Politics BA

Politics

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
AAB-ABB
UCAS code:
L200
Start date:
September 2018

Study in Brighton – one of the UK’s most politically diverse cities – and gain real-world experience of politics through our MP internship scheme.

You learn from UK and international political experts who are influencing debates on topics from political corruption to European politics.

You also benefit from our regular political sessions. These have featured current and former UK politicians such as Caroline Lucas.

Which different political systems does politics at Sussex cover? – Jack Stapleton, Politics student

Entry requirements

A-level

Typical offer

AAB-ABB

GCSEs

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Extended Project Qualification

We take the EPQ into account when considering your application and it can be useful in the summer when your results are released if you have narrowly missed the conditions of your offer. We do not routinely include the EPQ in the conditions of your offer but we sometimes offer alternative conditions that include the EPQ. If you wish to discuss this further please contact Admissions at ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Other UK qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer

Pass in the Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits at Merit or above, including 24 at Distinction.

Subjects

The Access to HE Diploma should be in the humanities or social sciences.

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

32 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Typical offer

DDD

GCSEs

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced

Typical offer

Grade B and AB in two A-levels.

GCSEs

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

32 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

Overall result of 77%

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually do not accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses. However, we do consider applicants who have studied 1 or more years of Higher Education in China at a recognised degree awarding institution or who are following a recognised International Foundation Year.

If you are interested in applying for a business related course which requires an academic ability in Mathematics, you will normally also need a grade B in Mathematics from the Huikao or a score of 90 in Mathematics from the Gaokao.

Applicants who have the Senior High School Graduation may be eligible to apply to our International Foundation Year, which if you complete successfully you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex. You can find more information about the qualifications which are accepted by our International Study Centre at  http://isc.sussex.ac.uk/entry-requirements/international-foundation-year .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result in the final matriculation examinations of at least 6.0

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall final result of at least 13/20.

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 2.0 or better.

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at H1 H2 H2 H3 H3.

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 81/100.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole- Pass with an overall average of at least 4.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 8.0.

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

Admissions information for applicants

Transfers into Year 2

Yes. Find out more about transferring into Year 2 of this course. We don’t accept transfers into the third or final year.

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • Sussex was ranked in the top universities UK for the best political scene (Which? University 2017).
  • Social sciences at Sussex is ranked 39th in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018).
  • Politics at Sussex is ranked 12th in the UK (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018).

Course information

How will I study?

The theme of your first year is power.

In lectures, seminars and workshops, you study some core concepts and theories of politics. These help you to understand where power lies in the UK and internationally.

You also learn how to carry out research in political science – gaining great, practical skills that employers will value.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules


Customise your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

Explore subjects different to your course – electives and pathways allow you to complement your main subject. Find out what opportunities your course offers

How will I study?

The theme of your second year is governance.

In lectures and seminars, you study – and compare – how politics and power are structured differently in countries and regions across the world.

We are experts on East Asia, Eastern Europe, France, Germany, India, the EU and the US. This means you can pick modules about the places that interest you most.

Trips abroad

We organise trips to Germany and France so you can learn more about the current political scene and meet with politicians and academics there.

If you study German politics, you can go on a trip to Berlin to visit the German parliament for discussions with politicians from all major parties.

You also visit other prominent historical landmarks such as the Holocaust Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Options


Customise your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

Explore subjects different to your course – electives and pathways allow you to complement your main subject. Find out what opportunities your course offers

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you.

“Being able to study in Canada has allowed me to appreciate just how different countries’ politics can be.” William SaundersPolitics BA
Studied abroad at University of Waterloo, Ontario

Placement (optional)

A placement is a great way to network and gain practical skills. When you leave Sussex, you’ll benefit from having the experience employers are looking for. Find out more about placements and internships.

I’ve developed my interests via an internship with BBC News and with a political party. My degree has thoroughly prepared me to enter a globally competitive job market.”Patrick Scott
Politics BA

Please note

If you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t transfer to the version of this program with an optional study abroad period in any country or optional placement in the USA. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

How will I study?

