BA (Hons) History with PoliticsSouthwark Campus
'In our age there is no such thing as keeping out of politics' George Orwell
How has the past influenced and changed contemporary society and politics? What can history teach us about how change happens and how political systems and democratic processes evolve over time? Study history with politics and you'll gain a greater understanding of how the past shapes current political discourse, policy and activism.
Using innovative approaches to teaching delivered by experts in their field, you will engage in lectures, interactive seminars, object-based learning, site visits, group work, debate and independent research. This will equip you with the analytical, communication and people skills required to succeed within the workplace.
We offer the opportunity for all undergraduate Home/EU students to undertake a work placement, internship or work experience while studying a full-time course starting in September 2021.
Why History with Politics at LSBU?
- No. 1 in UK for teaching in Politics (National Student Survey 2018)
- Wide-ranging research interests: international activism, social justice, public policy, humanitarianism and charities, slavery and empire, globalisation, genocide and crimes against humanity, political protest, Nazism, race and gender
- Innovative teaching: research-led teaching which offers access to new perspectives - dialogue and debate are central to learning and gaining new skills
- Career paths: enhance your employability by taking a work placement module to gain essential experience of working life whilst studying
- Location: in the heart of the capital close to a range of museums, archives, libraries, NGOs and political organisation which are regularly used to enhance the learning experience
- Expert speakers: learn from staff who are experts in their fields as well as the inspiring range of guest lecturers, policy-makers, private and third sector organisations
- Social justice: give back to the community through volunteering or participate in our undergraduate mentoring programme which offers the opportunity to gain teaching experience at college level
Modules cover a range of periods, themes and approaches to history and politics. They are designed to interlink throughout the programme so that you deepen your knowledge and skills as you progress on the course.
- The historians toolkit
This module will enable you to develop your research skills e-portfolio by giving you supervised practice at notetaking, referencing, group-work, participation in class debate, research and production of an extensive bibliography for your independent research project. You will be introduced to the range of sources available to historians including secondary, archival and digital sources. You will be required to include a variety of source material in your assessed project. Taught through workshops, hands-on research and visits to London Metropolitan Archives and the Women’s Library. Assessment: independent research project (2000 words).
- Revolutions, wars and the making of the modern world
This module introduces some of the major themes and events in modern world history. It begins with an examination of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. It moves on to look at the Industrial Revolution, national unification movements in Italy and Germany in the nineteenth century, Empire, the First World War and the ideologies of Fascism, Nazism and Soviet Communism. It looks at the impact of key historical figures such as Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler and their impact on the shape of the modern world. Taught through: weekly lectures, seminars and group debates. Assessment: 2,000-word essay (100%).
- Introduction to political theory
You'll be introduced to key ideas and concepts in political theory. These include democracy, freedom, justice and power. These ideas and concepts are explored in the social and historical contexts in which they developed. You'll also be encouraged to explore the way that these ideas and concept have been transformed historically and the manner in which they are mobilised in contemporary political debates.
- Rethinking history
This module introduces key issues and debates in historical thinking. You’ll identify and analyse different forms of history writing in relation to the political and cultural contexts from which they emerged. This module will include a critical engagement with different historiographical traditions including Whig history, history from below, feminist history and the new imperial history. You’ll consider the impact of the cultural turn, postmodernism and postcolonialism. You’ll examine different forms of historical practice including public history, family and local history. Taught through lectures, seminars and a visit to the British Library. Assessment: 1000-word article review (50%) and 1000-word essay (50%).
- War and social change in the 20th century
This module introduces the major themes and events in twentieth century world history from the Second World War onward. It examines contemporary historical events that have impacted society, including the Cold War, decolonisation, Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist revolution, the effect of New Right ideologies in the 1980's, the fall of the Soviet Union and its consequences, globalisation, as well as moves towards European integration and the development of the European Union. You'll analyse the impact of these key events on the shaping of the modern and contemporary world. Taught through: weekly lectures and seminars. Assessment 2,000-word essay (100%).
- 20th century British history: democracy, crisis and modernity
This module explores the history of Britain over the course of the twentieth century. Picking up on themes first introduced in the Level 4 module Industry, Empire and Society: Britain 1750-1900 this module traces the social, economic, political and cultural changes and continuities within Britain during the years 1900-2000. You'll focus on the themes of class, gender, ethnicity, activism, democratic rights, social policy, sexuality, leisure and consumption. You'll also cover key developments in the histories of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure you have an inclusive understanding of life in Britain in the twentieth century. Taught through: weekly lectures, seminars and group work. Assessment: 3,000-word essay (100%).
