Undergraduate BA (Hons)


Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Three year

Next enrolment

September 2023


In a nutshell

The pace of change within politics has never moved so quickly. Recent worldwide events have brought about dramatic shifts in our social, economic and political cultures, from Coronavirus and Brexit to the impact of global technologies on the latest presidential election. This BA (Hons) Politics degree explores the latest cutting-edge developments in politics, equipping you with the training you need to step into today’s political landscape.

Politics examines how power is exercised, how political decisions are made, and who these decisions are made by. On this politics degree course, you’ll learn about campaigns, elections, protest movements, policy issues and political ideas. You’ll explore different political arguments, rival theories and alternative explanations, while also developing your skills in critical theory and debating.

What’s more, at Salford we also give you the opportunity to enhance your political studies with a variety of placement opportunities, including the chance to study abroad. This kind of work experience provides instant value to future employers, giving you the competitive edge needed to establish a professional career in politics.

Want to find out more about what it’s like to study politics at university? You can sign-up to an Open Day or attend a campus tour.

If you want to read more about our programmes and explore the careers made possible by a Politics and History degree, you can access our subject guide online.

You will:

  • Learn from academic staff who are internationally recognised researchers
  • Be given the opportunity to practice politics as part of an extensive study abroad programme, including semesters in Europe, the USA, Australia and Canada
  • Develop an understanding of research tools needed to make sense of the political and social landscape around you

options available


students accepted

This is for you if...


You are highly motivated with a keen interest in politics and contemporary history


You’re passionate about exploring how power dynamics work within the wider society.


You would like to pursue a professional career in politics.

Course details

All about the course

This exciting course is designed to develop both your knowledge and theoretical understanding of this dynamic and changing field. Throughout your political studies you’ll explore the dynamics of power in a range of unique contexts, from political parties and movements to the effect of war and media. You’ll be learning from established experts in their field, who lecture on subjects as diverse as the political left, Russian foreign policy and the politics of the internet.

The first year of your politics degree course is designed to inspire and nurture your political ideas, while introducing you to key concepts in history, democracy and theories of power. Each module will give you the opportunity to deepen your knowledge of politics – whether that be exploring international relations, debating the role of democracy in society or evaluating theories of domination.

Moving into the second and third year of your degree, you’ll shape your studies to focus on the areas of politics that interest you the most. From US foreign policy to the Arab-Israeli conflict, this is your chance to develop your knowledge in your chosen areas.

Want to find out more? Read our course breakdown below to learn what you’ll be exploring in each module.

Year one

International History (2) 1945-Present

This module examines the history of international relations from the end of the Second World War to the present day. In conjunction with International History I, this module emphasises the changing character of international politics over the course of the ‘Long Twentieth Century’. Particular emphasis will be given to the origins of the Cold War in Europe and Asia, decolonisation in Asia and Africa, the evolution of European unity, the rise and fall of superpower détente, the resurgent political and economic power of China and Japan, the causes and consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Empire, and concludes with the nature of international relations in the post-Cold War world and the conduct of the Global War on Terrorism.

Britain and the World

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.

International Politics II

Here you will explore a range of topics that are studied in international politics as well as gaining a more detailed introduction to the study of International Relations. You will analyse the core theories of International Relations and will be able to explain why the key decision makers act the way they do. Through an understanding of these approaches, you will also discuss contemporary developments (e.g., globalisation) in International Politics.

Introduction to Comparative Politics

An introduction to the foundation concepts of comparing political regimes (democratic and non-democratic) institutions, and the rules and norms of politics.

Digital Skills for Politics and Contemporary History

In this module you will develop technical-practical skills to prepare you for a wide range of politics and history related careers. You will develop skills in writing, research, and presentations, and earn a wide range of industry-recognised certificates to bolster your CV.

International Organisations

An introduction to the foundation concepts of comparing political regimes (democratic and non-democratic) institutions, and the rules and norms of politics.

Year two

Theories of Power and Domination

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.

British Political History 1945-2007

This module explore the major themes and issues in post-war British History. It examines the It examines the rise of welfare state, the subsequent age of consensus and its decline. You will also examine the growing importance of new issues and policies such as the sexual revolution, environment and popular culture. There will be opportunities to examine some issues in more depth through case studies such as abolition of capital punishment, the deployment of troops in Northern Ireland, and the creation of comprehensive education.

