History and Politics BA(Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

Want to join us in September? You can now apply via Clearing

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Find Out More About History

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Meet our History students

History at the University of Huddersfield


About the course

We offer a broad ranging course allowing you to explore medieval and modern history and British, European and World history alongside national and international politics.

We have a friendly, hands-on approach to delivering our courses. Our staff are high achievers in their research fields – the latest research exercises adjudged 100% of their research work to be internationally recognised, with 66% classed as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'. All of our modules aim to equip you with the skills needed by the world of work, such as good communication and analytical skills, independent and team working, and problem solving. In addition, we have innovative assessments which allow you to be creative and may including activities such as creating exhibitions for local and national museums and making podcasts.

The University was also ranked 13th in the country (out of 90) and top in Yorkshire for History studies by The Guardian's University Guide 2015.

What our examiners say:
 "I was especially impressed by the level and helpfulness of the feedback on essays."
 Dr Gwilym Dodd "This is a successful set of courses taught by a dedicated group of staff who are effective in getting the most out of their students."
 Professor Stuart Jones

Here's what current History student Claire has to say about her course.

Here's what current History student Yusuf has to say about his course.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time

4 years inc. placement year

4.5 years part-time

Course type:

Full Time inc. placement year / Part Time


Clearing helpline:
03301 232 277

Course content

Year 1

Core modules:

The Modern World

This module will focus on the political and social histories of a number of case studies focussing on the period from the end of the 19th Century until the eve of the Second World War. We cover countries from a range of European and World powers, including the USSR, the USA and France. In each case the focus will be on the main political themes of the era, such as democracy, fascism and communism, considering them in wider social contexts.

Britons Abroad 1500-2000

This module covers the history of the British activities in other areas of the world from the early modern era to the 20th Century. It looks at reasons why the British decided to leave their home over a 500 year period, examining religion, exile, economic factors and the development of Empire.

Introduction to Politics

This module introduces you to conceptual and empirical issues in British and international politics. Through a group presentation (worth 20% of module marks) and coursework (worth 30% of module marks) you will explore evolution and reform in modern British politics, particularly through the lens of theories of the state. You will also be encouraged to explore the ‘global’ as a realm of politics and engage with core debates and analytical frameworks through a final exam (worth 50% of module marks)

Issues in Justice; Ethics and Citizenship

This module introduces you to the key themes in political and ethical theory. You'll explore the core ideas of philosophical greats such as Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Kant, Mill and Marx and the key questions that have been at the forefront of great minds over the ages. You'll be assessed through two pieces of coursework, where you will create a YouTube style video (worth 33% of module marks) and an essay (worth 67% of module marks).

Year 2

Core module:

Research Skills

This module helps to equip you with the necessary tools to devise and plan your own independent research project. The module is taught through a series of workshops that support you in becoming a historical researcher in your own right. You'll have the opportunity to identify a historical research topic, locate research questions within an appropriate historiographical context and find relevant primary source material. As such, the course offers a significant underpinning for third-year dissertations and projects.

Option modules:

Choose up to two options from a list which may include-

Work Related Project

This module will support you in developing your career plans and gaining experience that will help you to succeed in your future employment. You'll undertake either a work placement or a work-related project in your chosen area. You'll receive guidance from academic staff and the careers service as you plan your placement or project, helping you to gain the most from this valuable experience.

Professional Work Placement Module

This module gives you the opportunity to gain practical work experience within a political environment, which aims to enhance your academic and personal career development. You'll undertake a 15 day (90 hour) placement which will be assessed through two pieces of coursework. Firstly you'll complete an online reflective blog of your experiences (worth 40% of module marks). Secondly you'll produce a written assignment (worth 60% of module marks) based on your experience, which links theory with practice by demonstrating an awareness of how your academic learning and placement were integrated in a chosen policy area.


One option from a list which may include-

Hands on History: Voice Film and Material Culture

You'll aim to gain a practical understanding of how non-textual sources can be used to write history. You'll be encouraged to explore at least three different types of source material and look at the variety of ways the past is represented in the historical record and the contemporary world. This may involve organising an oral history project or handling the objects in a museum collection.

Holy Wars: The Age of Crusades

This module explores the Crusades to the Holy Land from the late 11th to mid-13th Centuries in the context of contemporary political, social and religious developments in Western Europe and the Middle East. You'll be directed to different accounts of the Crusades in contemporary sources from the perspective of the crusaders themselves, as well as from the point of view of the Jewish, Islamic and Byzantine peoples who were affected by the influx of Western Europeans to the Eastern Mediterranean. You'll also have the opportunity to examine crusading activities within Europe (e.g. Spain and the Baltic).

