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Politics

BA (Hons)

Key facts


Start dates

September 2020 / September 2021

Location

Headington

Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years

UCAS Tariff Points

104

Overview


Our Politics course exposes the links between politics and power. You will investigate:

  • the roots and nature of political activity 
  • governments and types of governances
  • power and rule under democratic and non-democratic regimes. 

You will have the chance to design your own course after Year 1. We offer a flexible, modular course of study which allows you to explore specific interests in politics.

We offer fantastic work placement opportunities with MPs, Local Councillors and voluntary organisations. These help you prepare fully for today’s employment market.

Oxfordshire has one of the highest numbers of non-governmental organisations in the country. You will have an excellent chance to pursue some unique career opportunities. 

At Oxford Brookes you study Politics as a combined honours degree alongside another, selected subject. Alternatively, you can study our single honours degrees:

Students having a discussion

Combine this course


You can study this course as part of a combined honours degree. This course can be combined with:

How to apply


Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29

BTEC: DMM

Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27

BTEC: MMM

Further offer details

If you accept a Conditional offer to this course as your Firm choice through UCAS, and the offer does not include a requirement to pass an English language test or improve your English language, we may be able to make the offer Unconditional. Please check your offer carefully where this will be confirmed for each applicant.

For combined honours, normally the offer will lie between the offers quoted for each subject.

Applications are also welcomed for consideration from applicants with European qualifications, international qualifications or recognised foundation courses. For advice on eligibility please contact Admissions: admissions@brookes.ac.uk

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences

Go

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Many of our courses consider applications for entry with credit for prior learning. Each application is individually assessed by our credit entry tutors. 

If you would like more information about whether or not you may be eligible for the award of credit, for example from an HND, partly-completed degree or foundation degree, please contact our Admissions team.

We operate the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Application process

Full time Home / EU applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home / EU applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees


Please see the fees note
Home/EU full time
£9,250

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£13,900

Home (UK) full time
£9,250 (subject to confirmation, September 2020)

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module (subject to confirmation, Sept 20)

International / EU full time
£14,300

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees


2020 / 21
Home/EU full time
£9,250

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£13,900

2021 / 22
Home (UK) full time
£9,250 (subject to confirmation, September 2020)

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module (subject to confirmation, Sept 20)

International / EU full time
£14,300

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

We do not expect students to purchase any compulsory course books, as they are all available in the library. If students wish to purchase additional books to supplement their reading, this is at their own discretion.

Students organise placements themselves, and are responsible for their own travel and associated costs - it is advised that they organise placements bearing this in mind. Oxfordshire based placements are accessible via public transport - often via the University’s subsidised BROOKESbus service, which is free to bus pass holders. Placements in London will incur higher travel costs; for example, a day return ticket on the Oxford Tube costs £14 (subject to change, for the latest fares see the Oxford Tube website). It is encouraged that students explore opportunities for their placement provider to cover travel costs if they opt for a placement which is not local.

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements. In the event of changes made to the government advice and social distancing rules by national or local government, the University may need to make further alterations to the published course content. Detailed information on the changes will be sent to every student on confirmation in August to ensure you have all the information before you come to Oxford Brookes.

Learning and assessment


On this course you will study the real world and develop the skills to make sense of it. 

In Year 1 you will develop the academic skills you need to study politics. Our Introduction to Politics module encourages you to examine Politics by looking at individual, society and political ideologies. You will also study the Politics in Comparative Perspective module, which compares different types of political systems. 

In Years 2 and 3 you can choose from modules in subjects including:

  • political thought
  • researching politics
  • international relations
  • counter terrorism
  • conflict and peace-building
  • the political sociology of crime and disorder
  • identity and politics.

You can also study a module on the politics and governance of states and regions such as:

  • the UK
  • the USA
  • Europe
  • Central Asia
  • Russia
  • South Africa.

You can write a dissertation in your final year, as part of the honours component of our course. You will produce an extended, original piece research. This gives you the opportunity to specialise in one of your fields, or combine them both in a project.

Student studying

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Introduction to Politics

Why do we vote the way we do? What affects our actions, and our political decisions? In this module, we’ll investigate politics through human behaviour. You’ll explore political culture, and how we participate in a democratic society. We’ll also look at how humans are socialised to hold various political views. You’ll gain a key insight into how ideas and ideologies affect our behaviour individually and as a group. 

Politics in Comparative Perspective

In this module, you’ll investigate politics, and the struggle for power, across the nations. You’ll gain a clear introduction to how and why political systems differ in our world today. You’ll examine case studies from a wide range of states, and gain a strong insight into how different regimes function – from the democratic to the totalitarian.

Academic Literacy in Politics and International Relations

In this module, you’ll explore the art and science of Politics and International Relations. You’ll develop the academic skills you need to succeed in your degree, as you explore how these two disciplines work. You’ll get to grips with the scope of International Relations and Politics, and consider:

  • the issues they explore
  • the questions they seek to answer
  • their academic, educational and social value. 

Optional modules

Introduction to International Relations 2: Themes and Issue

In this module, you’ll explore the leading issues of current world politics.

You’ll investigate the key figures, structures and processes in world politics - like states, political economies and multinational societies.

You’ll also analyse concepts such as:

  • anarchy
  • order
  • sovereignty
  • conflict and cooperation among states, and non-state figures.

You’ll also investigate the chronic issues of world politics, including:

  • gender
  • migration
  • human rights
  • humanitarian intervention
  • energy resources and the environment
  • development, inequality and poverty.

We’ll explore how different nations manage these issues and what this tells us about international governance.

Foundations of Social Theory

What is social theory? Who are the major social theorists, and what do they have to say about things like power, beliefs and values, capitalism, feminism and more? In this module, you’ll explore key concepts and theories in classical and contemporary sociology. You’ll also immerse yourself in current debates, developments and approaches to social theory. And you’ll encounter theories like Marxism, postcolonialism, functionalism and more.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Political Thought 1

In this module, you’ll dive into political thought and international theory, encountering thinkers from Machiavelli to Mill. You’ll gain fantastic critical skills as you analyse key texts on modern political theory, and understand states and international contexts. You’ll explore classic texts, including Hobbes’ Leviathan and Rousseau's The Social Contract. You’ll also analyse key ideas in modern political thought, including:

  • natural rights
  • sovereignty 
  • representation. 

Researching Politics and International Relations

In this module, you’ll develop the practical research skills you need to design and carry out your first piece of social sciences research. You’ll start with the ‘big questions’ of ‘What exists?’ and ‘How can we know about what exists?’ From here, you’ll move on to consider the different research methods and their implications. You’ll take part in hands-on workshops and practical sessions, preparing you to conduct your research for your final-year dissertation.

Optional modules

Dilemmas of Governing

How much did world leaders rely on history to make decisions? In this module, you’ll look at governing strategy from the 20th century to the present day. You’ll choose either the British or Soviet states, and analyse how their leaders managed crises and issues. You’ll also explore the relationship between politics and economics, and apply key approaches to the problems of governing.  

Nationalism and Regime Change

In this module, you’ll explore the effect of nationalism, ethnicity and regime change on a country. You’ll get to grips with the different approaches we use to explore them. You’ll gain fantastic analytical skills as you apply these approaches to real world cases, and investigate the implications of their different perspectives. 
You’ll also look at how globalisation impacts the politics and identity of a country. You’ll analyse the ways in which globalisation can be a force for good (spreading democracy) and bad (divisive, leading to nationalist resistance). 

Political Thought 2

In this module, you’ll plunge into the history of modern political thought from Kant to de Beauvoir. You’ll also explore the thinking of:

  • Hegel 
  • Marx
  • Nietzsche
  • Fanon.

You’ll investigate key theories of politics - international and national. And you’ll explore issues such as the end of history, gender, feminism and race.
 

State and Society: Europe and the United States

In this module, you can investigate the politics of either Europe or the USA, subject to student numbers and staff availability. 

In the European strand, you’ll explore themes of democracy and citizenship. You’ll look closely at what democracy and citizenship might mean to people living in the UK, France, Germany and in Europe’s post-communist countries. You’ll also look at the future of European states and societies, and how they can adapt to challenges such as migration.

In the American strand, you’ll focus on governmental and political institutions. You’ll also explore explosive issues in American politics, including religion, race and capital punishment.

Work-based Learning

In this module, you’ll have the chance to carry out a work placement closely linked to your Politics course. You’ll be supported by your module leader to find a placement that meets your needs, and which will support your learning. With a carefully chosen placement, you’ll build on the skills and knowledge you’ve already gained in Year 1, and you’ll also strengthen vital skills for the workplace, like time management, communication and team-working. 

Students have found placements in organisations like:

  • Asylum Welcome, working with asylum seekers in Oxford
  • Viva, an international children’s charity
  • Depaul, working with homeless people and immigrants in Paris.

During and after your placement, you’ll:

  • create a placement portfolio, recording what you’ve done and achieved
  • craft a CV showing your experience
  • give a presentation on your placement.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Double Dissertation in Politics or Interdisciplinary Dissertation in Politics or Dissertation in combined subject

This module gives you the chance to do independent research on a topic that fascinates you. You’ll have the support of an expert lecturer in Politics. You’ll gain fantastic project management and research skills for your future career, as you design and conduct your own research over two semesters. Whatever your topic, you’ll shape your project around your passions, and gain the core skills to succeed in your degree. 

Previous students’ dissertations have tackled topics such as:

  • The Brexit vote and national identity
  • Hong Kong’s relationship with China and the UK
  • The changing roles of Arab women in peacemaking
  • The role of social media in US elections
  • Boko Haram and state fragility in Nigeria.

Optional modules

Democratic Challenges in Russia and the EU

In this module, you’ll develop key critical skills as you explore the democratic challenges confronting Russia and the EU. Both are currently facing enormous social, political and economic transformation.You’ll gain an understanding of the forces affecting a large, diverse multi-ethnic state or supranational entity. You’ll look at the roles of the media, civil society and political institutions in identity and the formation of states.

You can choose to study either Russia or the EU. You’ll take either Democratic Challenges in Contemporary Russia: State and Society, or Democratic Challenges in the European Union: Integration and Disintegration, depending on staff and student availability.

Violence, and the Politics of Peace and Identity

From terrorism to mass protests, how do we make sense of violence and resistance? In this module, you’ll explore the tensions between local and global communities in building peace. You’ll investigate how identity markers such as gender, race, nationality and ethnicity relate to violence and resistance. You can choose to focus on violence, resistance and identity politics, or violent conflict and peacebuilding.

Freedom and Justice in Contemporary Political Theory

In this module, you’ll explore theories of freedom and justice in relation to specific political problems and puzzles. You’ll ask questions like: 

  • Is it possible to have universal principles of justice within complex multicultural societies? 
  • Do conventional identities limit our freedom? 
  • Do freedom and justice require ‘empowerment’? 

You’ll also look at relevant concepts such as rights and equality. You’ll gain valuable critical skills as you explore the different methods we use to explore these concepts, and how they play out in the practical world of politics. 

You’ll be able to choose between two streams, depending on staff availability:

  • Contemporary Political Philosophy
  • Feminist/Queer Theory.

South African Politics: From Apartheid to Democracy

In this module, you’ll trace South African politics from apartheid to democracy. You’ll gain valuable critical skills as you analyse South Africa’s history, and explore key issues in its post-apartheid political economy.  And you’ll analyse links between the injustices of apartheid, and the unique challenges in contemporary South Africa.

Independent Study

This module gives you the chance to research a topic in Politics that fascinates you. With support from a supervisor, you’ll choose, plan and carry out your independent research. You’ll gain in-depth knowledge of your subject. You’ll also build great project management and research skills, which will help you in your future career.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

Our teaching staff are active researchers and their research directly informs your learning.

Our teaching methods include:

  • role play exercises
  • group work
  • video presentations
  • podcasts
  • placement learning
  • individual tutorials
  • lectures and seminars. 

You can attend our Centre for Global Politics, Economy and Society seminars, where speakers from other universities discuss their research.

We host our ‘Politics at Work’ seminar series for those interested in a career in international development / humanitarian aid. 

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

We assess you with coursework and examinations. Coursework includes:

  • essays
  • group projects
  • field trips
  • role play
  • individual and group seminar presentations.

We assess some modules through an examination, and others solely through your work during the semester.

After you graduate


Career prospects

A Politics degree from Oxford Brookes means excellent employment potential. Our graduates have made successful careers in a variety of professions, including social work, management, teaching, lecturing, publishing, journalism, advertising, local government, law and the trade unions. Career destinations also include an MP and roles within political parties or as parliamentary researchers. 

Recent graduates have gone in to roles including a Constituency Caseworker, Graduate Intern, Policy analyst and Media Analyst, and many have gone on to further study in subjects such as Law, International Business, Contemporary European Studies, and Politics and Governance.

Further study

A number of our graduates have progressed to postgraduate study, and we are keen to encourage our undergraduates to undertake their own research as part of their studies.

As well as offering supervision in a range of areas for research degrees, the department also runs an International Relations master's programme, which places an emphasis on gaining critical perspectives on contemporary theory and practice.  You can study either an MA in International Relations; MA in International Relations (distance learning) or an MA in International Security.

Student profiles


Our Staff


Dr Christiano Bee

His area of expertise focuses on civil society studies, with a particular interest in the activities of social NGOs operating at the EU level but also in a number of countries (such as the UK, Italy, and Turkey).

Read more about Christiano

Free language courses


Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Programme Changes: On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.