In the first year of a Joint Honours degree programme study is split equally between the two disciplines. Following this you have the option to alter the balance of your study, meaning that you could change to a major-minor weighting. In your final year you have the option to maintain your second-year balance, switch your major subject to your other discipline or revert to an equal balance. If you wish, you can maintain an equal balance throughout your degree. This flexibility allows you to tailor the course throughout your degree programme, once you have had the time and experience to consider where your strengths and interests lie. The list of modules below are based on studying half of your modules (60 credits) in Anthropology and half in Political Science (60 credits).
In your first year you take three compulsory modules. Focus on Studying Societies is concerned with core study skills, taking you through all the steps of researching, planning and editing an essay, and enabling you to pursue a group investigation and present your findings orally. Thinking Anthropologically takes a series of core questions (e.g. What is work? What is dirt?) and shows how anthropologists study societies around the world, explaining how people can think very differently about questions that might initially appear simple or obvious. The Anthropology of African module examines the social, economic, and political organisation of a number of African societies and their recent historical transformations.
You are provided with the basic knowledge and skills to study politics. You also have the opportunity to take other introductory social science courses.
Compulsory modules include:
- Understanding Politics (20 credits)
- Research Skills and Literacy: Philosophy and Methods (20 credits)
In this year you take the compulsory Theory, Ethnography and Research (40 credits). This module explains the history of anthropology and its major theories. It finishes with an ethnographic project in which students behave like anthropologists, and engage in close observation and analysis of the social behaviour around them.
In addition, students choose 20 credits of Anthropology optional modules.
You have the opportunity to develop specialised knowledge in areas that you find of greatest interest, such as political theory and analysis, European integration, British politics, American politics, comparative European politics, and political economy.
Compulsory Political Science module:
- Analysing Political worlds
This four year route offers you the additional educational benefit of a year of study in a host University which is approved by the University of Birmingham’s International Office within the Study Abroad and Exchanges scheme, and which the Department deems offers modules relevant to the degree programme and comparable with modules offered at Birmingham. Students with grades of 2.1 or above in their first year are invited to apply for a Year Abroad in their second year and go abroad in their third year. They return to Birmingham for their final year of study.
In your third year, you either write a Dissertation (10,000 words, 40 credits) or take an Independent Study (5,000 words, 20 credits). However, if you are undertaking independent research on the other side of your degree programme, we allow you to choose mainly taught modules in Anthropology, so as to guarantee a reasonable amount of contact time.
In addition to choosing modules from a wide range of options (there are no compulsory final year Political Science modules), students undertake an independent research project on a topic of their own choosing.