Politics with Creative Writing 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

This is a perfect combination for anyone wishing to build a career writing about politics, whether as a journalist, author, novelist or playwright.

It will also be of interest if you are thinking of a career in politics, where the ability to craft language is of paramount importance. It's also a good choice for people who want a balance of discussion, analysis and creativity.

Politics as your Major

Politics is all about people and power. As a Politics Major you will focus on understanding ­and using a range of concepts, methods, theories and approaches for political, social and economic analysis, as well as building a sound foundation of knowledge in international  affairs.

Thanks to Surrey's unique approach to your personal, professional and intellectual development, you can be sure that your learning will always address real situations and topical problems, with plenty of opportunities for you to get out of the classroom and gain some impressive experience (including the option of a Professional Training placement).

Putting knowledge, techniques and personal development together in this way will give you the insight to think critically about politics and become an expert on the people, events, ideas and institutions that shape politics at local, national and international levels.

You will also develop a feel for the contested nature and problematic character of political enquiry, including issues related to diversity and equality.

Integrative module for Politics Majors

Everything is political, they say. This integrative module is all about testing that statement. Together with your fellow Politics Majors, you will examine how the topics that you are exploring in your Minor subjects are affected by politics, and vice versa.

What are the key features of politics as an academic discipline? Which of these are shared with the Minor subjects? And what can each learn from the other?

With careful prompting by your tutor, your group will engage in discussion and debate to share the personal experiences and insights into politics deriving from each individual's study of their Minor subject.

Reflective essays and group presentations will give you the opportunity to crystallise your thoughts, communicate what you have learned and demonstrate your understanding of politics from a more complete perspective.

Creative Writing as your Minor

Choose Creative Writing as your Minor subject and you'll develop an understanding of the theory and practice ­of poetry, drama and the novel. With enhanced knowledge of the distinctive character of texts written in the principal literary genres (and other forms of writing and communication), you'll become adept at translating ideas into critical and creative texts ­an ability that will prove highly desirable in any career you wish to  pursue.

Module structure

Year 1
Major modules PoliticsIntegrative modules PoliticsMinor modules Creative Writing

Compulsory modules:

Compulsory modules:

  • Introduction to Creative Writing
  • Thinking Like a Writer

Optional modules (choose one of the following):

  • Understanding the Novel 
  • Understanding Poetry
  • Understanding Drama
Year 2
Major modules PoliticsIntegrative modules PoliticsMinor modules Creative Writing

Compulsory modules:

Plus 30 credits from:

Optional module:

Compulsory modules:

  • Elements of Narrative
  • Contemporary Storytelling

Plus 15 credits from:

  • The American Century
  • Victorian Literature and Culture
  • Romantic Literature
  • Modernism
Professional Training Placement (optional)

Professional Training placement year, taken as a professional work placement and / or period of study abroad. Your activities during this period will be relevant to your Major subject (unless otherwise stated).

  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Evaluation of Placement
  • Learning Transfer of Placement Learning
Year 3
Major modules PoliticsMinor modules Creative Writing

Compulsory:

  • Dissertation
  • Cosmopolitanism, Global Justice and Democracy

Plus 15 credits from:

Compulsory modules:

  • Creative Writing and Professional Practice
  • Advanced Creative Practice and Theory

Plus 15 credits from:

  • Beat Writing
  • Found Materials

How you'll split your time

You'll find your lectures and tutorials extremely stimulating, but a Surrey degree is so much more than just your classroom learning.

The information below details some of the extra opportunities and advantages of becoming a Surrey student. Naturally, many of these will be defined by your choice of Major (such as where you spend your Professional Training placement), but don't forget that your Minor will also add a valuable dimension to your Surrey experience.

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

Grade B in A-level English, English Literature, English Literature and Language (or equivalent) or a relevant subject

One social science or humanities subject preferred.

There is no requirement for an A-level in Politics

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent).

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 P531 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 Years U42A 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

Other 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

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General undergraduate enquiries

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Undergraduate admissions enquiries

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