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    Got an unconditional offer to study History and Political science this year at Birmingham but have received no information on a reading list or emails from the department. Wondered if anyone was in the same situation and if not could somewhere please tell me where I could find a reading list Also people applying to study/ studying History and Politics rally on this thread!
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    (Original post by Gar3th)
    Got an unconditional offer to study History and Political science this year at Birmingham but have received no information on a reading list or emails from the department. Wondered if anyone was in the same situation and if not could somewhere please tell me where I could find a reading list Also people applying to study/ studying History and Politics rally on this thread!
    Heya, just bumping this thread in the hopes that someone will see it!
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    Just finished my first year of History and Politics, so unless stuff changes a lot by september I may be some help.

    First of all, your first lectures and seminars for each module will go over what they want you to have a copy of, so don't worry about finding yourself without suggested reading.

    This follows on to point number two: there is quite a big disparity between what they want/expect you to own, and what you're most likely to need.

    Assuming the course structure is the same, your three politics modules will be Understanding Politics, Classical Political Thought, and Introduction to International Relations. For each of these (and for history, more on which later), lecturers will set you weekly readings which will only very rarely come from a textbook. Most of what they'd like (they provide a very wide reading list; it's up to you how many sources you tackle) is available somewhere online, or there'll usually be some kind of paper copy. So, for weekly readings, there isn't particularly anything you'll need to own.

    However, for revision it may be useful to own something (and for when you're able to do some kind of topic reading out of a textbook). Below are my own recommendations:
    Understanding Politics: This is split into two halves. The first is the 'sciencey' side of it, where you'll do things like pluralism, marxism (the concept of the state), epistemology and discourse. I'd recommend Colin Hay's Political Analysis if you wanted to own a book. The second half is ideologies, for which Wright and Eatwell, Contemporary Political Ideologies is quite useful. (quick disclaimer, AVOID AMAZON. Abebooks is very good for textbooks if you don't mind not having an up to date edition, which isn't essential.
    Classical Political Thought: I'd say a survey book isn't actually essential, as chances are it won't correspond to the module structure. Assuming it's Chris Finlay again, provision of everything you'll need will be excellent. Likewise, it could be useful to purchase one of the studied texts (Plato's Republic; Aristotle's Politics; Machiavelli's The Prince and/or Discourses; Hobbes' Leviathan; some stuff by Rousseau and Locke) but again, since everything is online unless you like to annotate a paper copy this won't be essential
    Intro to IR:They will tell you to buy many books for this. Don't. Dunne, Kurki and Smith's IR Theory: Discipline and Diversity or The Globalization of World Politics would be more than enough.


    History is more of a variable: have you picked your Autumn and Spring modules yet? (can also fill you in on the other bit of the History side in a little bit; this is getting to be something of a monster post)

    Hope this has been of some help. The most important thing is that the vast majority of what you need will be online, signposted by the various lecturers and seminar leaders, for each week.

    If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.
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    (Original post by Grauniad)
    Just finished my first year of History and Politics, so unless stuff changes a lot by september I may be some help.

    First of all, your first lectures and seminars for each module will go over what they want you to have a copy of, so don't worry about finding yourself without suggested reading.

    This follows on to point number two: there is quite a big disparity between what they want/expect you to own, and what you're most likely to need.

    Assuming the course structure is the same, your three politics modules will be Understanding Politics, Classical Political Thought, and Introduction to International Relations. For each of these (and for history, more on which later), lecturers will set you weekly readings which will only very rarely come from a textbook. Most of what they'd like (they provide a very wide reading list; it's up to you how many sources you tackle) is available somewhere online, or there'll usually be some kind of paper copy. So, for weekly readings, there isn't particularly anything you'll need to own.

    However, for revision it may be useful to own something (and for when you're able to do some kind of topic reading out of a textbook). Below are my own recommendations:
    Understanding Politics: This is split into two halves. The first is the 'sciencey' side of it, where you'll do things like pluralism, marxism (the concept of the state), epistemology and discourse. I'd recommend Colin Hay's Political Analysis if you wanted to own a book. The second half is ideologies, for which Wright and Eatwell, Contemporary Political Ideologies is quite useful. (quick disclaimer, AVOID AMAZON. Abebooks is very good for textbooks if you don't mind not having an up to date edition, which isn't essential.
    Classical Political Thought: I'd say a survey book isn't actually essential, as chances are it won't correspond to the module structure. Assuming it's Chris Finlay again, provision of everything you'll need will be excellent. Likewise, it could be useful to purchase one of the studied texts (Plato's Republic; Aristotle's Politics; Machiavelli's The Prince and/or Discourses; Hobbes' Leviathan; some stuff by Rousseau and Locke) but again, since everything is online unless you like to annotate a paper copy this won't be essential
    Intro to IR:They will tell you to buy many books for this. Don't. Dunne, Kurki and Smith's IR Theory: Discipline and Diversity or The Globalization of World Politics would be more than enough.


