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BA Political Science and Sociology

with Year Abroad

Start date
September
Duration
4 years
UCAS code
LL23
Course Type
Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined, Study abroad year
Fees

For 2020/21:
£9,250 (Home/EU students)
£18,420 (International Students)
More Fees and funding details.

Our BA in Political Science and Sociology brings together two subjects that are intrinsically linked within society. This course will prepare you to tackle a wide range of pressing issues within politics and society and provide an excellent opportunity for you to explore the social changes reshaping the world today.

This degree provides the knowledge and skills to critically engage with key issues facing contemporary societies including globalisation; the changing nature of work and the family; gender roles and sexuality; multiculturalism; and the impact of the media and information technologies.

Political Science looks at how power is exercised, how political decisions are made, and who these decisions are made by. On this programme you will learn about campaigns, elections, protest movements, policy issues and political ideals. You will explore different political arguments, rival theories and alternative explanations, whilst developing your skills in analytical and critical enquiry, debating and self-motivation.

Why study this course?

There are plenty of reasons to study BA Political Science and Sociology with Year Abroad at Birmingham:

  • You will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement through our integrated Professional Development Module.
  • Your experience of studying in a foreign country will help to increase confidence and give you a different academic perspective. We have exchange partners both across Europe and internationally.
  • You will have the chance to take part in an International Model NATO Conference in Washington DC. This experience provides you with a unique opportunity to participate in a role-play exercise of decision-making at NATO, working with delegates from universities and institutions across the globe.
  • We have an on-campus UN modelling event. This is open to all students in POLSIS and attracts students from all around the world.

We have one of the largest and most vibrant international student communities in the UK, with 5,000 international students from more than 150 different countries and 31% of our academic staff from overseas. Find out more about studying as an international student.

From September 2020 all of our BA Political Science programmes will be changing their name to BA Politics, this will include all joint honours programmes. The programme content and modules will be mostly unaffected by this change, but some module changes for our 2021 intake may take place due to the continuous updating of our programmes.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

Visit our FAQs

Modules

Modules in the first year

Compulsory modules

  • Understanding Politics
  • Introduction to Social Divisions
  • The Sociological Imagination
  • Introduction to Political Theory
  • Pathways to Political Research 1 and 2
  • Social Problems and Social Policy: Social Science in Action I and II

Modules in the second year

Compulsory module:

  • Modern Sociological Theory
  • Analysing Political Worlds
  • Britain in Europe and the World

Optional modules

Your second year of study will also provide you with the opportunity to undertake more specialised study in areas of the subject that interest you. You will be able to choose three optional modules from the extensive list of modules that we offer. These modules will build on the knowledge and skills you have acquired thus far on your degree and allow you to tailor your studies in a way that best fits with your interests and future plans. 

Public Choice Theory  Gender and Sexuality  International Political Economy
 Diplomatic History post 1945  British Politics  International Relations Theory
 International Security  International Politics & Security in Russia & Eurasia  `Sociology of Race' and Ethnicity - A Global Perspective
 Global Governance  Islam and Politics in Europe  Comparative Politics
 Exploring Europe: Politics, Economics and Culture  European Union Politics  Introduction to US Domestic Politics
International Politics of East Asia Understanding Foreign Policy  

Year Abroad

In your third year you will register for the equivalent of 120 credits at the host institution. You will have to undertake and pass the assessment for 60 credits of the modules for which you are registered at the host institution. A Pass is required for progression to the 4th year of the programme. These credits will not contribute to the overall degree classification.

  • POLSIS year abroad
  • Year Abroad Assessment Module

Modules in the final year

Compulsory core module

  • Contemporary Social Theory

Pathway one

On this pathway you will write a 10,000 word dissertation in either POLSIS or Sociology on a topic of your choice. You will be guided and supported by a supervisor who is an expert in your area of interest. In addition to writing the dissertation you will be able to take three optional modules.

Pathway two

On the second pathway you take the module Problems in World Politics. This module is designed to allow students to apply the knowledge they have acquired on their degree to real world policy problems in politics. In addition to this independent study module you will be able to take four optional modules.

Optional modules in the final year
 Power in Britain
 Left Parties and Protest Movements
 Technology & Society
 Issues in US Domestic Politics  Sociology of Film  Sociology of Personal Life
 Political Sociology  Sociology of Success and Fame  Democracy and Authoritarianism in Contemporary Europe
 Politics in Russia    

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2020. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2020, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Learn more about fees and funding.

