BA (Hons) Politics

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply

Overview

The principal focus of this degree is power relations between individuals, social groups and nations – so you’ll explore how the local, national and international intersect to influence both high and low politics, as well as questions of power and justice. You’ll study a broad range of topics, from UK politics, political thought and theory, to international politics, international relations and ‘issue’ politics such as human rights, environmentalism, terrorism and conflict. 

A wide variety of options mean you can pursue your own interests – with things becoming increasingly flexible as you progress through the course. In the final year, you’ll engage more directly with current academic debates and contemporary political developments. Depending on what you choose to specialise in, you’ll have the option to graduate with the bracketed degree award of BA (Hons) Politics (Policy, Society and Community).

With practical skills training, including advanced analytical approaches, as well as an opportunity to study abroad – with all the experience that brings – a politics degree opens doors to a range of interesting and rewarding career possibilities.

*From 2020 onwards, this course will also be available with a placement year option. See ‘Year 3’ in course details below for further information.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

Graduates of politics possess a number of transferable skills that are highly valued in a wide range of employment sectors. Our former students have secured employment in areas as varied as the fast-track civil service, teaching, the armed forces intelligence corps, publishing, recruitment, journalism, media, charities, academic research and company management.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points/grades required

104-112

Minimum 104 at A2 or equivalent (such as BTEC National Extended Diploma at Level 3 DMM or Advanced 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

26

IELTS score required for international students

6.0. with no element below 5.5

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

Course details

In the study of politics, historical background, socio-economic indicators and ideological imperatives are analysed and cultural, gender and ethnic identities examined. We offer a variety of options to enable you to pursue your own interests, with increasing flexibility throughout the course. Topics include UK politics, political thought and theory, European politics, international politics and international relations, 'issue' politics (e.g. human rights, environmentalism, terrorism and conflict) and comparative politics. In the final year, you will engage with current academic debates and contemporary political developments. You will also have the option to undertake a dissertation in an area of your own choice, under one-to-one supervision. 

In Year 1 you will study a variety of units:

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Comparative Government and Politics

This unit introduces you to the key concepts, theories and ideas associated with the study of Politics. It aims to give you a broad grounding in the framework of modern government and to establish the importance of the comparative dimension in the study of Politics. In addition it promotes a range of study, academic, and general transferable skills, including independent and group learning, marshalling and evaluating relevant material, and engaging in academic analysis and debate.

Developments in Politics (Britain)

This unit evaluates political change in Britain since 1900 and focuses on the way in which the main political parties have been affected by the changing nature of British society and how they have responded to the problems confronting society both internally and externally. You will be introduced to debates surrounding the nature and role of ideology in the shaping of policy within the parties; the role of social and economic forces in influencing political change and the significance of key reforms (legislative programmes) of major governments.

Political Concepts and Ideologies

This unit introduces you to some of the key concepts used in political theory and political ideologies. This includes the concepts of freedom, equality, democracy, the main contemporary political ideologies and contested concepts such as feminism, ecologism, human rights and terrorism.

Introduction to World Politics

This unit aims to provide you with an understanding of the historical and contemporary context within which the multiple transactions of world politics take place. It begins by examining the development of the modern state system and continues by examining the changing nature of that system throughout the twentieth century. The second term looks at the idea of citizenship, community and critical issues in world politics.

In Year 2 you will study a variety of units. The optional units below are indicative of the type of units that will be available.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Political Theory
A unit that introduces you to the main figures in Political Theory between Machiavelli and Marx, and focuses on their leading ideas. The unit covers the following thinkers and their leading ideas; Niccolo Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx.
American Empire

This unit combines an introduction to the US federal government and its institutions, processes and policies with an examination of US foreign policy since the Cold War. It includes the US Constitution, Congress, the Presidency and the Supreme Court; parties and elections; recent political history and key contemporary issues; American policy from the height of the Cold War to the present day.

Option Units

Politics of the Arts
This unit will explore links between art and politics in a thematic way focusing on the artist as witness to, activist in or victim of political events. It will make reference to a wide range of international art, design and cinematic movements.
War, Violence and the Democratic State

The unit aims to provide an understanding of the ethical dimensions of war and politics through an examination of persistent moral problems and dilemmas concerning war, violence and political obligation. Topics considered include pacifism; the concept and criteria of a ‘Just War’; humanitarian intervention and the development of international law.

Engaging the Humanities and Social Science: Interdisciplinary Learning and Practice

This is an innovative cross-departmental unit which provides an opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary context alongside other students from a range of undergraduate programmes within the Humanities part of our Faculty.

Modern British Politics

The unit will provide you with an understanding of the changing character of politics and society in Britain since 1980. It focuses particular attention on debates surrounding the role of the state, the economy, the organisation of industry and the role of factors such as the media and pressure groups within the political process.

