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Develop your understanding of both contemporary history and current political tensions and strategies
Develop your awareness of how our contemporary society, culture and politics have been shaped by historical events and political processes.
You will draw on developments from the late-nineteenth century to analyse contemporary political, economic and cultural trends, and gain a rich understanding of the workings of modern politics and history.
Pursue your interests
The course will allow you to choose your own area of interest and develop your knowledge and skills to take a critical perspective on political events and their outcomes for the modern world.
Learn from experts
You will learn from academics who are experts in their fields and use latest research to underline their teaching to ensure that you have access to the current debates within the study of politics.
On this course you will:
- Study Politics both from policy-oriented and academic perspectives.
- Examine significant events and periods from contemporary history.
- Examine current political challenges and their historical roots, such as nationalism, terrorism, asymmetrical warfare and environmentalism.
- Learn from our team of expert staff.
- Build your degree around your interests.
- Develop your critical thinking, team-working, research and digital skills, all vital for post-degree employment.
Discover your interests and follow your passions
Our Politics and Contemporary History degree introduces you to the fundamentals of contemporary political and historical study, before allowing you to branch out to discover your interests and follow your passions to really make your degree unique to you.
In your first year, you will receive a solid grounding in the theoretical approaches and research methods in the study of Politics and Contemporary History.
The course introduces you to the political histories and contexts of Britain, Russia, China, and the United States.
In your second year, you will begin to mould your degree around your interests.
You will explore papal political influences, the links between political ideologies, religion, and modern cultures, British post-war cultural attitudes, conflict in Russia and Eurasia, and much more.
By your final year, you will have a strong sense of what political area you would like to focus on for your final dissertation project.
Alongside your thesis, you will have the opportunity to explore more specific aspects of Politics, including: 20th century European dictators, Pan-Africanism, the effects of globalisation, and the culture wars of Britain.
Select a year
Contemporary British History: 1979-2016
This module examines the historical context to the governments of Mrs Margaret Thatcher, PM and her continued influence on modern British politics.
You will consider the meaning of the term ‘Thatcherism’ as you situate this political belief system in comparison with other forms of Conservatism and consider the ongoing cultural and social impacts of Thatcher and her politics.
Contemporary British History:1945-1979
This module examines the fundamental aspects of contemporary British history in a period of rapidly changing global redefinitions and reorganisations.
You will consider the introduction of the welfare state within an interventionist economic structure, the shifting power relationship between majority and minority cultures, and the notion of national identity.
Introduction to Political Ideas
This module introduces you to the academic analysis of Politics, where you will gain an understanding of Politics both as an activity and as a discipline. The module also focuses on the space of Politics, and the conceptual approaches, ideology, schools, and methods in Politics.
Introduction to Soft Power: Britain and Its Cultural Diplomacy in the Twenty-First Century
This module examines the role of literature, arts and other cultural forms and processes in conducting international relations.
It is an introduction to the notions of soft power and cultural diplomacy and how Britain and other states, and intergovernmental organisations have used it to exert their power.
The module introduces students to the history and practice of organisations such as the BBC; BBC World Service; the British Council; UNESCO.
Russia and China: An Introduction to Post-Communism
This module introduces you to the contemporary politics of the two great powers, Russia and China, and explores their comparative journeys into versions of post-Communism. You will understand the evolution and/or collapse of ‘communist’ ideology and practice in each state. It acknowledges the new state-society dynamics in each state, offering an introduction to politics and society in the twenty-first century Russia and China.
The United States: An Introduction: 1763-1970
This module analyses the distinctive origins of American political thought and constitutional practice, the structures and effects of slavery, the origins of the civil war, the evolution of popular culture with special reference to jazz, the pursuit of civil rights and the emergence of the United States as a world power.
War and Peace: Twentieth-Century Europe and Global Conflict
This module provides you with an overview of European political, cultural, and military history during the 20th century through the study of its major conflicts and global forces.
The central focus of the module is the international history of the major Great Powers between 1914 and 2000. You will examine of some of the common debates that often surround the origins of the First World War; the Second World War; the Cold War and debates on the ‘New World Order’.
Approaches to Research
This module will build on your earlier explorations of research techniques, with a focus on the development of time and project management skills as you begin to prepare for your dissertation.
Questions concerning how one starts on a research project and establishes viability of subject to a range of different approaches/theoretical perspectives will be discussed in detail, in relation to how you will choose their own dissertation topic.
This module introduces you to the concept and debates of bio-ethics. You will become acquainted with the major problems in bio-ethics, especially those relating to the beginning and ending of life and discuss them multiple ethical approaches.
Colonialism and Anti-Colonialism in Africa
This module explores the role and impact of colonialism on Africa, as well as how, despite the impact and upheaval of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and various encroachments by the representatives of the European powers, Africans were still the key makers in their own history.
You will examine key aspects of African history from the 1800s through to the 2000s and consider their impact on the growth of anti-colonial nationalism, and the extent to which the end of colonial rule was brought about by the actions of anti-colonial activity in Africa.
