Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code

LV21

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

Length

3 years full-time or 4-6 years part-time

Department

History
Politics and International Relations

Course overview

BA History with Politics is an innovative and interdisciplinary exploration into how social, cultural, and political institutions, decisions, and events have shaped societies and nations around the world.

Rather than focusing on chronology or strictly demarcated historical periods, combining history and politics encourages and facilitates explorations and analyses of key issues, controversies, themes, and debates.

Why study BA History with Politics

  • The study, analysis and understanding of the past is as important today as it has ever been.
  • Understanding past societies fosters emotional intelligence and allows us to appreciate the diversity and adaptability of human life.
  • Understanding our pasts can help us to shape our futures and, crucially, help us shape those futures intelligently, insightfully, fairly, and with compassion, contributing towards equality, diversity and social justice.
  • Our innovative approaches to the study of politics, peel back the formal veneer of political parties and institutions to reveal the major ideological, economic, social, and cultural conflicts
  • By exploring politics in this in this in-depth manner, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of our world.
  • We cross boundaries between the traditional and the more radical understandings of political phenomena.
  • Politics is much more than simply what happens in parliaments, it pervades the whole of society, domestically and internationally.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Erica Wald.

What you'll study

The programme can be undertaken full-time (three years across three levels) or part-time (four to six years across three levels). You take a total of 360 credits, 120 credits at each level.

Year 1

In your first year, you will take the following compulsory modules, as well as two optional modules from a list published annually by the department.

Compulsory modules

Module title Credits
Global Connections: the violence and exchanges that shaped the modern world 30 credits
Identity, Agency & Environment 1 15 credits
Identity, Agency & Environment 2 15 credits
Reading and Writing History 15 Credits
Historical Controversies 15 credits

You will also select two 15 credit modules from a list approved annually by the Department of History.

Year 2

In your second year, you will have more freedom to shape your curriculum and broaden your intellectual horizons with 90 credits of optional modules, and 30 credits of compulsory modules.

You will choose 60 credits from the list offered by the History department, up to 30 credits of which can be a University of London intercollegiate group II module.

The additional 30 credits will be from a list provided annually by the Department of Politics and International Relations.

Compulsory modules

Module title Credits
The Goldsmiths Elective 15 credits
Goldsmiths’ Social Change Module 15 credits

Year 3

In your final year, you will develop your specialist interests and knowledge.

You will take a special subject module from the Department of History or the University of London Intercollegiate Group III. This will be combined with a dissertation linked to your special subject, to make 60 credits.

You will also choose 45 credits of optional modules offered by the Department of Politics, and 15 credits offered by the Department of History.

See the full list of year 3 and Special Subject History modules.

Teaching style

The programme is cumulative and progressive, with knowledge and skills building on previous years and growing year on year. Basic skills and competencies are delivered in the first year which sets the broad agenda for the programme as a whole. In the second year, the modules contain increasingly challenging and demanding material which provides the foundations for the significant independent scholarly work required and undertaken in the final year.

Teaching may be delivered in the form of lectures and seminars or other forms of contact time such as extended seminars, workshops, field trips, and film screenings. Lectures introduce subject specific skills and understandings and provide the basis for discussions, activities, group work, and debates. Seminars linked to lectures provide a space for further exploration of the lecture topics and materials and they reinforce the knowledge gained from the lectures and from independent reading and studying. Seminars also involve field-trips and site visits to relevant places including museums, galleries, archives, and sites of historical interest.

Throughout the programme students are taught to critically engage with the inter-relationship between history and Politics. In the final year, this interdisciplinary knowledge, understanding, skill, and experience is tested through the compulsory dissertation project. The variety of theoretical and empirical material throughout the programme, covering a wide range of topics, periods and regions, provides students with the opportunity to pursue their own interests while examining and interrogating the linkages between the two disciplines. Under close co-supervision, students develop a substantial and sustained individual project in which they form and present their own critical arguments in an extended format. In the context of this joint degree, students are required to produce a genuinely interdisciplinary piece of work that reflects their abilities to analyse and assess historical evidence, their awareness of political ideas, methods, and concepts, and a knowledge of relevant empirical work and debates in each discipline.

Lecturers also make themselves available for tutorials either during their Consultation and Feedback hours or by appointment. These provide opportunities to ask questions about modules and their content, to receive support and guidance on independent work, and to receive feedback on submitted work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

A wide and innovative variety of different methods are used to assess learning, these include essays, reviews, source analyses, blogs, videos, walks, presentations, exams, and dissertations. Some modules are assessed by portfolios of coursework, or by a combination of coursework and an examination. Others are assessed by long essays or dissertations on topics approved with the tutor. Assessments vary in length according to the type of assessment and/or level of module.

Assessment supports student progression across the programme, as assessments in the first year aim to measure a set of baseline skills and competencies which are enhanced, deepened and broadened in subsequent years. Lecturers return assessments and provide useful and constructive feedback in a timely manner so as to ensure that students learn from the feedback and have the opportunity to improve subsequent work.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 69% coursework, 31% written exam
  • Year 2 - 81% coursework, 19% written exam
  • Year 3 - 100% coursework

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2020/21. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about how this information is calculated.

