The study of politics entails more than the study of government. This programme is concerned with the way in which we understand and communicate about the problems and conflicts we face, and the formal exercise of power.
You'll learn that we cannot make sense of the ways in which politics affects every aspect of our lives without first addressing the ways in which the concept of ‘politics’ is constructed in the first place.
We will develop your critical and analytical skills, providing you with a thorough grounding in the major aspects of modern political studies, including political theory, international relations, political economy, British and European comparative politics and the politics of non-Western countries.
Through a study of diverse topics, such as feminism, foreign policy, and human rights, you'll sharpen your ability to evaluate complex, challenging claims. You’ll see that politics encompasses the most difficult challenges humanity faces, and you’ll learn how to engage with these challenges in a sophisticated, persuasive way.
A degree in politics is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable subjects you can study at university. And the skills you’ll gain will stay with you forever.
Why study BA Politics at Goldsmiths?
- This programme extends beyond the conventional - we'll look at how and why politics is practised in such different ways around the planet
- Our research interests are as diverse as the discipline of politics; you’ll have the option of studying from the full range of subjects that we offer (subject to prerequisites)
- You’ll learn about the politics of the Houses of Parliament and the United States Senate, but you’ll also learn about the political decisions which take place in the class room, the company directors’ meeting, the art gallery and the internet forum. Through these (and more) diverse studies, we’ll help you to question your own assumptions and beliefs in order to give you the ability to question the assumptions and beliefs of others
- In your third year you’ll be able to put these skills into practice in our Work Placement programme. We have links with the Home Office, Department for Transport, local government and the European Commission
- We have a lively events programme that attracts renowned speakers, so you'll have the opportunity to hear (and challenge) the latest political arguments, theories and ideas
- We've been recognised as one of the UK's top political universities as voted for by students (Which? University 2014)
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Paul Gunn
Modules & structure
Students take a total of 120 credits comprised of these compulsory modules:
|Political Theory and Ideologies||30 credits|
|UK and European Comparative Governance and Politics||30 credits|
|World Politics||30 credits|
You will also study either Introduction to Political Economy and Introduction to Economic Policy or Politics of Other Cultures:
|Introduction to Political Economy||15 credits|
|Introduction to Economic Policy||15 credits|
|The Politics of Other Cultures||30 credits|
Students take a total of 120 credits from the list of options currently available in the Department:
Students write a research dissertation (30 credits) and make up their remaining 90 credits from the list of options currently available in the Department:
|An(other) China: Streetscenes of Politics||15 credits|
|An(other) IR – Views from the South||15 credits|
|Beyond All Reason||15 credits|
|Britain and Europe||15 credits|
|Colonialism and Non-Western Political Thought||15 credits|
|Work Placement||15 credits|
|Critical Security Studies||15 credits|
|Ethics and Economics of Environmental Protection||15 credits|
|Feminist Politics||15 credits|
|Finance and the Global Political Economy||15 credits|
|International Political Economy 2||15 credits|
|Liberal Government and Power||15 credits|
|Movements and Conflict in the Middle East: from the Arab Spring to ISIS||15 credits|
|Nationalist Conflict and International Intervention||15 credits|
|New Radical Political Economy||30 credits|
|Political Economy of the European Union||30 credits|
|Politics of Conflict and Peacebuilding in Contemporary Africa||15 credits|
|Rhetoric and Politics||15 credits|
|An(other) Japan: Politics, Ideology and Culture||15 credits|
Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.
Credits and levels of learning
An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
International Baccalaureate: 33 points including three HL subjects
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including distinctions/merits in subject specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher), BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: A1 A1 A2 B2
If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.
For this programme we require:
IELTS 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5
If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.
Read more about our general entrance requirements.
Voted one of the top political universities in the UK by students**
Politics and International Relations
Politics and International Relations at Goldsmiths doesn’t just examine parliaments, voting systems and the formal arenas of political power. We explore ‘the politics behind politics’ – the major economic, social and cultural conflicts that are hidden by the formal veneer of institutions, but are central to everyday life.
We study politics and international relations for the 21st century, in which anarchism may be as important as liberalism, and in which Asia and Africa are as economically and geopolitically important as Europe and North America.
Find out more about the Department of Politics and International Relations.
**Which? University 2014
Learning & teaching
On this degree you'll attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills.
The teachers are imaginative and innovative in their methods, to bring together theories and concrete examples. We use various assessment methods, such as asking you to write blog posts and contribute to Twitter discussions. Class presentations, writing various types of documents (such as a policy report) and collaborative work with other students are all important parts of our teaching process, which aims to give you confidence and practical experience in the skills that you will need later in your career.
But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning in lectures and seminars, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.
This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers.
Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:
- Independent learning
- The Goldsmiths Virtual Learning Environment
Skills & careers
This programme will develop you intellectually, and will enhance your transferable and communication skills – learning to plan your workload, to research solutions, and to express your ideas coherently.
Our graduates go on to a wide variety of careers. Some go on to postgraduate study or further training in law, accountancy, social work, business administration, or to specialise in one area of their academic studies, whilst others go directly into employment.
Recent graduates have found employment in administration and management; in various departments of central and local government; in finance, in the media; in research and computing; in voluntary agencies; in health, education and housing management; the probation service; in company management, and as lecturers and teachers. You can find out more about the career paths open to you after graduating on our Politics and International Relations careers page.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
Fees & funding
Find out more about applying.