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Modern History and Politics (BA)

Why study this course

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Links to political institutions

Benefit from links to Westminster parliament, Senedd Cymru, the European Union and NATO.

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Study Britain and beyond

Explore politics in Britain & further afield as well as the influence of multi-national organisations.

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Global relevance

Modules which speak to world issues from social inequality and community belonging to the environment and inclusion.

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Diverse perspectives

Explore the history and politics of societies in diverse parts of the globe, including Europe, China, India and Russia.

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Placement opportunities

Gain skills, confidence and connections through a variety of opportunities to engage with communities and other partners.

On this joint honours degree, you will split your studies equally between the two complementary disciplines. You will benefit from a generous choice of optional modules on historical and political themes which are central to an understanding of public life in the modern world.

The modules in History develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic, and cultural structures of past societies. Our expertise reaches an extraordinary breadth of societies, periods and places, spanning the British Isles, Europe (east and west), Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Our modules give you the opportunity to study both well-established areas, such as political, social, cultural and gender history, or explore areas that might be new to you, such as environmental history or digital history. 

The field of Politics allows you to explore how parliaments and government’s function and evaluate political ideas such as power, freedom, democracy, conflict, legitimacy or accountability as well as incorporating international relations. Modules are varied, allowing you to explore how politics works in Britain and further afield as well as investigate how public policy is made. Other strands of work discuss justice, democracy, human rights and international relations; providing you with a broad understanding of politics tailored to your own particular needs.

Through our degree you will develop the skills advantageous in our digital age: creativity, empathy, critical thinking, persuasive communication skills and the ability to challenge and question. 

Subject area: History and ancient history

Subject area: Politics and international relations

  • academic-schoolSchool of Law and Politics
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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 6102
  • MarkerMuseum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX

Entry requirements

We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. Typical offers are as follows:

A level

ABB-BBB

Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.


We carefully consider your contextual data (the circumstances in which you've been studying) upon application. Where a grade range is advertised this reflects our typical standard and contextual offers. Eligible students will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range. Where there is no grade range advertised you will usually receive additional points in the selection process. Learn about eligible courses and how contextual data is applied.

International Baccalaureate

32-31 overall or 665 in 3 HL subjects. 

Baccalaureate Wales

From September 2023, there will be a new qualification called the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales (level 3). This qualification will replace the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate). The qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

Other qualifications from inside the UK

BTEC

DDM in a BTEC Extended Diploma in any subject.

T level

Acceptance of T Levels for this programme will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic School. Consideration will be given to the T Level grade/subject and grades/subjects achieved at GCSE/Level 2.

Qualifications from outside the UK

See our qualification equivalences guide

Additional entry requirements

GCSE

Grade B or grade 6 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other subskills.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 overall with a minimum of 22 for writing and 20 in all other subskills.

PTE Academic

At least 62 overall with a minimum of 69 in writing and a minimum of 62 in all other communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: a Distinction in Writing and at least one Distinction and two Merits in other components.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

You must have or be working towards:
- English language or Welsh language at GCSE grade B/6 or an equivalent (such as A-levels). If you require a Student visa, you must ensure your language qualification complies with UKVI requirements.

We do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects.
We will accept a combination of BTEC subjects, A-levels, and other qualifications, subject to the course specific grade and subject requirements.

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.

Tuition fees for 2023 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £9,000 None
Year two £9,000 None
Year three £9,000 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2023/24 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £20,450 None
Year two £20,450 None
Year three £20,450 None

Learn more about our tuition fees

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

You should be prepared to invest in some key texts and to cover the costs of basic printing and photocopying for you own use. You may also want to buy copies of other books, either because they are particularly important for your modules or because you find them particularly interesting.

Course specific equipment

Any equipment required will be supplied by the school.

Accommodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Living costs

We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Course structure

The BA Modern History and Politics is structured in such a way that you will acquire over successive years high-level skills to become an independent and critical thinker, equipped for professional employment.

Through a blend of core and optional modules, you will study 60 credits of Modern History modules and 60 credits of Politics modules in each year.  

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2023/2024 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.

Year one

Year 1 provides you with a graduated transition to studying modern history and politics at degree level, and offers instruction in the skills, techniques and arguments that you will use.

In history, our year 1 modules are designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and introduce you to historical themes and areas of study that you may not have encountered at A-level. Our 2 core modules introduce you to the different frameworks which underpin historical study and the different ways of writing history, while also allowing you to explore the big debates over how we understand ‘global’ connections and historical change to challenge how we think beyond set time periods and regional or national borders. Optional modules allow you to extend your historical and political knowledge and skills through a variety of periods and regions to lay the foundation for study in years 2 and 3.

