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VL12 - Politics and History

Politics and History

BA Honours

  • UCAS code: VL12
  • Full time
  • 3 years
  • Next start date: September 2020

Explore the key political issues facing us today and the historical events behind them on this politics and history degree.

Fees (per year)

  • UK/EU: £9250
  • International: £18000

Entry requirements

  • A Level: AAA-AAB
  • IB: 35 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21
Work placement opportunity Study abroad opportunity

Course overview

This three-year joint honours degree focuses on developing your skills and abilities to critically analyse historical and political topics. You'll graduate as a confident independent learner with a specialist knowledge in areas of interest to you.

You'll be able to follow your own path, choosing to study modules which are closely related, or cast your net wide, studying topics that span six continents.

You’ll study in a research-led environment, alongside scholars at the forefront of their fields. You'll also improve your research skills, completing a range of research projects during your degree.

In history, you'll explore themes including revolution, slavery, radicalism, medical history, and religion across a variety of periods, geographies and cultures. In politics, you'll look at global politics, political philosophy and international relations.

Students in a seminar

Quality and ranking

  • top 200 – Arts and Humanities category – Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2018
  • top 20 in the UK – the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020
  • 90% overall satisfaction score – National Student Survey 2019
  • top 200 – Social Sciences category – Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2018

Modules and learning


The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage. 

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

You'll build a foundation to become an independent learner and critical reader/thinker through compulsory modules.

Optional modules give an overview of our range, whether that be the major pathways in Politics (such as political thought and international politics), or the chronological and cultural variety of History.

Compulsory Modules

Optional Modules

  • What is History For?
  • History Lab I
  • History Lab II
  • Historical Sources and Methods
  • Public History
  • The Westminster System: Politics of the UK
  • Power and Inequality
  • Politics of Happiness
  • Introduction to International Politics
  • Politics: Essential Research Study Skills
  • Big History: From the Big Bang to Today
  • Global Middle Ages
  • Global Ideas: From Plato to Nehru
  • Stuff: living in a material world
  • Global Ancient Histories

In Stage 2, you will select six optional modules – three from each subject. These are designed to deepen your subject knowledge and build on your skills from Stage 1.

You'll critically engage with the topics you're studying, and become a confident participant of our learning community through seminars, in readiness for an optional research project in Stage 3.

Optional Modules

In Stage 3, all of your modules are optional. You can choose to specialise in one discipline by undertaking an independent research project in history or politics, or you can split your modules evenly between the two. 

You will deepen your topic knowledge through seminar discussions in specialist history subjects, or by taking specialised politics options. 

You can also consider the uses and abuses of history in public life and political policy through History and Society.

Compulsory Modules

Optional Modules

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

Most of your modules will be delivered through lectures and seminars. Seminars become more important in Stage 2 and 3, reflecting your development into a confident and skilled independent learner and part of the School's wider learning community. 

In Politics, you'll also focus on public speaking, with in-class debates used to test, defend and refine your ideas.

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Essays

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Group work

  • Presentations

  • Projects

Skills and experience

Practical skills

You'll benefit from a range of field trips to places such as:

  • local museums
  • castles
  • broadcasters

You'll also have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience carrying out community-based politics research. You'll support a local institution or non-governmental organisation and apply some of your learned skills in the workplace.

Research skills

You'll be able to choose to complete an independent research project in Stage 3. You can either complete a dissertation, or the more practical option of hands-on research within the community.

You'll learn to plan, develop and implement a project, while contributing to academic knowledge, or having an impact on the community.

You can also apply for a vacation scholarship, where you can work alongside researchers. You'll gain first-hand experience of working on a project and develop key skills, such as:

  • researching new material
  • collecting, analysing and interpreting social data
  • carrying out research in challenging environments

Chat to a student

My degree importantly remains relevant to real-world contemporary issues, enabling me to develop a sophisticated understanding of current affairs. Also, the diversity of students the course attracts ensures I am always open to new perspectives and alternative ways of thinking.

Lucy, Politics student


Study abroad

Experience life in another country by choosing to study abroad as part of your degree. You’ll be encouraged to embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities and graduate as a globally aware professional, ready for your future.

You can choose to spend up to a year studying at a partner institution overseas.

If you choose to study abroad, it will extend your degree by a year. 

Find out more about study abroad

Work placement

Get career ready with a work placement and leave as a confident professional in your field. You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world, and receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place between stages 2 and 3.

You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.

If you choose to take a work placement, it will extend your degree by a year. A work placement is not available if you're spending a year studying abroad. Placements are subject to availability.

Find out more about work placements

Facilities and environment


You'll be based at our city-centre campus between the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, in the historic Armstrong Building and the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, in the recently refurbished Henry Daysh Building.

You'll have access to a range of on-campus facilities, including:

  • the Great North Museum: Hancock, with its Antiquarian Library and range of artefacts
  • the Special Collections in the Robinson Library


You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.

Peer mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have when starting university.

Your future

Our Politics and History graduates are in high demand when they complete this course. 89% of our graduates were in work or further study within six months of graduating*.

*Destinations of (undergraduate, UK and EU) Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17

Join our network of successful graduates

On graduation from our degree courses, you will have the proven ability to think critically, assess complex material and data, carry out research, construct a well-informed argument and articulate it on paper and in person.

Some of our graduates have used this powerful combination of skills to progress directly into careers in politics, economics and international relations – for employers such as the Houses of Parliament, HM Treasury, local government, the Civil Service, inter-governmental organisations and public affairs consultancies.

Others have applied their skills with equal success in the media, law, finance, management consultancy, education, human resources, marketing, business and academia.

Our Politics graduates include MPs in Westminster, fast-track civil servants in the Cabinet Office and Department for Work and Pensions, parliamentary researchers, and Brussels-based public affairs consultants.

Our staff also maintain strong links with governmental bodies such as the UK and Scottish Parliaments, NATO and the EU.

Make a difference

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Careers support

You'll benefit from targeted careers support throughout your degree. In your induction week, you'll explore potential career paths.

In Stage 2, you can apply for a work placement with a local political party or charity.In Stage 3 you can boost your prospects by conducting policy research on behalf of a local community organisation.

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.

A Level


International Baccalaureate

35 points

Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements


Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria. 

Find out more about PARTNERS

Entrance courses (INTO)

International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for 2020 entry (per year)

UK Students


International Students


The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.

As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.

Read more about fees and funding

You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).

The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.

Read more about fees and funding

Year abroad and additional costs

For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year. 

Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.

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How to apply

Apply through UCAS

To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:

  • the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
  • the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
  • the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college

If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.

Apply through UCAS

Apply through an agent

International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.

Visit our International pages

Get in touch

By Phone

Contact us on +44 (0) 191 208 3333. We're open 9.00 to 17.00 every week day except Wednesday (10.00 to 17.00).


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