Placement Offered This course has a Professional Development option.
- Special Features
- Course Content
- Teaching & Assessment
- Entry Criteria
About the Course
Politics is a broad-based degree which provides a good foundation in the various aspects of the study of politics. It offers a grounding in the different approaches and theories, as well as a range of options that focus on European, American and international politics, and political change.
Studying Politics enables students to address critical political questions, such as: Who has political power? Why do they have it? To whom are they accountable? In whose interest do they exercise it? What is globalisation? Is violent protest ever justified?
Admissions and Course Enquiries
Web: Admissions Enquiries Information
Tel (before application): +44 (0)1895 265599 (Course Enquiries)
Tel (after application): +44 (0)1895 265265 (Admissions Office)
Contact Admissions or Course Enquiries Online
Admissions Tutor: Dr Niall Palmer
- You have good access to some the best research facilities in the UK, and Westminster and Whitehall are within easy reach.
- You have the chance to spend a period of study in New York, Rennes, Stuttgart, Cyprus or Helsinki through our student exchange programme.
- We have good links with key political figures and institutions.
Facts and Figures
- Our courses are designed and taught by experts in the fields of politics, international relations, social policy and contemporary history who have been nationally and internationally recognised for the excellence of their research.
- As well as 250 undergraduates, we have over 40 postgraduate taught and research students.
You take a number of prescribed ‘core’ modules combined with a number of optional modules at Levels 2 and 3. At Level 3, you will also have the opportunity to pursue your particular interests in researching and writing your major project.
Please note that module availability is subject to change.
Level 1 Core
- Central Themes in Political Thought
- Introduction to American Politics
- Introduction to World Politics
- Modern British Politics
- Political Science Methods
Level 1 Options
- Capital Labour and Power: Britain 1707-1939
- History, Memory and Culture in Europe since 1789
Level 2 Core
- Comparative Politics
- International Relations
- Total War in the Modern Era
Level 2 Options
- Asia-Pacific International Relations: Modern East-West Encounters
- Democracy and Democratisation
- Issues in American Politics
- US Foreign Policy: World War II to the end of the Cold War
- The Holocaust
Level 3 Core
- European Union Politics: Problems and Prospects
Level 3 Options
- Empire, Imperialism and Hegemony
- Globalisation and Governance
- History, Travel and the Sea
- India and the World: The International Relations of a Rising Power
- Intelligence and National Security
- Marx and Marxism
- Media, Politics and Power in America
- Parties and Voters in the UK
- Theory and Practice of Cultural Diversity
- The Arab-Israeli Conflict
- The History and Politics of Heritage
- The Second World War
- Rethinking Modern Europe: Borders, Nations and Identities since 1850
Final year dissertation
Students produce a 12,000 word dissertation on a subject of their choice. This major piece of work, undertaken with the support and supervision of a dissertation tutor, will give you a valuable opportunity to demonstrate research and writing skills. It is written on a subject relevant to your particular course of study and may well relate to your future career plans.
The influence of scholarship and experience
Students benefit directly from the expertise and experience of their teachers. All our courses are informed by the research of lecturers who write important books, publish well-regarded scholarly articles, present papers at other universities and appear in the media, at home and abroad.
Research has led to major television and radio programmes and several staff are, or have been, consultants to Government departments as well as to major national newspapers.
As well as offering students some of the best teaching in our subject areas, we are committed to helping you progress confidently through the levels of your degree programme. To achieve this, we devote as much care to your initiation into higher education, both by entry-level courses and study skills teaching, as to the completion of your learning at Level 3.
By your final year, therefore, you will be in a position to benefit from the specialist research-led courses and will be prepared for the research and writing involved in your dissertation.
We offer the opportunity to study for an academic year at the State University of New York at Brockport. We also run student exchange schemes in the Socrates Programme with the Universities of Rennes in France, Stuttgart and Magdeburg in Germany, Helsinki in Finland and the University of Cyprus.
How will I be taught?
Modules are generally taught by a mixture of lectures and seminars. Depending on its credit-rating, you can expect to have one or two hours of lectures per week for each module and a one-hour seminar each week or fortnight.
The bulk of every student’s work, however, will undoubtedly consist of private study. On average this should absorb approximately 25 to 30 hours of your life each week.
