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Philosophy and Politics

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Ready to apply? You can apply for this course online now using the UCAS website. The deadline for UK students to apply for this course is 25 January 2023.

The deadline for international students is 30 June 2023.

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Use these details to apply for this course through UCAS:

  • University name: University of Liverpool
  • Course: Philosophy and Politics LV25
  • Location: Main site
  • Start date: 25 September 2023

Related courses

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Bachelor of Arts

A Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) is a bachelor’s degree awarded for an undergraduate programme in the arts.

Course overview

This programme offers a comprehensive, diverse, inclusive and intellectually stimulating education in philosophy and politics, two subjects which are enhanced when studied in tandem.

Introduction

A detailed understanding of Philosophy enhances the study and practice of Politics. Philosophy is open-ended, questioning and creative, and also involves the critical reading, analysis and understanding of great philosophical texts. Politics shares these features, but also adds more elements of factual knowledge, for instance about the workings of institutions.

Year one concentrates on the development of core philosophical and political knowledge and skills through required modules, while year two consolidates this background and allows some level of choice. The final year allows you to opt to take modules from a wide range of areas and to become acquainted with recently developed or emerging areas of research in the disciplines.

You will become confident in working with abstract concepts and analysing real political practices, and develop skills in analytical, critical and creative thinking. Your presentational and writing abilities will be developed to a level consistent with progression to postgraduate study and/or graduate-level employment. You will develop a number of core transferable skills such as the ability to reconstruct and critically assess arguments, the ability to build a case for a conclusion, and time-management skills.

Year in Industry

This programme is available with a Year in Industry. Year three is spent on a paid placement within an organisation in industry, broadly defined. You will be supported by the School of the Arts and the Department throughout, and your reflective written account of the experience will contribute towards your final degree result. If you wish to study this programme with a Year in Industry, please put the option code ‘YI’ in the ‘Further Choices’ section of your UCAS application form.

What you'll learn

  • A systematic understanding of conceptual and theoretical dimensions of key aspects and issues of both disciplines
  • Confidence in using and thinking reflectively about specialised research techniques and terminology used in either discipline
  • Analytical, argumentative, communication and problem-solving skills
  • Confidence in applying academic study to questions of public concern
  • Conceptual understanding of the main aspects and issues of national and international politics
  • In-depth knowledge of the institutions and policies within the UK and other countries
  • Principles of academic writing and speaking
  • The ability to relate the academic study of politics and communication to questions of public concern and communicate those to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Creative, critical and independent thinking
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Efficient time and information management

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Year one

You will take entirely compulsory modules in your first year, which will provide the building blocks for the rest of your degree.

Compulsory modules

COMPARATIVE POLITICS (POLI107)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

How does politics function in a globalised world? What explains cross-country and cross-time differences in political institutions, behaviour and outcomes?
This module provides an introduction to Comparative Politics by focusing on key concepts and contemporary issues affecting democracies, hybrid regimes and (to a lesser extent) authoritarian regimes across the world. It introduces students to basic debates around the democracy, its causes and consequences, the crisis of the nation state, institutional configurations and their effects, political parties, nationalism and regional integration. The module also introduces the idea of the comparative method and how to apply it to the study of different countries. Teaching is based on a combination of theoretical and empirical perspectives, using case-studies as illustration throughout the module.

CRITICAL, ANALYTICAL AND CREATIVE THINKING (PHIL112)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Taking this module will help you to gain skill in reconstructing and evaluating arguments, in analysing, interpreting, and thinking critically about textual and statistical information, and in thinking creatively. There are 100 minutes’ worth of lectures per week and, running from Week 2 onwards, ten weekly online tests. The first two online tests are purely formative. Each of the remaining eight online tests contributes 5% of the module result. A two-hour on-line examination contributes the remaining 60%.

ETHICS: MORAL CONSTRAINTS AND THE GOOD HUMAN LIFE (PHIL101)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces students to the main arguments and theories in historical and contemporary ethical theory. Taking this module will enhance your abilities to analyse ethical claims and to identify the philosophical assumptions that underlie them. 

FOUNDATIONS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (POLI104)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module provides an introduction to the main schools of thought and key issues in the field of International Relations (IR). It starts by offering an outline of these schools of thought and introduces students to important thinkers and theories within them. It then moves on to applying and comparing and contrasting different theories to a range of important contemporary issues, from the persistence of war to the environment. It concludes with a discussion of possible futures.

FOUNDATIONS IN POLITICS (POLI109)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module provides students with a critical introduction to a number of political concepts such as power, the state, legitimacy of sovereignty and gender through engaging with political thinkers such as Weber, Dahl, Tilly, Hooks and Rousseau. It also aims to establish a grounding in a number of areas that will benefit the students in the academic study of politics. For example, essay writing, debating in seminars, and an introduction to academic research. In so doing the module develops on the skills gained at A-level to ensure students are fully prepared for degree level study in Politics. Principally this will be accomplished through interactive lectures and seminars, as well as detailed feedback on their assessments. This module provides students with the tools they require to master different forms of assessment and course work. It also lays the foundations for the development of research confident students by making them active learners with a responsibility for their own academic study.

Philosophical Insights (PHIL106)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module brings the history of philosophy to life by unpacking the meaning behind well-known philosophical quotations (e.g. ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’; ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman’). The quotations will be selected from key thinkers in the history of philosophy, and will be presented in chronological order. They will also be selected so that the material covered complements, but does not overlap with, readings on other philosophy modules. Students are introduced to well-known philosophical quotations in lectures. The lectures provide background context required to understand the quotations. Students then carry out independent research into the meanings of these quotations after the lecture. In workshops they write short summaries of what is meant by these quotations. In seminars they present and discuss these summaries, and have a debate about the plausibility of the philosophical views underlying the quotations they are working on. At the end of the course they combine three of their five summaries into a wiki, and they write a blogpost on one of the quotations that explains its meaning and evaluates the philosophical views and ideas expressed in it.

Students taking this module will improve their skills in reading and writing philosophy. Students will gain skill in explaining complex information in a concise manner to an audience, in practising the intellectual virtues associated with philosophy, in conducting their own independent research and in critically discussing important ideas in the history of philosophy. They will also gain familiarity with modes of writing other than essays (wikis, blogposts). In addition, there is a two-hour information skills workshop provided by the Library.

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY (PHIL102)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module introduces students to the main arguments and theories in the history of Western political philosophy. Taking this module will enhance students’ abilities to analyse political arguments and claims and to identify the philosophical assumptions that underlie them. The module is taught by lecture (2 x 1 hour per week in person, or pre-recorded mini-lectures available online, depending on the circumstances) and seminar (1 hour per week). Assessment is via a take home exam (2 hour equivalent, weighted at 90% of the module mark) and a 5-10 minute seminar presentation (weighted at 10% of the module mark). Seminar presentations may be recorded by students, if in-person presentation is not possible.

STUDYING POLITICS SUCCESSFULLY: SKILLS AND METHODS (POLI103)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This is an introductory module to practical study skills in the Department of Politics at the University of Liverpool. This module aims to ensure first year students develop the necessary skills to study and research politics. This module provides students with the tools they require to master the different forms of assessment and course work in their modules. It will also lay the foundations for the development of research-led students by making them active learners with a responsibility for their own academic study. The module will help to integrate students into the scholastic life of a research institution by placing emphasis on the value of the academic process to their own learning, as well as shining light upon how they fit within the broader culture and community of academic life. By doing so, this module will enable students to see the value of the academic research process, thereby developing their confidence as active learners rather than as passive consumers of instruction.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Global Opportunities

University of Liverpool students can choose from an exciting range of study placements at partner universities worldwide. Choose to spend a year at XJTLU in China or a year or semester at an institution of your choice.

What's available on this course?

Year in China

Immerse yourself in Chinese culture on an optional additional year at Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University in stunning Suzhou.

  • Learn Chinese
  • Study in a bustling world heritage city
  • Improve employment prospects
  • Study Chinese culture
  • 30 minutes from Shanghai
  • Learn new skills

Read more about Year at XJTLU, China

Year in industry

Year in industry placements give you an in-depth workplace experience where you can develop your skills and apply your learning.

  • Develop key employability skills that graduate employers are looking for
  • Experience and understand workplace culture and disciple
  • Understand the relationship between academic theory and real world application
  • Begin your professional network
  • Gain industry insight and insight into potential career options.

You don't need to decide now - you can choose to add a year in industry after you've begun your degree.

Learn more about year in industry

To spend a year in industry, you'll need to secure a placement with an organisation. If you're unable to find a placement, you'll continue with the standard version of the course without a year in industry.

Language study

Every student at The University of Liverpool can study a language as part of, or alongside their degree. You can choose:

  • A dedicated languages degree
  • A language as a joint or major/ minor degree
  • Language modules (selected degrees)
  • Language classes alongside your studies

Read more about studying a language

Your experience

As a student of both Philosophy and Politics, you will be taught in a variety of buildings across campus. Both Departments are based in Abercromby Square, and will provide you with support and guidance from your very first day.

Virtual tour

Careers and employability

As a student in the School of the Arts, you will be supported to maximise your employability from day one. The School has its own placements and employability officer, and you will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement or a year in industry as part of your programme.

Graduates of both obtain work in fields such as advertising, the arts, broadcasting, commerce, the civil service, computing, corporate communications and public relations, journalism, marketing, NGOs, political campaigning (including political parties, trade unions and charities), law, management, and teaching. Through our SOTA300 module, or the Year in Industry route, you have the opportunity during your degree to apply your academic learning to practical contexts and develop a range of skills attractive to future employers.

 

Preparing you for future success

At Liverpool, our goal is to support you to build your intellectual, social, and cultural capital so that you graduate as a socially-conscious global citizen who is prepared for future success. We achieve this by:

  • Embedding employability within your , through the modules you take and the opportunities to gain real-world experience offered by many of our courses.
  • Providing you with opportunities to gain experience and develop connections with people and organisations, including student and graduate employers as well as our global alumni.
  • Providing you with the latest tools and skills to thrive in a competitive world, including access to Handshake, a platform which allows you to create your personalised job shortlist and apply with ease.
  • Supporting you through our peer-to-peer led Careers Studio, where our career coaches provide you with tailored advice and support.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about tuition fees, funding and student finance.

UK fees
Full-time place, per year £9,250
Year in industry fee £1,850
Year abroad fee £1,385
International fees
Full-time place, per year £20,400
Fees stated are for the 2022-23 academic year and may rise for 2023-24.

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover tuition fees and help with living expenses while at university.

Scholarships and bursaries you can apply for from the United Kingdom

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.

Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

GCSE 4/C in English and 4/C in Mathematics
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

Applications encouraged. BTEC applications are encouraged. We evaluate each BTEC application on its merits.

International Baccalaureate

35 overall with no score less than four

Irish Leaving Certificate H1, H1, H2, H2, H2, H3
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher

AAB in Advanced Highers, combinations of Advanced Highers and Scottish Highers are welcome

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Accepted at grade A including AB at A Level
Access 45 Level 3 credits at Distinction
International qualifications

Many countries have a different education system to that of the UK, meaning your qualifications may not meet our entry requirements. Completing your Foundation Certificate, such as that offered by the University of Liverpool International College, means you're guaranteed a place on your chosen course.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new UCAS cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

Recent changes to government policy which determine the number of students individual institutions may admit under the student number control also have a bearing on our entry requirements and acceptance levels, as this policy may result in us having fewer places than in previous years.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. For this reason, we consider a range of factors in addition to predicted grades, widening participation factors amongst other evidence provided. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted in the prospectus and on the website.

Contextual offers: reduced grade requirements

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Alternative entry requirements

Changes to Philosophy and Politics BA (Hons)

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

7 June 2022: New course pages

New course pages launched.