This programme meets the rising demand to study the history of the twentieth century alongside international relations. It is a joint degree, offered by our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology and our Department of Politics, so you will be taught by world-class academics across 2 research-active departments. The course examines the global evolution of international relations, with an emphasis on in-depth historical studies supported by political and sociological analysis.
You will take introductory modules in international relations and modern and contemporary history (particularly related to Asia and Africa) in the first part of your degree. You will then take modules that offer both contemporary and historical approaches to Africa, Middle East, Asia (South Asia and East Asia in particular), as well as European countries. These choices are supported by a compulsory advanced module addressing conflict and war through the lens of international relations theory, as well as optional modules on foreign policy and historical studies of cases which have been central to the development of international relations such as the Cold War.
This course is also available for part-time evening study over 4 years.
How to apply
Application deadlines and interviews
This course consists of modules of 30 credits each and you must complete modules worth a total of 360 credits.
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 - history and politics - or focus on either one of the disciplines at Level 6.
In Year 1, you take 3 compulsory modules from politics and 1 compulsory module from history.
In Year 2, you take 2 compulsory modules from history, a Level 6 option module from history and another Level 6 option module from politics.
In Year 3, you take 1 compulsory politics module, a Level 6 history module and two Level 6 option modules from either history or politics.
Read more about our current teaching timetable.
Year 1 International Relations compulsory modules
Year 1 History compulsory modules
Year 2 History compulsory module
Year 2 History compulsory modules
Year 3 International Relations compulsory module
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 research, education or national/international government. This degree may also be useful in becoming a political activist/lobbyist, journalist 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.