Politics and Economics BSc
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Our recent Politics and History webinar can now be watched here.
About the course
The course establishes a close relationship between politics and economics and helps you gain practical and theoretical knowledge of these subjects.
You will examine how political and economic factors enter into public and private decision-making. You will also develop quantitative and computing skills in economics and an understanding of micro- and macro-economic principles and of advanced macroeconomics.
Programmes in Politics will help you to address critical 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?
Economics courses at Brunel combine an understanding of theory with the practical skills necessary to apply your knowledge to a business, industrial, financial or government environment. It is this combination together with a strong background in finance that distinguishes the Brunel courses from other degrees in economics.
The BSc consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.
- Maths and Stats for Economists
- Microeconomic Principles
- Macroeconomic Principles
- Political Science Methods
- Central Themes in Political Thought
- Modern British Politics
- Microeconomic Principles II
- Macroeconomic Principles II
- Introduction to Econometrics
- Democracy and Democratisation
- Comparative Political Institutions
- US Foreign Policy
- Issues in American Politics
- Political Geography
- International Relations
- The State and Revolution
- The History of Political Cinema
- EITHER: Politics Dissertation OR Economics Dissertation
- European Union Politics: Problems and Prospects
- Advanced Topics in Economic Theory
- The Arab-Israeli Conflict
- Monstrosity in Political Thought and Literature, 1500-1900 Globalisation and Governance
- Empire, Imperialism and Hegemony
- Media, Politics and Power in America
- Marx and Marxism
- Parties and Voters in the UK
- Intelligence and National Security
- Public Policy Analysis
- Parliamentary Studies
- The History and Politics of Heritage
- Crisis and Critique
- Managerial and Industrial Economics
- Labour Economics
- International Money and Finance
- Further Econometrics
Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
- Our courses are designed and taught by nationally and internationally recognised experts in the fields of politics, international relations, social policy and contemporary history.
- You will have access to some of the best research facilities in the UK - Westminster and Whitehall are within easy reach.
- We have good links with key political figures and institutions.
- Studying economics allows selective exemption from some professional accountancy and law exams. Not only is this a fast-track way to professional qualifications after you graduate, but it is also a symbol of the quality of the courses.
Our great business links mean that you will benefit from:
- high-quality work placements
- up-to-date course content
- better opportunities to find a good job after you graduate.
Teaching and Assessment
All of our courses are informed by the research of lecturers who publish books and well-regarded scholarly articles, present papers at other universities and appear in the media, at home and abroad. They are nationally and internationally recognised experts in the fields of politics, international relations, social policy and contemporary history.
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 specialist research-led courses and will be prepared for the research and writing involved in your dissertation.
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, as well as a one-hour seminar each week or fortnight.
Lectures – These provide a broad overview of key themes and ideas relating to your course and establish a framework from which to carry out more in-depth study.
Seminars – These relatively small groups examine the lecture material in more detail, theoretical concepts are analysed and applied in specific contexts. Seminars provide students with an opportunity for discussion, debate and the development of presentational skills.
One-to-one – You will have 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.
Private study – The bulk of every student’s work will undoubtedly consist of private study. On average this should absorb approximately 25 to 30 hours of your life each week. During your initial 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 – We aim to introduce students to the benefits of observing politics in action and to the personal experience of other political systems and ideas. You will visit important political sites in the UK (such as Parliament) and depending on the options you select, may undertake overseas visits.
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.
All modules are assessed at the end of the term in which they are taken. Exact assessment patterns vary, but most are based on a combination of coursework and formal written exams. Typically, coursework marks constitute 25-50 per cent 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.
Economics plays a crucial role in the operation, management and regulation of financial institutions, industry and government agencies. A knowledge of economics significantly enhances strategic decision making and is crucial in a world of integrating global markets and the information superhighway.
A major attraction of our courses is the wide variety of career opportunities to which they can lead.
Some graduates, like Margaret McDonagh or John McDonnell MP, 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.
Our students have excellent career prospects. Graduates have gone on to work for prestigious companies including Merrill Lynch, NatWest, Morgan Stanley, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, JP Morgan, HSBC, Ernst & Young, the London Stock Exchange and UBS.
You will have the opportunity to take a one-year, professional work placement in the UK or overseas alongside trained experts in the public sector and commerce. Past students have worked for the Home Office, the Treasury, the Houses of Parliament and 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 whichtheir degree was a formal requirement or where they believe their degree gave them a competitive advantage in recruitment.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability
Fees for 2016/17 entry
£9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year
See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants
The Government has proposed changes to allow tuition fees for UK and EU students to rise by inflation. These changes are currently subject to approval, but if approved, would result in tuition fees of £9,250 per year from 2017/18.
Entry Criteria 2016/17
- GCE A-level BBB with a grade B in A-level Maths.
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in a related subject, plus Grade B in A-level Maths.
- BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a related subject, with an A-level in Maths at grade B.
- BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject, with A-levels grade BB including Maths.
- International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points, with 5 in Higher Maths.
- Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at Level 3 with Merit in all units, plus an A-level in Maths grade B.
For all of the above, 5 GCSEs or equivalent at Grade C or above are also required, to include English and Maths at grade C.
Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 55% in all areas)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.
Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.