- A level requirements: AAB
- UCAS code: L210
- Study mode: Full-time
- Length: 3 years
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Studying Politics develops an in-depth and critical understanding of government and society at local, national and international levels. You will learn to ask questions of power, justice, order, conflict, legitimacy, accountability, obligation, sovereignty, governance and decision-making
This flexible and broad programme explores the different approaches to political science in a range of national and international settings. It draws on the expertise of world leading scholars in the field and their cutting edge research to create an engaging, research led course.
You will explore political ideas, systems and processes and you will learn how to collect data, develop knowledge, construct arguments and communicate your findings in different ways.
In your first year you will be introduced to the building blocks of political studies, meaning that no prior specialist knowledge is required. Then in your second and third year you will have the freedom to explore the areas of political study that interest you the most. With a wide range of modules to choose from you can focus your degree in one or two areas or cover a whole variety of topics from British Politics, gender analysis, International Relations, political theory, comparative politics and much more.
There are also options to get involved in a number of different placement schemes including the opportunity for year three students studying Politics at Single Honours to apply to take part in the Parliamentary Placement Scheme.
Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.
In your first year you will be introduced to the building blocks of political studies, meaning that no prior specialist knowledge is required.
The module is designed to introduce key elements of British Politics in terms of political parties, voting behaviour and elections, ideologies and key aspects such as gender and media.
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.
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.
This introductory politics module focuses on the distribution of power in Britain and the nature of the British state. It outlines the traditional conception of the British political system as the ‘Westminster Model’ and considers the implications of this model for how democracy is conceived and how political power is mobilised, in whose interests and with what consequences, primarily in the UK but also in former British colonies and dependencies. The module examines the various component parts of the British political system including the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Parliament, the judiciary, the civil service , regional and local government and devolved institutions, from both a constitutional and political-sociological perspective. It also assesses the emerging impact of Brexit on the UK political system and for the distribution of political power within it, including consideration of the role of ‘imperialist imaginaries’ in shaping discussion of the UK’s post-Brexit future. The module assumes no prior knowledge of the British political system or the particular issues under consideration.
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.
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.
In this module we will explore questions such as: how should we define liberty? Is equality always desirable? And what does it mean to be a liberal, Marxist or feminist? To do so, we will critically evaluate the ideas and arguments of prominent political and moral theorists, including Plato, John Locke, Mary Wollstonecraft, Karl Marx, John Rawls, Cécile Laborde, Audrey Lorde, and bell hooks. By the conclusion of the module, you will have developed a deeper understanding of key concepts and approaches in political theory, as well as the skills for formulating, assessing and communicating philosophical arguments, including their implications for laws, institutions and society.
In year two you move on to more specialist modules to develop your path of study based on your own interest. You have completely free choice in your modules in your second year and the opportunity to design the degree that most interests you. You also have a number of different opportunities to study abroad and to widen your knowledge and experience through that scheme.
The international system has no central authority that makes and enforces laws, yet it is not totally anarchic. A large number of international organisations allows states to co-operate in areas as diverse as the economy, international security, or the protection of the environment. The aim of this module is to enable students to systematically study international organisations. We focus on key questions: How do international organisations become (and remain) legitimate? Are they independent from their member-states? What inequalities and hierarchies do they transform or reproduce? Through a series of empirical examples – such as the United Nations, the WTO, the World Bank – students will be able to systematically analyse the role and functions of international organisations in global politics.
Understanding security in international relations and how it is challenged by contemporary globalisation.
This module introduces students to the study of elections and voting behaviour. It uses post-war British elections and referendums as the focal point for introducing key political science debates about voting and party competition and as a context for analysing political change in Britain. In place of seminars, students attend required data lab sessions, in which they are taught quantitative skills (e.g. t-test, Chi- Square test, statistical correlation, linear regression) through the analysis of key election datasets (e.g. vote shares, opinion polls, election surveys, candidate spending) in guided PC sessions. These sessions involve the use of both Excel and SPSS software and students will need to be confident in their ability to undertake basic mathematical procedures and to learn introductory statistical methods.
This module examines the governing institutions and processes associated with the US federal government, and how these interact with core linking institutions and structures of society to create what is understood as the American political process.
After years of authoritarian stasis, the tectonic plates of Middle East politics began to shift with the "Arab Spring" of 2011. Much media analysis reduces political explanation of the region’s politics to a single variable (Islam) or its impact on Europe (refugees, terrorism). This module will provide students with the tools to analyse the region’s politics in its richness. Students will critically engage with key concepts and debates in the study of Middle East comparative politics. These include the role of oil and the "rentier-state", democratisation and authoritarian resilience, and the role of religion in politics.
