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Undergraduate study
 

Course overview

Politics is an incredibly diverse and varied subject. At Teesside you explore vital issues such as political violence, international relations, political ideologies, gender and politics, political communications, revolution, fascism, social movements, and electoral and parliamentary politics in the UK and US.

You gain transferable skills, experience and knowledge to understand and influence the world around you for careers in frontline politics, the civil service, international organisations, local government, law, accountancy, social work, librarianship, journalism, public relations, teaching, retail management and the third sector.
You develop high level communication skills in a range of verbal and written forms, critical thinking, analysis and time-management. You learn frameworks and concepts to be able to explain and practice politics in the outside world.
The teaching team are widely published academics and current politicians, meaning you study contemporary events alongside historic ones. You are assigned a personal tutor, undertake practical skills sessions, and can take a bespoke employability module with the option of work-experience in a politics field with an external partner.

Top reasons to study this course

  • Staff are research active and widely published, which underpins their teaching, and means you gain a contemporary, authentic learning experience.
  • Build up your general interest in politics to specialise in your final year on your own piece of research.
  • You matter – and will be part of a community which encourages you to find your voice, with professional and personal supervision, and support specific to your needs.
  • Opportunities for work experience or a work-related learning project, including Volun-tees. These credits can help you make employment decisions and provide real world experience to include on your CV.
  • We host a number of political archives including The Green Party Archive, The Fascism Collection, and The Tom Sawyer Archive (former Labour Party General Secretary, 1994-98).

 

Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

America: From Watergate to Trump (1972 to the present)

The United States is more divided now than it has been for quite some time – or so goes a popular theory. You explore 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. You examine the idea that the divisions among the political elite and the most politically active are mirrored within US society as a whole.

Britain from the Boer War to Brexit

You gain overview of Britain from the Second Boer War (1899-1902) to Brexit. The module 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 and politics in the late twentieth century and beyond.

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.

War, Revolution, Union: Europe 1914-2017

Europe after 1914 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. Our understanding of Europe has continued to develop into the twenty-first century with the expansion of the European Union and Britain's exit from this bloc in 2019.

 

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.

Labour Pains: The Labour Party from Attlee to Corbyn and beyond

This module examines the rise of the Labour Party from the formation of its first majority government in 1945 up to the challenges facing the party in the present day. You 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.

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.

 

and one optional module

Employability and Work-Related Learning

You develop your graduate skills in preparation for employment in a professional context. You have the opportunity to gain academic credit based on your participation in work experience, a short period of professional activity or work-related learning relevant to the discipline or area of professional interest. You develop an understanding of graduate employment pathways, opportunities, reflective practice and experiential learning. The core focus of the module will be helping you prepare for a graduate career, developing an understanding of professional working contexts and enabling you to identify and evidence your own graduate skills.

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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.

 

Final-year core modules

Choosing War, Choosing Peace

As part of conflict studies, war and peace have been at the centrefold of international politics. This module addresses the political decisions made on peace processes that include third party mediation, international diplomacy and ceasefire agreement that run in parallel with Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter. Although there are some peace processes that have been successful, others have failed due to the consequences of various sides of a conflict to continue with war which tarnishes a cessation of hostilities. The module will specifically address the decision-making of actors involved in conflict to decide whether to choose to be part of a peace process, or at least pay lip service to it, or choose to engage and/or continue in warfare.

Dissertation

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.

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

You develop your graduate skills in preparation for employment in a professional context. You have the opportunity to gain academic credit based on your participation in work experience, a short period of professional activity or work-related learning relevant to the discipline or area of professional interest. You develop an understanding of graduate employment pathways, opportunities, reflective practice and experiential learning. The core focus of the module will be helping you prepare for a graduate career, developing an understanding of professional working contexts and enabling you to identify and evidence your own graduate skills.

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Nazis, Fascists and Anti-Fascists

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 You examine 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 gain a theoretically and historically-informed understanding of one of the major forces of modern times.

 

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

A typical offer is 96-112 tariff points from at least two A levels (or equivalent) including GCSE English and/or maths at grade 4 (grade C) or equivalent.

For general information please see our overview of 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

 

Employability

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

Qualifications

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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Full-time

Entry to 2021/22 academic year

Fee for UK 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
  • UCAS code: L200 BA/P
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 96-112 tariff points

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

2021/22 entry

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

More details about our fees

Apply online (part-time)

 

Choose Teesside

  • 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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Get in touch

UK students

Email: ssshladmissions@tees.ac.uk

Telephone: 01642 335008


Online chat

International students

Email: internationalenquiries@tees.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900


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