A photo of the Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate, shortly before its fall in 1989.


History and Politics at Cambridge offers subjects from our highly-regarded History and Politics and International Relations courses, together with bespoke papers which will allow you to explore the space between the two disciplines. You’ll develop skills in analysing the operation of power across institutions and societies around the world, and explore how different forms of evidence can be used to understand the past and the present. You will be able to choose from a wide range of topics in British, European, US and world history, the history of political thought, international relations, and comparative politics.

Cambridge is uniquely placed to teach History and Politics and International Relations together. Both faculties are widely regarded as world-leading and are consistently top-ranked in research and teaching assessments. The History Faculty  is one of the largest in the United Kingdom and has internationally recognised experts in all relevant fields of study. The Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) is a rapidly growing department with particular research strengths in political thought, comparative politics, and international relations, and close links with the other social sciences.

Staff in the Faculty of History and the Department of Politics and International Studies have a wide range of shared interests in political and international history, the origins of contemporary politics and international relations, and the history of political ideas. This degree balances a strong grounding in the two component subjects with the opportunity to explore the ways in which historical and political understanding together illuminate the modern world.

Further information can be found on the History Faculty website and is summarised in the University Undergraduate Prospectus.

Churchill is an ideal place to study History and Politics in combination. We have a number of Fellows whose academic interests span the two disciplines – including specialists in British and European politics, imperial and world history, and the history of political thought – and students in both subjects have achieved impressive exam results in recent years.

The College has many excellent facilities, including a well-stocked library. Its most unique asset, however, is the Churchill Archives Centre, which holds the papers of Sir Winston Churchill, Baroness Thatcher, and Sir John Major, together with a host of other politicians, civil servants, diplomats, military leaders and scientists of the twentieth century. The Archives Centre also regularly stages lectures and symposiums by distinguished speakers, and other relevant events and exhibitions.


From this degree, you’ll acquire a range of skills that are attractive to employers. You will learn to evaluate and discriminate between types of evidence, to cope with large amounts of information, to work independently and with others, and to present arguments clearly and persuasively.

Recent cognate graduates have gone on to careers in the media, law, international organisations, diplomacy, public administration, finance, teaching, and the charity sector.

Suggested reading

  • John Arnold, History: a Very Short Introduction (2000)
  • Peter Burke (ed.), New Perspectives on Historical Writing (1991)
  • David Cannadine (ed.), What is History Now? (2002)
  • Richard J. Evans, In Defence of History (1997)
  • John Tosh, The Pursuit of History (1991) — 2002 revised edition
  • Bernard Crick, Democracy: A Very Short Introduction (2002)
  • David Runciman, The Politics of Good Intentions (2006)
  • Alan Ryan, On Politics (2012)
  • Jussi Hanhimaki et al., An International History of the Twentieth Century and Beyond (2008)
  • James Mayall, World Politics: Progress and its Limits (1992)


For more information and for all admissions enquiries, please contact the Admissions Office.

Admissions Office


Photograph:The Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate, shortly before its fall in 1989. Unknown photographer, Reproduction by Lear 21 at English Wikipedia.