The module examines devolution in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and within England. How did it come about? How has it changed politics in each country? How have political parties responded and what are the key devolved issues in each country?
This module examines struggles for democracy across history from a comparative perspective, focusing on contemporary Southeast Asia. It challenges students to reflect on why a particular variety of democracy, representative government (or ‘polyarchy’), has become one of the dominant political systems in the modern world. It explores the circumstances under which dictatorship gives way to representative government, and the conditions under which representative systems have the best chance of surviving. We will examine the prospects for democracy in Southeast Asia, asking whether the region will follow the examples of Europe and Latin America or whether new hybrid political systems might consolidate themselves. The course focuses on three major approaches to questions of democratisation: modernisation theory; the social forces tradition; and transition theory. These rival theories provide the framework for an exploration of global trends (‘waves of democracy’, and ‘reverse waves’ of democratic breakdown) and recent Southeast Asian developments. The course assists in the development of student skills, specifically in conducting case studies and performing straightforward statistical analyses using a spreadsheet.
This module aims to develop students’ knowledge of British political parties and the party system within which they operate. It explores questions and issues surrounding party structure and organisation, electoral strategy, party ideology and the socio-historical contexts which lead to the rise of certain types of parties rather than others.
This is a challenging module offered to second year undergraduate students which combines classic approaches to and recent developments on the study of the relationship between public opinion and public policy in advanced democracies with research design aspects. This is a research-connected teaching module for motivated students who are interested in understanding the role of public opinion in policy and how research is conducted. Students will be constantly exposed to high-quality research based on sophisticated theories and empirical analyses on the opinion-policy nexus. The module will scrutinise questions like: Do parties respond to voters? Are political elites’ views congruent with those of voters? Do policymakers stick to their election mandate or represent changes in public opinion’s preferences and priorities? Under what circumstances do policymakers change their policy? To what public opinion signals do they respond? Do governments respond to protest? Does public opinion respond to policy? Are policy views of some groups represented differently? Do politicians listen and explain their decisions?
Scholars have provided answers to such questions with different methodologies and research designs (e.g., large-N designs, comparative designs and experimental designs). Throughout the module, we will vivisect excellent research by discussing how scholars have designed their research on opinion-policy: What are their hypotheses? How do they conceptualise terms like responsiveness and congruence? How do they measure and operationalise their concepts? What data do they collect to answer their research questions and test their hypotheses? What are the advantages and limitations of their research?
At the end of the module, students will become familiar with opinion-policy research and its findings. Their coursework submission will be a research design based on a topic from the module. This module will push students beyond their comfort zone but will also give them the preconditions for undertaking a successful dissertation in their final year.
This module focuses on the concept, institutionalization, and politics of human rights in international politics. It will provide an overview of the philosophical foundations and debates on human rights. Students will learn about the history and development of human rights in international politics. The module will explore how policies, institutions, and actors aim to improve human rights regionally and globally. It will critically assess the efforts to promote and protect human rights in international politics. At the same time, the module will look at human rights in various regions in the world, as well as issues including war crimes, genocide, torture, environmental rights, women and children’s rights and others.
This module will introduce core concepts in contemporary gender politics – including feminist theoretical understandings of power, agency, institutions, citizenship and the state. Gender and feminist politics will be explored more deeply by engaging with intersecting identities and current theories of the concept ‘woman’. Concepts will be illustrated with real world, contemporary case studies (for example, gender based violence and reproductive rights) and also consider non-traditional forms of political engagement including activist organising. The module will encourage students to critically engage with topics through popular culture, media sources, films, books and pod casts and reflection on their own experience. Research and presentation skills will be developed through coursework assessment.
Are voters rational? What is the effect of electoral systems on parties’ platforms? How do Special Interest Groups and the Media affect politics? What is the effect of economic shocks on the demand for populist parties? How do autocracies work? What is the role of violence in autocratic regimes? These are some of the puzzles this course aims to explore using seminal works in political economy. Political economy uses tools from economics to study how political actors, institutions, and choices shape economic or political outcomes. This course covers recent advances in both theoretical and empirical political economy. Students will be introduced to methods in empirical analysis (OLS, Instrumental Variable, Panel Data). These methods will be applied to modern day political problems, in particular, the study of democratic and autocratic politics.
