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BA in Politics and International Studies: UCAS Code L260

A core training in the study of politics is combined with the theoretical, global and multi-disciplinary perspective provided by International Studies modules. The critical analysis of political ideas and global politics is a central theme of the degree course and you will examine a variety of theories and empirical evidence that confront contemporary and historical issues in international relations.

Programme Content

If you’re fascinated by politics on a national and international level, then this is the programme for you. You’ll critically engage with theoretical and empirical approaches to political ideas, problems and issues locally, nationally and globally. You will give an added emphasis to the international dimensions of politics.

You will engage with core questions in political theory and how they apply to situations across the globe. You’ll confront how power is distributed internationally and evaluate the different ways in which societies organise their political systems. You’ll question the ideological roots of world problems and interrogate the ways in which economic imperatives affect foreign policy. You’ll analyse how different actors at the local, national and international levels engage politically and impact on our daily experiences.

Questions tackled when you study Politics and International Studies include:

  • What is power, who has it, and how is it used?
  • What is terrorism and how does it threaten our security?
  • What are rights and who do they belong to?
  • Why do states use violence against each other?
  • How has globalisation affected patterns of inequality and justice?
  • What is the political relationship between states and markets?
  • What is democracy and how are states democratising?

You will be taught by a wide range of staff with international research profiles across a number of subfields including political theory, international relations, international security, international political economy, and international development, as well as comparative politics and political systems.

In each year you will take four modules of equal weight (or the equivalent number, in the case of half module options). As the years progress, you will take a decreasing proportion of core modules and specialise your degree with an increasing proportion of optional modules. You can choose to study a language as part of your degree, and take advantage of our many study abroad and internship opportunities. Throughout your degree you will acquire a range of valuable transferable skills such as theoretical analysis, quantitative and qualitative research skills, and a high level of written and verbal communication.

Whilst there is still some module choice in First Year, the main focus is introducing the key political themes and ideas that you will rely on in later years of study. In Second and Third Year, however, the vast arrange of modules available are demonstrative of just how broad Politics is as a subject and provides the opportunity for you to focus on the areas you enjoy most - which for me, that is International Development. A great thing about a PAIS degree is how interlinked separate topics are, and how it relates to other disciplines such as Economics, History, Geography and Sociology. This interdisciplinary nature, in combination with the academic and personal skills you will acquire during your time here, will place you in a brilliant position for whichever field of work or further study you decide to go into once you’ve completed your PAIS degree!
Olivia Marshall, BA Politics and International Studies