IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
3 years full-time or 4-5 years part-time
Politics and International Relations
This exciting degree lets you explore the ways in which thinking about politics is vital to a study of history, and how the past development of social and political institutions and ideas is crucial to an understanding of contemporary politics.
Why study BA History & Politics at Goldsmiths?
- You'll have the opportunity to gain precious industry-standard experience and apply your academic skills within the workplace through our placement scheme
- We offer something different and exciting – we use innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to the subject, and will encourage you to explore issues, controversies and themes rather than chronological periods
- We'll defamiliarise you from what you think you already know, and encourage you to look at the subjects from a different perspective
- You'll work with staff who are enthusiastic researchers as well as being excellent teachers, many being recognised as international leaders in their field
- We're only 15 minutes by train from the centre of government and decision-making at Westminster and Whitehall, and you'll be able to make use of the many museums, galleries and exhibitions available in London
- The degree will give you access to a wide range of careers by developing your critical, analytical and communication skills; we help you think beyond the traditional boundaries of subjects in ways which employers really value
- We have a lively events programme that attracts renowned speakers, meaning that you'll have the opportunity to hear the latest political and historical arguments, theories and ideas
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr John Price
What you'll study
Taught jointly by the Departments of History and Politics and International Relations, this degree applies methods and concepts from both areas to inform your studies, and you are encouraged to examine links between the two disciplines. Our interdisciplinary approach will give you insights into the ways that social, cultural and political institutions have shaped, and continue to shape, our society.
Throughout the three years you study a range of units offered by both Departments - including a core unit for the study of History and Politics and International Relations, and a variety of complementary units - and are encouraged to examine links between the two areas.
Your study of the relationships between Historical processes and politics will be enhanced by Goldsmiths' growing reputation as a centre of excellence in cultural and social processes.
Year 1 (credit level 4)
In your first year you take:
|Concepts and Methods in History||30 credits|
You also take one of the following History modules:
|Dictators, War and Revolution||30 credits|
|Religion, Peace and Conflict||30 credits|
|Self, Citizen and Nation||30 credits|
And the following two Politics modules:
|Political Theory and Ideologies||30 credits|
|UK and European Comparative Governance and Politics||30 credits|
Year 2 (credit level 5)
You take the following compulsory module:
|Modern Political Theory||30 credits|
You also take politics and international relations modules of up to 30 credits, and two history options. You can also take a module in a modern foreign language or apply to take a ‘related study’ – a relevant approved module from another department.
Year 3 (credit level 6)
You undertake an interdisciplinary dissertation (30 credits) for which you are given special supervision on a subject of particular interest to you.
A range of specialist modules from the two departments are taken, and you also have the option of taking a Special Subjects module selected from the 40 or so available through the other University of London institutions.
Find out more about the History modules.
This programme is mainly taught through scheduled learning - a mixture of lectures and seminars. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project 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 - 11% scheduled learning, 89% independent learning
How you’ll be assessed
You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice-based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.
The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:
- Year 1 - 56% coursework, 44% written exam
- Year 2 - 62% coursework, 38% written exam
- Year 3 - 88% coursework, 12% written exam
*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2017/18. 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.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
We accept the following qualifications:
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
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.
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. We also offer a year 0 (foundation year) for students who need more preparation and experience before embarking on the BA. This is a longstanding commitment and practice. Consequently, over many years, a large number of our students have come from non-traditional backgrounds.
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.
Fees & funding
Find out about our undergraduate tuition fees and funding opportunities.
When you start your studies you'll receive a printed copy of the handbook for your degree. Module guides and reading packs including reading materials for your programme are provided digitally on learn.gold and you may decide to use your printer credit towards printing these.
Degrees in history and combined subjects develop your critical and analytical skills, your ability to express ideas clearly and your expertise in gathering insights from a range of subjects. Historical research enables you to gather and select from a range of materials – literary and visual. It teaches you to write with imagination and clarity.
Former students have forged careers in journalism and the media, museums and galleries, the Civil Service, teaching and research, law and the commercial world, but the skills learned are also applicable to many more industries and roles.
History at Work
History at Work is an exciting and innovative new initiative which offers some second and third year students taking History single and joint honours programmes the chance to apply their academic skills within the workplace.
Students spend one day a week over one term undertaking a project within a museum, archive or library: places which collect, process and present the 'raw material' of history. These organisations include the Wellcome Library, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, London Transport Museum and the V&A Museum of Childhood.
The project might involve archiving, conservation, building an exhibition, or developing a public engagement project. Students will be invited to apply for places on the programme each February. It should give students a great chance to test out their career ideas, develop skills and increase their employability.