Politics
BA (Hons)

Part-time study available
Overseas study available
Work placement opportunity
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study Politics at Salford

1.

Extensive study abroad programme: you can spend one or two semesters in Europe, the USA, Australia, or Canada

2.

Westminster Parliamentary Placement and television work placement opportunities

3.

Learn from staff who are internationally recognised researchers

Course Summary

According to Aristotle, humans are political animals. We only exist in and through political communities. How do we organise ourselves as communities? Who has power in these communities and how is it used? Do our communities lead us to ever greater forms of freedom and liberty or do we create the conditions for our own continued domination and subjection?

This course is dedicated to examining the most central and critical questions regarding our political world and its pasts and futures. It differs from other courses in its critical emphasis, wide range of module options, and smaller class sizes.

Ordinary citizens often feel disempowered because they find the political world confusing. By providing knowledge and understanding of how politics works, this course gives you the tools you need, as a citizen, to insist that elected representatives remain effectively accountable to you.

There is the opportunity to spend some or all of your second year studying abroad with excellent placement opportunities to boost your CV. Students who spend the whole of their second year studying at an Erasmus (European) university may qualify for a tuition fee waiver.

Watch our video

BA (Hons) Contemporary History and Politics student Nick talks about life at Salford.

Course Details

As a politics student you will learn much more than how laws are made or how elections work. You will be taught a wide array of concepts and tools of research to make sense of the political and social world around you. Although a great many people today see the world that we live in as overwhelmingly complex, intimidating, and anarchic, the goal of this course is to enable you to understand and explain the political world.

Course Structure

As you progress through the course, you will develop and hone your knowledge and skills, gaining a firm foundation in politics and expanding and deepening your interests through a wide variety of module options and other opportunities. You will also develop your knowledge of history and international politics.

Year 1

Your first year of study seeks to give you a grounding in understanding political behaviour and institutions; political theory; comparative political analysis; and international politics and history.

Year 2

You will build on knowledge gained in your first year, and have the option to choose from a wide range of modules. You will take two core modules: Theories of Power and Domination and Researching in International Relations and Politics. The former expands your knowledge of political concepts and thinkers, and the latter prepares you for the dissertation in your third year. You can then choose four module options. You can spend one or two semesters studying abroad at one of our many partners in Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia. You can also opt to develop your language skills and take a language module as part of the University-wide Language Programme.

Year 3

In the third year you will complete a dissertation on a political subject of your choice. This is your opportunity to develop your ideas and research a topic that you have selected. The dissertation counts as two modules. You also choose four from a range of module options, or take advantage of our placement opportunities (Westminster Parliamentary Placement or the Channel M Placement).

Westminster Parliamentary Placement - An exciting and unique opportunity to work with a Westminster MP in London. You will put your research and communication skills to work in a challenging setting that places you at the centre of British politics.

Part-time students complete the course of study in six years, allowing them two years to complete each level. At each level, you may choose which modules to study in each year. A total of three modules must be completed each year, with a minimum of one module per semester.

Year 1

This is a critical political theory module that covers the most important theories, concepts and thinkers in politics: Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Freud, Schmitt and others. You will develop a critical knowledge of liberalism, power, and the state.
In this module you will study the British political system, political parties, legislatures and executives, and elections. This module will also look at the international context, covering British foreign policy, decolonisation, and Britain's role in Europe and the 'special relationship' with the USA.
This module examines international history from the 1890s until the post-war period. You will study the European balance of power system, Wilsonian internationalism, the rise of powers such as Japan, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany and the outbreak of the Second World War.
You will continue your studies in international history by exploring the Cold War in Europe and Asia, deconolisation, European integration, the superpower relationship and the rise of China and Japan. You will also study the impact of US foreign policy and the global 'war on terror'.
You will study concepts of social division and inequality in advanced industrial societies, covering topics such race, gender, age, class and global inequalities.
This module is an introduction to new forms of governance at the global level. You will study international organisations such as the EU, UN, NATO and a host of others, including the World Bank and the IMF, and assess their role in global politics, as well as their impact on states and individuals.

Year 2

Core modules:

Central to this module is the study of power, and you will explore the theories of Weber, Marx, Gramsci, Foucault and Althusser, with a focus on the social foundations of political power, political power and the formation of the individual, and political power and the role of organisation and bureaucracy.
Central to this module is the study of power, and you will explore the theories of Weber, Marx, Gramsci, Foucault and Althusser, with a focus on the social foundations of political power, political power and the formation of the individual, and political power and the role of organisation and bureaucracy.

Optional modules typically include:

This module introduces you to the history of the British Labour Party, its ideology, organisation and electoral strategy, while also focusing upon some of the most crucial periods, in particular that of Labour's early development as well as that of its apparent crisis and transformation
This module provides an in-depth examination of the Vietnam War and the cost of US involvement. You will study US foreign and military policies and assess how different US presidents responded to events.
This module explores the relationship between the media and politics in liberal democracies. You will focus on the nature of political media and reporting, the media's influence on politics, and how political actors use the media. You will also study the rise of the internet and new media technologies and what this means for democracy.
This module explores the claims and evidence about the impact of global media on international politics, particularly on the dynamics of international affairs, power relations among governments, foreign policy-making, conflict, security, diplomacy, development, and civil society.
This module examines a number of sociological and political thinkers and problems fundamental for understanding contemporary forms of rule/domination. You will critically explore modern democracy, bureaucracy and the state. The issues of authority, domination and obedience, liberty and subjection, hegemony, conformity and resistance will be a regular focus of attention.
This module focuses on the impact of globalisation in relation to poverty and development. You will consider the role of the industrialised western states in the global economy, as well as post-colonial states, critically examining north-south relations.
This module introduces you to 'traditional' and 'new' approaches to defining and conceptualising security. You will study some of the most important issues on the international security agenda such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, resource wars and energy security, the privatisation of warfare, peacekeeping, pandemics and health security, and environmental degradation.
This module introduces you to 'traditional' and 'new' approaches to defining and conceptualising security. You will study some of the most important issues on the international security agenda such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, resource wars and energy security, the privatisation of warfare, peacekeeping, pandemics and health security, and environmental degradation.
This module examines the British intelligence community from the birth of the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6) in 1909 through to the 1994 Intelligence Services Act. You will explore its activities primarily within the context of British domestic policy, while considering the links between the worlds of intelligence and politics.

Year 3

Studying political corruption in detail, in this module you will explore the dynamics and impact of this problem for western democracies through key theories and case studies.
You will learn about the history of EU enlargements, tracing the expansion of the EU to include more member states. You will also study the key ideas behind enlargement and the concepts that guide it.
Aimed at giving you a taste of EU decision making and negotiation, in this module you are assigned to national, EU institutional and other teams and play your role in a simulated decision making scenario that concludes with a final one-day European Council 'summit'.
This module examines the rise and fall of the main socialist traditions from their origins in 19th century Britain and France to their global spread in the 20th century. You will study key aspects of the course of socialism in Germany, Britain, Sweden, Russia, and China.
This course introduces you to a number of key social and political thinkers who have sought to understand the singularity of the modern epoch. Some of the topics you will study include liberalism, fascism, and colonialism, using film and other methods. The module is expected to help you identify and critically assess some of the major problems and prospects of modern and contemporary capitalist societies.
Develop your knowledge of political economy; this module aims to help develop critical ways of thinking about the contemporary world of work and the political economies of production in our post-industrial world.
This module assesses the growing influence of new media technologies (internet, email, mobile phones) on democracy. You will explore questions of censorship, voting, power relations and the effects of new media technologies in society.
This module explores the place of ethical and moral questions in global politics, covering democracy and human rights, humanitarian intervention, just wars, foreign aid and sanctions, and the problems of international society and realising a universal order. You will engage with critical approaches to these topics and explore normative questions.
In this module, you will assess Islamism comparing it to fundamentalisms in other religions. It includes an examination of Muslim responses to Western modernity, and the development of modern Islamism from the Muslim Brotherhood to al Qaeda, as well as wider questions of the adaptability of Islamism to democratic practices.
There is also the opportunity to take advantage of one of our placement opportunities (Westminster Parliamentary Placement or the Channel M Placement) for one semester

