Clearing 2022

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BA Politics and Modern History / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

BA Politics and Modern History is one of the longest established programmes of its kind in the country, combining an investigation of the historical development of the modern world with a study of its political machinery and an examination of its political thought in a historical setting. 

Broad course units in history, government institutions and political thought constitute the core of the degree in the first two years, with more specialist options in Year 3, including a 12,000-word thesis. 

Studying politics and modern history together aims to give you a unique insight into how societies work in both past and present. 

The course combines two complementary ways of looking at the world and will give you the tools to understand the workings and history of political systems, international relations, conflict and cooperation in Britain, Europe and around the world. 

The degree will take you through various stages, at each step developing both your background knowledge in politics and history and, crucially, the skills of critical analysis and logical argument. 

Throughout, you will engage with a broad range of themes in both subjects, ranging from globalisation in historical perspective to the politics of modern China.

Special features

Placement year option  

Apply your subject-specific knowledge in a real-world context through a placement year  in your third year of study, enabling you to enhance your employment prospects, clarify your career goals and build your external networks.

Study abroad  

You may apply to spend one semester studying abroad during the second year of your degree. 

Exchange partners are offered in Europe, through the Erasmus Exchange scheme, or via the Worldwide Exchange scheme, in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong or Singapore. 

Connect with like-minded students  

Join the dedicated Politics and Modern History Society, which organises social events and invites a range of speakers to campus, or the History Society, which plays a key role in building a community among History students at Manchester by organising trips (in the UK and on the continent) and hosting social events. 

You can also get involved with the student magazine, The Manchester Historian .

Teaching and learning

You will learn through:

  • lectures;
  • seminars;
  • web-based seminars;
  • small group tutorials.

You will spend approximately 12 hours a week in formal study sessions. For every hour spent at University, you will be expected to complete a further two to three hours of independent study. You will also need to study during the holiday periods.

We will encourage you to undertake supervised, independent study and original research at every level of the course.

The individual study component could be spent reading, producing written work, or revising for examinations.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed in various ways, including:

  • written and oral examinations;
  • coursework essays;
  • research reports;
  • practical tests;
  • learning logs;
  • web contributions.

Many course units are assessed through a mixture of techniques.

In your final year, you will write a dissertation which provides 22% of the final mark.

Course content for year 1

Designed to assist students with the intellectual transition to university study, level 1 modules focus on introducing students to key conceptual and theoretical issues in relation to Politics and History. 

All students take History in Practice, in which students learn important skills in research and writing to equip them for historical study at university level, and compulsory modules in Politics that provide foundational understandings of key theoretical issues.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
History in Practice HIST10101 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Comparative Politics POLI10202 20 Mandatory
Introduction to International Politics POLI10601 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Political Theory POLI10702 20 Mandatory
From Reconstruction to Reagan: American History, 1877-1988 AMER10002 20 Optional
Constructing Archaic Greek History CAHE10011 20 Optional
From Republic to Empire: Introduction to Roman History, Society & Culture 218-31BC CAHE10022 20 Optional
The Odyssey CAHE10101 20 Optional
The Making of the Mediterranean CAHE10132 20 Optional
The Story of Britain CAHE10141 20 Optional
Cities and Citizens CAHE10231 20 Optional
Discoveries and Discoverers: Sights and Sites CAHE10282 20 Optional
Introduction to the History and Culture of Pharaonic Egypt CAHE10651 20 Optional
Decoding Inequality: Reimagining Digital Culture DIGI10031 20 Optional
Modern China: from the Opium Wars to the Olympic Games HIST10151 20 Optional
Histories of the Islamic World HIST10172 20 Optional
Capitalism in Historical Perspective: 1700-1913 HIST10182 20 Optional
Imperial Nation: The Making of Modern Britain, 1783-1902 HIST10192 20 Optional
An Introduction to the Medieval World HIST10262 20 Optional
The Manchester History Workshop HIST10272 20 Optional
Forging a New World: Europe c.1450-1750 HIST10301 20 Optional
States, Nations and Empires. Europe, c.1750-1914 HIST10311 20 Optional
Science and the Modern World (20 Credits) HSTM10721 20 Optional
Bodies in History: An introduction to the History of Medicine HSTM10772 20 Optional
Empire and Culture in East Asia JAPA13222 20 Optional
Exploring Enterprise MCEL10001 10 Optional
Entrepreneurial Skills MCEL10002 10 Optional
The History and Sociopolitics of Palestine/Israel (1882-1967) MEST10042 20 Optional
History and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa MEST10711 20 Optional
Travel and Migration in Arab Cinema MEST10911 20 Optional
Introduction to Judaism RELT10192 20 Optional
Bible in Ancient and Modern Worlds RELT10712 20 Optional
The Making of Modern Russia RUSS10251 20 Optional
Standing on The Shoulders of Giants: Foundations for Study in The Arts SALC10002 20 Optional
Humanities in Public: The Past, Present and Future of Ideas that Shape the World SALC10411 20 Optional
Living and Dying in the Ancient World SALC10602 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 36 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

