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Home > Courses > Courses for 2017 > Undergraduate > Politics with Philosophy
More in this section Politics & International Relations

Politics with Philosophy BA

UCAS code L2V5
Year of entry 2017
View 2018 entry »
Course Length
3 years full time
Department Politics and International Relations »
Philosophy »

This combined degree option gives you the opportunity to combine your studies of Politics (75% of the course) with Philosophy (25%). This will deepen your understanding of politics as well as introduce you to key elements of philosophy such as ancient philosophy and reason, argument and persuasion.

Politics at Royal Holloway invites you to explore the ideas and ideologies, as well as the processes, institutions and issues that are fundamental to understanding the politics of our times. You will gain a solid foundation in politics and political theory and as you progress, the flexible nature of the course allows you to specialise in fields such as European integration, democratic theory, British and American politics, political communication and young people’s politics. You will develop your understanding of power relations at all levels of social life and gain insight into the role of identity, ideology, interests and institutions in shaping the modern world.

  • Ours is an active and engaged student community, and there are opportunities to take part in debating, Model United Nations and party political societies on campus
  • We offer students research placement opportunities with our staff, gaining valuable experience of working at the forefront of political enquiry
  • You will be taught by experts, many of who have advised governments and other organisations

At Royal Holloway we have a unique approach to Philosophy that looks beyond the narrow confines of the Anglo-American analytic or the European tradition of philosophy focus on both traditions, their relationship and connections between them. The result has been the creation of a truly interdisciplinary and collaborative programme that brings together academic staff from departments across the university.

With the opportunity to examine (amongst other things) the mind and consciousness, aesthetics and morals, the self and others, the range of subjects available to Philosophy students at Royal Holloway guarantees that there will be something on offer that really engages you during your time with us.

Core modules

Year 1

Politics and International Relations: Introduction to Politics and Government

This module will introduce you to the academic study of politics and to the ‘real world’ of contemporary politics. As a foundational course, it will give you all the essential tools to understand the nature of politics and analyse the way different political systems work. You will be introduced to key concepts such as politics, power, rights, ideologies, democracy and representation, and will learn about the different actors, institutions and processes that make up politics today.

Politics and International Relations: Classic and Contemporary Readings in Politics and International Relations

This module will introduce you to foundational thinkers and texts in the history of political thought and international relations theory. The first half will explore ideas of community, politics, order and justice in ancient early Christian thought from Socrates to Augustine. The second half will explore how themes of war, peace and the state, as well as liberalism, imperialism and resistance, are developed from the early modern to contemporary period in thinkers such as Hobbes, Kant, Hegel, Smith, Mill, Marx and Fanon.

Politics and International Relations: Introduction to Research Methods in International Relations

This module will provide you with the analytic skills and resources to evaluate, understand, and criticise research findings in politics research. It will also provide you with the practical skills to carry out your own independent research, so that you can produce a high quality dissertation in your final year and graduate with transferable skills that will prepare you for the job market. The module aims to encourage a critical and rigorous approach to research, both in terms of how you evaluate the research of others and how you do your own. These twin goals are important for getting the most out of your time studying politics.

The core module in Philosophy is:

Epistemology and Metaphysics

This module aims to introduce you to some of the key problems that have preoccupied contemporary philosophers. You will look at logical questions relating to the structure of arguments, epistemological questions about the sources and limits of knowledge, and metaphysical questions exploring the relationship between minds and bodies and the possibility of human freedom.

Year 2

The core modules in Philosophy are:

Introduction to European Philosophy 1 - From Kant to Hegel

This module introduces you to aspects of key texts by eighteenth and nineteenth century philosophers Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, which form the foundation of the major debates in both European, and some Anglo-American philosophy. You will explore major issues concerning epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics, and different approaches to these issues, which will be central to the rest of your philosophical and other studies in the humanities and social sciences.

Mind and World

This module examines some of the major metaphysical and epistemological problems that arise when attempting to understand how the mind and language interact with and in the world. It centres on attempts to conceptualise, solve, or avoid mind-body related problems in the analytic tradition and aims to contrast these with phenomenological and existential investigations of related problems.

Year 3

Politics and International Relations: Dissertation

The dissertation offers you the opportunity to pursue independent research in a topic of your own choosing with the support of an academic supervisor working one-to-one with you. You will develop your own research question and research strategy, explore the scholarly debates surrounding your topic, and advance your own thesis that interprets or challenges the way your topic has been understood. You are encouraged to use a variety of quantitative or qualitative methods and theoretical approaches as appropriate to the field you are exploring.

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

European Studies: Comparative Politics of Europe and the European Union

 

Politics and International Relations: Comparative European Politics and Institutions

 

Politics and International Relations: Democracy in Britain

 

Politics and International Relations: Contemporary Political Theory

 

Politics and International Relations: The Politics of Migration and Ethnicity

 

Politics and International Relations: Modern Political Theory

 

Politics and International Relations: Introduction to Political Communication

 

Optional modules in Philosophy include:

Introduction to Logic

This module aims to introduce you to the formal study of arguments through the two basic systems of modern logic: sentential or propositional logic and predicate logic. As well as showing you how to present and analyse arguments formally, you will look at the implications and uses of logical analysis by considering Bertrand Russell’s formalist solution to the problem of definite descriptions, before discussing the broader significance of findings in logic to philosophical inquiry.

Mind and Conciousness

What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? Is the mind inside the brain? Are we any more than highly sophisticated computers? What is consciousness? This module aims to introduce these and related questions, which are central to modern philosophical debates about the nature of mind and consciousness.

