Politics

BSc single honours or in combination with another subject Politics 2019/20

Year of entry

From general elections, to the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement, our innovative Politics course seeks to situate the big issues of the day in their historical and philosophical contexts. We pride ourselves on the warm atmosphere and inclusive spirit of our learning environment and we place you at the centre of everything we do.

You will develop an understanding of the local, national and global dimensions of politics.

You will explore areas including:

  • political systems in the UK, Europe, and across the globe
  • contemporary political philosophy political leadership
  • contemporary social issues.

92% of our Politics students were satisfied with the teaching on their course.

National Student Survey, 2017

Every aspect of human life is organised around politics of one sort or another. Family, work, university, clubs and societies of all shapes and sizes are as ‘political’ as the more obvious political institutions such as states, governments, trade unions, political parties and international organisations, such as the United Nations. Choosing our Politics degree gives you the opportunity to find out what makes something political – is it all related to the balance of power between states, individuals and organisations? How do class, gender and other aspects of identity influence how policies are decided and implemented? Our expertise in political leadership, models of government and governance, radical political thought and political ethics inform modules which combine empirical political study and theoretical analysis to help us tackle questions which have puzzled scholars from the times of the Ancient Greeks, but remain relevant to all our lives today.

You may already have some firm idea about your own political preference: what makes politics important and what makes political life so interesting. Or you might not have any party allegiance, philosophical bias or political experience. Either way, you will fit into our Politics degree programme perfectly: as long as you are enthusiastic and interested in the way the world works, then our commitment to different approaches to studying politics and in depth discussion of political issues and events will suit you down to the ground.

The Politics and IR team at CCCU pride ourselves on the warm atmosphere and inclusive spirit of our courses and learning environment. Our teaching has been recognised for its innovative character, particularly the student centred nature of learning and assessment. Our priority is to provide high quality learning and teaching, and a transformative student experience. 

"At Christ Church I got to know my lecturers as individuals, and they me. They have assisted me in reaching my full potential and bringing out my abilities and capabilities, as well as offering me opportunities I would not have had elsewhere. I could not have asked for a better university experience, nor a better set of professional, personal and academic lecturers and staff to help me in my journey."

Ned Watkinson, 3rd year student

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

more info

By choosing our Politics course, students develop an understanding of the local, national, international, and global dimensions of politics. Our courses look at a range of important areas. These include:

  • Political systems in the UK, Europe, and across the globe;
  • Contemporary political philosophy (encompassing questions such as ‘what is justice?’, ‘is capitalism the best form of economic system?’; ‘is there a convincing alternative to democracy?’);
  • Contemporary social issues, from inequality, to the environment to minority rights.

As well as traditional teaching methods such as lectures and tutorials, there are opportunities to go on field trips to the Houses of Parliament or the European Union institutions in Brussels and Strasbourg. Indeed we are one of only a few universities in the UK to offer an official Parliamentary Studies module as part of the curriculum.

In addition, you may be able to study abroad for a year as part of the Erasmus programme.

Our Making Politics Matter series regularly invites high-profile guest speakers, including politicians, to debate the issues of the day with our students and the general public.

Staff and students work together to organise these events, which give students another opportunity to enhance their networking and employability skills. Guest lecturers are also invited to present specialised topics as part of certain modules. We invite practitioners to provide insights from their professional experience to add to the theoretical knowledge provided in academic books.

We encourage, support and facilitate student work experience at all levels. Many of our students undertake internships or work shadowing with MPs, MEPs, and UN agencies. For the past few years we have worked closely with the Parliamentary Universities team and MPs at Westminster and several of our students have benefitted from placements, fully supported by our programme. We also offer short term employment opportunities to our students as researchers on our own academic projects.

“I chose to study Politics at Christ Church for a number of reasons: its great location, lots of disability support and interesting modules. My course was amazing and I loved every minute. My degree prepared me for the political world by giving me the theoretical and practical expertise needed. The lecturers introduced us to former students who were working in politics enabling us to ask questions to those with first­hand experience. In addition, skills such as time management, production of briefing documents, networking and research were enhanced with the support of staff. I honestly don’t think I would be doing the job I am today without the support of staff and the subject matter of the course itself. My lecturers showed me that I could follow the path I wanted and supported me in doing so.”

Bronwen Edwards, Politics Alumni

Year 1

Central to your Politics degree is the opportunity to learn more about why all forms of political enquiry are necessarily contested. These critical thinking skills are at the core of all of our teaching and learning in the first year. You will also learn more about specific national and international political regimes and modes of governanceand the ways in which ideologies and systems of governance have changed across culture, space and time. As you engage with your modules and complete your assessments, you will learn how to gather, organise and use information to support your arguments and to communicate these reasoned arguments clearly and coherently in both speech and writing.

