History and Politics BA | Coventry University

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History and Politics BA (Hons) 2018/19 entry

Course code:


Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich
Flexible part-time

How to Apply

Coventry University


September 2018



Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2152


This integrated degree brings together the two complementary disciplines of politics and history. We combine the teaching of comparative 20th century politics and political ideas with modern global, political and social history, with a focus on Britain, Europe and America.

Examining past issues of conflict, poverty, marginalised communities, environment and gender throughout history will aim to enhance your understanding of today’s socio-political problems and associated decision-making.

We have an outstanding track record for graduate employability – an average of 97% employed or in further study six months after graduating. The development of academic and professional skills valued by employers is embedded into the course. You should improve your powers of reason, judgment, critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving. 

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities


Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

What our students say...

Document analysis, book reviews and the ability to read graphs and data to draw conclusions are all apart of this course. It's a challenge, but thanks to the dedicated lecturers, it's a fascinating and interesting journey.

David Kaczroski

Course information

Combining the study of history and politics, you will be taught how power, authority, dissent and violence influence governance and impact of society, comparing historical events to understand how and why things change.

In the second and third year, you can tailor your course by choosing from a wide range of optional modules, studying specific periods and places in history or political movements.

You could choose to explore the developing area of environmental history, which examines the impact of humans on the natural world over time. We will consider a broad range of issues, including the birth and impact of environmental groups and Green parties, together with the debates surrounding climate change and humanity’s ethical relationship with the natural world.

Alternatively, you may wish to examine in more detail the major political ideologies of the 20th century in Britain, Europe, North America and the Third World.We look at the political effect of 10 influential ideological currents on political parties, movements and the policies and legislation of governments – conservatism, Christian Democracy, far right populism/neo-fascism, liberalism, socialism, the New Left, feminism, ecologism, political Islam and anti-colonialism.  


Student satisfaction for areas of this course ranges from 94%-100%

NSS, 2016

Course specification
Download PDF (622Kb)



The first year sets the foundation for the study of politics and history, introducing you to some of the key concepts employed in the study of applied politics and introducing the connections between today’s politics and their wider historical contexts. For example, how the concepts of democracy, rights and social welfare relate to major developments in 20th century British history or how movements like nationalism and Europeanism have shaped the history of modern Europe.

We will consider the origins and spread of nationalism in the Western world and the rise of the modern nation state from the Atlantic Revolutions of the late 18th century, kicked off by the American Revolution, to the foundation of the United Nations. A key theme will be the political impact of French, German, Italian, American and other nationalist movements and the social, economic and ideological contexts.


  • Applied Politics – Politics in Action

  • Introduction to Political Ideas

  • From Empire to Welfare: Britain 1900-1951

  • The Rise of the Modern Nation State in the Western World

  • World Politics since 1945


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


In the second year, we will study the development of the European states system, together with a range of international developments, such as the crisis of the 1930s and the rise of fascism in Europe, the workings of the US political system, the environmental movement in the twentieth century, the rise of the women’s movement in Europe and the growth of far right parties in recent decades.

We will deepen your knowledge of the history of the United States – the political leaders, conflict and key socio-economic changes that have shaped modern North America. We will also look at the histories of the other two nations of North America, Canada and Mexico.


  • Comparative Politics and Governance

  • Contemporary British Government

  • The Making of the United States

  • The International History of Europe since 1900

  • A Graduate Career

  • Optional modules

    1 from the following:

    • The Contemporary Far Right in Western Europe
    • Humanity and the Natural World: A History
    • 200 Years of People Politics in Britain 1800-2000
    • Global Security
    • History of Modern Political Thought
    • Sex, Sexuality, Power and Oppression


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


After your second year, you have an opportunity to take a sandwich year, studying abroad or on professional placement. Past students have done their placement with the European Parliament, UNICEF, Greenpeace, the Latvian and Sudanese embassies, Islamic Relief and a range of refugee and migrant centres.


  • Study Abroad

  • Professional Placement


Your studies culminate in a 10,000-word dissertation through which you pursue and research an idea or phenomenon that fires up your own interests. Past students have chosen exciting topics like British decolonisation and partition in Ireland, India and Palestine, The Women's Movement in Europe, US policy toward the Middle East, far right ideologies, and sports, economic crises and ideological change in the Western World.


  • Politics of the Contemporary Middle East

  • Race and Resistance in the US

  • Dissertation in History, International Relations and Politics

  • Optional modules

    2 from the following:

    • An Inconvenient History: The Green Movement
    • History and Politics of the Far Right in Britain and France
    • Post War Germany
    • The Third Reich, 1933-45
    • Global Organised Crime
    • Political Ideologies in the Twentieth Century
    • US Government and Politics
    • Women’s Lives in Britain and the US 1800-1939
    • Field Trip


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


Our Politics courses are ranked 13th in the UK by Guardian University Guide 2018

In more detail...

