BA 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, studying subjects such as democracy and democratisation, elections, power, migration, ethnicity and human rights. As you progress through the degree, 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.
The study of politics is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, drawing on insights from economics, history, philosophy and sociology. 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.
We examine and compare governments, party politics, political behaviour and citizen movements in countries throughout the world. We will introduce you to the growing impact of the internet and new forms of social media that are changing how politics are conducted in the UK, Europe, North America and elsewhere.
The Department of Politics and International Relations has a strong commitment to high-quality, cutting-edge research, all of which informs our teaching. We are a research community that applies various theories and methods to the study of domestic, transnational, regional and global politics. We have expertise in African, British, Chinese, European, Middle East, North American and South Asian politics, and our research covers areas such as security, democratisation, youth politics, international diplomacy and political communication, as well as contemporary and radical theories of democracy and power.
- 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
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.
Introduction to International Relations
This module offers a broad introduction to theory and history in international relations since 1870. You will look at a variety of different theoretical lenses, ranging from orthodox to critical perspectives, in order to understand events from the collapse of the Bismarckian European order and the origins of World War 1 to the contemporary War on Terror. Along the way you will also explore the origins and the end of the Cold War, decolonisation and the End of Empire, the rise of international institutions, humanitarian intervention and new security issues.
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.
Introduction to Research Methods in Politics and 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.
All modules are optional
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.
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.
Only core modules are taken
Understanding the European Union - Politics and Theory
Democracy in Britain
Contemporary Political Theory
The Politics of Migration and Ethnicity
Introduction to Political Communication
International Political Economy
Empire and Decolonisation
War and Security in World Politics
The Politics of Human Rights
Public Policy and Foreign Policy in the European Union
Politics in Action
The Politics of the Internet and the Information Society
The Politics of Modern Germany
Radical Political Theory
The Politics of Toleration
Social Justice: From Theory to Practice
Contemporary Middle East Politics
Comparative Democracy and Elections
Young People’s Politics
The Politics of Africa
Understanding China’s Rise - Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy
American Political Development
The British in India - A Social and Political History
US Foreign Policy
Comparative Foreign Policy
The Making of Modern South Asia
Gendered Communities - Women and Nationalism in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia
Defence in the Post-Cold War World
Global Energy Policy
Refugees and Migration in World Politics
The course has a modular structure: students take 12 course units altogether 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 attached to the final year marks in order to reward progress and achievement.
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
Preferred subjects: History, Government & Politics, Law, Economics, Philosophy, Religious Education, English Literature, Sociology, Geography and Psychology
At least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C, including Maths and English
Other UK Qualifications
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 area plus 1 A Level Grade B
|BTEC National Extended Certificate
Distinction plus A Levels Grade BB
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 at Advanced Higher Level plus Higher Level requirement
AABBB at Higher Level plus Advanced Higher requirement
|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 in a relevant subject area.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
Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below
Please select a qualification
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International and EU entry requirements
Please select your country from the drop-down list below
IELTS 6.5 overall
with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other subscores.
For equivalencies 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 Politics & International Relations at Royal Holloway in the top 10 for graduate career prospects (Complete University Guide, 2015). Our degree programmes not only promote academic achievement and employability. You will learn to approach problems in a rigorous and analytical way, and you will develop your abilities to communicate in both speech and writing.
Our graduates are highly employable and have secured jobs in a wide range of professions, such as public affairs, the law, the civil service, accountancy, management, journalism, broadcasting, teaching, international development and diplomacy. Many of our graduates also go on to further study, entering postgraduate programmes both at Royal Holloway and at other prestigious institutions around the world.
Recent employers include:
- The Church of England
- 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
- NATO Headquarters
- Oxford Business Group
- Proctor & Gamble
- Save the Children
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.