(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Politics (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Politics and International Relations
UK and EU applicants:
All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you
- think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
- have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
- are returning to university after some time away from education; or
- are looking for more support during the transition into university study.
Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.
Examples of the above tariff may include:
- A-levels: DDD
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP
- T-levels: Pass with E in core
If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.
Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:
We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.
Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Student 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 required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a Student 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.
Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen 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.
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 Edward Morgan-Jones
Reader in Comparative Politics University of Kent
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 develop students' knowledge and understanding of the major theoretical and conceptual foundations of the discipline of political science, and of quantitative methods for studying politics.
To offer students, through a wide range of option choices, a varied menu of sub-disciplinary and area-oriented specialisms in order both to provide students with opportunities to develop an empirical base for the study of politics in different contexts and to broaden their theoretical perspectives.
To provide the opportunity for students to learn about political systems, political behaviour and political ideas.
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 to analyse politics, undertake subsequent academic study and for employment, personal development and social participation.
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-A5 are addressed in lectures, participation in seminars and classes and written comments on essays.
A3 is additionally addressed in optional choices in years 2 and 3 and/or in projects.
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.
An average course work load consists of three essays per modules or equivalent.
Class tests are used to assess A4.
The Project counts as a separate module and is assessed on its own merits.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: To see the political world from unexpected angles.
B2: To ask "how do we know?" about received thinking.
B3: To understand the importance of epistemological positions.
B4: To evaluate and analyse data.
B5: To reason critically.
B6: To argue coherently and persuasively.
B7: To present ideas in a structured form in writing.
These skills are developed in:-
(a) Seminars and classes
(b) class presentations
(c) written comments on essays.
Individual guidance is available for the writing of essays and the construction of presentations.
Opportunities exist to consult a Study Skills Officer.
Essays and written examinations.
C: Practical skills
C1: Synthesis information into simpler conclusions
C2: Find and compile evidence of various kinds
C3: Conduct statistical analyses of data
C4: Present findings confidently to various audiences.
This range of practical skills (C1-C4) is taught in seminars and developed through tutors’ comments on essays, and in supervision of written work.
Essays, projects and examinations are assessed for these skills.
D: Key skills
D1: Clear, focused, relevant and effective expression and communication.
D2: Access/organise information from electronic sources
D3: Understand use of evidence in an argument.
D4: To manage projects and timetables.
D5: Collaborating with others
D6: To develop positive responses to feedback and criticism.
D1-5 are employed in assessed work.
D1-6 are employed in seminars, classes and 1:1 discussions with class teachers and supervisors.
Essays and projects are assessed for qualities that implicitly incorporate all these skills.