Reformation and Revolution

This module aims to introduce students, through a study of primary and secondary sources, to the political and religious history of the Tudor and Early Stuart periods in areas under the control of the English crown. It aims to lead students to an understanding of the way these developments have been debated and still have a resonance in the 21st century. This is a survey module.

Modern India: from Raj to Independence C. 1860-1950

This course is designed to introduce students to the benefits, and complexities, of studying the history of another culture and continent, and the specific issues at stake in studying a colonised society. Thus, the course will incorporate both an in-depth study of the history of India, c.1860-1950, and the historiographical debates that have characterised post-colonial studies. To do so, it will utilise both the records of British colonial rule, and Indian sources (some in translation). Special attention will be paid to regional differences and to the impossibility of treating either ‘the British’ or Indian subjects as homogeneous groups. To facilitate awareness of the complexities of colonial and post-colonial society, the course will often turn to local studies and to biographies of individuals who lived through this period of Indian history – exploring both the diversity of experience, and continuities of thought, custom and practices.

Hitler's Germany: Life and Death in the Third Reich

This module examines the history, memory and historiographical controversy surrounding the Nazi era in European History. It uses a broad range of primary and secondary source material to provide a deep historical analysis, rooted in the debates over the consent or coercion of the German population, the limits of the totalitarian model and the nature of victimhood and commemoration.

Digital Victorians

This module studies the major themes of social, political and cultural development in Victorian Britain and its Empire. It explores the key landmarks in Victorian history and asks a series of historiographical questions about the period. You’ll be introduced to the major digitized primary sources of the era and will be shown how to use digital means for research, analysis and dissemination of your historical work.

After the Black Death: Late Medieval Society

This module will explore the world created by the experience of the Black Death in the 14th and 15th Centuries, focussing on England in Europe but broadening your focus to explore connections with the wider world. You'll start with the Europe of the early 14th Century – a place of high population and food shortage - and then move to investigate how that changed with the population crash of the Black Death. You'll be encouraged to use digital sources such as British History online, JISC Historic Books, and British Library Digitised Manuscripts.

Medieval and early modern warfare in England

In this module you will explore the ways in which warfare was conducted in the late medieval and early modern periods. The focus will be principally on battles fought in England, from Hastings to Sedgemoor, viewed from an archaeological and landscape rather than a purely military historical perspective. You will have the opportunity to examine the ways in which the interaction of troops, technology, tactics and terrain influence the character and outcome of the action. You will also consider how warfare can be studied using a combination of written and physical evidence.

Growing up in the past: oral histories of childhood and youth

This module deals with the theory and practice of oral history in relation to the history of childhood and youth. You will conduct at least one interview, and provide all the relevant ethical and archival documentation to accompany it. You will be introduced to the key problems in oral history of memory, ethics, intersubjectivity and narrative. Finally, in order to write about the experience of childhood and youth in the past, you will learn the analytical techniques which can be applied to oral history data.


Up to three options from a list which may include-

Competing Perspectives on Development

This module introduces key concepts and theoretical debates in development studies, your understanding of which will be assessed by an exam (worth 50% of module marks). You'll be supported to develop the skill to analyse material conditions in the developing world and to evaluate the impact of development strategies in selected countries. Understanding patterns of global inequality is a key objective of the module and you'll explore these in relation to issues such as the impact of globalisation, trade policies and foreign aid. You'll also examine the implications of the development process for people living in different parts of the world, which will be assessed through coursework (worth 50% of module marks).

Ethnicity and Nationalism

You'll be introduced to the dominant theories of ethnicity and nationalism, applying various concepts to a range of countries across the world. This will be assessed through an independent research project which is linked to two pieces of coursework where you'll critically explore how race, ethnicity, religion and multiculturalism influence citizenship and national identity. You'll demonstrate engagement with the key concepts for the module through two pieces of coursework. In the first (worth 25% of module marks) you'll produce a critical literature review and in the second (worth 75% of module marks) you'll explore issues of ethnicity and nationalism in a case study of your own choice.

British Party Politics

You'll explore political parties in contemporary British politics. Using theoretical insights, definitions and concerns, you'll focus on a number of empirical and practical problems which concern British democracy in general and representational politics in particular. The module aims to provide you with an understanding of how party politics in Britain functions, which will be assessed by an individual oral presentation (worth 25% of module marks). Through coursework (worth 75% of module marks), you'll critically examine the history, development and ideology of the main political parties in Britain.

