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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

Year of entry: 2018

Overview

Degree awarded
BSocSc (Hons)
Duration
3 years
Typical A-level offer
AAB.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer

6,6,5 at Higher level, 35 points overall.  Applicants offering Mathematics or Maths Methods at standard or higher level must achieve a minimum of grade 5.

 Applicants not holding GCSE English Language or equivalent must achieve grade 5 in standard or higher level English. 

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants

In 2017 there were 892 applications for 95 places for this degree.

How to apply
Apply through UCAS .

Course overview

  • 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.
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Joshua tells us why he chose to study Politics and International Relations

Open days

  • Find out more and register for an Open Day

Post-offer visits

If you are made an offer we will email you an invitation to visit us late January, February or early March. These afternoons are organised by the School of Social Sciences and include a tour, a talk, refreshments and a chance to talk to students, lecturers and recruitment staff.

If you are visiting Manchester and would like to visit our admissions office please make an appointment in advance. (Call +44 (0)161 275 4470/1473 or email socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk )

Fees

Tuition fees for home/EU students commencing their studies in September 2018 will be announced once confirmed by the UK government. As a guide, the 2017 tuition fees were £9,250 per annum for home/EU students, and are expected to increase slightly for 2018 entry. Tuition fees for international students will be £18,000 per annum. For general information please see the undergraduate finance pages.

Scholarships/sponsorships

Scholarships and bursaries are available to eligible Home/EU students, including the Manchester Bursary . This bursary is in addition to the government package of maintenance grants.

Contact details

Academic department
School of Social Sciences
Contact name
Social Sciences Undergraduate Admissions
Telephone
+44 (0)161 275 1473
Facsimile
+44 (0)161 275 4751
Email
Website
http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/politics/
Academic department overview

Compare this course

Entry requirements

A-level

  • AAB
  • We do not accept two A/S Levels grades in place of one A Level.
  • Applicants must be studying at least one of the following A-level subjects: Accounting; Economics; Finance; Business Studies; Development Studies; Government and Politics; Economic and Social History; Mathematics; Anthropology; Sociology; Philosophy; Religious Studies; English Language; English Literature; Geography; Psychology; Classical Civilisation; History; Archaeology; Communication Studies; Environmental Studies; World Development; Biology; Chemistry; Physics; Modern Languages.
  • General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted for entry.

Unit grade information

The University of Manchester welcomes the provision of unit grade information which, like all other available information, will inform the consideration of applications.  Unit grades will not normally form part of offer conditions, except for Mathematics programmes.

GCSE

Minimum grade B in English Language and grade C in Mathematics. In the newly reformed GCSEs in England you will require a grade 6 in English Language and grade 5 in Mathematics.

International Baccalaureate

6,6,5 at Higher level, 35 points overall.  Applicants offering Mathematics or Maths Methods at standard or higher level must achieve a minimum of grade 5.

 Applicants not holding GCSE English Language or equivalent must achieve grade 5 in standard or higher level English. 

Irish Leaving Certificate

H1, H1, H1, H2.

Scottish requirements

AAAAB in Scottish Highers.  Applicants taking a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers should contact  socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk    Applicants not taking English Language or Mathematics at Higher level must achieve grade C in English Language and Grade B in mathematics at SCQF Level 5.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is accepted as equivalent to an A-level on a grade-for-grade basis.

European Baccalaureate

Applicants studying the European Baccalaureate are expected to achieve 77% overall and no lower than 80% in English.

Other international entry requirements

The University of Manchester has a rich academic heritage and is one of the world's leading research-intensive universities. It also has a long history of welcoming international students and seeks to continue this tradition by admitting excellent students from across the world.

Our country specific entry requirements and requirements for foundation years can be found on our International Entry Requirements page . If you cannot find your country or have any questions about our entry requirements then please contact socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk

Pearson BTEC qualifications

The School accepts Pearson BTEC qualifications for entry as long as it is in a relevant subject and taken alongside A-levels.

National Extended Diploma - accepted with grades DMM, alongside an A-level at grade A in a different subject area to the diploma.

National Diploma - accepted with grades MP, alongside two A-levels at grade A in different subject areas to the diploma.

Foundation Diploma - accepted with grade M, alongside two A-levels at grade A in different subject areas to the diploma.

Subsidiary Diploma - accepted with grade D, alongside two A-levels at grade A in different subject areas to the diploma.

OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications

The School accepts OCR Cambridge Technicals (CTEC) Level 3 qualifications for entry as long as it is in a relevant subject and are offered along with A levels. Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma- accepted with grades DMM, alongside an A level at grade A in a different subject area to the diploma.

Cambridge Technical Diploma - accepted with grades DM, alongside an A level at grade A in a different subject area to the diploma.

Cambridge Foundation Diploma - accepted with grades DM, alongside an A level at grade A in a different subject area to the diploma.

Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate - accepted with grades M, alongside two A levels at grades AA in different subject areas.

Access to HE Diploma

  • Typical applicant - A mature student returning to education after a number of years.
  • Typical offer - Pass Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits (39 Distinctions/6 Merits).
  • 'Pass' in Level 2 English and Mathematics.

