BA (Hons)

History and Politics

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This course is in clearing: call us now on
  • UCAS code(s): LVF1
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information
  • Entry requirements during Clearing may differ from those published in the 2018 prospectus, please call our Clearing Hotline on 0115 848 6000 to discuss.

FIND US ON

Knowledge and understanding of the past helps us understand the present. History and Politics at NTU provides a unique opportunity to explore key historical and political events that have shaped today's society.

Course overview

History and Politics at NTU offers you exciting opportunities to discover and understand the past, whilst developing your understanding of the issues dominating our lives; from the war in Afghanistan to the European Union. It demands passion, focus, an open mind, intellectual curiosity and a willingness to engage with independent learning.

This course will develop your knowledge and understanding of diverse peoples, nations, and ideas from medieval and early modern through to modern and contemporary history, across Britain, Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Far East.

Study this course full-time or part-time. See How to Apply section for more information.

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Arts and Humanities - Jessica Rose, BA (Hons) History
Jessica tells us about her life as a student studying BA (Hons) History at Nottingham Trent University.

What you'll study

There is a lot of flexibility in the structure of a Joint Honours degree, allowing you to tailor a package to your developing academic interests.

During your first year, you’ll study four core modules which provide a clear and exciting framework for your development at later stages.

In the second year you’ll study three core modules. You’ll also be able to select a number of optional modules based on your individual interests or spend the second half of the year on international exchange at one of our partner universities.

In the final year, you’ll undertake a dissertation on a topic of your choice and select four optional modules. You must select at least one module from each subject.

  • Year One

    Core modules

    History: Practice and Purpose

    This core module has been designed to equip you with the essential skills that are needed to read, research and write history during university. During the first section of this module you'll engage with some historical case studies ranging across medieval, early modern, modern contemporary and public history and develop a critical understanding of the often contested nature of historical evidence, how it's handled and its interpretation. In the second section you'll be able to understand the kinds of careers that you are attainable for. You'll contextualise the skills and practices acquired in the first half of the module in terms of raising awareness of employability and graduate attributes. Through interaction with employers and external agencies, you will reflect on the utility of a History degree, on the best ways to promote the qualities and competencies acquired over the course of their degree, and the potential of successful History students to excel in the competitive graduate market.

    Pathways Through Modernity

    This module investigates the nature of modernity across national and international settings. It uses primary and secondary sources to explore the ideas, ideologies, and the economic and cultural changes associated with the historical development of modernity from 1750 up to the present day.

    Foundations and Challenges to Politics and International Relations

    This module introduces you to key political concepts and ideologies which have underpinned the development of political and international relations theory. In addition, traditional approaches are contrasted with critical theoretical approaches to the study of international relations and to experiences of resistance and challenge to established orthodoxies and interests in global relations. It also introduces you to the importance of normative approaches to the study of international relations.

    Exploring British Politics

    This module introduces you to basic concepts related to the study of Politics, identifies significant actors in the political and government systems of the UK, and reviews the broader European and global dimension of national politics / government and how this impacts on the governance of the British nation-state.

  • Year Two

    Core modules

    The Historian's Craft

    This module will challenge you to critically investigate the problems posed by the nature and limits of historical knowledge and consider how history is communicated. The module will allow you to explore final year dissertation research in History, as you'll be informed on how best to identify a research topic and to conceptualise the research thesis.

    Researching Politics and International Relations

    This module explores contrasting approaches to the study of Politics and International Relations, to develop your skills in formulating a viable research project as preparation for the final-year dissertation and to enable you to manipulate, present and interpret quantitative and qualitative data.

    Humanities at work

    This module will give you a taste of live industry experience. The placement includes report writing around your experience and clear work-based learning objectives.

    History optional modules

    Land of Liberty: History of the United States, 1815-2000

    Consider the forces which have shaped American history between 1815-2000. The module pays specific attention to the ways that major social, economic and political changes have taken place during this time period. You'll explore key historical debates and study a range of primary sources.

    The Crusades

    The triumph of the First Crusade (1099) resulted in the establishment of a Western European community in the Levant for almost 200 years. In this course you'll investigate not only why such an event took place, but trace its impact and the development of subsequent expeditions through the 12th Century. You'll investigate the events that took place in both the Muslim world and Western Christendom directly before the advent of the crusades.

