The BSc IR is a 'single-subject' degree, for which the Department of International Relations is wholly responsible. The BSc IR and History (IR&H) is a 'joint' degree. It is constructed to ensure that students study an approximately equal number of courses from International History and International Relations. Admissions, tutorial and administrative aspects of the IR&H degree are run by the Department of International History.
Over the three years of the degree, IR&H students take many of the same IR courses that are compulsory for BSc IR students, including ‘International Relations: Theories and Debates', 'Contemporary Issues in International Relations', ‘International Political Theory’, ‘Foreign Policy Analysis’, ‘International Organisations’, ‘International Security’, and ‘International Political Economy’.
The main difference between the two programmes is the amount of history to be studied. On the BSc IR, students take a compulsory History course (either HY113 or HY116) and may take one other history course in their first year; and they may, but do not have to, take a history course as their outside option in each of the following two years.
So for BSc IR students, there is a maximum of four history courses, and a minimum of one, over their three years of study. In contrast, IR&H students have to take HY116 and may take two more history courses in their first year; have to take two history courses (chosen from a range of options) in their second year; and have to take one, and may take two, history courses in their third year.
So for IR&H students, history is studied to a minimum of four courses and a maximum of seven courses, with IR courses making up most of the balance of the curriculum. There is correspondingly less opportunity to study subjects other than history and IR. In the BSc IR, on the other hand, beyond the IR core curriculum there are a number of specialist options in the third year that allow you to study a wide range of topics or focus on a particular issue-area.
Students on both programmes choose a range of modules in their third years, although IR&H students take a maximum of two full IR courses (or the equivalent in half-units). The dissertation for IR&H students is conducted through the International History department.
Please note that IR&H students do not have an automatic right of transfer into the BSc IR degree programme (but please see FAQ Qn 21 below).