Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MA History and Politics

UCAS code: LV21

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: History, Classics and Archaeology

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA History and Politics

One of our most popular combined programmes, History and Politics provides the opportunity to link two key disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

This programme will give you the chance to acquire a detailed understanding of history and political science. It is a good choice if you are interested in:

  • adding theoretical understanding to your interests in political history
  • providing historical context to your studies in political science
  • combining two important subjects

Edinburgh is an ideal place to study this programme. As well as the superb resources of the University, the city has a range of political and governmental institutions including the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government.

The National Archives of Scotland also contains a major collection of material relating to the government of Scotland since the medieval period.

Year 1

You will study three compulsory courses in politics:

  • Politics and International Relations 1A: Concepts and Debates and Politics
  • International Relations 1B: The Global Dimension
  • Political Thinkers (an introduction to political theory)

History courses in Year 1 are broad survey courses that will emphasise processes and patterns within broad chronological and geographical frameworks.

These are designed to prepare you for more specialised study in Years 3 and 4. Current courses cover historical periods from the early Middle Ages to the present.

You will take one of these courses and a compulsory course in historical skills. This engages with broader questions about the nature of history as an academic discipline and the methods and skills required for historical research.

You will also choose from a wide range of option courses outside your primary subjects.

Year 2

You will study at least one politics course, Comparative Politics in a Globalized World.

Year 2 history courses will cover a wider geographical range and time period. Courses currently cover various periods and themes in American, European, British, Scottish and global history.

As in Year 1, history courses offer broad surveys that are designed to prepare you for more specialised study in Years 3 and 4.

You will choose one of these courses and also take a compulsory historiography course.

You will also choose from a wide range of option courses outside your primary subjects.

Year 3

You will study courses from a wide range of specialised elective courses in both history and politics. These include a course on global justice and citizenship, or approaches to politics and international relations.

Depending on the courses you choose to study in Years 1 and 2, you may have the option to choose one from a subject outside of these areas.

If you intend to do a dissertation in history, we recommend taking a course where you will engage with historical skills and methods.

If you intend to take a dissertation in politics, a course on research design in politics is strongly recommended.

Year 4

You will study a year-long history special subject course and further specialist courses in politics.

You will also carry out independent research to produce an honours dissertation in either history or politics on a topic substantially of your own choosing.

Our facilities

The School of History, Classics and Archaeology is located in the heart of the city, within the University's Central Area.

Here you will have access to:

  • a range of study spaces
  • our student research room
  • research collections
  • an undergraduate common room

You will also have access to the University's libraries and computing facilities.

You will be taught in a range of lecture theatres and seminar rooms within the School and across the University's Central Area.

Study abroad

There are plenty of opportunities to study abroad in Year 3 by applying for one of the University’s many international exchanges.

These cover many parts of the world, including:

  • Europe
  • North and South America
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Asia

These are unique opportunities to immerse yourself in different university systems and cultures.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

In Years 1 and 2 formal teaching involves lectures and tutorials. Lectures are delivered by experts in the field, and provide an overview of key themes, concepts and questions relating to the week's topic.

In tutorials the emphasis is on student discussion in small groups. Some courses also incorporate small student study groups, which help you learn from each other in preparation for tutorials.

You will also study independently, with a focus on reading in preparation for lectures and tutorials.

Years 3 and 4 involve more seminars and independent study, with individual supervision of the final year dissertation.

How will I be assessed?

Our courses use a variety of assessment methods to help you develop transferable skills and improve your performance. You will be assessed by exams and coursework.

Your coursework may include:

  • essays
  • primary source analyses
  • oral presentations
  • podcasts
  • online discussion forums

In some courses your participation in tutorials and seminars may be part of how you are assessed.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2021/22)

You will gain key transferable skills that employers are looking for. In particular, you will learn to develop intellectually rigorous arguments, based on sound independent research and analysis.

You will also learn to:

  • compile and critically evaluate large amounts of complex and conflicting evidence
  • formulate and present your views coherently and cogently, both orally and in writing

The research and analytical skills history students develop can be used in any research-based career.

They can also be applied to careers such as:

  • journalism
  • museum and heritage work
  • public relations
  • the diplomatic service
  • teaching

Previous graduates have gone on to pursue a wide variety of careers, including in:

  • the media
  • politics
  • the civil service
  • heritage
  • law
  • business
  • finance

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAAA-AAAA (achievement by end of S5 preferred). BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S5.
  • A Levels: A*AA - ABB.
  • IB: 39 points with 666 at HL - 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S5.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA History and Politics

Additional costs

None.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding