Studying Politics and Contemporary History at Salford

Students in lecture theatre


Congratulations on your offer to study a Politics and Contemporary History course at Salford!

To help you get ready for studying this September, we've put together some information about how you will study your chosen course, what to expect in your first year and share answers to some of the top applicant questions.

Remember if you have any questions or queries about your application, you can email, or call us on 0161 295 4545.

Top applicant questions - answered!

What are the politics and public sector opportunities within Greater Manchester?

Manchester and Salford have a long tradition of radical politics and political engagement – and the opportunities reflect that. We’ve always encouraged students to go get into grassroots politics or share their views, and they’ve never disappointed. Many combine study with active political lives and become councillors or go on to stand as an MP.

What's the teaching style like?


Teaching is often focused on small group learning, focusing on the key transferrable skills that employers are looking for. Like other universities, we use lectures but, because of Salford’s smaller class sizes, it really means we can do a lot of our teaching on workshops – sessions where teaching varies a lot from video content, to presentations by staff and students and class discussions. History students get to be ‘the historian’ and get to grips with documents and primary source material collected by expert researchers in their field. It’s not all about lectures!


It varies from course to course, lecturer to lecturer. Although you think of a university education as just sitting in lectures, it isn’t just that. Yes, lectures are still used but you’re taught by our experts in student-focused seminars where you get to test and discuss some of the issues raised in lectures, or even in workshops. We try and make things as engaging as possible as this helps develop the transferrable skills we want you to come away from university with.

Are your courses more practical or do I need to write a lot of essays?

Again, we’re not a traditional department in some respects. Yes, essays do make up assessments, but there’s more than that. Students are asked to write policy briefs, recommending policy decisions; there are group-based presentations; writing and presenting a podcast; creating and presenting posters based on original research, and, of course, the final dissertation where you get the chance to shape your chosen subject through original research.

Is there a demand for historians in the job market?

In short, yes. Obviously, there’s the ‘traditional’ career paths – teaching, academia, museum work – that people often think of, but by studying the past you can hone important transferrable skills that mean you can often apply for a wide range of jobs. Presenting confidently, having to present your own views, understanding events or developing your own viewpoint, and assessing information and making a decision are just some of the skills employers want. And, because of that, our graduates go into a range of jobs.

How are you preparing the next generation for entering the politics sector in the UK?

It has been known for some of our alumni to go on and follow a career in Parliament. At our first awards night in May 2019 we invited back alumni such as Andrew Gwynne, Labour MP for Denton & Reddish. We’ve also had students taking their passion for politics further by studying and representing local communities as councillors in Manchester, Salford and the North West, so it’s not all about just national politics.

What subjects do the tutors specialise in?

We have experts covering a range of issues. From strategy to warfighting if you’re interested in military history, to intelligence, security and terrorism-related issues, and our academics focus on the significant issues of today. We have specialists in the First and Second World Wars and 20th Century warfare, European and Chinese foreign policy, civil wars and insurgencies, terrorism and the Islamic State, modern-day intelligence and security issues, Cold War history, online political campaigning and UK domestic politics amongst other areas.

What will my typical week be like?

A typical week for a Salford student would be a lecture and seminar for each module. It's about 12 hours contact time in class - but we're often on hand outside of sessions if you need any help. Usually, we keep lectures and seminars in the same day so we can easily cover the topics we're focusing on, but we sometimes leave breaks in between classes in case students want to study or take the time to do non-academic things.

What advice do you have if I'm more of an introvert?

We understand that students want to learn in different ways, may want to engage in study differently or may feel stressed coming into what might seem an alien environment. University is different to school or college and can be a solitary place for some. Don’t worry, we get students who may not like group presentations or see themselves as quiet, but we’re able to tailor teaching to suit individual needs. We’re not a team that tailors to one particular style of student and that’s it. We’re always here for a chat if needed and there’s plenty of support out there.

Do you have a social media account I can follow?

Yes! You can find us on Twitter: @salforduni_pch and Instagram: @salford_pch

Our History and Politics facilities include:

  • Peel Building 
  • Clifford Whitworth Library 
Offer holder days

Experience life at Salford

If you haven't already, make sure you secure a place at one of our upcoming Offer Holder Days. These will give you the opportunity to experience life as a Salford student on your chosen course - you'll meet the teaching team, hear from current students and connect with other applicants.

Meet your admissions tutor

Dr. Krysten Blackstone portrait

If you have any questions about our courses in Politics and Contemporary History, or if you would simply like to discuss your course with a member of the teaching team, then we'd love you to get in touch.

Your admissions tutor for Politics and Contemporary History is Dr. Krysten Blackstone, and you can get in touch with her at

For general application enquiries, please contact