This degree provides an innovative combination of high-level study of both politics and history. As well as gaining a firm understanding of key political institutions and players which form a framework to understanding contemporary issues, you will study complementary courses in history, which span from the 17th to the 20th centuries and cover a wide range of geographical locations.
Entry RequirementsUCAS Tariff - 300 points, from:GCE A and AS-level Tariff points typically from 3 A-levels together with either 1 AS-level or Extended Project Qualification (typical offer BCC, including Grade C in History at A-level, plus a C in either an AS or EPQ). General Studies/Critical Thinking accepted.
Irish Tariff points from 5 subjects.
Scottish Tariff points from 3 Advanced Highers plus 1 Higher.
Advanced Diploma Tariff points in Creative and Media, Society, Health and Development, Public Services or Business, Administration and Finance, including an A-level for Additional and Specialist Learning.
BTEC ND DDM in a related subject.
IB Diploma 31 points.
Access Pass, including at least 50% of units with Merit or Distinction.
For all of the above, 5 GCSEs or equivalent at Grade C or above are also required, to include English and Maths.
This degree provides an innovative combination of high-level study of both politics and history. As well as gaining a firm understanding of key political institutions and players, which form a framework to understanding contemporary issues, you will study complementary courses in history, which span from the 13th to the 20th centuries and cover a wide range of geographical locations.
This degree draws on the skills and expertise of all the disciplines that make up the School of Social Sciences. In addition to the Politics half of the course, and the writing of a dissertation at Level 3, you will take modules in historiography and historical skills, and select modules covering a wide variety of historical periods and substantive theme.
Typical ModulesLevel 1
Political Science Methods
Central Themes in Political Thought
Modern British Politics
Introduction to History
2 modules from other Level 1 History Modules, including:
- American History to 1865
- American History from 1865
- Britain 1688-1832
- Britain 1832-1945
- Europe Since 1870
- World History
Level 2 Core
Gender in Early America
Level 2 Options
Revolutionary Russia 1894-1940
India and The Modern World
Total War in the Modern Era
US Foreign Policy from WW2 to the End of the Cold War
Gender in Early America
Issues in American Politics
Birth of the Industrial Revolution
Level 3 (Core)
12,000-word dissertation (This may be taken in Politics, or jointly between Politics and History)
Politics of the European Union
Typical optional modules to select from:
Asia-Pacific International Relations: Modern East-West Encounters
Globalisation and Governance
Gender and Sexuality in Modern America
Media, Power and Politics in America
Marx and Marxism
Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia
Parties and Voters in the UK
Slavery and Abolition
Second World War
First World War
Women and War
Final year dissertation
Students produce a 12,000 word dissertation on a subject of their choice. This major piece of work will give you a valuable opportunity to demonstrate research and writing skills. It is written on a subject relevant to your particular course of study and may well relate to your future career plans.
Teaching and LearningExperts in their field
As one of our students, you will be taught by academics who are experts in their field. Many of our lecturers are internationally and nationally recognised. All of them write important books, publish well-regarded scholarly articles and present papers to universities at home and abroad. Many are regular media performers worldwide and research has led to major television and radio programmes. Several staff are paid consultants to government Departments (the Home Office, the Department of Education, Employment, Health and Social Security) and major national newspapers. Students benefit from their exciting contacts and inside knowledge.
As well as offering students some of the best teaching in our subject areas, we are committed to helping you progress confidently through the levels of your degree programme. To achieve this, we devote as much care to your initiation into higher education, both by entry-level courses and study skills teaching, as to the completion of your learning at Level 3. By your final year, therefore, you will be in a position to benefit from the specialist research-led courses and will be prepared for the researching and writing involved in your dissertation.
Students are encouraged to use the University's exchange scheme with the State University of New York at Brockport (which includes the opportunity to do a work placement in Washington or Albany), or those EU universities with whom the School of International Studies has partnerships in the Socrates programme (eg Rennes, Stuttgart, Malta, Cyprus, Ireland and Helsinki).
How will I be taught?
Modules are generally taught by a mixture of lectures and seminars. Depending on its credit-rating, you can expect to have one or two hours of lectures per week for each module and a one-hour seminar each week or fortnight. The bulk of every student's work, however, will undoubtedly consist of private study. On average this should absorb approximately 25-30 hours of your life each week.
Lectures - These provide a broad overview of key themes and ideas relating to your course and provide you with a framework from which to carry out more in-depth study.
Seminars - These relatively small groups are used for subjects where the lecture material is examined in more detail, and theoretical concepts are analysed and applied in specific contexts. Seminars provide students with an opportunity for discussion, argument and the development of presentational skills.
One-to-one - You will get one-to-one supervision on your final year dissertation and at all levels you will have a personal tutor who is available to discuss personal and academic problems. If you go on placement, you will also be allocated a work placement tutor who will monitor your progress and provide further support if you need it.
Private study - Real learning requires active involvement by you. Lecturers and seminar leaders can provide guidance and help, but you must develop the ability to organise your studies. During your first months at Brunel, you are given help and advice designed to encourage you to become an 'independent learner', capable of managing your work effectively.
External visits -Wherever possible we aim to introduce students to the benefits which stem from the empirical observation of politics and the personal experience of other political systems and ideas. You will visit important political sites in the UK (the University is a short distance from parliament), and depending on the options you select, may visit overseas.
Level 1 does not count towards your final degree mark. Level 2 is worth a third - Level 3 is worth two-thirds. The final year dissertation is worth a third of Level 3 marks.
Exact assessment patterns vary, but most are based on a combination of coursework and formal written exams. Typically, coursework marks constitute 25-50% of overall module grades.
A major attraction of our courses is the wide variety of career opportunities to which they can lead. Not surprisingly, Brunel's politics graduates have gone on to important careers in public and private life.
Our students pursue a wide variety of jobs after graduating. Some, like Margaret McDonagh or John McDonnell MP, opt for careers in politics. Others have joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Home Office, GCHQ and military intelligence. Many have gone on to work in public and private sector organisations, such as Chase Manhatten, Marks and Spencer, British Airways, Coca Cola Schweppes, HSBC, and NHS Confederation. Significant numbers have taken further training to pursue careers in broadcasting, journalism, law, and teaching at every level.
Facts and FiguresSchool of Social Sciences
The History programme introduces you to the study of societies in the past. It looks at the history of Britain, Europe and the wider world in the modern period. Through an examination of life as it was lived in the past, you begin to understand what it means to be human and begin to understand both how different the past is from the present and how connected present and past events are.
Programmes in Politics will help you to address critical questions. Who has political power? Why do they have it? To whom are they accountable? In whose interest do they exercise it? What is globalisation? Is violent protest ever justified? Our courses are designed and taught by experts in the fields of politics, international relations and contemporary history who have been nationally and internationally recognised for the excellence of their research.