Political Theory and Public Policy (Including Placement Year)

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Academic Year of Entry: 2024/25
Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Political Theory and Public Policy (Including Placement Year)
Withdrawn
University of Essex
University of Essex
Government
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Full-time
Politics and International Relations
BA 7L30
08/05/2024

Details

Professional accreditation

None

Admission criteria

  • A-levels: BBB - BBC or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A-levels.
  • BTEC: DDM - DMM or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of the equivalent of 2 full A-levels. The acceptability of BTECs is dependent on subject studied and optional units taken - email ugquery@essex.ac.uk for advice.
  • Combined qualifications on the UCAS tariff: 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A levels or equivalent. Tariff point offers may be made if you are taking a qualification, or mixture of qualifications, from the list on our undergraduate application information page.
  • IB: 30 - 29 points or three Higher Level certificates with 555-554.
  • IB Career-related Programme: We consider combinations of IB Diploma Programme courses with BTECs or other qualifications. Advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • QAA-approved Access to HE Diploma: 6 level 3 credits at Distinction and 39 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • T-levels: We consider T-levels on a case-by-case basis, depending on subject studied. The offer for most courses is Distinction overall. Depending on the course applied for there may be additional requirements, which may include a specific grade in the Core.

Contextual Offers:

We are committed to ensuring that all students with the merit and potential to benefit from an Essex education are supported to do so. For October 2024 entry, if you are a home fee paying student residing in the UK you may be eligible for a Contextual Offer of up to two A-level grades, or equivalent, below our standard conditional offer.
Factors we consider:

  • Applicants from underrepresented groups
  • Applicants progressing from University of Essex Schools Membership schools/colleges
  • Applicants who attend a compulsory admissions interview
  • Applicants who attend an Offer Holder Day at our Colchester or Southend campus

Our contextual offers policy outlines additional circumstances and eligibility criteria.

For further information about what a contextual offer may look like for your specific qualification profile, email ugquery@essex.ac.uk.

If you haven't got the grades you hoped for, have a non-traditional academic background, are a mature student, or have any questions about eligibility for your course, more information can be found on our undergraduate application information page or get in touch with our Undergraduate Admissions Team.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.

Details of English language requirements, including component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

If we accept the English component of an international qualification it will be included in the academic levels listed above for the relevant countries.

English language shelf-life

Most English language qualifications have a validity period of 5 years. The validity period of Pearson Test of English, TOEFL and CBSE or CISCE English is 2 years.

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Pre-sessional English courses

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Pending English language qualifications

You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.

If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please email ugquery@essex.ac.uk .

Requirements for second and final year entry

Different requirements apply for second and final year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK. Details of English language requirements, including UK Visas and Immigration minimum component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College

Course qualifiers

A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).

  • Applied Data Science: In order to be eligible for the qualifier, you must successfully complete the following modules: Year Two: GV207-5-AU (15 credits) – ‘Political Analysis: Introduction to OLS’ (must also achieve a mark of 70 to be awarded the qualifier) And at least one of the following: GV205-5-SP (15 credits) – ‘Measuring Public Opinion’ GV217-5-SP (15 credits) – ‘Conflict Analysis’ SC208-5-SP (15 credits) – ‘Crime and Inequality Across the Life Course’ Final year: GV300-6-FY (30 credits) – ‘Quantitative Political Analysis’ GV840-6-FY (30 credits) – 'Project:Politics' (must include sufficient quantitative methods as agreed by your Academic Supervisor, and multivariat regression analysis must be undertaken) [Note: GV840-6-FY can be substituted with either of the other final year project modules: GV831-6-FY, GV831-6-FY, GV836-6-FY, EC831-6-FY, GV834-6-FY, or GV830-6-FY]

Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes

None

External examiners

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

Key

Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  GV100-4-FY-CO  Introduction to Politics  Core  30  30 
02  GV151-4-AU-CO  Truth, Justice, and The Nature of Politics  Core  15  15 
03  GV110-4-AU-CO  Thinking Like a Social Scientist  Core  15  15 
04  GV150-4-SP-CO  Politics and Power  Core  15  15 
05    GV112-4-SP or option from list  Optional  15  15 
06    Option from list  Optional  30  30 
07  GV711-4-FY-CO  Career Portfolio  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  GV250-5-AU-CO  Principles of Social Justice  Compulsory  15  15 
02  GV252-5-SP-CO  Discourse, Morality and Power  Compulsory  15  15 
03  GV204-5-SP-CO  British Government  Compulsory  15  15 
04  GV254-5-SP-CO  Ethics and Public Policy  Compulsory  15  15 
05    Government, Social Sciences, Economics or Philosophy option from list  Optional  30  30 
06    Government, Social Sciences, Economics or Philosophy option from list  Optional  15  15 
07    Government or Economics option from list  Optional  15  15 
08  GV711-5-FY-CO  Career Portfolio  Compulsory 
09  GV275-5-SU-CO  Issues in Politics: Final Year Project preparation  Compulsory 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  GV834-6-FY-CO  Placement Year  Compulsory  120  120 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

  • To acquire good knowledge of the conceptual foundations of politics and be familiar with key aspects of the history of political thought.
  • To introduce students to important debates in political theory and public policy.
  • To ensure students are well-grounded in the concepts and principles that underpin public policy, and public life more generally.
  • To develop an awareness of the way language, rhetoric, and ideology influence the character of public institutions and discourses.
  • To show how ethical and normative considerations can be integrated into our understandings and analyses of public life.
  • To help students build a strong foundation in a range of theoretical approaches.
  • To develop a capacity for independent study and research in the area of political theory and public policy.