- Issues in criminal justice history
This module provides a framework for examining the development of the criminal justice system and the general construction of the crime problem in the period from the 1800s until the early 1960s. You'll blend discussion of institutional development with a socio-historical analysis of changing problems of crime. Taught through: weekly lectures, workshops and group work. 3,000-word project based on policing, prisons, gender and crime, or youth crime (100%).
- London: local histories / global communities
This module engages with local histories of London through an exploration of the communities who have historically made the city their home. Drawing on methods of local and community history you’ll consider how and why different groups of people came to London and their experiences of life in the capital. You’ll explore Jewish histories of the East End, Irish life in Kilburn, Hackney’s radical Dissenters, as well as community history projects which are working to archive and preserve these stories. Taught through lectures, seminars, visits, guest speakers and walking tours. Assessment: 1500-word public history report (50%) and 1500-word essay (50%).
- Legacies of the British Empire
The contested legacies of the British empire shape both Britain and its formerly colonised spaces. This module allows you to explore the social, cultural, political and economic impact of British imperialism across a range of geographies. You’ll analyse the role of empire in the formulation of ideas about race and nation. Exploring different case studies, including Ireland / Northern Ireland and Palestine / Israel, you’ll consider how the legacies of empire have divided communities. You’ll also examine the material legacies of empire including heritage sites and collections. Taught through lectures, seminars, visits, guest speakers. Assessment: 3000-word mini research project (100%).
- Public history
How do the public understand the past? What histories are represented and who gets to decide? In this module you’ll explore the ways people encounter and consume the past. Taking a critical lens to public history you’ll consider how heritage sites, museums, walking tours and TV programmes shape how history is remembered. You’ll engage in debates over contested pasts and their public representation to think through the power relations which underpin the production of history. Taught through lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits, group work. Assessment: 10-minute presentation analysing a piece of public history (30%) and 2000-word public history project (70%).
Plus one optional module (Semester 1):
- Gender difference and equality
In the past few decades work on gender has been crucial in challenging mainstream sociological thought, and in making exciting and innovative contributions to sociological theory, methodology and policy. This Module addresses equality and diversity by focusing on the issue of gender difference and equality through the study of historical and contemporary debates on a range of topical issues reflecting diversity and equality issues in contemporary British society. Taught through: lectures and workshops. Assessment: 1,500-word essay (50%) and 2,000-word document report (50%).
- European politics in transition
The module looks at political processes in Europe in a comparative perspective. It aims to examine the factors that explain the continuity and stability of politics in Europe as well as the changes that have taken place over the last two decades. The module looks at ideology, power and decision making. There is a focus on political events and policy processes, looking at both individual nation states and the European Union. An organising theme of the module is the impact of the end of the cold war on the politics of Europe over the last two decades.
- Global governance, regionalism and the nation state
This module explores the complex, dialectical (non-linear) economic, social and political relations between nation-states, regionalisation and globalisation. Regionalisation has emerged across the world, but is most developed in Europe. You'll also explore the role of international organizations in the global system, with particular emphasis on the United Nations system, including International Financial Institutions. You'll critically reflect on state power and global inter-dependence in the 21st Century. Taught through: lectures, seminars and workshops. Assessment: an international news journal diary (50%) and a two-hour exam (50%).
- The making of modern society: the light and the dark
Modern societies see themselves as beacons of light and ‘goodness’. But is there darkness, danger and harm built in to being modern? This is the fundamental question of this module. Along the way we will also ask: How did societies become modern? What does being modern mean? Have modern societies lived up to their own ideals of liberty, opportunity and respect for the individual?
And another optional module (Semester 2):
- The environment, sustainability and climate change
This module provides a grounding in the study of the politics of environmental sustainability. The module focuses firstly on the debate on environmental sustainability which includes the challenge by environmentalists that it is a contradiction. Alternative approaches will also be examined including: green theory, the free market and Marxist approaches. The second part of the module looks at increasing global competition for water, food, energy and oil. The politics of climate change and deforestation; transport and tourism; global security and justice will also be covered. The third part of the course focuses on case studies of organisations and movements involved in environmental sustainability. We'll look into the IPCC; Copenhagen Climate Council; the Fair Trade Movement; Ethical Consumerism and the Environmental Movement.