  • Ranked 13th in the UK for ‘Politics’ in the Guardian University Guide 2018.
  • An average of 97% of students were in work or continuing their studies after six months (DLHE 2014/15).
  • Spend a year studying abroad – we have links with universities in France, Germany and Sweden.
  • Teaching staff include a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
  • 100% overall student satisfaction for the subject of ‘Politics’ and 94% for ‘History’ in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2016.
  • Wide range of optional modules allow you to study specific political movements, such as the green movement or Far Right, periods of history like post-war Germany or specific issues, such as feminism or global organised crime.
  • Excellent employer links with the House of Commons, the National Crime Agency (NCA), local government, local and national NGOs and charities, the Archives and Records Association, the Museums Association, the institute of Historic Building Conservation.
  • Join our active student-led History, International Relations, Politics and Sociology Society (HIPSOC), which has organised fieldtrips to Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Mexico to visit the institutions of the EU, the International Criminal Court and Greenpeace Costa Rica.
  • Extensive placement opportunities which have previously included local government for the council, MP and MEP offices, commercial firms like City Year, First Utility and GE Alstrom, organisations like University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, The Citizens’ Advice Bureau, Coventry University, Food Bank and MIND and local heritage sites like Coventry Cathedral and museums.

Opportunities to apply for a wide choice of placements in the private and public sectors including local historical organisations, an MP’s office and Coventry City Council.

Your main study themes are:
  • Political ideas and action: You will gain an insight into the working of modern political systems and an understanding of the ideas and theories underlying contemporary political structures, movements and debates. We will examine the way individuals and groups react to and behave within the political framework of the Nation State. We adopt a comparative approach, drawing contemporary examples and illustrations from a range of countries across the world to reflect the variety of political systems, including the changes brought about after the collapse of the USSR.

  • British history and politics: You will analyse the transformation of Britain during the period of transition from late Victorian Imperialism, with its emphasis on individualism and self-help, to the creation of the welfare state. The main themes considered are state-society relations and the effect of social, political and economic change upon the people of Britain. We look at the important political and social developments which took place between 1900 and 1951, including black history and women’s history in Britain. We will examine the development of the welfare state, comparing theories, ideologies and principles of welfare: liberalism, social democracy, conservatism, New Labour, radical critiques (Marxism, feminism etc.). We look at various political institutions, such as the Constitution, Parliament, the Cabinet, the Civil Service, local government, and the European Union.

  • World politics: We survey the major developments in world politics since the end of the Second World War. This includes major themes of post-war international politics, such as the dominant relationship between the superpowers, the consequences of decolonisation, the emergence of the 'Third World', the spread of revolutionary wars, the development of European integration and the spread and final collapse of communism and its effect on world politics in the end of the Cold War. You should develop a sound knowledge of the major events that have shaped the post-1945 world. We will consider politics and the State in different countries and continents, choosing five case study countries, such as France, Spain, Kenya, USA, Egypt and Zimbabwe.

  • World history since 1900: With an emphasis on contemporary European history, we examine key aspects of world history in the 20th and 21st centuries. We study the development of the European states systems and relations between the major European powers, including the foreign policies of Britain, France, Italy, Germany and the Soviet Union. We will examine the development of the European states system and provide you with the essential background for understanding contemporary Europe. You will receive an outline history of the United States, incorporating major themes of political change and institutions, key leaders, war and diplomacy, economic and social development, including race and resistance.

The course normally lasts three years when studied full-time and four to six years part-time. You can start in September. 

Your course will be based on a series of lectures, with associated seminars, tutorials, workshops, online discussions and web-based activities. In addition, your personal tutor will review and discuss your progress with you and will be available for advice

You will be taught by staff with recognised authority in a diverse range of fields – the history of Native Americans and the American frontier, ideology and party politics in Britain, 20th century German history and the politics of the far right, the history of the green movement and eco-communities. They will bring you up-to-date with their research. For example, you will be taught by members of staff who have written books and articles used in several modules and will be able to attend research seminars and workshops in which they present their work.

Throughout the course, we will use real-life events during history to demonstrate the impact of political decisions. For example, when studying concepts such as sovereignty, democracy and revolution you will be able to connect them respectively to debates on Britain and the EU, parties and elections in Europe and the Arab Spring.

You’ll have the opportunity to go on fieldtrips, for example, to the Houses of Parliament in London, the Welsh Assembly and the EU institutions in France and Belgium. Our excellent professional links with international organisations and institutions enable us to host an exciting programme of guest speakers.

Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve the various learning outcomes, which will be clearly set out on all assessment in advance. Assessment varies between modules, typically split between coursework and examinations or coursework only.

An estimated percentage breakdown of your final grade assessment is as follows: 

  • Formal examinations: 50%
  • Coursework: 50%

To qualify for the award of Bachelor of Arts, a student must satisfy the University requirements of 360 credits. A student who does not wish to progress to a subsequent year of study may apply for an intermediate award of Diploma of Higher Education if they pass a minimum of 240 credits. A Certificate of Higher Education may be awarded to a student with minimum of 120 credits.

50% assessed by coursework

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: events, issues and controversies that are the subject matter of modern and contemporary history; the varieties of history and the changing nature of historical and historiographical debate; the methods and approaches employed in the study of history; influential ideas, events, institutions, processes and policies in contemporary politics; institutions, processes and policies utilised by contemporary government; the differing approaches to, and key issues of debate within, the study of politics
  • Analyse and address managerial problems, take decisions and identify appropriate solutions in a creative and constructive manner
  • Locate a range of information sources, to gather and marshal relevant evidence successfully  
  • Construct fair, coherent and convincing arguments utilising the relevant key concepts and approaches in the relevant disciplines
  • Work independently with increasing self-confidence and to reflect upon the process of learning
  • Work within a group, to negotiate, to learn from others and to lead an activity
  • Manage time effectively, to set objectives and to evaluate the performance of oneself and others
  • Develop and debate ideas and to sustain arguments effectively both orally and in written form

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 14 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 1 hour tutorial each week.
  • Medium group teaching: 5 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week.
  • Large group teaching: 8 hours of lectures each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 23 hours of self-directed studying, including guided study using handouts, online activities in your own time.

This course has an inherently international perspective, studying the history and contemporary politics of a range of countries from around the world. The course is taught by staff with a non-British background and a regular proportion of students are recruited from the EU and overseas, providing a multicultural learning experience. 

We are keen to provide an internationalised student experience, so will also support you if you wish to study abroad and have links with some of the most prestigious European universities, such as the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy (ICD) in Berlin, Science Po in Bordeaux, the University of Heidelberg in Germany and the University of Lundt in Sweden. If you do not speak a foreign language, we can arrange a study year at an institution where courses are taught in English.

We organise an annual study trip abroad to a range of different destinations. For example, previous students have travelled to the United States to visit the Houses of Congress, the Pentagon, the Supreme Court, Ground Zero and the Constitutional Hall of Philadelphia. Another group spent a week in Sicily examining how the anti-mafia organisation Libera has been working to combat organised crime.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2015/16, we were able to provide a total of 2101 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 76% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 23% from postgraduate travel.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2015/16


and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

What our students say...

Document analysis, book reviews and the ability to read graphs and data to draw conclusions are all a part of this course. It's a challenge, but thanks to very dedicated lecturers, it not only became a fascinating and interesting journey, but it awakened in me a desire to delve deeper around the subject

Dawid Kaczorowski, BA (Hons) History and Politics, graduated in 2014, now Service Desk Analyst at Advanced

Entry Requirements

University Course Code: BESU054
A Level BTEC IB Diploma GCSE requirement
BBC DMM 29 points Minimum 5 GCSEs at A*-C including English.


A-Level applicants are required to have three
 A2 Levels. Coventry University may include AS grades within an offer for certain courses, but we are not able to accept two AS Levels in place of one A2 Level. In some courses it may be necessary for entrants to have passed specific A2 Levels in nominated subjects. Please see the course pages for more information.

Access Diplomas

The Access to HE Diploma to include 30 Level 3 credits at Merit. Plus GCSE English Language at grade A*-C.

Coventry University welcomes applicants who have completed, or who are studying, the Access to HE Diploma developed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Successful completion of the course will require you to gain 60 credits with at least 45 to be achieved at Level 3 (with the remainder at Level 2). In some cases we will require you to have gained Merit or Distinction grades in a number of units or in nominated subjects. For more information on the entry requirements for your chosen course please see the relevant course pages.

BTEC Level 3 Diplomas

The University will accept the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma for entry to most courses. In some cases we will require applicants to have studied either certain named modules or a specific named Diploma. The appropriate course page will have full information on the entry requirements. The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry to degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that provide a total volume of study that is equivalent to three A2 Levels. For example, you could be studying a BTEC Level 3 Diploma plus an A2 Level, or a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma plus two A2 Levels. Where a specific A2 or BTEC subject is required for entry then you must be offering this as part of your combination of qualifications.

Please visit our page on European entry requirements for more information about specific country information.

