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BA (Hons) / BSc (Hons) - combined

Department of Social Sciences

The study of politics is the study of power. We start by examining the roots and nature of political activity set in the context of wider social activity. We also explore governments and types of governance, as well as the nature of power and rule under democratic and non-democratic regimes. 
You will have the opportunity to participate in the design of your own course of study after the first year, with guidance from your teachers, following your own areas of interests.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: up to 6 years

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • We encourage you to explore your own areas of interest, providing you with a solid foundation in the discipline and the opportunity to design your own course of study after the first year. The course offers a flexible, modular programme of study giving you more choice.
  • There are fantastic work placement opportunities, for example with an MP or local councillor, as well as with voluntary organisations, to fully prepare you for today’s employment market.
  • As a politics student you’ll particularly benefit from Oxfordshire having one of the highest numbers of non governmental organisations outside London, putting you in an excellent position to pursue some unique career opportunities.
  • The Department of Social Sciences is home to the Centre for Global Politics, Economy and Society and four research groups in Critical Security Studies, International Political State and Society, and Culture, Identities and Divisions. Teaching staff are active researchers so your learning will always be underpinned by the latest academic thinking.
  • Politics is studied as a combined honours degree which means you study it alongside one of a selected number of subjects. Alternatively, you can study International Relations and Politics, or Economics, Politics and International Relations as single honours courses.
  • You are actively encouraged to study for part of your degree at other universities in Europe, America, Asia and Australia. With over 100 partner institutions across the world, Brookes can offer you an overseas study experience.

Studying Politics means studying the real world - and developing the skills to make sense of it. This is why we invite you to start the course by considering your own political development.

In year 1 you will take the Introduction to Politics module, which begins with an examination of politics by looking at the individual and society and political ideologies, and the Politics in Comparative Perspective module which compares different types of political systems. You will also study the academic skills which you need to study Politics.

In years 2 and 3 you will have a choice of modules on such subjects as political thought, researching politics and international relations, counter terrorism, conflict and peace-building, the political sociology of crime and disorder, identity politics and also on the politics and governance of specific states or regions such as the UK, the USA, Europe, Central Asia, Russia and South Africa.

You may choose to write a dissertation in your final year as part of the honours component of the course. This is an extended piece of original research which offers you the opportunity to specialise in one of your fields or to combine them both in an interdisciplinary project.

Study modules

As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here.

Year 1

Year 1 compulsory modules:

  • Introduction to Politics
  • Politics in Comparative Perspective
  • Academic Literacy in Politics and International Relations


  • Introduction to International Relations I: Perspectives
  • Introduction to International Relations II: Themes and Issues
  • Social Differences and Divisions
  • Foundations of Social Theory

Years 2 and 3

  • American Politics and Society
  • State and Society in Europe
  • Modern British Politics
  • Russia and Eastern Europe after Lenin
  • Sex, Gender and Politics
  • Nationalism, Identity and Ethnicity
  • Work-based learning in Politics and International Relations
  • Democracy, Autocracy and Regime Change
  • Current Issues in Politics and International Relations
  • Political Thought l
  • Political Thought ll
  • Researching Politics and International Relations l: Analytical Modes
  • Researching Politics and International Relations ll: Methods
  • Freedom, Justice and Political Theory (Honours Component)
  • Postcolonial Perspectives on Western Culture and Politics (Honours Component)
  • Conflict and Peacebuilding (Honours Component)
  • Violence, Resistance and Identity Politics (Honours Component)
  • Counter Terrorism in Comparative Perspective (Honours Component)
  • State and Society in Contemporary Russia (Honours Component)
  • Central Asia in Global Politics: Beyond Oil and Islam (Honours Component)
  • South African Politics: From Apartheid to Democracy (Honours Component)
  • The Ethics of Migration and Immigration (Honours Component)
  • Independent Study in Politics (Honours Component)
  • Interdisciplinary Dissertation in Politics (Honours Component)
  • Dissertation in Politics (double Honours Component)
  • Global Environmental Politics (Honours Component)
  • Theory and Practice of Human Rights (Honours Component)
  • The European Union: Integration and Disintegration (Honours Component)
  • Political Sociology of Crime and Disorder (Honours Component)

Modules in detail » Module diagrams »

Work placements

Our work placement module offers students the opportunity to build on the skills and knowledge gained in level 4 modules by undertaking a placement with organisations that are engaged in areas relevant to the study of Politics. Students will be able to evaluate and reflect critically upon this experience in a module that links theory and practice of Politics in a professional context.