- Work placement
This module provides an opportunity for you to work in a setting directly related to your area of study. It will enable you to explore and reinforce the interface between theory and practice in a professional setting. Voluntary and community sector organisations with a registered charity number and most political organisations are suitable for work placements. However you'll need to meet and consult with your Module Coordinator to identify an appropriate voluntary sector and/or political organisation for you. Taught through: practical on-the-job work experience. Assessment: 1,000-word self-reflective report (30%), 2,500-word critical evaluation and action plan (70%).
- Globalisation and development
This module introduces key concepts, issues and theoretical debates in development studies. The module focuses on the developing societies of Africa, Asia, and Latin America and seeks to develop a comparative analysis of the divergent developmental experiences of Africa and the BRIC economies. The module locates the debates and issues that it explores within both an historical and global context and encourages students to explore the inter-dependence of the developed and developing world.
- Bullets and borders
This module takes a four nations approach to modern British history. Attention is drawn away from ‘English’ history to the history of Northern Ireland, 1921 to the present. You will analyse the reasons for partition and assess its impact on the UK and Ireland. The intra-state conflict resulting, known as ‘the Troubles’ c. 1968-1998, will be studied alongside the wider social, economic, political and cultural history of the region. The peace process, culminating in the 1998 ‘Good Friday Agreement’, will be considered as will the subsequent relationship between Northern Ireland, the UK and Ireland, particularly in the context of Brexit. Taught through lectures, seminars and group work. Assessment: 3000-word essay.
- Making identities: citizenship, race and nation
This module aims to examine the processes that have shaped key facets of identity in contemporary societies: citizenship, race and nation. By examining their inter-relationship, key sociological debates will be used to understand social and political identities. The module explores important theoretical questions and analyses specific historical processes and contemporary situations. The module encourages students to think across the boundaries of race and nation, gender and sexuality, as well as locality or environment (including animal welfare) in order to understand the different interrelationships between these forms of identity formation and citizenship in the modern world.
- Research project
Plus one optional module (Semester 1) from:
- Black British history: concepts and debates
This module explores the concept of black history within British historiography, engaging in debates around its definition and representation. You’ll critically examine concepts relating to the construction of race including theories of ‘political blackness’, the ‘Black Atlantic’, ‘Pan-Africanism’, ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘decolonisation’. You’ll explore the rich histories of black Britons in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century. Films, documentaries, music and art will be analysed. You’ll visit libraries and archives including the Black Cultural Archive and Autograph ABP. Taught through lectures, workshops, group work, visits. Assessment: 1000-word provocation (30%) and Short Film and Narrative (70%) reflecting an aspect of black history.
- Genocide and crimes against humanity
This module explores the history of genocide and crimes against humanity in the twentieth century and beyond. It begins with an introduction to the related concepts of genocide and crimes against humanity before considering a range of events including colonial genocides, the Armenian Genocide, the Nazi ‘Final Solution’, alleged genocides in Cambodia, Yugoslavia and Rwanda, as well as cases of genocide in the twenty first century in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. You'll analyse the dynamics of genocide and crimes against humanity in order to shed light upon their origins, characteristics and consequences. Taught through: a mix of lectures and seminars. Assessment: 3,500-word essay (100%).
- Unfinished business: the fight for social justice
This module critiques the role of the state in promoting social justice and looks at the role of charities and civil society in holding government to account and working for social justice. It includes an examination of the key concepts in and development of contemporary welfare to provide historical context to contemporary social justice issues. Students will interrogate the role of the state in social justice through a series of historical and contemporary social policy debates and case studies such as in-work poverty, homelessness, ‘problem families’ and the ‘hostile environment’. Taught through lectures, seminars, policy engagement, guest speakers. Assessment: 1500-word case study (50%) and 1500-word policy brief (50%).
- Diplomacy and conflict resolution
This module examines the historical, theoretical, normative and practical aspects of diplomacy and conflict resolution, having defined the key concepts, the module explores a range of approaches to the subject, including political and legal approaches. The primary focus of the module is on the role of states but consideration is also given to international institutions and non-state actors, such as NGOOs. Key topics covered include the nature and history and nature of diplomacy, the history of conflict resolution, the processes of conflict resolution including peace-keeping, humanitarian intervention, and responsibility to protect, including a critique of liberal interventionism.