The theme of your final year is change.

Mostly in seminars, you work closely with us to study when, where and why political change happens.

You can pick a region that interests you most, or you might study one of the topics that we specialise in. We have strong expertise in the study of:

  • political corruption
  • immigration
  • political parties
  • populism and Euroscepticism
  • foreign policy analysis
  • inequality.

Internships

You can apply for an internship with a Westminster MP or in local government with Brighton & Hove Council.

This gives you the opportunity to try out what you have learnt in the classroom in the real world of politics and public policy.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Options

How politics students at Sussex engage with current political events and contemporary issues – Kai Oppermann, Politics lecturer

Fees

UK/EU students:
Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. The University intends to set fees at the maximum permitted by the UK Government (subject to continued satisfaction of the Teaching Excellence Framework). For the academic year 2017, fees were £9,250 per year.

The UK Government has confirmed that if you’re an EU student applying for entry in September 2018, you’ll pay the same fee rate as UK students for the duration of your course, even if the UK leaves the EU before the end of your course. You’ll also continue to have access to student loans and grants. Find out more on the UK Government website

Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
The University aligns fees for Channel Islands and Isle of Man students with fees for UK/EU students. These fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. We intend to set fees at the maximum permitted by the UK Government (subject to continued satisfaction of the Teaching Excellence Framework). For the academic year 2017, fees were £9,250 per year.
International students:
£15,500 per year
Study abroad:
Find out about grants and funding, tuition fees and insurance costs for studying abroad
Placement:
Find out about tuition fees for placements

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Our focus is personal development and social mobility. To help you meet your ambitions to study at Sussex, we deliver one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university.

Careers

Graduate destinations

95% of our Department of Politics students were in work or further study six months after graduating. Recent graduates have gone on to jobs such as:

  • political researcher, Leader of the Opposition
  • marketing assistant, Telegraph Media Group
  • press and communications intern, British Academy for the Social Sciences and Humanities.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

You’ll gain the knowledge, analytical and practical skills to go on to jobs in the UK, EU and UN civil services, pressure groups or non-governmental organisations. We also offer sessions to help you apply for graduate schemes and jobs in the public, private, and charity and voluntary sectors.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

What kind of careers can you go into with a Politics degree? – Jack Stapleton, Politics student

British Political History

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module provides an overview of the major developments in British political history since 1900, focusing mainly (but not exclusively) on the post-war period. You focus on the major challenges domestic and international which have confronted political elites and masses during the period. It provides a critical understanding of some of the major debates between and within the UK's major political parties, and introduces some of the academic arguments generated by them. Politicians, and indeed political scientists, often make use of particular versions of history in order to persuade people that what they are offering is either tried and trusted or, on the other hand, new and improved. Pundits are also fond of making casual allusions to political events of the past in order to illustrate or support their arguments about the present often based on little more than second-hand knowledge and outdated received wisdom. This module provides a firm foundation of knowledge on which to build the more advanced understanding promoted by more advanced modules. And, by subjecting to critical analysis what is often taken for granted, it encourages a degree of healthy scepticism towards any references to politics in the past made in both public and academic discourse.

Contemporary Issues in Politics

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module takes a number of key isues in contemporary politics and examines the issues using the approaches and findings from the relevant academic research and literature. The module is designed to give you an understanding of the discipline of politics and how it is used to explain and understand contemporary issues in politics.

Explanatory Concepts in Political Science

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

In this module, you gain a firm understanding of some of the basic theories of the state including majoritarian and consensus democracy, pluralism, elite theory, Marxism and public choice theory.

The module applies the theories to British politics in order to gain a better understanding of particular political interests for example: the constitutions, political parties, voting, interest groups and globalisation.

The module develops a dialogue, which confronts established theories with the changing reality of British politics.

Foundations of Politics

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

You are introduced to some of the central concepts and issues in political theory.

The module offers you an opportunity to think not just about the way politics is, but also about the way it ought to be.

We will ask questions such as 'why should we obey the state?', 'is democracy the best form of government?', and 'what makes a just society?'

We begin with some of the most fundamental and enduring questions in political theory, and we finish with some more recent debates.

The module is designed to be cumulative, so that the analysis developed in one week is built on in the weeks that follow.

By the end of the term you should have acquired a basic understanding of the central questions in political theory, and you should have begun to develop some of your own answers to these questions.

International Politics

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

In this module, you address the nature and functioning of international politics.

You are introduced to theories of international politics, through exploring a range of different traditions and approaches.

You then examine a number of key issues and concepts in international politics.

As part of the module, you apply these theories and concepts to a range of different regions.

Research Skills and Methods in Political Science

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module is designed to introduce you to some of the fundamental issues faced by scholars as they try to analyse the political world around them.  We begin by examining the discipline of political science, what 'studying politics', and introduce some of the key terms such as epistemology, behaviouralism, quantitative methods.

You will be introduced to the basics of quantitative methods and the advantages and disadvantages of using surveys, questionnaires and statistical packages to analyse real world political activity. 

The next set of lectures analyse a completely different mode of enquiry; those based on interpretist understandings of political affairs. There are, obviously, all sorts of ways of collecting evidence to support your case/answer a question, and some of the most popular involve doing interviews, focus groups, simple participation etc. We discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of using these methods, analysing why they are chosen in the first place and how they link with more quantitative approaches. 

By the end of the module, you should have an enhanced understanding of what the political science discipline is, how political scholars conduct their research and how they reach the conclusions that they do. You should also be able to critically interpret many of the claims and counter-claims, often based on statistical indicators, that are a feature of contemporary political debate.

Most of the lectures will necessarily focus on presenting various, often rather abstract, concepts and procedures. However, the relevance of these in modern political analysis will be demonstrated by incorporating practical exercises in which the concepts and methods learnt will be applied in seminars and computer workshops.

Comparative Public Policy

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

Why do public policies differ from country to country? How can we explain these differences? Why are some governments more successful than others in solving particular policy problems?

These are the key questions that will be explored in this introductory module to comparative public policy.

The first part of the module explores theoretical issues relevant to the analysis of public policy, including both the stages of policy process and the main theories put forward to explain cross-national and temporal differences in public policy.

The second part of the module uses these theoretical tools to examine in detail specific policies, including welfare and social policy, pension policy, family policy, labour market policy, immigration policy, and education policy.

For each policy area, we will examine the roles of various actors, interests and institutions in the policy process, as well as the influence of broader structures and ideas in policy making.

European Politics

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

The political map of contemporary Europe is changing rapidly and fundamentally, as the traditional boundaries between East and West and between domestic and international governance break down.

This module aims to provide a pan-European introduction to the continent's politics, rooted in a comparative rather than a country-by-country approach. After setting the historical and socio-economic context, it moves on to tackle not just institutions (the nation-state, government and policy-making, legislatures, parties, pressure groups and the media) but also issues – participation, immigration, the supposed blurring of the left-right divide, and Europe in the world.

Modern Political Thought

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module addresses some of the most important texts in the history of western political philosophy. It covers the work of seven major political thinkers and aims to provide you with knowledge of the broad contours of modern political thought from the 17th to the 20th century. You will develop your ability to analyse philosophical arguments and to situate the texts studied in the appropriate historical contexts. Throughout, the aim will be to encourage close textual reading whilst developing an awareness of the wider themes and concepts that inform modern political thought.

Politics of Governance: East Asia

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module studies government in East Asia (both Northeast and Southeast Asia) covering the great diversity of polities in the region ranging from totalitarian systems (for example, China and North Korea), to 'soft' authoritarian states (for example, Singapore and Malaysia), to 'defective' democracies (for example, Indonesia and Thailand) and fully consolidated democratic regimes (for example, Japan and South Korea). We will analyse political systems through general frameworks of comparative politics to discuss two principal questions: How can existing theories help us further our understanding of Asian politics? And, conversely, how can the study of Asian politics contribute to theory building in political science? The analysis will be framed around key concepts such as political parties, elections, corruption and civil-military relations.

