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Undergraduate study

L200 BA/P (L204 BA/PFY for Year 0 entry)


Course overview

Gain the skills, experience and knowledge to understand and influence the world around you with our BA (Hons) Politics course.

Politics is an incredibly diverse and varied subject, and our degree explores politics in the UK, EU, and further afield.

With a politics degree you develop transferable skills sought by employers, including effective communication in a range of verbal and written forms, critical thinking, and time-management. You learn frameworks, skills, and concepts to be able to explain and practice politics in the outside world.

The degree mixes the study of core theories and concepts with the study of concrete events. The range of modules enables you to analyse contemporary political developments at home and abroad, and you are offered the opportunity to take a dedicated careers module.

You explore vital issues such as political violence, international relations, political ideologies, gender and politics, political communications, revolution, social movements, and electoral and parliamentary politics in the UK and USA.


Course details

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

Academic Study Skills Toolkit

This module will assist you in developing the personal and academic skills that you will need for undergraduate study. It focusses on developing skills such as information retrieval, evaluation, critical thinking, note taking, presentation skills and group work.

Contemporary Issues in Social Sciences

This module will introduce you to the historical and contemporary development of social science disciplines and will provide examples of theoretical challenges and the ways in which research is applied in society. You will gain an understanding of the critical differences between disciplines and how interdisciplinary research is fostered through collaboration. You will also be introduced to academic standards, ethical guidelines and research protocols, personal development planning and to a range of study and transferable skills relevant to your degree course and beyond.

Fake News: Propaganda and Polemics, Past and Present

This module provides you with the opportunity to develop your skills in thinking critically about the information and analysis presented in an array of media in today’s digital world, drawing on the methodologies of a range of disciplines within the social sciences, humanities and law. You will explore examples of the debates over fake news in both the past and present, and look at how fake news can be used to both support and undermine the status quo, enabling you in the process to become more savvy and engaged citizens.

Historical and Popular Crime, Justice, Law and Psychology

This module introduces you to the history of crime and justice, using media representations and crime fiction as a way of exploring crime over time, including aspects such as changes in society, law and education in this context.


This module allows students to identify an area of interest related to their undergraduate degree and to explore this through a small scale research project where students will be required to produce an analysis of an area of focus.

Teesside: History, Literature, Culture, and Society

This module provides you with an opportunity to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to the Teesside region. You will learn about Teesside’s history, culture and society through the examination of various topics which will give you a deeper understanding of the region, both past and present.


Year 1 core modules

European History 1917-1991

The period between 1917 and 1991 was characterised by a struggle between competing political, economic and social systems. This module surveys these struggles. Consideration is given to the emergence of authoritarian and totalitarian dictatorships in interwar Europe, above all in Italy, Germany, Spain and the USSR. Following the defeat of fascism in the Second World War, the Cold War led to the division of Europe into two mutually hostile blocs with fundamentally different political, economic and social systems. And within each bloc institutions were developed to allow for military and economic integration: North Atlantic Treaty Organization, European Coal and Steel Community, European Economic Community in the west, Warsaw Treaty Organization and Council for Mutual Economic Assistance in the east. The communist Eastern bloc collapsed in the revolutions of 1989 and the USSR finally ceased to exist at the end of 1991. The module ends with an overview of developments since 1991.

Fault Lines: US Politics Since 1974

Politics in the United States are more divided now than they have been for quite some time – or so goes a popular theory. This module explores the factors that have led to the current political situation in the US, where republicans and democrats are embroiled in a political struggle and culture war that centres on issues surrounding women’s rights, immigration, healthcare, climate change and science, taxation, the media, the powers of Congress, and the presidency. It examines the idea that the divisions among the political elite and most politically-active are mirrored within US society as a whole.

Introduction to International Relations

You acquire an understanding of the development of international relations, and the core concepts and theories. You will focus on how the political ideas and international organisations that shape global politics reflect and try to embody core values such as freedom, justice, security, order and welfare. Key theories examined include liberalism, realism, international political economy, social constructivism and post-positivism.

