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Politics BSc

Course code

L200

L202 with placement

Start date

September

Placement available

Mode of study

3 years full-time

4 years full-time with placement

Fees

2020/21

UK / EU £9,250

International £15,860

Entry requirements

BBB (A-level)

DDM (BTEC)

30 (IB)

2020 changes

Click here to read about the changes we are making to our education delivery from September 2020, in response to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Overview

Who has political power? Why do they have it? To whom are they accountable? Is violent protest ever justified? If these questions evoke a response in you and raise more questions in turn, politics is the degree for you.

Politics is an exciting and dynamic subject, simulating debate and offering insight into how the ever-changing world around us works. It’s also a degree that can demonstrate your intellectual acumen and understanding of world affairs, which will be an asset in many fields of work.

The broad-based nature of the course at Brunel means you will be studying a wide breadth of modules from British politics to US foreign policy and political change. But you’ll not only be learning about politics – you’ll be analysing politics using the tools of political science to help deepen your understanding and critical thinking.

Opt for a placement year and you'll gain work experience that is highly valued by employers. Brunel students have secured placements in the Environmental Audit Committee, the House of Commons, Directorate of Gender Affairs, HM Treasury and the Competition Commission, to name only a few.

You can also opt to take part of your degree abroad in one of our partner universities in Europe, or participate in an exchange programme to China or the USA to study politics in a different part of the world whilst experiencing a new culture.

Brunel is a dynamic university choice for your politics course. You’ll be taught by politics experts who are often called on to comment on radio and television. The Brunel campus has hosted the filming of BBC’s Question Time and is a political hub during local and national elections.

Brunel politics graduates enter diverse careers. Many of our former students go into politics and the civil service and some are currently at GCHQ and military intelligence. Others work in the public and private sector like the NHS, international banks, business consultancy, law, NGOs and the media. Whichever route you chose, a politics degree with Brunel will set you up for a successful future.

You can explore our campus and facilities for yourself by taking our virtual tour.

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Course content

The course content is made up of a variety of subject area strands that can be studied across all three years of the programme. At every level, there are modules relating to each strand. After taking the compulsory modules in the first year, you can choose to study across a range of strands, or specialise in particular strands. Below is a list of the strands:

American Politics: The United States is hugely influential both as a global power and as a political beacon. This strand assesses the nature of the American polity exploring across the three years the role of America’s political institutions, key issues facing the American political system and the role and function of the media in fashioning American government policy.

British Politics: The focus of this strand is the United Kingdom: what it looks like, how it operates and where it is going. Key topics will include the nature and working of the British state, the role and function of Parliament and how parties and voters interact.

Comparative Politics: The relationship between different polities is a key area of modern political science research. This strand engages with this by assessing in a comparative frame: different countries, their political systems and the actors engaging with the political systems. Comparisons across countries and/or across time are used to explore the differences and similarities between the systems to answer questions on who gets what, when and how in terms of allocation of resources within and between polities.

Methodology and Research Skills: This strand will help you develop the tools for sustained research in political science. This will include research design, qualitative methods, such as interview techniques, as well as quantitative analysis of, for example, polling data. There will be an opportunity to take this to an advanced level and develop key transferable research skills.

Political Ideology and Theory: This strand explores political thought across the ages from ancient times to the present. You will begin with a broad survey of major ideas in political theory, before being able to look in greater depth at particular ideologies, e.g. liberalism,Marxism, fascism and particular concepts such as multiculturalism and equality.

Public Policy and Public Administration: The focus of this strand is how government decisions, i.e. public policy, is developed,implemented and evaluated and by whom. This will include contentious areas of public policy, for instance welfare policy. It will also look at how public policy is assessed and analysed and the means by which its success (or failure) is judged and what tools can used to increase the success of implementing policy proposals.

Optional modules are indicative and available subject to numbers.

Please see programme specification for the specific optional module combination choices that are available

This course can be studied 3 years full-time or 4 years full-time with placement, starting in September.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

This course has a placement option. Find out more about work placements available.

The programme specification is in the process of being updated and may not be an accurate reflection of the programme.

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Careers and your future

Our students pursue a wide variety of jobs after graduating. Some go into Politics and the civil service and have worked for Members of the Parliament such as John McDonnell MP, or former Labour party general secretary Baroness McDonagh. Other graduates have joined Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Home Office, GCHQ and military intelligence.

Others work in the public and private sectors, law and NGOs whilst some graduates become researchers, teachers and librarians. 

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UK entry requirements

  • GCE A-level BBB.
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDM.
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD with an A-level at grade B.
  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D with A-levels grade BB.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points. GCSE English equivalent Standard Level 5 or Higher Level 4 and Mathematics Standard Level 4 or Higher Level 4
  • Obtain a minimum of 120 UCAS tariff points in the Access to HE Diploma course with 45 credits at Level 3, with Merits in all units.

 A minimum of five GCSEs are required, including GCSE English Language grade C or grade 4. GCSE Mathematics grade C or grade 4 is also normally required.

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.

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EU and International entry requirements

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

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)
  • TOEFL: 92 (min R18, L17, S20, W17) 

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason. We offer our own BrunELT English test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options through our Brunel Language Centre.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants. This information is for guidance only and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Entry requirements are subject to review, and may change.

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Fees and funding

2020/21 entry

UK / EU

£9,250 full-time

£1,385 placement year

International

£15,860 full-time

£1,385 placement year

Fees quoted are per year and may be subject to an annual increase. Home/EU undergraduate student fees are regulated and are currently capped at £9,250 per year; any changes will be subject to changes in government policy. International fees will increase annually, by no more than 5% or RPI (Retail Price Index), whichever is the greater.

More information on any additional course-related costs.

See our fees and funding page for full details of undergraduate scholarships available to Brunel applicants.

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Teaching and Learning

You’ll be taught in lectures and seminars by academic staff who are internationally known for publishing and presenting papers worldwide. Their research is often reported in the press and media, which will help to keep your learning contemporary and cutting edge.

You’ll also benefit from the expertise of staff who are consultants to government departments including the Cabinet Office, Home Office and Ministry of Defence in the UK; the council of Europe; the Georgian Ministry of Defence and the Canadian Department of Citizenship Abroad.

Also, the proximity to the Brunel campus to central London’s world-class research facilities, the British Library, Westminster and Whitehall, means you will be best placed to immerse yourself in an established politics arena.

Should you need any non-academic support during your time at Brunel, the Student Support and Welfare Team are here to help.

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Assessment and feedback

You’ll be assessed by a combination of coursework and exams, but most of your time will be spent in private study and reading. In your final year you will produce a final dissertation on a subject of your choice under the guidance of a dissertation supervisor.

Read our guide on how to avoid plagiarism in your assessments at Brunel.