Politics BA (Hons)

Key information


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.

Programme in detail

All students are required to take the modules Foundations in politics, and Foundations in international politics. As a 100% Politics student you will also take a 30 credit, Introduction to political theory module that takes place over both semesters of your first year as well as modules in British politics, comparative politics, and a study skills module which will support you in developing the skills you need to excel in your degree programme. As a 75% Politics student you can choose between British Politics and Introduction to Political Theory.

In years two and three you then go on to more specialist modules such as Public Ethics; Gender and global politics: women, peace and security; Security in a globalised world; Comparative peace processes; British Political Ideologies; International political economy; Comparative politics of the Middle East and North Africa; The Changing Faces of African Politics; Political Broadcasting. You have completely free choice in your modules of interest in your second and third years 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.

In your third year you may select the Dissertation module and complete a piece of sustained, original work on a topic of your own choice.

Work placement/Year in industry

We have a number of different modules that you can choose from to develop your work place skills. In second year you can choose the module Politics in Action: placement scheme. This module will see you carrying out a placement in a local organisation, seeing how knowledge and understanding of politics is important in the work place. In third year you have a second opportunity to get involved in a Local Placement Scheme as well as (as a 100% Politics student) the chance to apply to be a part of the Parliamentary Placement Scheme which will see you working with an MP in Westminster for semester 2 of your third year.

Study as part of joint-honours at 75:25 Choosing this subject as a Major

In Year One you take compulsory modules in Foundations in Politics and Foundations in International Politics, as well as modules focused on Comparative Politics, and study skills and the option to take modules in either Political Theory or British Politics.

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.

Study as part of joint-honours at 50:50 Choosing this subject as a combined degree

In Year One you take two compulsory modules Foundations in Politics and Foundations in International Politics, as well as two optional modules focused on British Politics, Comparative Politics, or Study Skills.

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.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

184 Year One undergraduates in 2018

Graduate prospects

94% are employed or in further study six months after graduating (DLHE 2016/17)

Research performance

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, 50% of our research impact was judged outstanding.
The Department produces research of international standing and engages in a wide range of dissemination and engagement work to ensure the impact of this work is maximised both within academia and beyond.

Why this subject?

Build your degree to reflect your interests

At Liverpool, you’ll get genuine diversity in the range of modules we offer with themes focused at national and international levels. Our programmes provide you with a solid foundation of political studies in Year One and we’ll then encourage and guide you to choose modules to develop your own specialist interests.

Strengthen your employability skills for a wide-range of careers

Our programmes are developed with a broad range of employers and industries in mind and the extensive critical, communication and research skills our students gain have meant our recent graduates have found success in a diverse range of careers.

Learn from research-active staff

You’ll explore theory and develop an understanding of historical, current and future developments. Study at Liverpool and immerse yourself in an environment where all your lecturers are actively researching and publishing in their specialist fields, with national and international reach.

Take placements to enhance your experience

We offer a range of placements including international exchange programmes at one of our partner universities and an exciting opportunity to secure a placement with an MP at Westminster.