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BA (Hons) Politics and Contemporary History

Are you fascinated by modern contemporary history, or are you a politics enthusiast who thrives on understanding how decisions are made, contested and debated? This programme explores the modern world, its society, and the politics that shape it. Analyse political concepts - including the state, ideologies, propaganda and communication, - by situating them in historical context. You will also discuss modern and contemporary historical episodes in light of what we know about political processes, structures, and models.

Politics lesson

Student view

Jonathan Pugh
Politics & Contemporary History student
I like studying Politics & Contemporary history at Chichester because combining the two adds new dimensions to my understanding of both, and the relatively small classrooms allows for a more personal academic experience.

Course content

The BA (Hons) in Politics and Contemporary History offers students who want to focus on very modern history and politics the perfect opportunity to develop their interests. It provides a range of twentieth and twenty-first century political history modules alongside Politics modules. The course is further enriched by visiting guest speakers working in think tanks, security, international and non-governmental organisations, and the media. It is also supported by study visits to leading international and European political institutions, for example, the United Nations in Geneva, and the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Brussels.

This specialised degree will provide you with an exclusive focus on the history and politics of the 20th and 21st centuries. It provides students who are passionate about both history and politics with the chance to focus in depth on British, European, American and African experiences. The specific focus of the degree will facilitate your detailed knowledge and critical analysis of the developments and concepts that are shaping the present day, from human rights to the politics of digital and visual culture. Staff research specialisms on British, European and international contemporary history and politics will inform your learning experience.

The degree therefore provides a vibrant curriculum through which to analyse recent historical trends and political experiences. Knowledge of the past helps students better appreciate present day political decision making, while Politics offers the modern historian new models to help create a plausible explanation of the past.

In addition to the rich array of politics and contemporary history modules, students are supported with specialist research training, and are allocated academic advisors who will assist them throughout their 3 years of full-time study. International guest speakers provide a fascinating addition that brings the world of politics and modern history directly into the campus lecture room. Study visits to political organizations add a further opportunity for learning, as does the option to take up a semester of study abroad at such partner institutions like the University of Leuven in Belgium or the University of Cadiz in Spain.

This degree explores the modern world, its society, people and the politics that shape it. It analyses political concepts such as the state, ideologies, propaganda and communication, by situating them in historical context. It is therefore a single honours degree for all those who are fascinated by modern/contemporary history or who are politics fanatics who thrive on understanding how decisions are made, contested and debated. Its geographical focus includes Britain, Europe, America, Africa and Asia. Its themes are political organizations, political parties, institutions, ideologies and theories situated in recent historical context. In addition, staff research specialisms include War, Political Culture and Communication, Migration and Society, International Relations, and Security Studies.

Modules

Year one modules:

  • Contemporary Europe 1914-2001
  • Rethinking History: Theory and Practice (Compulsory)
  • Hollywood/Paris and the Makings of National Imaginations in the Twentieth Century
  • Modern & Contemporary British History
  • Africa and the African Diaspora in the Making of the Modern World
  • Mobilisation and the “Home Front” 1914-1919
  • Imagined Communities: Regionalism in Modern European History
  • Introduction to Politics (Compulsory)
  • Introduction to British Politics
  • Introduction to the USA
  • Thatcherism and After
  • International Relations
  • Russia and the Fate of Eastern Europe

Year 2 modules: 

  • Oral History
  • Slavery, ‘Race’ and Empire and the British Imagination, 1780-1918
  • Approaches to Research (Compulsory)
  • Work Placement: Applied History and Politics in the Workplace
  • From the ‘Angry Young Men’ to ‘Cool Britannia’: A Historical Analysis of British Cultural Activity after 1945
  • Fascist Ideology in Western Europe, 1870-1945
  • History and the Post-modern
  • Colonialism and Anti-Colonialism in Africa
  • The African Diaspora in Modern Britain
  • Vichy France: The Society, Culture and Politics of Collaboration and Resistance
  • Fighting the First World War: Identity, Combat and Morale, 1914-1918
  • Research in Politics (Compulsory)
  • Contemporary Security Studies: Terrorism and Counter-terrorism
  • The Middle East
  • International and Regional Organisations
  • Political Ideology
  • Study Visits (Geneva and/or Brussels)
  • Foreign Policies of Major Powers
  • Intelligence in a Globalised World

Year 3 modules:

  • Dissertation
  • War, Memory and Political Culture in Western Europe since 1945
  • Dictatorship, Conformity and Resistance in Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy and Stalin’s Russia
  • Men, Women and Religion: Britain 1850-1930
  • Pan-Africanism
  • New York: Making an American City
  • Spectacle and Society: The City in the Twentieth Century
  • A Global History of the Cold War
  • Nationalism and National Populism in Contemporary Politics
  • East Asia
  • British Foreign and Security Politics
  • The New Scramble for Africa
  • International Law
  • International Political Economy

Our facilities

Our facilities content

Bishop Otter campus – where you will be based

Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students. We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research. A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas.

Our Learning Resource Centre is the hub of the learning environment. It has two upper floors of library resources, one for silent study and one for quiet study, both of which have recently been refurbished. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Otter Gallery, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.

Where this can take you

This degree’s specialist focus on Politics, both from a real world and an academic perspective, is particularly useful for careers in the Civil Service, International Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, Defence and Security, Public Administration, Law and Business, as well as for postgraduate research. 

 

Work placements

We understand the importance of ensuring that you have the knowledge, skills and experience to compete successfully in today’s challenging jobs market. As such, we offer an extensive range of study abroad opportunities. You will have the chance to take one semester of your Politics programme outside of the UK. Our long-term associations with university partners in Europe, the USA, and Canada mean that we’re well placed to offer you a further international dimension to your undergraduate experience.

Teaching and assessment

At our University, you will find a friendly atmosphere and an encouraging team of staff which will work hard to support you throughout your learning. During your time with us, you will be challenged to develop your intellectual and practical skills and guided by a team of experienced and well-qualified teaching staff.

All of our tutors have recognised national and international research expertise and a passion for their respective subject areas, which means you will be studying at the cutting edge of the most recent developments in knowledge. Students can also gain credits from attending seminars and lectures from guest speakers including nationally-recognized journalists, policy makers, politicians and international academics.

Additional Costs

Places still available

Codes

UCAS code: 
VL12
College Code: 
C58

Course length

3 Years
Full Time