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VL12 BA Modern History and Politics (3 yrs)


How do we make sense of the events, ideas and problems of the past? History at Southampton challenges you to interpret history of past societies critically and imaginatively.

Similarly, Politics and International Relations encourage you to adopt an informed, critical, analytical, and above all inquiring approach to exploring key questions about the organisation and behaviour of contemporary society, globally and closer to home.


Introducing your degree

The Modern History and Politics degree enables you to learn with world-recognised researchers engaged with some of the most important issues of the day, including terrorism and international security, migration, and globalization.
Both Politics and History contain large numbers of academics, enabling you to select from a wide range of modules that examine an extraordinary range of places, from Western Europe and the Americas to Africa and South Asia. This means that you will have the chance to study topics about which you are already passionate, or to try something entirely new.

Programme Overview

What is this?(More Information)This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

Programme Structure

Combined degree structure as for RV11/RV21/RV41

This is the most popular of the combined history degrees, and includes core skills modules and a range of options in politics, alongside complementary modern history modules exploring state structures and political ideologies in British, European, American and Asian contexts.

• In your final year, choose to write a dissertation on a subject of your choice in either Modern History or Politics.

• Add breadth to your degree and pursue varied interests by taking the option to complete 25 per cent of your programme in another subject.

For further details see the full course map under Modules.

View the programme specification document for this course

Key Facts

  • We possess many collections of original historical documents, including the
    Wellington, Palmerston and Mountbatten papers and the Parkes Archives.
  • We offer the chance for all students to study at universities abroad, including France, Holland, Poland and Canada.
  • Courses in many fields rarely taught in most other UK universities, such as East and Central European history, South East Asian history and Jewish history.
  • We teach courses in many fields rarely taught in most other UK universities, such as East and Central European history, South East Asian history and Jewish history

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-level

AAB to ABB including History or a related subject*.

Applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will also be made an alternative offer one grade below the standard offer, conditional on an A grade in the EPQ.

We accept all A levels except General Studies.

International Baccalaureate34 points, 17 at higher level, including 6 in higher level history or related subject*. *Related subject includes subjects such as English, Philosophy, Religious Studies or Classical Civilisation or other humanities based essay writing subjects. Students applying without History will need to make a case in their personal statement.
English Language Requirement

We welcome applications from international students. Helpful information on applying, meeting a University representative in your country, or improving your English language levels can be found on the International Office website. If English is not your first language you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6.5 in Writing and Reading and no less than 6.0 in Speaking and Listening or equivalent.

Alternative qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard to an A level applicant. Contact us for further information on equivalencies for these qualifications and others not listed here.

Contextual Offers

Humanities supports contextual admission.  A typical offer for an applicant qualifying as contextual is BBB from 3 A levels or the equivalent from alternative qualifications.

Selection process:
Average applications per place:

Selection is normally based on actual or predicted grades plus the reference and personal statement on your UCAS application. Exceptionally we may ask you to come for an interview before making an offer.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

The history undergraduate programme is modular. This means that your programme is divided into self-contained modules taught and assessed in a single semester. Taught modules may be single (two hours teaching a week), or double (three to four hours teaching a week, depending on the type of module).

Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers you the chance to take optional modules outside of your chosen subject area. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future. Modules range from "Living and working on the web" to "Business skills for employability".

View the Curriculum Innovation modules for this course

Learn a language

Some of our courses also give you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.

View the language modules on offer for this course

Year 2

You must take one History option course in each semester. Neither of these may be a pre-1750 course.

Compulsory Politics modules:
PAIR2010 Democracy and the State 
PAIR2004 Research Skills (compulsory for those writing a Politics Dissertation)

Semester Two

Modern History and Politics students:
If planning a politics dissertation in year three you must taken PAIR2004. If planning a History dissertation in year three you must take two PAIR modules including PAIR2010 but not PAIR2004.

Democracy and the Modern State
The Making of Englishness: Race, Ethnicity and Immigration in British Society, 1841 to the Present
Jews in Germany before the Holocaust
Islamism – from the 1980s to the present
Strategy and War
Early Modern Aliens: Immigration and its Discontents in History and Literature
Retail Therapy
Discipline and Punish: Prisons and Prisoners in England 1775 - 1898
The Fall of Imperial Russia
The Making of Modern India
The Global Cold War
Research Skills in Politics and International Relations
Global Governance
International Security
The Politics and Governance of the EU
Democratic Theory
The Politics of Protest

Year 3

You will take two optional Politics modules in each semester, plus a History Special Subject module which spans both semesters, chosen from the options below.

Semester One

Modern History and Politics students:
If taking a History dissertation take History special subject (Modern) part one or an Alternative History plus 2 PAIR modules.

Politics Dissertation students:
History special subject (Modern) part one plus PAIR3003 (Dissertation) and one PAIR module.

