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Undergraduate prospectus 2021

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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.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2020
UCAS code
T7V2
Duration
Full-time: 4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2020
Location
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

Grades
AAA
Subjects
No specific subjects.
At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
GCSEs
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

Contextual offer

Grades
ABB (more about contextual offers)
Subjects
No specific subjects.
GCSEs
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

Points
38
Subjects
A score of 18 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5.

Contextual offer

Points
34 (more about contextual offers)
Subjects
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.

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.

Covid-19 study abroad updates
For this academic year, if you were due to study abroad, you should have been contacted by your department with more information. Further guidance can be found on FAQs for 20/21 Study Abroad students about coronavirus (COVID-19).    If you are planning to study abroad in 2021/22, UCL and your department will be in contact with you at the start of the upcoming academic year with information on the application process.      If you plan to study abroad in future years, UCL and your department will provide relevant information and guidance nearer to the time.   

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

Optional modules

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

  • Gender, Politics and Society of the Americas
  • Politics of the United States
  • Building the American Nation: The United States, 1798-1920
  • Colonial and Revolutionary North America, 1607-1787
  • London and the United States: the Difference a City Makes
  • Protest Politics in the USA from the New Deal to Trump
  • Revolutions in Twentieth-Century Latin America
  • The United States and the Cold War
  • Political Economy of Economic Development
  • International Politics of Latin America
  • The Caribbean in the Shadow of the North: Caribbean-U.S. Relations in the Twentieth Century
  • 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 options from Year 2 and:

  • Queer USA: The Politics of Sexual Minorities in the United States since the Great Depression
  • American Radicalisms, 1945-1989
  • Crime, Violence, and Control in the Americas
  • We Shall Overcome: The Civil Rights Movement in America
  • Race and Resistance in Black Atlantic Thought
  • Che Guevara: The Making of a Revolutionary
  • Money and Politics in the Americas
  • Human Rights in the Americas

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available

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.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Assessment

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).

Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    

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

Careers

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.

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 2020/21 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 2020/21 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2020/21)
Overseas students
£21,260 (2020/21)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

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).

Funding

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.

Departmental scholarships

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.

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 2020



Selection

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.


Page last modified on 12 March 2020