Introduction to Aesthetics and Morals

This module aims to provide you with a broad understanding of many of the central problems and debates within moral philosophy and aesthetics. These include questions relating to both metaphysical and ethical relativism, the different ways we might understand our moral commitments within the world, how the individual is related to society, and the value and nature of the work of art. The module presents you with approaches from the history of philosophy, from the Anglo-American tradition, and from recent European philosophy.

Year 2

European Studies: Comparative Politics of Europe and the European Union

 

Politics and International Relations: Comparative European Politics and Institutions

 

Politics and International Relations: Democracy in Britain

 

Politics and International Relations: Contemporary Political Theory

 

Politics and International Relations: The Politics of Migration and Ethnicity

 

Politics and International Relations: Modern Political Theory

 

Politics and International Relations: Introduction to Political Communication

 

Year 3

European Studies: Public Policy and Foreign Policy of the European Union

 

Politics and International Relations: Political Sociology

 

Politics and International Relations: The Politics of the Internet and the Information Society

 

Politics and International Relations: The Politics of Modern Germany

 

Politics and International Relations: Radical Political Theory - Nietzsche and Foucault

 

Politics and International Relations: The Politics of Toleration

 

Politics and International Relations: Social Justice - From Theory to Practice

 

Politics and International Relations: Issues in Democratic Theory

 

Politics and International Relations: Advanced Seminar in British Politics

 

Politics and International Relations: Advanced Seminar in British Politics

 

Politics and International Relations: Advanced Seminar in British Politics

 

Politics and International Relations: Thinking Security - The Theory, Politics and Practice of Security

 

Politics and International Relations: War and its Aftermath

 

Politics and International Relations: Chinese Foreign and Security Policy

 

Politics and International Relations: Visual Politics

 

Optional modules in Philosophy and related subjects include:

The Philosophy of Aristotle

 

The Good Life in Ancient Philosophy 2

 

Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics

 

Philosophy Under the Roman Empire

 

Moral Problems in Politics

 

Nietzsche and Foucault

 

Philosophy of Psychology

 

Practical Ethics

 

The Philosophy of Religion

 

Husserl to Heidegger

 

Critical Theory and Hermen

 

Recovering Reality

 

The Self and Others

 

The Varieties of Scepticism

 

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take twelve course units at the rate of four per year. Some course units are compulsory while others are elective thereby offering flexibility and choice.

Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and end-of-year examination in varying proportions, depending on the course units you choose to take. The first year is foundational and marks do not count towards your final degree. The second year and final year marks do count, with more importance being given to the final year marks in order to reward progress and achievement.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels AAB-ABB

The offer given will take into consideration:

  • subjects taken at A level
  • the educational context in which academic achievements have been gained
  • whether the Extended Project Qualification is being taken
Required/preferred subjects

Preferred subjects: History, Government & Politics, Law, Economics, Philosophy, RE, English Literature, Sociology, Geography, and Psychology

At least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C, including Maths and English.

 
Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall 
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject area 
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject plus 1 A-Level grade B 
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction plus two A-Levels grade B,B 
Welsh Baccalaureate Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate
Scottish Advanced Highers AB plus Higher Level requirements 
Scottish Highers AABBB plus Advanced Higher Level requirements
Irish Leaving Certificate H2,H2,H3,H3,H3 at Higher Level 
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit. Please note that the Access to Higher Education Diploma will only be acceptable if the applicant has had a considerable break from education 

Other UK qualifications

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International and EU entry requirements

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English language
requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall

  • with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in each remaining subscore

For equivalencies please see here

 

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Our outstanding record of success for work and further study puts Royal Holloway in the top 10 for graduate career prospects (Complete University Guide, 2015). It goes to show that our degree programmes not only promote academic achievement but also the means to hone the life-skills necessary to excel, post-graduation.

Choosing a politics based degree at Royal Holloway provides you with a wide range of important transferable skills, enabling you to approach problems in a rigorous, analytical and critical way and to communicate clearly and concisely in both speech and writing. Adding philosophy into your studies not only prepares you well for postgraduate study it also equips you with the skills and qualities that employers are looking for. Philosophy degrees are well-regarded by employers because they give you the capacity to think through issues and problems in a logical and consistent way and to develop critical and transferable skills which can be applied in almost any area of employment from computing to the arts.   

So, by choosing to study this intellectually demanding discipline you will develop a broad range of highly prized transferable skills, such as:

  • the ability to communicate views and present arguments clearly and coherently
  • the ability to critically digest, analyse and summarise complex ideas
  • time management and the discipline to meet deadlines
  • organisation and research skills
  • problem-solving skills and capability

You will leave us with skills and knowledge that will not only make you attractive to employers in a broad spectrum of careers, but will prepare you for further advanced study and research. 

Graduates of this department have secured jobs in a wide range of professions, such as the law, the civil service, accountancy, management, journalism, broadcasting, teaching, international development and diplomacy. In fact, six-months after graduation, 90% of our most recent graduates are enhancing their skills with further study or forging careers in companies and institutions such as:

  • Bloomberg
  • The Church of England
  • Citigroup
  • The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
  • The Conservative Party
  • Ernst & Young
  • The European Commission
  • Global Capital
  • HM Treasury
  • The Henry Jackson Society
  • House of Commons
  • Ipsos MORI
  • The Labour Party
  • KAYAK
  • NATO Headquarters
  • Oxford Business Group
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Quadrangle
  • Save the Children

Many of our graduates have also gone on to further study, entering postgraduate programmes both at Royal Holloway and at other prestigious institutions around the world.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £14,000

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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