Politics BSc(Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

Want to join us in September? You can now apply via Clearing

Student Story, Politics at Huddersfield, Future Career Options, Study Abroad Opportunities, Graduate Story, Student Story

About the course

In an ever more globalised world, an understanding of how decisions are made in economic, social and political institutions is increasingly vital. This course will support you to engage critically with issues such as conflict resolution, democratisation and development, and systems of governance.

You'll have the chance to gain valuable work experience by undertaking a work placement in a political field (with opportunities available to work for MPs, nongovernmental organisations, educational institutions and media outlets).

Our lecturing team will be able to offer you in-depth critical assessment of social and political change drawing on their research and you'll be encouraged to develop your own debating and research skills in a supportive atmosphere.

You'll be helped to prepare for a range of future careers.

Why study Politics at Huddersfield?

  • We're ranked 4th in the country for Politics by The Guardian's University Guide 2016.

  • In the 2015 National Student Survey, Politics studies at Huddersfield received a 100% satisfaction score.

  • Our exchange programme could give you the opportunity to study abroad for a term in Europe, the USA or South East Asia.

  • You'll have the opportunity to benefit from an extensive programme of extra-curricular activities, potentially including special guest lectures delivered by Members of Parliament and other political figures, student-led debates, politics blogging and the active Student Politics Society.

  • Your second year work placement in a political environment means that you'll be helped to prepare for your chosen career following graduation.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time

Course type:

Full Time


Clearing helpline:
03301 232 277

Course content

This course aims to provide a challenging academic experience, combined with a solid core of work-related elements. You'll be supported to gain a critical understanding of political processes and institutions with a focus on British politics, including political parties, political leadership, policy making and elections, as well as political philosophy and global political issues.

With option modules in your second and third years, you'll be able to lead your studies and select areas that interest you.

Through the ‘Professional Work Placement' module in year 2, you'll have the chance to apply your learning and knowledge in a professional setting, via a practical work-based experience.

Throughout your course, you'll be supported to develop a range of analytical tools beneficial to your future career prospects.

Read on for details of each core and option module.

Year 1

Core modules:

Exploring the Social Sciences

This module guides you through the process of exploring social science subjects at university and develops your ability to be a successful student. You’ll have the opportunity to strengthen your academic study skills, as well as your knowledge of research approaches and methods, using subject-specific topics and case studies. You’ll explore ways to assess your learning needs, set learning goals, develop learning action plans and produce effective academic assignments. You’ll also be introduced to the philosophies, methods and ethics of social research processes. Assessment on this module is through coursework.

Human Rights in Contemporary Society

You'll examine the history of human rights and consider the debates which exist in contemporary society. You'll be introduced to a number of issues including genocide, the death penalty, freedom of expression, immigration, the rights of women and children, assisted suicide and abortion. Key documents including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act will also be discussed. You'll be assessed through coursework involving the analysis of six contemporary media articles in relation to issues of human rights.

Introduction to Politics

This module introduces you to conceptual and empirical issues in British and international politics. Through a group presentation (worth 20% of module marks) and coursework (worth 30% of module marks) you will explore evolution and reform in modern British politics, particularly through the lens of theories of the state. You will also be encouraged to explore the ‘global’ as a realm of politics and engage with core debates and analytical frameworks through a final exam (worth 50% of module marks)

Issues in Justice; Ethics and Citizenship

This module introduces you to the key themes in political and ethical theory. You'll explore the core ideas of philosophical greats such as Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Kant, Mill and Marx and the key questions that have been at the forefront of great minds over the ages. You'll be assessed through two pieces of coursework, where you will create a YouTube style video (worth 33% of module marks) and an essay (worth 67% of module marks).

Year 2

Core modules:

Democracy and Democratisation

This module examines how democracy works in both theory and practice. You'll explore various contrasting models of democracy, plus a number of political and social challenges to democracy through written coursework (worth 35% of module marks). You'll then examine how political researchers have analysed the global spread of democracy, through written coursework (worth 35% of module marks). Both aspects of this module will be assessed through an exam (worth 30% of module marks).

Professional Work Placement Module

This module gives you the opportunity to gain practical work experience within a political environment, which aims to enhance your academic and personal career development. You'll undertake a 15 day (90 hour) placement which will be assessed through two pieces of coursework. Firstly you'll complete an online reflective blog of your experiences (worth 40% of module marks). Secondly you'll produce a written assignment (worth 60% of module marks) based on your experience, which links theory with practice by demonstrating an awareness of how your academic learning and placement were integrated in a chosen policy area.

Option modules:

Choose three from a list which may include-

British Party Politics

You'll explore political parties in contemporary British politics. Using theoretical insights, definitions and concerns, you'll focus on a number of empirical and practical problems which concern British democracy in general and representational politics in particular. The module aims to provide you with an understanding of how party politics in Britain functions, which will be assessed by an individual oral presentation (worth 25% of module marks). Through coursework (worth 75% of module marks), you'll critically examine the history, development and ideology of the main political parties in Britain.

Competing Perspectives on Development

This module introduces key concepts and theoretical debates in development studies, your understanding of which will be assessed by an exam (worth 50% of module marks). You'll be supported to develop the skill to analyse material conditions in the developing world and to evaluate the impact of development strategies in selected countries. Understanding patterns of global inequality is a key objective of the module and you'll explore these in relation to issues such as the impact of globalisation, trade policies and foreign aid. You'll also examine the implications of the development process for people living in different parts of the world, which will be assessed through coursework (worth 50% of module marks).