US Politics and Society

You'll be supported to develop an understanding about the way in which the American political system has evolved with an emphasis on developments since the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. You'll also look at a number of key issues in contemporary American society such as the political role of the media, American criminal justice and the effect of being the world’s only superpower. Your understanding of these issues will be assessed through coursework, involving a written assignment (worth 50% of module marks)and an exam (worth 50% of module marks).

Democracy and Democratisation

This module examines how democracy works in both theory and practice. You'll explore various contrasting models of democracy, plus a number of political and social challenges to democracy through written coursework (worth 35% of module marks). You'll then examine how political researchers have analysed the global spread of democracy, through written coursework (worth 35% of module marks). Both aspects of this module will be assessed through an exam (worth 30% of module marks).

Year 3

Core module:

History and Politics Dissertation

This is the point at which you can bring together your two subjects in a piece of individual research on an aspect of political history or the historical context of a contemporary political issue. You will be requested to choose a topic and work on it with individual supervision by a tutor, using original sources, with the aim of developing your own interpretation. The assessment is by a dissertation of 12,000 words.


Option modules:

Two options from a list which may include-

History and Myth: Writing and Re-writing the Middle Ages

This module will explore aspects of medieval history in depth, focusing on contemporary narrative sources, both historical and literary, and including some consideration of related visual and material sources. You'll also engage with the post-medieval representation of the Middle Ages in both academic and popular terms.

Community and Identity in the Later Middle Ages

This module explores the construction and negotiation of community and identity in the later middle ages, through the lenses of gender and religion. In the 21st Century ‘the religious turn’ has focused attention on the need to understand these interactions, and the module encourages you to develop and explore your own case study and consider how you would share that with a wider world.

Henry's Empire

This module will consider a key era of early modern history with a strong focus on primary materials and the way in which they relate to key historiographical debates.

The Elizabethan Age

This is a specialised module which engages students, through the study of primary and secondary sources, in examining the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). It aims to develop students’ understanding of key themes in the early modern era, such as gender, politics, foreign policy and religion. It also aims to look at perceptions of Elizabeth I’s reign in modern society by examining modern views of Elizabeth in writing, image and popular mediums of television and film.

The Great War: Culture and Society

The module examines the origins of the war, the military course of the conflict, its effect on domestic society and reactions to the war through literature, art and memorial architecture. The focus of the module is on the British experience, though it will consider continental European and imperial experiences too.

Britain on the Breadline

This module studies particular decades of the late 19th and 20th Centuries in order to determine the extent to which Britain experienced discontent in a period of generally improving living standards. You will have the opportunity to study Britain in the 1930s or the 1970s.

Mindsets, Institutions and Madness

This module aims to develop your understanding of the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries in relation to the ‘care’ of what we would now call the mentally ill and the learning disabled. By focusing on social and political, as well as medical themes you’ll have the chance to explore both the understanding of mental ill health and learning disability, and the responses to them.

The Body and the City

This module aims to develop your understanding of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries in relation to health, medicine and the urban environment. By focusing on social and political, as well as medical, themes you’ll have the chance to explore key changes in knowledge about the regulation of the body. The primary focus is on Britain but comparative elements from other western European countries are included to put the British experience into context.

The Dark Years, 1940-1944: Collaboration, Resistance and Memory in Wartime France

This module examines the history and memory of the French experience of World War II, focusing on the German Occupation, the Vichy Regime, French collaboration, and the development of internal and external resistance. You'll have access to a broad range of primary and secondary source material to provide a cultural historical analysis, rooted in the debates over silence, truth and representation.

Bloodlands: Historical Geography of Interwar East Central Europe

This module will investigate East Central Europe in the period between the two World Wars. Carving states out of the remnants of the Russian, German and Austro-Hungarian Empires created much political (and, in some cases, military) turmoil over border disputes and ethnic exclaves, some of which resurfaced after the end of the Cold War. You will learn about Eastern European history in the 1920s and 1930s, theory and methods of spatial history and historical geography, maps as sources, and digital cartography for analysis and dissemination of historical geographies.


Two options from a list which may include-

Conflict Resolution and Terrorism

Through this module you'll be supported to develop a critical understanding of the ways in which terrorism has been defined. You'll demonstrate this understanding through coursework, involving a written assignment. Debates about legitimacy and political violence will be applied to a number of case studies, allowing you to explore the motivations of different groups who have used violence as a political strategy. This will be assessed through an exam.

