Our joint honours BA History and International Relations course enables you to address today's key issues and investigate their roots in the past. Explore both history and international relations and gain an understanding of how they influence one another.
Discover a thousand years of history whilst experiencing all the specialist areas on offer at the University of Reading. The History Department's expertise covers a wide and diverse range of regions, from Europe and Africa to America, South Asia and the Middle East. Module choices cover diverse periods and topics, from the Crusades to the 1960s, slavery in America to Tudor monarchy, and Cold War Berlin to medieval magic.
In your first year, your core modules will explore people, politics and revolution – finding out how people struggled for power in past societies – and the culture and concepts those societies developed. We will teach you the skills you need to study and research history through an individual project of your choice. This joint degree enables you to address contemporary issues and trace them back to their historical roots.
You will be taught in small interactive seminar groups, encouraging discussion and debate with teaching staff and fellow students. We place a great deal of importance on employability skills in both sides of your degree, and our modules History Education, Discovering Archives and Collections, and Going Public all offer students short work placements and act as an introduction to possible career paths.
By studying international relations, you will acquire a strong grounding in the fundamental elements of the subject such as political ideas and international relations theory. Your teaching staff have direct professional experience and act as policy advisers to the government as well as international bodies such as the EU and UN. You will have the opportunity to gain a broad overview of the subject through a wide range of specialist core and optional modules, which cover topical issues such as European political integration, international terrorism, and politics in the Middle East.
You will have access to a number of unique resources. The University has three museums and several special collections for you to explore. In International Relations, we run model United Nations and Middle East simulations, get a feel of the political process and apply your knowledge and skills to a scenario that mimics real life.
You may study abroad for a term in your second year at a wide range of universities from Hong Kong to Melbourne, and broaden your knowledge and experiences. The University also offers all students the chance learn a modern language alongside their core subjects.
Placements are a prominent feature of our degree courses and highly encouraged. Through our links with the Careers Centre, you can source potential employers and help with CVs and letters of application. Staff in the History Department also have close links with the University’s Institute of Education, Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) and Special Collections (archives), and with external organisations such as Cliveden House, English Heritage, Reading Museum, Reading Borough Library and the Berkshire Record Office.
In History, we ensure that placements are incorporated into core learning. In the second year, we offer opportunities for short group placements in museums and heritage organisations, and encourage students to reflect on what they have learned from previous employment or voluntary work experience. For third years, two optional modules offer placements of 10 working days in local archives and secondary schools.
In the Department of Politics and International Relations, you can also undertake a two-week placement as part of a module on British government and politics. It's an opportunity for you to gain first-hand experience working with an MP, charity, pressure group, local councillor or media organisation.
For more information, please visit the Department of History website.