This module examines politics in the ancient world via narratives about the past (or ‘history’), and at the same time evaluates the role of history in politics. Moving from the Near East to Greece and then Rome, students learn about key political events (for example the battle of Marathon and the Jewish revolt), political phenomena (for example Persian kingship, Athenian imperialism, and Roman expansion), and influential persons (for example Pericles, Augustus and Boudica). In the process they become familiar with the different ways of telling history in antiquity: not only through written history (‘historiography’) but also poetic and theatrical performances, philosophical writings, biographical studies, public buildings and monuments and public ceremonies, such as the Roman funeral. While grappling with these different types of history, students develop understanding of the structures, strategies, debates and anxieties that characterized politics in the ancient world. And they recognize that in the ancient world, as today, to represent the past was to participate in politics.
The Basque language is the axis of a long-standing culture that came to feel at risk around the late 19th century. The Basque nation has since embarked on a fight for survival that has largely contributed to transform the Basque Country into an open, modern, and dynamic society. But contemporary Basque society is characterised by its conflicting identities, Basque and Spanish being the most noted of them. This module will analyse the most relevant areas of that conflict from a cultural, historical, and anthropological perspective. It will also offer a taste of contemporary Basque arts and the identity play between the local and the global in which they are inscribed. This is not a theoretical module. It is practical through and through. But by means of studying contemporary Basque society and culture students are invited to reflect about the concept of identity, both its importance to all of us and its striking fragility, and the way all that is linked to their own experience of nationality.
This module aims to prepare students for a smooth transition into a Work Placement Year and, more broadly, to develop lifelong skills, attitudes and approaches that will help them to lead flexible, fulfilling careers working in their chosen field, and enable them to contribute meaningfully to workplaces and the wider society.
Academic content focuses on interdisciplinary, team-based, research.
The media are now central to any discussion of contemporary war and conflict while global news reporting is supposedly in decline. How can we understand the interplay between global news, media and war in the context of rapidly evolving communication technologies and journalistic practices? This module explores the broader context of global news focusing on media in different parts of the world and the way they report on global issues. It considers the professional practice of foreign reporting and the challenges that notions of ethics, objectivity and attachment present for journalists. Then it engages with both the responses of states, including the use of media management and persuasion, and those of audiences who are often conflicted in reaction to distant conflict. The module concludes with an investigation of specific wars of recent years and a look at the future of reporting war and beyond.
This module provides an opportunity for students to gain credit from experience acquired in a placement, usually off campus, and outside their immediate academic context, in a setting that matches their academic and possible career/industry interests. During this placement students will have the chance to develop materials and/or undertake tasks within a practical or vocational context; to apply academic knowledge from their degree, and to develop their personal and employability skills within a working environment. Students will also be encouraged to critically reflect on their time on their placement, and tie their experiences into a broader theoretical understanding of what constitutes ‘politics’.
This module is introduced to increase the variety of modules offered to third-year BA students and graduate students in the Politics Department. With increasing student numbers and diversity of students in terms of their programme choices and their interests, this module offers a degree of specialisation and deepening of understanding of transnational security and the ways in which state and non-state actors (especially in the Global South) are responding to ‘new’ security challenges. The focus on the Global South aims at challenging dominant framings of regions such as Africa, Asia and Latin America as sources of insecurities that lack agency on transnational security issues. This module builds student’s understanding and knowledge of the processes and the politics of securitisation, crucial for understanding international peace and security in the context of shifts in global power distribution. This module provides specialised knowledge for final year BA students and graduate students interested in security or international relations.
International (or Global) Political Economy (IPE/GPE) is a sub-discipline of International Relations. This module examines the interplay between politics and economics and the way this relationship is influenced by domestic and international forces. It examines the social underpinnings of economic transactions, the political frameworks that shape economic activity at national, regional and global levels, and the economic imperatives that impinge upon political decision-makers. During the module, you will be introduced to influential perspectives, theories and ideas that have been advanced to explain and anticipate events and developments in political economy. The module covers the most important issue-areas in international political economy and examines recent developments, including the global financial crisis of 2008, challenges to the western liberal order, and the impact of the ecological crisis on global political economy. Firms, individuals, markets, societies, social classes, and states are all important elements of IPE. Theories differ in the way they deal with these elements and the relative significance they accord to each of them. The tension between the elements, resulting in cooperation and conflict, is a major feature in the theory and practice of IPE.
In recent years, there has been a dramatic rise in support for populist political parties and movements, on both the right and the left of the political spectrum, across a large number of western democracies. This module examines the growth of populist politics in Britain, represented primarily by UKIP and the 2016 Brexit referendum, placing these developments in a comparative international perspective. It examines the distinctive features of populist movements, considers the distinctive national conditions and common global factors that have spawned them, and considers the implications for the future of party politics and representative democracy. In addition to Britain, the module includes case studies of populist politics in a range of countries internationally.
The module examines the factors that shape foreign policy, examining why states pursue the goals that they do within the context of world politics. It examines the making of foreign policy from a number of different analytical perspectives. Successive weeks examine factors at different scales that influence foreign policy. These include the distribution of power and interests in the overall international system, the role of public opinion, the operation of foreign policy bureaucracies, and psychological processes in the minds of national leaders. The assignment for the module, which is submitted at the end of the semester, will encourage students to combine different levels of analysis into a convincing explanation of a foreign policy scenario in world politics.
Whilst the focus of the module is on explaining patterns of inter-state interaction and decisions made on behalf of states, lectures and seminars will also include discussion of the significance of sub-state and non-state actors. The course provides an analytical toolbox that students might find useful for research and advanced study, for example in a dissertation on international relations. It draws on recent research to analyse key turning points in world politics, including the India-Pakistan rivalry, the outbreak of the First World War, and the Cuban missile crisis.
This module analyses the major ideologies in British politics and explores how ideas have brought about change in British politics and society since 1945.
This module explores the ethical dilemmas that arise in some of the most controversial public policy debates. We will explore questions such as: should people have the right to euthanasia? Should we ban pornography? Should the consumption of, or testing on, animals be banned? Should we criminally punish people for taking recreational drugs? Are reparations morally justified? We will explore these questions by critically assessing the arguments of political, moral and legal philosophers, and evaluate the implications of their arguments for policy making.
This module is designed to introduce second year undergraduates to issues surrounding racialization in comparative politics. It will locate ‘race’ as an enduring feature of access to power and look at critical race theory in relation to national (UK) and international politics. This module will enable students to develop critical thinking skills about the construction of ‘race’ and ethnicity and how this construction affects certain marginalised communities and precipitates particular modes of democratic engagement and disengagement, participation and resistance and privilege and disadvantage.
This module explores contemporary sexual politics, connecting key debates in European sexual politics to global flows of regulation and resistance. We will examine topics such as: moral panic; sex tourism, sex work and sex trafficking; reproductive technologies; and sexual rights. Through the module, students will explore these contested political arenas, critically engaging with intersectional feminist and queer scholarship, activist campaigns and policy approaches.
This module introduces students to the study of globalisation in the early 21st century. In the 19th and 20th centuries there were big debates between those who think things work best when people are left to decide how they want to live and get what they need by trading with each other, and those who wanted a communist society where people get what they need and contribute what they can to the common good. Of course it did not work out that way, and now for many people free markets, or neoliberalism is the only serious game in town. The course examines those debates before moving on to examine case studies of how they have worked out in practice.
This module is about politics, about policies, political institutions, and the political culture of Rome in the Late Republic. It does not only trace the deterioration of political consensus amongst the senate aristocracy and the rise of powerful individuals like Marius, Sulla, Pompey, or Caesar
put also aims to explore the wider cultural context within which politics unfolds.
The module offers students an in-depth examination of key themes in the cultural, social and political history of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) from 1949-1990, as well questions of memory after 1990. It explores key milestones in the history and politics of the GDR (e.g. the uprisings of 17 June 1953, the building of the Berlin Wall and the demonstrations of 1989), as well as central themes within society and culture, such as gender, youth and cultural policy. Each theme will be examined through a range of texts, films and other primary and secondary resources, in order to develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of the meaning and significance of life and culture in the GDR and its relevance for contemporary eastern Germany.
The module develops a decolonial approach to the history of Italy, Africa and the Mediterranean, focusing on trajectories of colonialism and migration to and from Italy, from the age of the empires to the present. Adopting a decolonial perspective on the history of the Italian empire, its languages and cultures, the module examines some of the cultural and geopolitical tensions that shape ideas of heritage, citizenship and belonging between Italy and Africa. Exploring the making of individual and collective memories through a variety of media and languages, the module develops a language-sensitive approach to the study of history, memory and culture in the 21 st century.
In your third year you may select the Dissertation module and complete a sustained, original piece of work on a topic of your own choice.
