Politics defines our lives. Studying BA Politics and Parliamentary Studies will enable you to analyse the political changes occurring all around us in a theoretical and critical way, and help you understand the operation of political institutions such as Parliament in practice as well as in the seminar room.
The unique range of country and conceptual expertise in our School will provide you with a comprehensive grounding in fundamental political ideas, structures and approaches. With that foundation in place, you will develop your own expertise and tailor your module selection in order to build a portfolio of in-depth study around your own interests and concerns.
You will receive foundational teaching in all of the core areas of the Schools expertise, including modules in political theory and British politics, in international relations and in development studies.
Among the skills learned at this time, you will also develop your ability to communicate, both orally and in writing. You will develop your time-management and team-working abilities as you work, both independently and in groups, to deliver a range of assessed outputs.
You will then build on your knowledge by studying more advanced modules in British Central Government, political systems, political theory and the methods of political analysis. As a BA Politics and Parliamentary Studies student, you take a module in Parliamentary Studies, developing your knowledge of the Westminster system in preparation for your placement. As well as further developing the skills already introduced, you will learn new skills of political enquiry and research.
Year three of BA Politics and Parliamentary Studies is your parliamentary student placement year. You may spend a full year on placement in London, attached to a parliamentary office at Westminster; or you may spend one semester attached to an office in the US Congress or Canadian Parliament, whilst attending our partner universities in Washington or Ottawa, and then the second semester at Westminster.
Opportunities in the US Congress or Canadian Parliament are limited, and dependent on availability with our partner institutions in North America. We award them competitively to the best-performing students. In these placements, you work as part of the office team and develop work-related skills as well as a greater understanding of politics and policy.
In your final year, you will produce an extended piece of individual research on a topic of your choosing in the politics dissertation, and complement that study by selecting from a wide range of specialised modules delivered by staff in areas of their own research expertise. These activities will foster your development of independent learning and research skills.If you want to
... then choose BA Political and Parliamentary Studies.
UK/EU student fees
£9,000 per year full-time.
International student fees
£12,900 per year full-time.
Year One introduces you to key concepts and debates within politics.
You take compulsory modules to fulfil your core programme of study.
Freedom, Power and Resistance: An Introduction to Political Ideas is an introduction to political theory and an invitation for you to subject your own political views to critical examination: to work out what you think and why you think it.
International Politics introduces you to the complex changes currently underway in the international system and their political implications across the globe. We discuss the main ideas, concepts and philosophies that inform the contemporary world order.
Making of the Modern World examines the current divide between the global North and South, and considers the impact of colonialism, capitalist industrialisation and the slave trade upon the contemporary situation. You will analyse the history of resistance to colonial rule, the attraction of socialism to post-independent governments, and examine the legacies of colonial rule across the Americas, Africa and Asia.
British Politics provides an introduction to British politics since 1945, focussing on key debates about the changing character and conduct of politics; the social and economic context of politics; political ideas and party alignments; and Britains international position and constitutional developments.
Comparative Politics involves the systematic study and comparison of political systems. In this module, you will examine the political systems of three different nations from across the globe, focusing on their respective political histories, political economies, party systems, social movements and foreign policies.
Studying and Researching in POLIS is a supernumeracy skills module.
You may choose one of the following:
You can choose one discovery module to make up your year. Discovery modules allow you to study modules that may be taught outside your subject or home school.Year Two
In Year Two, you have more flexibility in your study and can direct your degree towards the areas that interest you most.
British Central Government focusses on the key governing 'triangle' of Whitehall-Westminster-Palace, and on the organisation and operation of central government in Britain. We look at the people who run the country: how they get to those positions, the powers and responsibilities they have, how they are held to account, and at how government policy is made.
Parliamentary Studies will help you identify and develop the specific skills required to ensure you will be prepared for your placements in Parliament in the following academic year.
Approaches to Analysis introduces you to the ways that we conduct research in the social sciences, with particular emphasis on approaches commonly used in the fields of politics, international development and international relations. You will engage with key methodologies, theoretical frameworks and methods used in practical research.
You also take one or two of the following political theory modules.
You then take between one and three optional modules.
Typical optional modules include the following list:
You may also be able to take a discovery module to complete your year depending on the choices made above. Discovery modules allow you to study modules that may be taught outside your subject or home school.
Year Three: your parliamentary placement year
Year Three consists of your parliamentary student placement. You may spend a full academic year on work placement in London, attached to a parliamentary office at Westminster, OR you may spend the autumn semester attached to an office in the US Congress or Canadian Parliament, whilst attending our partner universities in Washington or Ottawa, and then spend the spring semester at Westminster.
Opportunities in the US Congress or Canadian Parliament are dependent on availability with our partner institutions in North America. We award them to our best performing students.
All students undertake the parliamentary student placement with an MP at Westminster, including junior ministers, front bench opposition MPs and back benchers of all parties. There are also opportunities to take placements with political consultancies, party organisations and research bodies. Students have also been involved in elections in Britain, the US and Canada.
In these placements, you work as part of the office team and develop work-related skills as well as a greater understanding of politics and policy.Year Four
The only compulsory module in Year Four is your Dissertation. This is a piece of written work of 12,000 words, and can be researched on a topic of your choice. It allows you to produce an extended piece of written work on a topic of special interest to you.
You also choose two to four optional modules.
The list below is indicative of the range of modules we offer, and is not a guarantee that any particular module will be available in the future.
You may then choose to do one or two more optional modules. The list below provides an indicative example.
You may be able to take a discovery module to complete your year depending on the choices made above. Discovery modules allow you to study modules that may be taught outside your subject or home school.Course structure, learning and assessment
You will usually take three modules in each semester. There are normally two weekly lectures and one weekly seminar for each module in the first year of the degree. Higher level modules vary in their delivery: for example, some are taught through two-hour seminars and do not have lectures. Your placement year is spent in an office/work environment. In your final year, in addition to taught modules, you will have meetings with your dissertation supervisor.
We offer a range of opportunities for extra contact time with staff and other students in order to deliver a comprehensive learning programme.
First, all teaching staff hold three feedback hours per week during which you can drop in for one-to-one consultation and tutoring. Secondly, you will allocated a personal tutor with whom you will meet regularly throughout the year to discuss your progress and plans. Thirdly, we organise a lively programme of research seminars and lectures which all students are encouraged to attend. Finally, the School operates a student-led discussion programme in which you are able to discuss your work among your peers in an informal setting.
We deliver our teaching through lectures and small group seminar and tutorial sessions. Independent learning is also a major part of degree-level study.
Lectures provide an introduction to module topics and a framework for further independent study. Comprehensive reading lists are available for all modules and you are expected to prepare thoroughly for seminars and tutorials by reading widely and engaging with essential texts.
Seminars and tutorials provide an opportunity for you to work through and discuss key issues, problems and difficulties among your peers and under the guidance of your tutors. The sessions involve some or all of the following teaching methods: question and answer, group work, individual or group presentations and open student and tutor-led discussions.
Finally, all modules have an on-line presence in the Universitys Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE houses a variety of learning resources including lecture notes, presentation slides and audio podcasts, digitised readings and links to other web-based media.
The course uses a variety of assessment methods including coursework essays, exams, group projects, critical reviews and reports. We offer you feedback on your work throughout the course of the degree; we provide this through direct comments on assessed work and also meetings with module tutors and personal tutors.
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.
IELTS band : 6.5 CAE score : 60(Grade C) TOEFL iBT® test : 92
To study at this university, you have to speak English. We advice you totake an IELTS test. More About IELTS
Our standard entry requirements are three A levels, or two A levels and two AS levels.
In general, prospective applicants for our degree courses will be in the process of studying two 'traditional' academic subjects for A level, with a third in any other subject.
We do not require A level Politics for any of our degrees, and we design our first year modules for students both with and without previous knowledge of Politics.
We accept General Studies as an A level for all of our programmes except BA Economics and Politics, and we welcome applications that include vocational A level subjects: for example, AVCE (single or double awards). Any combination of A levels or AVCE is acceptable.Current academic requirements
There are many other European and International qualifications that we accept.
Further advice can be also be sought by contacting our Admissions Office directly.Language requirements
If English is not your first language, we require evidence of English language ability in reading, writing and speaking. If you do not hold an English language equivalent to UK GCSE standard, then you should hold one of the following qualifications.
No work experience is required.