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History and Politics and International Relations

Politics and International Relations and History will give you a deep understanding of the forces that have shape the world, past, present and future.

Why study History and Politics and International Relations?

By studying Politics and International Relations and History, you will develop communication, critical thinking and research skills that will enable you to pursue your career of choice after graduating. The degree prepares you to act as critically reflective, employment-ready citizens in public service, politics and civil society. 

In Politics you will study political theories, systems and ideologies that will help you understand the contemporary world, while History at St Mary’s ranges from the medieval period to the present day, and covers the History of Britain, Europe, America, the Middle East, North Africa and Australia. This means that you can develop a historical understanding of contemporary issues, and the degree also allows you to focus on regions and themes that most interest you, such as Europe or North America.

You will develop an applied understanding of the complex relationship between political theorising, international relations and historical contexts. The course will strengthen your ability to compare political situations, institutions and movements across countries.

Why St Mary’s?

Politics and International Relations and History is taught by established scholars in the field and was designed in consultation with leading figures from the world of politics, public communication and policy.

The programme is by a dynamic team, which is committed to the needs of individual students. Thanks to our student-focused ethos, St Mary’s has the highest levels of student satisfaction of any University in London.

Career opportunities

A diverse range of career opportunities exist for Politics and International Relations and History graduates. The employment skills that you will have acquired should allow you to develop a career in: the media, communications, market research, the heritage sector and public services. These skills also allow many you move into graduate and specialist management positions.

The degree also provides a sound basis from which to undertake further postgraduate and specialist training.

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Politics and International Relations and History students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

You can also undertake a work placement as part of your degree.


Key facts

  • St Mary’s students have the highest levels of satisfaction with their courses of any University in London (Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019)
  • Choose your own pathway through the degree, tailoring it to your interests
  • Taught on our historic Strawberry Hill campus, just a half hour train journey from Central London
  • Study overseas at one of our partner institutions in the US or Europe
Teaching methods

The course is predominantly taught through seminars and workshops, where you will work collaboratively with other students.

Particular features of this course include projects, consultancy and team-based intensive learning, as well as work-based learning and community exposure experiences. These will be enhanced by tutorials, access to mentors, the development of applied skills, and guided learning through our virtual learning environment.

Some teaching is also done through lectures and tutorials. Tutorials are a great opportunity for you to discuss your work with us in detail.

Assessment methods

Most of our assessment is by coursework, with a small number of revealed exams.

Our assessment models are different for each module, allowing you to develop a range of demonstrable skills during your degree programme.

Many modules are assessed through essays, but you will also write critical commentaries about primary sources, or review books and articles. In some modules, you may give presentations, or participate in mini-conferences or where you will present your work to your peers in a supportive and encouraging environment.

You will receive written feedback on all assignments and are encouraged to meet regularly with tutors to discuss your work individually.