School of Humanities and Performing Arts

BA (Hons) History with International Relations

Let what you learn from the past influence your success in the future. Gain invaluable problem solving and analytical skills by investigating a wide range of societies from the fifteenth century to the present day. You’ll learn how to study the past through political, social, economic, artistic, intellectual and cultural channels. You’ll also get to grips with the up-to-date political issues of international relations by analysing globalisation and global governance.

You will gain workplace experience with local public history and heritage sites so you can kick-start your career as soon as you graduate. You could engage in professional analysis of the complex international political environment of the twenty-first century. Our international exchange programme gives you the opportunity to travel and spend either a semester or an entire year exploring history with one of our partner institutions in the US or Europe.

Key features

  • Enhance your career options with a degree that helps you develop highly sought-after analytical and communication skills while you home in on your passion.
  • 92 per cent of students agreed staff were good at explaining things and 90 per cent were in work/study six months after finishing the course (source: 2016 NSS and 2016 DLHE survey results available on Unistats*).
  • Gain workplace experience with local public history and heritage sites so you can kick-start your career as soon as you graduate.
  • Plot your own course through the centuries as you take the lead in your research projects and choose areas of study from our flexible range of modules, creating a tailor-made degree.
  • Engage in professional analysis of the complex international political environment of the twenty-first century.
  • Our international exchange programme gives you the opportunity to travel and spend either a semester or an entire year exploring history with one of our partner institutions in the US or Europe 
  • Explore history with your friends and course mates by joining the History Society, a lively and supportive community hosting educational and social events.
  • Discover the most up-to-date ways of studying history through our history resources including a vast eBook library, and array of online lectures and resources.
  • Deepen your knowledge and understanding of the key events and debates in contemporary international relations.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll get to know the key concepts of history, studying four modules designed to give you a firm foundation in historical methodology while helping you develop practical skills. You’ll study a broad range of perspectives exploring developments in world, US, European and British history. Alongside this, you will discover the theories of the international system and the post-cold war political environment.
    Core modules
    • HIST401 What is History?

      What is History? ¿ provides an overview of how the discipline of history operates, and looks at some of the key skills associated with the subject.

    • HIST402 Making History: Revolutions Causes and Processes

      This module provides an induction to the subject of history at degree level.

    • HIST403PP Re-making History

      Student will study a specific topic in history in small groups through problem based learning with an assessment geared towards public engagement. This module introduces students to historical primary sources. It directs attention to how historians do history for an external audience.  It aims to explore the actual materials they use and the methodologies they apply to read and interpret these materials.

    • IRL100 Imagining World Order

      This module introduces the essential terms, concepts and processes of international relations analysis. It describes the main features of the international system since its evolution from the Treaty of Westphalia, continuities and discontinuities with earlier international systems, plus the move from state sovereignty to global governance in the contemporary context. It also introduces the primary theories of international relations analysis, whilst putting their emergence and development into historical context.

    • IRL102 International Relations Since 1945

      This module provides an introduction to the historical development of the international political system since 1945. It provides a crucial background to the major processes and actors that have shaped the contemporary international system.

    Optional modules
    • HIST406 America from settlement to Empire

      This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural evolution of the United States from 1492 to the end of the Nineteenth Century.

    • HIST407 World History since 1850

      This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural history of the modern world beyond Europe.

  • Year 2
  • During your second year, you’ll have the chance to choose from a range of modules as you develop your historical knowledge and skills. Experience visual, oral, material and archival research by undertaking interviews with living witnesses, examining visual sources and delving into original sources. You’ll grow your knowledge of international security, conflict resolution, global society and north-south relations. You can also take the opportunity to study in the USA for up to a year. Optional modules are available this year, but may be subject to change in subsequent years.

    Optional modules are available this year, but may be subject to change in subsequent years.
    Core modules
    • HIST502 Preparing for Dissertation Research

      This module is designed to prepare students for Level 6 research in History by lectures and workshops that explore key approaches to sources, and practical and theoretical aspects to research in history, before carrying out a small project in independent research. Lectures in the period of the research project will entail an element of choice and also student-generated lectures, based on selection of topics at start of module: with subjects geared to doing research in archives / local studies/ digital resources.