In politics, you can choose from a range of modules which introduce you to key debates in the discipline of politics. You will explore some of the main approaches to the study of politics both in terms of its development and critical approaches. You can also study modules which examine the main theories developed to explain international relations, the nature of the state and the key institutions of government in the contemporary world, and the nature of globalisation.

Year two

In history, you take a core module which introduces you to the key theoretical approaches and methods that have influenced historical writing. Our optional modules allow you to explore themes across a narrower time range while encouraging a more comparative approach to history. In your second year, the emphasis shifts towards different approaches to history and different ways of using evidence. You also have the option to take modules which give you a deeper understanding of the kinds of evidence historians use, the ways of using that evidence, and the historian’s role in sharing research beyond the boundaries of academia and the voices they privilege or silence.

In politics, you can choose from a range of optional modules which cover past and contemporary British and international politics. You can also explore political thought from different centuries. Modules will be taught through a mixture of lectures and small-group seminars.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Reading HistoryHS620120 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Past, Present and FutureHS020120 credits
Making History: Historians, Evidence, AudiencesHS620220 credits
Debating HistoryHS620320 credits
History of Human RightsHS621220 credits
Accessible PastsHS621320 credits
The British Civil WarsHS621420 credits
European Enlightenment(s): The View from the MarginsHS621520 credits
America: From Revolution to ReconstructionHS621620 credits
Modern FranceHS621720 credits
Europe's Dark CenturyHS621820 credits
Stalinism: State, Society, and EnvironmentHS621920 credits
Close Neighbours, Dangerous Foes: China, Japan and Modern East AsiaHS622020 credits
Politics and the People in Modern Britain: Protest, citizenship and the stateHS622120 credits
Environmental HistoriesHS622220 credits
Anti-Colonial ResistanceHS622320 credits
Language Skills for HistoriansHS622420 credits
Chwyldro, Diwylliant a Radicaliaeth, 1789–1914HS622520 credits
Gender, Sex and DeathPL922020 credits
International Relations of the Cold WarPL922120 credits
Colonialism, GPE and DevelopmentPL922220 credits
Digital Technologies and Global PoliticsPL922320 credits
Global GovernancePL922420 credits
EU PoliticsPL922520 credits
From Espionage to Counter-Terrorism: Intelligence in Contemporary PoliticsPL922920 credits
The Power and Politics of Research MethodsPL923020 credits
Critical War and Military Studies: an IntroductionPL923120 credits
Modern Welsh PoliticsPL923320 credits
Modern Political Thought: Machiavelli to MillPL923420 credits
Local to Global Sustainable DevelopmentPL923620 credits
Damcaniaethu a Dadfeilio'r Gymdeithas GyfalafolPL923820 credits
The Barbarians are Coming!: Cross-cultural Political TheoriesPL924020 credits
Ideas and Ideology in British PoliticsPL924120 credits
Animals, Air, and Areas beyond national jurisdiction - The Politics of Global Environmental RegimesPL924220 credits
Credoau'r CymryPL928620 credits
British Politics since 1945PL928720 credits
International Security: Concepts and IssuesPL928820 credits
Justice and Politics: Contemporary Political TheoryPL929120 credits
International Law in a Changing WorldPL929920 credits

Year three

In history in your the final year, you are challenged to think more deeply about the nature of historical developments in the modern world. You develop your skills at analysing sources and writing history through studying a range of specialist modules on offer. You also have the opportunity to undertake independent research, enabling you to focus on a particular area or period, through a dissertation if you wish.

