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BA (Honours) History and Politics

This wide-ranging course will develop and deepen your knowledge of different periods of history while providing a critical understanding of political ideas, institutions, issues and theories. You’ll tackle challenging issues such as power and warfare, security and insecurity, global justice, culture and beliefs, health and medicine, imperialism and resistance, and class and gender. 

Key features of the course

  • Study a range of periods and societies from 1750 using social scientific theories and approaches and historical analysis
  • Offers a choice of two periods in history and two aspects of politics to specialise in at an advanced level
  • Gives you the opportunity to develop an independent project on a subject of your choice
  • Develop skills relevant to political and historical research and writing directed to a range of audiences 

We also offer a Diploma of Higher Education in History and Politics (W64) that is the same in structure as the first two-thirds of this degree.

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Course Summary

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Degree

Degree

  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Course code
Q97
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
360
How long it takes
Part time – 6 years
Full time – 3 years
Time limit – 16 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • At Stage 1 you’ll study two compulsory modules that will introduce you to a broad range of subjects in the arts and humanities and social sciences.
  • Next, in Stage 2, you’ll study two further compulsory modules, one in history and one in politics.
  • Finally, in Stage 3, you’ll study two modules, choosing one period in history and one aspect of politics to study.

Optional Access module – visit Am I ready? to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

You’ll begin with a stimulating introduction to the arts and humanities, studying diverse topics from across multiple cultures and historical periods. You will then progress to studying a range of social science subjects (criminology, economics, environmental studies, geography, international studies, politics, social policy and sociology) and learning the tools of social sciences.
ModulesCredits
You'll study both of the following:
The arts past and present (AA100)60
Investigating the social world (DD103)60

Stage 2 (120 credits)

Stage 2 includes two compulsory modules. In your politics module you will explore how political ideas, institutions and processes help govern our world. In your history module you will learn all about the British Isles in a period of rapid transformation, when it was the workshop of the world.

Stage 3 (120 credits)

At Stage 3, we offer a choice of two history modules: one that covers the rise and fall of Empires since 1492 and one that explores conflict and change in twentieth century Europe. For your study of politics, you’ll also have a choice of two modules – you can explore the key areas of change and major problems in international relations or study a module which considers the ways in which political ideas ‘live’, demonstrating their relevance for understanding contemporary issues in national and world politics.

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 21 March 2018.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) History and Politics uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • finding external/third party material online
  • working in a group with other students
  • working with specialist reading material such as works of art and musical manuscripts.

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our disability page to find more about what we offer. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.

It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.

For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


Classification of your degree

On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the BA (Honours) History and Politics degree. You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 


Compare this course

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

At The Open University we believe education should be open to all, so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

Even though there are no entry requirements, there are some skills that you'll need to succeed. If you're not quite ready for OU study we can guide you to resources that prepare you, many of which are free.

Answer a few quick questions to check whether you're ready for study success

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Counting previous study

You could save time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study towards this qualification if you have:

  • already studied at university level (even if you didn't finish your studies)
  • other professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

Find out more about credit transfer

Preparing for study with an Access module

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:

  • a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback.
For this qualification we recommend:

Arts and languages Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the arts and languages, and would like to develop both your subject knowledge and your study skills. It explores a range of subjects, including art history, English, English language studies, history, modern languages, and also touches on the areas of creative writing and religious studies.

View full details of Arts and languages Access module

People, work and society Access module

What you will study

This is a multidisciplinary module that allows you to develop your subject knowledge and your general study skills. It provides an excellent introduction to a wide range of subject areas, including childhood and youth studies, social science, psychology, health, management and law.

View full details of People, work and society Access module

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you.

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £2,928*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £5,856*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £17,568*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.


Skills for career development

Studying history and politics will provide you with an adaptable set of skills that can lead in many directions and are greatly valued by employers. Beyond subject knowledge these include critical thinking, analysis, synthesis and communication. You’ll sharpen your IT, writing, and independent thinking and information auditing skills, as well as develop an ability to assimilate and evaluate relevant information when constructing an argument to a variety of audiences. These are key skills in complex organisations and independent endeavours, and are highly sought after in the world beyond study – whether you’re already working,volunteering, starting, changing or looking to progress your career.

Career relevance

Studying history and politics requires and fosters an understanding of human activities in diverse cultural and political environments and historical contexts. The breadth of study and range of ideas and objects analysed, combined with clear thinking and communication, make the BA (Hons) History and Politics relevant to a wide range of careers, including:
  • education
  • public administration, central and local government, the civil and diplomatic service, art and museum institutions, and social services
  • advertising, journalism, publishing, creative industries and public relations
  • legal work
  • business, banking and retail
  • human resources
  • charities and campaigning. 
 

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):

  • teacher 
  • museum curator
  • heritage management
  • politician
  • policy adviser
  • lawyer
  • economic analyst
  • librarian
  • information archivist
  • local government and NHS management
  • diplomat
  • arts administration
  • civil servant
  • journalist
  • tourism officer.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, Prospects and Plan IT


Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 16/08/2018
Credit transfer: apply by 06/12/2018

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