Get university advice on The Student Room app

Politics

Entry requirements


Sorry, no information to show

About this course


Course option

3years

Full-time | 2024

Subject

Politics

Politics is a fascinating and rapidly evolving field. It touches every area of our lives, covering issues from national security and inequalities in society to the climate crisis. Taught by experts in the field, the BA in Politics will give you an insight into political systems and governance on a local and global scale. You’ll be exposed to ideas and opinions that will challenge your perceptions and encourage you to think critically and analytically.

Studies are structured around three main themes: political thought, political institutions and international relations. Following a general introduction, you’ll begin to tailor the course to your interests and aspirations with a selection of optional modules in areas such as sovereignty, identity, crises and conflict, comparative politics, democratic practice, and the impact of global politics on the environment.

You can further tailor your course by applying to add a year-long work placement, or you may be able to add an international dimension with an overseas study year. If you are selected this will increase the course from three years to four.

The School of Government and International Affairs is home to several research centres and institutes, and many lecturers are actively engaged in research. This innovative work is fed into the BA, so you can be sure the curriculum is informed by contemporary political debate.

The critical analytical and research skills that underpin the course, coupled with a deep understanding of global current affairs and the complex connections between nations and ruling parties, will put you in a strong position to pursue a career in social policy research, journalism, academia, the Civil Service, the Foreign Office and more.

Modules

Year 1
Core modules:
Introduction to Political Theory provides an overview of the role that key political ideals, values and theories play in shaping modern political thought: justifying and evaluating political institutions and public policy, and influencing political behaviour and change.

Democratic Political Systems details the historical, socio-economic and cultural context of two democratic political systems. You will be encouraged to critically assess key aspects of these systems.

Introduction to Comparative Politics introduces methods, approaches and key concepts in comparative politics. Drawing on historical texts and contemporary research you will explore a range of policy-relevant issues and begin to develop a problem-solving view of politics.

Researching Politics and International Relations introduces a range of strategies used to produce knowledge in politics and international relations. This module examines the strengths and weaknesses of a range of research methods. You will gain some practical experience of carrying out research in politics and international relations.

Examples of optional modules:
International Security, Interdependence and Organisation
Perspectives of Political Economy
Introduction to International Relations.
Year 2
Core modules:
The Research Project is an extended piece of work produced within a structured framework that will help prepare you for the demands of writing a dissertation. You will gain a deeper understanding of politics as an academic subject and as an aspect of wider human activity.

Foundations of Western Political Thought examines some of the main currents of European political thought in the ancient and modern worlds. It will also develop your ability to interpret major texts in the history of political thought.

Analytical Politics introduces the theoretical models and mechanisms of politics. Learning how to apply these models to a range of political issues and processes will develop your problem-solving skills and help you link theory and evidence.

Examples of optional modules:
International Theory
The Politics of Pacific Asia
Foundations of Western Political Thought
International Organisations
Sovereignty, State and Empire
Capitalism: History and Theory
Middle East in the International System
Debates in Political Theory.
Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a placement year or year abroad)
The Dissertation is a detailed and critical examination of a relevant area of politics. It develops your ability to plan and manage your own learning and provides you with an opportunity to research a specific topic in greater depth and present your findings and conclusions.

Examples of optional modules:
British Political Thought
Muslims and Politics in the Modern World
Theories of Liberty
The American Presidency
China in Global Political Economy
Israel: Politics and Society
Elections and British Politics
Advanced Topic in International Political Theory: the International Politics of the Everyday.

Assessment methods

Assessment takes various forms including examinations and unseen essay questions, essays, group projects and the final-year dissertation. The dissertation is an in-depth study of a topic of your choice which makes up one-third of your final-year marks.

The Uni


Course locations:

College allocation pending

Durham City

Department:

School of Government and International Affairs

Read full university profile

What students say


We've crunched the numbers to see if overall student satisfaction here is high, medium or low compared to students studying this subject(s) at other universities.

74%
Politics

How do students rate their degree experience?

The stats below relate to the general subject area/s at this university, not this specific course. We show this where there isn’t enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Politics

Teaching and learning

79%
Staff make the subject interesting
77%
Staff are good at explaining things
82%
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
51%
Opportunities to apply what I've learned

Assessment and feedback

Feedback on work has been timely
Feedback on work has been helpful
Staff are contactable when needed
Good advice available when making study choices

Resources and organisation

68%
Library resources
92%
IT resources
82%
Course specific equipment and facilities
47%
Course is well organised and has run smoothly

Student voice

Staff value students' opinions
Feel part of a community on my course

Who studies this subject and how do they get on?

71%
UK students
29%
International students
53%
Male students
47%
Female students
92%
2:1 or above
4%
First year drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)

A
A
A

After graduation


The stats in this section relate to the general subject area/s at this university – not this specific course. We show this where there isn't enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Politics

What are graduates doing after six months?

This is what graduates told us they were doing (and earning), shortly after completing their course. We've crunched the numbers to show you if these immediate prospects are high, medium or low, compared to those studying this subject/s at other universities.

£25,000
high
Average annual salary
89%
low
Employed or in further education
83%
high
Employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial

Top job areas of graduates

21%
Sales, marketing and related associate professionals
14%
Business, research and administrative professionals
10%
Business, finance and related associate professionals

The numbers of people taking politics degrees fell sharply last year and we'll keep an eye on this one - it can't really be because of graduates getting poor outcomes as politics grads do about as well as graduates on average. Most politics or international relations graduates don't actually go into politics - although many do, as activists, fundraisers and researchers. Jobs in local and central government are also important. Other popular jobs include marketing and PR, youth and community work, finance roles, HR and academic research (you usually need a postgraduate degree to get into research). Because so many graduates get jobs in the civil service, a lot of graduates find themselves in London after graduating. Politics is a very popular postgraduate subject, and so about one in five politics graduates go on to take another course - usually a one-year Masters - after they finish their degrees.

What about your long term prospects?

Looking further ahead, below is a rough guide for what graduates went on to earn.

Politics

The graph shows median earnings of graduates who achieved a degree in this subject area one, three and five years after graduating from here.

£26k

£26k

£34k

£34k

£47k

£47k

Note: this data only looks at employees (and not those who are self-employed or also studying) and covers a broad sample of graduates and the various paths they've taken, which might not always be a direct result of their degree.

Explore these similar courses...

Share this page

This is what the university has told Ucas about the criteria they expect applicants to satisfy; some may be compulsory, others may be preferable.

Have a question about this info? Learn more here

This is the percentage of applicants to this course who received an offer last year, through Ucas.

Have a question about this info? Learn more here

This is what the university has told Ucas about the course. Use it to get a quick idea about what makes it unique compared to similar courses, elsewhere.

Have a question about this info? Learn more here

Course location and department:

This is what the university has told Ucas about the course. Use it to get a quick idea about what makes it unique compared to similar courses, elsewhere.

Have a question about this info? Learn more here

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF):

We've received this information from the Department for Education, via Ucas. This is how the university as a whole has been rated for its quality of teaching: gold silver or bronze. Note, not all universities have taken part in the TEF.

Have a question about this info? Learn more here

This information comes from the National Student Survey, an annual student survey of final-year students. You can use this to see how satisfied students studying this subject area at this university, are (not the individual course).

This is the percentage of final-year students at this university who were "definitely" or "mostly" satisfied with their course. We've analysed this figure against other universities so you can see whether this is high, medium or low.

Have a question about this info? Learn more here

This information is from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), for undergraduate students only.

You can use this to get an idea of who you might share a lecture with and how they progressed in this subject, here. It's also worth comparing typical A-level subjects and grades students achieved with the current course entry requirements; similarities or differences here could indicate how flexible (or not) a university might be.

Have a question about this info? Learn more here

Post-six month graduation stats:

This is from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, based on responses from graduates who studied the same subject area here.

It offers a snapshot of what grads went on to do six months later, what they were earning on average, and whether they felt their degree helped them obtain a 'graduate role'. We calculate a mean rating to indicate if this is high, medium or low compared to other universities.

Have a question about this info? Learn more here

Graduate field commentary:

The Higher Education Careers Services Unit have provided some further context for all graduates in this subject area, including details that numbers alone might not show

Have a question about this info? Learn more here

The Longitudinal Educational Outcomes dataset combines HRMC earnings data with student records from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

While there are lots of factors at play when it comes to your future earnings, use this as a rough timeline of what graduates in this subject area were earning on average one, three and five years later. Can you see a steady increase in salary, or did grads need some experience under their belt before seeing a nice bump up in their pay packet?

Have a question about this info? Learn more here