Woman holding sign at environmental march

Politics BA (Hons)

On this Politics degree, you'll study challenges that politicians and the public face, and the historic flash points that led to our current system of government.

University of Portsmouth Connected Degree - 3 year course with 4th year placement

Key information

UCAS code:

L200

Typical offer:

104-112 UCAS points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

Showing content for section Overview

Overview

Understand the political issues shaping – and dividing – societies around the world, and discover the integral role politics plays in every aspect of people’s lives globally.

On this political studies degree, you’ll tackle the major issues facing people and politicians today, including Brexit, the NHS, and life in a ‘post-truth’ world. 

You’ll learn politics theory, how the political world works and look at how our Parliament functions, as well as how the law and our institutions interact. You’ll study the historic moments that have shaped our democracy – and learn the skills required to play your part in changing minds, shaping policy and fighting inequality.

Course highlights

  • Learn from staff at our Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), whose research directly impacts government policy
  • Tailor your politics degree by choosing optional modules that match your interests and career ambitions, from gender in politics, to radicalisation and the rise of the far-right
  • Attend events and talks led by people working in local, national and international government (including current MPs and staff from the US Department of Defence), and political journalism
  • Go on field trips to locations such as the Houses of Parliament 
  • Take part in a simulated ‘academic conference’, where you’ll present political theory in a paper that will be discussed with your peers
  • Have the opportunity to organise your own political campaign in your second year, on a political issue you care about
  • Choose to do a work placement year after your second or third year on this Connected Degree - we're the only UK university to offer flexible sandwich placements for undergraduates
  • Go on an exchange at a university outside the UK, such as Nagoya University in Japan, Science Po or Caen-Normandy University in France, The Hague University of Applied Sciences or University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, University of Western Carolina in the USA, Prince Edward Island University or Carleton University in Canada, or Edith Cowan University in Australia
  • Take advantage of our Institution-Wide Language Programme and learn a foreign language for free as part of your degree, choosing from Arabic, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish

100%

of students said teaching staff were very good or good at explaining things

(NSS 2023)

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

BA (Hons) Politics entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBC-BCC
  • UCAS points - 104-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels - Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and 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

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBC-BCC
  • UCAS points - 104-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels - Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects or GCSEs - see full entry requirements and 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

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Worried about your grades?

If you're not sure you meet the entry requirements, or need some help to get uni-ready, then we offer this course with a foundation year to bring you up to speed. When you successfully finish, you'll get a guaranteed place on this course.

Explore BA (Hons) Politics with Foundation Year

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

Careers and opportunities

The knowledge you gain on this politics degree, coupled with the communication, research, critical thinking and analysis skills you learn, means you'll have lots of career options when you graduate.

What sectors can you work in with a politics degree?

Many of our politics graduates go into people-focused roles, or bring their understanding of political theory to roles in research, shaping social policy or bringing about social change.

Areas you could go into include:

  • local and central government
  • consultancy and think tanks
  • lobbying
  • research and policy
  • teaching and lecturing (with additional training or further study)
  • community development
  • charity work
  • careers advice
  • advertising
  • marketing and media

Placement year (optional)

After the second or third year of your politics degree, 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.

You could also choose to set up your own business, or take a voluntary placement.

What jobs can you do with a politics degree?

Previous graduates have gone onto work in jobs such as:

  • political researcher, Houses of Parliament
  • assistant to Member of Parliament
  • civil servant, Department for the Cabinet Office
  • senior policy advisor, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • communications officer, House of Commons
  • local government administrator, Government of Jersey
  • public affairs consultant
  • social researcher
  • information officer
  • conference producer

Ongoing career support - up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work experience. Towards the end of your degree and after graduation, you'll get 1-to-1 support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to find your perfect role.
Female student at computer
Futureproof your career

What's it like to take a placement year?

Hear from some of our placement year students - Finlay, who took a placement at NBC Universal, Anastasia, who found a place at St Vincent College, and Charley, who took a role at Castle View Academy.