France under the Nazis, 1940-1944 (Part 1)
The Holocaust: Policy, Responses and Aftermath. Part 1
The Vietnam War in American History and Memory. Part 1.
Crime and Punishment in England c. 1688-1840
Refugees in the Twentieth Century. Part 1.
Modern Israel 1948-2007 part 1
Alternative Histories: Between Private Memory and Public History.
Alternative Histories: Food and Cooking
Alternative Histories: Music and History
Alternative Sexualities
Conflict, Transformation and Resurgence in Asia: 1800 to the present
Alternative Histories: Cultures of Migration
Alternative Histories: Travellers' Tales
The Long Life of the Indian Mutiny 1857-58: Event, Metaphor, Memory. Part 1
Alternative Conquests: Comparisons and Contrasts
The Bible and History
A History of Care and Cure - Part I
World War 2: The Home Front - Part 1
World War II: The Global Perspective - Part I
Love and sexuality in Twentieth Century Europe, Part 1
Iran Between Revolutions (1907-1979): From Constitutionalism to Clericalism (1)
Racism in the United States Part 1
Nuclear War and Peace, Part I
Alternative histories: Homes and houses: challenging the domestic
Dissertation in Politics and International Relations
Political Texts
Globalisation and World Politics
Chinese Politics
Disarmament, Arms Control and International Order
The Politics of Transnational Migration
Politics of the Media
Citizenship and Conflict in the United States
Constitutional Politics in Britain
Semester Two

Modern History and Politics students:
History Dissertation (HIST3021) (normally written under the supervision of the Special Subject or Alternative History tutor) plus two Politics modules.
Politics Dissertation students:
History Special Subject (Modern) Part two, (Co:requisite Part one of the same Special Subject) plus PAIR Dissertation PAIR3003 plus one Politics module.

France under the Nazis, 1940-1944 (Part 2)
The Holocaust: Policy, Responses and Aftermath. Part 2
The Vietnam War in American Memory and History. Part 2.
Crime and Punishment in England c. 1688 - 1840
Refugees in the Twentieth Century. Part 2.
Modern Israel 1948-2007 pt2
Revolutions, Revolts and Reform: Ending slavery in the British Empire - Pt. 2
A History of Care and Cure - Part II
World War 2: The Home Front - Part 2
World War II: The Global Perspective - Part II
Love and sexuality in Twentieth Century Europe, part 2
Iran Between Revolutions (1907-1979): From Constitutionalism to Clericalism (2)
Racism in the United States part 2
Nuclear War and Peace, Part II
Dissertation in Politics and International Relations
International Security
Global Governance
The Politics and Governance of the EU
The Politics of Latin America
Democratic Theory
The Politics of Protest

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Career Opportunities

Employability is embedded into modules from the first year onwards, right from the first lecture. We carefully explain the skills taught and offer a number of optional employability modules and career workshops.

Additional opportunities include summer internships with major local employers, including placements funded by the University. With many employers now expecting extracurricular or voluntary experience, this can prove vital.

Vicky Shilling is a graduate of History at Southampton. “I visited Southampton and absolutely loved it,” she said. “I liked the atmosphere on campus and the up-to-date facilities all looked like places I could really work.”

Learning & Assessment

 A Modern History and Politics degree at Southampton combines an education in the discipline of history (historiography), the development of historical debates and ways of imagining the past with the interdisciplinary study of politics and international relations. We are committed to facilitating a personalised and above all enjoyable experience, ensuring you graduate with the critical and communication skills you need to begin a successful career

• Specialise in specific areas of history or expand the breadth of your studies in history modules that span chronologies and geographies, and in modules selected from other programmes

• Teaching by world-leading and passionate History and Politics academics, who share recent discoveries and debates in their subject

• Talks from renowned international scholars in our visiting lecture and seminar series

• Specialist online learning resources for every module

• Challenging and varied range of assessment methods, including presentations, group projects, dissertations, essays and exams

• Receive regular and supportive advice, guidance and feedback on your progress from a dedicated academic advisor

• Visits to museums, galleries and archival collections, including University collections at the Parkes Institute and the Broadlands archive

• Opportunities to spend a semester or a year at one of our international partner universities to experience a new culture and learning environment in Europe, Australia, Asia, and North America


Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:

Printing and copyingWhere possible, coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour) Please note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account. You will be given a printing allowance of £1 per 7.5 ECTS PHIL towards the costs of printing lecture handouts and/or practical scripts. The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found at They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found at£0.05-1.00

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentLaboratory equipment and materials: All laboratory equipment and materials are provided.
EquipmentIT: Computer discs or USB drives - Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
EquipmentIT: Software licences - All software is provided
EquipmentIT: Hardware - It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
PlacementsPlacements (including Study Abroad Programmes): Students on placement programmes can expect to cover costs for health and travel insurance, accommodation and living expenses, travel costs and visa costs. This will vary depending on which country you are travelling to. Specific details on what additional costs there will be are detailed in the individual module profiles which can be found under the modules tab of the programmes details of your programme.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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