The Government and Politics of Europe

You'll examine the history, structure and impact of the European Union (EU) and delve into broader trends in European politics. Through coursework involving an essay you'll explore the reasons for European integration and learn about the structure of the EU and the workings of its institutions, including Parliament, Commission and Council of Ministers. You'll also analyse areas of contention in EU politics and assess the impact of the EU on its citizens, domestic member state politics and international affairs. Wider issues such as expansion and the question of democratic accountability will also be considered and assessed through an in-class test.

At any year of study, one module outside the named degree programme, but offered within the School of Music, Humanities and Media, may be taken as an alternative to any of the option modules listed above where feasible and subject to timetabling restrictions and the approval of your Course Leader.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.


The course offers a compulsory 6 week work placement in Year 2. Previous placement providers have included Pen and Sword Books, Oldham Evening Chronicle, Lotherton Hall, Rochdale Law Centre, The Royal Armouries Museum, DIG York Archaeological Trust, Leeds Mencap, Cancer Research UK, Poplars Farm Primary School, Aviva Insurance and the National Media Museum and a range of primary and secondary schools.

The ERASMUS+ exchange provides an optional short term (12 or 24 weeks) opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner universities where you join in classes and receive credits towards your degree at the same time. We have partnerships with universities in Athens, Ghent, Granada, Hanover, Paris and the USA.

Career opportunities

90-95% of graduates from courses in this subject area go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating.

Studying history and politics allows you to keep your career options open. Our graduates have gone on to a variety of careers within local and central government, archives, political parties, political research, teaching, social work, law, PR, and voluntary organisations.

A selection of companies that have employed Huddersfield graduates in recent years include English Heritage, The National Trust, The Royal Armouries, British Waterways and Eureka Museum*. Others have opted for PGCE study and have become teachers, or continued their studies at Master's level. *Source: Linked In.

Teaching and assessment

13.7% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, workshops etc.

Our teaching is supported by high quality learning materials. You'll have the opportunity to take part in interactive lectures and workshops; as well as seminars in which you'll be encouraged to participate – whether it be in smaller ‘buzz groups' or in role-playing sessions. IT is a strong feature of our teaching with opportunities to learn by video-conferencing, or by obtaining teaching resources online. Some of your submissions may involve producing a podcast, contributing to an exhibition or working on an archive. Assessment will include essays, reports, exams, oral presentations and a dissertation.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (either written and/or verbal) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the only University where 100% of the teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.


Our facilities are continually being updated with cutting edge technology to support your learning. IT facilities in our West Building, where History is housed, include flexible learning rooms equipped with video conferencing equipment, interactive smart boards with all-round ceiling projection and audio-visual cabinets with the usual cd/dvd playback and pc and laptop connections.

In the University Library and Computing Centre (LCC), only a 2 minute walk from the History building, you'll find collections of books, journals, newspaper articles, and electronic access to a wide range of online journals, parliamentary papers, state papers, newspapers and other resources. The University also has an extensive collection of archival material. The LCC contains modern IT facilities with 24-hour access and comfortable spaces for you to work alone or in small groups. History subject specialists are on hand to help you find and use source materials.

How much will it cost me?

The full-time undergraduate tuition fee for 17/18 entry is £9250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

If you decide to apply for a course that includes a work placement, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check may be required to enable you to undertake that placement in settings with children (e.g. within a School). Should the organisation you are going to be working in require one to be undertaken, the School will support you to apply for a check. Please note that there is a charge for the DBS check which is approximately £44.

Further study

Progression to a postgraduate course is dependent on successful completion of your undergraduate studies, there may also be minimum qualification requirements such as a first class or higher second (2.1) degree. Please check the course details to confirm this.

You may be interested in studying: History MA History (MA by Research)


If you're an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.5 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree course. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry.

100% of research produced by History at Huddersfield is internationally recognised, and two thirds of this is internationally excellent or world-leading; we more than doubled the amount of world-leading research we produced since the last REF. Our impact case studies scored particularly highly, being rated 20% world leading and 50% internationally excellent - REF 2014.

We extend our knowledge and understanding of History through the production of high quality work, with funding coming from the AHRC, ESRC, the Wellcome Institute, the Leverhulme Trust and other significant grant providers. As part of this process we have also invested in early career members of staff with great success.

There are currently four Research Centres in History: the Arms and Armour Research Institute, the Archaeogenetics Research Group, the Academy for British and Irish Studies, Centre for Visual and Oral History. Current individual staff research projects also include: Mental Health and Learning Disabilities: Heritage and Stigma, The Anne Clifford Project and Making the Tudor Viol.

For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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