English as a Foreign Language This course requires an IELTS of 6.0 overall. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

English as a Foreign Language This course requires an IELTS of 6.0 overall. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Unconditional offers

We want to recruit the best students to Coventry and having assessed applicants' past, current and predicted performance and commitment to the course we feel that it is appropriate to reward consistently high-achieving students with an unconditional offer from a top university. It is a commitment from us with regard to an applicants’ potential as an excellent undergraduate and we hope that this will encourage such applicants to join the Coventry community.

Personal statements and references will also be taken into account and, for some degree courses, an interview will form part of the assessment. The criteria for unconditional offers will vary across the University as entry requirements for specific courses differ and not all degree courses will be taking part in the Scheme. The unconditional offer will be confirmed once a selected applicant has made Coventry their firm choice.

Coventry University has assessed that you are capable of achieving excellent grades and we have demonstrated this belief by making you an unconditional offer. This is our commitment to you so then we ask that you reciprocate this commitment by selecting us as your ‘firm’ choice and activating your unconditional offer.

We will consider other qualifications for a pre-result unconditional offer providing that you have an appropriate proven performance at GCSE (or equivalent) level and predicted grades in line with grades that we expect to see at A-level. Other qualifications that we may consider for a pre-result unconditional offer include: the International Baccalaureate Diploma, BTEC Level 3 qualifications, Cambridge Pre-U and combinations of qualifications (e.g. BTECS plus A-levels).

An unconditional offer is what it says it is. So if you don’t meet your predictions then your place at Coventry is still guaranteed. However we would hope and expect that you continue to work hard to make the most of your potential and be best prepared to study at university level.

We can’t but our experience over the years has shown us that students like you with a track record of high grades and excellent predictions are very likely to achieve those grades. Our assessment takes into account all elements of your application to allow us to take a holistic view of your potential. There is still the opportunity to gain one of the Coventry University Scholarships if you achieve the required grades so there is a financial incentive to aim high. Unconditional offers are only made to individuals who have demonstrated their commitment so we believe their focus and determination is unlikely to waver in the final stages of their qualifications.

No, the unconditional offer is only available to those who will take up their place in 2017.

What our students say...

Document analysis, book reviews and the ability to read graphs and data to draw conclusions are all apart of this course. It's a challenge, but thanks to the dedicated lecturers, it's a fascinating and interesting journey.

David Kaczroski

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.



September 2018

£9,250 (per year)


If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship.

Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.



September 2018

£9,250 (per year)


For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a range of EU Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!



September 2018

£12,600 (per year)


For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a wide range of Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising international students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments.

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

The following are additional costs not included in the fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip

What our students say...

Document analysis, book reviews and the ability to read graphs and data to draw conclusions are all apart of this course. It's a challenge, but thanks to the dedicated lecturers, it's a fascinating and interesting journey.

David Kaczroski

Career prospects

The skills and knowledge gained on this degree can lead to careers in government, business, media, lobbying, campaigning, voluntary organisations and international organisations like the United Nations (UN) or the European Commission.

Throughout the course, your academic study will be combined with broad-based skills development. When you graduate, you’ll have developed a range of transferrable skills, which are highly valued by employers, including excellent communications, critical thinking and analysis, strong presentation and listening skills.

Our Creative Futures employment team is on hand to offer tailored career and enterprise support if you wish to gain employment or take advantage of professional practice opportunities within course specific industries. You’ll have access to a designated employability officer who can advise you on career opportunities and give support to help you develop tailor-made job applications.


on average of our graduates are in work or further study six months after the course

DLHE 2014/15

Where our graduates work

Some of our previous students have secured graduate-level jobs in the Civil Service, international organisations, local government, the media, banking and finance, the culture industry, further and higher education teaching and non-government organisations (NGOs). They work for a range of organisations, including the House of Commons, the European Parliament, the European Union, the Commonwealth, foreign embassies, IPSOS Mori, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, the NHS, BUPA Healthcare, BMI Healthcare, Barclays, HSBC, BBC, West Midlands Police/Transport Police, Atlas Copco, GlaxoSmithKline and the Army/Navy


Our graduates earn an average salary of £18,000 six months after the course (DLHE 2014/15)

What our alumni say

The History and Politics course lecturers are great at Coventry and the subjects themselves are so varied and covered such a broad range of history.

Chris Smith, BA (Hons) History and Politics, graduated in 2006, now Director of Development and Alumni Relations at University of Westminster

By accepting your offer of a place with us, a Student Contract (“the Contract”) will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail all of your rights and also the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will also contain all of the obligations that the University owes to you.  We would encourage you to read the Student Contract before you accept any offer of a place at the University. A copy of the Contract can be found here.

The tuition fees stated on the course webpage, prospectus and your offer letter will apply for the duration of your course, subject only to changes to the law or government requirement. Please note that we set fees for individual courses, and fees from previous years are no indication of fees for future years.