Do you have a keen interest in political events of the past? 

When you study a History and Politics course with us, you’ll be taught by expert tutors with a vast array of experience, based at a green campus close to the cultural benefits of Salford and Manchester. And you won’t just be a number, you’ll be taught in small groups which provide the opportunity for meaningful discussion with your tutors and peers.

Watch our students and academics talk about Politics and History at the University of Salford

Undergraduate courses

Spend three years exploring the areas of history and politics which interest you the most. You'll gain an understanding of the general skills you'll need, and as your progress you'll get the chance to shape your degree how you want to. 

students in lecture theatre

Postgraduate Courses

Build on your undergraduate and work experiences so far to further develop your skills and job prospects in a specific area. 

MA/PgDip Intelligence and Security Studies 

MA/PgDip Terrorism and Security

Politics and Contemporary History and Politics degree FAQs

Why should you study a politics and contemporary history degree at the University of Salford? 

Students and graduates from our politics and contemporary history degrees all have one thing in common: a passion for contemporary history, international relations, intelligence, and politics. 

Our graduates have gone on to support their local community as Councillor, teach in academia, and find successful roles in intelligence, policing and the Royal Navy. They are putting what they’ve learnt on our specialist degree programmes into practice for some of the greatest organisations and non-profits in the United Kingdom, and beyond. 

But what does that really mean? In this blog, you’ll hear from our graduates and current students about their experience of choosing a politics and contemporary history degree at the University of Salford.

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.

Do your politics and history degree courses have a social media account I can follow?

The Politics and History department at the University of Salford has a Twitter account you can follow.

Learn more to keep up to date with what our student and staff get up to during term time.

What's the teaching style like for history and politics courses at the University of Salford?

For our Contemporary History degrees:

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!

For our Politics degrees:

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 history 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.

How often do you refresh your course content to keep what I'm learning fresh?


We’re always reflecting on events – past and present – to change course content. Although people often think history doesn’t change, it does. New interpretations, new documents, and reviewing events in light of the present, mean we have to change content. Sometimes this can be just tweaking content of weeks to changes to module content, or even new modules.


If anyone’s been watching international, national or even local politics recently, you'll know we’re in an age of change. If it’s Brexit, greater power sharing for regions or the way politics is done, we’re forced to rethink our course and programme content. We’ve had colleagues watching the Brexit result in 2016, having to rethink how they’re going to do a module on EU politics, and others having to change parts of their module because the nature of campaigning is now increasingly online. Even looking at international politics we’re having to change programme content to reflect the evolution of the international system and the rise of new powers such as China, and the return of Russia to the international agenda.

What's the professional background of your academics?

We’re a varied bunch and come from a range of backgrounds, different higher education experiences and countries. We’re mostly Manchester based, and some of us have done our undergraduate degrees, postgrad study and PhDs here at Salford before we started teaching full-time, so we’re able to engage with our students and understand their experiences inside and outside the classroom.

What type of research and essays are students expected to deliver?

It changes from module to module. Really what we want to see are students enjoying their subjects and engaged. We want to see our students using a range of material – books, articles, newspapers, documents, and other material to shape their understanding. There’s no one template for assessments. Our library has access to some of the best e-sources you can ask for – journal articles, e-books, even collections of documents and newspaper archives all online. The physical collection is very good, and, if we don’t have it, the librarians are pretty quick to get what you want. We also have ‘Library Champions’ who are able to get the things you want on the shelves.

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.


To excel in your studies of Politics and Contemporary History, you’ll need access to a multitude of resources. From a wide range of books and journals to a vast catalogue of online resources, we have everything you need to allow you to investigate and develop your ideas.

You’ll also be able to access a range of development and learning sessions, so you can learn how to use and access everything we have, or brush up on your IT and research skills.

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Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.


Whatever you choose to study with us, you'll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, you'll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you'll be supported whenever you need it.


Our graduates and alumni have secured placements and jobs in the private, public and charity sectors. From advising on policy, to becoming an academic researcher or MP, a history and politics degree from us prepares you for the world of work.