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Politics

BA (Hons)

Key facts


Start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Location

Headington

Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years

Department

Department of Social Sciences

UCAS Tariff Points

112

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

How to apply


Typical offers

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30

BTEC: DMM

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

Other academic qualifications that fulfil the entry requirements include:

  • BB at A-level and CC at AS-level
  • vocational A-levels at equivalent grades
  • a recognised foundation or access course
  • European Baccalaureate.

Further EU qualifications are also accepted; for more details please contact the senior tutor for this course.

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
£750 per single module

International full time
£13,410

Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

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

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees


2019/20
Home/EU full time
£9,250

Home/EU part time
£750 per single module

International full time
£13,410

2020/21
Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

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

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.

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.

Financial support and scholarships

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

Additional costs

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.

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

An investigation of the nature of politics and political study, through examination of political behaviour (processes of political socialisation, the nature of political culture and the ways in which individuals participate in a democratic society) and the role of ideas and ideologies in informing individual and collective behaviour.

Politics in Comparative Perspective

This module examines and compares the nature of democratic politics; such as governmental institutions and political processes in a number of systems, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the USA and the European Union.

Academic Literacy in Politics and International Relations

This module aims to develop and enhance Students' academic literacy skills through an exploration of the art, craft and science of Politics and International Relations. Students are invited to explore the nature and scope of these two disciplines via practical and analytical activities and content. This includes a focus on critical issues, questions they seek to answer, and what the academic, educational and social value of these disciplines are.

Optional modules

Introduction to International Relations 1: Perspectives (Recommended)

This module provides an introduction to International Relations, with a focus on history, theories and perspectives. As an academic discipline, International Relations has emerged from a particular (cultural and historic) set of perspectives and concerns. This module will aim to introduce you to the defining debates of the discipline in this context, following the different interpretations of selected historical events.

Introduction to International Relations 2: Themes and Issue (Recommended)

This two-part module examines some of the key themes and issues in contemporary world politics. Part one introduces the actors, structures, and processes of world politics; outlining core themes such as the international system of states and international society, transnational and global society, the global political economy, international organisations, institutions and transnational actors. It analyses concepts such as anarchy, order, sovereignty, conflict and co-operation among states and non-state actors. Part two goes on to examine a number of immediate and chronic issues in world politics to demonstrate a) how they are managed and b) what they tell us about the nature of governance in the international system.

Social Differences and Divisions (Recommended)

This module is designed to provide students with an introductory knowledge of Sociology and the different ways in which sociological analysis makes sense of the social world. Key concepts and approaches in Sociology will be introduced, with focus on the relationship between individuals, groups, and social institutions. Core areas of sociological analysis (including gender relations, class divisions, and 'race' and ethnicity) will be considered in light of contemporary sociological debates.

Foundations of Social Theory (Recommended)

This module offers a general introduction to the principle themes and concerns of social theory; starting with the works of classical sociological theorists Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber. It considers how their work has shaped the discipline of sociology, as well as different sociological traditions. The module also explores a number of contemporary developments, debates and approaches in social theory, and considers their contributions to understanding social relations today.

Year 2

Optional modules

Political Thought 1

A historical and critical examination of political thought and international theory, beginning with Machiavelli and concluding with Bentham. Students will reflect on how historic theories of international and national politics are to be understood and assessed conceptually.

Political Thought 2

This develops from Political Thought 1, beginning with Kant and concluding with de Beauvoir. Specific theorists such as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Mill, Nietzsche and de Beauvoir will be examined and general themes such as gender, sovereignty and the end of history in relation to the politics of states and the international arena will be investigated.

Researching Politics and International Relations I: Analytical Modes

The aim of this module is to locate political science and international relations with reference to debates about the nature of social science, so that students may begin to make informed choices about their own modes of inquiry. Students will be introduced to debates about the nature of ‘the political’ (ontology), what we can know about it (epistemology) and how different modes of inquiry are derived from these debates

Researching Politics and International Relations II: Methods

Introduces students to the ideas underpinning the design and conduct of research in politics and international relations, starting with the big questions of ‘what exists?’ and ‘how can we know about what exists?’ before moving to consider the practice and implications of different research methods.