Politics of Governance: Eastern Europe

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

The module begins by examining the kind of legacies that the communist period left in these countries before moving on to consider their institutional structures and party and electoral politics of the new post-communist democracies. You then considers some of the major issues raised by the process of post-communist democratisation. These include: how to deal with functionaries of the previous non-democratic regime, how to introduce radical economic reform, and how to accommodate the existence of the numerous ethnic minorities that most of these states encompass? The impact of attempts to integrate into Euro-Atlantic international structures (the EU and NATO) on Central and East European domestic politics is considered before a final session that attempts to evaluate the nature of the regimes that are emerging in the region.

Politics of Governance: France

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

Democracy in France has a troubled history, which continues to impact on contemporary politics in significant ways that have contributed to the representation of France as being in many ways 'exceptional'. This idea of 'the French Exception' will serve as a context for this module, which aims to give you a basic understanding of the institutions, policies and issues which dominate political life in France today. The module uses current affairs in France as its starting point in order to encourage engagement, and will use this to build up a grasp of the institutional framework in which political power operates. Important themes to be analysed will be: institutional and constitutional change, party dynamics, and policy reforms.

Politics of Governance: Germany

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

The overall intellectual aim of this module is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the structure and norms of governance in the Federal Republic of Germany. The module examines the structure of German governance post-1945, looking at the formal codified arrangements of German federalism and the relationship between the constitution, parties and the wider polity. Particular emphasis is placed on Germany's role within the broader international community and the effects that unification has had on the structures and practices of German governance. We will also look at two particular policy fields (foreign policy, asylum and immigration policy) in order to see how the structures of governance affect policy making and policy development in individual policy areas. Learning objectives are specified by week for each topic. You should use these to think about when reading the material and preparing for each seminar.

Politics of Governance: India

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

The politics and governance component of the politics degrees concentrates on the relationship between political institutions and the wider society. This module is concerned with the ability of institutions such as structures of governance, bureaucracies and political parties to adapt to changing circumstances and respond to demands from interest groups while dealing with the ongoing pressures of social and economic development in India. 

This module will be divided into two main parts. The first part will deal with India's political history and independence with a focus on analysing the institutional mechanisms of governance in the country. We will look at the design of the Indian constitution at independence, examining its key features such as federalism, secularism and the choice of political and electoral system. The module would also examine and evaluate how key constitutional features have functioned in India to support governance and its democracy. We also analyse the evolution of the party system in India focusing on its key features, attributes, determinants and the linkages between the national and the sub-national party systems. 

The second part of the module will analyse the key instruments of governance in India: the legislatures, bureaucracy, judiciary, army and the election commission. We will examine the ability of these institutions to support governance in a highly complex political and social environment. The focus will be on the relationship between politics and economy, politics and society, and politics and conflict. 

The module primarily uses an empirical approach but also presents relevant theoretical constructs and some comparative analysis to provide you with a rich insight into the politics of governance in India.

Politics of Governance: International Institutions and Issues

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module critically analyses the evolution of the international institutional order since World War II up to contemporary times. It examines the emergence and transformations of these bodies in the face of evolving and emerging issues and challenges. You will focus on institutions such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation, as well as non-state actors and then gauge and assess their response to the issues and challenges in their respective fields of competence (for example, the environment, global ethics, intervention, failing states, self-determination, the changing nature of war and global governance).

Politics of Governance: The European Union

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module treats the EU as a system of governance and examines it on that basis looking at the nature of executive, legislative and judicial politics as well as looking at the nature of interest representation and examining the nature of democracy in the EU and the impact of the EU on European states. It does so the basis of a variety of theoretical accounts derived from international relations and political science that have been applied to the EU

Politics of Governance: USA

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module examines four approaches to understanding contemporary US politics that emphasise the role of institutions, ideas, individuals and interests. These approaches are applied to the three main institutions of the Presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court and to the nature of political parties and voting in the US.