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.

Study abroad

Politics students are actively encouraged to study for part of their degree at other universities in the EU, Free University Amsterdam, and The University of Tampere, Finland. In the past students have also taken advantage of opportunities to study in the USA, Kazakhstan and Australia.

The department has links with a number of European universities through the Erasmus programme, which last for one or two semesters. With over 100 partner institutions across the world, Oxford Brookes can offer you a unique overseas study experience.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:

  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.

While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.

Tuition fees are paid as they would be if you remained in the UK, either to Oxford Brookes via your Student Loan or directly to Oxford Brookes according to your preference.

You will be responsible for all other costs such as accommodation, purchasing your airfares, travel and health insurance and visas. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.

There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.

For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

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.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

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.

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.

Teaching and learning

You will be learning in a stimulating and friendly atmosphere. The teaching staff are committed to the highest standards in research-led teaching, and have an impressive record of publication in books, journals and conference papers, as well as policy consultancy. 

Students are also invited to attend and take part in our departmental Centre for Global Politics, Economy and Society seminars, which usually involve invited speakers from other universities who present papers on their research interests. We also host the ‘Politics at Work’ seminar series for students with an interest in careers in the international development/humanitarian aid sector.

We use a variety of teaching methods, including role play exercises, group work, video presentations, podcasts, placement learning and individual tutorials, as well as lectures and seminars.

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 16%85%0%
2 16%84%0%
3 10%90%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 15%85%0%
2 16%84%0%
3 14%86%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 15%85%0%
2 16%84%0%
3 14%86%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 16%84%0%
2 16%84%0%
3 10%90%0%

Approach to assessment

Assessment is by coursework and examination. Coursework includes essays, group projects, field trips, role play and individual and group-based seminar presentations. Some modules involve an examination, although others are assessed solely on the basis of your work during the semester.


Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 25%0%75%
2 13%0%88%
3 0%0%100%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 19%0%81%
2 19%0%81%
3 9%0%91%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 54%0%46%
2 13%0%88%
3 13%0%88%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 50%0%50%
2 19%0%81%
3 16%0%84%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module. 2019/20: £750 per single module.

International - full time: 2018/19: £13,150 2019/20: £13,410

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 in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112

A-Level: BBC or equivalent

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.

IB Diploma: 30 points


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.

Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard 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.

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.

How to apply

International applicants

Apply direct »

For full-time study you can also apply through UCAS.

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

Oxford Brookes operates 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.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford truly is a student city - one in five of the population is a student. Vibrant, cosmopolitan and surrounded by fantastic countryside, it attracts students and staff from an exceptionally wide range of social and cultural backgrounds - so you’ll be joining a diverse national and international community.

Oxford Brookes students are eligible to join the Oxford Union, famous for its debates and illustrious speakers, from international politicians and leaders, to sports stars and other celebrities.

Oxford is recognised internationally as an educational, scientific and technological centre of excellence. The city has one of the highest concentrations of non-governmental organisations outside London, including Oxfam - so you are in an excellent position to pursue career development opportunities in the region. 

Brookes has outstanding transport links, with buses leaving for central London and international airports every 20 minutes from just outside the Headington campus. As a student of  Politics you'll relish being just over an hour away from the Houses of Parliament, perfectly placing you for further expansion of your opportunities for employment and experience.

Support for students studying Politics

Our student support coordinators are there for you from the day you arrive to the day you leave, helping with anything from module advice to supporting you with any personal issues you may experience. They organise induction programmes and events throughout the year, and offer a friendly face when you need one.

The University's free 'Upgrade' study service is available to anyone who needs advice on study skills, from planning and writing essays, research and statistics, to highlighting areas for improvement. 

When you arrive at Oxford Brookes you will be assigned an academic adviser who will provide you with academic support and supervision throughout your degree, helping you monitor your progress and performance. They will also keep you up-to-date with events around your studies, such as visiting speakers, seminars and career fairs.

Specialist facilities

With over 300,000 books, DVDs and CDs, and a vast range of databases, e-journals and reference materials, the library provides all the resources you'll need for your study of Politics. You can also take advantage of the Library Electronic Information Network (LEIN), which gives you access to a range of bibliographical searching tools, databases and electronic journals.

We have a dedicated Politics and International Relations librarian who is on hand to answer your enquiries, teach you skills and guide you around the electronic resources on offer. The library also offers regular training sessions on accessing and making the best use of key resources in your specific subject area. Once you reach the stage of writing your dissertation you will have access to the world-famous Bodleian Library.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

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.