Year 1 provides the foundation of your studies with a set of compulsory modules. You’ll be introduced to all of the core areas of the School’s expertise, covering topics including political theory, comparative and British politics, international relations and development studies, as well as gaining the research and academic skills you need to study politics. You’ll also have the choice of an optional module, to help you start developing your own research interests.
You’ll then build on your knowledge in the following year, with compulsory modules that allow you to gain new skills in political research and explore different areas of political theory. Around this, you’ll choose from more advanced modules in topics such as UK politics, electioneering and the political systems of different countries and regions. In addition, you can select options from a range of modules on broader topics like approaches to development, security studies or international relations.
In your final year, you’ll pursue your own specialist study. You’ll produce an extended piece of individual research on a topic of your choosing when you complete your dissertation, and select from a wide range of specialised modules delivered by staff in areas of their own research expertise. Topics could include feminist political thought, human rights, political psychology, political extremism, the relationship between the EU and the wider international community, the politics of aid, terrorism or violence and reconciliation in African states.
Parliamentary Studies Pathway
At the end of Year 1, you’ll have the opportunity (exclusive to BA Politics students) to apply for one of a limited number of places on our four-year BA Politics and Parliamentary Studies pathway, transferring into Year 2 of that programme if you are successful. You’ll take some of the same modules as BA Politics students, but you’ll also have a closer focus on topics such as the UK Parliament, in preparation for your placement year. This will prepare you to spend Year 3 on a related placement before returning to Leeds for your final year of study. On your return you will have a wide range of module options to choose from, including options specific to British politics and parliament, whilst also developing your dissertation.
This exciting placement year could mean working with an MP at Westminster, at a party headquarters, in a constituency office or another political organisation. It’s an excellent opportunity to gain an insight into the workings of parliament and government, put your knowledge and skills into practice and gain valuable work experience to support your future career plans.
Quantitative Research Methods (QRM) Pathway
At the end of Year 1, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for a place on our BA Politics with Quantitative Research Methods pathway. This pathway will help you develop advanced analytical skills, which are in high demand across the public, private, and third sectors. You will learn statistical analysis techniques and their application to real data (e.g. survey data, countries’ statistical data) using statistical software. You will also write a dissertation in which you will analyse quantitative data to examine questions about politics, development or international relations.
You are not required to have done Mathematics at A level, this pathway is open to all students as long as you have attained an overall 2:1 in your first year and a 2:1 in the Comparative Politics module.
Details of typical modules/components for our courses will now be published after July 1st (instead of May 1st), due to current limitations as a result of covid-19. These details may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you gain diverse skills. These will include seminars and workshops where you can discuss in more depth the topics set out in traditional lectures. We emphasise the importance of participation, presentation skills and group work.
Independent study is also a vital element of the course, as it allows you to develop your research and critical skills while preparing for taught sessions.
You’ll also have a personal tutor – one of our academics – who will be on hand to offer you guidance and support on academic issues, such as module choices, as well as career and personal matters.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
Modules will use a variety of assessment methods. As well as traditional exams, you could also be asked to complete essays, case study based projects, policy briefs, group presentations, work logs, research briefs, project proposals or development agency reviews. In your final year you’ll also submit a 10,000 word dissertation.