Contact: Tom McCunnie tom.mccunnie@manchester.ac.uk

Cambridge Pre-U

Applicants are expected to achieve D3, D3, M1, including either a social science or humanities subject, in the Cambridge Pre-U. Applicants can either take three Pre-U qualifications or study them in conjunction with A Level subjects. 

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The University recognises the benefits of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. Although the Extended Project will not be included in the conditions of your offer, we strongly encourage you to provide information about the EPQ in your personal statement and at interview. A number of our academic Schools may also choose to take your performance in the EPQ into account should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

Home-schooled applicants

If you have followed a non-standard educational route (eg home educated) we will consider your application against the standard entry criteria for the course to which you apply.

You must also provide a reference which should be written by somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education.

Non-standard educational routes

Return-to-learn students are those who have had a substantial period away from any formal learning. Often such learners have pursued careers or raised a family. The University understands that students come from many different backgrounds, with varying qualifications, careers and skills, but they often bring to their studies a high degree of motivation and experience.

The University recognises that standard selection measures and procedures may not enable these learners to demonstrate fully their suitability for their chosen course. Where appropriate, admissions officers will seek and consider alternative evidence in order to give such learners equivalent consideration. Where they deem this alternative evidence meets entry criteria fully the learner will not be required to meet the standard academic entry requirements.

English language

All applicants are expected to have a minimum of grade C in GCSE English Language or equivalent.

For international students equivalent qualifications would be:

  • IELTS of 6.5 overall with no lower than 6 in any component.
  • TOEFL (IBT) 92 overall with minimum of 21 in listening and speaking, 22 in reading and 23 in speaking.
  • iGCSE English (First Language) grade C
  • iGCSE English (Second Language) grade B

If you have other English language qualifications and want to find out if they would be acceptable, please email socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk .

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply through UCAS .

Advice to applicants

Potential candidates are expected to demonstrate why they have chosen this particular degree in their personal statement and express why the course interests them.

Applicants submitting mitigating circumstances

If you are submitting information about mitigating circumstances that have affected, or are likely to affect, your academic performance, you should include this in the referee's report.

We cannot usually take into account information that is supplied after an adverse decision has been made on an application by the admitting school.

(Examples of mitigating circumstances include family illness, problems with school facilities or an unusual curriculum followed by your school of college.)

How your application is considered

Applications are considered on the basis of an assessment of past and predicted academic achievements, the academic reference and personal statement.

Interview requirements

We do not interview.

Returning to education

We welcome applications from anyone who is returning to education.

Contact: Tom McCunnie tom.mccunnie@manchester.ac.uk

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

Applicants classed as international students who are studying Foundation Year Programmes, will be considered on the basis they have completed their High School education in full. Please see our list of approved UK foundation programmes and entry requirements  for more information. We also accept a number of qualifications from around the globe. For further information please see our country-specific information pages. If you still need help please email us  socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk .

Deferrals

Applications for deferred entry are considered equally to other applications up to the point of confirmation. Deferred entry is granted on the discretion of admissions staff, and is normally granted for one year only.

NB Some English Language test results, such as IELTS of TOEFL, are only valid from two years from the test date.

Policy for applicants who resit their qualifications

We consider applicants who are resitting.

Contact: socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you can apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.

In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may refer back to previous applications or registrations at the University.

If you are applying for a place for the same year of entry through UCAS Extra, you should include additional evidence of your suitability for the course.

If you are applying through clearing you will need to meet the clearing requirements. In both UCAS Extra and clearing places will be subject to availability.

Course details

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 from 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 our  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

Careers

Career opportunities

A degree in Politics and International Relations gives you the skills and knowledge that you need to able to succeed in the future. Graduates from Politics are highly sought after and are able to use their skills and knowledge in a wide range of different areas.

Some examples of what our recent graduates have gone on to do are:

Employers: Thomson Reuters, Google, Barclays, Deloitte, HMRC, Royal Danish Embassy, Ministry Of Justice, Greater Manchester Chamber Of Commerce, The University Of Manchester, Cicero Consultancy and Essex County Council

Job roles: Digital Marketing Executive, Freelance Editor, Public Affairs Executive, Public Relations Intern, Business Development Executive and Graduate Project Manager

Further study: Whilst staying at Manchester is by far the most popular route for students going on to further study our recent graduates have also gone to study at Oxford,  Cambridge, University of Nottingham, University of Durham, London School of Economics and Political Science and School of Oriental and African Studies.

(Source: DLHE)

Throughout your studies and after you graduate you will have to access our Careers Service , which can help you:

  • find summer internships or work experience;
  • apply for jobs and provide practice interviews;
  • access online and interactive services such as practice psychometric tests.

Our students can also apply for a valuable summer work placement in their second year through our Q-Step programme.

A favourite with employers, the University also organises careers fairs and events throughout the year to give you a chance to meet graduate recruiters.

You can improve your employability by choosing course units in Year 2 from:

Accrediting organisations

We are affiliated to the European Consortium for Political Research and a corporate member of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES).

We also play an active part in both the Political Studies Association and the British International Studies Association.