    • HIST522 Talking History, Seeing History: Research Methods in Visual and Oral History

      This module investigates the use of oral, material & visual sources as a means of investigating the past. Also, the contextualisation of historical sources and questions in the wider historiographical literature.

    • IRL200 Understanding Global Politics

      This module provides an introduction to the main authors and debates in contemporary IR theory, from mainstream theories to critical approaches. The module pays particular attention to the historical context of each approach, and the relationship between theory and practice in contemporary global politics.

    Optional modules
    • HIST503 American Popular Culture Since 1945

      This module is an introduction to major themes in American Popular Culture since 1945.

    • HIST505 Middle Kingdoms: Themes in Early Modern Asia (China, India, Japan, and/or Korea)

      This module introduces themes in early modern Asian history (c.16th-19th centuries). At one level, it explores key questions shaping the histories of the Mughal Empire, the Qing Empire, Tokugawa Japan, and/or the Joseon Kingdom. Building on these questions, it then develops a comparative analysis of selected topics from a trans-regional perspective, an example of early globalisation emanating from Asia's middle kingdoms.

    • HIST506 The European Reformations

      This module is an examination of causes, processes and results of the religious Reformations, Protestant and Catholic, in sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Europe, including the British Isles. Emphasis will be on the evaluation of primary sources and on historiographical debate.

    • HIST509 America Since 1900

      This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social, economic, business and cultural history of the United States since 1900.

    • HIST511 Heritage and Public History

      The module content will examine the theory and practice of the presentation of the past to public audiences. In it, students will examine the creation, nature, use and understanding of heritage and public history, nationally and internationally. They will examine these issues in case studies of historical `sites¿ of different types, to gain a critical awareness and understanding of the theories and controversies surrounding heritage and public history. This is a work facing module, where students will consider the theory and practice of `using¿ `sites¿ of heritage and public history from the point of view of a range of stake holders.

    • HIST513 Royal Navy in the Age of Sail, 1545-1815

      This module examines the royal navy and the development of British naval power between 1545 and 1815. Beginning with the sinking of the Mary Rose in 1545 this module explores changing role of the navy and sea power in defence to the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815. This module also investigates the logistics, technological changes and social history of the navy in this period.

    • HIST515 Other Voices - Marginalisation in Early Modern Europe

      This course explores the ways in which early modern society confronted difference, and constructed its norms and mores. We will consider the role of religion, race, class, and gender in early modern Europe through the study of those groups who found themselves on the outside.

    • HIST517 The Longest War: Britain, Ireland & the Troubles 1949-2006

      This module looks at the complex relationship between Britain and Ireland in the later part of the twentieth century up to present day. It has a special focus on the conflict in Northern Ireland. Students will look the impact of the Troubles on both societies; and study in depth the peace process.

    • HIST519 Tudor and Stuart Britain

      This module examines the political, social and cultural history of Britain from 1485 to 1660, a vibrant and exciting period that witnessed significant developments: the growth of the state; major religious and political upheavals; increased education and literacy; the advent of print and popular politics; exploration and new ways of understanding the world.

    • HIST520 Global Cold War: Politics, Culture and Society

      This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural history of the modern world with special focus on the 20th century and the Cold War.

    • HIST521 Regimes and Dictatorships in Twentieth Century Europe

      This module is an examination of major themes in the political, social and cultural history of modern Europe. It will examine political ideologies which have dominated modern European history and how new political and social institutions have arisen in Europe since the late 19th century.

    • HIST523 The Peculiar Institution: Enslavement in North America, 1619-1865

      This module will examine the ways in which Africans and their descendants responded to their enslavement in British North America and the United States. It will do this through analysing a variety of primary sources and examining key historiographical debates

    • IRL201 International Security Studies

      This module considers the issue of security in contemporary international relations. It examines a variety of different security concepts from deterrence and the security dilemma to arms control, peacekeeping, terrorism, regional security complexes and governance. It then seeks to relate these to practical examples from world politics.