Modules become increasingly specialist and the programme offers significant choice and flexibility. 

Students get to choose between a History or a Politics Independent Research Project, which is an extended piece of coursework supervised on a one-to-one basis on a topic of the student's choice.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Work and Play in the USA, 1880-2020 AMER20112 20 Optional
From Jamestown to James Brown: African-American History and Culture AMER20141 20 Optional
The American Civil War AMER21001 20 Optional
The Conquering Hero: The Life, Times and Legacy of Alexander The Great CAHE20041 20 Optional
The Roman Empire 31BC - AD235: Rome's Golden Age CAHE20052 20 Optional
Politics and Society in Classical Greece CAHE20061 20 Optional
Roman Women in 22 Objects CAHE20532 20 Optional
Weimar Culture? Art, Film and Politics in Germany, 1918-33 GERM20262 20 Optional
Making of the Modern Mind: European Intellectual History in a Global Context HIST20181 20 Optional
Winds of Change: Politics, Society and Culture in Britain, 1899 -1990 HIST20251 20 Optional
Independent Research Project HIST20390 20 Optional
The Cultural History of Modern War HIST20482 20 Optional
Colonial Encounters: Race, Violence, and the Making of the Modern World HIST21121 20 Optional
The Stuff of History: Objects Across Borders, 1500-1800 HIST21151 20 Optional
Back to the Future: The Uses and Abuses of History HIST21182 20 Optional
Histories of the Islamic World HIST21192 20 Optional
Capitalism in Historical Perspective: 1700-1913 HIST21202 20 Optional
A Transnational History of Europe in the Short Twentieth Century, c.1917-1991 HIST21212 20 Optional
Silk Roads: Eurasian Connections from the Mongols to Manilla, 1200-1800 HIST21242 20 Optional
Revolutionary Cities: The Urban World of the Middle Ages HIST21251 20 Optional
From Cholera to COVID-19: A Global History of Epidemics HSTM20081 20 Optional
The Crisis of Nature: Issues in Environmental History HSTM20592 20 Optional
Information visions: past, present and future HSTM20782 20 Optional
In Frankenstein's Footsteps: Science Fiction in Literature and Film. HSTM20801 20 Optional
Aesthetics and Politics of Italian Fascism ITAL20502 20 Optional
The Italian Renaissance ITAL21011 20 Optional
Themes in the Histories of Arab and Jewish Nationalisms MEST20271 20 Optional
History of Modern Islamic Thought MEST20501 20 Optional
Politics by Numbers POLI20311 20 Optional
The Politics of (in)Security POLI20332 20 Optional
Questions About International Politics POLI20521 20 Optional
Politics & Society in Britain Since 1940: From Blitz to Brexit POLI20531 20 Optional
Arguing About Politics: Political Theory in the World POLI20602 20 Optional
The Politics of Globalisation POLI20711 20 Optional
The Politics of Development POLI20722 20 Optional
Gender and Politics in Comparative Perspective POLI20742 20 Optional
The Politics of Policy Making POLI20802 20 Optional
Ideals of Social Justice POLI20881 20 Optional
How to Conduct Politics Research POLI20902 20 Optional
Injustice and Resistance POLI20961 20 Optional
Environmental Politics POLI20982 20 Optional
Comparative West European Politics POLI21001 20 Optional
Southern European Politics POLI21012 20 Optional
Asia-Pacific Security POLI21041 20 Optional
Religion, Culture and Gender RELT20121 20 Optional
End of the World and Apocalypticism RELT21081 20 Optional
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS20242 20 Optional
The 1989 Revolutions and their Aftermaths RUSS20472 20 Optional
History of Latin America SPLA20361 20 Optional
Entrepreneur: Innovator and Risk-Taker UCIL24002 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 50 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Students may specialise in the periods and subjects that they have found most interesting. 