Evolution of Global Security

The units content is divided into small blocks examining specific theoretical perspectives and practical challenges to global security. The unit starts from evaluating the role of the European Union in regional and global security. The unit moves on to study postcolonial perspective on poverty and humanitarian interventions, to analyse how IR theories explain Climate Change and other threats to Environmental Security. The last section is devoted to the Critical Theory and modern warfare and global terrorism.

From 2020 this course will offer a placement year option which can be taken up in Year 3. Where a placement is not undertaken you will study the following final year units. The optional units below are indicative of the type of units that will be available.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Contemporary Political Issues: Theory and Practice

This unit allows you to engage with current academic debates and contemporary political developments and demonstrates a strong commitment to examining theoretical positions through the exploration of contrasting academic approaches. You will examine and apply diverse theoretical and methodological approaches and as a result develop the most advanced analytical skills needed for future employment prospects. 

With unique content for each degree route, example case studies include; examining the role of positivistic behaviouralism in British social policy; the role of new media both in terms of empirical questions and theoretical examination of the consequences; examining the electoral success of new political parties and movements; the rise of new global powers from BRICS to MINTS economics and ideology; new military methods and human rights statistical and normative questions; understanding evolving radicalism (linked to specific area studies).

Option Units

Political Theory since 1918

This unit will consider the thought of leading political thinkers since the First World War, focusing on Hannah Arendt, Carl Schmitt, Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault. The unit explores issues such as how to define the political (Arendt and Schmitt), forms of capital (Bourdieu) and the nature of social control via disciplining techniques (Foucault).

Independent Project

This unit enables you to complete an extended piece of work which develops your research skills and ability to analyse academic sources and empirical findings in an area of your own choosing. 

The EU in Turmoil

The unit examines both internal and external contexts of European Integration. It is aimed to answer the following questions: what is the EU? How the decisions are made? What are the consequences of these decisions for the future development of European integration? What are the main internal and external policies of the EU? Among other things the unit examines the EU's response to such issues as global terrorism, climate change, financial crisis, immigration etc.

Contemporary Politics in the Middle East and North Africa

Political legacies of colonialism in the Middle East and North Africa, the concept of `Unity' and `Diversity' in Islam, political Islam and its influence in current politics, relations between the Islamic World and the West, in particular in relation to recent conflicts, enabling students to consider significant issues about unity and diversity, whilst gaining knowledge of major current events, and learning how to assess their validity.

The US and The Middle East

The unit examines US policy toward the Middle East since the end of the Cold War. After establishing the background, in the form of American relations with the region during the Cold War, the unit will focus on the following issues: US policy toward Iraq; US policy toward Iran; US policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; The War on Terror and US policy toward al-Qaeda and ISIS; the US and the Arab Spring and US policy toward the Syrian conflict.

Latin American Politics

This unit offers both a historical background to, and analysis of, contemporary Latin American politics. The unit is in 2 sections -the first offers discussion of the institutions, processes and key factors which influence Latin American politics and the second offers in-depth analysis of individual Latin American countries.

Britain and World Politics since 1918: Aspects of British Foreign Policy

This unit focuses upon Britain's role in world politics to the present day. Topics examined include Britain and the Spanish Civil War, Britain and Palestine, Indian independence and the unwinding of empire, Britain and Europe, Anglo-American relations, British policy towards the Bosnian War, Blair’s foreign policy (Iraq and Afghanistan), the Arab Spring and the morality of humanitarian intervention in the Twenty First Century.

Education Policy
The unit aims to explore the political environment within which the British educational system functions. It will critically examine a number of issues which have affected the development of education policy in the UK since the early 1960s.
What's Going On? African-American Politics, Music and Culture

This unit focuses on the politics of the African-American community in the latter half of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  It examines these politics especially as they have been mediated by various forms of cultural production: books, films and popular music.  As well as standard teaching methods, students will be presented with film, video, and audio material.

From 2020 this course will offer a placement year option. If you complete a placement in Year 3 you will study the following final year units in Year 4. The optional units below are indicative of the type of units that will be available.

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:

Study
Assessment
Optional foundation year

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

Fees

Foundation Year students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £9,250 per year for the foundation 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: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £14,500 per year. When progressing from the pre-degree foundation year to the linked degree. 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)

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: £14,500 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: £3625 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.

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

Placement Costs

Students normally do not incur additional core costs for field or Erasmus trips. These are optional depending on unit choice. Students on placement may need to provide travel costs dependent on choice of placement.

Funding

Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

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How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now

UCAS code(s)

L200

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

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.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

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
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at officeforstudents.org.uk.

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.

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