This module aims to provide students with an overall introduction to the UK Parliament and, in particular, to how its role has changed over time. It will provide students with key knowledge and understanding of the institution and of how it has changed. We will examine how the institution is organised, who MPs and Peers are and how they perform their representative role. We will then focus on key roles such as law-making and scrutiny and accountability, where we will explore in particular the role of Select Committees and of questions to the government. We will also consider how Parliament relates to outside actors such as the public, government and pressure groups. Throughout our enquiry we will identify the role played by tradition in Parliament, as well as outlining paths for reform. The module has been developed in conjunction with the Parliamentary Outreach Service of the UK Parliament and includes guest talks by parliamentary officials and Clerks. Whilst the module introduces students to the key literature and theories on Parliament, it also has a very practical insight. It is therefore particularly suitable for those students considering a possible career in public relations, lobbying, journalism, as well as in parliament itself or party politics.
The module’s assessment has a strong practical component. It is composed of two reports, each actively encouraging the use of resources from Parliament and each putting students in a real life scenario.
This third year module examines how burgeoning economic, political and security relations between Africa and China are contributing to changes in the global order. Challenging framings of states in Africa as ‘system ineffectual’, inconsequential to global politics, and lacking material and ideational capabilities to structure their foreign relations, the module, through critical IR theories, examines how these states’, the rise of China and the dynamics in China-Africa relations are impacting, shaping and reframing the norms and practices of development and global security governance.
This module discusses classic and current topics of electoral politics from an international comparative perspective. It adopts a heterodox approach to voting behaviour, simultaneously covering rational, socio-structural and psychological explanations. Sessions are structured thematically, with cases of specific countries and parties being used as illustration. Attention to the effect of context is therefore drawn upon in relation with the different topics covered in each session. Among the themes covered by the module are class voting, issues and economic voting, ideology, partisanship, leaders and campaigns, and the impact of gender, religion, ethnic background, national identity and age on voters’ behaviour in Western democracies and beyond. The module will also cover the electoral support of non-mainstream parties, including the radical left, the radical right and Green parties. The focus of the module is both theoretical and empirical. Each week, a particular topic will be introduced in a lecture and this topic will be explored further by analysing real survey data during the PC sessions using SPSS. Quantitative training is therefore provided covering different types of univariate and bivariate analysis. The module is highly recommended for students interested in elections and voters, as well as those who have taken modules with a focus on data analysis in the past. Previous statistical training is not required to take this module.
This module analyses the ideology of the Labour Party historically through discussions of the ideas of key thinkers from the 1920s to the present day.
This module analyses the ideology of the Conservative Party historically through discussions of the ideas of key thinkers from the 1930s to the present day.
This module explores the role of the EU as an international actor in the sphere of foreign policy, international relations, and security and defence. It analyses the historical development of EU foreign policy and its various dimensions, the main institutions and players involved, but also the different roles the EU assumes when acting internationally, and how it relates to regional and global partners. This latter element will also be explored with regards to the UK’s pending exit from the EU, which will change their relationship from one of membership to one of external partner in some form. The module delves into some critical questions about the nature of the EU- whether it actually is an actor capable of making a distinct foreign policy- and whether any policy-making at EU level, particularly in matters of security and defence, is legitimate. This module can build on previous knowledge about EU history and integration or can provide new and specialised knowledge about this organisation’s foreign policy.
This will be the first module offered to third year undergraduate students and to students from the Europe and the World MA programme to examine whether and how psychological factors and health problems influence citizens’ political perceptions, attitudes and behaviour. Drawing from psychology, neuroscience and political behaviour, the module is strongly interdisciplinary and will scrutinise the relationships between politics and biology, personality, ideology, emotion, decision making, health, disability and mental health.
Conflicts, terrorism and wars have plagued human societies since their inception: which factors are likely to explain their occurrence and duration of wars? How are civil wars different from inter-state and ethnic conflicts? Who is more likely to become a terrorist? How does the public react to terrorist attacks? How do states respond to terror? This course examines a number of theoretical and empirical debates in the study of conflict and terrorism. We will investigate how empirical analyses can help settling some debates while others remain still open. By the end of this module, students are expected to (1) develop an understanding of the major explanations for conflicts and terrorism and critically discuss their strengths and shortcomings (2) interpret the findings advanced by the empirical literature against or in line with the discussed theoretical predictions (and students’ own pre-theoretical intuitions) (3) get exposed to the data and techniques employed by empirical scholarship to investigate conflict and terrorism.
The Local Placement Scheme allows students to work full time in a local political setting (MP, local authority etc). Students must apply. The Scheme is competitive and only successful applicants will be placed.