- The politics of the Middle East
This module explores the government and politics of the Middle East, including their regional and international dimensions. It locates contemporary political issues and processes within their historical contexts, including the roles played by powerful external forces, notably (but not exclusively) the United States in the post-1945 era. It understands politics in the broad sense of the organisation and dynamics of state-society complexes rather than in the traditional sense of the actions of state bodies and actors. It encourages students to appreciate the complex interdependencies of the region while also recognising the specificity of national societies and state-society relations.
And one optional module (Semester 2) from:
- Contemporary dynamics of the world system
This module explores the structures, dynamics and transformations of world orders and provides students with an understanding of international relations since the demise of the nineteenth-century Pax Britannica. It explores successive world orders, analysing the period of rivalry between the major powers (1875-1945), and the era of Cold War bi-polarity and Pax Americana (1945-1990). A central focus of the module is on post-Cold War developments, including the rise of China, the debate on US empire and hegemony, and processes of globalisation and transnationalisation. Contemporary patterns of international disorder, including the developing multi-polarity and the rise of transnational Islamic activism, are also explored.
- Female activism: past and present
This module explores the history and impact of female activism in different contexts from the 1800s to the present day. Agency, activism and organisation are central and common themes in women’s history. The concept of agency is used here as an analytical framework to study women’s lives, culture and expression over time in Britain and around the globe. Taking a case study approach the module will consider examples of female activism and organisation and assess how this challenged patriarchy, social structures and the status quo. The module also considers the intersection between gender, class, race and sexuality within these histories. Assessment: 2000-word case study report (50%) and a two-hour unseen exam (50%).
- Life and times in Nazi Germany
This module analyses the rise of Hitler and the history of Nazism. You'll examine how Hitler consolidated his power and the relationship between the dictatorial regime and the German people. It deals with aspects of everyday life, such as coercion and consensus, propaganda and the use of terror, including the secret police and the concentration camp system. The module also analyses Nazi ideology, Nazi economic policy, foreign policy, resistance, education and youth groups. You'll examine cultural life, including cinema, theatre, art, architecture, literature, music, as well as the press and radio. Taught through: weekly lectures and seminars. Assessment: 3500-word essay.
- Politics and protest
This module examines forms of social and political conflict located within contemporary western societies. The main focus is on understanding social movements and forms of political contention in the changing social structure of these societies. You'll examine the ability of social and political theory to understand the nature of political identity and its expression in social movements both in the past and in the present. Taught through: a mix of lectures, seminars and group work. Assessment: 2-hr exam (100%).
- American politics: ideology and power
This module examines the government and politics of the USA, underpinned by analysis of political economy and social change. Attention will be given to historical developments by examining aspects of political culture and values, the idea of American exceptionalism, and wider ideological questions, including analysis of emergent phenomena such as populism, Black Lives Matter, the Alt-Right movement and #MeToo. Key institutions and political processes analysed include the presidency, legislature and Supreme Court, the federal system, the media, the military, law enforcement, elections and electoral demography and changes to the dominant political parties.
History and politics graduates are in high demand with employers because of the unique set of valuable skills which you acquire during the course. These are relevant across industry as well as within the historical and political professions.
Key skills include:
- critical thinking
- research and analysis
- complex problem solving
- communication skills
- planning and organisation
- presentation skills
- independent decision making
- digital literacy
- project management skills
Typical career paths include:
- politics - think tanks / policy-making
- media - journalism, television and radio
- NGOs and the charity sector
- museums, archives and heritage
We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.
At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:
- An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
- Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.
Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.
Our staff have professional links to public and popular history institutions, professional bodies, editorial boards, and NGOs.
- Co-convenor of the Contemporary British History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research
- Member of the Editorial Board for Contemporary British History
- Member of the Editorial Board for Local Economy
- Member of the Committee of the Voluntary Action History Society
- Co-Investigator on the British Academy Research Project ‘Archiving the Mixed Economy of Welfare’ (Partnership with University College London, University of Northumbria and National Council for Voluntary Organisations
- Charity Research Consultant specialising in archives, records and governance. Clients include Charity Finance Group and Merseyside Youth Association
- Steering Group Member – History UK
- Co-convenor for the Institute of Historical Research ‘Black British History: Concepts, Geographies, Debates’ seminar series
- Co-curator for ‘Slavery, Culture and Collecting’, Museums of London, Docklands
- Consultant for BAFTA award-winning BBC2 documentary ‘Britain’s Forgotten Slave-owners’
- Contributor for BBC Radio 3 ‘The Shadow of Slavery’
- Writes for BBC History Magazine and History Today
- Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
- Specialist guide, Tate Liverpool, ‘Portraying the Nation: Germany 1919-1933’, Life Undiluted.
