(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Including Placement Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Politics and International Relations
GCSE: Mathematics C/4
BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655. Either must include Standard Level Mathematics grade 4 or Higher Level Mathematics grade 3. We will accept grade 4 in either Standard Level Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Standard Level Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation.
Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above or 4 in IB Middle Years Maths.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme Courses (formerly certificates) at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
Access to HE Diploma:15 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
T-levels: Distinction, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?
If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.
What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.
You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here
If you are a mature student, further information is here
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
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.
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 here.
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
Dr Katharine Dommett
Senior Lecturer The University of Sheffield
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.
To provide a rigorous training in the basics of these three disciplines and a sound academic grounding in at least two of them.
To develop students' knowledge and understanding of:
To offer students, through a range of option choices, a varied menu of sub-disciplinary and area-oriented specialisms in the subjects in order to:
- the significant literatures in politics, philosophy, and economics;
- the theoretical and empirical dimensions of the subjects, where appropriate; and
- the interplay between methods, theories and evidence.
To equip students with a rang of generic and subject-specific skills fostered by the study of politics, philosophy, and economics.
To maintain an intellectual environment that is exciting and challenging, fostering students' capacities for creative study and dialogue and maintaining high standards of teaching and learning.
To develop and promote students' skills and capacities for independent thought and critical reflection in the three subject areas, with a view to subsequent academic study, employment, personal development, and social participation.
- ensure that they have solid knowledge of at least two sub-field of politics, philosophy, or economics;
- provide them with opportunities to develop an empirical base for the study of economics and politics in different contexts; and
- to broaden their theoretical and philosophical perspectives.
- The aims of the Placement Year are:
- 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 different conceptual, theoretical and normative perspectives within the discipline, whether politics, philosophy, or economics.
A2: Knowledge of the main findings of existing research and the current state of the literature in the relevant discipline.
A3: Knowledge of developments, issues and debates in the relevant discipline.
A4: Knowledge of methods appropriate for the relevant discipline.
A5: Knowledge of sources of information for studying the relevant discipline.
A101: An experience-based understanding of work roles.
A1-A5 are addressed in lectures, participation in seminars and classes and written comments on assignments and essays.
A3 is additionally addressed in optional choices in years 2 and 3 and/or in projects.
In politics and philosophy the assessment of most full-year modules is normally based equally on course work and on a written examination, each counting for 50 per cent of the final mark.
Apart from philosophy courses, where the coursework load normally comprises two essays, an average module work load consists of three essays per modules or equivalent.
Assignments and class tests are also sometimes used.
In Economics, skills A1-A5 are assessed in final examinations and coursework.
Coursework takes the form of assignments and tests (especially A1, A4, A5) in introductory and intermediate level courses.
Coursework takes the form of term papers (especially A2, A3, A5) for advanced undergraduate courses.
Coursework counts for up to 50 per cent of the aggregate mark in each economics course and cannot lower the aggregate mark for any economics module.
The Project counts as a separate module and is assessed on its own merits.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: To question received thinking.
B2: To develop their own thinking
B3: Advanced knowledge of different modes of explanation and theoretical perspectives in political science and political theory at an appropriate level.
B4: To analyse and evaluate data.
B5: To analyse and evaluate arguments and reason critically.
B6: To argue coherently and persuasively.
B7: To present ideas in a structured form in writing.
B101: A capacity to connect subject-specific theory to practice in a work environment.
These skills are developed in:- (a) Seminars and classes (b) class presentations (c) written comments on essays and assignments.
Individual guidance is available for the writing of essays and the construction of presentations.
Opportunities exist to consult a Study Skills Officer in the Government Department.
Essays and written examinations.
C: Practical skills
C1: Organise and structure an extended argument, advancing clear critical positions.
C2: Use theoretical terms correctly.
C3: Compile systematic bibliographies.
C4: Provide references according to accepted conventions.
C5: Use methods appropriate to the discipline, and abstract and synthesise relevant information.
C101: The ability to communicate with a range of colleagues and clients in a working environment.
This range of practical skills (C1-C5) is taught in seminars and developed through comments on essays, and in supervision of written work.
Essays and projects are assessed for these skills while written examinations are assessed for skills C1, C 2 and C5.
D: Key skills
D1: Clear, focused, relevant and effective expression and communication.
D2: To use word processing software and/or electronic information sources.
D4: To manage projects and timetables. To find, understand and organise information. To work with ideas.
D6: To be receptive to feedback; to learn new material and to improve ways of learning.
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.
The key skills are implicit throughout the degree.
Skills D1, 2, 4 and 6 are acquired and developed through the teaching and learning methods described above.
Students are encouraged to use University key skills on-line package, word processing packages, library searches and internet resources.
Outcomes D1, 2, 4 and 6 are assessed through continuous coursework and unseen written examinations.
Coursework consists of essays written during the academic year for a specified course, returned with a grade and written comments.