The Joint Honours Programme in History and International Relations provides students with an intellectual training in disciplines that are complementary and mutually enriching. The programme enables students to appreciate how historical events shape modern issues and how such themes are to be understood and explained through insights into political analysis (eg political theory, political institutions, international relations). It offers students the opportunity to analyse country-based developments across the globe and pays specific attention to the histories and politics of Africa, Europe and the America.
History and International Relations Degree highlights
History at Queen’s is ranked in the top 200 as per the QS World University Rankings 2021.
- Study Abroad: all students within this degree programme will have the possibility of opting to study for a semester abroad in their third year at an English-speaking university in mainland Europe.
There is also a possibility for some to spend an additional year in the United States under the Study USA programme.There is also a possibility for some to spend an additional year in the United States under the Study USA programme.
- The School also has links with Queen’s University’s Global Research Centre, The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. Many of the School’s staff are Fellows in the Mitchell Institute, where they work in collaboration with experts in peace and conflict studies from other disciplines such as law, sociology, and the creative arts.
- The School offers a range of employment placements where students can gain real world work experience which is invaluable in terms of employment after graduation. Given that Belfast is a regional capital with devolved powers, we can offer students placements in the high profile political and related institutions on our doorstep - for example in the Department of Justice, Equality Commission, Police Ombudsman’s Office, or BBC Northern Ireland.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Professor Beverley Milton Edwards has advised various governments in her role as an expert on the Middle East, and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Brooking Institution.
- With over 30 staff at the cutting edge of research and publication, the Politics and IR at Queen’s is the largest in Ireland and one of the largest in the UK and Ireland, with specialisms in Irish and British politics, political theory, sustainable development, the politics of film and literature, gender, democratic innovations, European Union politics, ethnic conflict, and international relations.
- Professor David Phinnemore is an expert on EU Treaty reform and EU enlargement, which led to his secondment as an advisor to the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
- Our uniquely supportive pastoral care/ personal tutor system is equalled only by the academic guidance available.
- Our vibrant Politics Society (Polysoc) and History provides a welcome and stimulating environment for new students.
“When I came to visit Queen‘s, the facilities, the city and the feel of the place were far above any of the other universities I‘d visited. I chose this particular course as it looked interesting, and covered a variety of topics. Belfast itself is a lovely city, with an amazing river walk. I‘ve loved trips to the coast and to the mountains and it really is a beautiful place to live.”
- Study Abroad: all students within this degree programme will have the possibility of opting to study for a semester abroad in their third year at an English-speaking university in mainland Europe.
Course Content The History modules will allow you to sample some of the many different approaches that historians take in studying the past, and partly by an exploration of some of the major questions of theory and method with which they are concerned.
The International Relations modules will provide you with a solid grounding in international relations, conflict studies, and comparative politics. They will provide you with the analytical tools to analyse contemporary international and national politics and issues.
Stage 1 HISTORY
Modules at Level 1 offer a systematic introduction to the discipline of History, partly by sampling some of the many different approaches that historians take in studying the past, and partly by an exploration of some of the major questions of theory and method with which they are concerned.
• Exploring History 1
• Exploring History 2
Students are introduced to the study of politics, political ideology, comparative politics, the state of world politics, international history and contemporary Europe.
Stage 2 History modules at stage 2 are generally survey modules seeking to convey a sense of the principal events, trends and developments in a particular country or region over a fairly long time span.
• Apocalypse! The History and Anthropology of the End of the World
• Politics and Society in 20th-Century Ireland
• The American South 1865–1980
• The Expansion of Medieval Europe 1000–1300
• Uniting Kingdoms
• Nationalism and Liberation in Africa
• Politics and Society in 20th Century Ireland
International Relations will have to take the core module (International Relations) and then choose over two IR modules among the following list:
• Deeply Divided Societies
• Northern Ireland Conflict and Paths to Peace
• International Organisations
• American/British/Irish Politics
• Politics and Policies of the EU
• Security and Terrorism
• Peace and Conflict Studies
• Modern Political Thought
• Studying Politics (research methods)
Stage 3 HISTORY
Taught modules at Level 3 are more specialised, offering the opportunity to study a short period or a particular theme or problem in detail, working from documents as well as secondary sources.
Students can also do a dissertation in either History or International Relations and/or take a work-experience module. Module options include:
• The Second World War in Europe
• The Peasants Revolt, 1381
• Gender and Politics
• The Soviet Union, 1921 – 1991
• The Ancient City
• That Vast Catastrophe: The Irish Famine
• Thatcher’s Britain
• Kings, courts and culture in Carolingian Europe
• The Rise of Christianity
• Popular Culture in England – 1500 – 1700
• The Origins of Protestantism
• Evangelical Protestantism in Ulster
• The American Civil War and Reconstruction
In addition, Joint Honours students at Level 3 may choose to complete a dissertation based on an individually assigned research topic chosen in consultation with a supervisor. Some modules, especially surveys, use lectures and tutorials; others are taught through seminars, in which students are expected to come prepared to fully engage in and sometimes lead group discussions. There is also increasing use of web based learning.
