Politics BSc (Hons) – 2017 entry

At Surrey, the social side is as good as the academic side. The Students’ Union is one of the largest in terms of the number of societies that it runs and the active participation of its students. There’s a big sense of community. People like to get involved.

What you'll study

Politics is about people and power: who gets it, how they use it and what makes a society fair. Our innovative degrees focus on the active role that citizens can play in shaping politics internationally, nationally and locally.

A distinctive feature of our Politics degree programme is its applied nature and its emphasis on bringing about political and social change, whether at a local, national or international level.

Programme overview

Our BSc degree programmes are designed to make sure that, along with your chosen specialisation, you get a full grounding in the discipline as a whole.

In addition, we also take great care to provide you with a wide set of practical abilities that will serve you well, whatever career you wish to pursue.

You will be introduced to a range of concepts, approaches and methods in the areas of political, international and policy studies, and will be are able to explore the ways in which the meaning of concepts - particularly contentious ones such as ‘justice’, ‘equality’ and ‘liberty’ - are mediated.

You will learn about the causes of war and peace, as well as how different societies are governed and how international relations between states can be organised.

Read about the experience of Politics student George Guven.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

In your first year, you will study a number of compulsory modules. These provide you with a solid background in political, international and policy studies, and in fundamental academic skills.

Compulsory modules:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

In your second year of study, you will build on the previous level by studying a number of compulsory modules, and also choose a number of optional modules where you will begin to develop your own interests.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Professional Training placement (optional)

All our BSc programmes have the option of a Professional Training placement after your second year, where you can either take a degree-related work placement or study overseas.

 In both cases, this placement allows you to apply and develop your understanding, as well as discover new approaches to and elements of your disciplinary interests.

Current and previous placement partners include:

  • Save the Children
  • IPSOS MORI
  • Cape Town Refugee Centre
  • Transport for London
  • Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (Berlin)
  • Access Madagascar Initiative (Madagascar)
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Ecole Bilingue de Haute-Savoie (France)
  • Shadow Defence Secretary's Office
  • A range of political parties – Conservative, Labour and the Socialist Workers Party

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

In your final year, you will have much more choice in the modules you study and will be encouraged to follow your own interests. You will be required to undertake a compulsory dissertation and study some compulsory modules related to your pathway.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

By the end of the programme you will have acquired a deep understanding of your chosen field(s) and the skills to use that knowledge to best effect.

With our broad range of learning and teaching strategies, you will gain a well-rounded and coherent appreciation of the key questions and approaches to these vital and vibrant subjects.

Teaching

The Department of Politics' commitment to research-led teaching has encouraged our staff to innovate and become leaders in the development of new teaching methods. This approach has been recognised by a number of awards and fellowships.

We maintain an active involvement with social media as a tool for teaching and learning, and strive to apply effective teaching methods through interactive learning, direct observation and simulation games.

You will benefit from inclusion in and engagement with research projects that our academic staff are currently undertaking.

Contact hours

The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 1 per cent personal tutorial/small group teaching
  • 4 per cent medium group teaching
  • 7 per cent large group teaching
  • 88 per cent studying and revising in your own time

Professional Training placements

The distinguishing feature of our degree programmes is their applied nature. You will be taught how to apply theoretical understandings of politics and international relations to world events and issues.

Additionally, we equip students with the skills necessary to find a placement. The aim of our Professional Training placement is to provide you with a chance to experience first­hand how politics operates in the ‘real world’, at a voluntary sector organisation, a government or local authority department, an MP or MEP’s office, or an international organisation.

Current and previous placement partners include:

  • Save the Children
  • IPSOS MORI
  • Cape Town Refugee Centre
  • Transport for London
  • Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (Berlin)
  • Access Madagascar Initiative (Madagascar)
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Ecole Bilingue de Haute-Savoie (France)
  • Shadow Defence Secretary's Office
  • A range of political parties – Conservative, Labour and the Socialist Workers Party

Study placement and Erasmus

It is possible to spend half or all of your third year on study exchange with one of our European partner universities. These include:

  • Aarhus University
  • University of Copenhagen
  • University of Maastricht
  • Istanbul Kemerburgaz
  • Science Po Aix
  • Universidad Pontificia Comillas

If you choose to study at a European partner, you will be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant.

We also operate an exchange scheme with:

  • Nanyang Technological University
  • Singapore Management University
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Texas Tech University
  • Brock University
  • La Trobe University
  • University of Wollongong
  • University of Queensland
  • Monash University
  • Victoria University, Wellington

The advantages of participation in the exchange scheme are numerous.

They include exposure to a different culture and the challenges of living in a new country, and the opportunity to learn a new language and experience new teaching practices and approaches to political science/international relations.

These challenges and experiences ensure that you emerge from the exchange year with increased self­confidence and widened employment opportunities that derive from your improved language competencies and communication skills.

You will also acquire a fresh perspective on your subject matter that significantly improves performance in your final year.

Learn more about the Erasmus programme or discover where our global opportunities can take you.

Politics research seminars

The Department of Politics sponsors a regular research seminar series, which meets every two weeks during term­time and brings together academic staff and postgraduate and undergraduate students from the University.

