Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2019

History and Politics of the Americas with a Year Abroad BA

This new four-year programme offers an innovative curriculum that aims to provide understanding of the historical, political, social, and international issues concerning the Americas. Our research-based, multidisciplinary teaching combines education in history, social sciences, research methods, and languages to prepare students for a wide range of global careers. This programme enhances students' learning and cultural awareness with a compulsory year abroad.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2019
UCAS code
Full-time: 4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2019
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

No specific subjects.
(contextual offer)
ABB (more about contextual offers)
(contextual offer)
No specific subjects.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A score of 18 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5.
(contextual offer)
34 (more about contextual offers)
(contextual offer)
A score of 16 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the credits in the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects

Advanced Highers grades A,A,A (or Advanced Highers grades A,A plus Highers at grades A,A,A)

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels, at grades AAA

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • The Institute of the Americas is the largest centre for the study of the Americas (including Canada, the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean) in the UK.

  • Our programme provides a rigorous introduction to history and politics, as well as the possibility to specialise in one of these subjects after year one. You will gain new knowledge and expertise in your subject area as you take additional modules.

  • You will enjoy an interdisciplinary environment designed for both home and international students who are interested in professional and academic careers in diplomacy, government, business, international charities, NGOs, and the education sector.

  • You will spend your third year abroad in a top-ranked university in the Caribbean, Latin America, or North America.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Our aim is to provide a thorough grounding and opportunities for specialisation in history and politics. Alongside the development of disciplinary expertise, the degree programme promotes cross-disciplinary insight. You will learn how polities and societies evolve, how different disciplinary perspectives relate to each other, and how these perspectives can combine to give a more nuanced understanding of the Americas and their global relevance.

In years one and two you will take two core modules each year plus options in history and politics. You will also have the opportunity to study a language relevant to your year-abroad destination.

You will spend year three studying relevant modules at a host institution in North America, Latin America or the Caribbean.

In your final year, you will take an advanced module, designed to encourage you to engage with contemporary issues and share your knowledge with audiences outside UCL. You will also complete a dissertation and take history and politics optional modules.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or compulsory module(s)

  • Encountering the Americas: Key Themes and Concepts
  • Introduction to Politics

Optional modules

Optional modules may include:

  • Languages (Spanish, Portuguese, or French)
  • History of Latin America, c. 1830-c. 1930 or History and Politics of Latin America, c.1930 to present
  • The Making of Modern America: The United States since 1920

Core or compulsory module(s)

  • Research Methods for International Studies
  • Politics and Society in the Americas

Optional modules

You will select from a range of optional modules, which may include optional modules from year 1 and: 

  • Building the American Nation: The United States, 1798-1920
  • The Making of Modern America: The United States since 1920
  • London and the United States: the Difference a City Makes
  • The History and Politics of US Popular Culture in the Twentieth Century
  • Protest Politics in the USA from the New Deal to the Tea Party
  • Revolutions in Twentieth-Century Latin America
  • Political Economy of Latin America: Institutions and Economic Growth
  • International Politics of Latin America
  • Democratisation in Latin America
  • Power and Politics in Everyday Life: Topics in the Anthropology of Latin America
  • Language (Spanish, Portuguese, or French)

Year abroad

Core or compulsory module(s)

  • Contemporary Issues and Texts in the Americas
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

Optional modules may include:

  • Che Guevara: The Making of a Revolutionary
  • The New Deal: The USA and the Legacy of the Great Depression
  • American Radicalisms 1945-1989
  • Race and Resistance in Black Atlantic Thought
  • Crime, Violence, and Control in the Americas
  • Queer USA: The Politics of Sexual Minorities in the United States since World War Two
  • We Shall Overcome: The Civil Rights Movement in America
  • Money and Politics in the Americas
  • Human Rights in the Americas
  • The History and Politics of US Popular Culture in the Twentieth Century
  • Protest Politics in the USA from the New Deal to the Tea Party
  • International Politics of Latin America
  • Democratisation in Latin America
  • Political Ecologies of the Americas
  • Revolutions in Twentieth-Century Latin America

Your learning

Teaching is based on lectures, seminar discussions, workshops, and individual coursework feedback. Core year one modules are taught comparatively, thematically and jointly by disciplinary and regional experts. As the degree progresses, seminars become smaller, more focused and students will follow their research interests to specialise in disciplines and regions of their choice.


Assessment will be based on various types of written coursework and formal examinations, with learning also evaluated through speaking contributions and oral presentations. Students’ ability to engage with external audiences will be assessed in the year four core module. There is an emphasis on the acquisition of research skills via the completion of a research methods module (year two) and a 10,000-word dissertation (year four).

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: History and Politics of the Americas with a Year Abroad BA.


Our graduates, equipped with both multidisciplinary competences and area expertise, will be well situated for careers in the private and public sectors (in fields including finance, politics, diplomacy, teaching, NGOs, and international organisations). We also anticipate they will be well equipped to move on to further study and research.


As the first cohort of students for this programme will not graduate until 2022, there is no career destination information currently available. Please see first destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) from History programmes at UCL for a selection of representative careers.

Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2018/19 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2018/19 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2018/19)
Overseas students
£19,390 (2018/19)

Overseas fees for the 2019/20 academic year are expected to be available in July 2018. Undergraduate UK/EU fees are capped by the UK Government and are expected to be available in October 2018. Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Additional costs

If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc. on this programme, please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Departmental scholarships

The scholarships listed below are for 2018 entry. Funding opportunities for students applying for 2019 entry will be published when they are available.

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2019


Your application will be considered on its merits, taking into account your interest in and suitability for the degree. This should be demonstrated through your personal statement, referee's report, and achieved and predicted grades. You should be able to demonstrate an enthusiasm for the study of at least one region of the Americas covered by the degree (the Caribbean, Latin America, and the US), as well as curiosity about those areas with which you are less familiar.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.