Year 2

The second year is all about deepening your knowledge of the subject area and further developing the transferable skills which will assist you in your career, once you leave university. During the year you will gain a better understanding of the many different approaches to the study of Politics. You will strengthen your ability to critique interactions between people, ideas, structures of power and institutions. You will also gain the skills to gather and deploy data to construct increasingly sophisticated arguments and communicate these in presentations and written work. During your second year it may be possible to spend time studying abroad at a partner institution in Europe or Canada. Language skills need not be a barrier as some of our partners teach in English. This is a competitive process as the opportunity to live and study in a foreign country is such an incredible privilege. Previous students who have participated in these exchanges have benefitted academically and in their personal development. 

Year 3 

The final year of your degree is when all the ground work laid in the first two years begins to come together. You will have amassed a great deal of knowledge and you will also have more confidence when it comes to critically assessing the information you find and reaching your own reasoned conclusions. Optional modules offered in the final year are taught around the research interests of your lecturers and vary from year to year.

For most students the main focus in your final year is the Individual Study. This is a significant piece of independent research, where you may select a topic of special interest within your discipline area. You will be guided by a lecturer, but the main direction of the work will be decided by you.  Students who invest time in their work are rewarded by a huge sense of personal satisfaction as they produce academic research which is entirely their own. Your individual study also acts as a step on the path to your career as it allows students to demonstrate effective time and workload management in the production of an extended piece of work. 

In a competitive job market, it is crucial that as a graduate you have all the right skills that employers are looking for. Our Politics degree emphasises transferable skills at each level of study, with a strong focus on employability. You can expect to gain skills in critical thought and analysis, working autonomously and as part of a team, networking, and the ability to communicate complex ideas in a clear and concise fashion.

Politics graduates have gone on to enter a variety of roles. Some work in Parliament, in local government and think tanks or away from politics in sectors as diverse as law, teaching or financial services.  Many of our graduates have worked as assistants to MPs in Westminster. Andrew Achilleos and James Dee worked as campaign managers for the Labour and Conservative parties in recent elections. A high proportion of our students also go on to study at postgraduate level, some are currently completing funded PhD research.

“My three years studying Politics and International Relations at CCCU provided me with the political understanding, development in my life-skills and a growth in my confidence that has enabled me to navigate the choppy world of politics.”

James Dee, Consultant CTF Group

Fees

Tuition Fees for 2019/20 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

CategoryDescription
Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

CategoryDescription
Field Trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc)

Compulsory field trips are all covered by tuition fees or by external funding. On these trips students would be expected to pay only for food and drink.

Occasional non-compulsory interest based trips may also be organised during the course of the degree programme. These trips are funded for those students in receipt of a student hardship fund, but all other students would be expected to pay train fares and subsistence. Most of these outings take place in London and would last no longer than one day, thus costing the student no more than £40.

Text books

Text books for each module are advised for purchase. Normally we advise one core reading text per module. We have 6 modules per year for single honours students and text books cost around £30 each. This would come to £180 if all books were purchased.

These books are however also available in the library and are therefore not compulsory purchases.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Politics was ranked in the top 5 in the UK for Overall Quality

The Guardian 2018 League Table

Teaching

At the core of our programme is the belief that reading books and writing essays is only part of the learning process. We want our students to engage in politics and apply their knowledge to real world cases. Using innovative teaching methods, we bring the outside world into our programmes, with role-plays and interactive learning via webinars and other digital platforms. We also take our students out into the wider world on study trips. Our Making Politics Matter series regularly invites high-profile guest speakers, including politicians, to debate the issues of the day with our students and the general public.

Teaching is structured to allow for flexibility. Your actual contact hours will depend on the optional modules you select.However, typically you will have 9-12 hours of structured contact time per week. This may be in lectures, where the module leader delivers key material to a large group, or seminars, where smaller groups discuss and debate the material being studied. Workshops blend the delivery of lectures and seminars when the class size is smaller. Delivery may vary week to week as the module leader designs activities which are most appropriate for the theme. All of our programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2020.

Our degrees have a strong focus on work related learning. Students can build up experience with us by developing relevant skills together with our partnership practitioners from the political arena (journalists, diplomats, parliamentarians, civil servants, NGOs), who are actively involved with our curriculum. We provide opportunities for students to develop and enhance analytical and communication skills. We prioritise activities such as political role plays, policy brief writing and blogging. Such diverse activities bring politics to life and help you to develop specific work related skills.

