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School of Social Sciences

Student in the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons
BSocSc Politics and International Relations
Gain the skills to critical examine international and comparative politics.

BSocSc Politics and International Relations / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course description

  • Do you want the opportunity to study a wide range of political topics?
  • Are you interested in comparative and international politics and political theory?
  • Would you like to develop research skills designed to understand and explain issues including conflict, justice, freedom, power and equality?
  • Take the right course units and you can apply for a paid summer internship through Manchester's Q-Step programme .

The BSocSc (Hons) Politics and International Relations degree is our single honours course for Politics specialists.

Politics at Manchester is structured around three core themes: Comparative Politics, International Politics and Political Theory. This structure extends across everything we do, from undergraduate teaching to top-level research.

In your first two years studying Politics and International Relations you will take courses from across these three core areas as well as being able to choose options from other disciplines within the Social Sciences such as Economics or Sociology or in other areas such as History, Philosophy or languages.

By your final year you will have acquired an advanced understanding of Politics which will have prepared you to study a selection of our specialised year three options which reflect the research expertise of our staff.

Our significant size allows us to support internationally recognised research across a broad range of areas within and across these themes, including several large and distinctive specialist research clusters .

This also contributes to the quality of our teaching at undergraduate level; we offer you a wide range of course units that builds directly on our research expertise.

We will help you to develop solid intellectual foundations within the discipline, while also giving you increasing choice and diversity of subjects and approaches as you progress through your second and third years.

Aims

The BSocSc Politics and International Relations degree programme provides students with the opportunity to study Politics in the breadth and depth that a single-honours specialisation makes possible.

The programme helps you to develop solid intellectual foundations within the discipline at the same time as offering an increasing range of choice and diversity of subject matter and approaches as you progress through your second and third years.

The degree aims to develop:

  • your capacities for intellectual independence and autonomy;
  • the skills necessary to undertake independent research of a high standard;
  • your intellectual flexibility and adaptability - the ability `to learn how to learn' as well as `to learn how to succeed'.

Special features

  • From 2015 Manchester is the new home of the British Election Study
  • Excellence in teaching: Politics Staff have won University teaching excellence awards (2010-11, 2011-12) and achieved national recognition, twice winning the Political Studies Association, Sir Bernard Crick Prize for Outstanding Teaching (2007, 2012).

Our students

Politics students in figures (2015):

  • Students on the course came fromĀ 41 countries
  • Their ages ranged from 17 - 34
  • The male / female ratio was 43 : 57

Meet our students

Teaching and learning

Most course units feature formal lectures supported by smaller tutorials or seminars, in which you will be able to explore the contents of lectures and recommended reading in greater depth.

Tutorials and seminars are also key elements in improving your written and oral communication skills through group discussions, essay-writing and presentations.

Students are assigned an Academic Advisor, an academic member of staff who takes a friendly interest in your progress and can advise you on selecting course units and career opportunities.

Coursework and assessment

Politics and International Relations (BSocSc) offers a wide variety of course units and many of these will include course work. However, assessment is primarily by examination. The exam periods are January and May-June.

Course content for year 1

Your first year provides you with a grounding in the three sub-areas of Comparative Politics, Political Theory and International Relations.

You take 120 credits of courses in your first year (between 6-8 individual course units).

Compulsory units

  • Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • Introduction to International Politics
  • Introduction to Political Theory
  • Research and Study Skills

Optional units

  • Britain in a Global Context

and/or : up to 40 credits from outside Politics

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Study Skills POLI10100 0 Mandatory
Introduction to Comparative Politics POLI10202 20 Mandatory
Making Sense of Politics POLI10301 20 Mandatory
Introduction to International Politics POLI10601 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Political Theory POLI10702 20 Mandatory
British Politics: Power and the State POLI10401 20 Optional
Politics of the Global Economy POLI10502 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

In your second year you continue to study the three sub-fields introduced in your first year. You also write an extended essay (or independent project) of 5 - 6,000 words on a topic of your choosing.

