(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Philosophy and 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 Josiah Saunders
Associate Professor Durham University
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 sound academic grounding in the disciplines of philosophy and politics.
To encourage students to identify the relevance of philosophy to other forms of enquiry and to other disciplines, especially politics, and its applicability to issues in public and political life.
To develop students'capacities for independent thought and critical reflection.
To equip students with a range of intellectual skills fostered by the study of philosophy and politics, preparing them for subsequent research, further study and a wide variety of careers.
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 and understanding of philosophical texts from a variety of traditions, analytic and continental, and of major philosophical issues.
A2: Knowledge and understanding of the theoretical and empirical aspects of politics.
A3: Knowledge and understanding of the methods appropriate to the discipline in question.
Outcomes A1-3 are achieved through teaching in the form of lectures and classes.
In the former module content is conveyed formally while the latter involve student discussion of that content.
Books and journal articles are recommended to deepen understanding of module content, and to assist in the writing of essays and exams.
Outcomes A1-3 are assessed through continuous coursework and unseen written examinations.
Coursework includes essays, essay plans, essay drafts, abstracts, peer reviews of draft student essays, reading summaries, reading analyses, in-class reading quizzes, logic exercises, take-home exams, individual and group oral presentations, and a final-year 5,000-word dissertation. Coursework is prepared during the academic year for a specified module, returned with a grade and written or oral feedback for the student.
Coursework tests the ability to research a topic using, for example, library and internet resources, expound specified texts and enter into detailed argumentation with them.
Unseen exams test the ability to rehearse and assess arguments in relation to specific questions posed within a limited time frame.
Philosophy modules include examinations in the first year only.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Capacity to follow complex arguments, and to present one's own evaluation of them.
B2: Ability to gather and evaluate large amounts of information and data.
B3: Capacity to summarise complex and demanding texts, and to assess critically their strengths and weaknesses.
B4: Capacity to argue coherently and persuasively.
Skills B1-4 are obtained and developed through the teaching and learning methods described above.
Students are expected to read background material for lectures and classes, and to participate fully in class discussion.
Outcomes B1-4 are assessed through continuous coursework and unseen written examinations.
Coursework (as described above under A: Knowledge and Understanding) is prepared during the academic year for a specified module, returned with a grade and oral or written feedback for the student.
C: Practical skills
C1: Ability to prepare written work or oral presentations, assimilating complex arguments and significant amounts of data, expressing oneself clearly and with argumentative cogency.
C2: Ability to abstract and synthesise relevant information from a range of sources, using books, journal articles, library and internet resources.
C3: Ability to use accepted conventions for presentation of footnotes, references and bibliographies in written work.
C4: Ability to use a range of methods (library and internet resources) to perform bibliographical searches.
Skills C1-4 are gained by the preparation for and writing of coursework, and/or the preparation for and delivery of presentations, in conjunction with guidance given in teaching, in feedback on coursework and in departmental handbooks for both disciplines.
Outcomes C1-4 are assessed through continuous coursework and unseen written examinations.
Coursework (as described above under A: Knowledge and Understanding) is prepared during the academic year for a specified module, returned with a grade and written or oral feedback for the student.
D: Key skills
D1: Ability to communicate effectively.
D2: Use of relevant information technology to research and present written work.
D4: Ability to identify the problem to be solved, to analyse it carefully, and to compare and assess different solutions to it.
D6: Ability to organize one's reading and thinking in relation to specific topics, to work to a deadline, and to learn from comments on coursework and oral communication from teachers.
Skills D1,2,4,and 6 are acquired and developed through the teaching and learning methods described above.
Students are encouraged to use the 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 (as described above under A: Knowledge and Understanding) is prepared during the academic year for a specified module, returned with a grade and written or oral comments for the student.