Brunel is ranked 6th in London for both Politics and History (The Complete University Guide, 2018) (The Guardian University Guide 2018)
About the course
Who has political power? Why do they have it? To whom are they accountable? In whose interest do they exercise it? What is globalisation? Is violent protest ever justified? If these questions excite you and provoke another torrent of questions in turn, you’re looking in the right area for your degree course.
This degree is a dynamic combination of high-level study in both politics and history. As well as gaining a firm understanding of the key political institutions and players influencing contemporary issues both domestically and internationally, you will study complementary courses in history, spanning the 17th to the 20th century in many different parts of the world.
For all the high level contacts and influence, our department is perhaps most importantly known for its friendly accessibility and the genuine sense of community between academics and students.
In addition to our Politics, History and International Politics programmes we offer joint honours in the following areas giving you the chance to tailor your studies: Politics and Economics BSc and Politics and Sociology BSc.
• You will have access to some of the best research facilities in the UK. Westminster and Whitehall are within easy reach
• We have good links with key political figures and institutions. You will have the opportunity to study abroad at one of several European universities and participate in an exchange programme in China
• You will be able to take advantage of the University’s exchange scheme with the State University of New York at Brockport. This includes optional work placement in Washington or Albany. We also have partnerships with EU universities in the Socrates programme, including the universities of Rennes, Stuttgart, Malta, Cyprus, Ireland and Helsinki (subject to change)
• Our courses are designed and taught by nationally and internationally acclaimed experts in the fields of politics, international relations, social policy and contemporary history.
Teaching and learning
You will be taught mainly in lectures and seminars and assessed on a combination of coursework and exams. Most of your time will be spent in private study.
At the end of your course you will produce a final dissertation on a subject of your choice. This is a major piece of work, undertaken with the support and supervision of a dissertation tutor. It’s a great opportunity to demonstrate your research and writing skills. Your choice of subject will be relevant to your course of study and may well relate to your future career plans.
A major attraction of our courses is the wide variety of career opportunities to which they can lead. Some graduates, like Margaret McDonagh or John McDonnell MP, opt for careers in politics. Others have joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Home Office, GCHQ and military intelligence.
Many have gone on to work in public and private sector organisations, such as Chase Manhattan, Marks and Spencer, British Airways, Coca Cola Schweppes, HSBC, and the NHS Confederation.
Significant numbers have taken further training to pursue careers in broadcasting, journalism, law, and teaching at every level.
A degree in history equips you for work as a researcher, teacher or librarian, as well as for careers in the museum and heritage sectors, in NGOs and government agencies, the civil service etc. Past students have also gained employment in company management, business, consultancy and law practice.
Opt for a sandwich degree and you’ll gain work experience to complement your academic studies in a way that is highly valued by employers.