    Conflicts and Cultures in Mid-Victorian England 1850-1880

    Much of the period between 1850-1880 has been interpreted as an ‘Age of Equipoise’: a time of relative stabilisation in society, politics, and culture after decades of turbulence and disorder. The module will critically connect with this idea and will provide you with an opportunity to develop a rigorous understanding of this period and its interpretation. You'll also be able to engage with historical debate and handle primary sources that entail more detail and those that are considered more complex. You will utilise your findings through debates, presentations and academic writing.

    Heritage Matters

    Material and immaterial culture offers a detailed research resource for the historian to study the past, but how can artefacts be ‘read’ to elicit knowledge and understanding? In this module you'll discuss and investigate what can be learnt from objects, but will also ask questions about the justifications which are given regarding the selection and display of objects and artefacts in museums as well as collections in personal, local, national and international contexts. This module is supported by a field trip and regular close engagement with collections, objects and artefacts.

    The Age of Reformations

    Explore one of the major historical events of the early modern period: the Reformation(s) of Martin Luther, John Calvin and the Tudors and Stuart monarchs.

    Revolutionary Transformations: Russia and China in the 19th and 20th Centuries

    Examine the similarities and differences between the revolutionary transformations that gripped Russian and Chinese societies.This module takes a comparative approach, encouraging you to explore the similarities and differences between the revolutionary transformations that gripped Russian and Chinese societies in the modern period. This module encourages you to explore the historical change of revolution in wider social, economic and cultural terms to broaden your knowledge and skills in relation to what revolution was and what it signified to the societies who experienced it.

    The Eagle and the Snake: Conquests and Colonisations of Mexico

    This module will examine the civilisations of Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish. You'll analyse the social, political, and cultural characteristics of the native Mexican civilisations. Through lectures and seminars you'll examine a range of 'clash of cultures' that happened, for example when the first European settlers arrived.

    Politics optional modules

    Great Political Thinkers: from Plato to Rawls

    This module follows on from the political ideologies discussed in your first year. It aims to introduce you to a selection of major texts in Western political thought and to develop skills in textual and contextual analysis. The module will identify a variety of interpretations of the texts and relate the texts to political doctrines and the ideas to the study of politics and social science.

    Understanding the Cold War

    This module will enable you to gain an understanding of the origins of the Cold War, its key events and features, such as the Korean War; the building of the Berlin Wall; the Cuban Missile Crisis; the Vietnam War; and the factors behind the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War.

  • Year Three

    Core module

    Dissertation

    The final year dissertation module enables you to undertake a sustained, single piece of independently researched work on a topic of your choice, under expert supervision.

    History optional modules

    Real-Life Work Project

    This module will give you the chance to develop and apply historical skills to real-world situations for external clients. The module will enhance your chances of employability post-university,  enhance your confidence and awareness of transferable skills whilst developing and delivering work to external client briefs. External clients will include museums, heritage sites, charities, trusts, local organisations and private businesses.

    Memory and Identities in European Writing, Cinema and Society

    This module explores the way in which European writing and cinema investigates the links between identity, the individual and the collective in the post-war era.

    Crusading Cultures and Communities

    This module will allow you to explore the impact of crusading activities on societies in Medieval Europe. It will start by providing an overview of crusading in the 12th and 13th Centuries, and go on to look at a series of case studies in order to highlight the pervasive and Protean nature of the crusade agenda.

    Rustic and Rude: Rural Cultures 1840-1880

    Examine the history of rural society in the mid 19th Century and gain a fresh perspective of the rural past. This module will encourage you to engage with a variety of sources and historical perspectives through a critical evaluation to develop you own interpretations of the rural past and especially its social and cultural relations.

    Early Modern Revolution and War

    This module contextualises the civil wars across the British Isles in the period 1639-1660 within the context of the debate on the concept of military revolution with the wider background of the European Sphere, the Dutch Wars and the Thirty Years War. The module will also include a study of leadership and political/religious commitment, again within the background of the revolution/evolution debate.