Ethnicity and Nationalism

You'll be introduced to the dominant theories of ethnicity and nationalism, applying various concepts to a range of countries across the world. This will be assessed through an independent research project which is linked to two pieces of coursework where you'll critically explore how race, ethnicity, religion and multiculturalism influence citizenship and national identity. You'll demonstrate engagement with the key concepts for the module through two pieces of coursework. In the first (worth 25% of module marks) you'll produce a critical literature review and in the second (worth 75% of module marks) you'll explore issues of ethnicity and nationalism in a case study of your own choice.

US Politics and Society

You'll be supported to develop an understanding about the way in which the American political system has evolved with an emphasis on developments since the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. You'll also look at a number of key issues in contemporary American society such as the political role of the media, American criminal justice and the effect of being the world’s only superpower. Your understanding of these issues will be assessed through coursework, involving a written assignment (worth 50% of module marks)and an exam (worth 50% of module marks).

You may also have the opportunity to spend part of your second year on a foreign study exchange.

Year 3

Core module:

Final Year Project for the Social Sciences

You'll research a topic of your choice in depth, giving you the opportunity to develop your own research interests. Drawing on the area you have chosen to study, you'll engage with issues of project design and research methods. You'll be assessed through two pieces of coursework. Firstly through an oral presentation (worth 10% of module marks) you'll discuss your project proposal. You'll then produce a dissertation (worth 90% of module marks) about your research topic. You’ll receive individual support from a dedicated staff member in supervision sessions, which will include providing feedback on up to 25% of the final draft of the project (if submitted by an agreed date)

Option modules:

Choose four from a list which may include-

Humanity 2.0: Living and Participating in the Digital Age

This module will allow you to explore the impact that the digital age has had on society and the possibilities it holds for greater enhancement. It invites you to reflect upon your assumptions about the use of technology in society, and what barriers exist to full citizenship participation within society. You will be assessed in two ways. Firstly you will create a multimedia presentation as coursework to reflect upon the nature of technology in society, and secondly you will write a 3,000 word essay analysing how the citizen should operate within the digital age.

Film and Cinema

This module is a great choice if you have an interest or maybe even a passion for film, and want to explore the ways in which cultural, economic, sociological, and political issues have been represented from the 1960s to the present day. You'll watch specific films and then have a combination of lectures and workshops focused on each one to guide your learning. The module is assessed via coursework, starting with a short review (worth 10% of module marks), progressing to a scene analysis (worth 15% of module marks) and finishing with a written case study (worth 75% of module marks).

The Government and Politics of Europe

You'll examine the history, structure and impact of the European Union (EU) and delve into broader trends in European politics. Through coursework involving an essay you'll explore the reasons for European integration and learn about the structure of the EU and the workings of its institutions, including Parliament, Commission and Council of Ministers. You'll also analyse areas of contention in EU politics and assess the impact of the EU on its citizens, domestic member state politics and international affairs. Wider issues such as expansion and the question of democratic accountability will also be considered and assessed through an in-class test.

Race; Ethnicity and Difference

In this module you'll consider contemporary British society in relation to issues of race, ethnicity and difference. You'll explore the extent to which race and ethnicity continue to shape contemporary society, in relation to education, health, employment, government policies and popular culture such as films and music. The module is assessed through written coursework on topics such as multiculturalism, race and sport, and the representation of racialised groups.

Representing the Social: Culture and Society

In this module you'll consider that the way we see the world is strongly influenced by social representations, in terms of ideas and images created by the media and broader society that make claims to truth and engender power relations in society. Through written coursework you'll explore the ways in which a contemporary social issue is represented in images and ideas today. This will take a multidisciplinary approach, examining how social representations, ideas and images are created and the implications they have both for the individual and society.

Conflict Resolution and Terrorism

Through this module you'll be supported to develop a critical understanding of the ways in which terrorism has been defined. You'll demonstrate this understanding through coursework, involving a written assignment. Debates about legitimacy and political violence will be applied to a number of case studies, allowing you to explore the motivations of different groups who have used violence as a political strategy. This will be assessed through an exam.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.


The course includes a compulsory 90 hour (15 day) work placement in your second year.

Previous placement providers have included non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the civil service, national and local government, Members of Parliament and political parties.

Career opportunities

85% of graduates from courses in this subject area go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating.

Previous Huddersfield Politics graduates have gone on to roles relating to operations, education, media, human resources, marketing, business development, finance and IT in organisations including West Yorkshire Police, the Department for Work and Pensions, Local Government Association, Microsoft, Kirklees Council and Deloitte.*

*Source: LinkedIn

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught through seminars, group work, lectures, presentations, written reports, case studies and individual tuition.

Assessment will include coursework, practice/ competency based learning and examination

15% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials etc.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the UK's only university where 100% of the permanent teaching staff are fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.

How much will it cost me?

The full-time undergraduate tuition fee for 17/18 entry is £9250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.

Other information

We provide financial support towards study abroad costs such as travel to ensure that students can take advantage of opportunities.


If you are an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC) or you can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.0 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree programme. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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