Course specification and structure
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UDPOLTCS - BA Politics

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Arts Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Arts
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Social Sciences
Subject Area Politics and International Relations
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS  
Part-time 4 YEARS 6 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The Teaching and Learning strategy of the BA Politics degree is designed to: ensure that the subject content meets, and improves, on the benchmarks set out by the QAA; encourage the acquisition and understanding of knowledge by students, engendering an enthusiasm for the subject and life-skills learning, including the progression from surface learning to deep learning; facilitate students to develop independent skills and responsibilities for their own learning; incrementally strengthen the subject specific knowledge and skills gained by students, in combination with the awareness and application of skills needed successfully to thrive in the workplace.

The degree has a growing reputation for pedagogical innovation as well as utilising traditional teaching methods. The latter includes a mixture of lectures, seminars, and workshops. Within this a combination of whole group, small group, and student-led and tutor-led teaching occurs. This can included face to face teaching and discussion, but there is also an increasing emphasis on the use of blended learning opportunities. Many modules already are paper free, with considerable learning materials and resources being placed on relevant module VLE sites, e.g. lecture notes, module handbooks, video links, recorded lectures, podcasts, first hand documents, and blogs. Some teaching staff are already experimenting with electronic feedback, the electronic submission of formative assessments, and on-line office hours. A growing number of materials are also available on-line through the University library, including access to journals and e-books. Students may take up to 30 credits of language at levels 5 and 6 as extension-of-knowledge modules.

This is all designed to open up the learning space for students to enable them to have continuous access to degree materials, improving the student learning experience, whilst increasing cost-effectiveness and efficiency.

An additional, and important part of the teaching and learning strategy, is the academic research which is carried by GIR staff. This is used to support teaching through transferring staff research skills and knowledge to enhance the student learning experience, i.e. the research is effectively feedback to students through teaching.

Staff research specialisms are an essential component of the Politics curriculum, with students benefitting from being taught by specialists.

Course aims

The BA in Politics is a cornerstone degree offered by the Faculty of Law, Governance and International Relations. The degree aims to provide students with a broad perspective on the discipline of Politics and its philosophical, theoretical, historical and practical aspects, and to enhance their ability to understand the complex forces shaping politics in the contemporary world. In particular, the course aims to:

  • examine the concept and nature of politics and the institutions and structures engaged in political decision-making;
  • ensure that students acquire knowledge and understanding in areas of political philosophy, theory and analysis;
  • enable students to understand and use the concepts, approaches, key research methods and methodologies of the discipline, and develop an understanding of its contested nature and the problematic character of political inquiry;
  • develop in students the capacity to think critically about events, ideas and institutions;
  • encourage students to relate the academic study of Politics to questions of public concern;
  • assist students to develop a range of cognitive and social skills relevant to their intellectual, vocational and personal development, with a particular emphasis on employability, e.g students can apply the knowledge gained from the course in a work experience situation through the level 6 work placement;
  • provide a curriculum supported by scholarship, staff development and a research culture that promotes breadth and depth of academic inquiry and debate.

Accordingly, the syllabus seeks to assist students’ understanding of the key concepts, ideas and issues of politics, government, governance and public administration, including the state; power; globalization; citizenship; liberty; authority; rights; ethics; obligation; justice; equality; democracy; representation; ideologies; political institutions; political systems; policymaking; security; co-operation, co-ordination, conflict and competition within and between states; resource acquisition and allocation, and political economy. It also affords the opportunity to specialise in particular areas of politics such as political philosophy, public administration and government and explore intra-state, single state or regional political matters including media and culture, British Politics, Africa, China and Asia, Europe the United States or the Middle East; together with broader matters like the relationship between the developed and the developing world, environmentalism, democratisation and human rights.

Course learning outcomes

Course Learning outcomes include the following:

a. Subject Specific.

By the end of their course students are expected to have developed the following skills:

  • understand the nature and significance of Politics: philosophically, historically and in the contemporary world;
  • apply concepts, theories, research methods and methodologies used in the study of politics to the analysis of ideas, practices and issues in political relations, institutions and systems;
  • demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the origins, evolution and current nature of political debates, political institutions and political systems;
  • be aware of the contested nature of inquiry within the discipline of Politics and be able to evaluate different interpretations of key issues.

b. Cognitive skills.