Home/EU students

Undergraduate Home/EU student fees 2020-21
Fee Band Full-time
Undergraduate £9,250

Overseas students

Overseas students entering in 2020-21
Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band 1 (Classroom) £18,420

Scholarships

At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.

The University offers a range of additional financial support for students studying at Birmingham in the form of bursaries, grants and scholarships.

Learn more about our scholarships and awards .


For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

How To Apply

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com using code: LL23.
Learn more about applying.

University of Birmingham's UCAS code number is B32.

UCAS

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

UK, EU and international students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

You submit an application via the UCAS website with a list of up to five courses. All choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see your other choices. Applications must be completed by mid-January of the year that you wish to start university.

You can monitor the progress of your application using the UCAS Apply system.

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
AAB
General Studies:
not accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma are all considered.

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.

International Students

International Baccalaureate Diploma

For students starting their course in 2019 the entry requirements are 6,6,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall.

Standard English language requirements apply
Learn more about international entry requirements.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

We advocate an enquiry-based approach to learning, which means that we encourage you to become an independent and self-motivated learner. Through the programme of study we offer, we will develop the qualities that employers value in today's university graduates - qualities that will set you apart in your future career.

To help you develop the above-mentioned skills, we adopt a range of teaching methods. They may include:

  • Lectures - listening to experts sharing their knowledge and discoveries in challenging and provocative ways. Students are expected to 'read-around' the subject matter of their lectures, adding to their understanding and developing their critical faculties and analytical skills.
  • Seminars - where you present and discuss your ideas and knowledge in smaller groups and debate interpretations and opinions with other students.
  • Tutorials - are your opportunity to discuss your work with your tutor, usually in small groups.
  • Workshops - are problem solving sessions facilitated by a member of academic staff; these sessions usually involve students working in groups.

Our lecturers and tutors will ensure you have all the resources you need to make the transition from A levels to the more rigorous demands of a degree.

More about student experience at POLSIS.

Contact hours

For all undergraduate modules students attend lectures and seminars regularly throughout the term. Contact hours vary dependent on module choice. As well as time with your lecturers and personal tutor, academic and professional services staff (like our dedicated Careers Network team) will be available to offer individual and group support throughout your time here at Birmingham.

Personal Tutor

From the outset, you will be assigned your own Personal Tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies, providing academic and welfare advice, encouraging you and offering assistance in any areas you may feel you need extra support to make the most of your potential and your time here at Birmingham.

Seminars and tutorials

Small-group tutorials/personal tutorials run alongside our lectures, addressing any individual problems you may have and allowing you to consolidate lecture material, as well as test your understanding through problem-solving exercises.

Self study is an essential part of the programme and requires self motivation and enthusiasm for your subject. It also allows you to pursue your own lines of enquiry and become an independent thinker.

Lecturers and world leading researchers

Throughout the course you will be taught by lecturers who have worked in the field of political science and international relations as well as world leading researchers. You can learn more about the School by visiting the School of Government staff pages.

Learning settings

This degree is taught by our internationally renowned Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) which is located in Muirhead Tower on own main Edgbaston campus.

Departments from across the School of Government are all based within Muirhead Tower. The space has been designed to create modern, attractive spaces for teaching and research accommodating 150 academic offices, 230 "hubs" for post graduate research students, teaching rooms for up to 100 people and a 200 seat lecture theatre.

Your lectures and teaching will take place in a variety of versatile lecture theatres and breakout rooms. Our rooms are all equipped with wireless connection and constantly updated technology including all the audio-visual equipment that you would expect from one of the UK's premier institutions.

Throughout your time on the Political Science and Sociology with year abroad BA course, employability is a key area of focus. We help to make sure that you are employable through a range of department led and university wide initiatives which include:

Input from Professional Careers Advisers in your Curriculum

During the first year of your studies Careers Advisers from the University Careers Network team attend lectures in your course to support you with career planning from an early stage. The lectures will cover career planning, researching career and internship opportunities, developing the skills that graduate employers are looking for, and presenting yourself with impact to a potential employer.

Professional development module

You will have the unique opportunity to take advantage of a work placement as part of your final year by undertaking the Professional Development Module as part of your optional module choices.

Your Birmingham degree

Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Visit the University of Birmingham Careers pages for further information on how we are 'Investing in your future'.

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