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Modern History and Politics (BSc Econ)

  • LV21

3 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

An understanding of history illuminates our understanding of politics just as a grasp of politics today helps us to understand political developments in the past. The nature of the British political system, for example, cannot be understood without reference to the centuries of political struggle that have created it, while the politics of kings and wars is a major focus of historical inquiry.

In your first year you concentrate on core modules. In your second and final years you choose from among a wide range of option modules.

For employers this degree means that you have an excellent understanding of politics and government in historical context, plus associated skills, that will be of value whether you work in government or in the private or voluntary sectors. Graduates find careers in a wide range of fields.

Politics is central to our everyday lives. It is about who gets what, when, where, how and why. It is about people and power and involves drama and events of great significance for everyone's lives. Just think of the electoral struggle between Left and Right, the power play of the Cold War, and the great enterprise of European integration. Studying for a politics degree means investigating why politics works as it does. You explore how parliaments and governments function and evaluate political ideas such as power, freedom, democracy, conflict, legitimacy and accountability.

The study of history enables you to learn about the very different worlds of people in the past and to better understand the present. It gives you an insight into the process of change from ancient Greece and Rome through the medieval period to the modern period. You may study the history of societies in diverse parts of the globe, from India and China, through Germany and France, to Britain, Wales and Cardiff. Above all you will learn to ‘do history’ yourself, and will thus acquire skills that employers prize. You will learn to think independently and to analyse a body of material, assess its strengths and weaknesses, and present your conclusions in well-written, lucid prose, as well as verbally.

Modern History and Politics

Key Facts

UCAS Code LV21
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Typical places available The School of History, Archaeology and Religion admits around 260 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Politics and International Relations admits around 100 students every year to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Typical applications received

Politics and International Relations =545
The School of History, Archaeology and Religion = 1,300

Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAB (including History)
Admissions Tutor Dr Jonathan Kirkup
Tel Number 029 2087 4588
Email address
School website

The first year is an introductory year. It is the results of the second and final years of study that determine your degree classification. The degree is made up of compulsory modules as well as optional modules, allowing you to tailor your degree to reflect your specific interests. A particular feature is the option of writing a dissertation in your final year. This is highly regarded by employers because it indicates that you can do original research.

Year One

You start by studying core Politics and History modules:

You must also choose a further Politics module from among the following:

Finally, you choose two of the following History modules:

  • Modern Wales
  • The Making of the Modern World
  • Early Modern England and Wales
  • Making Global Empires: Asia & The West

Year Two

In your second and final years you choose half your modules (in terms of credits) from Politics and half from History. Please note that the lists of modules below are indicative only and that modules may vary from year to year.

  • Approaches to History
  • Exploring Historical Debate: An Independent Study
  • Europe East and West (since 1945)
  • The British Civil Wars and Revolution, c1683 –1649
  • Managing the Mind: Psychiatry, Psychology and British Culture, 1800 – 2000
  • A Great Leap Forward: China Transformed 1840 – present
  • From King Coal to Cool Cymru: Society and Culture in Wales, 1939 – 2000
  • India and the Raj 1857 – 1947
  • The Dynamics of Witchcraft 1450 – 1750
  • Medicine and Society in Britain and Europe 1789-1919
  • Migrant Wales 1790-1939
  • France from the Dreyfus Affair to the National Front
  • Party and Politics in Britain (1867-1945)
  • A Warfare State (Britain since 1945)
  • Into the Vortex: Britain and the First World War
  • Modern Japan
  • Revels and Riots in Early Modern Europe and America

Year Three

  • Conflict, Coercion and Mass Mobilisation in Republican China 1911 – 1945
  • Crime in England and Europe 1550-1800
  • Politics, Economics and Strategy: Britain's European Dilemma 1951-1975
  • Germany’s New Order
  • Biography and German History, 1870-1945
  • Fascism and Anti-Fascism in France
  • Women, Health and Medicine in Britain 1870-1980
  • The Dangerous City? Urban Society and Culture 1800-1914
  • Crime and Disorder: England and Wales 1500-1750
  • Race, Sex and Empire: India 1757-1929
  • Socialism, Society and Politics in Britain 1880-1918
  • Culture, Society and Identity in Wales 1847-1914
  • Class, Protest and Politics: South Wales 1918-39
  • Identity and the British State: Wales 1485-1660
  • History Dissertation

A major difference between School and University is that you will prepare for classes through independent, guided reading and writing. You will also contribute to informed discussion, and produce your own reasoned conclusions, backed by evidence.

Most modules are taught through a combination of lectures, private study, seminars and individual feedback. Lectures provide guidance concerning the issues and problems to be followed up in your own reading and writing. For each seminar you will do six to eight hours of preparation, and in the session itself you will use the knowledge acquired to present and test your arguments. You will also receive feedback on them from lecturers and fellow students. In your essays you will combine a range of sources – sometimes contradictory – into a coherent argument of your own, backed by evidence. Again, you will receive individual feedback from lecturers, in writing and orally.

You will be assessed largely by written examinations and coursework essays. You will also write longer essays, source criticisms, and critical reviews of scholarly articles, and you will give oral presentations in certain courses.

Our courses are the product of rigorous design work and of continuous re-evaluation. Academics staff, students and outside experts work together to ensure that degree schemes meet quality standards in their disciplines.

Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor with whom to discuss and reflect upon academic progress. Every member of staff has weekly office hours in which you may seek further support.

Typical A-level Offer  AAB including History. (General Studies is not accepted)
Typical WBQ Offer Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma with a Grade A in the Core and grades AB at A-level, including History
Typical Int Bacc Offer  Considered on individual merit

Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here

Please find here further information about admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme.

A degree in Modern History and Politics provides an excellent springboard for careers in a wide range of fields. These include journalism, broadcasting, local government, teaching, management, publishing, law, accountancy, education, the European Union, the voluntary sector, policy research and consultancy, and the civil service. Business firms are interested in recruiting History and Politics graduates due to the fact that they have frequent dealings with government.

For employers a Politics and History degree means that you have an excellent understanding of politics and government in historical context that will be of use whether you work in government or in the private or voluntary sectors. It also demonstrates that you possess highly developed intellectual skills, such as the ability accurately to assess ideas and arguments on the basis of logic and evidence. You will also learn to construct your own answers to complex questions by developing logical arguments based on well-validated evidence. And you will develop good communication skills.

What this means is that graduates with a good degree in History and Politics are valued by a wide range of employers. Among the employers of recent graduates are political parties, local government, private companies and non-governmental organisations. Another option is to go on to postgraduate study.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Jonathan Kirkup  

Telephone: 029 2087 5036 



School Website:

More information

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Politics and International Relations