Students walk toward historical ship

Find the history, politics and international relations course for you

Explore the decisions that have shaped history, learn about pressing issues of today, and understand how to shape a brighter future

History, politics and international relations shape our society and help us understand the world past and present. This subject area also covers our sociology courses and international development.

When you do a History degree with us, you'll study in a city that's been central to key historical events for many centuries. You'll focus on different periods and problems faced by societies over time, and explore how history shapes decisions made today.

On our Politics and International Relations courses, you'll learn about pressing global issues such as war and conflict, the role of diplomacy and foreign policy, and global challenges such as climate change, sustainability and protecting human rights. If you study Sociology with us, you'll develop a critical understanding of society, contemporary social and cultural issues, and specialist areas of sociological study such as food, happiness, violence, social class, gender and race.

On our International Development courses you'll explore the role and purpose of international development, build your understanding of world affairs and put your knowledge to work with not-for-profit organisations in developing countries. You can also opt to learn a language alongside your course if you study BA (Hons) International Development with Languages.

Why study history, politics and international relations with us?

  • Develop knowledge and research skills to help you succeed in careers such as historian, politician, journalist, civil servant, lobbyist, teacher, communications manager, human resource manager, marketeer and researcher
  • Study abroad at one of our partner institutions such as Science Po Strasbourg (France), Maastricht University (Netherlands), The Hague University (Netherlands), Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), Palacky University (Czech Republic), University of Szeged (Hungary), Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada), University of Nebraska (Omaha, United States).
  • You can do a placement after your second year to get valuable work experience before you graduate. Placement destinations include the Ministry of Defence, the House of Commons and the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
  • For History students, Portsmouth is packed with reminders of the important role the city has played in the past, from the D-Day Story museum, to the Historic Dockyard, home to Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory.
  • Our teaching staff are members of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), the UK's largest research centre of its kind.
  • Combine your interests by studying another subject with your primary course such, leading to degrees such as BA (Hons) International Relations with Politics, BA (Hons) International Relations with International Development, BA (Hons) History with Politics or BA (Hons) History with Sociology.
Discover history, politics and international relations

There's a lot of freedom in terms of how you cater the course for what you enjoy, and you're tested in various ways -- from essays and presentations, to marked seminars -- which gives you a great advantage.

Sophie Gardiner, History graduate

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