Birkbeck, University of London

Politics Birkbeck, University of London Degree level: Undergraduate Awarded by: University of London

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When the right-wing terrorist Anders Breivik killed 77 people in Norway in July 2011, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said his country’s appropriate response would be 'more democracy, more openness, but not naivety'. Other leaders might have reacted differently to the same event. The purpose of this undergraduate programme is to offer you the skills to not only understand major political issues that affect the lives of millions of citizens in the UK and beyond - such as populism, terrorism, war and peace, Euroscepticism - but also develop your own views about them.

Politics can be understood as decisions about who gets what, when and how, as American political scientist Harold Lasswell famously put it, but complex issues are rarely the result of a single factor or process. This means that students need access to a very broad range of expertise. This is what our Department of Politics - one of the best known in London and beyond - offers.

Our academics are experts in a very broad range of geographical areas, including Britain, America, Europe and the Middle East. They publish in major academic journals on several sub-fields in the study of politics such as:

  • public policy (ie when faced with an economic crisis why do some governments opt for funding cuts in what is known as ‘austerity’?)

  • international political economy (eg why do some governments try to expand while others restrict it?)

  • voting behaviour (whether different groups of people vote for different political parties)

  • how the European Union works

  • whether and how emerging powers such as Brazil and India seek to affect major international political and economic decisions.

In other words, you will be taught on the basis of new knowledge generated by the people teaching you. We seek to engage not only with the wider public by publishing articles in newspapers and journals, but also to engage with politicians who make actual political decisions.

Two special features of this programme are:

  • an option module on Parliament called Parliamentary Studies, which is taught in conjunction with the House of Commons outreach service

  • several study skills workshops including ones on note taking, how to write an essay, and exam preparation.

Highlights

  • Birkbeck is a distinguished centre of research and teaching excellence in politics. Our central London location puts us at the heart of the UK's political life and at the centre of academic London. Our courses are designed to encourage independent thinking and hone your argumentative, analytical and critical skills, while our teaching uniquely moves across the boundaries between subjects, encompassing, among others, economics, history and sociology.

  • Our Department of Politics is over 40 years old and has a reputation for the excellence of its teaching and its internationally significant research.

  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17thin the UK.

  • In the 2017 National Student Survey, our courses came top in London and fourth in the country for overall course satisfaction.

  • Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

  • Read more about our Department's top news stories, our world-class research, our 40-year history, and what it's like to study with us.

Course details

Modules

For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.

Assessment method

Coursework and examinations


How to apply

You can no longer submit a new application for courses starting in 2019.

If you already have a 2019 application and are in Clearing, you can add this course as a Clearing choice in Track – contact the university or college first to check they have places.

Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

15 January

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

Course code LL20
Institution code B24
Campus name Main Site
Campus code -

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.


Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Qualification Offer Further information
UCAS Tariff 120 - 128 points The UCAS tariff score is applicable to you if you have recently studied a qualification that has a UCAS tariff equivalence.

We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.

Alternative entry routes:
Access to Higher Education Diploma with a minimum of 15 credits achieved at Merit or Distinction in humanities or social science units.

Students who have completed Birkbeck's Certificate of Higher Education in Politics and Government may be given entry to the second year of the degree.

You can progress onto this degree if you successfully complete the foundation year of our BSc Social Sciences with Foundation Year course. This is an ideal route onto an undergraduate degree if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied this subject, or if you didn't achieve the grades you need for a place on this degree.


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Channel Islands £9,250 Year 1
EU £9,250 Year 1
International £13,675 Year 1
England £9,250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9,250 Year 1
Scotland £9,250 Year 1
Wales £9,250 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases

Provider information

Visit our website

Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
Bloomsbury
Camden
WC1E 7HX


Clearing contact details

Admissions Office

020 3907 0700


Course contact details

Visit our course page
Birkbeck Student Advice Service

0203 907 0700