Politics BA (Hons)
BA Hons Politics
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 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 units 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.
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 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.
What you'll study
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.
Core units in this year include:
- Political Thought
- Analysing Politics: Britain and Beyond
- Global Development
- Key Themes in International Relations
- How to Study Political Science
- Performing like a Pro: Effective Professional Practice
There are no optional units in this year.
Core units in this year include:
- Ideology and Politics
- Bending the Truth a Little? Researching Politics and International Relations
Optional units in this year currently include:
- British Political Leadership
- Civil Rights USA
- Comparing Neo-Nazi, Extremist and Populist Movements in Europe
- Democratisation in Latin America
- Erasmus Study Abroad Programme
- Ethnicity and Conflict Resolution
- France: Crisis, Renewal and Reinvention - 1936 to the Present
- From Revolution to Dictatorship: Russia and the Soviet Union 1917-1941
- Germany in European and Global Context - 1871 to the Present
- Home and Away: USA Foreign and Domestic Policy
- International Politics of the Middle East
- Languages (University Wide Option)
- Learning from Experience (University Wide Option)
- Politics and Policy in Action
- Russian and Eurasian Politics
- State and Society in East Asia
- The End of the European Order? Challenges & Threats to European States and Nations
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:
- Democracy and Democratisation
- NGO's and Social Movements OR Looking For Utopia, Finding Dystopia? Ideas and Ideologies in the New Millennium
Optional units in this year currently include:
- Chinese and East Asian Economies
- Comparative Public Policy and Public Administration
- Digital Media and Democracy
- Global Capitalism: Past, Present and Future
- Global Journalism and Human Rights
- Learning from Experience (Faculty Wide Option)
- Migration in East Asia
- Money, Government and Power
- Nazi Germany
- Negotiation and Lobbying in the EU: A Simulation Game
- Security Challenges in the Twenty-First Century
- Strategic Management and Leadership
- Strategic Studies
- Transitional Justice and 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 units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
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.
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.
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.
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
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.
Teaching methods on this course include:
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 mid-May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
- Mid-May to early 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
- 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 units 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
Tuition fees (2019 start)
- UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £13,900 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.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
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.
If you do an optional placement unit during your study, you’ll need to pay additional costs.
These costs will vary depending on the location and length of the placement. You’ll normally pay £50–£2000 to cover travel, accommodation and living costs.
To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:
- the UCAS course code – L200
- our institution code – P80
You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.
Not quite ready to apply?
Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.
If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can 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.
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- Subject area
- History politics and international relations