Russia and East Europe after Lenin

Explores the attempt to build a radical alternative political, social and economic model in Europe during the 20th century. The module will be substantively concerned with questions of state-building, governance, security and legitimacy in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Taking a comparative approach to the region, students will consider the appropriateness of Western concepts for understanding the political system, particularly socialism, totalitarianism, pluralism and democracy.

American Politics and Society

An analysis of the governmental and political institutions in the United States, the policy-making process, and contemporary issues in American politics.

Modern British Politics

An analysis of contemporary British politics and the wider movements contributing to the making of modern British politics. This module will focus on the assessment and evaluation of political change in Britain, within a global and historical context.

Democracy, Autocracy and Regime Change

This module explores the theoretical approaches to regime change and regime consolidation and their relevance to real life cases. It will first acquaint students with the complex concepts of democracy and authoritarianism, before introducing them to competing structure and process-driven explanations of regime change. It will go on to evaluate the impact of globalisation on both 'consolidated democracies' and on regimes that are generally considered to be non-democracies.

Sex, Gender and Politics

In this module, we will critically explore how structures and ideas of sex and gender shape the political worlds we inhabit; both formal and informal. We will be asking whether the gender of our political representatives makes a difference to the way that politics is conducted, as well as analysing the gendered power relations that permeate multiple spheres of life including work, home and social spaces.

Current Issues in Politics and International Relations

To be decided on each occasion this module runs by International Relations and Politics staff in conjunction with the Subject meeting and External Examiners.

Work-based Learning in Politics and International Relations

This module offers students the opportunity to build on the skills and knowledge gained in the Politics and/or International Relations level 4 modules in order to undertake a work placement with organisations that are engaged in areas relevant to the study of Politics and/or International Relations. Students will be able to evaluate and reflect critically upon this experience in a module that links theory and practice of Politics and International Relations in a professional context. The content of the module is negotiated between the student and the work placement provider and must be approved by the module leader in advance of the commencement of the placement.

State and Society in Europe

This module offers an exploration into the social and political foundations of European states and societies. It looks at the processes of nation - and state-building and the relationship between the state, market and society, consolidation of European models of capitalism and the construction of European approaches to citizenship. The future of European states and societies and their ability to respond to contemporary social and political challenges is evaluated through a historical and comparative perspective.

Nationalism, Identity and Ethnicity

This module examines the competing and contrasting theoretical approaches to understanding nationalism and ethnicity. Using a range of case studies from pre-modern Europe to the global present the module assesses the different ways in which nationalism can influence state (and sub-state) development, economic relations, democratic practice and institutional arrangements. The module also explores the intersection between nationalism, ethnicity and other key categories in political science such as: political mobilisation, conflict, culture, gender, religion and globalisation.

Year 3

Optional modules

Political Sociology of Crime and Disorder (Honours Component)

This module will explore contemporary issues in the politics and sociology of crime, disorder and control. This will include an overview of some of the key theories and theorists and current practices of crime and social order. The aim of the module is to provide students with an understanding of the key debates and issues in relation to crime and disorder, the sociological analysis and understanding of these issues and an opportunity to explore the politics of crime, disorder and social control.

Violence, Resistance and Identity Politics (Honours Component)

This course probes the links between identity as a localised practice and globalised forms of domination, exclusion and violence. It explores a wide range of foundational and contemporary literature from international relations, feminist, postcolonial and poststructural theory to ask questions about the ways in which particular bodies are raced, classed, gendered and sexualized, and the personal/political implications of this.

Freedom, Justice and Political Theory (Honours Component)

An examination of key political concepts, freedom, justice, and the community, taking account of affiliated concepts including rights and equality. In considering these concepts, differing theoretical treatments of them will be related to the roles they play in the practical world of politics.

South African Politics: From Apartheid to Democracy (Honours Component)

This module will provide students with a detailed examination of the political economy of South Africa. It begins with an analysis of the legacy of South Africa’s history before surveying some of the key issues in the political economy of post-apartheid South Africa. It assesses the links between the historical legacies of apartheid and the unique nature of some of the problems encountered in South Africa today.

Global Environmental Politics (Honours Component)

This module is concerned with the global environmental issues in a broad, interdisciplinary framework. Beginning with an investigation into the international legal and institutional apparatus for dealing with environmental issues, it goes on to consider the wider socio-cultural and ideological aspects, as well as the global political economy of environmental governance and sustainable development.