    • IRL202 The Third World

      This module embraces both theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding development issues and policies, at national, international and multilateral scale. The approach taken is deliberately inter-disciplinary, incorporating historical, economic, political and social perspectives. The module also uses case studies based in Africa, Latin America and Asia to illustrate and provide context for the discussion of various developmental concerns. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the development policy arena; how it is framed and constituted; the power relations between actors; and the impact on human communities and their environments.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you’ll continue to advance your skills working alongside our expert historians in their areas of specialism. With one-to-one support, you’ll benefit from your tutor’s experience and knowledge as you create a piece of independent research on a subject of your choice based on original research and primary resources. There’s lot of flexibility in study options in this final year, so cherry pick your perfect mix of international relations and history modules. Optional modules are available this year, but may be subject to change in subsequent years.

    Optional modules are available this year, but may be subject to change in subsequent years.
    Core modules
    • HIST601 History Dissertation

      In this module students prepare the ground and complete a Dissertation of 10-12,000 words on a subject of their own choosing, making extensive use wherever possible of primary historical sources. Lecturing staff provide tutorial support and assistance with research and writing.

    Optional modules
    • HIST603 Britain in the Sixties

      This module introduces the cultural transformation which Britain experienced in the long 1960s. Through a mix of social history, cultural history, and religious history, it surveys the key changes of an explosive decade. These include: the arrival of affluence, the rise of youth culture, the collapse of Christianity, the assault on authority, the sexual revolution, the student uprisings, the advent of anti-racism, and the questioning of gender roles. These changes provide essential context for understanding Britain today.

    • HIST604 Piracy and Privateering, c 1560 - 1816

      This module explores piracy and privateering activity in the seas around the British Isles and further afield from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the end of the second Barbary War in 1816. This course focuses on the social history of piracy and privateering, the organisation of pirate society, and the economic impact of piracy and privateering.

    • HIST605 African-American Experience 1890-1954

      Examining the experience of African Americans from Emancipation at the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the Civil Rights movement at the end of WWII.

    • HIST606 The Civil Rights Movement

      Examining the African American struggle for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s.

    • HIST608 Postwar Japan

      This module introduces key themes in the history of Japan from the end of the Second World War through its rise as a global economic and cultural power to its lost decade at the end of the twentieth century. In its attempt to define the postwar, this module explores the often fraught debates on Japanese identity with an emphasis on Japan's domestic, regional, and globalised cultural presence and projections.

    • HIST609 The French Wars of Religion 1558 - 1598

      The module will examine the causes, progress and termination of the French Wars of Religion after 1558. The main topics will be the relationships between Catholic and Protestant, the impact of war on royal authority, the experiences of confessional groups, towns, nobles and peasants, and the resolution of conflict under Henri IV.

    • HIST610 The Irish Revolution 1912-37

      This module examines the political, social and cultural history of Ireland during the period 1890-1937 with particular focus on causes and effects of partition and the nature what is known as the `Irish revolution¿.

    • HIST612 Empire of Law. Ruling the British Empire 1760-1960

      The module introduces the methodology of using law as a window to political and social history. It will deal with legal governance in the British Empire, examining how laws were created, applied, resisted and recast; how law related to powerful ideas and how legal disputes can be used as windows to social changes. The empirical content will focus on the British empire in south and south-east Asia, with frequent comparisons made with Africa and Australia.

    • HIST614 Culture and Society in Britain c. 1760-1901

      The module content will examine key selected themes in the culture and society of Britain c.1760 ¿ 1901. In it, students will examine primary sources such as pamphlets, books and visual material, to gain a critical awareness and understanding of aspects of British culture and society in this period which may include the duel, capital punishment, mourning cultures, Sunday Schools, culinary cultures, race and xenophobia.

    • HIST616 America, the United Nations and International Relations 1945 to the present

      This module provides a detailed examination of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Nations in the management of international relations from 1945 to the present.

