History, art history, politics and international relations

Free from the limitations of more traditional institutions, we’ve created a learning environment that embodies all corners of the world’s societies and cultures. We anchor our courses in the modern world so you can explore their importance in all aspects of our lives. You’ll learn from leading academics who’ll help you understand the role your discipline plays in today’s society and who will show you the difference you can make. Throughout your studies, we empower you to apply your skills in real-world projects, ensuring you graduate as a highly employable individual with experience that sets you apart.

Our core subjects

History and art history

It’s often said that the best way to see the future is to understand the past. Explore centuries of human and art history in the city that spawned Sir Francis Drake and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Understand the role of history and historians in the world today and get invaluable hands-on experience through our partnerships.

International relations and politics

Understand the roles of democracy, freedom and security in the 21st century. Examine, compare and contrast political systems to better understand how to change them. Develop political connections and practical skills and be ready to help shape the future.

Personalise your degree

Find out how our flexible course structures provide you with an opportunity to personalise your studies, feed your curiosity, and help you achieve your career aspirations.

Dive deeper into your subject: choose optional modules within your chosen subject area.


Branch out and explore: choose to study modules from any of the School of Society and Culture's subject areas.

Real-world and hands-on

Working in partnership
Get invaluable hands-on experience through our partnerships with organisations like The Box, the National Trust and the Devonport Naval College.

Engage in live political issues
Be a part of the next generation leading change with our links into local and national government and partners like Shelter, or learn how to run a campaign for your local constituency.

Summer internship opportunities
Discover the amazing stories and benefits of undertaking a summer internship as part of your international relations or politics studies.

Represent your country or an NGO on the international stage?
Get hands-on with our unique simulations, where you might represent the UK at the Vienna summit or champion an NGO at the Earth Summit.

Histories of the Unexpected
Our student researchers have gained valuable experience researching material for this well-known podcast. As part of their work, students have produced over 50 research blogs on a variety of topics from oranges and gloves to beds and zombies.

Follow art history around the world
Our field trips will help you connect more deeply with the art you’re studying, from a first-year trip to London to trips abroad; past destinations have included Rome, Vienna, Paris, Florence and New York City.

<p>Kyle Art history placement</p>
"I joined my course with the intention of one day working for a London auctioneers, so the opportunity to experience it first-hand at Christie's has been incredible" – Art History student Kyle.
<p>Sophie Smith with Democrats</p>
Politics with International Relations student Sophie Smith working on midterm campaigns in the USA.
<p>BA (Hons) History interns working on the Histories of the Unexpected podcast series<br></p>
Students working as researchers on the Histories of the Unexpected podcast and website with Professor James Daybell and Dr Sam Willis.

Postgraduate opportunities

Whether you choose a taught masters programme or undertake a research degree, you will be supported and supervised by staff who are international experts in their field.

Their breadth and depth of knowledge mean they are well placed to help you plan towards your future career and give advice based on genuine experience.

Looking for research opportunities?

As a postgraduate research student, you will join a vibrant, supportive and forward-thinking community that is committed to meeting global challenges in creative and imaginative ways.

Find out more about our research areas