Introduction to Politics

You gain an introduction to the skills and analytical frameworks needed to study contemporary global politics. The module demonstrates why politics matters and showcases different approaches that are taken to the discipline. Themes include political power, authority and the state, elections and political institutions, democracy and political obligation, civil society, and the frameworks of global politics.

Political Ideologies

Understanding the political ideologies that motivate political actors is key to understanding politics. You gain an introduction to the core political ideologies that have shaped, and continue to shape, the political world in which we live, and the political debates going on around us. Themes include liberalism, conservatism, socialism, nationalism, feminism, green politics, multiculturalism, and secularism. You also look at how recent developments have overturned the idea that we live in a post-ideological world.

Twentieth-century Britain

The module provides an overview of Britain during the 20th century, from the tensions and reforms of the Edwardian era to the age of Margaret Thatcher. It takes a largely chronological approach, emphasising the impact of two world wars on British politics and society, the implications of the introduction of the welfare state and Keynesian economic policies during the consensus period, and the shift towards neo-liberal forms of governance in the late 20th century. At the same time the module emphasises longer-term trends such as the growth of the state; secularisation; immigration; and the emergence of new personal freedoms, particularly for women.


Year 2 core modules

Contemporary Political Issues

You study the most important issues in contemporary politics at a national and international level, and examine recent developments and ideas in the light of key theoretical frameworks. Themes include the United Kingdom and the European Union, the nature of populism and understanding the rise of populist politicians internationally, political polarisation, international state competition, politics and social media, citizens and their relationship to the state and traditional party politics, terrorism, the age of austerity, and military interventionism and its opponents.

Gender in Politics

In recent decades, students of politics have become increasingly aware of the importance of gender in shaping the behaviour of political actors, and the impact those actions have on the broader population. This module looks at gender and politics from a variety of angles, both within and beyond mainstream politics. Drawing upon theoretical and conceptual approaches to gender, you will examine the significance of gender for politics using concrete examples drawn from different times and places. Themes will include feminism, masculinity, identity, equality, and citizenship.

Ideas of the State

The nature of the state and the proper extent of its powers have long been a site of political contestation, and they remain so today. You will examine some of the most important theories of the state and their influence on the development of modern politics. You will also mix this with the study of concrete historical examples to see how the contests over the state have played out in practical politics. You engage with some of the foundational texts of modern politics.

Interpreting Revolution

Over the past several centuries, revolution and counter-revolution have shaped and reshaped the modern world. The American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution, the anti-colonial revolutions, the Iranian Revolution, and the (counter-)revolutions of 1989-91 have proven immensely influential across the globe. This module examines theoretical approaches to understanding the phenomenon of revolution. It looks at some of the major scholars who have offered theories for understanding the origins and developments of revolution, and then moves on to study a case study of a revolution in world history in light of these theoretical approaches.

Labour Pains: The Rise (and Fall?) of the Labour Party Since 1945

This module examines the rise of the Labour Party from the formation of its first majority government in 1945 up to the challenges the facing the party in the present day. It will explore the history of the Labour Party by analysing ideological development of the party both inside and outside of government, whilst also considering Labour’s relationships with its membership, trade unions and the public. You will enhance your skills and knowledge of using primary sources through the exploration of party manifestos, conference proceedings, polling data and key speeches. Through the study of Labour from Attlee to Corbyn this module will examine the successes and failures of the party alongside an analysis of the shift to (and later away from) New Labour and the challenges facing the party in the modern day.


and one optional module

Employability and Work-Related Learning

This module is a dedicated careers module to enhance your employability by applying and developing the skills acquired through your studies.

Understanding Political Violence

Understanding political violence is a major concern of both academics who study politics and policy makers, and government and law-enforcement bodies charged with dealing with it. You study some of the major theoretical approaches to understanding the use of political violence, and then apply those approaches to concrete historical examples. You will thereby get a better understanding of political violence, one of the most prominent political phenomena of the modern age.


