Study Politics

What Is a Politics Degree?

Politics is an interesting and dynamic subject which concerns the formal structures of human society. Studying politics helps students to understand and assess the world we live in. Politics graduates have many highly desirable skills including communication and research, and go on to work in a diverse number of fields, including government and education.

What will I study?

You will gain a thorough understanding of political history and political philosophy. Students analyse key texts from the likes of Hobbs, Kant and Marx. They then learn how to use history and theory to explain political realities and research answers into contemporary issues such as poverty, globalisation and corruption. You will undertake in-depth study of different political systems at the local, national and international level. Students are also given rigorous training in research methods and analysis.

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The first year will be dedicated to understanding some of the basic theories of the state. These include democracy, pluralism and Marxism. You will analyse key texts to understand how these theories can be applied to real life. The course will look at some fundamental questions such as “what is the rule of law?” and “what is a utopic state?”. You will begin to learn research methods and skills, and through a problem-based research task will become familiar with psephology: the study of voting behaviour.

In the second year, you will begin to study political institutions. That is to say; local, national and international governmental organisations and political parties. You will undertake a course in policy making which will investigate the ways in which various bodies have sought to solve problems. Students continue to develop research skills and in the second term, will undertake a country-specific elective module during which they will be required to submit a research project.

Final year politics students work towards the submission of a dissertation project. This will be undertaken in an area of study of their choosing. Options for this include ‘Populism and politics’, ‘Race, Racism and Cultural Identity’ and ‘Immigration and the liberal state’. You will also have the opportunity to take modules from other, related disciplines such as international relations and history.

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