Studying History and Politics at Salford
So you’ve applied to study History and Politics, we've made you an offer, but you’re still deciding or have further questions?
We want to make sure you have all the information you need as you get ready to study at Salford. We hope the information below helps you in your decision making. If you have any further questions, simply get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 0161 295 4545.
Why should you study History and Politics at the University of Salford?
From advising on policy, to becoming an academic researcher or MP: our history and politics degree’s prepare you for the world of work.
Our graduates and alumni have secured placements and jobs in the private, public, and charity sectors.
In the 2019 National Student Survey, overall satisfaction with our Contemporary Military and International History course was 100% (University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2019 data).
Our class sizes and lecture halls
Our library and research centre
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 for history and politics courses at the University of Salford?
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 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 review 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 we 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 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 your politics and history courses have a social media account I can follow?
Our Politics and History accounts have a Twitter account you can follow.
Read success stories and blogs about our students and staff
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