History and Politics

History and Politics at Cambridge is an exciting new Honours degree which will run for the first time in October 2018. It offers subjects from our highly-regarded History and Politics and International Relations courses, together with bespoke papers which will allow students to explore the space between the two disciplines. Students will develop skills in analysing the operation of power and politics across histories, institutions, and societies around the world.   Students will also be able to build strengths in understanding the nature of evidence, methodology, and approaches in both History and Politics.  They will be able to choose from a wide range of topics in British, European, American and World history and politics. Cambridge is uniquely placed to teach History and Politics and International Relations together. Both Faculties are widely regarded as world-leading. The History Faculty (http://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/) is one of the largest in the United Kingdom and is consistently ranked as the best in research and teaching assessments. It has internationally recognised experts in all relevant fields of study. The Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) (http://www.polis.cam.ac.uk) is a medium-sized department with about 30 academics with a huge range of specialisms. It has particular research strengths in international politics, international history and international law, comparative politics and political thought. Staff in the Faculty of History and the Department of Politics and International Studies have a wide range of shared interests in political and international history, the origins of contemporary politics and international relations, and the history of political ideas. This new degree balances a strong grounding in the two component subjects with the opportunity to explore the ways in which historical and political understanding together illuminate the modern world.

History and Politics at Pembroke

Pembroke is a college enthusiastic about the study of History and Politics. Through the current degrees in History and in Human, Social, and Political Sciences (HSPS), we already have a regular intake of undergraduates studying History or Politics. The College is greatly looking forward to providing future members with the opportunity to study History and Politics together. We see these two subjects as excellent matches and shall be helping our students to develop an integrated approach to their whole course. From undergraduates to fellows (lecturers based in the College), Pembroke is an intellectually inquisitive, yet welcoming and unpretentious, place to enhance your understanding of the world, why it is the way it is, and your place in it. Pembroke’s students are lively and engaged: a student-run society organises debates on contemporary issues, while the College’s historians are extensively involved in editing and writing for the University’s student newspapers. The College’s fellow in POLIS, Dr Iza Hussin, works on Asian politics, specialising in the intersection of law and religion, an interest she shares with several of Pembroke’s History fellows. The College also benefits from the continuing involvement, since his retirement, of Dr Geoffrey Edwards, an expert in the European Union, and of the presence of Professor Ned Ledbow, a distinguished scholar of international relations theory, a bye-fellow of Pembroke. At present, the College is home to seven History fellows, whose interests span a period from the High Middle Ages to recent times. Several have interests that intersect with those of POLIS. Professor Jon Parry is an expert on politics in the Victorian era, while Dr Emily Jones specialises in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British conservatism. Twentieth-century Europe is well represented by Dr Henning Grunwald, who focuses on German history in and around the Nazi era. The intellectual history of the post-War period is also the focus of Dr Waseem Yaqoob’s research. Dr Paul Warde’s expertise in environmental history provides a longer-term perspective on contemporary issues such as climate change and the world’s changing energy needs. Students whose interests in politics stretch further back will also encounter the College’s other early modernist, Dr Paul Cavill, and its medievalist, Dr Caroline Burt, both of whom work on the formation of the English/British state. Working as a team, Pembroke’s fellows in History and Politics do their very best to ensure that being a member of our College is the most enjoyable and enriching of experiences.

Course requirements

Applicants will have a variety of relevant examination qualifications, though not necessarily in both politics and history; they will be expected to demonstrate an interest in both subjects and will be assessed on their potential to succeed in them. To be studying History at A-level or an equivalent level is highly desirable, but not absolutely essential, for those wishing to apply for this course.

The application process

All applicants will take, before being called to interview, an admissions assessment. Candidates should normally expect two interviews, one in each subject. Applicants should be prepared to discuss their relevant interests and potential directions they may wish to follow. Applicants will be asked to submit two examples of recent work, which will be made available to interviewers and could be discussed in interviews.