Students get to choose between a History or a Politics Dissertation, which is an extended piece of coursework based on independent research and supervised on a one-to-one basis on a topic of the student's choice, which our students generally find to be the most enjoyable and fulfilling part of their studies.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Slavery & the Old South AMER30022 20 Optional
The Visual Culture of US Empire AMER30521 20 Optional
American Hauntings AMER30812 20 Optional
Families in the Greek and Roman Worlds (6th c. BCE - 3 c. CE) CAHE30442 20 Optional
The Roman Army and the North-West Frontiers CAHE30881 20 Optional
Slavery in the Ancient Greek World CAHE34502 20 Optional
Greece in Britain CAHE39352 20 Optional
Culture and Society in Germany 1871-1918 GERM30722 20 Optional
London and Modernity 1880-1960 HIST30101 20 Optional
Thesis (40 credits) HIST30970 40 Optional
Gender and Sexuality in Modern Africa HIST31001 20 Optional
China & the West: From the Opium War to the Olympic Games HIST31202 20 Optional
From National Crisis to National Government: British Politics, Economy and Society, 1914 - 1939 HIST31281 20 Optional
Sex, Drugs and Shopping: Readdressing Inter-war Britain HIST31342 20 Optional
Heroes and Holy Men: The Irish Sea World in the Viking Age, c. 780-1100 HIST31362 20 Optional
The Holocaust: History, Historiography, Memory HIST31492 20 Optional
The Comparative and Transnational History of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany HIST31521 20 Optional
John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and U.S. Foreign Policy in the 1960s HIST31551 20 Optional
Defining the Deviant: Crime and British Society, 1888-2000 HIST31591 20 Optional
The Aftermath of War in France, Britain and Germany: Violence and Reconstruction after WW1 and WW2 HIST31672 20 Optional
The Black Freedom Movement, 1955-1975 HIST31751 20 Optional
War, Memory and Politics of Commemoration in Eastern Europe HIST31842 20 Optional
Seaborne State? Venice and the East 1150-1550 HIST31861 20 Optional
Culture in Ottoman Society, ca. 1300-1800 HIST31872 20 Optional
Becoming Christian in The Early Middle Ages HIST31952 20 Optional
The Normans in the Mediterranean World (1000-1200) HIST31992 20 Optional
Curating War and Human Rights: methods in cultural and public history HIST32011 20 Optional
Responses to Globalisation, 1500-1700 HIST32022 20 Optional
From Greed to Grandezza: A History of Capitalism from the Renaissance to Modernity (1250s-1900s) HIST32121 20 Optional
From New Left to New Times: Socialist Ideas in Post-War Britain HIST32152 20 Optional
Black Britain: Power, Neighbourhoods and the Everyday, 1948-1990 HIST32172 20 Optional
British Catholics and the Post-Reformation World HIST32192 20 Optional
Disease and Ecology in Global History HIST32201 20 Optional
Collecting and Exhibiting the Empire in Britain, c.1750-1939 HIST32211 20 Optional
Africa and Development: A Political History of the Social Sciences HIST32222 20 Optional
Reshaping the World: Thinking About Global Politics in the Twentieth Century HIST32232 20 Optional
Cultural Entanglements: Life and Death in Seventeenth-Century North America HIST32242 20 Optional
Roots of the Special Relationship: The Anglo-American Connection & National Identity in the long C19 HIST32252 20 Optional
Chinese Christianities Jesuit Missionary Astronomers to the People’s Republic’s ‘Patriotic’ Churches HIST32262 20 Optional
Health is a Human Right: The Global Quest for Universal healthcare HSTM30732 20 Optional
The Nuclear Age: Global Nuclear Threats from Hiroshima to Today HSTM31712 20 Optional
From Sherlock Holmes to CSI: a history of forensic medicine HSTM32511 20 Optional
Climate Change & Society HSTM33501 20 Optional
Madness and Society HSTM40332 20 Optional
Tools and Techniques for Enterprise MCEL30001 10 Optional
