History and Politics at Cambridge
This new course balances a strong grounding in the two component subjects with the chance to explore the ways in which historical and political understanding together illuminate the modern world.
Our course provides the opportunity to undertake intensive study in political science, the history of political thought, a wide variety of modern British, European, American and world history, conceptual issues in political science, and quantitative methods.
Teaching and resources
You’re taught by some of the most eminent academics in the world in their subjects. Staff in the Faculty of History and in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) have a wide range of shared interests in political and international history, and the historical origins of contemporary domestic and international politics and political ideas. .
The Faculty of History has a teaching staff of more than a hundred, and the Seeley Library (one of the largest history libraries in the world) contains books and journals covering history and politics and international relations.
The Department of POLIS has particular research strengths in international politics (including foreign and security policy), comparative politics and political thought, and is home to four research centres and around 30 teaching staff.
The University Library is also situated nearby, which means that finding the right book is rarely a problem, and there is a wealth of rare materials and manuscripts within collections in Cambridge suitable for students’ research.
Additional course costs
There are no compulsory additional course costs for History and Politics. Students are not required to buy any books in support of their studies, as these are very well provided by the Department, University, College and other Faculty libraries.
Some students incur additional costs as they pursue their dissertation research (e.g. for travel). However, College and some departmental funding is often available to cover such expenses, and travelling is by no means obligatory in order to prepare an outstanding dissertation. Full course details are available on the Faculty of History website and if you have any queries about resources/materials, please contact the Faculty.
It’s possible to change from History and Politics after Part IA (Year 1) or Part IB (Year 2) to History or to Human, Social, and Political Sciences. In some cases, it may be possible to change to other courses (providing any subject pre-requisites and other conditions are met).
Students on other courses may be able to change to take up History and Politics from Part II (it’s not normally possible to transfer to History and Politics at Part IB).
If you think you may wish to change course, it’s best to discuss this with the College you intend to apply to before submitting your application.
To be able to change course, you need the agreement of your College that any change is in your educational interests, and you must have the necessary background in the subject to which you wish to change – in some cases you may be required to undertake some catch-up work or take up the new course from the start/an earlier year. If you think you may wish to change course, we encourage you to contact a College admissions office for advice. You should also consider if/how changing course may affect any financial support arrangements.
Students who take this degree will acquire a range of skills that are attractive to employers: the ability to work independently, to evaluate and discriminate between evidence, and to present arguments clearly and persuasively.
Recent graduates from the History degree and from the Politics and International Relations track of the Human, Social, and Political Sciences (HSPS) course have gone on to careers in the media, law, public administration, finance, teaching, and the charity sector. See the History course and HSPS course pages and the Careers website for more information about what our students go on to after Cambridge.