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
GCSE English and Maths GCSE grade C
UCAS tariff points 96-112 points
GCE A level 96-112 points. General studies accepted, history or politics desirable
BTEC National Diploma DMM
BTEC Higher National Diploma 120 credits in appropriate subject may be considered for 2nd year entry
Scottish Highers 96-112
Irish Leaving Certificate 96-112
International Baccalaureate 25

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

English Language Requirements

The English language requirement for this course is an IELTS average score of 6 or above, and for each component, 5 or above. For further information check the international entry requirements for all our courses here: www.salford.ac.uk/international/entry_requirements/

Applicant profile

We are looking for highly motivated students with a genuine interest in politics, who welcome new and challenging ideas. You should have good communication skills, be able to work with others as well as work independently, good writing skills and good time management as you will be doing a variety of tasks and have deadlines to meet.

Teaching

You will benefit from a diverse range of teaching methods:

  • Lectures: interactive lectures, making use of available audio visual technology
  • Seminars: explore the lecture topics and beyond with your fellow students, via groupwork, reviews, debates and presentations
  • Workshops: combined lecture and seminar session where discussion and analysis is concentrated
  • Debates: debating teams are sometimes a feature of learning
  • Individual supervision: students enjoy close supervision of their dissertation topics in the year leading up to submission
  • Student-directed study: in some modules, students are assigned tasks with deadlines
  • Dedicated study skills support: we have our own study skills officer who helps you with exam preparation, essay writing skills, good academic practice and a variety of other skills you need to do well
  • Subject librarian: you will benefit from research training as part of your course and we have a dedicated subject librarian who is on hand to help you locate material and use available resources effectively
  • Personal tutoring system: you will be assigned a personal tutor who helps you with all aspects of your studies and can offer advice with other issues.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a combination of exams and coursework such as essays, presentations and portfolios. Most modules incorporate some form of assessment as they progress in order to allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses prior to undertaking your final exam or essay.

A typical selection of modules will result in assessment by:

  • Essay (between 30-50%)
  • Exam (between 40-60%)
  • Other coursework (reviews, presentations, groupwork: around 5-30%)

Employability

Students have gone to a range of career paths that include elected office, education, the civil service, broadcast and print media, and non-governmental agencies. The skills our students develop make them flexible for all sorts of career options in the public and private sector.

Graduates from this course may progress to a number of career paths, and thanks to the transferable skills you develop as part of this degree, you have many options. Popular career destinations include:

  • Public administration
  • Civil service
  • Political analysis and research (government advisory departments)
  • Local government
  • International organisations
  • Campaigning organisations (charities, non-governmental organisations)
  • Consultancy
  • Journalism, publishing and media
  • Postgraduate course, research and teaching.

This course is designed to support your personal development and skills to enhance your employability. You will learn to work to deadlines, write clearly and effectively, present your ideas in a professional style, develop vital research skills and methods of communication. These are all desirable and essential skills necessary for well-paid jobs.

Career Prospects

Alumni Profile

Natalie Garforth, currently a third year student in Politics:

"What's great about the Salford Politics course is the high standard of teaching and expertise of the lecturers. They have a wide variety of backgrounds in the subject area, and so there is always someone there to help no matter what your query.

There are also some great opportunities set up for the course. A number of students have decided to go on a six month Westminster placement working alongside an MP and I am participating in a media based placement in my final year. These are just some of the many excellent advantages you can gain from the course if you wish to make yourself more desirable to prospective employers when you graduate."

Links with Industry

Placement Opportunities

You may be able to take part in the Parliamentary Placement Scheme, spending six months in the Westminster office of an MP. . You are also encouraged to attend seminars throughout the year, which give you the chance to meet with people from the industry.

The placements, guest speakers and seminars help you to understand how the industry works and informs your career path after leaving University.

Further Study

Fees and Funding

Fees for entry in 2017-18 will be published as soon as possible.

Fees 2016-17

Type of StudyFee
Full-time£9,000
Part-timeYour annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying
Full-time International£11,500

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.