Tools & Techniques for Enterprise MCEL30002 10 Optional
Enterprise Feasibility MCEL30052 10 Optional
Historical Controversies in the Study of Israel/Palestine MEST30721 20 Optional
The Politics of the European Union POLI30032 20 Optional
The Politics and Philosophy of Nationalism POLI30191 20 Optional
Elections and Voters in Britain POLI30242 20 Optional
Liberalism and Empire POLI30252 20 Optional
Dimensions of Peace and Conflict: Disciplinary and Regional Approaches POLI30262 20 Optional
Political Morality and Dirty Hands POLI30272 20 Optional
Chinese Politics POLI30281 20 Optional
Public Policy Problems POLI30291 20 Optional
Dissertation A POLI30300 40 Optional
Ethical Issues in World Politics POLI30321 20 Optional
Using Nudge to Change Lives POLI30331 20 Optional
Power, Space & Popular Culture: Thinking Critically About Geopolitics POLI30461 20 Optional
Introduction to International Political Economy POLI30721 20 Optional
Gender, War & Militarism POLI30791 20 Optional
Africa & Global Politics POLI30862 20 Optional
War and Genocide in the 20th Century POLI30892 20 Optional
Comparative Protest Politics -Voting with their Feet POLI30922 20 Optional
Ideologies of Global Capitalism POLI31002 20 Optional
War Memories and Reconciliation in East Asia POLI31011 20 Optional
Borders of China POLI31022 20 Optional
Children, Family and Social Justice POLI31032 20 Optional
Understanding Political Choice in Britain POLI31041 20 Optional
American Politics: Why Do They Do That? POLI31061 20 Optional
Global Capitalism, Crisis and Revolt POLI31091 20 Optional
Contemporary Parliamentary Studies and the British Political Tradition POLI32041 20 Optional
Postcolonial Politics POLI32061 20 Optional
The International Political Economy of Trade POLI32082 20 Optional
Sex, Bodies and Money: Feminist, Queer and Intersectional Political Economy POLI32092 20 Optional
Theories of Rights POLI32121 20 Optional
United States Foreign Policy: Dominance and Decline in a Complex World POLI32132 20 Optional
United Nations Security Council in Practice POLI32151 20 Optional
Race, Ethnicity, Migration POLI32162 20 Optional
Culture, Media and Politics in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia RUSS30601 20 Optional
History of the Spanish Atlantic World: Empire, Trade, War SPLA31152 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 82 course units for year 3

What our students say

Politics and History are subjects that fit together so well and overlap so often.

The course at Manchester allows me to take modules in both disciplines and stretch myself in both subjects which I really enjoy.

I love my degree and usually it's hard to get me to stop talking about some of the modules I study. 

The history department is a really comforting place where everyone can feel at home and I always feel really well taken care of. 

Muneera Lula, Politics with Modern History

Facilities

Manchester is a living history book, from Peterloo to the anti-slavery and suffragette movements, from Roman and Anglo-Saxon forts to medieval monuments. 

As a student in this historically rich city, you'll have the opportunity to draw on the abundant library, archive and museum holdings of the local area, including the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre, Chetham's Library, The Museum of Science and Industry, The People's History Museum and the Working-Class Movement Library. 

You'll also have access to one of only five National Research Libraries, including the special collections of The John Rylands Library, as well as the exclusive holdings of Manchester Museum. 

The University of Manchester owns the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Museum and Tabley House, giving you unique access to outstanding cultural and historical resources. 

For more information, see Facilities .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk