Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code

L200

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

Length

3 years full-time or a minimum of 4 years part-time

Course overview

Please note, this programme has been suspended for 2020 entry.

For 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of this programme are delivered. Find out more

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 classroom, 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

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Professor Carl Levy or Dr Paul Gunn (for information about applying).

What you'll study

Year 1 (credit level 4)

Students take a total of 120 credits comprised of these compulsory modules:

Year 1 compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Political Theory and Ideologies 30 credits
  UK and European Comparative Governance and Politics 30 credits
  World Politics 30 credits

You will also study 30 credits worth of modules from the following list.

Module title Credits
  Introduction to Political Economy 15 credits
  Introduction to Economic Policy 15 credits

Year 2 (credit level 5)

In your second year, you will take the following compulsory module.

Year 3 compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Modern Political Theory 30 credits

Students take a total of 90 credits from the list of options currently available in the Department.

Year 2 option modules Module title Credits
  Political Economy 30 credits
  Making Modern Japan 15 credits
  Modern Britain: Politics from 1979 - today 15 credits
  Rough Politics 15 credits
  Global Governance and World Order 15 credits
  International Political Economy 2 15 credits
  Security Studies 15 credits
  Contemporary International Relations Theories 15 credits
  Europe Since 1945 15 credits
  US Politics and Foreign Policy 15 credits
  International Politics of the Middle East 15 credits
  Liberalism and its Critics 15 credits
  Ideologies and Interests: Political Thought in Modern Britain 15 credits
  Topics in International Economics 15 credits

Year 3 (credit level 6)

Students write a research dissertation (30 credits) and make up their remaining 90 credits from the list of options currently available in the Department:

Year 3 option modules Module title Credits
  New Radical Political Economy 30 credits
  Anarchism 15 credits
  Colonialism and Non-Western Political Thought 15 credits
  An(other) China: Streetscenes of Politics 15 credits
  Contemporary Theories 30 credits
  Feminist Politics 15 credits
  Political Islam: Ideology and Discourse 15 credits
  Boom and Bust: Economic Crises in Theory and History 15 credits
  Philosophy, Freedom and Existence 15 Credits
  Armed Politics and Political Violence 30 credits
  The Politics of Popular Music 15 credits
  Feminist Economics 15 Credits

Teaching style

This programme is mainly taught through scheduled learning - a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 11% scheduled learning, 89% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework, examinations, group work and projects.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 63% coursework, 38% written exam
  • Year 2 - 79% coursework, 19% written exam
  • Year 3 - 100% coursework

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2018/19. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about .

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.

Download the programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

What our students say

Andrew Jemmott

I feel that my experiences will assist me in the decision-making process, allowing me to be more considerate of how unintended consequences can adversely affect the lives of others.

I have recently completed an MSc in Development Studies at the London School of Economics. I was inspired to engage in additional learning after having undertaken an undergraduate degree in Politics at Goldsmiths. It was important to me because in my undergraduate studies I was exposed to challenging subjects including political theory and political economy. I wanted to explore these subjects more and the relationship between them and socioeconomic development. I subsequently applied for the MSc course at the London School of Economics. After successfully obtaining a place on the course, I was exposed to new challenges because the course incorporated history, theory, policy and some quantitative aspects of economics. Despite these new challenges I have always envisioned my career in a policy orientated role. It was thus important for me to go beyond undergraduate studies given the impact that economic policy has on people's lives. I now feel that this extensive study in combination with a career in a government body will assist me in my endeavours. I feel that my experiences will assist me in the decision-making process, allowing me to be more considerate of how unintended consequences can adversely affect the lives of others. I feel that my time and Goldsmiths provided me with the foundation necessary to getting institutions correct and I am prepared to pursue my career.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

International qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Fees & funding

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £9250
  • Home - part-time: £4625
  • EU - full-time: £9250
  • EU - part-time: £4625
  • International - full-time: £16390

If your fees are not listed here, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Tier 4 student visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

We offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, and our careers service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.

Careers

Skills

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.

Careers

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.