(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Modern History and International Relations (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Politics and International Relations
UK and EU applicants:
All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you
- think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
- have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
- are returning to university after some time away from education; or
- are looking for more support during the transition into university study.
Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.
Examples of the above tariff may include:
- A-levels: DDD
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP
- T-levels: Pass with E in core
If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.
Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:
We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.
Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College.
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
Dr Ingeborg Dornan
Reader in History Brunel University London
External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment.
External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course.
They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards.
External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.
Enable students to study a range of historical topics, providing a focused study on a selection of periods and themes in world history from c. 1770 to the present.
Develop students' understandings of the relationship between the past and the present.
Familiarise students with models of historical analysis and varieties of primary sources.
Develop students' knowledge and understanding of some theoretical and conceptual foundations of the discipline of political science and international relations.
Provide the opportunity for students to learn about political systems, political ideas and the interaction between domestic and foreign politics.
Develop an empirical base for the study of politics in an international context.
Enable students to examine past and contemporary events and processes in comparative perspective, with an understanding of their political and social contexts.
Enable students to design and conduct an independent study on a specialist topic of their choice.
Develop skills of research, analysis and argument that are valuable for subsequent academic study, lifetime learning, a wide range of future careers, personal development and social participation.
Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods
On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:
A: Knowledge and understanding
A1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of European and World history and politics c.1770 to the present
A2: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of specialised historical and/or international relations topics in greater depth
A3: Demonstrate knowledge of some conceptual and theoretical perspectives within history and/or political science
A4: Demonstrate knowledge of the main findings of existing research about international relations
A5: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of sources available for academic study in history and/or international relations
The structure of the degree is based on progression from outline topics in the first year (A1) to more specialised courses (A2-A4) in the second and third year.
Knowledge of A1-A5 is acquired through lectures, seminars, independent reading and coursework.
A5 is the focus of the third-year independent dissertation.
Knowledge and understanding of A1-A5 is continuously assessed through coursework and examination.
Essays are the principal form of coursework assessment, supplemented by a range of other assessments which may include document analyses, reviews and other shorter assignments.
The independent dissertation tests knowledge of A5 in particular through a dissertation of up to 12,000 words.
The ability to produce, under set time conditions and without access to notes, cogent arguments demonstrating the interconnectedness of themes, concepts and issues covered in the course components is assessed by the first-year examination of the pre-requisite module for the course.
Examinations are principally unseen, essay based, of two or three hour duration.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Assemble, analyse and synthesise primary and secondary data
B2: Formulate and answer questions relevant to history and/or international relations
B3: Evaluate and compare interpretations in history and/or international relations
B4: Explain historical and contemporary events, contexts and change with reference to social, political, economic and cultural forces and factors
B5: Reconstruct the mentalities of past societies
B6: Formulate and present ideas and arguments coherently and persuasively, using evidence according to the methods of history and/or international relations
All skills are introduced and developed through in-class discussions, essays, and other written and oral assignments.
The teaching environment of seminars, which emphasises student-focused discussion, enables students to develop all six skills through discussion and practice, and to receive feedback from peers and tutors.
All skills are assessed through the usual means of coursework and examination: a variety of types of coursework across the curriculum assess skills specifically.
The ability to understand questions and produce answers under set time conditions and without access to notes is assessed by the first-year examination of the History pre-requisite module for the course.
C: Practical skills
C1: Critically read and evaluate secondary sources
C2: Use theoretical terms correctly
C3: Compile bibliographies and provide references according to accepted conventions
Participation in seminar discussion, focusing on prepared readings or set questions, develops skills C1-C2; preparation of written work and oral presentations develops skills C1-C3.
The final-year dissertation enables students to take skills C1-C3 to a higher level.
Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their dissertation with members of academic staff but are required to conduct their own bibliographic research and formulate their own lines of investigation.
Skills C1-C3 are assessed through the usual means of coursework and examination.
C2 is assessed in particular through coursework and examinations in GV201 and HR211.
The practical skill of working under pressure and without notes to produce cogent arguments in written work is assessed by the first-year examination in the History pre-requisite course for the scheme.
D: Key skills
D1: Communicate ideas effectively using means including essays and other written work
D2: Make appropriate use of information technology to research and present materials
D4: Analyse and explain evidence, understand and produce answers to essay questions, and manage work timetables
D6: Use feedback from tutors to improve written and oral work and reflect on progress
Information technology is taught through independent learning supported by the University's online key skills package and the Computing Service.
Use of email and the internet is part of effective course participation and students are required to check their University email account at least once a week during term-time.
Students are strongly encouraged to produce coursework in word-processed form and it is a formal requirement that the final-year independent research dissertation is typed or word-processed.
The use of electronic library catalogues and other relevant electronic bibliographic resources and the use and interpretation of relevant material via the internet is introduced in the first year.
Students build on these skills in subsequent years.
Where relevant, students are encouraged to use, present or evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form.
Problem-solving, communication, working with others and improving own learning and performance are implicit throughout the degree.
Key skills are assessed through the usual methods of coursework and also for D1 and D4 by examination.
Management of work timetables is assessed by the requirement that students meet coursework deadlines and deadlines in the preparation and submission of their final-year dissertation.