Politics at Surrey is a young and lively academic discipline, formed in 2004, building on Surrey's thirty year record of research and teaching about international politics and policy.
We focus on citizenship and civil society, and on the role people play in political and policy processes - how active and engaged citizens can 'make a difference' in their communities.
We offer innovative undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees, in a small and friendly departmental environment. Our staff bring with them international quality research and outstanding teaching expertise - demonstrated by an 'excellent' teaching quality rating from the Higher Education Quality Assurance Agency, and many books, articles and research grants
Although The School of Politics is a relatively recent creation, Politics has been taught at Surrey for the last thirty years.
In the 1970s and 1980s the former Department of Linguistic and International Studies included an International Relations section, headed by Professor Otto Pick, a former aide to the US Secretary of State, and future Minister in the Czech government after the end of the Cold War.
The Department offered innovative undergraduate degrees bringing together language teaching with coverage of the politics and society of the target countries, alongside the study of International Relations as a discipline in its own right, with applied courses in French, German or Russian foreign policy taught in the target languages to bridge the two sides of the degree. In the mid-1980s a Master's degree in European Area Studies was launched. It covered the politics and economics of the EC (as it was then) and of individual West European countries, but unusually for that period, it also covered Eastern Europe, including the USSR.
Over the course of time the Master's programme evolved until it reached its present form in the MA in European Politics, Business and Law, which was successfully launched in 2000. Meanwhile, at undergraduate level International Relations was replaced in the 1990s by European Studies - meaning European Politics - taught either as a combination subject with Languages or, more recently, with Law. Three members of the former European Studies section transferred to The Department of Politics at its formation in 2004. The Department became a School in 2011.
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