Edge Hill University has launched a new Politics undergraduate programme giving students the opportunity to study the campaigns, conflicts, constituencies and communications that shape the modern political landscape.

From September 2014, Edge Hill students can take Politics as a Minor subject alongside Film Studies, History, Public Relations or Advertising, with more subjects being added in the future.

Programme Leader, Paula Keaveney, a former leader of the opposition on Liverpool City Council and expert in political communication, said: “The introduction of Politics perfectly complements our portfolio of courses in the Media Department.

Having a working knowledge of the political environment will enhance students’ understanding of their major subjects and the underlying factors that affect them. Similarly, knowing how the advertising or PR world works will be invaluable for students aiming for a career in politics.”

The new programme is delivered by staff who are actively researching or working in the field of politics. As well as giving students access to Edge Hill’s many political contacts, this ensures students get the most up-to-date information and can benefit from first hand insights into the constantly changing world of politics.

In addition to Paula, who has considerable experience of local and national politics including working in a press office during a General Election, staff on the programme include:

  • Dr Paddy Hoey, researcher in activist media, mediated politics, Northern Irish politics and Irish republican activism. He has previously taught politics modules at Liverpool Hope University.
  • Professor Franco Rizzuto, whose research interests include European constitutional and competition law. He has an international research profile in national parliaments and European integration and has previously taught politics.
  • Professor Philip Drake, who has published on the topic of party leaders and their media profile.
  • Dr Ruxandra Trandafoui, who has interests in the politics of the EU and has researched the use of social media by politicians.

The programme includes core modules in political theory, UK, American and European politics, political communications and working in politics, as well as a range of elective modules that allow students to enhance their understanding of particular subjects or pursue individual interests.

“As well as helping students understand the world in which they live and how the processes of policy and decision making affect and determine it, studying Politics equips graduates with transferable skills,” said Paula.

The ability to solve problems, to think critically, to distinguish between fact and opinion and to recognise bias are all valuable graduate skills which are readily transferable to a range of careers.”

Edge Hill has a long history of political involvement, from links with the Suffragette movement to current cutting edge research into Barack Obama’s presidency. The new Politics programme reflects this heritage, drawing on current research and teaching strengths from across the University to help students understand modern politics through practical political experience.