  • To provide the student with the opportunity to apply their academic learning outcomes in a work-related context.
    To enable students to develop essential work-based skills throughout the placement.
    To provide students with the opportunity to analyse their practical work in a theoretical context.

    Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

    On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

    A: Knowledge and understanding

    A1: knowledge of the conceptual foundations of politics and be familiar with key aspects of the history of political thought.

    A2: Know how to tackle a research problem, and familiarity with relevant methods.

    A3: Good grounding in debates, concepts, and principles that underpin public policy and public life more generally.

    A4: An awareness of the way language, rhetoric, and ideology influence the character of public institutions and discourses.

    A5: Know how ethical and normative considerations can be integrated into our understandings and analyses of public life.

    A101: An experience-based understanding of work roles.

    Learning methods

    Lectures, participation in discussion and debate, and presentations in seminars and classes, reflective essays and other projects, independently produced assignments, oral and written feedback on essays and other assignments.

    A1 specifically in GV150-4-SP (Politics and Power); but other options too.

    A2 specifically in GV110-4-AU (Scientific Reasoning for the Social Sciences), as well as options.

    A3 specifically in GV250-5-AU (Principles of Social Justice), GV253-5-AU (Analysing Policy Discourse), and GV254-5-SP (Ethics and Public Policy), as well as options.

    A4 specifically in GV252-5-AU (Discourse, Rhetoric and Power), but also options such as GV253-5-AU (Analysing Political Discourse).

    A5 specifically in GV250-5-AU (Principles of Social Justice), GV253-5-AU (Analysing Policy Discourse), and GV254-5-SP (Ethics and Public Policy), as well as options.

    Assessment methods

    Modules assessed through presentations, written assignments, essays, projects, and such like, and/or closed examinations.

    B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

    B1: To question received thinking.

    B2: To develop independent thinking

    B3: To muster evidence

    B4: To evaluate and analyse evidence

    B5: To reason critically.

    B6: To argue coherently and concisely

    B7: To communicate ideas effectively in writing

    B8: To carry out independent research

    B101: A capacity to connect subject-specific theory to practice in a work environment.

    Learning methods

    Lectures, participation in discussion and debate, and presentations in seminars and classes, reflective essays and other projects, independently produced assignments, oral and written feedback on essays and other assignments, individual interviews and group sessions with Study Skills Officer.

    Assessment methods

    Presentations, written assignments, essays, projects, exams.

    C: Practical skills

    C1: Organise and structure an extended argument

    C2: Use concepts correctly

    C3: Compile systematic bibliographies.

    C4: Provide references according to accepted conventions.

    C5: Use libraries and IT to access information and scholarly resources

    C6: Sift and synthesise complex information

    C7: Conducting oneself in a scholarly and professional manner

    C101: The ability to communicate with a range of colleagues and clients in a working environment.

    Learning methods

    C1-7. Lectures, participation in discussion and debate, and presentations in seminars and classes, reflective essays and other projects, independently produced assignments, oral and written feedback on essays and other assignments.

    C5 specifically in induction sessions for library use.

    Assessment methods

    C1-7. Written assignments and essays, closed examinations, supervised research paper.

    C1 especially in research paper.

    C3-6 specifically in essays and research paper.

    C2 essays, examinations, and research papers.

    D: Key skills

    D1: Clear, focused, relevant and effective expression and communication.

    D2: Access and organise information from a variety of electronic sources

    D3: Understand the use of evidence in argument.

    D4: To manage projects and timetables. To find, understand and organise information. To work with ideas.

    D5: Discuss and debate issues with fellow members of classes and seminars, or work on joint assignments or projects

    D6: To develop positive responses to feedback and criticism.

    D101: The capacity to work in a team within a work environment.

    D102: Improved personal professional practice through a reflective approach within a work environment.

    Learning methods

    D1-5. Participation in and presentations to seminars and classes, written assignments and essays, research papers.

    D4 specifically in scheduling and balancing requirements for modules taught in parallel.

    D6 specifically in individual guidance on essays, oral and written feedback on essays.

    Assessment methods

    D1-5. Classroom discussion, written assignments and essays, examinations, research papers

    D6 classroom presentations, written assignments and essays.


    Note

    The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

    The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

    Contact

    If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing admit@essex.ac.uk, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing pgadmit@essex.ac.uk.

    If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

    If you think there might be an error on this page, please contact the Course Records Team by emailing crt@essex.ac.uk.