Death of Socialism

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module looks at the contemporary condition of socialism following the collapse of state socialism in Central and Eastern Europe and elsewhere, the erosion of the central principles of Western social democracy and the prevalence of free market and capitalist ideas at the start of the century. Is socialism a relevant, feasible or desirable idea in contemporary society? Or is it dead, merely a historical relic of the 20th century?

We will start by looking at the two predominant conceptions and experiences of socialism of the twentieth century - ­ Marxist and social democratic socialism. What are the main features of these models of socialism? You will then examine criticisms of socialism from liberals and libertarians ­ such as Hayek and Nozick ­ and from new social movements ­ such as the women's movement and the green movement. What critical points are raised by these perspectives and how telling are they? We will look at reasons for the collapse of state socialism in the late 1980s and at attempts in the West to rethink socialism during an era in which neo­liberalism was a predominant force. Do liberal and new social movements' criticisms and the collapse of state socialism suggest that socialism is dead? Do attempts to redefine socialism (as market socialism or radical democratic socialism) escape the criticisms of liberals and the new social movements and the problems experienced under old social democracy and state socialism? Or do they indicate that the era of socialism has well and truly passed?

In the final two topics we shall address this question a little more. We will examine the attempt of New Labour and current European social democrats to respond to the crisis of social democracy and will ask whether there is anything remaining of socialism in such attempts. And we shall examine theses such as that of Fukuyama: that the day of socialism has passed and that capitalism has won the battle.

Photography and Politics

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Political Change: Eastern Europe in Transition

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Political Change: India

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Indian politics, society and economy have undergone substantial changes since the country's independence in 1947. Today India is an important emerging economy with a well developed party system and has a reasonable record of holding regular elections. Indian democracy has been an important area of research for scholars, especially with regard to its ability to survive and function amidst high social heterogeneity, widespread poverty and illiteracy. It is an interesting case to further our insights into the dynamics of political change in a large country amidst multiple social cleavages, significant intra-country differences and an evolving party system. 

This module explores key themes in Indian politics and society to understand the process of political change since its independence. You will analyse how the relationship between political actors and the wider society has been transformed through the rise of ethnic parties and identity politics, the growing importance of state-level parties and civil society movements. It explores how political parties are faced with the need to respond to demands from these organised interests and social movements. 

The key themes analysed in this module are:

  • The transformation of Indian party system from single party dominated system to a fragmented and multi-party competitive system
  • Political importance of socially underprivileged groups, ethnic parties and identity politics
  • The increased prominence of regional parties and emergence of coalition politics
  • The growing influence of civil society, mass movements and media
  • The key challenges facing the Indian nation


While exploring the key themes above the module analyses major factors that have led to political change and the ways in which this change has affected political actors in India. The module primarily uses an empirical approach but also presents relevant theoretical constructs and some comparative analysis to provide you with a rich insight into the politics of change in India.

Political Change: Political Parties and Party Systems

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you look at the factors behind political change within political parties and party systems.

You examine the development of political parties and their importance in modern advanced industrial democracies in Western Europe - and learn how to use theoretical and analytical models to study parties and party systems in a wide range of countries. 

Topics include: 

  • examining where political parties and party systems were formed and how they have changed over time
  • investigating the role of political parties
  • exploring if political parties are fulfilling the functions that democracy requires of them.

Political Change: The European Union as a Global Actor

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The emergence, over the last five and a half decades, of the European Union as a global actor of real relevance forms the basis for this module. It will chart and critically analyse this process of change from a community of six member states consumed with internal economic priorities to a union of 27 member states (and growing) whose decisions frequently have a global reach and whose troops  have undertaken missions in south-east Europe, Central Africa and the Far East. What have been the key actors and factors behind this transformation? And where is this process of political change headed? The tutor will encourage and assist you in tackling these and other related questions in a critical manner. The module will cover the following distinct but related topics: foreign policy integration at EU level and its limits; the impact of new member states; the militarization of the Union; the EU and crisis management; the EU and conflict prevention; the impact of the USA and Russia on this process of change; and the soft power/hard power debate.

