• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2017
  • Duration:

    4 years part-time

  • Attendance:

    2-3 evenings a week, October to June

  • Location:

    Central London

Programme overview

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 and 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 modules which will 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.

How to apply

You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link.

Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.

Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

Application deadlines and interviews

We encourage you to apply as early as possible, though we still consider applications up to the end of September.

Online application

Contemporary History and Politics (BA): 4-year, part-time (Part-time)

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

  • Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
  • Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is ranked in the top 5 nationally and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), History at Birkbeck was ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, delivering stimulating teaching.
  • Our wide-ranging programmes encompass fascinating periods and areas of study, from human prehistory through to classical civilisation, the medieval and early modern periods, and on to twenty-first-century history, politics and international relations.
  • Our Department of Politics is over 40 years old and has a reputation for the excellence of its teaching and its internationally significant research.

Course structure

The programme consists of 12 modules of 30 credits each, for 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.

The course structure is as follows:

  • In Year 1, you take 2 compulsory Politics modules and 1 compulsory History module.
  • In Year 2, you take 2 compulsory History modules and a Level 5 Politics option module.
  • In Year 3, you take a Level 5 History option module, a Level 5 Politics option module, and an additional Level 6 option module, chosen from either discipline.
  • In your final year, you take a Level 6 History option module, a Level 6 Politics option module, and a Level 6 option module from either discipline.

Read more about our current teaching timetable.

Year 1 History compulsory modules

Year 1 Politics compulsory modules

Year 2 History compulsory modules

Year 2 Politics compulsory modules

History indicative option modules

Politics indicative option modules

Entry requirements

We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We assess each individual application for potential and talent and admission is by a combination of application and interview. 

UCAS tariff points

104

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.

Both Birkbeck's Certificate of Higher Education in Higher Education Introductory Studies and Certificate of Higher Education in History and Archaeology can lead to exemption from Year 1.

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.

Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 6935 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 9750 pa

Payment and Fees Discounts

Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

Fees discount: Birkbeck offers a generous package of fee reductions and cash bursaries for new undergraduates and Certificate of Higher Education students. Also, if you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

Funding and Financial Support

With a student loan, you will pay nothing upfront. Find out about loans, cash bursaries and fee reductions and check if you are eligible.

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.

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

Teaching will be through a mixture of lectures, seminars and one-to-one tutorials.

Assessment

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.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), History at Birkbeck was ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent. 94% of our eligible staff submitted research and we achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.

Read about Birkbeck research that crosses disciplines and focuses on pressing questions within the social sciences and humanities.

Further study opportunities

We offer a variety of Master's degrees in both history and politics, including an MA Contemporary History and Politics.

Not ready to do a degree?

We can support you to get on to the undergraduate course that’s right for you.

If you are not ready to study an undergraduate degree, check out our Certificates of Higher Education and short courses for another way into study.

Key Information Set