BA (Hons) Joint Honours Politics and Philosophy

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Attend an open day How to apply


Politics is the study of power and how power operates in all its forms: through individuals, structures, internationally and domestically. Its principal focus is on power relations among individuals, social groups and nations. Philosophers seek to answer questions of universal importance about the nature of reality, our knowledge of the world, and the truth of our existence.

This Joint Honours degree will provide you with the skills to explore the philosophical and political landscape of human consciousness throughout time and place. You will gain a firm grasp of political and current affairs, understand the news headlines, seeing beyond them to the real issues of politics, and be in a better position to comment upon and understand what the politicians are really saying.

A wide variety of options mean you can pursue your own interests – with things becoming increasingly flexible as you progress through the course. We also offer opportunities to learn with a language. With practical skills training, including advanced analytical approaches, as well as placement and study abroad opportunities – with all the experience that brings – this degree opens doors to a range of interesting and rewarding career possibilities and provides the skills to progress to higher research programmes.

This course has a Foundation Year available.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

Studying a Joint Honours degree gives you the opportunity to improve your employability by developing skills and knowledge in two subjects.

This course will help you to develop the ability to think critically, analyse ideas and articulate the conclusions reached. These skills are transferable to a wide range of careers including roles in business and management, central and local government, international institutions, voluntary organisations, political parties, the media, publishing, research and teaching.

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Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points/grades required


Minimum of 104 UCAS tariff points at A2 or equivalent (such as DMM on BTEC Extended Diploma)

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered.

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with a minimum 106 UCAS Tariff Points.

International Baccalaureate points


IELTS score required for international students

6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each element

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Course details

This Joint Honours degree provides students with an opportunity to study two subjects at degree level. The programme is carefully developed to balance modules from each subject area with the modules tailored specifically for the Joint Honours students, such as the Arts and Humanities project offered in Year 3.

In Year 1, you’ll explore a range of key topics to enable you to begin to develop a thorough understanding of Politics and Philosophy.

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Core Units

Introduction to Methods in Politics

This unit will introduce you to different political processes and institutions, and will review the key research methods appropriate to comparative politics. The course will help you to identify appropriate approaches to data interpretation and presentation, and provides an opportunity to develop your own case study.  

Society and Community: An introduction

This unit develops your understanding of principles of social policy and concepts of social justice, social exclusion, difference and diversity, by using UK-based policy case studies and looking at future challenges for the state and its citizens.

Developments in Politics I

This unit explores contemporary political developments in Britain, Europe and the wider world. Content will vary from year to year and can include: post-war British politics, the organisation of the European Union and its impact on the member states citizens; Global democratic transitions world-wide, and contemporary democratic structures.

Introduction to Political Ideologies

This unit introduces you to the main contemporary political ideologies and contested concepts such as feminism, ecologism, human rights and terrorism.

Theoretical Ethics

What is it for an action to be right or wrong, and why should I be moral in the first place? This unit introduces and critically explains the central issues in theoretical ethics in order to enable you to evaluate the arguments, positions, and theories that underpin these questions, and develop your own metaethical position. Throughout, emphasis is placed on developing the critical, analytical and conceptual skills needed to comprehend the complexity of ethical debates in the modern world and to engage with them.

Introduction to Classical Philosophy

Classical philosophy posed some of the fundamental questions of philosophy, questions about what it is to be human, what attitude we should have towards life and death, what is true and what is real. This unit will introduce you to these questions and, by examining the distinctive way in which they are posed in the works of the classical philosophers, it will help you to develop the ability to philosophise in response to them.

Introduction to Modern Philosophy

This unit will look at some of the key arguments of early modern philosophers about such issues as the nature of the mind and what it can know with certainty, the relation between the mind and the world, and what nature is. Through a close engagement with the writings of some of these philosophers, it will encourage you to think critically about our view of ourselves and our relation to the world.


You will study the rich tradition of Existentialism, which has asked what it means to exist authentically as an embodied, gendered being in an absurd universe. While looking at the earlier existentialists, the unit will concentrate on a close engagement with the writings of some of the most influential 20th century existentialists such as Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, and Jean-Paul Sartre.

In Year 2, you’ll continue to build on your knowledge and skills developed in Year 1. A range of option units will be available to you.

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Core Units

Modern Political Thought I

This unit introduces the history of modern political thought from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. Studying a series of 'classic' texts by a range of political thinkers, we will discuss different frameworks for understanding key questions in politics such as: why should I obey the state? and what is political power, and how is it used? You will learn critical skills to evaluate the thinkers, examined with a focus on the social contract tradition.

Advanced Methods in Politics

This unit will help you to develop an understanding of research methods in politics. The unit will discuss both the limitations and advantages of quantitative and qualitative analysis for political research.

Greek Philosophy

This unit will focus on one key classical philosophical text (e.g. Plato’s Republic), examining it in terms of its historical and intellectual context. It gives you the opportunity to study how the earliest thinkers of the Western tradition thought about some of the most fundamental of all questions (e.g. what reality is and how we know it; what the best kind of life is and how we should best organise our societies).

Political Philosophy

On this unit, you will study one of the key texts of modern political theory (e.g., Machiavelli’s Prince, Rousseau’s Social Contract or Locke’s Second Treatise of Government). You will examine in detail some of the basic issues of modern political theory, such as the nature of democracy, the justification for sovereignty and the limits of government, and the origins of inequality and injustice.

This course offers a placement year option which can be taken up in Year 3. During the placement year, although you will be supervised directly by the company you are employed by, you will also be allocated an Academic/Placement Tutor. They will provide support and guidance, assess your progress and generally monitor your welfare for the time you are away from the University.

Where a placement is not undertaken you will study the following final year units. Please note, these option units are indicative of what options may be on offer in Year 3 of this programme but may be subject to change.

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Core Units

Arts & Humanities Project

You will work with a supervisor to define an independent project on an appropriate topic of your choosing. You may focus on an academic subject or work with an external partner. Preliminary research will generate a detailed proposal, which will form the basis of a guided independent research-based project to produce an extended piece of work that presents a thesis. Your final submission will be an individual project that builds upon the skills you have developed on your course.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:



Optional foundation year

Placement options

Placement opportunities are available both in the UK and abroad. Amongst others, students currently on placement are working in a variety of roles over a huge span of industries.

Our dedicated Placement Team has developed excellent links with various industries. You will be offered support through a preparation programme of activities that includes guidance on selection procedures, working overseas, CV preparation, interview and selection techniques.

Department of History, Politics and Philosophy

Our Department of History, Politics and Philosophy offers programmes of study alongside a thriving research culture, emphasising a student-centred approach to learning.

With interdisciplinary strengths in many areas, the department takes pride in its approach to research-led teaching and being able to provide opportunities for students to work with academics at the forefront of their disciplines.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2312.50 per 30 credits studied per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £15,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international students: Part-time fee: £3750 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

Specialist Costs


Books and learning materials (approx. £200 per annum).

The Department sometimes offers optional opportunities for short study trips abroad of one week or less as part of our curriculum enrichment efforts. Students choosing to participate in such trips are expected to cover the costs of their travel and maintenance.


For further information on financing your studies or information about whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships, follow the links below:

Bursaries and scholarships

Money Matters

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How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

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UCAS code(s)


Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

Full-time applications through UCAS
Part-time applications - download an application form at

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
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All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.