BA (Hons)

History and International Relations

Students by international flags
  • UCAS code(s): LV21
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

FIND US ON

If you've got two subjects that you really enjoy, or have career ambitions that demand a particular skill set, then a joint honours degree is a great choice for you.

Course overview

It enables you to shape your study according to your strengths, interests and career ambitions. Combining two subjects can give your degree an international or industry perspective that will make you stand out in the graduate employment market.

Our course combinations are designed so that what you learn in one subject will complement and enhance what you learn in the other. In your final year you can choose to either split your time evenly between your two subjects, or to specialise in one. Our flexible curriculum has been designed to create some amazing opportunities for you too. Your second year of study is divided into two semesters that enables you to take part in optional work placements or go on an international exchange.

By choosing History and International Relations you’ll enjoy the freedom to choose from a wide range of optional modules, depending on your own preferences and interests. These two subjects have natural synergy and will give you a unique insight into the world events that have shaped our lives and how international relationships, beliefs and cultures continue to shape the world we live in.

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

History

History is being made right now. It is a living, breathing subject that is constantly renewing, evolving and revealing new information that teaches us about the past, anchors us to the present and informs our future. Historians are passionate, focused, curious, intellectual and open to new experiences and information. If this sounds like you, then read on.

This course offers a broad curriculum, covering periods from AD 700 to the present day, with subject areas as diverse as dictatorship and warfare to youth and gender. We offer a wide range of options so that you have the greatest possible choice of areas to study in depth.

International Relations

International Relations is the study and understanding of the changing world we live in. It explores relations between states, peoples, social movements, and cultural and religious communities. Its major focus is diplomatic relations – war, peace, conflict and cooperation – but also international communication, terrorism, the role of the media, and protest and resistance to established power.

This course will help you develop a greater awareness of the complexity and connectedness of the processes that shape our worlds. This opens up careers in a wide range of fields in the public and private sectors, fostering the skills, imagination, understanding and flexibility which employers demand.

Our research feeds directly into the course, which means you’ll be learning about the latest issues from world-renowned experts. Our teaching is informed by regionally aligned research strengths in:

  • Asia-Pacific;
  • the Middle East;
  • North Africa; and
  • the Indian subcontinent and Europe.
  • 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.

    International Relations and Global History

    This module introduces students to the argument that contemporary world politics can be understood in historical context, and that the appropriate idea of history for this purpose will draw on literatures, which discuss long-term trends and transformations. The literature draws on Braudel and work influenced by Braudel, as well as Little and Buzan's attempt to write 5,000 years of global history, drawing attention to mechanisms of change and continuity.

  • 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 will enable you to explore 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.

    International Relations optional modules

    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.

    Global Political Economy

    This module seeks to explore the development of GPE as an area of study in International Relations and apply its theories and methods to analyse contemporary aspects of the contemporary global system. In order to do this, we look at the historical development of GPE as a critical response to the orthodoxy of traditional IR.

    Change and World Order: International Institutions and Non-State Actors

    This module examines the nature of international order and considers how international institutions have contributed to its maintenance. It is based on the assumption that non-state actors are important actors in international relations. The institutions studied include the United Nations and the Specialised Agencies such as the ILO, WHO and UNESCO, regional organisations such as the European Union and ASEAN, and alliances (eg. NATO).

  • 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.

    International Relations 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.

    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 will explore the principal configurations of national and supranational power in the EU polity and examine critically the debates about democracy, identity and citizenship in the EU.

    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 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.

    Hyperpower Politics: The USA

    This module examines the politics and governmental context of the USA, a complex and changing western liberal democracy. It will illuminate and explore the cultural and institutional relationships, which influence the speed and direction of political change.

    The Politics of Everyday Life

    This module aims to develop a knowledge of the concept of politics in everyday life through an examination of competing analytical approaches to the study of politics in everyday life and a critical evaluation of 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.

    Feminist Theory

    Feminist Theory will introduce some of the main branches of feminist thought and core themes in contemporary feminism. It 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 key a range of 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 post-independence 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 through 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

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 (68%), written (19%) and practical (13%)

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 (25%), independent study (73%) and placements (2%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%)

Careers and employability

Your career development

This is a major part of the curriculum. Key transferable skills are emphasised and there are opportunities to develop links with organisations and potential employers. Joint honours courses develop a wide range of skills. These include written and oral communication skills, critical analysis and a variety of IT skills. But you’ll also become more self-motivated, be able to work independently and in teams, and develop excellent time management skills.

91% of our history joint honours undergraduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree (DLHE 2015-16).

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