Independent learning

When not attending timetabled sessions we expect you to continue learning through self-study.  Typically, this involves undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars.

Your module tutor will indicate specific readings and/or activities to complete before class. We will also provide reading lists for further study. Seminars are enriched when students have completed their independent reading, allowing staff and other students to interact with this learning and benefitting the whole group.

The Individual Study in your final year is a significant piece of independent research, where you may select a topic of special interest. You will be guided by a supervisor, but the main direction of the work will be decided by you.  Students who invest time in their work are rewarded by a huge sense of personal satisfaction as they produce academic research which is their own.

Overall workload

For every hour of contact we ask students to complete three hours of private study. Much like a full time job, we anticipate that as a full time student you will devote about 35-40 hours a week to learning for your degree.

Academic input

You will be taught by academics at all stages of their careers – from postdoctoral researchers to professors. Every member of our teaching team is committed to innovative and engaging approaches to teaching. We have excellent teaching (Higher Education Academy accredited) and academic (PhDs in Politics or International Relations) qualifications. We are also research active, publishing our research in academic journals and books, engaging in work with academic and professional bodies, and featuring in the media when our expertise is required.

Our students tell us that they value the opportunities they have to be taught by experts in particular areas. Of equal importance to us is the positive feedback we receive through evaluations and teaching awards, where students confirm that we are always very approachable, supportive and encouraging.

“The course itself was very interesting but for me, the most important part of my success was the support from the lecturers. They seemed to genuinely care about the students. There was a concerted effort to engage with each and every student and not just the more vocal students. Every lecturer would encourage the students to catch up with them for a coffee outside of lectures for advice or guidance on the class which was a great help.”

Sam Collard, Politics Alumni

Politics was ranked joint 4th in the UK for Feedback

The Guardian 2018 League Table

We recognise that people learn differently and our assessments are designed to be as varied as possible to maximise the opportunities for students to demonstrate the knowledge they have acquired. You will be assessed through a range of methods, including essays, examinations, individual and group oral presentations, practical assignments and reports, active simulations which recreate political scenarios, social media blogs and research projects. These will evaluate your acquisition of relevant knowledge and understanding and the development of academic style and practical skills. The balance of assessment depends on how you select your options. This allows you to play to your strengths and use your preferred method of assessment to show us what you have learned.

Single Honours students are required to undertake a 40 credit Individual Study which explores a theme related to Politics of your own choosing. This is also an option for Combined Honours students who wish to major with our programme. 

To progress from one level of study to the next you must pass 120 credits (typically six 20 credit modules). The standard pass mark for a module is 40%.

Our aim is to ensure that assessment caters for a range of students’ requirements. Throughout the programme, a strong emphasis is placed on regular feedback in order to provide you with the opportunity to enhance your performance. It is university policy to provide feedback on all work within 21 days. You are always welcome to come and discuss the feedback with your module leader to ensure that you understand what you need to do to improve your performance ahead of the next assessment.

“I really appreciated the support the lecturers were able to provide and how debate was encouraged. It not only made me more confident about defending my own views and considering others from a political perspective, but it enabled me to extend that in my everyday life which I believe has made me a more rounded individual.”

Simon Turner, Politics Alumni

Our Politics degree is enhanced by our links with local, national and international politicians and policy makers. External funding from the European Commission’s Jean Monnet programme for European political study supports our Jean Monnet Centre for European Studies. This allows us to take students on fully paid visits to sites of European interest and have previously included trips to Brussels and the war graves of Northern France.

We also have strong links with the Houses of Parliament. Our Parliamentary Studies module is a Higher Education module formally approved by Parliament and our students have also taken up work experience opportunities with the Parliamentary Outreach Service and with MPs.

Where appropriate we invite practitioners to speak to students about their experiences working on policy issues which relate to the academic material under investigation. For example, the Foreign Policy Analysis module has been addressed by former ambassadors and foreign affairs correspondents. Representatives of NGOs supporting refugees have participated in sessions of the Politics of Migration module. Our own graduates regularly return and get involved in the Political Research module. 

Fact file

UCAS code

  • L290 Politics
  • L202 Politics with Foundation Year

Institutional code

  • C10

Length

  • 3 years full-time

    4 years full-time including a Foundation Year

    6 years part-time

Starts

  • September 2019

Entry requirements

Location

School

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Last edited 07/06/2018 14:46:00

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Last edited: 07/06/2018 14:46:00