This programme is offered jointly by our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology and our Department of Politics, which gives you the opportunity to study current political ideas and events in combination with an understanding of the wider historical context of the modern world. The study of history and politics develops the ability to understand how people lived, acted and thought in the past, and the ways in which they act politically in the present. We encourage you to assess written and material evidence, to question accepted histories and explanations, and to construct and present your own arguments.
The course includes a wide variety of options across both disciplines, from the history of Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Britain, to the study of social and political theory, the analysis of authoritarianism and repressive regimes, and parliamentary democratic practice. The degree provides a mix of core modules which establish disciplinary approaches and methods, and a choice of option modules that allow you to pursue particular themes that interest you. You will gain a mix of skills drawn from the 2 disciplines: the ability to analyse data of different types, to understand the context and meaning of events, and to relate the study of the past to current political issues and developments.
This course is also available for part-time evening study over 4 years.
How to apply
Application deadlines and interviews
The programme consists of 12 modules of 30 credits each, for a total of 360 credits. Full-time students must complete these in 3 years and part-time students in 4 years. There are 3 kinds of module: compulsory Level 4 modules in core skills; Level 5 option modules which develop knowledge across broad areas of study; and Level 6 option modules which provide focused study on advanced topics. You take a balance of modules between the 2 disciplines.
- In Year 1, you take 2 compulsory modules from politics and choose 2 Level 5 option modules from history.
- In Year 2, you take 1 compulsory history module, 1 compulsory politics module, a Level 6 history option module and a Level 6 politics option module.
- In Year 3, you take a Level 6 history option module, a Level 6 politics option module and 2 additional Level 6 option modules, chosen from either history or politics.
Read more about our current teaching timetable.
Year 1 Politics compulsory modules
Year 2 History compulsory module
Year 2 Politics compulsory modules
History indicative option modules
Politics indicative option modules
We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.
UCAS tariff points
The UCAS tariff score is applicable to you if you have recently studied a qualification that has a UCAS tariff equivalence.
Alternative entry routes
Access to Higher Education Diploma with a minimum of 15 credits achieved at Merit or Distinction in humanities or social science units.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don’t meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Full-time home/EU students: £
paFull-time overseas students: £
Payment and Fees Discounts
Funding and Financial Support
Careers and employability
Graduates can pursue careers in journalism, education and politics. This degree may also be useful in becoming a higher education lecturer, museum/gallery curator, civil service fast-streamer or charity officer.
Find out more about these professions.
Graduates from our BA history degrees have gone on to work with the Museum of London, Historic England, the National Archives, the BBC, ITV, Thomson Reuters, Routledge publishing, Parliament, the Foreign Office, and a host of schools and colleges. Other careers include work in local government, finance and the charity sector.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
Teaching and assessment
Teaching will be through a mixture of lectures, seminars and one-to-one tutorials.
Most modules are assessed through a balance of examination (held in the summer term) and coursework, with coursework usually comprising 2 essays of c.2000 words for each module taken.
You can choose whether or not to pursue a final-year dissertation project.