Find out about their experiences and hear what advice they have to give other students.

Finlay: I've loved every moment of my placement. It's probably one of the most fantastic years I've ever done in my life, probably one of the best things I've ever done.

Emily Parry: The school covers area studies, sociology, history, politics and literature. There are a number of different placement opportunities that are based locally or nationally around the UK, covering lots of different sectors and areas. So there's something there for everybody.

Finlay: Before university, I was always somebody that really didn't want to rush university. I wanted to try a placement year out, which was something that I'd love to do, and here we are today at NBC Universal. I got very, very lucky with it, but it's great.

Emily Parry: One of the misconceptions about placements and work experience for humanities students is that it would be very restricted on the kind of things that they can do.

Finlay: As a politics student, obviously I do love politics, but it's the other interests you have outside of politics. I love my films, I love my TV series, so I work in an environment selling content that I love.

Anastasia: Since about year ten, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. The work placement has definitely put it in perspective that it’s still what I want to do and it means that I don't have to go into a PGCE placement completely unaware of what I have to do. It gives me the experience of what a teacher actually needs to do and what their role is in a college.

Charley: Teaching is something I find quite natural to do. It wasn't really to do with my degree, but I found it was quite easy to interlink the two. So I was able to run a politics club here and it was really quite inspiring to see how enlightened the students were and how knowledgeable they were about current day events, and went from there, really.

Emily Parry: What I love about placements is seeing the students when they come back and you can see the development in them of the confidence that they've built and their ability to communicate and work as part of a team.

Charley: Before, I really struggled with public speaking. So standing in front of an audience is not something I would initially choose to do, and for some people, standing in front of 30 children is even more scary than standing in front of adults.

Finlay: University of Portsmouth really helped me with confidence and the ability to speak, which I've then brought into NBCU where I present in front of my managers once a month.

Charley: Having that sort of exposure was really, really important to me. For students who want to do a placement, I would just say go for it.

Anastasia: It’s a brilliant opportunity to put yourself in a workplace environment with loads and loads of support.

Finlay: Just put everything into it because it really is a year that's really helped me feel a lot more confident going into my final year of university.

Emily Parry: It's the best feeling when a student gets that placement because you know the opportunities that's going to open up for them with their future 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

Modules

What you'll study

Foundation year

If you're not sure you meet the entry requirements, or need some help to get uni-ready, then we offer this course with a foundation year to bring you up to speed.

  • You'll study on the University of Portsmouth campus with access to all facilities, support and societies
  • When you finish your foundation year successfully, you get a guaranteed place on BA (Hons) Politics
  • Get used to how lectures, seminars and tutorials work, so you can move on to your degree ready for success
  • Learn how to meet the demands of taking on a bachelor's degree at university

Explore BA (Hons) Politics with Foundation Year

Core modules

You'll learn about key analytical and philosophical concepts and their impact in the way we study politics, the processes by which political demands are articulated, and the mechanisms through which governance deals with those demands. You'll explore how people struggle to solve their problems as individuals, in groups and within political systems. By delving into pressing debates in British politics and beyond, you'l build knowledge and begin to form your own ideas and analysis.

You'll hone your abilities in writing, analytical thinking, research, public speaking and networking alongside your fellow students and supported by your personal tutor, alumni and experts in your field.

You'll develop an awareness of conceptual frameworks and methodologies, and learn how to find and analyse sources and data to support your ideas.

You'll study the changing relationships between the different organisations involved in international aid and development, including multilateral and bilateral development organisations and nongovernmental actors.

You'll also look at trends in development thinking and place development within the wider context of global capitalism.

You'll begin to explore key themes, such as the making of the modern world, war and peace, security, diplomacy, sovereignty, climate change and development, as well as the various ways to conceptualise and analyse these issues.

By the end of the module, you'll have developed a critical understanding of International Relations, gained insights into the historical foundations of the modern world, and engaged with a range of contemporary global issues.

This comprehensive introduction prepares you for further studies and encourages you to question and analyse the complex dynamics of world politics.

