Gain the tools to understand the world and make a change within it on a BSc (Hons) Politics & International Relations degree. Combine the theory and the real world aspects of politics, looking at local, national and global political decisions and their impact.
There has never been a better time to study Politics and International Relations. Employers are increasingly looking for graduates who understand political and geopolitical realities.
If you’re fascinated by why decisions are taken and what that means for people locally, nationally and globally, then this course is for you. We’ll help you to learn about the political landscape of the world – both at home and overseas. We’ll also encourage you to be prepared and keep on top of the news as it develops. The degree content evolves and changes inline with current events and the ever changing world of politics to ensure our teaching is as up to date as possible.
Our lecturers have stood in elections, organised campaigns, written speeches and monitored overseas elections. Their experience, combined with a deep understanding of political concepts and theories, provides the ideal mix of theory and practice. Join us and build knowledge of a vast range of political settings, institutions and players and become ready to set your sights on careers in international organisations as well as at home.
In Year 1 of the BSc (Hons) Politics & International Relations degree, we’ll introduce the foundations of politics. Modules will cover the study of policy making, UK politics, international relations, political theories and the analysis of political speech-making.
Introduction to Political Concepts and Theory explores the foundations of political analysis and the concepts, approaches and methods through which we understand the subject. The module will critically examine the core ideas central to the study of politics.
Module code: POL1001
Introduction to International Relations
Introduction to International Relations recognises that it is difficult to understand politics today without having an understanding of how states relate to each other. The module explores the relationships of states to each other and to international and supranational institutions. The global trends and pressures which impact on and influence politics and policy making will also be considered, as well as the role of non state actors, such as non-governmental organisations.
Module code: POL1003
UK Politics - issues and challenges since 1979
UK Politics - issues and challenges since 1979 will explore UK Politics, and the changes it has undergone, in the period from the 1979 election onwards. You will cover a range of issues such as the Brexit Referendum, the creation of the Social Democratic Party, the miners' strike and the 2010 Coalition. This module will provide you with a foundation for further study at a more advanced level and will complement other modules focusing on particular aspects of politics and the political profession.
Module code: POL1004
Analysing Policy and Policy-Making
Analysing Policy and Policy-Making looks at how policy is made, in government(s) and in political parties. You will learn a range of ways of analysing and evaluating the process and policy success. Many bodies in politics make policy. This can be in response to crises, in an attempt to introduce particular ideological approaches or to find ways of solving long and short term problems. This module will give you an understanding of policy making approaches and the policy-making "world" which is vital for understanding politics.
The Art of Political Rhetoric - from Pericles to Putin
The Art of Political Rhetoric - from Pericles to Putin explores a range of political speeches identifying rhetorical devices and context. You will also be introduced to the art of speech-writing. Understanding how politicians communicate is an important part of understanding politics. Speeches, whether in the legislature, at party conference, at the hustings or elsewhere, provide a rich source of material for that understanding. Learning the art of speech writing will help you understand speeches better and provide you with a chance to begin to develop skills useful in political employment.
Module code: POL1006
Parliaments and Devolution in the UK
Parliaments and Devolution in the UK will provide you with a focus on the development of devolved forms of government as well as Parliamentary procedures at UK and devolved Parliament areas. Since the new Labour Government in 1997 the UK has seen the setting up and empowering of devolved governments. There has also been the development and growth of the position of Elected Mayor. These developments are highly significant for the way politics is done in the UK. In this module you will focus on the UK Parliament but also on devolved Parliaments and elected mayors. The areas of focus will depend on current events.
Module code: POL1007
Language 1 is ideal if you want to learn a new language, or further develop your current language skills, as an integrated part of this degree. You can study French, German, Arabic, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese or Spanish (subject to minimum numbers for your preferred language). Delivered at the Edge Hill Language Centre, the module will be taught in an interactive, communicative manner, using authentic materials in the target language. Emphasis will be placed on all four areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. You will play an active role in the weekly two-hour classes, engaging in role-plays, short conversations, videos, authentic texts and listening materials. You will also be encouraged to reflect on your own learning needs. On enrolment to the module, you will complete a language induction form and be placed into a language level group appropriate for your prior knowledge of your chosen language. Please note, while we will endeavour to accommodate varying language levels per module, this is not always possible. While you can join the module with some prior experience of your target language, you will not be able to study a language you are already fluent or proficient in.
Module code: TLC1010
In Year 2, we’ll introduce you to a range of research methods. We’ll also focus on European politics, key political thinkers, US politics and topics such as industrial relations and psephology – the statistical study of elections and trends in voting.
Research Methods for Politics introduces research methodologies and issues such as ethics and project planning. It also explores the various debates around research approaches. Studying this module will prepare you for your dissertation project in year 3. This module will you give a complete focus on research, so you will be able to begin to think about the methods best suited to pursuing your areas of interest.
Module code: POL2010
Contemporary US Politics
Contemporary US Politics looks at politics in the US today and in the recent past. It focuses on major trends and key developments while exploring in some detail the key institutions relevant to US politics. Focusing on the US politics from the Reagan presidency onwards, the aim is to equip you with an understanding of one of the major ‘theatres of politics’. You will explore key aspects of recent presidencies, the development of the role of Vice President, the US candidate selection system, the funding of political campaigns, the operation of Congress and State Houses, legislative processes, trends in party management and development, as well as any emerging news stories.
Module code: POL2005
Political Ideologies explores the principle ideas, significance and impact of the major political ideologies in contemporary political life. The module first considers the nature of political ideology and then proceeds to examine and critique each system of ideas and consider the context that shaped their birth, development and evolution. You will also examine the ways in which political ideologies influence or determine political choices in contemporary societies.
Module code: POL2003
Capital and Labour in the 20th Century
Capital and Labour in the 20th Century will explore the connection between capital and labour, both nationally and internationally, enabling you to understand the complex, everchanging relationships. You will gain a greater understanding of the complicated relationship between the two, and the various influences upon that relationship. You will explore some of the historical and contemporary events that have shaped capital, labour, and the economy, from the French Revolution to the 2008 Global Financial Crash, although mostly with a focus on the ‘long’ 20th century. You will study some of the theoretical and practical arguments underpinning this relationship, and conduct research on both national and international case studies.
Comparative European Politics examines the government and politics of France, Germany, Italy, Greece and Poland on a comparative basis. The module will explore in a systematic manner through the application of a number of theoretical models the nature of the systems of government and politics in the three states.
Module code: POL2001
Elections and Voting Systems
Elections and Voting Systems looks at elections and voting systems across a range of countries. Anyone wanting to work in a political environment needs an understanding of how elections work and the significance of any changes. It was, for example, a system change in the Labour Party, as part of the Collins Review in 2014, that made it possible for Jeremy Corbyn to be elected. The module analyses the importance of each system and focuses on the many pressures for change in terms of who votes and when. The countries will be chosen in a way which provides a good range of systems and makes use of current events.
Module code: POL2006
Preparing for Work in Politics
Preparing for Work in Politics looks at the various activities which make up the world of work (both paid and unpaid) in politics. It will enable you to begin thinking about your potential place in this vast area. Focus will be placed on current examples of particular pieces of political work, for example party management, internal reform, selection campaigns, conference organisation, and motion and policy writing. You will also examine a variety of roles, from elected representatives to MPs’ assistants, think tank researchers, civil service staff, political bloggers, party activists and campaigners. The aim is to help you better understand a variety of areas of politics and identify those in which you have an interest and may wish to explore further.
Module code: POL2007
The Politics of Migration
The Politics of Migration acknowledges that migration is one of the key paradigms of the 21st century. To understand many of the trends and events in the world today, it is necessary to understand what migration is, how it is represented and ‘managed’, and how it is experienced, whether directly or indirectly. The module will introduce you to a range of theoretical traditions of migration, as well as a variety of case studies from both the UK and overseas, to enable you to understand and analyse a phenomenon that is highly relevant in contemporary politics.
