Political science is an exciting and interesting degree program due to the ever more globalised world and the need for the understanding of decision making with regards to economics, social factors and politics. A degree in political science allows students to engage with critical issues in politics and develop a comprehensive understanding of the world of politics.
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Studying Political Science
A political science degree usually takes three years of full time study to complete, however, some universities offer students the opportunity to take part in a placement year, to gain hands on experience in the industry, therefore resulting in a four year course.
During the first year of study students will study core modules including an introduction to politics, human rights in contemporary society, issues in justice, ethics and citizenship, politics in Europe and globalisation of world politics. In the second year of study students are given more flexibility with regards to studying and are allowed to choose which area of politics they would like to specialise, as well as studying core modules. Core modules in year 2 include economics for politics, public policy, and democratisation. Optional modules can include international relations, political analysis, political philosophy, race ethnicity and politics, and US politics. The final year of study is mostly centred on an independent project; dissertation. However, students are still required to take a few modules and these are optional from a list such as war and public opinion, political psychology, international security, Marxism, terrorism and conflict resolution and debates in political theory.
Entrance to a Political Science Degree will vary depending on the institution and type of course you are applying to. Generally you will be required to have gained three A Level grades A*AA – BBC with History being a desirable, but not essential, subject. Throughout the application process you will be required to express your enthusiasm and commitment to the discipline of politics. If you have chosen a combined Politics degree with an economics or business field of study you may also need to have mathematical competency.
It is worth considering that universities ranked highly for Political Science Degrees will generally have higher entry requirements or extra application standards. Some universities require students to have a pre interview written assessment as well as an entrance interview. You are advised to contact the institution you are applying to for a full breakdown of entry requirements.
After completing an undergraduate degree in political science, students can enter a range of professional and managerial careers in a wide range of industries. Graduates are well equipped with skills such as researching, analysis, verbal and written, making them good candidates for a variety of roles. Common job areas include law, education, criminal justice and politics, and politics journalism.
Alternatively, graduates of political science degree courses can opt to study politics at Masters level through specialist courses such as crisis management, public policy, and international relations. Postgraduate degrees related to politics take around 12 months of full time study to complete.