Central Asia in Global Politics: Beyond Oil and Islam (Honours Component)

This module examines Central Asia’s domestic post-Soviet development within the context of its geostrategic importance to international actors. It will explore issues central to the region’s development including nation-building, conflict and revolution, political Islam, the political economy of oil, transnational organised crime and ‘great’ power play in the region.

Dissertation in Politics (Double Honours)

This module provides the opportunity for independent research under supervision. Students choose a dissertation topic under advice from staff in the International Relations field.

Postcolonial Perspectives on Western Culture and Politics (Honours Component)

This module sheds light on how Western culture and politics rely on the construction of particular narratives about people in the postcolonial world. The module will highlight the diffuse nature of what constitutes ‘oppression’, and will show how what we ‘think’ about other people matters for how we understand ourselves, as well as our own culture and politics.

Interdisciplinary Dissertation in Politics (Honours Component)

This module provides the opportunity for independent research under supervision. Students choose a dissertation topic under advice from staff on the Politics field. Dissertations may be interdisciplinary, combining both subjects of study, or solely within the Politics subject. Students taking this module must also register for the interdisciplinary module in their other subject.

Independent Study in Politics (Honours Component)

This module offers students the opportunity to undertake independent study and research under supervision. Students can submit a proposal for independent study, and provided that supervision is available, an agreed programme of work and assessment schedule is constructed for the following semester.

Conflict and Peacebuilding (Honours Component)

This module addresses the major issues at the heart of conflict and post-war reconstruction: What is peace? What are the common causes of violent intra-state conflicts? What are the dynamics and challenges of peace processes? Why are peace accords often likely to break down? What role do local and international actors play in reconstruction efforts? Why do reconstruction efforts often fail? Students will evaluate the dynamics of violent conflict, peace and post-war reconstruction through the examination of case studies; a conflict simulation exercise and a critical engagement with the literature.

State and Society in Contemporary Russia (Honours Component)

Russia has been undergoing enormous political, economic and social transformation since the collapse of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War. The module will analyse the emergence of the contemporary political system in light of the historical, global and socio-economic context, exploring the nature of the state, the significance of political institutions and the applicability of Western political science concepts such as liberal democracy. Key themes will include state-building, nation-building, governance and security.

Theory and Practice of Human Rights (Honours Component)

The module provides an opportunity to develop both a comprehensive understanding of theoretical debates on human rights and an awareness of the myriad practices, actors, institutions, and issues surrounding the concept of human rights, and from a broad range of perspectives within the social sciences. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the ways in which social scientific approaches and methods can be brought to bear on an understanding of the role of human rights in the world. It will also provide a basis for exploring a number of selected human rights issues in depth.

Counter Terrorism in Comparative Perspective (Honours Component)

The module aims to compare and contrast the shifting and different ways in which states respond to terrorism. Students will critically engage with the idea of counter terrorism; what it is, and its relation to conceptions of the state, security and political violence. The module will also consider the so called 'new' terrorism (critically engaging with this distinction between 'new' and 'old' terrorism) before going on to consider the similarities and differences in various countries responses to this 'new' terrorism.

The Ethics of Migration and Immigration (Honours Component)

This module will introduce students to the major debates surrounding the ethics of migration and immigration, giving them the tools to analyse the ethical implications of policies directed to both constrain and enable migration in the Global North and South. The module will begin with a discussion of why people move in the first place and how this has helped divide migrants into various ethically problematic political categories - genuine and bogus asylum seekers, refugees, economic migrants, etc. It will then move on to three conceptual weeks which focus on the major approaches to the ethics of migration - communitarian, cosmopolitan and critical feminist and poststructural approaches.

The European Union: Integration and Disintegration (Honours Component)

By adopting a sociological lens to the study of the EU, this module will overview different perspectives that are topical for understanding the process of European integration. It seeks to develop students' understanding of the social, political and cultural dimensions of the European project and the debates associated with these. More specifically, it explores the impact of Europeanization by looking at both top-down and bottom-up perspectives. It uncovers the complexities of social, political and cultural dynamics that determine the boundaries of the European project. The module will assess the social and political framework underpinning the development of the Europeanization process thus raising important questions about the overall aims of the EU vis-a-vis its member states but more importantly towards its citizens.

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.

Study Abroad


You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

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.