In the final year, students can select more specific areas and specialist-based modules on, for example, the Middle East, US foreign policy, migration, the Far Right, political extremism, politics of the global economy, and modules on identity politics, international ethics, war and visual culture, conflict and conflict resolution.
In their final year, students can opt to write a dissertation based on a research topic of their choice and under one-to-one supervision by an academic with specialist knowledge in the chosen field.
Note that this is not an exclusive list and these options are subject to staff availability.
People teaching youSchool of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics
Contact Teaching Times
Large Group Teaching 6 (hours maximum)
In a typical week you may have up to 6 hours of lectures, depending on the level of study
Medium Group Teaching 9 (hours maximum)
In a typical week, you may have up to 9 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars, depending on the level of study.
Personal Study 30 (hours maximum)
Typically 30 hours per module (30 hours per week), revising in your own time
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial 6 (hours maximum)
In a typical week, you will have 3-6 hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision).
Learning and Teaching
Examples of opportunities for learning provided on this course are as follows:
In their final year, students can write a dissertation based on a research topic of their choice and under one-to-one supervision by an academic with specialist knowledge in the chosen field. This provides a unique opportunity for students to marshal all the research and writing skills they have learned through the course of their degree to produce an original piece of research which reflects the particular interests that they have acquired in their time studying at Queen’s.
- E-Learning technologies
Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Many of the course readings are supplied via Queen’s Online, and e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree programme through the use of, for example, interactive support materials, podcasts and web-based learning activities.
These introduce foundation information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. As the module progresses this information becomes more complex. Lectures, which are normally delivered in large groups to all year-group peers, also provide opportunities to ask questions and seek clarification on key issues as well as gain feedback and advice on assessments.
- Self-directed study
This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
A significant amount of teaching is carried out in small groups (typically 8-15 students). These sessions are designed to explore, in more depth, the information that has been presented in the lectures, and reading material that has been set for the course. These sessions provide students with the opportunity to engage closely with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of their peers. During these classes on some courses, students will be expected to present their work to academic staff and their peers.
A variety of assessment methods are used, depending on the learning objectives of each module.
- Coursework essays
- Written examinations
- Oral presentations
- Weekly assignments
- Learning logs
- Group projects
As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
- Placement employer comments or references.
- Online or emailed comment.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, or during a seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
- Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by the Selector for that particular subject or degree programme along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions Service. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For last year’s intake, applicants for this BA programme must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C or better (to include English Language). Performance in any AS or A-level examinations already completed would also have been taken into account and the Selector checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat candidates is set in terms of three A-levels and may be one grade higher than that asked from first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
Applicants offering other qualifications, such as BTEC Extended Diplomas, Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, the International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate or an Access course, will also be considered.
The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those candidates taking a BTEC Extended Diploma or a Higher National Certificate (HNC).
The current entrance requirements for applicants offering a BTEC Extended Diploma are successful completion of the BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits at Level 3) with 120 credits at Distinction and 60 credits at Merit. For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits.
For those offering a Higher National Diploma, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile but, to be eligible for an offer, the grades obtained in the first year of the HND must allow the overall offer to be achievable. The current entrance requirements are successful completion of the HND with 2 Distinctions, 10 Merits and 4 Passes overall. Any consideration would be for Stage 1 entry only.
Candidates offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits and for last year, the standard set was an average of 70%.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of BA degrees, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Candidates are not normally asked to attend for interview, though there are some exceptions and specific information is provided with the relevant subject areas.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to an Open Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers, including NI government departments and the North/South Ministerial Council, who provide sponsorship for our internships.
In addition, the School offers a range of employment placements where students can gain real world work experience which is invaluable in terms of employment after graduation. Given that Belfast is a regional capital with devolved powers, we can offer students placements in the high profile political and related institutions on our doorstep - for example in the Department of Justice, Equality Commission, Police Ombudsman’s Office, or BBC Northern Ireland.
Employment after the Course
Skills to enhance employability
Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by local, national and international employers and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including History and International Relations.
Studying for a History degree at Queen‘s will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by graduate employers. Our modules are designed to enhance skills such as research, workload planning and management, presentational expertise, fluent literacy, close analysis, and the synthesis of competing arguments or evidence. Although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in the public and voluntary/community sectors, significant numbers develop careers in the private sector, working in industries from management consultancy to law and journalism.
Graduates in History from QUB pursue careers in areas such as:
• museum sector
• the Civil Service
• public relations
• local government itself.
Various serving politicians have studied in the School, including Ian Paisley Jr (MP), the Green Party Leader, Stephen Agnew, and ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,530 Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,530 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250 EU Other 3 £17,400 International £17,400
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
History and International Relations costs
In Year 2 students can apply for a number of optional history exchanges with institutions in the USA. The cost will vary depending on the institution and length of exchange and can range from £500 - £6,000.
Students are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs.
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How and when to Apply
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2022 from 1 September 2021.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2022 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU (Republic of Ireland) students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2022) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2022. If you apply for 2022 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2022.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
Fees and Funding
- Applying through UCAS