In politics, your final year comprises more advanced courses, which invite you to apply the skills you acquired in previous years. Offerings include a work-placement and parliamentary studies module, through which you acquire practical skills and insights into the day-to-day operations of the institutions that shape our lives. Should you wish to, you can also opt to write a dissertation with a focus on politics.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Reaching Out: Enterprise, Community and CollaborationHS030120 credits
Researching History: DissertationHS630040 credits
Digital Games and the Practice of HistoryHS631020 credits
Witchcraft and Witch-Hunting in Early Modern Europe, 1400-1750HS631420 credits
An Information Revolution: Politics and Communication in Early Modern BritainHS631520 credits
Health and Illness in Early Modern BritainHS631620 credits
Mobile Lives: Travel, Exile, and Migration in the Early Modern WorldHS631720 credits
Slavery and Enslaved Life in the United States, 1775-1865HS631820 credits
Native American HistoryHS631920 credits
Utopias of Extremism: Revolutions in Comparative ContextHS632020 credits
Czechoslovakia: The Twentieth Century in MiniatureHS632120 credits
France under OccupationHS632220 credits
Inside the Third ReichHS632320 credits
Violence and Ideology in the Inter-War Soviet UnionHS632420 credits
War and Freedom in the postcolonial SudansHS632620 credits
Gender and Imperialism, India c.1800- c.1900HS632720 credits
Change, Conflict, and Mass Mobilisation in Republican China, 1911-1945HS632820 credits
The Dark Valley of Fascist Japan, 1930-1945HS632920 credits
Peripheral Reverberations of the French RevolutionHS633020 credits
Mayhem and murder: Investigating the Victorian UnderworldHS633120 credits
The Making of British SocialismHS633220 credits
Britain at War: Culture and Politics on the Home Front, 1939-1945HS633320 credits
Public and Private: Gender, Identities and Power in Twentieth Century BritainHS633420 credits
Jews, Europe and the WorldHS633520 credits
The History of Thought in International RelationsPL931120 credits
International Politics in the Nuclear AgePL932020 credits
Bombs, Bullets and Ballot-boxes: the Northern Ireland Conflict, 1969 to 1998PL932420 credits
Political Economy: Rationality in an Irrational World?PL932520 credits
Popular Culture and World PoliticsPL932820 credits
War and SocietyPL933120 credits
Cybersecurity: Diplomacy and Digital Rights in Global PoliticsPL933220 credits
A History of British IntelligencePL933320 credits
The Politics of Violence and KillingPL933520 credits
Justice, Legitimacy and International LawPL933620 credits
Latin American PoliticsPL933720 credits
Sex, Drugs and Public PolicyPL933820 credits
Politics in Practice: Work Placement ModulePL934020 credits
The Soul and the City: Plato's Political PhilosophyPL934120 credits
Crisis and Commitment in 20th Century Political ThoughtPL934320 credits
Be the Change: Governing without the StatePL934620 credits
Representing DevelopmentPL934820 credits
The Politics of Populism in EuropePL935020 credits
Terrorism and (In)securityPL935120 credits
Radical Political TheoryPL935220 credits
Governing Global Public Health: Viral Pandemics, and the Global Drugs 'Epidemic'PL935320 credits
US Government and PoliticsPL937420 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangPL937720 credits
Cenedlaetholdeb, Crefydd a Chyfiawnder: Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruPL937820 credits
Parliamentary Studies ModulePL938020 credits
International Relations DissertationPL938520 credits
Politics DissertationPL938620 credits
Elections in the UKPL938720 credits
Global International Organisation in World PoliticsPL939120 credits
Personality and PowerPL939220 credits

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

Research is central to the student experience at Cardiff and all our teaching is informed by the latest findings to enabled you to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge.

We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. You will learn through a wide range of teaching methods from interactive lectures, lively discussion-based seminars, and workshops to group work and tutorials. These on-campus activities will be blended with a range of online environments that will enhance your learning experience and enable you to extend your studies beyond the classroom. Seminars and workshops offer a rewarding experience to engage critically with the key ideas and reading on a topic. They provide a valuable opportunity to explore ideas and work closely with your lecturers and to learn from other students. In your second and third years, you have the opportunity to undertake a range of independent projects with the support of an expert in the field and one-to-one tuition.

Our teaching methods foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management in a supportive environment.

Welsh language teaching

History and Politics provides opportunities for learning and teaching through the medium of Welsh. Subject to staff availability, seminar teaching in Welsh is available on some or all of the core History modules. Welsh language supervision is also available in Year Two and Year Three for longer projects and for dissertations. You may elect to write all or some of your assessed work and examinations in Welsh.

How will I be supported?

You will be supported by a number of different staff, some focusing on academic performance in a particular area and some looking at learning and progress more holistically.

You will be allocated personal tutors in both History and Politics, who will guide you for the duration of your studies. You will meet with your personal tutors regularly in groups and individually to reflect on your progress and development across your studies. Your personal tutors can also guide you towards appropriate support if you experience difficulties or require specific information about your time at Cardiff University.

Additional module-specific support is provided by seminar tutors, lecturers and/or module convenors; support for independent research projects is provided by an academic advisor who will meet with you regularly.

You will have access through the University virtual learning environment to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion boards.

Our undergraduate Education Support Teams provides academic and student support and are there to provide information and guidance in response to any queries you may have.

