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
If you are applying for a 3-year, full-time undergraduate degree at Birkbeck, you have to apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). To apply, go to the UCAS homepage and click on 'Apply and Track'. You will have to register, giving UCAS a few personal details, including your name, address and date of birth, and then you complete an application form.
We assess each individual application for potential and talent, and admission is by a combination of application and interview.
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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
15 January is the first UCAS deadline and the majority of university applications through UCAS are made by then. We welcome applications outside of the UCAS deadlines, so you can still apply through UCAS after 15 January, depending on the availability of places. We also take late applications via the UCAS Clearing system in August.
Read more about key dates for UCAS applicants.
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 system has changed for courses starting in September 2017 and is now calculated using a new number system. This means applicants applying for courses from October 2016 will see entry requirements and offers expressed using the new tariff.
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
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.