Please note: this is a theory and method heavy course and the application of both will be a mandatory requirement for the assignment(s). Students should be prepared to devote considerable time to familiarize themselves with methods and theory.
Civil war is the most common form of armed conflict today. While around thirty interstate wars have been fought since World War II, over one hundred civil wars have been recorded. Scholars have long focused their attention on civil conflict, producing a large body of literature on different aspects of civil war, e.g. exploring onset, duration, strategies, outcomes and termination, the formation of rebel groups, and the various forms of intervention in civil war. The module will introduce students to this body of research.
Substantially, the module is divided into four parts. The first part provides an introduction to the study of civil war and an extensive methods discussion. The latter will emphasis concepts and measurement, causal assessment, and case selection. In the second part of the module, we will look at civil war onset. War is a costly and risky endeavor, and rebels face particularly steep odds going up against states that are typically far more powerful. Why do they occur? The third part explores the dynamics in civil wars. Why do parties target civilians? When do civil wars spill over? The fourth part looks at the end of wars and termination of conflict. Why do some civil wars last longer than others? Why do some end in a negotiated settlement while others do not? Does outside intervention facilitate the termination of civil wars and prevent their recurrence?
This module will begin with theories of social movement and collective action and then examine different types of collective action as well as their nature, role and impact. This module will then focus on civil society, its actors and their relations with other actors such as funders and public institutions. The module will draw on examples from different periods, countries, and areas of activity and bring theory and empirical cases together. The module will include compulsory placement in a civil society organization.
Northern Ireland is justifiably considered ‘a place apart’ in UK politics. The region experienced thirty years of bitter sectarian conflict and, to this day, remains a divided society. Its devolution settlement was created by an international treaty, its party system is unlike any other in the UK, and its model of government is unusual even by international standards. This module introduces students to the principal debates associated with the conflict, politics, and governance of Northern Ireland. It examines the main actors in the ‘Troubles’, the different interpretations of this conflict, how and to what extent the conflict has been resolved, the institutional design and day-to-day operation of the region’s power-sharing system of government, and contemporary politics and society in Northern Ireland.
Whilst for many people, colonialism has ended, we live in a world where the effects of colonialism are still visible. Many academics have taken a critical perspective on these continued legacies, and this field of thought is now broadly known as ‘postcolonialism’. This module explores the social, political and cultural effects and legacies of colonialism as they occur in particular contexts.
The module is divided into two sections, one exploring the theoretical ideas of postcolonialism, the other looking at how thinking postcolonially helps us to understand the world.
You will be assessed through two pieces of coursework, one a theoretically driven essay on a student-chosen topic, and one, focused on authentic assessment, which analyses the postcolonial aspects of contemporary culture (e.g. a film, book or museum).
Humans have constructed visions of a better world throughout history: in fact, social movement scholars argue that the history of humanity is the history of this struggle. Certain forms of protest have existed throughout time: taking up arms to fight for what you believe in, or to defend a way of life. Some forms of resistance date back centuries: the revolt, the uprising, the rebellion, the strike, the march, the petition, sabotage, etc. More recently, social movements have used social networks and media to create what some argue are new forms of protest. This course surveys how geographers and others have theorised protest, resistance and other strategies for change though a range of approaches and case studies.
Over the last decade the environment, and perhaps more importantly the concept of sustainable development, is claimed to have become a critical dimension that underpins decision making at a variety of different spatial scales, more particularly international, European, national, regional and local arenas. In this module we explore the extent to which environmental concerns are taken into account in various decision-making processes within the public, private and third sectors. The module will be assessed by an essay (50%) and an open book exam (50%) which provides students with significant choice to explore those parts of the module they find most interesting.
This module will introduce students to debates about democracy in Latin American during and after the Cold War, including the breakdown of democratic regimes and democratisation. By examining the changing relationship between the state, civil society and citizens since the mid-twentieth century, we cover various aspects of the democratisation process in the region, including theoretical explanations. In the first half of the module, we examine the influence of the Cold War on Latin American politics, including the Cuban Revolution, US-Latin American relations, and the emergence of military regime. This is followed by an examination of the ‘transitions to democracy’, including topics such as transitional justice, human rights, and the memory and legacy of dictatorship. We finish by studying some of the challenges confronting Latin America societies today and the prospects for democracy.