Module code: POL2004
Party Politics at Home and Abroad
Party Politics at Home and Abroad looks at the reasons political parties exist, how and why they are born, how they develop, how and why they decline and die. You will study the relationships between parties and the challenges posed to mainstream parties by niche and challenger organisations. You will also focus on how we categorise and analyse parties. You will be using examples from the UK and from a range of other countries. These other countries may vary year on year to take account of current events or recent developments.
Module code: POL2008
1968 And All That: Protest in Western Europe
1968 And All That: Protest in Western Europe covers the rise and fall of a cycle of protest movements often referred to by the label ‘1968’, but which it can be argued went from the late 1950s to the early 1980s. You will study a range of movements that affected European politics and arguably transformed European society, including industrial unrest by workers, the women’s liberation movement, anti-war movements, anti-racism, the so-called ‘New Left’, environmentalism, and a quest for greater freedom and authenticity in people’s personal lives.
Module code: HIS2011
Public International Law
Public International Law will give you an in-depth understanding of the law governing relations between States and the activities of international institutions such as the United Nations and the European Union. You will explore questions such as the settlement of disputes, title to territory, diplomatic relations, human rights, the law of the sea, legal restraints on the use of force, and the law governing international commercial/ trade agreements.
Module code: LAW2067
Language 2 is ideal if you want to learn a new language, or further develop your current language skills, as an integrated part of this degree. You can study French, German, Arabic, Italian, Mandarin or Spanish (subject to minimum numbers for your preferred language). Delivered at the Edge Hill Language Centre, the module will be taught in an interactive, communicative manner, using authentic materials in the target language. Emphasis will be placed on all four areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. You will play an active role in the weekly two-hour classes, engaging in role-plays, short conversations, videos, authentic texts and listening materials. You will also be encouraged to reflect on your own learning needs. On enrolment to the module, you will complete a language induction form and be placed into a language level group appropriate for your prior knowledge of your chosen language. Please note, while we will endeavour to accommodate varying language levels per module, this is not always possible. While you can join the module with some prior experience of your target language, you will not be able to study a language you are already fluent or proficient in.
Module code: TLC2000
Year 3 allows you to tailor your studies through a wide choice of optional modules. You’ll have the chance to focus in depth on subjects such as the rise of China, strategic political communications and advanced parliamentary studies. You’ll also have the opportunity to take on more practical elements to build your experience, including the chance to work on a policy issue as a think tank, or complete a work placement. You’ll bring everything you’ve learned together as you complete a dissertation in a topic of your choice.
Dissertation will give you the opportunity to complete a significant piece of individual work on a topic of your own choice within the Politics and International Relations field. It will give you the chance to study a topic in greater depth or to choose a topic which might not have been featured in one of the existing modules. While this is very much an individual piece of work, there are regular supervision meetings and workshops focusing on different aspects of the process.
Migration in Europe will equip you as a citizen to be part of better informed public debate. You will review current issues, both within a longer-term historical perspective, and within contemporary debates in critical migration studies. You will be able to critically examine claims made about, for example, the exceptionalism of current waves of migration, and situate them within a broader history of people on the move within, beyond and into Europe. By placing current debates within such a context, you will understand political and social issues ranging from refugees to migrant workers, from cosmopolitanism to immigration controls, and from anti-racist activism to anti-migrant backlashes within a longer term context.
Module code: HIS3015
Strategic Political Communications
Strategic Political Communications looks in depth at political communication and how it is used by various players in the political arena. It is impossible to understand modern day politics without understanding how politicians and campaign groups communicate. This module builds on your understanding of political systems and practices and analyses pieces of communication in a critical way.
Module code: POL3001
The Special Relationship: Britain and the USA
The Special Relationship: Britain and the USA concentrates on the major diplomatic, economic and cultural meeting points of arguably the two most influential nations of the 20th century. You will study how their relationship – at times good and at times bad – influenced the course of international history. It is a relationship of unparalleled closeness and complexity which persists into the present day. By analysing the principle issues that arose between these two competitive yet cooperative states, we may be in a position to judge to what extent the relationship actually deserves the epithet ‘special’.
Module code: HIS3036
The Think Tank
The Think Tank looks at the role that think tanks play in politics and influencing policy-making and change. The tasks carried out by think tanks are relevant across a wide range of political, media and other practice. This module provides you with an in-depth understanding of the work of think tanks, as well as practical experience in carrying out that work and producing a product. You will take a policy area, research it in depth, produce policy ideas, identify outlets for pursing those ideas, and produce a product online.
Module code: POL3010
Britain and the European Union
Britain and the European Union critically evaluates the political and legal dynamics behind European integration whilst critically analysing Britain's attitude and relationship with its European neighbours. You will examine the EU's institutional configuration, its policymaking processes and its main policies whilst examining Britain's post-war relationship with the EU including its applications in the 1960's, its accession, its withdrawal and its post-Brexit relationship.
Module code: POL3014
International Peace and Security
International Peace and Security examines the international legal aspects of the international community's efforts to maintain international peace and security. The module explores the 'law before war' known as jus ad bellum, including the prohibition of force, the principle of non-intervention, and the powers and role of the relevant United Nations organs in settling or responding to international disputes and situations. It will also give you an insight into rights of states in self-defence, and the international community's roles and responsibilities in responding to mass atrocity crimes under the 'Responsibility to Protect'.
Module code: LAW3221
Politics Work Placement
Politics Work Placement gives you the opportunity to identify, apply for and take part in a work placement in a political or politically related field. The process is supported by politics tutors and a dedicated work placement team. You will also attend preparation and reflection sessions which will focus on themes such as job searches, time management and workplace disciplines, and the specific needs of particular employers.
Module code: POL3004
Advanced Parliamentary Studies
Advanced Parliamentary Studies equips you with a thorough and deep understanding of the workings of the UK Parliament and Parliamentary systems. The module explores the history, culture and potential future of Parliament, examines aspects of Parliamentary process in-depth, and considers related issues such as regulation and ethics. You will have the opportunity to interact with practitioners from the workforce in the Houses of Parliament.
Module code: POL3006
Advanced International Relations - Focus on Asia
Advanced International Relations - Focus on Asia offers you an opportunity to study in depth the rise and impact in geopolitical terms of either China or India. You will examine relationships with and within relevant organisations (such as BRICS, the G20 and ASEAN). You will further examine the roles played within international organisations such as the United Nations (in the case of China its role within the Security Council). You will explore issues such as Tibet, Hong Kong and Kashmir and the relevance of domestic politics (in both India and China and in other key nations). The module will benefit you if you are looking to seek employment in political roles which involve researching or briefing about IR and Asia.
Module code: POL3011
Advanced Political and Ethical Theory
Advanced Political and Ethical Theory enables you to undertake focused work on particular thinkers or particular political and ethical traditions. This module is an excellent opportunity to develop your critical skills. You will explore key thinkers such as Rawls, Mill, Hobbes, Marx and Engels and study traditions and approaches such as Utilitarianism, Ethical Egoism, Social Contract Theory, Natural Rights.
Module code: POL3013
A Is For Activism
A Is For Activism equips you with knowledge of global politics and in particular the role that mediated activism has to play in it. After defining activism and exploring both public and digital public spheres, the module will critically evaluate the successes and failures of new, online forms of activism and assess their role in transforming political structures and systems. You will discover how to communicate information and concepts effectively, develop reasoned and informed critiques, and source and explain arguments emanating from primary and secondary sources.
Module code: POL3007
Global Capitalism and its Discontents
Global Capitalism and its Discontents explores a key aspect of contemporary life, the increasing impact globalisation has on our lives. From imperialism, colonialism and post-colonialism, to ideas of the clash of civilisations, multi-culturalism and living in diverse societies, this module provides a global awareness that is important to any graduate in the 21st Century. You'll also be provided with the analytical tools to deconstruct and sociologically evaluate how globalisation shapes, narrows or widens our life chances.
Module code: SPY3142
Seeds of Conflict in the Holy Land 1840-1923
Seeds of Conflict in the Holy Land 1840-1923 examines the origins of the Zionist-Palestinian conflict before the commencement of the British Mandate for Palestine in 1923. The module analyses the development of Zionism and Palestinian Arab nationalism under the Ottoman Empire, British support for Zionism in World War I, and the escalation of political conflict and violence by the 1920s. A principal focus will be the impact of the War.