The University offers a range of services including Student Futures to help you with your career planning, support services and events to help you manage your emotional, mental and physical health, support with financial issues and support for students with disabilities.

How will I be assessed?

Assessments include source criticisms, research projects, reviews, presentations, creative-critical portfolios and blog posts, alongside more traditional forms of assessment such as essays and tests/exams. Some of our assessments allow you to work collaboratively on a project, while others include writing and creating for different audiences; for example, you might be asked to design a museum exhibition or create a guide for using sources; and you may have the opportunity to create podcasts and digital texts for social media   Long essays in History allow you to address fundamental historical questions or explore an historical issue or debate in more depth.

In all cases, our assessments are designed to support you in developing your ideas, skills and competencies. They help equip you with skills to link your knowledge to local, national and global issues, and encourage you to be innovative and creative; to find new ways to address problems or ask questions; to collaborate in solving problems and presenting findings; and to present evidence-based arguments. The skills developed and assessed throughout the programme prepare you for entry into a range of graduate careers. Individual and group feedback on assessments and other learning provides you with the opportunity to reflect on your current or recent level of attainment.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you. 

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:

Knowledge & Understanding:   

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

KU1: critically apply a variety of concepts, theories and methods used in the study of politics to the analysis of political ideas, institutions and practices, relative to the historical and contemporary context

KU2: engage critically and conceptually with different political systems; the nature and distribution of power in them; the social, economic, historical and cultural contexts within which they operate; and - in some cases - the relationships between them

KU3: engage critically and conceptually with the changing assumptions and methods that historians use to explain the past

KU4: demonstrate systematic knowledge and understanding of the complexity and diversity of situations, events, and mentalities in the past in a single country or in relation to a particular theme

Intellectual Skills:           

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

IS1: Critically appraise political theories and assess them in relation to evidence

IS2: Clearly and rigorously represent, analyse and challenge political and philosophical arguments

IS3: utilise knowledge and appropriate skills and methods to identify and critically evaluate historical change

IS4: formulate and justify arguments about a range of historical issues, problems, and debates using historiographical ideas and methods

IS5: identify and locate appropriate primary sources, reflect upon their nature, and analyse them critically to address questions and solve problems

Professional Practical Skills:      

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

PS1: demonstrate critical thinking, reasoning, and the ability to assimilate and summarise complex information and ideas though the independent selection and critical analysis of an appropriate range of evidence

PS2: ask cogent and focused questions and pursue answers to these questions through structured enquiry, selecting and interrogating an appropriate range of evidence

PS3: summarise and critically appraise the relative merits and demerits of alternative views and interpretations and evaluate their significance

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

TS1: propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence

TS2: present complex findings and arguments clearly, concisely, and persuasively in a variety of formats

TS3: show enterprise skills to solve problems and analyse diverse, partial or ambiguous evidence using critical thinking, initiative, and creativity

TS4: effectively communicate complex information and arguments, either individually or collaboratively as part of a team

Careers and placements

Career prospects

We encourage our students to think about life beyond university from day one, offering modules and support to give you a competitive advantage on graduating no matter what path they follow.

Our degree provides you with a foundation for a wide range of careers such as in non-governmental organisations, global development, international business, diplomacy and intelligence in government, journalism, and policy research, as well as a basis for more specialist subjects taught at postgraduate level. Some choose to undertake postgraduate study at Cardiff University or elsewhere, and some have become internationally reputed historians.

Our degree equips you with important skills which employers’ value from collaborative working and communicating with a wide range of audiences to critical thinking and finding new ways to address problems. Training and careers events are delivered in and out of the curriculum with a focus on developing skills while in university and articulating those skills successfully in future applications. We work closely with Student Futures who not only deliver training and workshops on our core modules, but also offer a wealth of opportunities. Beyond your formal studies we run programmes that provide you with opportunities to engage with local schools and communities or work with local heritage organisations to develop your own skills and profile whilst allowing you to make a difference.

Placements

We ensure that placements can be incorporated into your learning. Opportunities for diverse, bespoke placements are offered in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion in Year two on a module which focuses on translating the skills you gain through your degree into the workplace. In your final year, we offer the opportunity to take a module through which you can develop your enterprise skills, and which equips you with the skills to communicate and collaborate with external organizations. Staff also have close links with a range of local heritage and other organizations, which offer placement opportunities both in and outside semesters.

Through our links with the Student Futures, you can source placements and on-campus internships from 35 hours part-time placements to fit in around your studies to paid summer placements. In addition, Go Wales provides additional support to help you gain work experience.

Studying in Welsh

Up to 33% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.