Politics BSc (Hons) – 2019 entry
Why choose this course
Politics is about people and power: who gets it, how they use it and what makes a society fair. This innovative course focuses on the active role that citizens can play in shaping politics internationally, nationally and locally. A distinctive feature of the programme is its applied nature and its emphasis on bringing about political and social change, whether at a local, national or international level.
Our Department of Politics achieved over 92 per cent overall satisfaction in the 2017 National Student Survey (NSS).
What you will study
On our BSc Politics course you’ll get a full grounding in the discipline as a whole, as well as a wide set of practical skills. You’ll be introduced to a range of concepts, approaches and methods in political, international and policy studies.
You’ll be able to explore the meanings of vital political concepts, particularly contentious ones such as ‘justice’, ‘equality’ and ‘liberty’.
You will also 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.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|BSc (Hons)||36 months||L200||View KIS data set|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months||L201||View KIS data set|
Professional Training placements
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and a significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
All our BSc programmes have the option of a Professional Training placement after your second year. You can either take a politics and economics-related work placement or study politics and economics overseas, or a combination of the two.
In all, the placement allows you to apply and develop your understanding, as well as discover new approaches and elements.
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 will equip you with the skills necessary to find a placement. The aim of our Professional Training placement is to provide you with a chance to experience first-hand how politics operates in the ‘real world’, at a voluntary sector organisation, a government or local authority department, an MP’s office, or an international organisation.
Current placement partners include:
- Surrey County Council
- Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
- House of Commons
- European Chamber of Commerce
- British Embassy
- Metropolitan Police
- Eli Lilly UK.
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Graduates over the last few years have secured roles such as:
- Events Coordinator, AQA Education
- Education Officer, Department for Education
- Researcher, Westminster Forum Projects
- Graduate Intern, Ipsos MORI
- Corporate Finance Advisor, Department for Transport
- Bid Analyst, Serco Ltd
- Researcher, Society Ltd.
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.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.
It is possible to spend half or all of your third year on study exchange with one of our partner universities. These include:
- La Trobe University
- Monash University
- University of Queensland
- University of Wollongong
- Brock University
- The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
- Aarhus Universitet
- Kobenhavns Universitet
- Institut d'Etudes Poliques d'Aix-En-Provence
- Otto-Friedrich-Universitat Bamberg
- Universitat Mannheim
- Universita degli Studi di Bologna 'Alma Mater Studiorum'
- Universiti Malaya (UM)
- Maastricht University
- Victoria University of Wellington
- Nanyang Technological University
- Singapore Management University
- Universidad Pontificia Commillas, Madrid
- California State University
- George Mason University
- North Carolina State University
- Texas Tech University
- University of Central Florida
- University of Cincinnati
- University of Maryland
- University of North Carolina
- University of North Texas
- University of Virginia
- Virginia Commonwealth University.
If you choose to study at a European partner, you may be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant.
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 and international relations.
These challenges and experiences will ensure that you emerge from the exchange year with increased self-confidence 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 your performance in your final year.
Politics research seminars
The Department of Politics sponsors a regular research seminar series, which meets every two weeks during term time and brings together academic staff and postgraduate and undergraduate students from the University.
These research seminars provide a forum for the presentation of cutting-edge research papers and 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.
Academic year structure
The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.
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.
Optional modules for Year 2 - FHEQ Level 5
Students should choose 5 from the listed 8 modules, bearing in mind the semester they fall in.
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
Choose 4 modules.
Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
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.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
This course is taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
THOMPSON L Dr (Politics)
All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:
Personal/professional development and employability.
Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
Policies and regulations
Learning and disability support
We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.
Student Personal Learning and Study Hub
SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Additional Learning Support
ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.
The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.
See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.
Offers are normally made in terms of grades. Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees||Professional Training fees|
|BSc (Hons)||36 months||To be confirmed||To be confirmed||Not applicable|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months||To be confirmed||To be confirmed||To be confirmed|
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.
There are no associated costs with with programme.
Final year students may wish to participate in an optional trip to the Houses of Parliament whilst studying the 'Perspectives on the UK Parliament' module - £30 approx.
These additional costs are accurate as of September 2017 and apply to the 2018 year of entry. Costs for 2019 entry will be published in September 2018.
How to apply
Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.
Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
"Surrey can open doors for you because it is a great course at a fantastic university."
"I relished the challenges and adventures my placement brought. This job and time in Cape Town taught me so much about the practical realities of politics and how the international theory we learn about in lectures plays out in reality."