ‘bolt-on’ year, it is an integral part of your degree and in your second year we’ll make sure you’re ready to get the most from this opportunity.

We are extremely proud of the high level of preparation, orientation and support that we provide before and during your year abroad. We have a full-time Careers and Placements Team who will give you plenty of individual help and advice, and even come and visit you during your time away.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability and our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme in social science will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course. During your foundation year, you’ll have excellent support from academics and group projects will give you the chance to meet new people, make new friends and build a network of peers who will share your university journey. We also have a Learning Development Centre that can provide additional support and offer pre-sessional English language programmes.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020 at universities with a track record of compliance with immigration policy. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

 

Modules

Year 1

Core modules:

  • Global History in Perspective
  • Making Histories I: Methods, Theories, Controversies
  • Contemporary Britain: from the Boer War to Brexit
  • Introduction to Studying and Researching Politics
  • British Politics since 1990

 

Optional modules:

  • The Making of the Modern World
  • What's Trending (Current Affairs in Politics and International Relations)
  • Introduction to the European Union
Year 2

Core modules:

  • Case Studies in Global History
  • Making Histories II: Oral and Digital Methods
  • Political Theories and Ideologies
  • Comparative Government and Politics

 

Optional modules:

  • Humanitarian Action and Foreign Intervention, 1915 – today
  • The Atlantic World: Slavery and Emancipation
  • History of Internationalism: From Karl Marx to Greta Thunberg
  • West European Politics and Society
  • Russian and East European Politics and Society
  • North American Politics and Society
  • East Asian Politics and Society: China and Japan
  • South Asian Politics and Society
  • The Politics and Policies of the European Union
  • Introduction to Political Economy: Institutions and Rational Choice
Year 3

Integrated placement year - find out more about the Aston placement year.

Final Year 

Core modules:

  • History Workshop
  • Dissertation (Politics or History)

 

Optional modules:

  • Twin Periods: The Interwar Years and post-1989 History
  • Bullets, Bombs and Bitcoin: History and Technology since 1990
  • Rage, Shame, and Hope: Emotions and Politics from the 19th to the 21st Century 
  • A Great Misunderstanding: Britain and the EU
  • African Politics: From the Colonial Period to the Present Day
  • America in the World
  • The American Presidency
  • BRICS and Emerging Power Shifts in World Politics
  • Chinese Politics and Society
  • Conflict and Intervention
  • Democracy, Authoritarianism and Regime Change
  • Diplomacy and Soft Power
  • Ethics and International Relations
  • EuroSim: Learning Negotiation through Simulation Games
  • Gender and Politics
  • Interest Groups and Lobbying
  • International Institutions
  • Nationalism and Political Power
  • Political Communication
  • Leaders and Leadership: Case Studies and Comparative Perspectives
  • Politics and Islam: Past and Present
  • Politics and Protest in a Globalised World
  • Politics of Development
  • Religion and Politics in Contemporary Europe
  • Sport and Politics
  • The International Relations of East Asia
  • The Populist Radical Right in Europe
  • Understanding Foreign Policy
  • Debates in Contemporary British Politics
  • Changing Patterns of Warfare
  • Intelligence Agencies and the Modern World - MI6, CIA and ISI
  • Political Parties

 

Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Entry requirements

Typical offers:

A Levels

BBC-CCC from 3 A Levels. General Studies accepted.

BBC in 3 A Level subjects

BCC with B in Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or Core Maths

CCC in 3 A Level subjects for our contextual offer scheme*

We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking resits. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications.

*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here. 

BTEC

BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM  

BTEC Diploma (QCF/National) with A Levels - Distinction, Merit (DM) and Grade B at A Level

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) or Extended Certificate (national) with A Levels – Distinction (D) and grades BC at A Level.

IB

29 points overall with grades 5, 5, 4 in 3 higher level subjects

Standard level Maths and English grade 5 required in lieu of GCSE English and Maths grade C/4.

Access to HE & other

Pass Access to HE Diploma with Merit in each module. Humanities, Social Sciences or Business Access course preferred, but other courses considered on an individual basis.

EPQ: A Level applicants who meet our offer criteria will be made the standard offer for their programme of choice.

Other qualifications: If your qualification is not listed, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.