Compulsory units

  • Freedom and Equality: Contemporary Debates
  • Politics Project

Optional units include

  • The Politics of Globalisation
  • The Politics of Development
  • Comparative European Politics
  • The Politics of Policy Making
  • From Blitz to 'Big Society': Politics and Society in Britain since 1940
  • Security Studies
  • Chinese Politics Today

Free choice units

In your second year you can also take 20 units from across the University.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
How to Conduct Politics Research POLI20901 20 Mandatory
The Politics of (in)Security POLI20332 20 Optional
Questions About International Politics POLI20521 20 Optional
Politics & Society in Britain Since 1940: From Blitz to Brexit POLI20531 20 Optional
Arguing About Politics: Political Theory in the World POLI20602 20 Optional
The Politics of Globalisation POLI20711 20 Optional
The Politics of Development POLI20722 20 Optional
The Politics of Policy Making POLI20802 20 Optional
Ideals of Social Justice POLI20881 20 Optional
Challenges for Democratic Politics POLI20961 20 Optional
Environmental Politics POLI20982 20 Optional
What is Europe? POLI20991 20 Optional
Comparative West European Politics POLI21002 20 Optional
Southern European Politics POLI21012 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 14 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

By your final year you will have acquired a background in political science that will prepare you for the whole range of more specialised options that we offer and for the final year dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Compulsory units

  • Dissertation

Optional units include

  • Ethical Issues in World Politics
  • Gender, Sexuality and Politics
  • Pluralism, Democracy and Citizenship
  • Political Morality and 'Dirty Hands'
  • Politics of the EU
  • Terrorism and Political Violence in Europe
  • The Politics of Hate
  • War and the Politics of Ethics
  • Parliamentary Studies
  • Russian Politics
  • Elections and Voters

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation A POLI30300 40 Mandatory
The Politics of the European Union POLI30031 20 Optional
Russian Politics POLI30072 20 Optional
Gender, Sex and Politics POLI30232 20 Optional
Elections and Voters in Britain and the United States POLI30241 20 Optional
Political Morality and Dirty Hands POLI30272 20 Optional
Ethical Issues in World Politics POLI30322 20 Optional
Politics of Hate POLI30452 20 Optional
Violence, Identity and Popular Culture POLI30461 20 Optional
Introduction to International Political Economy POLI30721 20 Optional
Gender, War & Militarism POLI30791 20 Optional
Political Communication: Language and Power POLI30842 20 Optional
Africa & Global Politics POLI30862 20 Optional
War, Genocide, Terror: Understanding Organised Violence POLI30892 20 Optional
Comparative Protest Politics -Voting with their Feet POLI30922 20 Optional
Ideologies of Global Capitalism POLI31002 20 Optional
War Memories and Reconciliation in East Asia POLI31011 20 Optional
Children, Family and Social Justice POLI31031 20 Optional
American Politics: Why Do They Do That? POLI31061 20 Optional
The Politics of Climate Change POLI31072 20 Optional
Knowledge Production in Peace-building: Practices and Processes POLI31081 20 Optional
Global Capitalism, Crisis and Revolt POLI31091 20 Optional
Anarchy and Authority POLI32031 20 Optional
Contemporary Parliamentary Studies and the British Political Tradition POLI32042 20 Optional
Fear and Loathing in International Relations: The Problem of Identity and Difference POLI32061 20 Optional
Fear and Loathing in International Relations: The Problem of Identity and Difference POLI32061 20 Optional
Between War and Peace POLI32071 20 Optional
The International Political Economy of Trade POLI32082 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 28 course units for year 3

What our students say

`I chose Manchester for one simple reason. When I visited for the first time, it just clicked. It felt like it could be home for 3 years. Social life in Fallowfield, Withington and the city centre never gets boring. The cheap vintage shops and tucked away clubs kept me occupied in first and second year. The Politics and IR course is great here too. Due to the funding it has for its research, our department has a wide variety of subjects open to Politics students. I've really enjoyed the spectrum of academic topics I have been able to choose from. Particularly in third year, I've appreciated the extensive library and online resources made available to me. I plan to go into teaching, but through my work in out-of-hours mentoring and events volunteering that are advertised by the Politics department, I have gained a great deal of friends, along with skills that will be useful to me in years to come.'

Joseph Sanders , Politics and International Relations student.

You can also see more profiles of students from our Politics courses on ourĀ  student spotlights page. `After graduating, I hope to work for the government in areas relating to international politics and foreign policy. I feel confident that I'll be able to establish a career in this due to the knowledge I've gained by choosing to study this course at Manchester.'

Heena Mohammed , Politics and International Relations student.

Facilities

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk