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VL12 - Politics and History

Politics and History

BA Honours

  • UCAS code: VL12
  • Full time
  • 3 years
  • Next start date: September 2022

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

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £20400

Entry requirements

  • A Level: 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

Your course during COVID-19
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.

Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.

View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2021-22.

See our terms and conditions and student complaints information

Quality and ranking

  • Top 200 - History category - QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021
  • Top 150 – Arts and Humanities category – Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2021
  • Top 150 – Social Sciences category – Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2021
  • Top 200 – Politics & International Studies category – QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021

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.

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 Credits
Evidence and Argument 20
Order and Disorder: The Shaping of the 21st Century 20
Optional Modules Credits
Slavery 20
Big History: From the Big Bang to Climate change 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
Public History 20
What is History For? 20
The Westminster System: Politics of the UK 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
Prehistoric Europe 20
Archaeologies of the Roman Empire: The Roman World from Augustus to Justinian 20
The Medieval World: AD 400-1500 20
Historical Archaeology of the Modern World (post 1492) 20
Hellenistic Empires from Alexander to Cleopatra 20
Slavery in Greco-Roman antiquity 20
Caesar's Gift: Rome under the Emperors (for V100 and VL12 Students Only) 20
Africa: History of a Continent 20
Social Histories of Alcohol: Britain and Ireland, 1700 - Present 20
Erasmus Student Exchange 60
Erasmus Student Exchange 60
Oral History and Memory 20
Greece from ancient times to the 21st century: Interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the past 20
1968: A Global Moment? 20
Communication in the Medieval World, from Europe to Asia: Prayer, Poetry, Pictures, and Travel 20
Contesting Reproductive Rights in the UK and Ireland 20
Crafting History: The Dissertation Proposal 20
War, Wounds, and Disabilities in the Modern Russian, American and British Worlds 20
Famines in History 20
Germany and Central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries 20
History and Film: Representing the Past 20
The Sea in History 20
Violence in the American South: From Enslavement 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
Reformation and Revolution: Tudors to the Georgians 20
The Supernatural: The Cultural History of Occult Forces 20
Global Environmental History: From the ‘Little Ice Age’ to Greta Thunberg 20
Diversities of Sexuality and Gender in History 20
Britain since the 60s 20
Black Atlantic History from c.1500 to the present 20
Comparative History of Hispano-America and Brazil: from Independence to the Mexican Revolution (1789/1810-1917) 20
Career Development for second year students 20
Developing Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Employability 20
Regional and International Organisations 20
Foreign Policy Analysis: Theories and Approaches 20
Becoming a Political Researcher 20
Government and Politics of the USA 20
The Politics and Policy of the European Union 20
British Politics: State and Society 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
Politics Work Placement 20
Security Studies 20
Democracy or Dictatorship? What are the differences and how do we analyse them 20
Sex, Gender and Power 20

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.


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

I chose Newcastle because it is a prestigious university known for its research output. The course is flexible as it gives me the option to pick from a range of different modules, all of which were very appealing to me.

Ryan, Politics and History 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

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.

Read our detailed explanation

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

A Level


International Baccalaureate

35 points

Other UK and the Republic of Ireland qualifications

(This includes 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 2022 entry (per year)

Home Fee Students


International Fee Students


The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for home fee-paying 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.

For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.

If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.

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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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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