The module concludes by assessing the impact of colonial rule, considering the nature of neo-colonialism.
Contemporary Security Studies
This module will give you a critical understanding of security studies that goes beyond the disciplinary boundaries of International Relations.
You will question the meaning of security, its referent objects and issues, and how security is supposed to be achieved. You will engage with various theoretical approaches to security, ranging from the realist tradition and game theory to peace studies and critical theory.
You will also explore contemporary security challenges, such as counterterrorism, migration and human security.
Enlightenment Europe: 1688-1789
The ideas of the Enlightenment provided new ways of thinking about science, religion, education, politics and society and the place of ‘mankind’ in the world, but to what extent did the ‘philosophers’ transform society and how enlightened were they?
You will explore these ideas as you engage with the works of Locke, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Diderot, Rousseau, Beccaria and Wollstonecraft.
Fascism and Post-Fascism in Europe
By looking at a variety of case studies from across Europe throughout the first half of the 20th century, we will discuss the way in which fascism was both embraced and fought against.
In addition, by using literary and cultural forms of post-fascism you will explore how many of the core messages of ideological fascism survived despite being politically discredited.
Freedom and Justice
The module investigates different philosophical approaches to freedom and justice. What constitutes a free action? Can freedom be granted? What are the key components of a just society? We explore different traditions with careful attention to their historical and cultural context while considering their ability to illuminate contemporary issues and debates.
From ‘Angry Young Men’ to Cool Britannia?: A Historical Analysis of British Cultural Activity After 1945
This module provides you with an opportunity to analyse examples of British cultural activity after 1945 within their artistic, political, and historical contexts.
The module discusses a series of key movements of cultural production, for example, ‘the Angry Young Men’; ‘Cold War fictions’; or ‘Thatcherism/responses to Thatcherism’.
Heritage in Practice: Work Placements for History Students
The aim of the module is to introduce you to the ways in which your learning experiences in the discipline of History can be applied to the working environment.
The work placement experience will provide you with an understanding of the practical, ethical and technical issues involved in the collection, cataloguing and preservation or conservation of physical traces of the past.
Identity and Conflict in Russia and Eurasia
This module provides you with an understanding of contemporary Russia and Eurasia.
You will examine the recent conflicts across the region through the prism of nationalism and identity politics.
The module re-examines these conflicts by focusing on the sources of demand for national self-determination in secessionist conflicts in Azerbaijan (Nagorno Karabakh), Georgia (Abkhazia/South Ossetia), Moldova (Transnistria), Ukraine (Crimea/Eastern Ukraine); Chechnya (Russian Federation), as well as causes of intra- and inter-ethnic violence in Central Asia.
International Human Rights Law
This module examines different sources of human rights law, its impact on the English Legal System and considers different substantive areas of the law under the European Convention on Human Rights including absolute, limited and qualified rights.
Islamic Identities: Unity and Diversity in Islam
This module gives a historical overview of the emergence and development of Islam and in so doing provide an understanding of divergent constructions of the Islamic faith in the modern world. You will reflect upon belief and practice in contemporary Islam, focusing on issues of unity and diversity.
Popes and Politics
This module examines the nature of papal pronouncements and diplomatic interventions in the continuing evolution of the modern nation state. You will consider these ideas in the new ideological landscapes of totalitarian power, in the two world wars and the Cold War.
It will involve an analysis of the ideas, culture and structures of the Roman Catholic Church as they were found at work in the contexts of national and international politics in the years 1864-2005.
Re-Litigating the Past: State, Media and Historical Injustice in Contemporary Britain
This module focuses on how public histories have been rewritten in Britain over the past three decades, through the interventions of state, media, and voluntary sector institutions.
By studying these forms of investigations, you will learn about how private traumas are integrated into or transformed public memory, the ways in which and reasons why silences are maintained or broken, and the place of ‘the past’ in judicial processes.
Saints or Sinners: Politics and Religion in the Contemporary Era
This module examines critically the role of religious ideas in contemporary political life, in particular the ways in which a variety of theological perspectives shape and influence contemporary political movements. As such, you will examine the role of religion in Politics and its re-emergence as a political force and key influence on identity. The focus will be on the UK and USA with reference made to the place of religious belief in global Politics.
This module enhances your knowledge of the practical working of national and international institutions, as well as civil society groups and think tanks looking to influence these bodies from outside. You will take part in study visits that give you the opportunity to visit Brussels, where you will visit the main institutions of the EU (European Commission, European Council and EU Parliament), as well as the headquarters of NATO and Brussels-based lobby groups. You will be able to see how international politics plays out in the real world, how is it similar, or different to the developments at the national level and to understand the complexities and intricacies of decision- and policy-making, as well as the functioning of these complex systems of governance.
A Global History of the Cold War
This module introduces you to a wider view of the effects of the Cold War beyond the traditional Western-centric view. You will examine the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union in the Middle East, the decolonisation processes in Asia and Africa, the political influence on developing nations in Latin America, and the emergence of China as an additional player.
British Culture Wars
This module explores conflict within British culture from the start of the 19th century to the turn of the new millennium.
