Politics preparation

Welcome to the Department of Politics.

Getting started

Your journey with the Department of Politics begins even before you arrive on campus. You are already joining a vibrant learning community with a keen interest in all things political. We take pride in our community of staff and students, in accommodating diverse opinions, in our relaxing and caring environment, and in getting to know our students on a first-name basis.

The tips here are only a few of the things that can help you get started with your programme, which ever one you’ve chosen, but primarily we want you to take advantage of all opportunities to socialise, get to know your colleagues and lecturers, and be an active part of the Department’s life.

1. Read the news

Staying on top of current affairs within the UK and around the globe is essential. Our discipline changes daily and you need to keep abreast of developments. Reading a quality newspaper, news agency or opinion forum allows you to place many of the theories you will learn within a practical context and apply some of the ideas you generate in an informed manner. So go on, sign up to newsletters, read online or take advantage of our Library’s subscriptions, or pick up a print copy of a newspaper or a magazine. Devote some time in your day to browse through and see what’s new.

Some recommended news providers include the following (the list is of course not exhaustive):

  • Financial Times (yes, it reports a lot more than just economic/financial stories)
  • The Guardian
  • The Telegraph
  • The Times
  • The Independent
  • The Conversation
  • The Loop
  • War on the Rocks.

2. Follow us on social media

In addition to our dedicated social media accounts for the Department of Politics and other student society accounts, the majority of your lecturers have Twitter accounts, through which they will tweet news, interesting stories, new research and publications or links of interest to students and beyond. Twitter can be an excellent place to engage with research and informed commentary on all things Politics. It’s also a great start to understand your ‘digital footprint’ and the appropriate ‘netiquette.’

3. Subscribe to some podcasts

Are you travelling on the train or by car? Are you taking the dog out for a walk? Or simply going for the weekly groceries? Pop your earphones on and listen to a range of excellent podcasts that exist out there. Some of the Department’s favourites are:

  • Talking Politics: History of Ideas
  • The Rest is Politics
  • Intelligence Squared
  • Doomsday Watch
  • The New Statesman podcast and their World Review
  • Our very own Centre for Britain and Europe ‘Bridge to Brussels’ vlog series.

4. Join the Politics Society and other related student-run societies

Our students are very active around campus. They run the Politics Society which is always organising social events, bringing students who are interested in politics together, inviting high-level speakers on campus, linking employers and alumni to our current students of all levels. We work closely with the Politics Society and support their activities as a department. Other relevant societies exist on campus, so look out for them during Welcome Week or ask us.

5. Always keep in touch

  • Make an effort to attend our Welcome Week events. This is your opportunity to get to know your colleagues and find your future friends, but also meet us in person
  • Activate your university email account – this is our formal way of communication
  • Explore SurreyLearn and the politics support pages on there
  • Visit our Library at the first possible opportunity
  • Don’t hesitate to email us before you arrive with questions!

We look forward to meeting you and your fellow undergraduate students very soon.