You'll explore ideas of human nature, the relationship between individuals and societies, the authority of the state, duties and rights, liberty and freedom, social justice, ethics, war and political violence.

By looking at the ideas of both historical and contemporary thinkers, you'll develop knowledge and understanding of the social and political contexts within which these ideas were developed as well as how they continue to inform our thinking about central issues in politics and international relations today.

Core modules

The module gives you the keys to understand how decisions are made in the EU, and the extent to which member states can shape, respond or contest EU decisions.

Exploring real-world issues like migration, defence, or environmental policies, you'll learn to critically evaluate debates and policies, and how the EU interacts with other states (such as the UK or China) and international organisations (such as NATO).

With the historical and theoretical background provided, you'll be able to discuss trends and engage intelligently with current affairs.

Explore academic, official and journalistic sources and learn how to form your own coherent arguments.

You'll develop your research skills and understanding of research methodologies while sifting through various answers, identifying those that are credible versus those based on unfounded or misleading information.

You'll learn how to assess competing truth claims and information, and gain the practical know-how to ask your own questions, offer your own answers and conduct your own research.

Optional modules

You'll analyse factors allowing authoritarian structures and democratic ideals to thrive from the late 20th century onwards.

Through contrasting regions and states, you'll weigh how human rights, media, religion and identities interact with decision-making models balancing control and accountability.

You'll use case studies to assess populism's threat to inclusion and protests resisting dictatorships, and evaluate regimes' resilience against turbulence to determine what foundational conditions best minimise corruption and serve citizens.

You'll look at diverse political figures as case studies, exploring their approaches to power, policy, communication, and political popularity.

By delving into leadership theory and interpreting political sources insightfully, you'll learn how to ask thoughtful questions about British politics and meaningfully interpret British political history.

Through a social justice lens, you'll learn how climate change impacts communities unequally and how activists are campaigning for climate justice.

Gain insight into indigenous perspectives and voices from the Global South to understand how climate discourse has traditionally-centered western worldviews.

Equip yourself with the knowledge and tools to create positive change, from policy recommendations to grassroots campaigns.

You’ll analyse the powers of key institutions like the Presidency, Congress and Supreme Court, and examine federal-state relations and the influence of lobbies and civil society groups.

You’ll also explore hot-button issues like gun control, abortion and capital punishment to see political divides up close.

In this module, you’ll explore European colonisation of Africa, asking questions like - how did they justify colonial rule, and how did African peoples respond to these colonisers?

You’ll learn how, after World War II, colonial rule was increasingly challenged from both within the empire, by growing African demands for political rights, and in the international arena, with the global trend towards trusteeship, development and self-determination.

You’ll also explore European relations with Africa in the post-colonial era, looking at themes which may include ideas about civilisation, universalism and race, modern attempts to 'rehabilitate' empire in the media, and the legacies of colonialism in Britain, Europe and Africa.

You’ll collaborate with students on other courses to explore and address societal and environmental challenges faced by local and global communities. You’ll choose projects from a range of topic areas aligned with the university's Civic Strategy.

With input from local organisations, you’ll think about your topic from multiple perspectives, developing your interdisciplinary thinking and ability to work with others.

You’ll analyse the essence of security, exploring how security needs are addressed around the world and on a national level, down to a community and even an individual basis.

You’ll explore different forms of societal risk and insecurity, and approaches to dealing with security threats, taking into account the nature and impact of economic and political developments.

You'll think about what core concepts like freedom truly mean and why they ignite such passion and conflict.

You'll also examine your own assumptions on contested issues like gender, class, race and social justice.

By evaluating ties between visionary ideas and real-world movements, policies and power dynamics, you'll develop nuanced understanding the forces behind political change.

You'll learn how to think critically about the key concepts that link language, culture and communication, considering the benefits and limitations of these ideas.

You'll explore the different ways in which communication intersects with culture across themes such as identity, education, gender, and the media.

Alongside what you learn, you'll improve your skills in analysis, research and intercultural awareness.

You'll learn about consumer behaviour and brand strategy, and spend time examining real-world marketing campaigns. You'll also think about how social, political and technological forces can affect the way businesses approach marketing their products and services.

Skills you'll develop include carrying out market research and learning how to use what you learn, crafting targeted messaging across different marketing channels, and presenting your ideas verbally and in writing.

You'll learn about major economic, political and cultural changes in Western Europe over the nineteenth century, and how these affected the rest of the world as time went on.

You'll explore the big ideas that have shaped the modern world, and weigh up the benefits and perils of globalisation. Skills you'll develop on this module include independent research, critical thinking and effective communication.

You'll also learn to understand the opportunities and challenges of today's world from an informed, global perspective.

You’ll look critically ideas of nationalism historically and today with a focus on the everyday, intimate and embodied boundaries of nation-states and how these shape our lives, including those of us living in the most privileged parts of the world.

You’ll explore real-world cases to understand the individual and societal impacts on human lives, developing your analytical skills and imagining more compassionate alternatives.

You’ll unpack the language of tabloids, broadsheets and online news, analysing how journalists shape public understanding of current events.

Develop your critical thinking by confronting moral panics and polarised politics in reporting.

Create your own news stories and gain real insight into mass communication in a rapidly changing landscape.

You'll analyse major cases of economic crime and weigh up their wider societal implications.

You'll also learn how to recognise disciplinary perspectives, become familiar with the key investigating organisations, identify investigative techniques, and gather and analyse real case information.

You’ll analyse American texts against the backdrop of intellectual, social and political change, evaluating how writers grappled with emerging ideas around national identity, race, gender and more.

By honing skills for contextual analysis and independent thought, you’ll form your own interpretations of iconic works that reflect the American experience.

You’ll analyse diverse transitional justice approaches balancing community healing and judicial accountability after mass atrocities.

Comparing mechanisms like war crimes tribunals, truth commissions and reparations programmes, you’ll evaluate effectiveness in restoring dignity and preventing recurrence.

With case studies from Europe to Africa, from Latin America to Asia, you'll examine tensions between western models and local cultural perspectives, assessing what ‘justice’ means to vulnerable peoples.

Throughout, you'll trace incremental human rights legislation advances, assessing global institutions’ roles protecting civilians from authoritarian regimes and wartime abuses.

Through interactive lectures with academics, speakers and professionals, you'll discuss, debate and complete practical exercises exploring wildlife crime alongside your classmates.

You'll spend time examining wildlife crimes and the factors behind them, as well as environmental justice and sustainability.

You'll learn about the factors that shape different democratic systems - from history to institutions and mass mobilisation.

Explore how diverse societies navigate a range of issues, from climate breakdown to demographic shifts.

You'll also examine the structures underpinning global democratic governance, from Europe, the Americas to Africa, and Asia - plus rising trends reshaping the political landscape, such as illiberalism.

You'll investigate how specific gender ideologies have shaped global and national policies in relation to a range of key areas including reproductive rights, violence against women, the environment and sustainable livelihoods.

With a minimum 80-hour commitment, you’ll apply what you’ve learned so far on your degree to real-world professional settings within our community of local businesses, social enterprises, and third-sector organisations.

You’ll have support from interactive workshops, tutorials, and guest speaker events, encouraging you to set achievable professional goals and evolve your professional identity.

You'll assess the strategic control of space and resources alongside economic competition, and examine Africa's rich potential alongside its enduring struggles, from human security to gender equity and beyond.

You'll develop a nuanced understanding of the continent as a crucial nexus of cooperation and conflict between foreign interests.

Core modules

You'll examine three pivotal themes: the lead-up to and aftermath of the UK's EU referendum, the evolving dynamics of post-Brexit politics, and the shifting global role of the UK, Europe and the EU.

Throughout the module, you'll explore visual aspects of Brexit politics, key policy shifts and the roles of major political players in areas like immigration, foreign and security strategies, and party politics.