Optional modules may include:

Utopias and Dystopias

Idealised human societies—utopias—have played an important role in the development of literature, sociology, and politics. These Brave New Worlds have envisaged societies where economic and gender divisions are largely eliminated and where science and a moral approach to economic resources is the norm. Authors have also been interested in what happens when a society follows opposite aims to produce social order: when, that is, a dystopian nightmare dominates social life. On this module, you will learn to understand utopian and dystopian texts by studying authors such as Thomas More, William Morris, H. G. Wells, E. M. Forster, Katherine Burdekin, Philip K. Dick , George Orwell, and Ray Bradbury.

Political Communication: Media and Democracy

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.

Regimes and Dictatorships from 1918

This module is based on the comparative history of a number of different dictatorships, beginning at the end of World War I - examples include Italy, Spain, Germany, Chile, China, Greece, Uganda and Hungary.

Public Affairs

This module will raise your awareness of UK government systems, providing you with an overview of national, regional and local government and the relationship of each with the news media. You will learn how to report council meetings, parliamentary committees and understand the relationship between journalists and local and central government.

US Foreign Policy Since 1945

On this module we examine the role of the US in contemporary international relations. You will engage with US Foreign Policy after World War Two and understand key domestic and international factors that have shaped US Foreign Policy. You will develop a greater appreciation for how American presidents use their Foreign Policy to cement domestic and global power whilst understanding some of the diverse scholarly perspectives on the subject.

Intelligence, Security and Politics in Britain 1909-1994

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.

The Politics of European Union

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.

Work Project

The work project aims to mix classroom-based learning with project based work and employability skills. The module is intended to allow students to work independently with staff or outside organisations to produce. It is not timetabled as with normal classroom modules and provides students a degree of flexibility with their learning. However, the normal expectation is that students with spend around a day week carrying out their work and be consistent in terms of work and communication. There will also be some classroom sessions which students are expected to attend.

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

Commemoration and Memorialisation from the Twentieth Century to the Present

Memory and commemoration of historical conflict, figures and events have become highly politicised in the twenty-first century. Remembrance has become the site of new cultural conflicts that often pit communities against political institutions with nationhood and identity as key factors in these battles. This module explores how the twentieth century saw the growth of commemoration of conflicts from the First World War which continued through the destruction and turmoil into the twenty-first century. 

Researching in Politics

This module focuses on the key methodologies used in the politics and international relations disciplines as a means of preparing you for a Level 6 Dissertation. 

Year three


You will complete a 12,000 word research dissertation on the 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.

Britain and the Cold War

Using newly declassified archival material, oral testimony and popular film, the module charts Britain’s Cold War, both at home and abroad, from its origins in the 1940s through to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. This story is told through the eyes of those working in Britain’s ‘secret state’ – intelligence officials and Whitehall Mandarins – through to ‘fellow-travellers’ and the fantasy world of James Bond. Subjects covered include Britain’s covert struggle against the Soviet Union, nuclear deterrence, popular media and the Cold War, and the recently released plans for World War III and the post-apocalyptic survival of the United Kingdom.

Political and Campaigning Journalism

You will examine how journalists approach the reporting of political issues, gaining a broad understanding of techniques and practices used in regional, national and international contexts. You will also analyse the use of social media in political reporting as well as consider relevant ethical dilemmas around editorial control, spin and the lobby system.

Corruption in Contemporary Politics

Studying political corruption in detail you will explore the dynamics and impact of this problem for western democracies through key theories and case studies.

British Counter-Insurgency Since 1945

This module allows you to examine Britain’s varied involvement in counter-insurgency operations since 1945. After an initial engagement with the theories and principles of insurgency and counter-insurgency, the module will cover the cases of Kenya, Malaya, Northern Ireland, Britain’s continuing involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some lesser known cases.

Politics and the Internet

This module assesses the growing influence of internet on democracy and politics. The study of the internet is placed in context of the evolution of media technologies over past thirty years. In doing so, you examine whether the internet: is stimulating more global protest movements and also new form of terrorism; is a liberation technology potential undermining the power of authoritarian regimes; or alternatively is a tool for increased surveillance and control; is changing the nature of lections and election campaigning. These issues are explored through case studies such as: the rise of Corbyn in the Labour Party and the role played social media or, how the rise of so-called fake news is impacting on political debate.

Politics Placement

An exciting and unique opportunity to work in an area relating to politics including with an MP in London or in their constituency office , Non-governmental organizations, and Trade Unions as part of your degree. There is also the chance to develop your own placement which would be accredited by us. You will put your research and communication skills to work in a challenging setting that places you at the centre of British politics.