- Contributor, Channel 5, Adolf and Eva: Love and War
- Contributor, UKTV, Hitler’s Propaganda Machine (Wildbear Productions)
- Contributor, Apple itunes, Hitler: Empire of Evil (EntertainMe Production)
Dr Caitriona Beaumont on Suffragettes vs Suffragists
Lisa Pine on Hitler - Evil of Empire
Work placements offer the opportunity to gain invaluable practical experience in the world of work. For high demand professions where you are expected to complete internships to gain a job, the work placement module offers you the chance to do this as part of degree. You will gain new skills and be able to practically apply the knowledge you have gained through your studies.
Former students have maintained links with placement organisation who can also provide references for successful students. Some students have used the placement as a research tool for their final year dissertation.
Teaching and learning
Our innovative teaching methods allow you to engage with the subject in a way which enhances your learning experience. These include:
- object-based learning
- visual and textual analysis
- archival practice
- museum visits and walking tours
- debate and discussion
- peer-to-peer learning
- research-led teaching
- embedded skills sessions
We use a variety of creative assessment methods which are aimed at giving you the opportunity to excel across a range of different historical mediums. These include:
- essay writing
- public history projects
- film making
- group work
- research project
- object histories
- policy reports
Your core modules are designed to provide an introduction to the skills of the historian. You will discuss new critical approaches to history. You will also undertake a research project to gain practical experience. You will visit archives and libraries for hands-on sessions. You will explore British, imperial and European history from the mid-eighteenth century to the present day.
Your core modules are designed to give you the theoretical and practical skills relevant to both academic and public history. You will build on your historical knowledge from the previous year with modules exploring the legacy of empire, globalisation, European politics, nations and nationalism, gender and sexuality. You can take the work placement module to apply your knowledge within a relevant working environment.
A range of option modules will allow you to interrogate more deeply your subject knowledge and practical skills. You will shape your learning yourself by designing your own programme of study. A core research project will allow you to pursue your own interests and strengths through the design and completion of a full-length study of your own choosing.
At LSBU your lectures and seminars are taught by academic staff who are leaders in the field. Our areas of speciality include:
- Modern British History
- Activism and social justice
- Humanitarianism, charities and third sector
- British empire
- Race and migration
- Fascism and Nazism
- Middle Eastern politics
- Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity
- Feminism, sexuality and society
- Political protest
- Sustainability and climate change
- Global political economy
- International relations and human rights
Personal Academic Tutoring
As an undergraduate Law and Social Science student, you will be allocated a named tutor during your first semester at LSBU. The role of your tutor is to be your primary contact for academic and professional development support.
Your tutor will support you to get the most of your time at LSBU, providing advice and signposting to other sources of support in the University. They should be the first person at the university that you speak to if you are having any difficulties that are affecting your work. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem.
- A Level BCC or:
- BTEC National Diploma MMM or:
- Access to HE qualifications with 9 Distinctions and 36 Merits or:
- Equivalent Level 3 qualifications worth 106 UCAS points
- Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English, or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above).
Visit UCAS for tariff guidance.
If you have already completed some studies at another university, we may be able to consider you for advanced entry. Please see our advanced entry page for more information.
How to apply
International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.
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Once we have made you an offer, you can apply for accommodation. You can rent from LSBU and you’ll deal directly with the university, not third party providers. That means we can guarantee you options to suit all budgets, with clear tenancy agreements and all-inclusive rents that include insurance for your personal belongings, internet access in each bedroom and on-site laundry facilities.
Or, if you’d rather rent privately, we can give you a list of landlords – just ask our Accommodation Service.
Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.
You don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.
Prepare to start
After you’ve received your offer we’ll send you emails about events we run to help you prepare for your course.
Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Enrolment pages.
Fees and funding
Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.
Year 1 FT Southwark SEPT
|UK/EU fee: £9250||International fee: £14470|
|AOS/LSBU code: 4817||Session code: 1FS00|
|Total course fee:|
For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.
Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.
Possible fee changes
The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.
The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.
We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.