By the end of their course, students should be able to:

  • gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of primary, secondary and electronic sources;
  • construct a reasoned argument, synthesise relevant information, exercise critical judgement and manifest ethical awareness, in both oral discussion and written work;
  • identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and advocate solutions to issues and problems in Politics;
  • demonstrate a capacity for critical review of the literature and awareness of differing approaches to the study of Politics;
  • manage their own learning in a reflective and self-critical fashion and make use of constructive feedback.

c. Transferable skills, including those of employability and professional practice.

By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to:

  • communicate effectively and fluently in both oral and written form;
  • use communication and information technology, including the internet, for the retrieval and presentation of information, including, where appropriate, statistical and/or numerical information;
  • work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management;
  • engage in collaborative learning and demonstrate the ability to inter-relate with other students who may hold different views;
  • think critically about data and evidence and show awareness of ethical considerations (including, where appropriate, ethical diversity);
  • conduct analysis of political issues using a variety of theoretical perspectives;
  • design, plan, organise and deliver an individual research project or work placement dissertation and learning log;
  • assess political issues in a reasoned manner and apply such knowledge to both hypothetical and ‘real world’ situations.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

- Understand the concept, nature and significance of politics:

e.g. GI4008 Politics and Government

- Be aware of the contested nature of inquiry within the discipline of Politics and be able to evaluate different interpretations of key issues:

All Politics modules.

- Apply concepts, theories and methods used in the study of politics to the analysis of ideas, practices and issues in the global system:

e.g. GI5007 Governance and Public Policy

- Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the origins, evolution and current nature of political systems, including the tension between power and ethics:

e.g. GI4008 Politics and Government

- Gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of primary, secondary and electronic sources:

e.g. GI6009 The Politics of Modern States

- Construct a reasoned argument, synthesise relevant information, exercise critical judgement and manifest ethical awareness, in both oral discussion and written work:

e.g. GI5009 Political Theory

- Identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and advocate solutions to issues and problems in politics:

e.g. GI4008 Governance and Public Policy

- Demonstrate a capacity for critical review of the literature and awareness of differing approaches to the study of politics:

e.g. GI5062 Media and Culture

- Manage their own learning in a reflective and self-critical fashion and make use of constructive feedback:

All Politics modules.

- Communicate effectively and fluently in both oral and written form:

All Politics modules.

- Use communication and information technology, including the internet, for the retrieval and presentation of information, including, where appropriate, statistical and/or numerical information:

e.g. GI5007 Governance and Public Policy

- Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management:

Research Project and Work Placement
Modules at Level 6.

- Conduct analysis of political issues using a variety of theoretical perspectives:

All Politics modules.

- Design, plan, organise and deliver an individual research project or work placement report:

Research Project and Work Placement
Modules at Level 6.

Principle QAA benchmark statements

The Politics degree embeds the key components of the QAA benchmark within its degree structure.

With regards to “Knowledge and understanding”, all students should be able to fulfil the criteria identified by the QAA, including:

“students should be able to: demonstrate a familiarity and engage critically with the nature and significance of … politics, including definitions of the boundaries of the political; the contested nature of knowledge and understanding; approaches to the study of … Politics; a range of key concepts, theories and methods employed in the study of … politics; and the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches; demonstrate a familiarity and engage critically with politics and political phenomena, including … the structure and operation of different political systems; apply different concepts, theories and methods to the analysis of political ideas, institutions and behaviour; examine and evaluate different interpretations of political issues and events.”

In terms of generic intellectual skills, again the degree is designed to meet the standards determined by the QAA. Thus, on graduating with an honours degree in Politics, students should be able to fulfil the following QAA benchmarks: “describe, evaluate and apply different approaches involved in collecting, analysing and presenting political information, including how to identify issues for political enquiry; assess their ethical implications; and gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of sources; identify, investigate, analyse and advocate solutions to problems; develop a reasoned argument, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement; reflect on their own learning and seek to make use of constructive feedback; manage their own learning self-critically.”

Personal transferable skills are also central to the degree. For example, on graduating, students should be able to meet the following QAA benchmarks: “communicate ideas effectively and fluently, both orally and in writing; use communication and information technologies for the retrieval, analysis and presentation of information. Presentational skills may include a focus upon delivery (in addition to content), time management, usage of audio visual resources and an ability to stimulate debate; work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management; collaborate with others and contribute effectively to the achievement of common goals.”