Optional modules

It's up to you what your dissertation or project is about - this will be your chance to showcase your passion for politics by choosing a subject area or topic that most interests you.

You'll draw on everything you've learned so far to investigate, analyse, craft and refine your dissertation or project, using existing texts, sources and artefacts to support your arguments and give them context.

You'll have the support of a dedicated dissertation tutor to guide you throughout this module.

This real-world, project-based module lets you address an identified need or gap by designing an innovative product, service or resource.

With support from university staff and external partners, you'll demonstrate critical thinking, ethical awareness and project management abilities.

Your final project and presentation will showcase your employability and capacity for high-impact solutions.

You’ll look at how new technologies are changing political communication and giving more people a voice. Discuss the good and bad points: is social media bringing people together or dividing them?

Look into social movements and how people are using the internet to push for change. Study real-life examples of how political parties and leaders use (or don’t use) online tools. Get a solid understanding to judge what people say about the digital era. Learn to use critical theories to figure out technology’s role in running a country. Improve your ability to explain what digital media means for democracy to many people.

By the end of this module, you’ll be ready to join in on the conversation about how the internet is changing democracy.

You'll tackle questions such as, what is capitalism and in whose interests does it work? Do some models of capitalism work better than others? Can we reconcile capitalist modes of production and consumption with protecting our environment?

Examine relevant political economy theory and open up debates about power, multinational capital, gender, identity and climate crisis.

You'll investigate grassroots campaigners alongside major international NGOs - evaluating their tactics, contributions and accountability.

By probing the relationships between volunteer networks, businesses and government, you'll develop new ideas on what can and cannot be achieved by public advocacy. Do civil society organisations challenge or reinforce the prevailing world order?

You'll learn about the job application process from the perspective of both candidates and recruiters, thinking about what employers look for in graduates and how you can optimise your own professional profile.

Through mock interviews and assessments, you'll hone your skills and learn how to communicate your achievements and career goals, ready to take the next step after you graduate.

It's up to you what your project is about - this will be your chance to showcase your passion for politics by choosing a subject area or topic that most interests you.

You'll draw on everything you've learned so far to investigate, analyse, craft and refine your project, using existing texts, sources and artefacts to support your arguments and give them context.

You'll have the support of a dedicated tutor to guide you throughout this module.

You'll explore France's foreign policies, defence strategies and power dynamics within Europe and beyond.

Spend time thinking critically about its international influence and motivations, and learn how other regions of the world view its actions, from 'special' ties with former colonies to controversial stances on key issues.

This module will help you develop the skills to unpack complex geopolitical questions. You'll gain a deeper understanding of France's bid to remain an influential force in our rapidly changing world.

You'll consider schools of thought from socialism to transhumanism, thinking about how they have created social movements that lasted decades.

By applying diverse ideological lenses to different ideas about human progress, you'll weigh up the insights and limits of utopian and dystopian thought in relation to how societies understand and address the challenges facing humanity in the twenty first century.

With a minimum 80-hour commitment, you'll apply what you've learned so far on your degree to real-world professional settings within our community of local businesses, social enterprises, and third-sector organisations.

You'll have support from interactive workshops, tutorials, and guest speaker events, encouraging you to set achievable professional goals and evolve your professional identity.

You'll evaluate diverse cases of religion intertwining with critical issues like nationalism, peacebuilding, violence and more.

Discussing the perspectives of policymakers to extremists, you'll tackle intriguing questions head on.

How do religious ideas still drive political agendas worldwide? How does faith unite communities yet fuel divisions? And could rediscovering religion's role in human life hold keys to solving global problems?

You'll rethink European (market) integration from the perspective of state, non-state, and regional actors across the globe, focusing on the question of how and to what extent EU institutions and policies have contributed to shaping international economic governance.

Tackling different interpretations of the EU as a regional and global power, you'll explore though-provoking questions: As the EU negotiates new trade deals and economic partnerships, who really benefits? Does the EU attempt to use its global market power to create a safer world? And to what extent have colonial legacies shaped the EU as an economic superpower?

Optional modules

Work Placement Year or Study Year Abroad

Boost your employability by taking an industry-based work placement year or immerse yourself in another culture by studying for a year at one of our partner universities worldwide.

This is an amazing opportunity to either put everything you’ve learned so far into action in a real workplace in the UK or overseas, or to expand your horizons and set yourself up for your future career by studying abroad.

If you choose a work placement year, we’ll help you find and secure an exciting placement opportunity within an appropriate company or organisation. You’ll have the chance to try out skills and gain experience that’ll help you clarify your next career steps, while building capabilities employers seek. 

If you choose to study abroad, you’ll expand your global perspective and develop additional skills to boost your future career, as well as making memories, new friends and career contacts.

This is a Connected Degree

We're the only university that gives you the flexibility to choose when to take a work placement. Take it after your second year, before returning to finish your studies. Or after your final year, connecting you into the workplace.

If you're not sure if or when to take your placement, don't worry. You'll have plenty of time to settle into your studies and explore your options before making your choice. 

Find out more about Connected Degrees

Changes to course content

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

International Relations and Politics research at the University of Portsmouth

Ed Stoddard, Reader in International Security, explains how cutting-edge research like his (into the changing character of warfare) informs our courses and talks about some of the career opportunities this course can lead to.

Ed Stoddard: So the research I do here at the University is focused on the changing character of warfare.

Over the last few years I've been particularly focusing on questions to do with terrorism and violent extremism in the West African region, especially around the Lake Chad area.

And we use that research and distribute it at conferences and events with policymakers, both here in the UK, but also in West Africa as well. Armed conflicts are so destructive and, you know, I think it's incumbent on us as researchers who work in this area to try and think of ways they can be avoided, of course, in the first instance.

But if, when those armed conflicts do happen, try and think of measures that we can put in place to reduce their impact.

So the research connects with students here in a number of different ways. It supports the work they do in terms of their dissertations, but also directly into the modules that they study.

You know, our research, once we've done it and we've written the papers and we've publish the outputs, that gets then translated into the lectures that we deliver. So they will be directly learning and benefiting from that research that we've done out in the field in their studies and contributing to their degree.

There's a really broad range of different career opportunities that are available to students. The Foreign Office, the Civil Service and more broadly, the Ministry of Defence.

But also we have students who go to international organisations, NGOs, charities that work internationally in conflict zones, and we also have quite a lot of students who go into various research roles and risk analysis roles.

Portsmouth is a really exciting and vibrant city and the university is literally at the heart of the city. I think also the university has a really strong focus on student support and a really strong focus on teaching quality.

And I know that my colleagues spend very considerable amount of that time working to make sure that the experience for Portsmouth students is a really brilliant one. And I think those are some of the key reasons why students who are here really enjoy their degrees.

How you're assessed

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: 15% by exams and 85% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 5% by exams and 95% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 100% by coursework

Your coursework may include:

  • article reviews
  • essays
  • projects
  • briefing papers
  • simulations, podcasts and creative videos
  • 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.

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.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

Teaching staff profiles

David Norman Portrait

Dr David Norman

Senior Lecturer

David.Norman@port.ac.uk

School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your BA Hons Politics degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 10 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty 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.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

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 In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £17,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £17,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

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 show your accommodation options and highlight 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.

You’ll need to cover additional costs, such as travel costs, if you take an optional placement or placement abroad.

These costs will vary depending on the location and duration of the placement, and can range from £50–£1000.

During your placement year or study abroad year, you’ll be eligible for a discounted rate on your tuition fees. Currently, tuition fees for that year are:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)

The costs associated with your specific destination will be discussed during your second year, as well as possible sources of additional funding.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

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

Apply now through UCAS

 

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.

Looking for this course with a foundation year?

Take a look at BA (Hons) Politics with Foundation Year

To start this course in 2025, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

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

Apply now through UCAS

 

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.

Looking for this course with a foundation year?

Take a look at BA (Hons) Politics with Foundation Year

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in our international students section

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.