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Politics and History BA Honours

  • UCAS code: VL12
  • Full time
  • 3 years

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

You are currently viewing course information for entry year: 2024

Next start date:

  • September 2024

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £21000

Entry requirements and offers

  • A-Level: AAB
  • IB: 34 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21

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

Your course and study experience - disclaimers and terms and conditions  
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to Covid-19.

View our Academic experience page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2023-24.

See our terms and conditions and student complaints information, which gives details of circumstances that may lead to changes to programmes, modules or University services.

Quality and ranking

Professional accreditation and recognition

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body.

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 may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

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.

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 Credits
Evidence and Argument 20
Order and Disorder: The Shaping of the 21st Century 20
Optional Modules Credits
Slavery 20
Global Middle Ages 20
Stuff: living in a material world 20
Global Ancient Histories 20
Historical Sources and Methods 20
History Lab I 20
History Lab II 20
Introduction to Public History 20
What is History For? 20
The Westminster System: the UK in comparative perspective 20
Key Concepts in International Politics 20
Becoming a Political Analyst 20
Power and Inequality 20
Politics of Happiness 20

You’ll choose six optional modules in total – three each from Politics and History. Through these modules you’ll deepen your subject knowledge and build on your skills from Stage One.

You'll critically engage with the topics you're studying and become a confident participant in our learning community. If you are thinking about undertaking an optional dissertation in Stage Three, you’ll select modules to prepare you for this.


Optional Modules Credits
From Lascaux to Knossos: Prehistoric Europe 20
Archaeologies of the Roman Empire: The Roman World from Augustus to Justinian 20
The Medieval World: AD 400-1500 20
Colonial Worlds: History and Archaeology 20
Hellenistic Empires from Alexander to Cleopatra 20
The Roman World from Hadrian to Heraclius 20
Greek and Roman Religions 20
Slavery in Greco-Roman Antiquity 20
Africa: History of a Continent 20
Oral History and Memory 20
Greece, from ancient to modern 20
Communication in the Medieval World, from Europe to Asia: Prayer, Poetry, Pictures, and Travel 20
Crafting History: The Dissertation Proposal 20
Famines in History 20
History and Film: Representing the Past 20
East Asia: from Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century 20
Violence in the American South: From the Colonial Era to Civil Rights 20
Researching History 20
The Aftermath of War in Europe and Asia, 1945-56 20
Revolutions of the Mind: European Thought, 1550–1750 20
The Supernatural: The Cultural History of Occult Forces 20
Destroying Nature: Disasters, Diseases and Environmental Injustice 20
Diversities of Sexuality and Gender in History 20
A History of Contemporary Britain 20
The Mediterranean: a connected past 20
HaSS Study Abroad Semester 1 60 Credits 60
HaSS Study Abroad Semester 2 60 credits 60
Comparative History of Hispano-America and Brazil: From Independence to the Mexican Revolution (1789/1810-1917) 20
Career Development for second year students 20
Politics of the Middle East 20
International Institutions and Organizations 20
Becoming a Political Researcher 20
Government and Politics of the USA 20
The Politics and Policy of the European Union 20
Power and Poverty in the Global Economy 20
A Global History of Political Thought 20
Political Violence and the Modern State 20
The Politics of Africa: Africa's place in Global Politics 20
Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion: Social Issues in Contemporary Political Philosophy 20
Critical Security Studies 20
Democracy or Dictatorship? What are the differences and how do we analyse them 20
Sex, Gender and Power 20
The Politics of Race 20
Study abroad
If you study abroad for one semester as part of the study abroad student exchange programme, you choose one of the following modules:
HaSS Study Abroad Semester 1 (60 credits)
HaSS Study Abroad Semester 2 (60 credits)

You will continue to study a mixture of Politics and History modules. This can be through an even split of modules, or a weighting towards History or Politics. You may include a research dissertation in either subject.

Through study in the recommended modules you'll critically reflect on History and your own ideas through close study of an influential work. You'll also broaden your horizons by considering the uses and abuses of history in public life.


Optional Modules Credits
Early Medieval Britain 20
Sex, bodies and identities in Classical Greece 20
Semester One Substitute for Stage 3 HIS Capped Special Subject 20
Semester Two Substitute for Stage 3 HIS Capped Special Subject 20
Reading History 20
Writing History 40
Public History In Practice 20
The British Revolutions, 1640-1660 20
The Irish Revolution, 1879-1923 20
Reconstruction and the New South, 1865-1900 20
British Foreign Policy since Suez 20
Birth Control in the 19th and 20th Centuries 20
Civil Rights and Armalites Northern Ireland since 1969 20
Civil Rights in America, 1948-1975 20
Women in Colonial South Asia: Tradition, Reform and Modernity 20
Europe and the Ottoman Empire, 1453-1798 20
Punishing the Criminal Dead: Crime, Culture, and Corpses in Modern Britain 20
The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1961-1990 20
The Rising Generation: Youth, Age and Protest in Cold War Britain 20
Haitian Revolution 20
Healthy Spaces for Healthy Bodies: Medicine, Humans, Places 20
Buddhism and Society in Medieval Japan 20
The Renaissance World of Florence, 1450-1550: Machiavelli, Mayhem, and Strife 20
The Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps - Origins, Experiences and Aftermaths 20
Nineteenth Century Aotearoa New Zealand: Maori, Pakeha & Tauiwi 20
War and Remembering: Recalling War in Oral Histories, c.1950-2022 20
British Colonialism in Sudan: Violence, Gender and Race, 1899-1956 20
Fictional Histories: from medieval to modern 20
Exhausted! The problem of sleep (and not sleeping) from 1750 to the present day 20
Inter-American Relations from the Spanish-American War (1898) to the end of the Cold War (1989/1991) 20
Career Development for final year students 20
Final Year Dissertation 40
Final Year Project: Semester 1 20
Final Year Project: Semester 2 20
The Ethics of Killing 20
Cities and World Politics 20
Applied Data Science for Political Research 20
The Politics of Protest in the Middle East 20
International Political Thought 20
Community-based Research in Politics 40
Politics of Immigration 20
Politics of Citizenship 20
Apartheid regimes - from the local to the global 20
Public Policy: Theories, Cases, Skills 20
Politics as a Way of Life 20

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 with a History student

I chose to study at Newcastle because it's a vibrant city, full of friendly people. The History and Politics course really interested me, it has a variety of really fascinating modules.

Charlotte Stobart, History and Politics


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, and your degree title will show you have achieved the placement 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

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

Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK

From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements and offers below apply to 2024 entry.

International Baccalaureate

Other UK and the Republic of Ireland qualifications

Contextual Offers

Through one of our contextual routes, you could receive an offer of up to three grades lower than the typical requirements.

What is a contextual offer? Find out more and if you’re eligible for this or our PARTNERS Programme supported entry route.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

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. 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.

Credit transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can allow you to convert existing relevant university-level knowledge, skills and experience into credits towards a qualification. Find out more about the RPL policy which may apply to this course.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for 2024 entry (per year)

Qualification: BA Honours

Home students

full time 3 years

Tuition fees (per year)


International students

full time 3 years

Tuition fees (per year)


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.


Find out more about:

Open days and events

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

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