    Magna Carta: Origins, Impetus and Legacy

    Explore the circumstances which brought Magna Carta into being in England in 1215 and the influence it has had on the development of laws, rights and liberties thereafter. You'll  examine the importance to rulers of gaining the consent of the ruled, using sources such as the laws of the Anglo-Saxons and the coronation charters of the Norman and Angevin kings of England, who, like all medieval kings, believed they had a ‘God-given’ right to rule.

    Museum Matters

    Museums and heritage organisations have become significant institutions of public cultural life in recent decades as they can help us to understand the past. This module provides a critical and creative investigation of modern issues in museums and heritage within a local, national and international context.

    The African American Experience in History and Memory

    This module will examine the historical experience of black people in the United States of America. You'll consider slavery in the United States and investigate how both slavery and racism took place and spread across North America during the colonial period, to the mature plantation society and right before the Civil War. During the second part of the module you will consider African-American experiences after Emancipation.

    Living and Dying in Reformation Britain

    This module explores key themes in the social and cultural history of Reformation Britain. You'll debate with your peers on the continuities and changes in religious belief and experiences, social attitudes, and cultural practices.The first part of the module  explores the lasting impact of the Reformations on various aspects of life and lived experience in early modern England. The second part will explore the end of life, in regards to aspects of death and remembrance.

    Mission Impossible? Converting the New World

    During this module you'll investigate the numerous attempts of the Catholic and Protestant missionaries to convert the indigenous peoples of the Americas and East Asia to the Christian faith. This module will enable you to evaluate large issues within the study of conversion from a global and long-term perspective.

    Politics optional modules

    The following modules are currently taught at the Clifton Campus.

    Emerging Powers of Asia 

    This module explores and analyses international relations within Asia, both in terms of individual member states and regional players, for instance ASEAN.  It will also explore the role that external actors have had in facilitating, hindering and modifying the development of specific forms of international relation.

    Russian Politics and Society

    This module follows on to an extent from Understanding the Cold War but focuses on Russia since the collapse of communism. It will enable you to analyse and evaluate the collapse of the USSR and the problems of Russia’s democratisation, especially the power of the presidency, the weakness of parliament and civil society, the manipulation of elections, and the war in Chechnya. We will also examine Russia’s economic transformation, the emergence of the so-called ‘oligarchs’, and the impact of these profound changes on the structure and health of Russian society. We will also look at Russia’s external relationships and whether we are witnessing the development of a ‘new cold war’.

    Currently, you can also choose from the following options which are offered at the City Campus. Please note that optional modules can change due to several factors and we retain the right to withdraw modules at any point.

    Power and Politics in the European Union

    This module aims to identify and critically examine the institutional character of the European Union and to identify and explore the political dynamics of the EU's policy processes. It explores the principal configurations of national and supranational power in the EU polity and examines critically the debates about democracy, identity and citizenship in the EU. It also examines the debate about the EU’s ‘constitution’.

    International Politics and Geostrategy of Eurasia

    This module aims to investigate the politics and geopolitics of Eurasia in context of both the historical and contemporary world. It seeks to give an understanding of the political systems, geopolitics and relations between the countries stretching from the Balkans to Central Asia including, Turkey and the Caucasus. This module proposes an area studies approach to the region and will include historical and cultural aspects as well as economics and geostrategy.

    Hyperpower Politics: The USA

    This module examines the politics and governmental context of the USA – a complex and changing western liberal democracy. You'll explore the cultural and institutional relationships which influence the speed and direction of political change.

    You'll be introduced to significant political actors and institutions in the political and governmental system of the United States. You'll also explore and evaluate the implications of the hyperpower status of the US for both domestic and foreign policy.

    The Politics of Everyday Life

    This module aims to develop your knowledge of the concept of politics in everyday life. To achieve this you'll examine analytical approaches to the study of politics in everyday life and critically evaluate these approaches. You'll explore examples of politics in everyday life such as nature, consumption and work.

    States, Nationalism and Identity

    This module explores the increasingly complex question of identity in international relations. It asks how individuals and social groups develop a sense of who they are, how they relate to others, how this affects their sense of belonging to the state, nation or other collectivity, and the political significance of this sense of identity. The module is distinctive in the sense that it draws on theoretical perspectives not covered in depth elsewhere in the course (for example postmodern and postcolonial) and uses case studies based on staff and student research interests.