Assessment strategy

The course combines both formative and summative assessment opportunities, embracing a variety of methods including: essays, reports, exams, seminar performance, seminar presentations (both individual and group), portfolios, blogs, policy documents, dissertations, learning logs and book reviews. The majority will be tutor assessed, but a number will be peer-reviewed in seminars.

The strategy is designed to maximise the development of subject specific skills and employability skills appropriate to each level of the degree.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

Employability and work experience are central to the course. All modules have employability embedded within them. (See each module specification for further details).

A study-abroad semester (or, in exceptional circumstances two semesters) can be undertaken as part of the degree programme. The Course Leader (or a delegated representative) must approve the programme of study proposed at the overseas host institution. The Governance and International Relations section has Socrates exchange links with a number of European Universities including – Bologna, Italy; Bordeaux, France; Madrid, Spain; Stockholm, Sweden; and Istanbul, Turkey. It is also possible to study in the United States. The University has exchange links with a number of universities, such as the State University of New York, City University New York, East Carolina, Roosevelt University (Chicago) and a number of colleges in the University of California state system. These exchanges are arranged through the University’s International Office.

At Level 6 students also have the option to take a work placement module designed to introduce them to the world of work and develop employability skills.

Career opportunities

By the end of the degree you'll be ready for careers in organisations ranging from local government, central government departments, diplomatic services, the United Nations and the European Union, to domestic and international businesses, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the media.

Recent graduates have embarked on careers in the Civil Service, UK Department for International Development, as a local government officer, political researcher or undertaken postgraduate study.

Some of our graduates have become Members of Parliament and famous public relations spin doctors.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification)
  • English GCSE at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)
  • Mathematics GCSE is not required

Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or extensive professional experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.

Applicants with international qualifications and mature applicants are very welcome.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes L200 (Politics): 100%
Route code POLTCS

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI4004 Introduction to International Development Core 30        
GI4005 Introduction to International Relations Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
          NORTH SPR+SUM TUE PM
GI4007 Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy since 1945 Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON AM
          NORTH SPR+SUM MON PM
GI4008 Politics and Government Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR WED AM
          NORTH SPR+SUM TUE AM
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15 NORTH AUT    
          NORTH SPR    

Stage 1 Level 04 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI4004 Introduction to International Development Core 30        
GI4005 Introduction to International Relations Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM TUE PM
GI4007 Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy since 1945 Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM MON PM
GI4008 Politics and Government Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM TUE AM
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15 NORTH SPR    

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI5009 Political Theory Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU PM
GI5069 Governance and Public Policy Core 15 NORTH AUT MON PM
GI5070 Comparative Politics Core 15 NORTH SPR MON PM
GI5W50 Politics and International Relations: Work-Base... Alt Core 15 NORTH AUT MON AM
MN5W51 Creating a Successful Social Enterprise 1 Alt Core 15        
GI5005 Approaches to International Relations and Forei... Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE PM
GI5060 American Foreign Policy Option 15 NORTH SPR MON AM
GI5062 Media and Culture Option 15 NORTH AUT TUE AM
GI5063 Politics of the Middle East Option 15 NORTH SPR TUE AM
GI5064 The Politics of the European Union Option 15 NORTH SPR THU AM
GI5067 Contemporary US Politics Option 15 NORTH AUT MON AM
SS5006 Racism and Ethnicity Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR FRI PM
XK0000 Extension of Knowledge Module Option 15 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT    

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI6009 The Politics of Modern States Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU AM
GI6P01 Project 1 Year Alt Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON AM
GI6P51 Project 1 Semester Alt Core 15 NORTH SPR MON AM
          NORTH AUT MON AM
GI6W01 Placement 1 Year Alt Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON AM
MN6W50 Creating a Winning Business 2 Alt Core 15 CITY SPR THU PM
          CITY SPR WED PM
          CITY AUT WED PM
GI6002 Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU PM
GI6007 Public Diplomacy and Global Communication Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
GI6061 Modern British Politics Option 15 NORTH SPR WED PM
GI6064 African Politics Option 15 NORTH SPR TUE PM
GI6065 Latin American Politics Option 15 NORTH AUT TUE PM
GI6066 Action and Identity: Gender and Political Parti... Option 15 NORTH SPR WED AM
GI6067 Human Rights and International Conflict Option 15 NORTH AUT TUE PM
XK0000 Extension of Knowledge Module Option 15 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT