Politics

Course type: Single Honours, Dual Honours, Major.
Entry requirements: Read more about entry requirements
Typical offer:BBB or ABC
Tuition fees: Read more about tuition fees
Duration and mode of study: 3 years/ 4 years with international year, Full time
Location of study:Keele University campus
Subject Area: Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Course Overview

You’ll learn by addressing current issues and debates of political concern, ensuring the relevance of your learning to modern life.

Politics is of vital importance to all of us in our daily lives. It concerns fundamental choices about the ways in which societies are organised and the way we are governed. Politics is not just the concern of politicians. It is about big issues such as the environment and human rights. Political engagement can change lives and encourage changes in government in the UK and elsewhere.

Politics at Keele seeks to understand society and the events and forces which shape it, engaging with questions of power, justice, conflict, legitimacy, accountability, and governance. You will explore why citizens are increasingly disillusioned with politics; what a democracy is; when and how it’s legitimate to protest; and the effects of different models of government. You can tailor your studies to your interests, whether theoretical, historical or oriented to specific issues. Politics at Keele is informed by our research expertise in environmental politics, security studies, European and American politics.

Single Honours

Below is an indicative range of modules you could study as part of single honours Politics. 

First year

Core modules: 

  • Why Politics Matters
  • British Politics Since 1945
  • Modern Democracies
  • Authority & Power

Elective modules: 

  • Introduction to International Relations
  • The Changing World: A History of International Relations since 1945
  • The Politics of Sustainability
  • Media in America
  • Debates in American Politics
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Introduction to Global Political Economy
  • Securing Global Order

Second year

Core modules:

  • Approaches to Political Analysis

Optional core modules: 

  • Freedom and Equality
  • Why Policy Changes

Elective modules: 

  • Balkan Politics & Society
  • Contemporary International Relations Theory
  • Environmental Politics & Policy
  • German Government & Politics
  • Russian Politics and Society
  • The United Nations inWorld Politics
  • U.S. Government & Politics
  • Study Abroad
  • British Government & Politics
  • Comparing the US and UK
  • International Relations of Eurasia
  • Peace, Conflict and Security: Theories and Practice
  • Power to the People: understanding the origins of Western politics
  • Quantitative Methods
  • The European Union: Institutions and Policies
  • The Practice of Politics
  • Work Experience in Politics, International Relations and Philosophy 

Third year

Core modules:

  • Researching and Dissertation Writing in Politics and International Relations 

Elective modules:

  • Arms Control and Disarmament
  • Communism and Post-Communism in Eastern Europe
  • Democracy in Post-authoritarian states: Austria in Comparative Perspective
  • Eco-Cities
  • Education Politics and Policy
  • The European Union and Eastern Europe
  • Feminist Theory
  • Human Rights: Concepts, Norms and Identities
  • Individual and Community
  • Political Parties: Origins and Organisation
  • Russia and Europe: Hopes for Partnership, Legacy of Confrontation
  • Soviet Foreign Policy from Khrushchev to Gorbachev
  • Sport in Global Politics: A Neglected Dimension
  • The European Union and Eastern Europe
  • The Global South
  • The Left in Modern Politics
  • The Missing Dimension: Conspiracies, Spying and International Relations
  • The Political Economy of Sustainable Development
  • The Modern Middle East: Conflict, Competition and Cooperation
  • The US Presidency
  • Understanding Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
  • British State and Society in the Cold War
  • Citizenship and the Environment
  • Citizenship in Theory and Practice
  • Complex Social-Ecological Systems
  • End of Empire
  • Environmental Politics in the US
  • Gender, Justice and the Environment
  • Modern Russia
  • Party Systems and Elections
  • Policing International Order
  • Political Parties in Divided Societies: Austria in Comparative Perspective
  • Proliferation
  • Protest and Social Movements
  • Risk, Security and Liberal Governance
  • The Extreme Right inWestern Europe
  • The Foundations of Political Economy
  • The Northern Dimension: Resources, Environment and Security in the Arctic
  • The Other Middle East: Power, People and Politics
  • Urban Politics 

Dual Honours

Below is an indicative range of modules you could study as part of dual honours Politics.

First year

Core modules:

  • Why Politics Matters
  • Modern Democracies

Elective modules: 

  • British Politics Since 1945
  • Introduction to International Relations
  • The Changing World: A History of International Relations since 1945
  • The Politics of Sustainability
  • Media in America
  • Debates in American Politics
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Introduction to Global Political Economy
  • Justice, Authority and Power Securing
  • Global Order

Second year

Core modules: 

  • Political Research in Practice

Optional core modules:

  • Freedom and Equality
  • Why Policy Changes

Elective modules: 

  • Balkan Politics & Society
  • British Government & Politics
  • Contemporary International Relations Theory
  • Environmental Politics & Policy
  • German Government & Politics
  • International Relations of the Environment
  • Russian Politics and Society
  • The United Nations inWorld Politics
  • U.S. Government & Politics
  • Peace, Conflict and Security: Theories and Practice
  • Power to the People: Understanding the Origins of Western Politics
  • The European Union: Institutions and Policies
  • The Practice of Politics
  • Work Experience in Politics, International Relations and Philosophy
  • Comparing the US and UK

Third year

Core modules:

  • Dissertation* 

*Required module for major students only 

Elective modules:

  • Arms Control and Disarmament
  • Communism and Post-communism in Eastern Europe
  • Democracy in Post-authoritarian states: Austria in Comparative Perspective
  • Eco-Cities
  • Education Politics and Policy
  • The European Union and Eastern Europe
  • Feminist Theory
  • Human Rights: Concepts, Norms and Identities
  • Individual and Community
  • Political Parties: Origins and Organization
  • Russia and Europe: Hopes for Partnership, Legacy of Confrontation
  • Soviet Foreign Policy from Khrushchev to Gorbachev
  • Sport in Global Politics: A Neglected Dimension
  • The European Union and Eastern Europe
  • The Global South
  • The Left in Modern Politics
  • The Missing Dimension: Conspiracies, Spying and International Relations
  • The Political Economy of Sustainable Development
  • The Modern Middle East: Conflict, Competition and Cooperation
  • The US Presidency
  • Understanding Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
  • British State and Society in the Cold War
  • Citizenship and the Environment
  • Citizenship in Theory and Practice
  • Complex Social-Ecological Systems
  • End of Empire
  • Environmental Politics in the US
  • Gender, Justice and the Environment
  • Modern Russia
  • Party Systems and Elections
  • Policing International Order
  • Political Parties in Divided Societies: Austria in Comparative Perspective
  • Proliferation
  • Protest and Social Movements
  • Risk, Security and Liberal Governance
  • The Extreme Right inWestern Europe
  • The Foundations of Political Economy
  • The Northern Dimension: Resources, Environment and Security in the Arctic
  • The Other Middle East: Power, People and Politics
  • Urban Politics
  • Study Abroad 

Major Minor

Below is an indicative range of modules you could study as part of major honours Politics.

First year

Core modules:

  • Why Politics Matters
  • Modern Democracies

Elective modules: 

  • British Politics Since 1945
  • Introduction to International Relations
  • The Changing World: A History of International Relations since 1945
  • The Politics of Sustainability
  • Media in America
  • Debates in American Politics
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Introduction to Global Political Economy
  • Justice, Authority and Power Securing
  • Global Order

Second year

Core modules: 

  • Political Research in Practice

Optional core modules:

  • Freedom and Equality
  • Why Policy Changes

Elective modules: 

  • Balkan Politics & Society
  • British Government & Politics
  • Contemporary International Relations Theory
  • Environmental Politics & Policy
  • German Government & Politics
  • International Relations of the Environment
  • Russian Politics and Society
  • The United Nations inWorld Politics
  • U.S. Government & Politics
  • Peace, Conflict and Security: Theories and Practice
  • Power to the People: Understanding the Origins of Western Politics
  • The European Union: Institutions and Policies
  • The Practice of Politics
  • Work Experience in Politics, International Relations and Philosophy
  • Comparing the US and UK

Third year

Core modules:

  • Dissertation* 

*Required module for major students only 

Elective modules:

  • Arms Control and Disarmament
  • Communism and Post-communism in Eastern Europe
  • Democracy in Post-authoritarian states: Austria in Comparative Perspective
  • Eco-Cities
  • Education Politics and Policy
  • The European Union and Eastern Europe
  • Feminist Theory
  • Human Rights: Concepts, Norms and Identities
  • Individual and Community
  • Political Parties: Origins and Organization
  • Russia and Europe: Hopes for Partnership, Legacy of Confrontation
  • Soviet Foreign Policy from Khrushchev to Gorbachev
  • Sport in Global Politics: A Neglected Dimension
  • The European Union and Eastern Europe
  • The Global South
  • The Left in Modern Politics
  • The Missing Dimension: Conspiracies, Spying and International Relations
  • The Political Economy of Sustainable Development
  • The Modern Middle East: Conflict, Competition and Cooperation
  • The US Presidency
  • Understanding Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
  • British State and Society in the Cold War
  • Citizenship and the Environment
  • Citizenship in Theory and Practice
  • Complex Social-Ecological Systems
  • End of Empire
  • Environmental Politics in the US
  • Gender, Justice and the Environment
  • Modern Russia
  • Party Systems and Elections
  • Policing International Order
  • Political Parties in Divided Societies: Austria in Comparative Perspective
  • Proliferation
  • Protest and Social Movements
  • Risk, Security and Liberal Governance
  • The Extreme Right inWestern Europe
  • The Foundations of Political Economy
  • The Northern Dimension: Resources, Environment and Security in the Arctic
  • The Other Middle East: Power, People and Politics
  • Urban Politics
  • Study Abroad 

Course workload

This contact time measure is intended to provide you with an indication of the type of activity you are likely to undertake during your programme. The data is compiled based on module choices and learning patterns of students on similar programmes in previous years. Every effort is made to ensure this data is a realistic representation of what you are likely to experience, but changes to programmes, teaching methods and assessment methods mean this data is representative and not specific.

Undergraduate courses at Keele contain an element of module choice; therefore, you will experience a different mix of contact time and assessment types dependent upon your own individual choice of modules. The figures below are an example of activities that you may expect on your chosen course by year/stage of study. Contact time includes scheduled activities such as: lecture, seminar, tutorial, project supervision, demonstration, practical classes and labs, supervised time in labs/workshop, fieldwork and external visits. The figures are based on 1,200 hours of student effort each year for full-time students.

First year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 18%
  • Guided independent study – 82%

Second year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 18%
  • Guided independent study – 82%

Third year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 15%
  • Guided independent study – 85% 

Skills and Careers

What will this mean for my future?

You might work as a politician’s assistant, a researcher for an MP or think-tank, or a public-affairs consultant. You could work in the civil service, in local government, or for a campaigning or lobbying group. A wide range of other employers also see a politics degree as evidence of your ability to think critically, take a balanced approach, make reasoned arguments and collaborate with colleagues, so many graduates go into careers like journalism or management.

Visit our Careers pages (new window)

Codes and Combinations

Codes and Combinations

Popular Dual Honours Combinations

Politics and International Relations

International relations and politics are closely related, sharing several important concepts and many practical concerns, such as global inequality, climate change, globalisation, human rights and security. Both disciplines address issues concerning government, power, justice and the future of political community at various levels.

Politics and Philosophy

There is considerable conceptual overlap between philosophy and politics, and shared concern on a wide range of contemporary issues, such as climate change, genetic engineering and global inequality. Both disciplines are interested in issues about government, social structures, power, justice and the relationship between the individual and the state. The clarity and precision in analysis provided by training in philosophy complements the wide-ranging scope of political concerns, many of which have profound ethical implications of the kind dealt with in moral philosophy.

