skip to primary navigationskip to content

History and Politics

history DSC 0210 4253097275 oWhat is History and Politics?   

History and Politics at Cambridge is an exciting new joint Honours degree which will run for the first time in 2017. It offers subjects from our highly regarded History and Politics and International Relations courses, together with bespoke papers which will allow students to explore the space between the two disciplines. 

What is special about History and Politics at Cambridge?

Cambridge is uniquely placed to teach History and Politics and International Relations together. Staff in the Faculty of History and the Department of Politics and International Studies have a wide range of shared interests in political and international history, the origins of contemporary politics and international relations, and the history of political thought. This new degree balances a strong grounding in the two component subjects with the chance to explore the ways in which historical and political understanding together illuminate the modern world.

Student meeting2 5835505989 oOne of the strengths of the History and Politics degree at Cambridge is the quality of the teaching: you will have the opportunity to learn from some of the most eminent academics in the field. The degree is taught through a mixture of departmental lectures, seminars and classes, and college ‘supervisions’, in which students discuss their essays with a supervisor individually or in very small groups. Supervisions provide a wonderful opportunity for students to receive individual feedback on their work and to discuss the problems and ideas raised by the lectures and further reading. 

The structure of the course

Students take four papers in each year, and normally write seven to eight supervision essays for each paper. In the first year, you can typically expect between eight and ten hours of lectures and classes a week, along with one or two supervisions.

Wife mother voterFirst year (Part IA): Four papers

The first year provides a core grounding in historical knowledge, intellectual history, political science and international relations. 

  • Evidence and Argument - a paper unique to this course which will introduce a range of methods and approaches from across the two disciplines

Second year (Part IB): Four papers            selmatomontgomerymarch

The second year offers more specialised papers in the history of political thought, international relations, comparative politics, and European and global history. Students take four papers: 

Third year (Part II): Either a dissertation and three papers, or four papers

  • A compulsory paper in General Themes and Issues, which considers general issues in history and politics and the relationship between the two disciplines

And either:

  • Three papers from a wide range of options:Naser, Sukarno, Nehru and Nkrumah at the Bandung Conference 1955
  • Or:
    • A 10-15,000 word research dissertation and two papers from the specified range.

    After Cambridge 

    Students who take this degree will have acquired a range of skills that are attractive to employers. They learn to work independently; to evaluate and discriminate between different types of evidence; to cope with large amounts of information; to work independently and with others; and to present arguments clearly and persuasively. 

    Recent graduates from the single honours History degree and from Politics and International Relations have gone on to careers in the media, politics, law, public administration, the civil service, finance, teaching, and the charity sector. 

    Key facts 

    • You do not need to have studied Politics or International Relations before, though some colleges require A Level/IB Higher Level History or at least one essay-based subject.
    • A typical offer is A*AA at A Level or 40-42 IB points, with 776 in Higher Level subjects.
    • At least 40 places are available for 2018 entry, and we hope to admit as many qualified applicants as possible.
    • Candidates who are not accepted for History and Politics may be considered for places in History or HSPS.  

    Further information

    Discover more about studying History at Cambridge by following the links to other pages of this website. If you would like further information about studying Politics and International Relations, visit the website of the Department of Politics and International Studies

    Information on how to apply for this course can be found on the University's Undergraduate Study pages.