Politics and Sociology BSc
We regularly host online webinars to give you the chance to find out more about our courses and what studying at Brunel is like.
Our recent Politics and History webinar can now be watched here.
About the course
This degree provides an innovative combination of high-level study into both politics and sociology. As well as gaining a firm understanding of key political institutions and players, which form a framework to understanding contemporary social and political issues, you will study challenging sociology topics in one of the best Colleges in the country.
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?
Brunel Sociology degrees provide rigorous training in a range of appropriate methodologies and research skills.
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.
- Political Science Methods
- Central Themes in Political Thought
- Modern British Politics
- Introduction to Social and Cultural Research
- Introduction to Sociology
- Democracy and Democratisation
- Comparative Political Institutions
- Social Divisions: Difference and Resistance
- Sociology of Everyday Life: Issues in contemporary culture
- Sociology of Health and Illness
- US Foreign Policy from World War II to the end of the Cold War
- Issues in American Politics
- Political Geography
- Theories of International Relations
- The State and Revolution
- The History of Political Cinema
- Politics Dissertation OR Sociology Dissertation
- European Union Politics: Problems and Prospects
- Comedy, Culture and Media
- Multiculturalism: “Race”, Ethnicity and Difference
- The Age of New Media
- Forensic Science and Society
- 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
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 an excellent access to some the best research facilities in the UK - Westminster and Whitehall are within easy reach.
- You will have the opportunity to study abroad at one of several European universities and participate in an exchange programme in China.
- Students are encouraged to take advantage of the university’s exchange scheme with the State University of New York at Brockport (which includes the opportunity to do a work placement in Washington or Albany). You may also be able to study at those EU universities with whom we have partnerships in the Socrates programme (eg Rennes, Stuttgart and Helsinki).
- We have good links with key political figures and institutions.
Teaching and Assessment
We pursue excellence in both teaching and research. Our aim is to produce degree programmes which combine innovative and classical teaching methods with leading-edge research, whilst recognising the value of practical work experience in the learning process. We take great pride in both the quality of teaching and the extensive pastoral care of our students.
All members of the academic staff are actively engaged in research and many have international reputations in their field. Their innovative findings are incorporated into your courses in order to ensure that teaching is up-to-date. This, along side their invaluable contacts and inside knowledge, will be most befinifical to you.
We have a strong concentration of sociologists specialising in science, technology and environmental issues.
Many Politics academics are regular media performers worldwide and their research has led to major television and radio programmes.
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.
How will I be taught?
Modules are 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.
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 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 – 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 and orgainising your studies.
External visits – We aim to introduce students to the benefits of observing politics in action and from 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, you 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.
See Undergraduate Sociology and Politics Handbook for further information (student handbooks are not exhaustive and subject to change).
Knowledge and understanding of statistics and research skills as well as new information and communication technologies are particularly useful assets in the job market. A major attraction of our courses is the wide variety of career opportunities to which they can lead. Not surprisingly, our graduates have gone on to important careers in public and private life.
Past students have gone on to further training in law, accountancy, personnel management and other graduate degrees. They have joined the Civil Service (fast stream), have gone into publishing, journalism and the media including BBC Radio and Granada Television, have entered major financial and accountancy firms such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Lloyds Bowmaker Finance Group, and have entered the fields of management and marketing with firms such as Ford, Metal Box and Rank Xerox.
Politics students benefit from excellent career prospects – graduates have gone on to become politicians, have joined local and national government organisations, or work in the private sector.
Sociologists are in increasing demand in many sectors in social welfare and policy, in local government and administration (including lobbying, campaigning and fundraising), in medicine, in education and research, and in industry. If you are thinking of a career in any of these fields, it may also be possible to select work experience in these areas. There are also openings available in business, particularly marketing and advertising, management, media, and recruitment, as well as computing, consultancy and teaching.
You can take a one-year, professional work placement – past students have worked for the Home Office, Treasury, Houses of Parliament and organisations such as Epolitix.com and Politics International. Few other sociology degrees contain work placements, let alone high quality organised placements. Students benefit from our excellent links with external organisations.
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.
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 2016/7 entry
£9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year
See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Criteria 2016/7
- GCE A-level BBB (all subjects considered).
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in a related subject.
- BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a related subject with an A-level at grade B.
- BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject with A-levels grade BB.
- International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points.
- Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at Level 3, with Merit in all units.
GCSE Mathematics grade C and GCSE English grade C are also required.
Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants within our grade range 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.