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Download the programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

What our students say

Sarah Slaughter

Goldsmiths gave me the opportunity to expand my understanding of the world I had seen while travelling and gave me a set of tools to develop that learning further.

Before coming to Goldsmiths I travelled a lot, moving around from place to place and picking up work as I went along to support myself. After several years I felt my lifestyle was becoming unfulfilling and realised my knowledge of the world around me was limited.

Goldsmiths gave me the opportunity to expand my understanding of the world I had seen while travelling and gave me a set of tools to develop that learning further. I didn't have any qualifications beyond a handful of GCSEs but Goldsmiths put me on an 'Integrated Degree', which meant I completed a foundation year before I began the full degree programme.

The History department was welcoming and I felt at ease when approaching staff with any questions I had.

My favourite part of the degree was my third-year dissertation. By this point, I felt comfortable and thoroughly enjoyed the research I undertook, which included going to the National Archives and reading through 100+ year old government documents. At that point I felt like a proper Historian!

Once I moved to London I realised that all the wonderful variety of people I met while travelling were right here in one place. I made new friends and met up with old travel buddies, and together we were able to go out to take part in free and low-cost activities available in both New Cross and central London. There were so many things to do! I still haven't worked my way through the list of museums, galleries, theatres, and everything else - I've now been living in London for 14 years!

I would advise anyone thinking about doing a degree to make sure that they examine their motivations for coming and ensure that they are doing it for themselves. I was almost 30 years old before I decided that university was for me. Some people are much younger when they know what they want to do, and some need to experience life a bit more in order to determine their best path.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75% preferably including History
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

Additional requirements

At Goldsmiths we offer innovative and challenging degrees in history, as well as a stimulating environment amongst a diverse and exciting community of students. Many of our students have achieved very high A-level grades, and that is reflected in our standard A-level offer.

But above all we're looking for potential students who can demonstrate the range of skills, talents and interests necessary for this work, either through traditional A-levels or otherwise. We believe that all able students of whatever age and background who have the ability should have the chance to study at Goldsmiths, and we actively encourage applications from students with a wide range of relevant qualifications, especially the access diploma. 

If you're interested in applying to Goldsmiths, whether you're currently studying or have been out of education for some time, we'd be delighted to hear from you. If you'd like further advice or have specific questions, please get in touch with the Admissions Tutor listed above.

Given the range of students that the programme is designed to attract, applicants may be asked to attend an interview, where the following criteria are evaluated:

  • reasons for applying to study this particular degree
  • reasons for applying to Goldsmiths
  • background knowledge/expectations of the discipline(s)
  • intellectual potential and analytic skills
  • ability to express ideas verbally and engage in debate
  • motivation to complete the programme

Performance at interview can alter the usual criteria for entry on a case-by-case basis.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Fees & funding

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2022/2023 academic year.

From August 2021 EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for 'Home' fee status. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will be classified as 'International' for fee purposes, more information can be found on our fees page.

  • Home - full-time: £9250
  • Home - part-time: £4625
  • International - full-time: £17560

If your fees are not listed here, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time under a student visa. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

We offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, and our careers service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.

Careers

Equipping you with the flexibility, skills and confidence needed to achieve your ambitions are central components of the BA History at Goldsmiths.  It provides you with the knowledge and skills that employers seek. According to the Institute of Student Employers, 82% of employers do not specify degree subjects when recruiting graduates. The Hay Group found that 91% of recruiters believe that graduates with refined people skills will advance faster in their organisations.

A degree in history can take you to almost any place you want to go. From teaching to the civil service, and business to social work. History graduates have known expertise in understanding and navigating different organisational cultures, and adapting their knowledge, understanding, and skills to different sorts of complex problems. 

History at Goldsmiths offers a range of opportunities for further study. It delivers several internationally renowned and ground-breaking MA programmes, including MA Queer History and MA Black British History. Through these programmes, the department establishes and fosters a range of partnerships with some of the leading historical and cultural organisations in London and beyond, including English Heritage, Historic England, Historic Royal Palaces, the Black Cultural Archives, and the George Padmore Institute.

Careers service

Goldsmiths' Careers Services offer tailored support to your individual needs. They can help you identify your career interests.

Support includes:

  • Giving you practical advice in preparing a CV
  • Teaching you important interview skills
  • Providing networking opportunities with future employers who are particularly interested in the skills of Goldsmiths History graduates 

Work placement

Students on all BA History programmes can also choose to undertake History’s work placement module. Placement opportunities have included: St Paul's Cathedral, the Jewish Museum, the Cinema Museum, the National Maritime Museum, the London Metropolitan Archives, the Bishopsgate Institute, the Museum of London Docklands, and the Wellcome Library and Archive.  The Connected Curriculum module in year 2 also offers you the opportunity to work with other Goldsmiths’ students towards addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals in partnership with external organisations.