BA History and International Relations
|Typical offer||AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32; BTEC DDD-DDM|
|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 21st century is marked by an array of concerns that are decidedly international in character: seemingly intractable conflict in the Middle East; marginalisation of minorities according to race or gender; the threat posed by terrorism; stark poverty and inequality; the continued transformation of the West and the rise of new global powers elsewhere. Responding to these challenges is a daunting task that requires more than one disciplinary perspective. Our programme in History and International Relations provides you with the tools to understand how the present is conditioned by our past, and how our future is determined by our knowledge of the present.
History and International Relations is an exciting new programme at the Penryn Campus, drawing on the expertise of both departments. An interdisciplinary degree, it has been designed to provide an integrated training in the historical evolution and contemporary character of world politics. In your first year, you will develop a foundational understanding of historical theory and key political concepts, an introduction in the multifarious character of global violence and the tools of critical thinking. As you progress, you will receive specialised research training that deals with the particular challenges of History and International Relations research.
You will have the chance to specialise in an issue or region, and choose modules that include the Arab-Israeli conflict; authoritarianism; extremism and populism; decline and fall of empire; American politics; imperialism; race; gender; protest; security and intelligence; foreign policy; and political psychology. You will have the opportunity to participate in a US field trip where you will gain a firsthand perspective on these topics from the perspective of a global superpower.
With both disciplines tackling global themes and perspectives, our staff, consisting of historians and international relations experts, specialise in international security; foreign policy; intelligence studies; the politics of the European Union; the Middle East and North Africa; gender and international relations; critical military studies; comparative electoral politics; media; political psychology; political theory; quantitative and qualitative research methods; and environmental politics.
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 International Relations 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.
Entry requirements 2019
AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32; BTEC DDD-DDM
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.
International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programme for Humanities, Law and Social Science.
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
History at Penryn is made up of a distinct collective of leading scholars who are drawn together by the interdisciplinary nature of their research and teaching. Research interests are varied but share an interest in the historical roots of issues which continue to resonate today. We focus on using history to understand the challenges posed by globalisation, ethnic conflict, scientific and environmental change. We are a modern department, focused on history from 1500 onwards, and have particular expertise in Cornish history, culture, memory and heritage, oral history and party politics, environmentalism and environmental politics, the First World War and 19th-20th century North American History.
A key characteristic of History at Penryn is our emphasis on public history. We encourage you to critically reflect on the purposes – both intended and unintended – of history and engage with the broad range of ways in which the public interact with history.
The educational experience in Cornwall, with its intimate, small-group teaching and close contact with academics, is incredibly well-suited to studying history. Emphasis is on innovative learning and teaching in a flexible, personal atmosphere and this is reflected in our outstanding ratings in the National Student Survey.
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.
Our degree in History and International Relations is especially relevant for those wishing to pursue a career in government (ie, the Foreign Office, intelligence agencies, diplomatic services); not-for-profit organisations; international law; the Civil Service; international organisations (ie, UN, EU); political analysis; and further study.
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.