Undergraduate BA (Hons)


Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Three year

Next enrolment

September 2020


In a nutshell

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 domination and subjection?

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.

There is the opportunity to spend some or all of your second year studying abroad with excellent placement opportunities to boost your CV.

You will: 
  • Learn from staff who are internationally recognised researchers 

  • Develop your practice via an extensive study abroad programme. You can spend one or two semesters in Europe, the USA, Australia, or Canada 

  • Learn a wide array of concepts and tools of research to make sense of the political and social world around you 

Find out more by signing up to our upcoming Open Day, or if you have any generic questions please contact course enquiries.

You can also find helpful FAQs, learn more about student life at Salford or explore all our History and Politics courses. Continue reading to understand more about this BA (Hons) Politics course.


options available


students accepted

This is for you if...


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


You have strong writing and analytical skills


You have an interest in studying about in learning about international politics and history

Course details

All about the course

This exciting degree course offers a thorough grounding in both current politics and its underlying theories. There are a range of module options enabling you to direct your studies in line with your own specific interests ( for example, political parties and movements; media and politics; war and conflict). There are opportunities to study with acknowledged experts in their specialist research areas such as intelligence studies, the political left, Russian foreign policy, internet and politics.

There is also the opportunity to spend some or all of your second year studying abroad in either Europe or the US. In the final year you will have opportunity to apply for our parliamentary placement programme providing a chance boost your CV.

Year one

International History (1) 1890-1945

You will examine the history of international relations from the 1890s to the end of the Second World War. Particular emphasis will be given to the European balance of power system in place at the turn of the century and the collapse of that system during the First World War; the failure to tame the international system after the war; the subsequent challenges to world order stemming from the rise of Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union; and, the Western Powers’ reactions to the growing international crisis.

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.

Politics and Democracy

This module examines concepts, theories and problems related to representative democracies and representative institutions. Hence, it analyses the nature of different types of democracy, participation and citizenship and representation. The module considers the apparent growing dissatisfaction amongst citizens over past two-three decades and growing generational divides over politics.

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 Contemporary 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

Learn to understand the complex relationship between utopian ‘thinking’ and ‘real-world’ thinking by studying and debating representations of utopian societies; you will also study a variety of dystopian texts by authors such as Anthony Burgess, Margaret Atwood, 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.

Reporting Government

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 Enlargement

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

Chinese Foreign Policy Since 1949

University Wide Language Programme

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

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 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.

The History and Politics of Socialism

This module examines the rise and fall of the main socialist traditions from their origins in 19 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.

Photography and Conflict in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries

Since its invention in 1839, the medium of photography has influenced human activity in fields as diverse as science and leisure, politics and personal relationships. Nowhere has its impact been more dramatic, however, than in the representation of the conflict during the twentieth century. Addressing the photography conflict using Britain as its primary case study from the start of the First World War to the twenty-first century, this module takes a critical approach to a range of photographic imagery made and circulated in times of conflict including press, amateur, and protest photography. It examines the importance of news images in shaping public attitudes to conflict.

The Arab-Israeli Conflict

This module offers an introduction into the Arab Israeli conflict since the beginning of the 20th century by examining the main events and actors that have helped shape its course. You will also undertake a computer-based simulation where you can decide on issues of war and peace from the perspectives of the Israeli Prime Minister and Palestinian President.

Populism in Politics

The module will introduce students to the key concepts, theories and debates in the study of contemporary populism in politics. You will examine the historical context shaping the emergence of a wide range of populist movements, parties and leaders in Europe and elsewhere. Additionally, you analyse the causes and consequence of populism in contemporary politics. This will involve discussions of recent and current populist leaders and movements such as Berlusconi in Italy, Trump in the US, and Euroscepticism across the EU.

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.

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?


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.


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.


All our History and Politics courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Our School and University have strong and long-lasting relationships with local and national industry. 

Once you graduate with us, you’ll join a thriving alumni community in Greater Manchester and beyond. 

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Students have gone on to a range of career paths that include elected office, education, the civil service, broadcast and print media, and non-governmental agencies. 

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. 

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.

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 the University.


What you need to know


We are looking for highly motivated students with a keen interest in politics and good writing and analytical skills. Students who provide evidence of extensive reading and knowledge in the subject area are of particular interest to us. Students without formal qualifications may be asked to attend an interview and complete an assignment.

Please note: The entry criteria below are related to entry onto this course in the 2020/2021 academic year. If you’re interested in a future intake year, please check the course entry on UCAS.

Standard entry requirements

English Language 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.


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

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

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 2020/21 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £12,960per year
Full-time home 2021/22 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £14400per 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.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All Set? Let's Apply?

Enrolment dates

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID L200

Institution S03

Interested in starting university in September 2021? Book your place on our next Open Day.