International qualifications: International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our international pages. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

Foundation programme in Social Science (Aston University): For students with good A Level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing a Foundation Year, although please note the progression requirements.

GCSE

GCSE C/4 in Maths and C/4 in English

 

View our Admissions Policy. 

Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard (however, initial offers will not be lower than stated above).

Entry onto our Foundation Year may be offered as an alternative to the degree course if lower entry grades are achieved.

*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.

In addition to your predicted grades, when making offers we also consider your previous academic performance (eg GCSEs), your school/college reference and the commitment and motivation you demonstrate for your chosen course via the personal statement.

Application for second year entry will be considered by the programme director if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, successful applicants for second year entry will:

  • Have A level (or equivalent) qualifications similar to those required for first year entry
  • Have gained (or be expected to gain) 120 credits on an equivalent programme at another recognised university
  • Obtained (or be expected to obtain) an overall average of 60 per cent or above on an equivalent programme at another recognised university
  • Have not previously attempted the second year of a programme elsewhere

Individual programmes may have additional requirements in addition to those stated above. These will be clarified upon application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

International students

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

Learning, teaching and assessment

What you’ll learn

You will be involved in lectures, tutorials, seminars, e-seminars, small-group work, project work and independent study. Many of your modules will be in a workshop format, alternating theoretical input with practical analysis, and allowing you to test out your understanding in discussion with other students and your tutor. There are also opportunities for group and collaborative work. Students undertake a major piece of independent research in the final year.

Study skills

There is a much stronger emphasis on reading and on your own private, independent study than at pre-degree level. The University offers training courses in study skills, and the Library’s Learning Development Centre provides one-to-one instruction, workshops and study guides for academic research and writing. You will be allocated an academic supervisor for this work and a personal tutor who can provide you with help and advice throughout your studies. To help you manage your learning, we set out your work for the year in online student guides and module handouts, which include full details of all modules including week-by-week lecture breakdowns, reading lists and all coursework assignments for the year.

Assessment

Assessment is through a combination of written and oral exams, coursework, essays, presentations and an extended dissertation during your final year. Exams take place in January and May/June. The placement year is an integral and assessed part of your studies at Aston, fully supported by us, and of direct relevance to your degree.

Personal development

You will develop a range of skills that transfer to the workplace, such as critical thinking, team working and communication skills.

The integrated placement year gives you skills, knowledge and experience that cannot be replicated in the lecture room.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020 at universities with a track record of compliance with immigration policy. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

Programme Director(s)

Dr Claudia Gremler (History)

Dr Yaprak Gursoy (Politics)

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2021/22)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International/EU students (2021/22)

Annual tuition fees: £15,950

During placement year: £2,500

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as home students. Further information can be found here.

Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

History graduates go on to a range of professions with recent roles including Academic Librarian, Archivist, Broadcast Journalist, Conservation Officer, Editorial assistant, Civil Service Administrator, Heritage Manager, Human Resources Officer, Marketing Trainee, Museum Education Officer, Museum/Gallery Curator, Policy Officer, Research Assistant, Solicitor and Languages Teacher.

Potential employers include IBM, Interserve, Capgemini, Virgin Active, and the BBC.

Best University Careers Service Award

Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service'.

The Careers and Placements team at Aston University won the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service' category at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2020 for it's use of innovative ideas to engage a high number of students with the service in order to support them with their career planning.

Aston University has strong links with national and international organisations with over 200 employers interacting with students on campus each year.

Frequently asked questions

Why study History at Aston?

A versatile joint honours History degree programme at Aston gives you the chance to study contemporary history alongside a range of other subjects, taking your career prospects to the next level.

What jobs can I get with a history degree?

We’ll make sure you’re career-ready. History graduates develop a range of skills that transfer to the workplace, such as critical thinking, research, team working and communication skills, all of which are in high demand from employers.

Why do a placement year at Aston?

A distinctive feature of our year abroad is the flexibility that we offer. You will be able to choose between undertaking a paid work-experience placement with a company, working as a teaching assistant in a school or studying at one of our partner universities - you might even choose to combine two of these options. We are extremely proud of the high level of preparation, orientation and support that we provide before and during your year abroad. We have a full-time Careers and Placements Team who will give you plenty of individual help and advice, and even come and visit you during your time away.

 

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career.

Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme in social science will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course.

 

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