    Feminist Theory

    Feminist Theory will introduce some of the main branches of feminist thought and core themes in contemporary feminism. It will extend core modules undertaken during your first and second year, incorporating feminist perspectives in political and international thought. This module will provide you with first-hand encounters with primary texts, the ability and skills to apply political theory to real life and the ability to understand and compare a range of key feminist theories.

    The International Relations of Middle East and North Africa

    This module explores the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) against the backdrop of the colonial and postindependence history of the region. You'll analyse the bases of political and religious identities and the nature of nationalisms in the MENA region in order to develop an understanding of their implications for both state and non-state actors in the region and beyond.

    Political Violence and Terrorism

    This module is an opportunity for you to expand your knowledge and understanding of terrorism and political violence in a global context. It analyses the concept of ‘insecurity’ in a broad sense by exploring both the theoretical approaches to the study of violence, as well as a range of real-world cases to illustrate the increasingly complex use of violence for political objectives.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

90% of History students would recommend studying at NTU (NSS 2018).

How you’re taught

How will I learn?

Each year you’ll choose a range of core and optional modules from the lists above. The first year is normally divided equally between the two joint honours subjects but at the end of Year One, you’ll have the opportunity to select between an equally weighted joint honours course and a more specialised pathway, depending on your interests.

Teaching principally takes place through a combination of lectures, where tutors introduce the key ideas, and seminars, where smaller groups discuss those ideas.

Contact hours

If you’re struggling with a topic or require additional support or guidance, you can arrange to see your tutors in small groups or one-to-one, to discuss essay plans or to seek some specific academic guidance.

It is the nature of the subjects offered in the School of Arts and Humanities, however, that much of your time will be spent engaged in independent study. We recognise that this marks a change of culture from school or college, and we have in place a system of study support to help you adapt to this.

International exchange

You’ll also have the option to take part in an international exchange at a partner university. These options will enable you to gain impressive international experience, and broaden your perspective and career ambitions.

You’ll experience other cultures, travel the globe and open your eyes to a world of opportunities. Our exchange partnership with a number of international universities enables you to live and study in another country in your second year. Find out more.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn another new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. Learning a new language can enhance your communication skills, enrich your experience when travelling abroad and boost your career prospects. Find out more about the University Language Programme.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (50%) and written (50%)
  • Year 2 coursework (83%) and written (17%)
  • Year 3 coursework (75%) and written (25%)

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (79%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (24%), independent study (74%) and placements (2%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (79%)

Careers and employability

Career development

Knowledge and understanding of the past is of incalculable value both to the individual and to society, and as one of our History and Politics graduates you’ll possess a wide range of academic and transferable skills.

Academically, the study of History instils an appreciation of the importance of historical context, the challenges posed by imperfect evidence, and a greater awareness of the historical forces unfolding in our own time. Proficiency in close textual analysis, developing rational enquiry, and constructing and articulating argument will provide not only valuable life skills but significant benefits to your employment activities. You’ll also have knowledge of communications and media processes and their impact on industry and society.

Politics and History graduates are effective communicators, and possess a range of major transferable skills that include critical reasoning and independence of thought, and excellence in research methodology and advanced problem solving. These skills are valued in a wide range of occupations and settings, which is why the immediate and longer term destinations of History graduates are so diverse.

Politics and History graduates have gone on to forge successful careers both within large, well known organisations and the small to medium sized companies that constitute much of the UK economy. Recent graduate roles have included law, publishing, marketing, PR, retail and finance.

Some graduates choose to progress to further study, either to continue their research within Politics or History, or to gain more direct vocational qualifications such as museum and heritage management, teaching, or tourism.

91% of our joint honours politics and history students are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree (DLHE 2016-17).

Entry requirements

  • 104 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent)
  • GCSEs - English and Maths grade C / 4.

If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please email our International Team for advice.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can.

For the full-time route just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide.

If you're applying for the part-time route please apply online using the NTU Applicant Portal.

Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Keeping up-to-date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on +44 (0)115 848 2494.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Find out more about our terms and conditions of study for this course.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Please see our fees page for more information.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Find out more about our terms and conditions of study for this course.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418