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Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses>Politics (BA)

Overview Immerse yourself in the issues that are happening right now and the ideas that are shaping our world – and our future.

UCAS code


Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)


3 years full-time


‌Politics is all around us, and it’s moving fast. With our internationally renowned experts you’ll get to the very heart of political thinking.

Explore the principles of power – how it’s won and how it’s used to drive the decisions that influence our daily lives. You’ll discover how issues such as poverty, debt, terrorism, ethnic conflict and environmental change affect us all, and investigate new powers like China and India.

From 2017 you can opt to add an additional year to your course between year two and year three to study abroad - gaining valuable personal and employability skills. There will also be some limited opportunites to add an additional year if you're a student in our 2016 entry.

current undergraduate in Politics

‌‌“I spent the summer of my second year interning in the marketing and communications division of the Mayor’s office in New York.” Read more

Maria, BA Politics, Year 3

Course content What you’ll study


We offer a large choice of modules, helping you tailor the course to your own interests and passions.

Learn how to think politically about some of today's most pressing issues, such as:

  • The shifting balance of international power    
  • The challenges of human rights and global development    
  • Environmental sustainability   
  • Struggles for democracy    
  • The threat of terrorism   
  • The changing balance between government and civil society.

Year 1

You will study four Politics core modules plus an additional study skills module.

These modules will give you an understanding of the key concepts, theories and approaches in each major area of politics.

Politics core modules:

These modules are the ones currently running and are indicative of what will run in future years. We do update our modules to reflect the latest research. 

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.

This module will:

  • define academic integrity and academic misconduct
  • explain why and when you should reference source material and other people's work
  • provide interactive exercises to help you to assess whether you've understood the concepts
  • provide answers to FAQs and links to useful resources.

Year 2

You'll cover a diverse range of modules and hone the academic skills necessary to analyse political texts, political systems and processes.

You'll study one core module:

Plus, three optional modules from a range of subjects:

Political Text Options

Political Process Options

These modules are the ones currently running and are indicative of what will run in future years. We do update our modules to reflect the latest research. 

Year 3

You'll undertake a dissertation in an area of your interest and choose four optional modules :

Politics Dissertation

Third Year Modules:

These modules are the ones currently running and are indicative of what will run in future years. We do update our modules to reflect the latest research. 

Study abroad

We offer numerous opportunities to study abroad for up to a year at a number of prestigious universities. In the past these have included:

  • The University of Sydney
  • York University, Ontario
  • National University of Singapore
  • University of Hong Kong.

Erasmus exchange

Our students can also take part in an EU Erasmus exchange programme. Both study abroad schemes allow the transfer of course credits to York, meaning that you would graduate no later than those admitted in the same year in York.

"The year abroad offered me many opportunities to experience a new culture, meet people from around the world, challenge my existing views and realise I can survive at temperatures of -40°C!"
Fern, BA Politics student - spent a year studying and living in Canada

Teaching and assessment How you’ll be taught and assessed

Teaching format

You'll learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and one-to-ones. We offer a personal approach to learning with much of our teaching conducted in small groups (typically under 15 students in a seminar group). Our staff are very approachable and our doors are always open. Your personal supervisor provides support and guidance throughout your studies, offering weekly feedback and guidance hours.

Research-led teaching

You'll be taught by academics at the forefront of research across a number of political areas such as conflict, security and development, political economy, international politics, political theory and public policy. As international experts in their field, our staff advise governments and organisations and regularly contribute to news and current affairs programmes globally. Our expertise and experience feed directly into our teaching.




‌Assessment varies from module to module and includes a combination of exams, written essays and project work.

Your tutors will give you feedback in a variety of forms depending on the specific needs of the module. This may consist of written feedback, in-class discussion, model answers, one-to-one discussions or online responses.

Watch our mini lecture

Our teaching involves challenging discussions with your tutors and peers about global issues.

Watch one of our recent lectures in action

Highest teaching satisfaction score in the Russell Group

‌‌96% of students are satisfied with teaching on course (National Student Survey 2016) 

Careers Where you’ll go from here

The York Politics degree is recognised by employers worldwide.

You'll gain employability skills and have the opportunity to gain work experience, undertake internships or study abroad.

As a first year Politics student, you'll get the chance to gain work experience over the summer term through our Politics@Work initiative.

Take a look at our Graduate profiles for a taste of what you may move onto after graduating.

Career opportunities

Our recent graduates have gone on to work with:

  • The Home Office
  • The Cabinet Office
  • The Department for Environment
  • The European Parliament
  • The World Food Programme
  • Ernst & Young
  • Goldman Sachs.

Transferable skills

As well as developing your subject-specific knowledge, a Politics degree will equip you with the following transferable skills:

  • Logical thinking
  • Analysis of complex ideas, arguments and theories    
  • Problem-solving
  • The ability to present succinct reports    
  • Intellectual independence
  • Communication skills.
The knowledge I gained at the University of York proved essential for my work in documentaries – particularly when working on the Channel 4 series ‘The Rise and Fall of Tony Blair’. People tend to assume I studied Media at university, reading Politics has helped me to stand out
Kate Rushworth, YouTube Audience Development Strategist,
BA Politics, Graduate 2005


Many of our students organise work placements out of term time in an area that interests them. We encourage you to do this so you can gain workplace experience and a deeper insight into issues that interest you. Previously, students have spent the summer months interning at Ernst & Young, the Houses of Parliament and even the Mayor's Office in New York.

Entry requirements How to get here

Course entry

All applications must be made through UCAS. Accepted applicants will be invited to visit us between November and April. That's when you can meet our current students and staff, and your visit can include a one-to-one conversation with a member of academic staff.

A-levels and GCSEs

AAB (excluding General Studies)

Other UK qualifications

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AB at Advanced Higher + AAAAB at Higher level

BTEC National Diploma:

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: 

Cambridge Pre-U: 
D3, D3, M2

Access to HE: 
30 credits achieved from units awarded Distinction and 9 awarded Merit or higher

International options

International Baccalaureate Diploma

35 points overall

Irish Leaving Certificate

European Baccalaureate
An overall average of 80%

English language

IELTS: 6.5 with at least 5.5 in all units or equivalent

Unistats for this course

Enquire Contact our admissions tutor if you have any questions