You will consider the reaction to obscene publications and other literary controversies and moral panics of Victorian Britain, through to the liberal reforms in the 1960s and the self-censorship and the baleful influence of Hollywood on British cinema.
Dictatorship, Conformity and Resistance in Hater’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy and Stalin’s Russia
This module explores the distinctive ideologies of Soviet Communism, Italian Fascism and German National Socialism, and to consider if and how these were in fact new forms of religion. The module will also examine the construction of these ‘totalitarian’ states in practice, and the experiences of individual and institutions caught up within these contexts, with particular reference to the churches and to cultural movements.
The dissertation represents the culmination of your History studies as you complete an individual research project on a topic of your choosing. the 10,500-word thesis will include explicit methodological and historiographical dimensions and where appropriate, theoretical discussions integrated into the text.
France and the Modern World
This module introduces you to the key themes and trends in Modern French History. You will study the post-war development of a major European nation, looking at the ways in which it sought to reassert its strengths in international politics. You will also examine how this impacted on its people, analysing aspects of French society and culture to track major changes in national identity.
Globalisation and Its Malcontents
This module looks at key moments in the development of globalization focusing on moments in which the world came together, such as the Bretton Woods conference in 1944, when the terms of global trade were outlined after the rupture of the Second World War.
You will use these examples to contextualise the work of theorists like Arjun Appadurai to develop your understanding of how globalization has shaped twentieth-century history and politics.
This module introduces you to international law: the body of law which governs the legal relations between or among states and nations.
You will study the theories, principles and processes of international law, including its sources, legal personality, jurisdiction and realms of responsibility.
In addition, you will also be introduced to debates about the regulation of international activities, including the use of force, dispute settlement processes, human rights, and the role of the UN.
Philosophy and the Future
This module investigates different philosophical conceptions of the future. Beginning with religious understandings of eschatology, messianism, millennialism and apocalypticism we will see how these ideas relate to philosophical notions of progress, utopianism and dystopianism. We will ask how we think of the future today, examining a range of philosophical texts as well as film, television, music and visual art.
This modules asks how theological and religious concepts shape our understanding of a range of political ideas. Does this mean that Western society is fundamentally religious? Or do theological and religious ideas take on new meaning in secular or post-secular society? We will look at these issue from a variety of theological, sociological and philosophical perspectives.
Unconscious Desires: Psychoanalysis and Culture From Freud to Žižek
This module explores the notion of unconscious desire and the expression of these desires in literature and culture.
You will trace the emergence of the ideas of psychoanalysis in the work of Freud and how various psychoanalytic thinkers have transformed the notion of unconscious desire and used it to grasp literary and cultural forms.
Discover facilities that support your academic learning
Learning Resource Centre
Subject specific librarians
Royal Literary Fellows
Local cultural links
Teaching and Assessment
Feel the support of internationally-recognised research staff
At our university, you will find a friendly atmosphere and an encouraging team of staff who will work hard to support your learning.
We are delighted that our students find the University a supportive and positive learning environment, with our Politics courses ranking first in the UK for student satisfaction in the 2021 Guardian University League Tables.
All of our tutors have recognised national and international research expertise and a passion for their respective subject areas. This ensures that you have access the latest debates within the study of Politics and Contemporary History.
Much of our teaching is in small groups. Our commitment to smaller class sizes allows you to feel more confident to discuss your ideas in a supportive environment.
It also allows your tutors get to know you and how best to aid your development.
Our BA (Hons) Politics and Contemporary History course uses a range of assessments methods, including:
- Source evaluations and reviews
- Research projects
- Collaborative project work
Modules are assessed at every stage of the course, allowing you to clearly see your academic progress throughout your degree.
Gain vital workplace experience with our local partners
We understand the importance of ensuring that you have the knowledge, skills and experience to compete successfully in today’s challenging jobs market.
We offer you work placement opportunities built directly into our courses to ensure you can gain the experience needed to stand out.
You can choose to organise your own work placement, or take advantage of our extensive network of local partners to gain experience within settings that can also support your academic studies.
Explore the opportunity to study part of your course abroad
As a student at the University of Chichester, you can explore opportunities to study abroad during your studies as you enrich and broaden your educational experiences.
Students who have undertaken this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and to immerse themselves within a new culture.
You will be fully supported throughout the process to help find the right destination institution for you and your course. We can take you through everything that you will need to consider, from visas to financial support, to help ensure that you can get the best out of your time studying abroad.
Open up your future career options
Politics and Contemporary History graduates from the University of Chichester have succeeded in a range of positions after their studies through the supportive environment, varied modules and the commitment to students provided by our staff.
Career paths include:
- The Civil Service
- International organisations
- Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
- Defence and security
- Public administration
- Communications and PR
- MA Cultural History
- MRes The History of Africa and the African Diaspora
- MA Creative Writing
- Postgraduate Research (MPhil/PhD)
University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.
Course fees 2023/24
For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fees page.
For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.
To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.
Typical Offer (individual offers may vary)
Access to HE Diploma
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