History and Politics
History and Politics at Cambridge is an exciting new Honours degree which will run for the first time in October 2017. It offers subjects from our highly-regarded History and Politics and International Relations courses, together with bespoke papers which will allow students to explore the space between the two disciplines. Students will develop skills in analysing the operation of power and politics across histories, institutions, and societies around the world. Students will also be able to build strengths in understanding the nature of evidence, methodology, and approaches in both History and Politics. They will be able to choose from a wide range of topics in British, European, American and World history and politics.
Cambridge is uniquely placed to teach History and Politics and International Relations together. Both Faculties are widely regarded as world-leading. The History Faculty (http://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/) is one of the largest in the United Kingdom and is consistently ranked as the best in research and teaching assessments. It has internationally recognised experts in all relevant fields of study. The Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) (http://www.polis.cam.ac.uk) is a medium-sized department with about 30 academics with a huge range of specialisms. It has particular research strengths in international politics, international history and international law, comparative politics and political thought.
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 new 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.
Homerton has embraced the new History and Politics degree course, and will be aiming to take around three or four students each year. There are already flourishing groups at Homerton of both History students and students in the Human, Social and Political Sciences, around half of whom specialise in Politics and International Relations, so there is plenty of activity at the College related to both halves of the new degree.
Students studying History and Politics will have two Directors of Studies to guide them through the course. William Foster in History, and Christopher Brooke in Politics.
Teaching at Homerton
Christopher Brooke is Director of Studies in Politics, and a Fellow at Homerton. He teaches in the Department of Politics and International Studies, where he is University Lecturer in Political Theory. His research covers a wide range of topics in modern European political thought, and his major project right now is a history of distributive political theory since 1699. At Homerton, he usually teaches the first year course on The Modern State and Its Alternatives as well as the specialist history of political thought papers to second- and third-year students.
William Foster is Vice-Principal of Homerton while continuing to serve as Director of Studies for History and College Lecturer. Dr Foster has taught History in Cambridge for over ten years and also has extensive teaching experience in the US, most notably at the University of Pennsylvania and at Cornell. He teaches modern American and modern European History and is currently writing a one-volume history of the CIA.
Homerton Fellows associated with the subject
Rosemary Grey is an Associate Fellow of the college and an occasional Supervisor in American History. A 2009 graduate of Homerton, she was a Thouron Award Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania where she received an MA in American History in 2011. Along with William Foster, she is currently researching a multi-generational biography of the Earls Grey of Howick and Fallodon and their significance in British imperial and American history.
Maja Spanu is a Junior Research Fellow in International Relations at Homerton, where she is completing a book on the politics of self-determination in the twentieth century international system. She also co-convenes the International Relations and History network here in Cambridge.
Applicants for History and Politics will take a written assessment, usually administered in their schools or colleges in the November in the year that they apply. Please see the University page under ‘Admissions assessments’:
After reviewing application materials and receiving the results of the written test, the College may invite you to attend for interviews in December. Applicants have two interviews, each with two interviewers present. They aim at finding out how you think about things, not at finding out how much you know; and although they come at the end of the Admissions process, they are not the most important element of that process, and decisions about whom to admit are made on an all-things-considered basis, with regard to the application in its totality.
Those who are successful in the admissions competition normally receive the standard Cambridge conditional offer, requiring them to achieve A*AA in their A-Levels. IB offers are usually for a total of 40-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level, with equivalent offers for applicants who are taking other examinations.