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BA (Hons) Politics

Immerse yourself in the events, issues and ideas that are shaping our world – and our future

Year of entry: 2019

UCAS code

L200

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2018/19)

International fees

£17,120 per year (2019/20)

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‌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, conflict and environmental change affect us all, and investigate emerging powers like China and India.


You can apply for this course with a year in industry. You'll complete a professional placement between your second and third year, helping you to develop your employability and professional skills. 

‌‌“I spent the summer of my second year interning in the marketing and communications division of the Mayor’s office in New York.”
Maria, BA Politics, Year 3. Read about Maria's experience.

UK top 10

We're ranked 7th in the UK for politics in the 2019 Guardian university guide

Taught by experts

Our staff advise governments on a wide range of issues and contribute to news, media and current affairs programmes globally

Course content

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

Study abroad

Year 1

You will study four 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.

Core modules:

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

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 option modules from a range of subjects.

Core module

Option modules

Choose one from Group A, one from Group A or B, and one from Group A, B or C.

Group A:

Group B:

Group C:

Year 3

In your final year you'll study four option modules, which build on the knowledge you've gained over your degree. The year culminates in a dissertation: an extended essay based on your own research.

Core module

Politics Dissertation (40 credits)

The dissertation is a chance for you to study a topic of your choice in depth. With the support of a supervisor, you'll identify a question and conduct independent research to find an answer. You will have the opportunity to learn and use quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques which are essential for modern social science research.

Autumn option modules

Choose two of the following:

Spring option modules

Choose two of the following:

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

"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

Fees and funding

The fees and funding figures below are based on data from 2018 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year.

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £17,120

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Funding

We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

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 fewer than 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. Our expertise and experience feed directly into our teaching.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars252 hours192 hours96 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1200 hours a year learning.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Politics on Campus West. Most teaching will take place nearby. 

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

‌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

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams45%45%0%
Coursework42%55%100%
Practical exams13%0%0%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Careers and skills

A York Politics degree is recognised by employers worldwide. You'll improve your employability with opportunities to gain work experience, undertake internships or study abroad.

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 get a deeper insight into issues that interest you. Previous students have spent the summer months interning at Ernst and Young, the Houses of Parliament and even the Mayor's Office in New York.

Career opportunities

Our recent graduates have gone on to work with:

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

Graduate profiles

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

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
A levels

AAB (excluding General Studies)

Access to Higher Education Diploma 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC BTEC National Extended Diploma: DDD
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2
European Baccalaureate An overall average of 80%
International Baccalaureate 35 points overall
Irish leaving Certificate H2,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AB at Advanced Higher + AAAAB at Higher level

English language

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

Other accepted tests and qualifications

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

If we make you an offer, we'll invite you to visit us between November and April. You can meet current students and chat one-to-one with our academic staff.

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Learn more

Department of Politics

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