International Relations and Politics textbooks
UCAS Code
L200
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2020

Overview

From Brexit to alternative truth, the NHS to the case for global intervention in North Korea, recent years have seen politics become increasingly divisive. If you want to understand why, and get an understanding of how the politics world works, this is the perfect course for you.

On this BA (Hons) Politics Degree Course you’ll study the contemporary challenges that politicians and the public face, as well as the historic flashpoints that led to the current governance of our society.

You'll finish the course primed for a career in the world of politics, but also with a raft of transferable skills sought after in sectors such as teaching, journalism and risk analysis.

What you'll experience

On this Politics course you’ll:

  • Take your interest in politics and add the skills and knowledge you need for a successful career
  • Keep up to date with the latest topics and issues in international relations by taking part in 'pop-up seminars' with staff and your peers
  • Learn from staff who are members of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), the UK's largest research centre of its kind
  • Have the opportunity to publish your work in our student journal
  • Develop career-enhancing skills alongside your academic study with skills training, opportunities to do work experience and the chance to learn another language
  • Do a detailed academic analysis of a major contemporary political issues such as the role of gender in politics, radicalisation and the rise of the far right
  • Tailor your degree by choosing optional modules that match your interests and career ambitions
  • Have the chance to study abroad at one of our partner institutions – for example, Science Po Strasbourg (France), Maastricht University (Netherlands), Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) and University of Szeged (Hungary)

You can also:

  • Diversify your skill set by learning another language as part of your course
  • Immerse yourself in another culture by studying abroad

Careers and opportunities

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry.

What jobs can you do with a Politics degree?

The skills you’ll learn on this course lend themselves to many different industries. Previous graduates have gone onto work in jobs such as:

  • parliamentary researcher
  • politician’s assistant
  • public affairs consultant
  • social researcher
  • information officer
  • conference producer
  • local government administrator

You can work in areas such as national and local government, teaching, consultancy, marketing and business, and in organisations such as the UN, lobbying organisations, the NHS and think tanks.

After you graduate, you'll get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

The lecturers were great and made the university experience what it was. The curriculum was varied and they really knew how to push you to achieve great things.

Antony Innes , BA Hons Politics student

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) Politics degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Modules

Core modules in this year include:

  • Political Thought
  • Analysing Politics: Britain and Beyond
  • Global Development
  • Key Themes in International Relations
  • Politics and IR: Academic Enrichment Programme
  • Performing like a Pro: Skills for Academic and Professional Success 

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • British Political Leadership
  • Bending the Truth a Little? Researching Politics and International Relations

Optional modules in this year currently include:

  • China and East Asian Economies
  • Comparing Extremist and Populist Movements in the Western World
  • Democratisation in Latin America
  • East Asian States and Societies
  • Economics and Politics of Development
  • From Revolution to Dictatorship - Russia & the Soviet Union 1917-1941
  • Gender in the Developing World
  • Global Environmental Issues and Concerns
  • Ideology and Politics
  • International Politics of the Middle East
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Modern Foreign Language
  • Learning From Experience
  • Politics and IR: Academic Enrichment Programme 
  • Politics and Policy in Action
  • Russian & Eurasian Politics
  • Study Abroad 
  • The French Exception: Contemporary French Politics and Society
  • US Foreign Policy: From the Great War to 9/11
  • US Politics

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Autocracy And Democracy 

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Africa Revisited: Nation Building and 'State Fragility' in Post-Colonial Africa
  • Comparative Public Policy and Public Administration 
  • Digital Media and Democracy
  • Dissertation / Major Project 
  • Ethnicity Class & Culture in the Developing World
  • France in the World: Global Actor or Global Maverick?
  • Global Capitalism: Past, Present and Future
  • Independent Project 
  • Learning From Experience
  • Looking for Utopia, Finding Dystopia? Ideas and Ideologies in the New Millennium
  • Negotiation and Lobbying in the EU: A Simulation Game
  • NGOs and Social Movements
  • Politics and IR: Academic Enrichment Programme 
  • Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates
  • Security Challenges in the Twenty-First Century
  • Strategic Management and Leadership
  • Strategic Studies
  • Transitional Justice & Human Rights

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

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 have been incredibly engaging across my years of study and they are exceptionally thoughtful in the support they provide.

Matthew Smith, BA Hons Politics student

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you plan your career and find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies. Previous students have done projects for community groups and worked with political parties and local government.

On this course, you can earn credits towards your degree for work, research placements, volunteer roles or internships you take during your studies.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement sandwich year, to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Previous students have secured placements at:

  • The Ministry of Defence
  • The House of Commons
  • National Museum of the Royal Navy

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free English for Academic Purposes programme to improve your English further.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • workshops

You'll take part in discussions with large and small groups, developing your communication skills.

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • article reviews
  • essays
  • projects
  • briefing papers
  • individual and group presentations
  • 10,000 word dissertation

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 25% written exams, 8% practical exams and 67% coursework
  • Year 2 students: 15% written exams, 5% practical exams and 80% coursework
  • Year 3 students: 100% coursework

Entry requirements​

BA (Hons) Politics degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 96-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2020 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £14,300 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

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.

For optional placements or placements abroad, you may need to pay additional costs, such as travel costs. These costs will vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. They'll range from £50 to £1000.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2020, apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – L200
  • our institution code – P80

If you’d prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
  • tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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