The module studies human rights through the lens of the media in order to critically understand the changing nature of human rights’ representation and the role media play in representing and responding to critical human rights issues. It explores the interconnections between media and human rights focusing on media and human rights theory, policy and practice and exploring both historical developments and contemporary issues. In particular, the implications of the global media in the current information age for a range of key human rights’ issues are analysed. Among the issues that will be reviewed are terrorism and war on terror, freedom of speech, human trafficking, asylum and immigration, torture and genocide, humanitarian intervention.
This module unravels why and how immigration, and the ‘crisis’ that surrounds it, has become ever more central to political debates. Students will learn how to assess and use theories and apply to case study material relating to a range of countries, but there will be particular focus on receiving states – mainly the UK and the US and selected European countries. The module explores how the topic of immigration connects with some of the deepest political questions which face contemporary democracies including human rights, citizenship, identity, globalisation and nationalism. It is through the international movement of persons that the edges – and limits – of the state (both territorial and conceptual) are rendered visible. The approach is to analyse state responses to immigration as a lens to critique the nature of liberal democracy and the contemporary nation-state. The module maintains a clear focus by locating the very wide range of debates that exist over immigration within a theoretically-informed perspective on policymaking and liberal democratic states as political systems.
This module explores the theories, ideas and concepts that underpin the development of contemporary public policies.
What are the institutional prerequisites of economic development? Global development institutions such as the World Bank or UNDP have proposed the concept of "good governance" as an answer to this question. This module critically engages with this concept by juxtaposing it with various historical institutionalist accounts of the state, including the East Asian developmental state, Africa’s failed states, and the Middle Eastern rentier state. Students engage with key debates about the role of the state, democracy, corruption and the "resource curse" in economic development.
The module focuses on how different theories and philosophies associated with the development and operation of contemporary welfare systems explain poverty and wealth.
This module examines the different ways in which states intervene in the domestic affairs of other states or territories such as humanitarian intervention, invasion, annexation, peacekeeping, and colonial interventions. It explores how intervention has changed and developed historically, especially during and after the Cold War. It analyses whether state-practice has out-run the rules and norms that guide international state behaviour, particularly the legal framework of the United Nations and other relevant bodies of international law. From this basis, the module will use examples of different kinds of interventions as cases to study and to evaluate whether their mere existence heralds a change in state-practice and a concomitant need to revise legal and political codes of conduct. Such cases include the shift in peace operations from first generation peacekeeping during the Cold War under the strict rules of impartiality, neutrality and the limitation of force to self-defence, to the robust and partial peace enforcement practiced by the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo and NATO troops in Afghanistan. It further includes historical and recent examples of invasion, such as Iraq in 2003, annexations of foreign territories such as the Crimean annexation by Russia in 2014, the contentious cases of humanitarian intervention for which Kosovo and Libya are used as precedents, and will ponder the question whether there is such a thing as the Responsibility to Protect. Finally, the module will also examine less overt more and subtle forms of state intervention such as covert action and state-sponsored terrorism in the physical and cyber realm.
This is the first substantive module in the UK to examine the rhetoric of British political parties at Undergraduate level. It roots its theories and methods in the classical schools of rhetorical analysis, alongside developing a more contemporary understanding of discourse analysis. This module will enable students to think critically about the political message, how it is constructed, and delivered to a range of audiences.
The principal aim of this module is to analyse the political significance of identity (national and ethnic) in international politics. Module deals with cultural diversity, the role of the nation-state, migration, ethnic conflict, diasporas and the European Union.
The module begins with an analysis of the validity of comparative approaches to the study of the politics of peace, before moving to a series of individual case studies. These include Northern Ireland, Bosnia, the Middle East and the Basque Region.
This module will provide students with a detailed knowledge of the nature and workings of local government, taking into account its history, structure, political and administrative operation, financing, and relationships with central government and other tiers of local government. Students will develop a broad awareness of the powers and restrictions placed on councils and councillors, including the challenges and opportunities posed by multi-level governance and globalisation. Special emphasis will be placed on local government in England, especially vis-à-vis the evolving relationship between local councils and mayors, but students will also compare British local government to Western counterparts.
The Parliamentary Placement Scheme allows students to work full time in Parliament. Students must apply. The Scheme is competitive and only successful applicants will be placed.
This module provides alternative perspectives on global politics, drawing on feminist theory and gender analysis, with a focus on conflict and peace, and the implications for global politics and International Relations (IR). The module will engage with theoretical concerns (how are women affected differently by conflict and peace, how do we engage feminist methodologies) to practical concerns (conflict, security, participation, sexual violence, human rights). Theories and concepts will be illustrated with relevant global case studies and examples. The module aims to encourage engaged, critical reflection on feminist approaches to our understanding of issues in world politics.