Political Change: the Evolution of Post War European Integration

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module explores in depth the historical development of the European Union. In doing so, it provides an opportunity to review the various debates which have emerged within the social sciences and history about the dynamics of integration, the motivations of policy-makers and the influence of different actors. Drawing upon a range of concepts and approaches from those disciplines, the module focuses on a series of milestones, turning points and crises in the evolution of the EU.

Foreign Policy Analysis in Comparative Perspective

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module provides you with the analytical skills to critically investigate the foreign policies of different countries in Europe and beyond. The first part of the module will introduce the academic field of foreign policy analysis and familiarise you with its most important methods and theories. Specifically, the module will cover theoretical approaches on the international, state and individual level of analysis. It will unpack the process of foreign policy decision-making in order to identify the most significant actors and influences on different types of foreign policy decisions. The second part of the module will explore key issues in foreign policy analysis. We will compare and contrast the foreign policies of different countries and discuss variations in the foreign policy outlook of small, middle and great powers. We will also look into some of the most pressing topics on the current foreign policy agenda in different issue areas such as military interventions, the fight against terrorism and the foreign policy implications of globalisation or the protection of human rights. In discussing these topics particular emphasis will be placed on theory-guided analysis. While the module has a regional focus on the foreign policies of selected European countries we will also cover issues related to the foreign policies of the US and the rising powers.

Ideas of Progress and Decline in Modern British Politics

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Ideas about progress and decline are central to political discourse. This module focuses on how they have been used in modern Britain. You will gain an overview of the main ideological theories about progress and decline and explore how they have informed political debates about Britain's economy, culture and society. You will also examine how concepts of absolute and relative progress and decline have shaped understandings of Britain's place in the world.

Immigration and the Liberal State

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you examine why immigration has become one of the most contested issues on the political agenda of liberal states across Europe and North America.

You look at representative democracy, constitutionalism, capitalism, and nationhood - and examine how these generate conflicting imperatives for immigration policymaking, which lead to contradictory policies.

You develop an understanding of how immigration policies in liberal democracies are shaped and study recent trends in the immigration, citizenship and integration policies of immigrant-receiving countries in Europe and North America.

Independent Study/Internship Option

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This option provides an opportunity for you to carry out your own research project - working independently but with the help of a project tutor. In order to be accepted onto this option you produce a project outline by the end of you second year which needs to be approved by the module convenor. This many be linked to a period as an intern in the place of work (eg, in a local authority or at Westminster).

Political Corruption

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The objective of this module is to shed some light on the dark side of politics by developing analytical and theoretical tools that will allow us to analyse corruption across both time and space. We begin by analysing exactly what we understand by ‘corrupt’ behaviour and how this appears to differ (often quite starkly) across national boundaries. Are humans naturally corrupt? If so, does this matter? Is corrupt behaviour absolute and universal or does it depend on location and context? Indeed, can corruption sometimes even be a good thing?

Armed with the analytical tools aimed at unpacking the complex phenomenon of political corruption, we examine specific examples of corruption across the developed world, ranging from systematic abuses of power by parties and politicians to small-scale, almost trivial, petty misdemeanours. This analysis then provides a foundation for examining what reforms might contribute to lessening instances of political corruption in the western world.

Populism and Politics

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Populism is a widely used term in politics but rarely conceptualised in political science. This module explores the phenomenon of populism and its relationship to politics and particularly to representative politics and considers populism, its meaning, its causes and effects in a systematic and comparative way. Populism is understood in its widest possible sense in this module so that we explore populism of the right and of the left and we examine a wider range of disparate cases of populism from different parts of the world. The module has essentially two elements: the first is the examination of a range of different examples of populist movements, moments, personalities and parties (eg from Russia, North America, Latin America and Europe). The second element is to examine the conceptualisation of populism and to engage with the debates about whether to and how to define populism. The module will be empirically oriented allowing you to develop interests in a small number of cases with an eye to clarifying your positions on the wider conceptual debates regarding populism.

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