Lectures – These provide a broad overview of key themes and ideas relating to your course and provide you with a framework from which to carry out more in-depth study.
Seminars – These relatively small groups are used for subjects where the lecture material is examined in more detail, and theoretical concepts are analysed and applied in specific contexts. Seminars provide students with an opportunity for discussion, argument and the development of presentational skills.
One-to-one – You will get one-to-one supervision on your final year dissertation and at all levels you will have a personal tutor who is available to discuss personal and academic problems. If you go on placement, you will also be allocated a work placement tutor who will ensure your progress and provide further support if you need it.
Private study – Real learning requires active involvement by you. Lecturers and seminar leaders can provide guidance and help but you must develop the ability to organise your studies. During your first months at Brunel, you are given help and advice designed to encourage you to become an ‘independent learner’, capable of managing your work effectively.
External visits – Wherever possible we aim to introduce students to the benefits which stem from observing politics in action and from the personal experience of other political systems and ideas. You will visit important political sites in the UK (the University is a short distance from parliament), and depending on the options you select, may visit overseas.
Level 1 does not count towards your final degree mark. Level 2 is worth a third, and Level 3 is worth two-thirds. The final year dissertation is worth a third of Level 3 marks.
Exact assessment patterns vary, but most are based on a combination of coursework and formal written exams. Typically, coursework marks constitute 25-50% of overall module grades.
Studying politics will equip you with a range of transferable skills that will enable you to follow the career you want after graduation.
Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey
These statistics relate to graduates from a number of different pathways – Politics, International Politics, Politics and Economics, Politics and History and Politics and Sociology.
Graduates from these subjects enter a broad range of careers with some entering public sector/charity sectors and others using their degree as a route into a range of careers in commercial environments.
In 2010/11, six months after graduating:
- 54.7% of graduates with a first degree were in employment
- 24.5% were in full-time further study
- 5.6% were combining work and study
Our students pursue a wide variety of jobs after graduating. Some Brunel graduates such as John McDonnell MP, or former Labour party general secretary Baroness McDonagh, opt for careers in politics. Others have joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Home Office, GCHQ and military intelligence.
Many have gone on to work in public and private sector organisations, such as Chase Manhattan, Marks and Spencer, British Airways, Coca Cola Schweppes, HSBC, and the NHS Confederation. Significant numbers have taken further training to pursue careers in broadcasting, journalism, law, and teaching at every level.
You can take a one-year, professional work placement as part of the four-year thick-sandwich course. Past students have worked for the Home Office, the Treasury and the Houses of Parliament and for organisations such as Epolitix.com and Politics International.
The positive impact of a sandwich placement on graduate employment outcomes across Brunel is considerable. Those who have done placements are also much more likely to be in employment for which they their degree was a formal requirement or where they believe their degree gave them a competitive advantage in recruitment.
Placement leavers from Politics experienced the following outcomes:
- 87.5% progressed into employment or further study
- 71.4% were engaged in a graduate-level activity (employment or further study)
- 60.0% of employed leavers were working in the top three categories of graduate level employment
- The average starting salary was £33,000.
UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year
International students: £12,000 full-time
We are introducing over 700 scholarships for 2013, meaning that one in five applicants who join Brunel next year will receive financial support from the University. See our fees and funding page for full details
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Requirements for 2013 Entry
- GCE A-level Typical offer AAB (General Studies/Critical Thinking accepted). Applicants who have already achieved at least ABB at A-level and have Personal Statements showing a strong interest in the course and transferable skills will also be considered. Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants within this range.
- Irish Leaving Certificate AAABB.
- Scottish Advanced Highers AAB.
- Advanced Diploma Progression Diploma Grade A in Creative and Media, Society, Health and Development, Public Services or Business, Administration and Finance, plus an A-level at Grade B for Additional and Specialist Learning.
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma D*D*D in a related subject.
- IBDP 35 points.
- Access Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher.
For all of the above, 5 GCSEs or equivalent at Grade C or above are also required, to include English and Maths (please note that these must have been gained by the time you submit your UCAS application).
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
- TOEFL Paper test: 580 (TWE 4)
- TOEFL Internet test: 92 (R18, L17, S20, W17)
- Pearson: 59 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT 65% (min 55% in all areas)
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.