Should there be a wall of separation between the institutions of religion, politics and law? Should politicians, public officials and citizens refrain from appealing to religious beliefs when debating laws and policies? Should religious citizens be entitled to special rights, such as exemptions for Kosher and Halal animal slaughter or doctors who do not wish to provide abortion services? On this module we’ll explore these and many other moral questions from the perspective of analytical political theory. To do so, we’ll examine how the freedom and equality of religious and nonreligious citizens should be balanced, and what are the policy implications our moral arguments.
This module will involve students producing and presenting a weekly politics and current affairs programme (The Politics Hour). Over the course of a full academic year, students will work in programme teams to plan and present regular one hour broadcasts and linked web and social media content. Within each team, students will rotate key roles (as researchers, reporters, presenters, producers, editors and social media managers). There will be no formal teaching. Instead, students will ‘learn by doing’ by participating in weekly editorial meeting, in the production of each show and in structured peer feedback and self reflection exercises. The learning process aims to replicate a ‘real world’ broadcasting environment and this approach will be reflected in the use of ‘authentic’ assessment tasks. Students will be required to produce a range of audio and written outputs and will also be assessed, in part, on their ability to work successfully in teams. Reflective learning will also require students to engage in ongoing review of professional, mainstream radio broadcasts and to undertake recommended reading to support the development of their broadcasting skills. The module will be particularly suited to students keen to pursue a career in political journalism. However, it will furnish all participants with a wide-range of transferable skills designed to enhance their employability, including communication, team-working and problem-solving skills, by facilitating the application of academic subject knowledge gained on the degree programme as a whole in a ‘real world’ and ‘real time’ context.
This module involves students researching and producing a 10-12,000 word dissertation. It helps develop key skills such as autonomy, in-depth analysis and research design.
Students are responsible for formulating their own research question and are encouraged to maintain a close relationship with their supervisor who will provide guidance and support throughout the module.
In years two and three there are a wide choice of optional modules, including the option of a dissertation in year three, giving you the chance to complete a sustained, original piece of work on a topic of your choice.
Research-connected teaching is initiated in the first year with introductions to quantitative, qualitative, theoretical, and critical methodologies, which are then embedded in second- and third-year modules so that students can evaluate and apply the methodologies to construct their own analyses. Though our lectures are interactive, our seminars, workshops, computer lab sessions, dissertations, and placements form the core of our active learning approach.
We use a rich variety of assessment methods to develop students’ various skills. Essays, exams, and presentations enable to students to practice core academic writing and speaking skills, while innovative assessments such as blog posts, reflective logs, group projects, podcasts, radio broadcasts and speeches expand our authentic assessment, enabling students to deploy transferable skills in various formats. Digital fluency is also developed in different ways, including sourcing relevant material, using online learning platforms and tools, producing audio and visual materials, word processing and statistical analysis.
We have a distinctive approach to education, the Liverpool Curriculum Framework, which focuses on research-connected teaching, active learning, and authentic assessment to ensure our students graduate as digitally fluent and confident global citizens.
Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.
The Department of Politics is part of the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures and is based in 8-14 Abercromby Square. Students will be taught in a variety of buildings across campus.
From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:
A Politics degree can open doors to a range of careers, including political work, social and political research, journalism, PR and marketing.
Previous employers include:
Hear what graduates say about their career progression and life after university.
Can you tell us a little bit about your role at the House of Commons? “One of the best things about working in Parliament is that there really is no ‘typical day’. My role is to advise and work with the MP in responding to, and communicating, current affairs. On the Parliamentary side of things, […]
Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.
|UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)|
|Full-time place, per year||£9,250|
|Year abroad fee||£1,385|
|Full-time place, per year||£21,000|
|Year abroad fee||£10,500|
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.
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.
We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover tuition fees and help with living expenses while at university.
The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.
My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.
Applicants with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are eligible for a reduction in grade requirements. For this course, the offer is ABB with A in the EPQ.
You may automatically qualify for reduced entry requirements through our contextual offers scheme.
T levels considered in a relevant subject.
Applicants should contact us by completing the enquiry form on our website to discuss specific requirements in the core components and the occupational specialism.
|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.
35 points no less than category 4
|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 plus AB at A Level|
|Access||45 level 3 credits graded at Distinction|
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.
Last updated 26 July 2023 / / Programme terms and conditions /