History and Politics
History and Politics at Cambridge 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 develop skills in analysing the operation of power and politics across histories, institutions, and societies around the world. Students also build strengths in understanding the nature of evidence, methodology, and approaches in both History and Politics. They are able to choose from a wide range of topics in British, European, American and World history and politics, and to do extended dissertation work in one or more of these areas.
Cambridge is uniquely placed to teach History and Politics and International Relations together. Both Faculties are widely regarded as world-leading. The History Faculty 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) 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 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.
Magdalene has a very strong tradition in the study of history and politics, both as separate disciplines and jointly, in the study of the history of politics and political thought. Professor Tim Harper, is an expert in the modern political history of Southeast Asia, and one of the leading academics behind the development of the new History and Politics degree. Closely related to the study of history and politics, Magdalene is also home to the Joint Centre for History and Economics, which has bases here and at King’s College in Cambridge and in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. One of the Centre’s two Directors, Professor Emma Rothschild, is also a Fellow of Magdalene, and Professor Harper is an Associate Director.
We normally expect candidates to have or be on course to obtain History at A-Level (or equivalent). Two additional subjects at advanced level are normally required. Although candidates will not necessarily have AS or A-levels 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. At GCSE level (or equivalent), we like to see a mixture of Arts and Science subjects and, normally, successful candidates will have obtained a good range of subjects, many of which will be at grade A or A*.
Our typical conditional offer for History and Politics is A*AA at A-Level. IB offers are usually for a total of 41-42 points, with 7,7,6 at Higher Level.
Interviews, Written Work, and Assessments
The admissions assessment for History and Politics is TBC.
Candidates called for interview should normally expect to have two interviews, each lasting about 20 minutes. One interview will be with two historians and one with two academics who teach politics. Applicants should be prepared to discuss their relevant interests and potential directions they may wish to follow.
Applicants are also asked to submit two examples of recent work, which will be available to interviewers.