    • HIST619 From Unification to Reunification: Key Themes in Modern German History

      This module is an introduction to the major themes of political, social and economic development in Germany, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Themes include nineteenth century revolution and unification, Imperialism and WW1, from the Weimar Republic to Dictatorship, WW2, the FRG and the GDR; and revolution and reunification

    • IRL300 Africa in the International System

      This module provides an introduction to African politics, examining the historical, economic and socio-political developments of over fifty states with a strong regional emphasis, and a focus on political economy, state-society relations, foreign policy and conflict analysis. The module's regional focus allows comparison between different approaches to IR. It also seeks to provide the tools to analyse and understand what is going on in Africa today.

    • IRL301 International Relations in the Middle East

      The module introduces students to international relations in the Middle East. It equips them with the analytical skills to examine the Arab-Israeli conflict, Gulf conflicts, the impact of the Arab Spring on regional relations, and the roles of regional powers.

    • IRL302 NATO after the Cold War and Beyond

      "This module proposes to study the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from a theoretical as well policy point of view. The aim is to investigate the relevance of NATO in the 21st century by looking at how NATO survived and developed in the aftermath of the Cold War as it appeared to have lost its original purpose of containing the Soviet Union. By looking at key developments within NATO in the post-Cold War period, this module also looks at the challenges which NATO has faced and overcome but it also critically reflects on the contemporary relevance of NATO. "

    • PIR301 Contemporary Issues in International Relations

      This module will explore the transformation of political community in the 21st century through the prism of international organisations such as the United Nations. The aim is to consider the key question whether `governance¿ is possible in world politics, and whether and to what extent international organisations can play a constructive role in such governance. The module begins with an introduction to international organisations and global governance, including the various theoretical approaches with their different assumptions about the nature of international politics, and competing predictions about international organisations in global governance.

    • PIR304 US Foreign Policy Since 1945

      This module introduces students to different approaches to studying US foreign policy. As well as providing an empirical survey of America's foreign relations since 1945, it draws on IR theory to examine its changing place in the world. Students will examine historical and contemporary themes in US foreign policy and explore the complex mix of factors that combine to influence it. The module will examine US interests in different parts of the world and evaluate how US foreign policy has affected regional and international orders. The ultimate objective of the course is to explore how US foreign policy shapes the world we live in.

    • PIR305 The Politics of the United States

      This module introduces students to the fundamental principles of politics in the United States. Domestic politics and the foreign influence of the United States is considered, with specific emphasis placed on the role of the Constitution and institutions of governance in promoting (or inhibiting) democracy both domestically and abroad.

    • PIR306 Environmental Political Economy

      This module examines the problem of environmental degradation and its implications for our global political economy. It discusses the major debates in political thought around the causes of environmental degradation. The module outlines the major attempts to build international regimes for global environmental governance, and the difficulties and obstacles that such attempts have encountered. A wide range of ideas, policy proposals, innovations in governance, and templates for political activism within the environmental movement are critically evaluated.

    • PIR307 Europe in the World

      The European Union is the world's major trading block and its most integrated region. This module takes a holistic look at the EU's role in the world and the link between its economic and political presence. Accordingly it concentrates on the impact of the EU on the world (including the developing world) but also considers the internal dynamics of Europe.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Hons History with International Relations 2876

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

112

A levels
Minimum of two A levels, including grade B in History, Art History, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Economics, Government and Politics, or Law. General Studies accepted.

International Baccalaureate
28 points.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
DMM.

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

All access courses
Pass a named Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferably history, humanities or combined), with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction.

GCSE
Mathematics and English Language grade C.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered.

English language requirements.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £12,250 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.



Study overseas

Uncover a whole world of history, discover your future.

Connect with an international network of study, research and summer school opportunities to expand your experience of history in context beyond the UK

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The student experience

As part of your studies, we offer a variety of benefits that will enhance your student experience, and promote active engagement with history and heritage teaching and learning.

Learn more about our benefits

History research with the Arts Institute

Learn more about our internationally, nationally and locally recognised research. We have a vibrant research community with cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Visit the Arts Institute website

International relations

International relations is about matters of life and death - not just for soldiers and citizens lying in the path of war but for the whole human race.

Studying BSc (Hons) International Relations with Plymouth University offers you a fresh, contemporary approach.

View the BSc (Hons) International Relations course page

People

*The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE) are made available to prospective students and their advisors through the Unistats website.