Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

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 two 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.

Course Modules

The programme consists of 12 modules of 30 credits each, for a total of 360 credits. There are three 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 two disciplines.

In Year 1, you take two compulsory Politics modules and two compulsory History modules.

In Year 2, you take a compulsory History module, two Level 5 Politics option modules and a Level 5 History option module.

In Year 3, you take a Level 6 History option module, a Level 6 Politics option module and two additional Level 6 option modules, chosen from either History or Politics.


The Contemporary World;

The Modern World.


Comparative Government;

The Study of Politics.


Exploring the Past.


Contemporary British Politics;

Transformations in Modern Politics: Democracy, Conflict and Globalisation.


Body Politics: Health, Illness and Death in Britain;

Contested Nation: Germany, 1871'1918;

Crime, Poverty and Popular Protest in England, 1500'1800;

Family, Society and Culture in Britain 1832'1918;

Later Medieval London 1450'1560: Community Politics and Religion;

Literature, Culture and Society 1914'1945;

Popular Culture in American History, 1870 to the Present;

Sexuality, Society and the State in Britain, 1914'2000;

The Athenian Empire;

The Colonial Gaze: Western Perceptions of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 1600'1960;

The Empire of Letters: Correspondence in the Roman World;

The Ottoman Empire;

The Third Reich;

Work and Play in Early Modern Britain.


American Politics and Foreign Policy;

Capitalism and the Politics of Markets;

Comparative Studies of Islamist Movements;

Empires: An Historical Sociology of International Relations;

Food, Politics and Society;

International Migration and Transnationalism;

Nationalism, Ethnicity and Religious Conflict;

Politics and the Middle East;

Politics, Power and Human Nature;

Russian Politics and Society, 1905 to Today;

Social and Political Theory;

War and Modern Society.

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
3 years
Full Time
Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) - BA (Hons) £9,250 Home Fees
3 years
Full Time
Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) - BA (Hons) £13,350 Overseas Fees
4 years
Part Time
Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) - BA (Hons) £6,935 Home Fees
4 years
Part Time
Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) - BA (Hons) £10,025 Overseas Fees