Modern and Contemporary History BA

Run in partnership with Politics and International Relations, this course will emphasise the history of the recent past and integrate it with contemporary politics and international relations. Ideal if your main interests lie in the 20th and 21st century – you will be able to concentrate on a focused chronological period, with modules covering a broad geographical range.

Course details

Modern history, contemporary politics and international relations. How has each field shaped the other? And what can this interaction tell us about events today? We don’t have to look back too far to find the answers, and this degree can take you there.
  • Mode of study: 3-4 days  a week
  • Intake: Intakes: September
  • Course length: 3-4 years
  • Course fee: 9250 per year
  • Location: Leicester campus

University of Leicester

Course overview

You will learn about the various factors, particularly political factors, that shape historical events and our understanding of them. An appreciation of international relations is vital for analysing the fluctuating relationships that countries share with one another, either directly or through international bodies such as the UN. The topical nature of this course will not only help you understand the past but also prepare you to construct informed arguments about events that are unfolding today.


Entry requirements

A/AS-levels: ABB-BBB at A-Level. We prefer A-Level History, though this is not essential. Two AS-Levels considered in place of one A-Level. General Studies is accepted

EPQ with A-Levels: BBB-BBC at A-Level + EPQ at grade B. We prefer A-Level History, though this is not essential

Access to HE Diploma: Pass relevant Diploma with 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at distinction

International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 30 points including 6 in one Higher Level subject

BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma with D*DD


We offer several practical or placement modules so that you can gain hands-on experience in your chosen career path.

Graduates from our History degrees have gone on to work for a wide range of employers including:

Department of Education
Troubadour Publishing
British Standards Institution


At the very beginning of your course you’ll take the short, non-credit bearing Academic and Study Skills.

  • Making History (double module)
  • The Shock of the Modern
  • The Global Cold War: International Relations 1945-1989
  • People and Places (double module)

Option modules
Choose one option module from:

  • Comparative European Politics
  • Order and Disorder: International Relations from 1989 to the Present

Then choose one option module from:

  • Global History: Connections and Cultures in a Changing World, 1750 to the present
  • Great Britain: The State We’re In
  • US History since 1776
  • Europe 1861-1991: Emancipation and Subjugation
  • Perceiving the Past (double module)
  • Becoming the Historical Researcher (double module)

Option modules

List 1: History modules

  • Histories of Violence
  • Domestic Revolutions: Women, Men, and the Family in American History
  • Enter the Dragon: Modern Chinese History, 1839-1989
  • History in the Classroom
  • Heritage Field Project

List 2: Politics modules

  • Political Parties in Contemporary Britain
  • Sex and Gender in Global Politics

List 3: History modules

  • Gender History
  • Jack-the-Ripper: Crime, Popular Culture and Policing in Victorian Times
  • A World Connected: Economy, Wellbeing and Sustainability since 1945
  • From Beer to Fraternity: Alcohol, Society, and Culture in North America
  • Living with Dictatorship: European Societies, 1918-1941
  • Fight the Power! Race, Rights and Protest in the USA, 1865-2008

List 4: Politics modules

  • European Union Politics
  • The Making of Contemporary US Foreign Policy
  • History dissertation

Option modules
Choose one option module from:

  • The Holocaust: Genocide in Europe
  • After Hitler: Society, Culture and The Politics of The Nazi Past in The Two Germanies, 1945-1990
  • Cultures of Struggle and Liberation: Twentieth Century Southern Africa
  • The Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Church, State and Belief in Soviet Russia, 1941-1991

Then choose one option module from:

  • The American Presidency
  • The Politics of War and Peace: Northern Ireland After 1972
  • Parliamentary Studies
  • The Politics of Contemporary British Foreign Policy
  • Politics of the International Drug Trade

Choose one option module from:

  • The Imperial Economy: Britain and the Wider World, 1815-1914
  • The USA and the Vietnam War
  • Crime and Punishment in African American History
  • From Empire to Nation: Modern South Asia, c. 1857-1947

Finally choose one option module from:

  • The Conservatives: Crisis and Recovery
  • Political Legacies of Conflict in Northern Ireland
  • Political Participation in Britain
  • Democracy and EU Membership in Post-Communist Europe