BA History and Politics
|Typical offer||AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32|
|Location||Cornwall (Penryn Campus)|
US field trip
Optional field trip to the United States where you’ll gain insight into the latest global issues and a first-hand perspective on the American political system. Find out more.
The globalising world in which we live presents us with a multitude of opportunities and challenges. Urgent issues such as conflict, development, marginalised communities, poverty and the environment require creative solutions. In this dynamic programme you will explore, understand and engage critically with contemporary socio-political problems through an examination of the past, present and future.
History and Politics at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus is a unique, integrated degree programme that genuinely combines the research expertise of staff in both disciplines. This programme is committed to using both historical practice and political analysis to gain multiple perspectives on contemporary problems. We offer a diverse range of modules from the Early Modern period to the present day. Module choices include the politics of war and counterinsurgency; British imperialism in the Middle East; race relations in North America; propaganda; protest and NGOs; environmental change; gender; science and technology; and security and intelligence.
This programme will equip you with graduate skills sought after by the most competitive employers in the public and private sectors. Our degree in History and Politics is particularly relevant for those interested in a career in diplomacy, NGOs, law and advocacy, teaching, journalism, the Civil Service and international development.
Our small class sizes, supportive environment and innovative teaching methods will ensure every History and Politics student reaches their potential.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
The History and Politics degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.
Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.
Please note that modules offered are subject to change, depending on staff availability, timetabling, and demand.
Full module descriptions
For full module descriptions please visit the History website.
Entry requirements 2018
AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32
Additional selection criteria
We are looking for well-qualified students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the subject.
We receive a large number of applications from well-qualified applicants and may not be able to make offers to all those applicants who have achieved or are predicted to achieve grades in line with the typical offer shown above.
In addition to the specific requirements listed above, we look for excellent A level* results/predictions and we may also take into account results up to and including GCSEs* and AS Levels* as part of our holistic assessment of an application.
*Equivalent qualifications will be considered. For more information about our equivalencies for specific qualifications please contact our Admissions Office.
Programmes with Study Abroad
Entry for programmes ‘with Study Abroad’ is offered on the basis that you will spend your time abroad at an institution where the teaching and examining is delivered in English. However, we also have partners that teach in French, Spanish and German. Should you wish to study at one of these institutions you will need to take modules through the Foreign Language Centre up to ‘Advanced’ standard in the appropriate language. In order to reach this standard before the year abroad, students usually need to have entered the University with the equivalent of a good GCSE or AS level (or higher) in that language.
Please read the important information about our Typical offer.
For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.
Learning and teaching
We teach via a combination of lectures, tutorials and seminars, as well as self-directed learning. Students are also encouraged to use the wide range of web-based course material that we make available. Teaching comprises small-scale, interactive lectures, visiting practitioners, field trips, simulations and game exercises, and engagement with local issues and communities. In the first two years, we place considerable emphasis on teaching in small groups, which gives you ample opportunity to participate, as well as providing close contact between you and members of staff. In the third year there are few formal lectures and much of your learning is through seminars, in which the usual format consists of students presenting reports followed by class discussion. You will also carry out a piece of research and write a dissertation on a topic of your choice under the close supervision of a member of staff with similar research interests.
The ambience of the department is one of informality. Members of the teaching staff either maintain an open-door policy for student enquiries, or have a regular set of times when they can be consulted. On day one, you are allocated a personal tutor who acts as a mentor on academic work, as well as sources of advice for accessing wider Student Services.
Assessment is via a combination of written examinations, continuous assessment essays, oral presentations, group project work and a dissertation. As well as traditional academic essays, we also assess students via creative methods including written portfolios, reports, online communications (such as YouTube), and presentations.
Study Abroad is the opportunity to study at one of our renowned partner universities around the world. Last year over 300 College of Humanities students from all disciplines took advantage of a year abroad in countries across the globe.
All students in Humanities can choose to study abroad as part of their degree. The year abroad takes place in the third year of a four-year degree programme. You can apply directly for the four-year 'with Study Abroad' programme, or transfer from another programme once you are at Exeter.
Studying History and Politics involves not only desk-based research but often undertaking field work within a given context, in order to witness the evolution of political processes and their impact on society first hand. Such field work can take a variety of different forms, ranging from interviews with important stakeholders, to focus group discussions with community members, and the analysis of politicised spaces and public forums.
As part of your studies you can go on our optional, departmentally-subsidised* field trip to the United States where you’ll gain insight into the latest global issues and a first-hand perspective on the American political system. Taken before the start of your third year, the six-day field trip to New York will provide you with the basic training required to carry out ethical field work under a controlled, supervised setting. This is a unique opportunity which is only available to students studying Politics at our Penryn Campus in Cornwall.
Sample programme^(each day begins at 09:00 with a briefing)
- Statue of Liberty
- Ellis Island
- Debrief in study groups
- Portfolio development
- World Trade Center
- Global capitalism, American wealth, power, and inequality – a walking tour which includes The Bowery and Chinatown to Wall Street and South Seaport
- Portfolio development
- America in the News - collection of newspaper clippings discussing current affairs in the USA and New York
- Group discussion about what these newspaper reports say about contemporary USA
- NYU - seminar and discussions with NYU students about life and politics in the USA
- Portfolio development
- City Hall
- United Nations
- Close of scheduled activities, portfolio development
- ABC News: How are editorial decisions about the news made? What kind of operational considerations are taken into account?
- A behind the scenes look at 'The View' (current affairs), and the US Presidential race
- Walking tour - the High Line and the west River Park from W 67 St. Private vs public spaces
- Whole Group Conference
You will keep an ethnographic notebook of your travels, collect photos of meaningful sites, conduct interviews with key individuals and critically assess the politics of commemoration and the negotiation of space in New York, so as to produce a report on the city's politics.
* Flights, hostel accommodation, breakfast, metro pass, entrance fees, and transfers to and from JFK Airport are included. Other meals will need to be paid for, although the hostel has excellent kitchen facilities. You will also need to have a valid passport and the necessary visas. Guidance on how to prepare for the visit will be provided by the module tutor.
^Please note field course destinations and the exact itinerary may be subject to change.
History graduates from the University of Exeter have an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and compete very successfully in the employment market. Six months after graduation 96.3%* of our History graduates are employed or in further study.
Studying History at the University of Exeter provides you with skills that are attractive to employers and relevant for a wide range of careers. Alongside in-depth subject knowledge you’ll develop skills in researching; analysing and assessing sources; written and verbal communication; managing and interpreting information and developing ideas and arguments. Our recent graduates have since secured positions in the Heritage and Arts sector, with organisations such as the National Trust and TVF Media.
Studying in History will also equip you with valuable skills for graduate-level work in other sectors. A degree in History provides good opportunities to develop skills that are attractive to many employers, such team work; problem solving and organisational skills. Our recent History graduates have pursued careers in:
- Retail Management
- Finance and Accounting
Other recent graduates have progressed to postgraduate courses in:
- MA Conflict, Security and Development
- Graduate Diploma in Law
- MA English Literary Studies
- MA History
- MSC International Management
The services offered by the Humanities careers and employability team are complementary to the services offered by our central Career Zone, where you can participate in practical sessions to develop your skills; access paid internships and volunteering opportunities; explore postgraduate study options; meet prospective employers; get one-to-one advice and learn how to secure the right job for you.
*First–degree University of Exeter graduates of History. HESA Performance Indicator sourced from the DLHE survey 2013/14.