Module code: HIS3024
British Rule in Palestine
British Rule in Palestine explores the origins and development of British rule in Palestine, a seminal chapter in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Middle East and the British Empire. The module focuses on the political objectives and impact of British rule in Palestine, with particular reference to the evolution of the Zionist-Palestinian conflict.
Module code: HIS3025
Language 3 enables you to build on and develop your previous language knowledge in French, German, Arabic, Italian, Mandarin or Spanish. You must have either studied the prior language module in the previous year or be able to demonstrate equivalent knowledge of your target language (though you will not be able to study a language you are already fluent or proficient in). The language levels available will be determined by the continuation of corresponding groups from the previous language module. You will gain the language skills necessary to become a more proficient user of the language. Classes will be taught in an interactive and communicative manner using authentic materials to promote meaningful communication. They will be conducted in the target language as much as possible. Emphasis will be on speaking and listening, with appropriate attention also being paid to other communication skills. Other work will include a variety of tasks which may be completed in the Language Centre.
Module code: TLC3000
Optional modules provide an element of choice within the course curriculum. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by timetabling requirements. Some restrictions on optional module choice or combinations of optional modules may apply.
How you'll study
The degree includes a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops. The degree content evolves and changes inline with current events and the ever changing world of politics to ensure our teaching is as up to date as possible. There will also be opportunities to participate in field trips, for example to the Scottish Parliament, Westminster and party conferences. You can generally expect to be taught for at least three days a week if you are studying the course full-time.
Timetables for your first week are normally available at the end of August prior to enrolment in September. You can expect to receive your timetable for the rest of the academic year during your first week. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.
How you'll be assessed
You will be assessed through a variety of coursework, such as essays, reports, presentations and scenario responses. There is limited use of examinations on some modules.
Who will be teaching you
The BSc (Hons) Politics & International Relations degree teaching team includes academic experts who are, or have been, involved in real world politics. Students can take advantage of the expertise and contacts of research-active staff with a range of political specialisms.
The course team actively participate in debates and interviews in the media. The degree also makes use of visiting speakers such as politicians and those working in politics.
Typical offer 112-120 UCAS tariff points achieved through A levels, BTEC, International Baccalaureate, Access Diploma, T Level, or Irish Leaving Certificate. No specific subjects are required.
BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications)
Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM).
Overall grade of Merit.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
We are happy to accept IB qualifications which achieve the required number of UCAS Tariff points.
Access to Higher Education Diploma
45 credits at Level 3, for example 15 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit or 24 credits at Distinction and 21 credits at Merit. The required total can be attained from various credit combinations.
Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.
If you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), AS Levels that haven't been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.
English language requirements
International students require IELTS 6.0, with a score no lower than 5.5 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.
If your current level of English is half a band, one band, or one-and-a-half bands lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.
Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.
Did you know?
If you join a full time undergraduate degree at Edge Hill University, we will guarantee you the
offer of a room in our halls of residence for the first year of your course.
The £6million Law and Psychology building provides contemporary teaching and learning facilities for students in the School of Law, Criminology and Policing and the Department of Psychology.
The three-storey building includes a 250-seat lecture theatre, seminar and tutorial rooms, and social learning areas which encourage a more informal and interactive style of learning. Elsewhere on campus, there is a mooting room (a mock courtroom) and Police Training and Simulation Facility.
Tuition fees for students joining this course in academic year 2024/25 are still to be announced. We will update this information as soon as it is available.
EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.
Subject to eligibility, UK students joining this course can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students enrolling on the course may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.
Please view the relevant Money Matters guide for comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students.
EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals can ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).
If you are an EU student who does not have settled or pre-settled status, or are an international student from a non-EU country, please see our international student finance pages.
Your future career
There is a range of potential career areas for students graduating from this degree. These include journalism, working for MPs and other elected officials, the civil service, public affairs and within public relations, research, and local government. With further study, you might also go into teaching, or pursue a career in academia.