(BSc) Bachelor of Science
Politics and International Relations (Including Year Abroad)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Politics and International Relations
BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655
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 Max Gallop
Senior Lecturer University of Strathclyde
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 knowledge and understanding of the major theoretical, conceptual and methodological issues associated with the study of political science, political theory and international relations.
- To provide the opportunity for students to learn about existing political science and international relations research.
- To develop and promote students' general analytical and research skills, equipping them for employment or further study as well as personal development and social participation.
- To maintain an intellectual environment that is exciting and challenging, fostering students' capacities for study and dialogue and maintaining high standards of teaching and learning.
- The aim of the Year Abroad is to enable students to broaden their understanding of politics by studying in a partner institution abroad for one academic year.
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 main theoretical and conceptual issues of Politics and International Relations.
A2: Knowledge of the main findings and trends in Politics and International Relations
A3: Knowledge of issues and debates in specialist subjects.
A4: Knowledge of main research designs and techniques.
A5: Knowledge and understanding in a different academic and national context.
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.
A1-A4 are assessed by either a 50:50 combination of coursework and a written examination or by coursework only (with roughly equal numbers of modules of each type).
An average coursework load consists of three essays per module or equivalent.
Class tests are also sometimes used to assess A2 and A4 in particular.
A3-A4 will be assessed climactically by the Capstone project modules.
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 structures form in writing.
These skills are developed in seminars and classes, class presentations, and 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.
There are also more ad hoc opportunities to see and do ‘political science in action’, such as during department roundtables and the annual student conference.
Essays, class tests, presentations and written examinations.
C: Practical skills
C1: Synthesise 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 and organise information from a variety of 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.