Politics is something that affects everyone in some form or another. Whether you are directly involved in the decision making, or are a voting citizen exercising your right to an opinion, politics plays a role in your life. You will develop your understanding of decision making with regard to economics and social factors. Your degree will allow you to engage with critical issues and question the opinions and decisions of others in a constructive way.
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The accreditation of your degree will depend on where you choose to study. It will also be influenced by your level of study, and the specific content of your course. At undergraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc), a Bachelor of Arts (BA), or an integrated Master of Politics (MPol). At postgraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Master of Science (MSc), a Master of Arts (MA), or a Master of Public Administration (MPA). Further study will award research degrees such as Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
Generally, an undergraduate degree will take three to four years to complete, depending on where you choose to study. A postgraduate degree will normally take one to two years to complete.
Your institution may offer part-time study options, which usually means that your degree will take four to six years. You may also be able to take a foundation programme, which is useful if you do not meet the entry requirements for your degree.
Annual tuition fees for UK students are capped by the UK government. For the 2019/20 academic year, they are £9,250. This is subject to change each year, and will be updated on your institution website.
Postgraduate course annual tuition fees are set by the institution, which means that they can differ. Postgraduate programmes are generally less expensive than undergraduate programmes. You will find detailed fee information on the institution webpage.
The fees displayed below are an example of typical annual tuition fees for undergraduate and postgraduate politics degrees. Actual tuition fees can be found on the institution webpages.
Typical Annual Tuition Fees
- Undergraduate - £9,250
- Postgraduate - £8,500
An undergraduate degree in politics will give you a foundation of knowledge in the area. You might study modules on political models, political science theories, democracy and dictatorship, international politics, international security and international relations. The vast majority of undergraduate courses will be designed to suit students who do not have a lot of experience in politics, as well as challenging those who have already developed their skills and knowledge in the area. Your degree will be delivered through lectures and tutorials, incorporating field trips and important cultural debates. Depending on your course, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. Assessment methods can include written work, presentations, group projects, and major final project in your final year.
During a postgraduate degree, such as an MSc, you will build on the knowledge you gained at undergraduate level. The modules you study will cover the more complex and specialist areas of politics. You will explore the traditional subjects areas, as well as the contemporary concepts. Modules and specialisms might include British politics, American politics, comparative politics, Prime Ministers and Presidents, human rights, and extremist politics. Assessment methods could include written work, presentations and group projects, and a final major research project or thesis.
The entry requirements for a politics degree will depend on where you choose to study. It will also be influenced by the level of study you are applying for. An undergraduate degree will require you to have a background in politics, psychology or law. Some universities might accept other qualitative subjects such as history, sociology or English. If you do not have a strong background in any of these subjects, but can show that you are passionate about the area, institutions might still consider your application. You can display this through your personal statement or an interview. For a postgraduate degree, most universities will require you to have an undergraduate degree in politics, or a closely related subject.
Typical Entry Requirements
- A Level Grades - AAA-ABB
- UCAS Points - 144-128 UCAS points
- Required/Desired Subjects - Law, Psychology, Sociology, History, English
- Degree Requirements - 2:1 or higher
- Required/Desired Subjects - Politics, Law, Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy
Graduates of politics will find that there are many career opportunities available to them. You will be a versatile and skilled graduate, thanks to your developed critical and analytical thinking abilities. You will be able to formulate your ideas well, and will have perfected the art of communicating with a wide variety of people. If you choose to work in a role directly related to politics, roles might include member of Parliament (MP), a political assistant, human rights or political journalism or media. If you choose to work in a role not directly related to politics, you could become a teacher, work in human resources management, law and criminal justice, or banking and finance.