The purpose of the research seminars is to provide a forum for the presentation of cutting-­edge research papers and to increase awareness among our students about developments in diverse themes of research in the field today.

We regularly invite high­-profile UK and international scholars to present their work, and we encourage discussions with the audience. All members of the University and wider public community are welcome to participate.

Personal tutors

Entering your first year at university and making the step up to degree study in a new environment is meant to challenge you, but we ease this transition by allocating you a personal tutor from amongst the permanent staff in the Department.

Your personal tutor builds a one­-to­-one relationship with you, offering appropriate advice and support regarding personal or work-­related issues, and becoming a first point of reference. In most cases you will have the same personal tutor throughout your degree programme.

Active in outreach

The Department of Politics is committed to outreach. It engages in stimulating outreach projects and opens its doors to students of local schools and colleges.

Past activities have included:

  • Giving research-­related talks to secondary education institutions and neighbouring universities
  • Contributing to the Education Liaison programme
  • Hosting a politics conference for schools
  • AS and A2 revision lectures
  • A Question Time event, incorporating an essay competition with a prize
  • Organising a Politics Month which includes a number of politics events
  • Launching a survey of British politics and electoral preferences in the wider Surrey community

Graduate prospects

Graduates over the last few years entered employment in companies, organisations and public life such as:

  • Houses of Parliament
  • Deloitte
  • Snapdragon Consulting
  • City Year
  • YMCA
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Surrey County Council

In addition, many of our graduates have gone on to study for Masters degrees in a range of programmes and countries. We are also proud of our record of alumni who have continued education up to doctoral level and become academic scholars in their own right.

Research in the Department of Politics

Members of the Department of Politics conduct research and publish on a range of topics. Areas of specialism have included:

  • Citizenship and policy studies
  • Defence and security
  • Terrorism studies
  • International intervention
  • European politics
  • Political communication and the media
  • Foreign policy
  • Political psychology
  • Electoral behaviour
  • Political theory
  • Social exclusion

Expertise also extends to geographical areas of study, including eastern Europe, Eurasia, the Greater China area, India and Australasia. Your studies will, therefore, incorporate the latest thinking and research, with teaching delivered by leading experts.

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?

A-level

AAB

Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 39 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 6 Level 3 Credits at Merit

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma

DDD

European Baccalaureate

75 per cent

International Baccalaureate

35 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or international equivalent – see relevant country page)

One social science or humanities subject preferred. There is no requirement for an A-level in Politics.

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades. Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BSc (Hons) 3 Years L200 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 Years L201 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

Major/minor Courses

What does it mean to study a course as a major or minor?

A Major/Minor degree lets you build in-depth knowledge of one subject (your Major) while also studying another topic (your Minor). At Surrey, your Major/Minor degree also includes an integrative module that allows you to develop a unique understanding of how your two chosen subjects relate to each other.

The type and title of the degree conferred upon you will reflect your Major subject while acknowledging your Minor. For example, you could receive BA (Hons) English Literature with Psychology, BSc (Hons) Politics with Creative Writing, BMus (Hons) Music with Digital Media Arts, etc.

What are the pros and cons of studying a Major/Minor course?

A Major/Minor degree gives you the opportunity to build a much broader base of knowledge than a traditional single-subject degree, but without sacrificing the opportunity to acquire real expertise in a particular field. You will come into contact with students, academics and ideas from two disciplines rather than one.

There are a small number of careers that require graduate membership of a chartered institute, for which an accredited single-honours degree may be necessary, or which require particular postgraduate or doctoral qualifications that may only be gained after completing an undergraduate degree in a specific, single-honours subject. However, for the overwhelming majority of career paths this is not the case and in most cases there are conversion courses or equivalency allowances should you later decide you wish to follow a career with these requirements. Please speak to a careers advisor for further clarification.

What would studying a Major/Minor course mean for my job prospects?

Modern employers rarely demand a specific degree relevant to their field or sector, instead preferring culturally aware people who can place their knowledge in a wider context, who have used their time as a student to develop personally and intellectually as well as academically, and who leave university with impressive professional workplace experience already under their belt.

Because of this, it is the graduates who have combined academic achievement with the development of critical skills, who have acquired the capacity for independent learning across a range of subjects and who are comfortable dealing with a wide variety of colleagues and clients who will find themselves in greater and greater demand.

How will my time be split on a Major/Minor programme?

As you'd expect, the majority of your degree modules, exams, coursework and assessment marks will come from your Major subject. As a guideline, we would expect you to spend around 70% of your time studying for your Major, with the remaining 30% dedicated to your Minor. However, our Major/Minor framework allows you to choose from a flexible range of optional modules, so the actual balance will depend on your own preferences and requirements.

Remember also that Surrey Major/Minor degrees include our unique integrative modules, which bring you together with your fellow students to reflect on how your Major and Minor subjects complement each other.

See all Major/Minor courses

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info

Why Does Politics Matter?

Disclaimer

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Contact Us

Phone: +44 (0)1483 681 681

General undergraduate enquiries

ug-enquiries@surrey.ac.uk

Undergraduate admissions enquiries

admissions@surrey.ac.uk


View Larger Map