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Politics (BSc Econ)

  • L200

3 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

This is our core degree and offers the maximum choice of Politics modules. One strand looks at how politics works in Britain and elsewhere, for example by investigating how public policy is made. Another analyses political ideas such as freedom, justice, democracy and human rights. You can also take modules in international relations. The programme is designed to give you a broad understanding of politics tailored to your own particular needs.

In your first year you concentrate mainly on core modules, while in your second and third years you choose from among a wide range of option modules.

For employers this degree means that you have an excellent understanding of politics and government, plus associated intellectual and communications skills, that will be of value whether you work in government or in the private or voluntary sectors. Politics graduates find careers in a wide range of fields. A further option is to go on to postgraduate study.


Key Facts

UCAS Code L200
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Typical places available The School admits 100 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes
Typical applications received 545
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAB excluding General Studies
Admissions Tutors Dr Jonathan Kirkup
Tel Number 029 2087 6102
Email address
School website

The Politics degree programme at Cardiff takes three years to complete.

The first year is an introductory year. It is the results of the second and final years of study that determine your degree classification. The degree is made up of compulsory modules as well as optional modules, allowing you to tailor your degree to reflect your specific interests. A particular feature is the option of writing a dissertation in your final year. This is highly regarded by employers because it indicates that you can do original research.

Year 1

We offer six Politics modules in Year 1. Four of these are compulsory:

The other two are available as options:

Alternatively, you can choose option modules from other academic subjects, such as History or Philosophy. This allows you the opportunity to pursue existing academic interests or explore new areas.

Year 2

You take six Politics modules. Note that the lists of modules below are indicative only and that modules may vary from year to year.

Final Year

In your Final Year you get the opportunity to choose six further modules, including the option of doing a dissertation.

Lectures provide a broad structure for each subject, introduce key concepts, and convey relevant up-to-date information. These are outlined in course syllabi.

Seminars provide an opportunity to ask questions and discuss key ideas in a small group environment. Their purpose is to assist you to integrate the information and ideas you receive from lectures and readings and to explore issues critically and in depth. Seminars are kept small and usually average between 12-15 students. This is designed to give you ample opportunity to participate and to provide close contact between you and members of the academic staff.

Different seminar formats are used. Set questions and readings form the basis for discussion by directing your attention to relevant aspects of the subject matter and to various types of sources of information. Giving presentations develops your capacity to gather, organise and synthesise relevant information and ideas and to communicate these in a logical and concise manner. Tutor-led and student-led discussion hones logical skills and gives you practice in applying different concepts, theories and methods to the subject-matter at hand. It also exposes you to different interpretations of political ideas and events. Group problem-solving helps to develop collaborative skills.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Prior advice and written feedback (for essays) are used to help you understand what is required.


The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and thereby develop your capacities to apply different concepts, theories and methods to the analysis of political questions; acquire detailed knowledge about a particular area of politics; use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material; and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

Pastoral Care

You will be allocated a personal tutor for the entire period you are at the University. Personal tutors are members of the academic staff who are available to students seeking advice, guidance and help.


Politics at Cardiff School of Politics and International Relations received excellent ratings for both teaching outcomes and teaching delivery in the National Audit of University Teaching Quality.

Typical A-level Offer  AAB excluding General Studies
Typical WBQ Offer  Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma with a Grade A in the Core and grades AB at A-Level
Typical Int Bacc Offer  Considered on individual merit
Other Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.

A list of commonly accepted alternative entry qualifications and admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be read here.

A Politics degree provides an excellent springboard for careers in a wide range of fields. These include journalism, broadcasting, local government, management, publishing, law, accountancy, education, the European Union, the voluntary sector, policy research and consultancy, and the civil service. Business firms are also interested in recruiting Politics graduates due to the fact that they inevitably have frequent dealings with government.

For employers a Politics degree means that you have an excellent understanding of politics and government that will be of use whether you work in government or in the private or voluntary sectors. It also demonstrates that you possess highly developed intellectual skills, such as the ability accurately to assess ideas and arguments on the basis of logic and evidence. You will also learn to construct your own answers to complex questions by developing logical arguments based on well-validated evidence. And you will develop good communication skills and use information and communications technologies - all vital in today’s information economy.

What this means is that graduates with a good Politics degree are valued by a wide range of employers. Among the employers of recent Cardiff Politics graduates are political parties, local government, private companies and non-governmental organisations. Graduates also often go on to Masters degrees. The latest statistics show that within 6 months of graduating, around 95 per cent of our graduates either have a job or are engaged in further study.

Next intake: September each year

More information

Politics and International Relations