Final-year core modules


You engage in a piece of advanced research into politics which allows you to follow a theme of particular interest to you, under the guidance of a supervisor. It prepares you for the workplace by enabling you to apply all the skills you have acquired and developed during the course of the politics degree. You prepare a presentation to be delivered and discussed in a professional manner which will satisfy the knowledge exchange agenda and provide interview experience. A final individual project that draws upon your own research and academic literature showcases your research skills, reflexivity and overall intellectual maturity.

Fascism and Anti-Fascism

The victory of the Allies in the Second World War seemed to sound the death knell for fascism. However, the persistence and resurgence of the extreme right suggests that we are witnessing a rebirth of fascism. This module uses theoretical and conceptual approaches to examine both historical and contemporary forms of fascism. It also examines the nature of anti-fascism both historically and in the present day because fascism cannot be fully understood without comprehending the interaction between the fascists and their opponents. You will gain a theoretically and historically informed understanding of one of the major forces of modern times.

Politics Beyond the State

The state has never been the sole focus for political action. In recent decades, as citizen engagement with traditional forms of politics such as political party membership and voting have declined from their post-War heyday, other forms of political mobilisation have become increasingly prominent. This module looks at how people have used forms of mobilisation beyond organisations focused on parliamentary and state power to raise issues of concern to them. These civil society and social movements have posed a challenge to mainstream politics, while offering means of political activism. You will explore what politics beyond the state mean for those involved.

Propaganda and Political Communication

This module examines the use of propaganda and political communications using the key themes and theoretical approaches in the field. Whilst propaganda has always been a tool in political communication, the modern era has seen the birth of celebrity culture, spin, fake news, social media, and data hacking as additional weapons in the arsenal of political parties, pressure groups and states. It has also seen increasingly sophisticated use by political parties of methods such polling, focus groups, and advertising to shape their message in the pursuit of popularity and votes. This module investigates these broad themes by using theoretical approaches to examine concrete examples. You will create your own Knowledge Exchange Project, giving you an opportunity to construct your own example of a political communication such as a leaflet, newspaper article, advert, or podcast.


and one optional module

Employability and Work-Related Learning

This module is a dedicated careers module to enhance your employability by applying and developing the skills acquired through your studies.

The Troubles

You explore the politics of division in Northern Ireland using a mixture of theoretical approaches and the study of concrete events during and after the Troubles, you examine not only the politics of violence, but also the process by which violence gave way to peace (however unsteady). Drawing on a broad range of sources, including official reports and correspondence, newspapers, pamphlets, posters, film and television, and memoirs of those involved, you will take an in-depth look at one of the biggest issues in historical and contemporary politics in the United Kingdom.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

The course makes use of a variety of teaching methods including classes, lectures, seminars, tutorials and group work, with an emphasis on participatory and active learning. You will be taught by a range of research-active academic staff, lecturers and professors.

How you are assessed

Modules are continuously assessed so that you receive regular feedback to help you develop your skills and abilities. Methods of assessment include essays, presentations, knowledge exchange projects, and examinations. There will be a mix of formative assessment such as in-class presentations, essay plans, and draft work. Work will be marked according to University timelines, and feedback will be available both electronically and in personal tutorials.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

A variety of career paths will be open to you, including national and local politics, local government, law, accountancy, social work, librarianship, journalism, public relations, teaching and retail management.

Work placement

You have the option to take a School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law careers module at either Level 5 or Level 6.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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Entry to 2020/21 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years or 4 years with a foundation year
  • UCAS code: L200 BA/P
    L204 BA/PFY for Year 0 entry
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

Apply now through Clearing



2020/21 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

Apply online (part-time)

  • News

    Dr Christopher Massey. Link to View the pictures. New politics degree will help students understand the world today
    A leading North-East politician is to share his expertise with students on a new course launched by Teesside University.

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