UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


UG Handbook (History, Politics & Economics)

History, Politics and Economics Handbook

In this degree you will get a unique opportunity to develop expertise in the disciplines of economics, politics, and history. You will learn to apply this expertise to understanding the social, cultural, economic, and political world around us, developing skills essential for a whole range of future careers. Particular attention is focused on the study of the areas with which the School of Slavonic and East European Studies is primarily concerned: the countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, including Russia and Germany. You will also have the opportunity to learn an East European language and to gain deeper insights into the major socio-economic and political issues such as the interaction between the economy, culture and political institutions and their joint impact on the lives of millions.

The current structure of the degree requires you to take 360 credits over 3 years, 120 credits in each year. 

You will also:

  • Learn the basics of an East European language.

  • Achieve an understanding of the disciplines of History, Politics and Economics.

  • Write a dissertation based on your own research with reference to the region.

The basic principle of the BA HPE degree is progression from one year to the next along defined disciplinary pathways. Knowledge and skills learned in one year provide building blocks for more advanced study in each subsequent year.

Please note students can only register for 120 credits in total per year of study and optional modules are subject to change.

First year students are encouraged to do Level 4 modules in their first year as these are preparatory modules for your subsequent years.

Year One

Compulsory Modules (90 credits):

Optional Modules: select from the list below, including languages (30 credits)

In year 1 the department offers - SESS0080 Mathematics for Economists (0 credits Term 1)

This is an introductory course which provides students mathematical skills required to undertake intermediate microeconomics and econometrics in future study. The course caters for those with or without A-level mathematics. The course covers basic algebra, linear and non-linear equations, simultaneous equations, exponential and logarithmic functional forms, rules of differentiation, partial differentiation, as well as unconstrained and constrained optimisation. The course concludes with integration and matrix algebra. Each topic is taught with economic application, involving exercises and tests in both pure mathematics and mathematics applied to economic problems. The module carries zero credits, and it is elective for 1st-year History, Politics and Economics students undertaking Economics path. It is advised this module is selected by students who do not have a A grade at A-level or the equivalent qualification.

Politics and Sociology Modules

NB. The Politics and Sociology modules are normally prerequisites for second-year modules in their respective fields. If you wish to pursue the International Relations subjects you must take SESS0082 or you will not be able to proceed with these in years 2 and 3.

Economics and Business Modules

NB SESS0010 gives you access to New Venture Creation in year 2. Please note for many Year 2 modules you will need a Statistics module we would recommend taking STAT0021 to any student wishing to specialise in Economics.

Language and Culture Modules

Please note we cannot guarantee that all languages and levels will be available every year.

History Modules

Level 5 Survey modules are open to year 1 students.  All are 30 credits. 

In order to progress from Year One, students must have passed all 120 credits (including any condoned fails).  To be awarded a degree with honours (classified) in the field of study (HPE) the student must have taken and passed all non-condonable modules, with the overall module pass mark of 40 or above. 

Languages at UCL - Language modules may be taken from the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE).


Year Two

In your second year, you will choose your track, specializing in two of the three disciplines embedded in HPE. Whichever two you choose, you must complete at least 30 credits in each of the two subjects. In total, you must choose a total of 120 credits.

All students, regardless of track, must take one of the following core modules (30 credits):

History and Politics Track

At least 30 credits from the following History modules:

Compulsory Politics module (15 credits)

Plus one optional Politics module from (15 or 30 credits):

History and Economics Track

At least 30 credits in History and 30 credits in Economics (note that you are required to choose, as a compulsory module, either SESS0020 or SESS0021)

At least 30 credits from the following History modules:

Choose from ONE compulsory Economics module (15 credits):

 Plus ONE of the following optional Economics modules:

Politics and Economics Track 

At least 30 credits in Politics and 30 credits in Economics (note that SESS0033 is compulsory and that you are also required to choose, as a compulsory module, either SESS0020 or SESS0021)

Compulsory Politics module (15 credits) 

Plus ONE optional Politics modules (15 credits):

Choose from one compulsory Economics module (15 credits):

Plus one of the optional Economics modules (15 credits):

All students can take up to 30 credits of HPE electives, from SSEES options, including a language, or from another UCL department.

Please note students can take up to 30 credits of outside modules in their 2nd and 3rd years combined. 

Year Three

Compulsory modules (30 credits):

Compulsory Dissertation (30 credits)

30 credits of Optional modules related to Dissertation discipline from SSEES options.

30 credits of HPE electives, from SSEES options, including a language, or from another UCL department.

Please note that students require 90 credits of Level 6 modules to be considered for an honours degree.