Politics and History

History is one of the most popular subjects for combining with Politics in a Dual Honours degree. There are many attractions to this mix. While being two quite distinct disciplines -- history as a branch of the humanities, politics as a social science--  their subject matters naturally overlap. Historical background can, of course, offer valuable insight into modern political structures and processes, and this is especially the case at Keele in the area of Europe, in which both politics and history have particular strengths.

Politics and Law

Law with politics is a distinctive qualifying law degree pathway. It builds on the close links between the two disciplines to enable students wishing to enter the legal profession to acquire an interdisciplinary education by studying one politics module in every semester of every year of their time at Keele. If you choose this combination, you will develop their legal skills and knowledge through an in-depth examination of the law in its social, political and economic context while working with leading internationally recognised academics from both law and politics. You might consider this degree combination is you wish to pursue a career as a qualified lawyer in different levels of government, working in non-governmental organisations, think-tanks and lobbying organisations, policy analysis or even teaching politics and citizenship. The key research, communication and analytical skills that you will develop will equip you to work in a broad range of sectors.  We have seen our graduates achieve successes in the legal professions and many other careers, including the police, teaching and film production. Keele alumni include several former presidents of the Students’ Union, partners of leading national law firms, QCs, a recent president of the Law Society and a High Court judge.

For overseas students who do not meet direct entry requirements, we offer the opportunity to take an intensive International Year One in International Relations and Politics leading to second year degree entry.

Single Honours, Major and Foundation course information

Politics with Foundation Year: L2LH View Unistats for this course

Students are candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) (BA Hons) if their two principal courses are in humanities and/or social science subjects.

All students who study a science subject are candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science (with Honours) (BSc Hons).

Politics is studied either as a single honours course, or as part of a dual honours degree in combination with a wide range of subjects such as international relations or history. Under the dual honours system, students may choose to concentrate more on one subject (as a major) than another (as a minor).

can be combined with:

Full Unistats data is available at unistats.direct.gov.uk (opens new window)

Study abroad

For those taking a dual honours course it may be possible to choose an International Year as part of your degree resulting in a 4 year course.

On the Politics programme you have the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in your second year studying at one of Keele’s international partner universities. Exactly which countries are available depends on your choice of degree subjects. An indicative list of countries is on the website Partner Universities however this does not guarantee the availability of study in a specific country as this is subject to the university’s application process for studying abroad.

No additional tuition fees are payable for studying abroad but you do have to bear the costs of travelling to and from their destination university, accommodation, food and personal costs. Depending on the destination you are studying at additional costs may include visas, study permits, residence permits, and compulsory health checks. You should expect the total costs of studying abroad to be greater than if they study in the UK, information is made available from the Global Education Team throughout the process, as costs will vary depending on destination.

Find out more about the course

Our Course Information Documents (CIDs) are designed to give you all of the details you need to make an informed decision about what and where to study.

Politics Single Hons (Int. Year) 17-18" class="b_anchor" style=""> Single Honours Course Information Document (PDF) Politics Dual Hons, Major-Minor (Int. Year) 17-18" class="b_anchor" style=""> Dual Honours and Major Minor Course Information Document (PDF)
Jo Lea

Jo Lea

"Keele and SPIRE have made my undergraduate degree the best three years of my life, so much so that I chose to stay on for postgraduate study."

BA (Hons) Politics (2014)

John English

John English

"I have had a fantastic time and gained so much from my time there."

BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics (2012)

Duncan Weaver

Duncan Weaver

"The mixture of lectures and seminars makes your first year particularly interesting. Lectures gave a great deal of breadth, covering a wide range of topics within the modules."

BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics (2010)

Maria Case

Maria Case

"Award-winning graduate defies expectations to come top of the class"

BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics (2008)

Carrie Martin

Carrie Martin

"In SPIRE you are not just a number. You are a person and the staff get to know you and treat you as such. "

BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics (2010)