History and Politics

History and Politics at Cambridge is an exciting Honours degree which 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 across institutions and societies around the world, and explore how different forms of evidence can be used to understand the past and the present. They 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 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.

History and Politics at Caius

Caius is one of the best-resourced colleges for the History and Politics joint degree. Students taking this course will join the sizeable Caius community of undergraduates in History (around 35), as well as the relatively large cohort of students studying Human, Social and Political Sciences (around 15). They will benefit from the advice and guidance of two Directors of Studies through the course of their work. Students in History and Politics will be able to attend and participate in two student-led subject societies: the Caius Politics Society and the Caius History Society. Speakers invited to address students debate contemporary political events, while bringing to life the most innovative new research in history.

Caius has the distinction of having two fellows specialising in Politics: Dr Carsten Schulz, covering international relations (with special interest in Latin American contributions to international norms and institutions), and Dr Ruth Scurr, specialising in the analysis of politics and history of political thought (focusing on the French Revolution and conceptions of early social science). Their interests intersect well with History Fellows, including Professor Annabel Brett, a historian of political thought; Dr Bronwen Everill, a historian of the Atlantic; Professor Sujit Sivasundaram, a historian of the Pacific and Indian oceans, who studies imperialism; Dr Melissa Calaresu, an early modern historian concerned with political thought; and Professor Peter Mandler, a British historian.

Teaching Fellows


Applicants will have a variety of relevant examination qualifications, though not necessarily in both Politics and History. At Caius we welcome applications from candidates with a wide range of subject backgrounds, but you will be expected to demonstrate an interest in both subjects and will be assessed on your potential to succeed in them.

All applicants invited to interview will sit an At-Interview History Assessment. You should normally expect two interviews, one in each subject. The interviews shouldn't be daunting: they give you a chance to explain why you want to take this course, and help us find out more about how you've followed up this interest and potential directions you might like to follow. They also help us understand the way you think and address questions you may not have covered in your studies at school or college. For more information on our interview process, including helpful videos of mock interviews, check the Cambridge University guidance page.

You will be asked to submit two examples of recent relevant work, which your interviewers will see. We will request this and give you further details once you apply.

For more information contact our Admissions Office or the Directors of Studies in History (Dr Melissa Calaresu) or Politics (Dr Ruth Scurr).