Global Environmental Politics

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

Chinese Foreign Policy Since 1949

The module provides a comprehensive introduction to Chinese foreign policy since 1949 in terms of its history, traditions and characteristics; examines the key economic, diplomatic, security and geopolitical issues so as to identify and explain Chinese foreign policy goals and their implementation; explores the sources of conflict, competition and cooperation in Chinese foreign policy behaviours, assessing competing theoretical explanations in International Relations for key events and policies. Moreover, the module investigates the implications of China’s rise for the distribution of power at the international and regional levels as well as for global governance.

International Political Economy

Develop your knowledge of political economy in this module, which aims to help develop critical ways of thinking about the contemporary world of work and the political economies of production our post-industrial world.

Threats to Democracy

This module focuses a key question for contemporary politics: does the current rise of authoritarianism across the world mean that democracy as we know it is under threat? We try to answer this question by looking at the core concepts of democratic backsliding / autocratisation and democratic resilience, and by discussing a wide range of case studies, which include: the relationship between populism and democracy; the rise of the far right; transnational repression (how autocrats seek to repress dissidents abroad); autocratic diffusion (do authoritarian leaders learn from each other?); the rise of ‘anti-gender’ movements’; the role of disinformation and misinformation in autocratisation; and case studies of democratic resilience (the extent to which state and non-state actors are able to counteract the current wave of autocratisation). 

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.

What will I be doing?


As part of this Politics degree, your timetable will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests. Your classes will be based at our Peel Park campus.

You will benefit from a diverse range of teaching methods.

Lectures will be where you gain an overview of the key concepts, ideas and events that relate to politics and contemporary history.

You’ll then be able to discuss these topics in more depth with your fellow students in seminars.

Workshops will give you the opportunity to learn and develop core skills that will be vital to your success on this course, and your wider career. Alongside your studies, you’ll also partake in debates, constructing and putting forward compelling arguments on a variety of issues.

A large portion of your studies will be managed by you, meaning that you will be in control of the direction and pace of your work. Finally, you will also be assigned a personal tutor who will be on hand to help you with all aspects of your studies.


Assessments will be an important part of your academic journey. They will help you to refine crucial skills that you can transfer into your career, as well as give you an indication of which areas you need to improve on. You will be assessed through a variety of methods, such as essays, presentations, podcasts and portfolios. Your module assessments will allow you to take on board any feedback prior to taking your final exam


All our Politics and History courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.

Each year - through the Create Student Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.

Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


Although the most obvious career path for politics graduates would be a role within the government, our students have gone on to establish careers in a wide variety of other roles. From education to the civil service and print media, the transferable skills you develop during your degree will mean you’ll be able to pursue endless options. What’s more, you’ll be equipped with a portfolio of work that you can use to evidence your political skills and establish yourself as a professional.


Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.

A taste of what you could become

A Public Adminstrator

A Consultant

A Political analyst and researcher

A Civil Servant

A Local government professional

and more...

Career Links

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.


What you need to know


To gain a place on this politics degree, you’ll need to be a highly motivated individual with a keen interest in politics. Students who provide evidence of extensive reading and knowledge in the subject area are of particular interest to us.


You’ll also have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements. A personal statement is a personal summary (360 to 500 words) of your academic, professional/life experience and future goals. We’ll want to understand:

  • what motivates you and what you’ve learnt on your current academic journey;
  • your future career aspirations;
  • why the University of Salford and this course is right your future goals.

Do you want to know more about this politics degree? You can sign-up to an Open Day or attend a campus tour.

Our supportive course enquiries team can help you with any general questions you may have. You can also explore all of our History and Politics courses.

Standard entry requirements


English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is required. Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

104 – 112 points

A level

104 – 112 points. General studies accepted, history or politics desirable

T level


BTEC National Diploma


BTEC Higher National Diploma

120 credits in appropriate subject may be considered for second year entry

Access to HE

104 – 112 points UCAS Tariff points from a Level 3 QAA Approved Access to HE programme

Scottish Highers

104 – 112 points

Irish Leaving Certificate

104 – 112 points

International Baccalaureate

30 points

European Baccalaureate

Pass Diploma with 71% overall

International students

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.

We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course.

Alternative entry requirements

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.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2023/24 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2023/24 £15,120per year
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £15,720per year

Additional costs

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

Scholarships for International Students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our international scholarships.

Apply now

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Enrolment dates

September 2023

September 2024

UCAS information

Course ID L200

Institution S03