Power, conflict and political concepts
Why take this course?
Between Brexit, major realignments in the Labour and Conservative parties, the rise (and tribulations) of smaller parties such as UKIP, tensions over issues such as migration, NHS funding and the future of the British Union, there has never been a more interesting time to immerse yourself in the study of politics. A politics degree covers all these and more, focusing on thorny questions such as what is justice? Who should govern? What economic system should we adopt? and much more.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Enjoy cutting edge teaching provision on recent major political questions such as Brexit, leadership in British political parties, the political economy of the EU, political ideas and ideologies and the future of the UK.
- Study with trained lecturers employing innovative and exciting teaching techniques such as interactive lectures, simulations, scenario exercises, debate-discussions and the use of audio-visual sources.
- Take part in ‘pop-up seminars’ on new topical issues and get the chance to publish your work in our student journal.
- Gain career enhancing skills alongside your academic study with skills training ‘built-in’ to courses, work experience and the possibility to learn another language.
- Undertake a work placement or a period of study abroad to enhance your employability.
What opportunities might it lead to?
Politics graduates go on to a range of careers in government (i.e. Home Office), local government, the NHS, teaching, think tanks and consultancy, international organisations (i.e. UN), nongovernmental organisations, public bodies, lobbying, marketing and business.
This course was an enriching, exciting and thought-provoking experience that helped me to nurture my academic abilities as well as provide enormous opportunities for my own personal development. The staff across SSHLS have been incredibly engaging across my years of study and they are exceptionally thoughtful in the support they provide.
Matthew Smith, BA (Hons) Politics 2016
Request a prospectus
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- UCAS Course Code:
- 3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
- 2018 ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
96-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. See full entry requirements
We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*
2017/18 entry: full time: £12,600 p/a**
*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 8299
- School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
All year one units are compulsory.
- Introduction to Political Thought
- Introduction to International Relations: States, Conflict and Cooperation
- Understanding Governance and Politics
- Political Economy in a Globalising World
- Current Political Issues
- Global Issues
Alongside year two's core study, you are able to select options that shape your degree to the issues or countries that most interest you.
- Ideology and Politics
- Bending the Truth a Little? Researching Politics and International Relations
Options from a range, including:
- International Politics
- International Politics of the Middle East
- Conflict and Disaster
- Russian and Eurasian Politics
- From Revolution to Dictatorship: Russia and the Soviet Union 1917-1941
- Fighting Over Europe: Parties, Buiness, NGOs and Lobbying in the EU
- Civil Rights USA
- Comparing Neo-Nazi, Extremist and Populist Movements in Europe
- Home and Away: US Foreign Policy
- Ideology and Politics
- Power, Politics and Policy in Practice
- Democratisation in Latin America
- France: Crisis, Renewal and Reinvention (1936 to the Present)
- British Politics, 1945 to Today: Leadership, Personality, Policy and Power
- Germany in European and Global Context (1871 to the Present)
- The End of the European Order? Challenges and Threats to European States and Nations
- State and Society in East Asia
- Learning From Experience (Faculty Wide Option)
- Languages (University Wide Option)
In year three, you will write your dissertation, or undertake a work-based project, alongside further core and optional study.
- Democracy and Democratisation
- Nazi Germany
- Transitional Justice & Human Rights
- China and East Asian Economies
- Global Political Economy
- Global Journalism and Human Rights
- Digital Media and Democracy
- Money, Government and Power
- Negotiation and Lobbying in the EU: A Simulation Game
- Migration in East Asia
- Strategic Studies
- Security Challenges in the Twenty-First Century
- Regional Powers, Politics and Security in a Multi-Polar World
- Looking for Utopia, Finding Dystopa? Ideas and Ideologies in the New Millennium
- Protest, Dissent and Solidarity Beyond Borders
- Learning from Experience (Faculty Wide Option)
*Please note that whilst a wide range of options will be offered in every year, there will inevitably be some variation in the availability of individual units at any given time.
Our teaching approach involves a range of small and large group learning environments with lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You will be encouraged to participate fully in group discussions in order to develop your communication skills.
The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:
- Year one students: 26% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 74% studying independently and 0% on work placement
- Year two students: 21% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 79% studying independently and 0% on work placement
- Year three students: 14% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 86% studying independently and 0% on work placement
We use a range of assessment methods including article reviews, essays, projects, briefing papers, individual and group presentations and a 10,000-word dissertation. Examinations include open, pre-seen papers and closed, traditional examinations. This diversity of assessment will allow you to develop a range of writing styles.
Our strong tradition of providing a high standard of guidance and support through your personal tutor, whilst encouraging you to develop as an independent learner through the later stages of your degree, will help you develop the techniques necessary for the assessed work.
The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:
- Year one students: 25% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 67% by coursework
- Year two students: 15% by written exams, 5% by practical exams and 80% by coursework
- Year three students: 0% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 100% by coursework
Facilities & Features
The Study Centre
A suite of rooms with a comfy seating area, desks where you can work, printers, Mac workstations and access to the wireless network so you can log in using your own laptop. There are also several study rooms where you can work on group projects, alongside access to the University 3rd Space.
You will be taught by specialist staff who are actively undertaking research in this field, ensuring your learning keeps you abreast of the latest developments. Staff are members of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), the UK's largest research centre of its kind.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Budgeting for your studies
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
Other costs to consider
There may be travel costs for placements undertaken during your course. This will be in the region of £500.
Careers & Opportunities
You can expect to pursue careers in local, national or international government, as well as teaching or lecturing, research, voluntary organisations and NGOs. Many also enter areas such as advertising and marketing, PR, media, banking and financial services.
Our graduates have gone on to jobs as:
- politician’s assistant
- public affairs consultant
- social researcher
- information officer
- conference producer
- local government administrator
This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option, which lets you earn credits toward your degree for work/research placements, volunteer roles or internships undertaken alongside your studies. The option gives you the opportunity to enhance your employability skills, to reflect on the ways in which you've done so, and to learn to express this to potential employers.
The School of Social Historical and Literary Studies can offer you a number of work experience opportunities in a range of local organizations during your degree course. Currently these include projects at the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the New Theatre Royal, with local government departments and political groups, and a number of our students have worked on small research projects for the local community.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.