History and Politics

History and Politics at the University of Stirling offers students comprehensive undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in the academic disciplines of History and Politics. All of our degree programmes are internationally recognised and fully accredited, and our students are taught and supervised by experts in their respective fields of study. Our web pages feature a wealth of information about our staff, students and courses. They are intended to help you understand both the general character of the subjects and the day-to-day aspects of our organisation and intellectual life.

What we do

History and Politics comprises two academic disciplines and a diverse team of dedicated scholars to offer an internationally-recognised and wide-ranging programme of teaching and research in the disciplines of History and Politics.We offer single honours programmes in History, Scottish History, Politics, and International Politics, as well as a wide range of combined honours degrees. At Stirling students can also pursue degrees in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (known as PPE), or History, Politics and Professional Education.

We encourage innovative approaches and interdisciplinary collaborations across a range of topics and research areas, with Research Centres in Environmental History, Scottish Studies, and Human Security and European Neighbourhood Studies. We also run a highly successful commercial research and training unit, History Tomorrow. Our scholars are all research-active and share their insights and expertise in the classroom, meaning that students have a broad choice of subjects from undergraduate level onwards. Our undergraduate programmes involve a gradual progression towards Honours level, with students sampling broad themes and fresh approaches early on, before narrowing down to areas tailored to their interests. Final-year students here typically undertake a year-long dissertation working with original sources, and can expect close supervision. Our diverse and inclusive graduate community includes individuals pursuing research degrees, working closely with expert advisers (M.Res. and Ph.D.) and classes of students taking on taught programmes (including our popular M.Sc. in International Conflict and Co-operation). Together, History & Politics constitutes a collegial community that is breaking down boundaries and will prepare you for future challenges, in the workplace and the wider world.


What you can expect from us

The staff in History and Politics are friendly and approachable, enthusiastic about their research, and supportive of their students. They aim to provide high quality research-led teaching, not through the simple transmission of facts and figures, but by fostering a climate of self-improvement and encouraging students to seek out and tackle problems using their own initiative and resources. Lecturers and course tutors lay the foundations for this study in their teaching, bringing their own expertise to the lecture halls and seminars, and presenting models of interpretation in a stimulating fashion - using varied media and diverse teaching styles (including lectures, seminars, debates, field trips, quizzes, and so on). They aim to be supportive of and attentive to student needs, and offer guidance on a host of issues ranging from giving five-minute presentations to writing ten-thousand word dissertations.

The School administrative staff are among the best in the business, and ready to assist with any queries you might have relating to module handouts, essay submission, special requirements, and so on.

What we expect from you

The transition to studying at university brings different challenges for different individuals. Those that perform best tend to find a suitable balance between their academic commitments and their other activities, work hard at their preparation and participation in classes, and above all are willing to engage with new subjects and ideas with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Since the process of gaining skills is a collaborative venture, we censure plagiarism and low attendance, but commend good practice and look to identify improvements over the course of the programme. Whatever your background and ability, we expect you to demonstrate dedication and energy, to interact with the ideas and individuals around you, and to benefit from the pattern of progression.

History and Politics Mission Statement

In accordance with the University's mission statement we aim to:


History and Politics graduates have consistently experienced success in obtaining satisfying employment.  According to Unistats 2014, 85% of our graduates have been in work or further study within six months of completing their degree.  Recent graduates have secured posts with the Halifax, Mercedes Benz, the Prudential and Scottish Power.  Other employers include the National Portrait Gallery, the Office of National Statistics and the Borders General Hospital.  One of our graduates from an earlier date is John Reid, Baron Reid of Cardowan, who held as many as eight cabinet offices.

We take pains to encourage students to acquire the skills of analysing and solving complex problems.  In the final year they undertake an original research project which nurtures the self-managemernt and organisational qualities that employers value.  Students also gain the ability to argue a persuasive case, whether in print or in oral discussion.  Such critical thinking combined with the ability to communicate stands them in good stead when applying for jobs.  Each year we send a number of students on the study abroad programme which takes them to the United States, Europe or Australia.  The Division provides opportunities for undergraduates to spend time working in the university archives or else in the Scottish Political Archives, housed within the Division, which contain the papers of such figures as Lord McConnell, a former First Minister of Scotland and another Stirling graduate.



© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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