    History is more of a variable: have you picked your Autumn and Spring modules yet? (can also fill you in on the other bit of the History side in a little bit; this is getting to be something of a monster post)

    Hope this has been of some help. The most important thing is that the vast majority of what you need will be online, signposted by the various lecturers and seminar leaders, for each week.

    If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.
    Just came to read your reply on here from your comment on my post. Thank you for posting this advice!! Can I just ask, is it three modules from each subject studied each year? Also, which History modules did you choose?
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    (Original post by cjmro)
    Just came to read your reply on here from your comment on my post. Thank you for posting this advice!! Can I just ask, is it three modules from each subject studied each year? Also, which History modules did you choose?
    No worries, glad I could help.

    For your first question, they've given a bit more choice. The normal route is 60 credits for each (split normally as three 20-credit modules, but some politics are an 'A' and 'B' which are 10 credits each). For second year History and Politics, this comes out as
    History
    Autumn term history option, assessed by coursework (for example, I'm doing Crusader states)
    Spring term history option, assessed by exam (Early Islamic history for me)
    Group research option (whole year), assessed by an essay and a presentation
    Politics
    Two compulsory (modern political thought and some other sciency type one) and one optional, with varying assessment methods.

    They have recently introduced the 'major/minor' system, where each year after first you can choose to do an 80/40 credit split. If you want to do a long history dissertation in final year, you have to do 80 credits of history in 2nd year, but they'll tell you about this sometime in february, if I remember right.


    Anyhow, this year I did the early medieval history (400-1000) option in autumn and the contemporary (1800-2000) in the spring. My History A (assessed by a single 10-credit essay) was on Thatcherism. You don't get to choose History A, but you'll probably do Thatcherism as well as they lump together the History and Politics students generally. You get to choose History B, the historiography module, near the end of the autumn term.

    I really enjoyed the majority of each module. By their nature, they're a whistle-stop tour of each main area so although there'll be bits you're bound to dislike, you should find a lot more you like whatever you end up doing.

    If you've picked your modules by now (don't remember when I picked them, so if you haven't already I can give you a quick rundown of the two survey modules I did) I can throw some more reading suggestions if you like.
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    (Original post by Gar3th)
    Got an unconditional offer to study History and Political science this year at Birmingham but have received no information on a reading list or emails from the department. Wondered if anyone was in the same situation and if not could somewhere please tell me where I could find a reading list Also people applying to study/ studying History and Politics rally on this thread!
    I don't know if you have come across the new Connect pages, but you should go check it out because it's super, super useful and let's you connect with other people who are applying to the same courses as you!
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    (Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
    Heya, just bumping this thread in the hopes that someone will see it!
    (Original post by Gar3th)
    Got an unconditional offer to study History and Political science this year at Birmingham but have received no information on a reading list or emails from the department. Wondered if anyone was in the same situation and if not could somewhere please tell me where I could find a reading list Also people applying to study/ studying History and Politics rally on this thread!
    Looking forward to the course?
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    (Original post by cjmro)
    Looking forward to the course?
    Yeah its going to be sick, when do we choose our modules though?
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    (Original post by Gar3th)
    Yeah its going to be sick, when do we choose our modules though?
    I have no clue, maybe before we go cus they'll have to make timetables etc wont they? No idea though
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    (Original post by cjmro)
    I have no clue, maybe before we go cus they'll have to make timetables etc wont they? No idea though
    Just asked some people and they said when you arrive at uni- you do preset modules initially like 'introduction to history' etc and only then in the Autumn term do you start your chosen modules. Stoked for it though!
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    (Original post by Gar3th)
    Just asked some people and they said when you arrive at uni- you do preset modules initially like 'introduction to history' etc and only then in the Autumn term do you start your chosen modules. Stoked for it though!
    Ooooo yeah me too!
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    Just a quick answer to the 'when do you pick your modules'. You'll get a letter from the history department a week or two after results asking you to pick your autumn (400-1000 or 1500-1800) and spring (1000-1500 or 1800-2000) modules. You pick history B (a historiography module) in december. History A, which is kind of an into and skills module, is picked for you and for History and Politics will probably be Thatcherism. Politics is pre-set and you get no choice this year (see earlier post for which ones you'll do)
 
 
 
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