(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Politics (Including Placement Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Politics and International Relations
IB: 30 points. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes 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. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
Entry requirements for students studying BTEC qualifications are dependent on units studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis. The standard required is generally at Distinction level.
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 Tier 4 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 Tier 4 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 Nicholas Walter Vivyan
Senior Lecturer University of Durham
Dr Arzu Kibris
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.
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 political science about eg democracy, justice, liberalism and rights, and of methodological issues.
A2: Knowledge of the main findings of existing political science research about political systems (e.g. Britain, Europe, other areas and the international system), political behaviour (e.g. voting behaviour, public opinion and political parties).
A3: Knowledge of developments, issues and debates in the specialist subjects they choose to study.
A4: Knowledge of statistical methods appropriate for political studies.
A5: Knowledge of sources of information for studying politics.
A101: An experience-based understanding of work roles.
A1-A3 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 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 evidence.
B5: To 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.
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: 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 quantitative methods, 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 tutors’ 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 electronic information sources.
D3: Understand the use of quantitative evidence.
D4: To manage projects and timetables. To find, understand and organise information. To work with ideas.
D5: Advanced knowledge of different modes of explanation and theoretical perspectives in international relations or related fields at an appropriate level.
D6: To be receptive to feedback; to manage time and resources and to be self-critical.
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 five relevant key skills are implicit throughout the degree.
1, 2 and 4 are employed in essays.
1 and 6 are employed in seminars, classes and one-on-one discussions with class teachers.
Essays and projects are assessed for qualities that implicitly incorporate all these skills.