International History and Politics BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

Open Days 2023 - Saturday 14 October

Explore our campus, talk to staff and students and find out about your subject at our open day. Book your place

UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAA (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
ABB and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

two students talking in the library

You’ll focus on the modern and contemporary history of world affairs from the late nineteenth century to today on this challenging, integrated degree. Covering themes such as diplomacy, security, intelligence, international organisations and transnational questions, you’ll gain a valuable understanding of the complex relations between states and non-state actors today.

It’s a great opportunity to develop your specialist knowledge of modern international/transnational history and international politics. With the support of expert tutors and access to excellent facilities, you’ll also gain the skills that are most valuable to employers.

Compulsory modules will give you a good grounding in key periods and themes, as well as useful historical skills. You’ll also learn about different perspectives on international politics. Meanwhile, you can tailor your degree to suit your own interests by choosing from a range of optional modules that spans the globe.

Watch current student Kira’s video to find out more about studying BA International History and Politics.

Specialist resources

Leeds has excellent resources for historians, including a wealth of archive material and political documents. The University Library's Special Collections include the Leeds Russian Archive, a resource for the study of Anglo-Russian relations into the 20th century and the Liddle Collection of personal papers from thousands of people who lived through the First and Second World Wars.

Papers from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and extensive correspondence from political figures from around the world are also held in the Special Collections. The University Library offers full training to help you make the most of our resources.

Take a look around our libraries:

Brotherton Library
Laidlaw Library
Edward Boyle Library

Brotherton Library Reading Room

Course details

Introductory modules in international history and politics will give you a firm foundation during your first year, as we help you adjust to university study. You’ll also be free to choose from a variety of discovery modules within and outside the School to start building a broader knowledge base.

In year 2 you’ll build on this understanding by choosing from a range of optional modules to suit your specific interests, whether they focus on imperial Germany, the Cold War or the Arab-Israeli conflict. You’ll also practise your research skills in a long essay on a topic of your choice in international history and politics.

All of this will help to prepare you for your final year when you’ll continue to choose from optional modules spanning topics such as genocide, refugee crises and European security. You’ll also apply what you’ve learned and focus heavily on a specialist subject such as Nazi Germany, transnational war volunteers or the British secret services while researching a topic of your choice for your dissertation.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read International History and Politics BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Skills and Concepts in International History 20
International History, 1919-1989: Conflict, Co-operation and Change 20
Consensus and Contention: Investigations in International History 20
International Politics 20

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Documents and Debates in International History 20
International History and Politics Long Essay 20

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Australia and the World 20
History Wars: The Politics of the Past in Contemporary Europe 20
Imperial Germany 1871-1918 20
Digital Methods for History, Art and Literature 20
20th Century Britain: Progress and Uncertainty 1945-1990 20
Communist Eastern Europe, 1945-89 20
Nationalism, Colonialism and 'Religious Violence' in India, 1857-1947 20
Modern Hatreds: The Destruction of Yugoslavia and its Aftermath, 1991-2001 20
History on the High Street 20
Histories of Black Britain 20
The Rise of Modern Japan: From the Meiji Restoration to the Present Day 20
Mao Zedong and Modern China, 1949-Present 20
The Global Cold War 20
US Foreign Policy in a Changing World: the End of the Cold War, the Age of Terror, and the Resurgence of a Multipolar Order? 20
From Versailles to Potsdam: Conferences, Crises and Conflicts, 1919-45 20

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
IHP Dissertation 40

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Dividing India: The Road to Democracy in South Asia, 1939-1952 40
Twentieth Century Southeast Asia: From Empire to Independence 20
The Third Reich, 1933-1945 40
Europe in an Age of Total Warfare 40
The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 40
The Soviet Sixties: Politics and Society in the USSR, 1953-1968 40
The Troubles: The Northern Ireland Conflict, 1968-Present 40
The Korean War 40
Apartheid in South Africa: Origins, Impact and Legacy 20
In the Shadow of Franco: Terror and its Legacy in Spain, 1936-Present Day 20
The Breaking of Contemporary Britain: Challenges from the Post-War Period 20
From Byron to Bin Laden: Transnational War Volunteers 40
The Iron Lady Abroad: Margaret Thatcher and UK Foreign Policy from 1979 40
A Revolutionary Century: Resistance, Reform, and Repression in Central America, 1900- present 40
Europe on the Move: Refugees and Resettlement, 1919-59 40
'Parasites' and 'Cockroaches': Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide in the Modern World 20
The Global Vietnam War 40
The First World War: A Global Conflict 40

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

We use a range of different teaching and learning styles. They include lectures from our expert lecturers, as well as seminars and group work. Independent study is also an important element of the degree, as you build your research and critical skills by reading widely. At Leeds, we have a wealth of resources for you to explore as you become an independent learner.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Depending on the modules you choose, you may be assessed using a variety of methods. These will largely include exams and essays, but some modules may also use oral presentations, group work or other methods. We offer plenty of support, and there are extra classes on topics such as public speaking, exam technique and structuring essays if you need them.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA

Other course specific tests:

When an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be AAB at A Level and grade A in the EPQ.

We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work are required.


We will consider this qualification in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, D3, M1

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall with 17 at Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H2, H2, H2

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AA in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or A in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 85%

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

Access to Leeds is an admissions scheme which aims to encourage applications from specific groups of potential students. These include students from low income households, those whose parents did not attend university, those from schools or postcodes that meet specific criteria relating to levels of participation in Higher Education, and those who have had their studies disrupted or delayed in some substantial way. Upon completion of the Access to Leeds programme, a typical Access to Leeds offer is ABB.

Find out more about Access to Leeds.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

If you would like to study arts, humanities, and cultures at university, but don't currently meet the typical entry requirements for direct entry to a degree, you might be eligible to apply for the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year course.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information, contact the School of History Admissions team.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £22,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Katrina Honeyman scholarships

All international students who are offered a place on our BA History or BA International History and Politics courses will automatically be considered for a Katrina Honeyman scholarship. These scholarships are awarded in recognition of outstanding academic performance.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of History

Contact us

School of History Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

A degree as wide-ranging and demanding as International History and Politics will equip you with a combination of specialist subject knowledge and valuable skills to build a career in many different sectors.

You'll be able to think critically about information from a range of sources to form your own conclusions. You’ll also be able to present them clearly, either verbally or in writing. As a motivated, independent learner, you’ll have organisational, time management and research skills that will really appeal to employers.

Recent graduates have gone on to work in careers as diverse as diplomacy, international finance and investment, journalism, the civil service, law, education and even the Armed Forces.

Read more about graduate destinations.

The School of History is committed to helping you reach your goals. Student-run career groups allow you to meet other students with similar plans, while you could also become a peer mentor or apply for one of our paid internships. We offer career-related modules to help you develop your employability or explore your options.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

Student profile: Maddy Dawe

The range of modules were so impressive to me as I was discovering topics which I had heard about on the news or in my spare time but would never get the chance to study at school or college.
Find out more about Maddy Dawe's time at Leeds