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  1. Undergraduate and foundation
    1. 2021
Study at City

BSc (Hons) Politics

Entry Year:
Understand and analyse the key political issues that characterise twenty-first century politics and develop valuable, transferable skills that will prepare you for a wide range of career and postgraduate study options.

Key information

Start date

September 2021

Academic year dates


3 years or 4 years with professional placement.


Full-time: £9,250 for the first year of study *


Full-time: £16,240 for the first year of study **


Full-time: £16,240 for the first year of study **

UCAS code


Application period

From September 2020


Northampton Square

Who is it for?

This course has been developed for students who want to analyse, in a systematic and comparative way, the key political problems and issues that face states and societies across the world.

You will develop vital analytical skills that are theoretically rigorous and empirically informed. You will learn how to apply these skills to explain today’s key issues, such as uneven economic growth and rising inequality, political violence, civil war and a shifting balance of global economic and political power.

The degree programme will equip you with the tools you need to be competitive in a world where strategic thinking is prized and analysis of political risks highly valued. The programme is geared to helping you graduate with the understanding, skills and experience that will prepare you for postgraduate study or careers in a range of governmental, corporate, non-governmental and international organisations engaged in addressing these challenges.

Avi Garson, BSc in Politics

The Politics course at City is comprehensive and engaging.  The content of the modules is diverse, thought-provoking and exciting. The lecturers are fantastic as well as approachable and very helpful. The tutors are able to provide the attention, guidance and feedback necessary. Tutorials are interactive and enjoyable. I'm extremely pleased I chose this degree.


Why are some countries becoming democratic while democracy is failing in others? How is political power distributed in different societies around the world? How has globalisation reshaped state and market institutions in different countries? Why do different countries have different political systems? Why have far-right parties been successful in increasing their electoral support in some countries but not in others? When do social protests against governments emerge and when do they succeed?

In today’s increasingly interconnected world, understanding the central issues and trends that characterise twenty-first century politics requires students to look beyond the borders of any single nation and adopt a global perspective. The Politics BSc (Hons) at City will provide you with the analytical skills, and theoretical and methodological tools that will help you address the key questions that are central to understanding politics today.

The BSc (Hons) Politics will enable you to:

  • Investigate how national politics influences global political phenomena.
  • Develop strong analytical skills, learning how to compare political phenomena taking place in different countries to improve your knowledge of contemporary politics.
  • Broaden your regional and country-level expertise with a range of modules on the politics of emerging powers.

This course will challenge you to apply the key theories and approaches of the politics discipline to explore the diversity of political processes and political systems across different countries and regions of the world.

Plus, to prepare you for a wide range of future career and postgraduate study possibilities, you will benefit from our location within a department with a strong international focus, and our exciting opportunities for work placement and studying abroad.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

A Level

  • 'A' Level: Grades BBB or 120 UCAS tariff points
  • A Level General Studies and A Level Critical Studies are not accepted
  • GCSE pre-requisites: English Language and Mathematics or Statistics at grade 4 (or equivalent).

International Baccalaureate (IB)

  • 29 points including 5,5,5 from three Higher Level subjects (no specific subjects required).

For help with the new UCAS tariff please visit the UCAS Tariff Calculator

Other suitable qualifications

Access to Higher Education

We welcome Access course applications from 'mature' students. These applicants will be considered on the basis of their own merits. Please be aware that Access students are often asked for further information to supplement their application, this is normally in the form of a questionnaire.

A typical offer for an Access applicant would be: Pass 60 credits, 45 Level 3 including at least 27 at distinction and the remaining 18 at merit. The Access qualification should be supplemented by at least a grade 4 (C) in Mathematics and  English Language at GCSE.

Other UK qualifications accepted include:

  • BTEC National Diploma (DDD required)
  • Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects
  • Advanced Diploma (plus appropriate A Levels)
  • Scottish Advanced Highers
  • Welsh Diploma (plus appropriate A Levels).


We accept a wide range of international qualifications for direct entry to our programmes.

Typical offers for international and other qualifications

You can apply for a course here before you sit your final school exams (we would recommend applying in the October/November of the year before you wish to start). Any offer we decide to make you will be conditional on you achieving the appropriate score in your school leaving qualifications, in conjunction with your English language qualification.

If you do not qualify for direct entry, INTO City, University of London offers an International Foundation Programme. This course offers a route to City, University of London through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in purpose built study facilities. Successful completion of the International Foundation Programme at INTO City, University of London to the standard required provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

Second year transfers

We accept students transferring from other universities for second year entry on a case-by case basis. If you wish to apply for second-year entry please be aware that you must:

  • Currently be studying on a course in an equivalent subject area.
  • Have achieved grades equal to the entry requirements for first-year entry (A Levels, international qualifications, foundation years, access courses, etc.).
  • Have covered sufficiently similar content to that of our first year students.
  • Be gaining or have gained at least a 2:1 in every module in your current first year. You must provide official documentation of this as evidence (e.g. university transcript).

If you feel you meet these requirements then please apply through UCAS as early as possible (transfer students normally apply when their first semester exam results are published) and we can then assess your eligibility. Please be aware you will need to select your 'point of entry' as year two.
Please note: For direct second-year entrants the overall degree classification will be based on the marks obtained at City, University of London only, with the weighting of 33/67 between the second and third year. Marks previously obtained will not be used in the degree classification.

On your application please include:

  • The exact name of the degree you are studying towards
  • The institution at which you are studying
  • The modules you have taken
  • Any scores you have achieved.

This information will enable us to make a more informed decision as to whether the content that you have studied is to an appropriate level for level-two entry. Please be aware that you must meet all of the above requirements, otherwise your application is unlikely to be successful.

If you are currently studying in an overseas institution and have any questions about applying for 2nd year entry, please contact

English requirements

IELTS: 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each component.

PTE Academic: 58 overall with a minimum of 51 in each component.

Visa requirements

International Students (EEA and Non EEA) coming to study in the UK, may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study. The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • EEA nationals joining the programme in 2020 and EEA nationals joining from January 2021
  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Applications for degree courses must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). You can apply through your school or college using the Apply system, which enables you to submit your application directly to the UCAS website.

You can apply to up to five universities or institutions on the form. The UCAS code for City, University of London is C60.

Please take care to enter the correct course code when applying, particularly for subjects with a Foundation year or with BEng (Hons) and MEng (Hons) or BSc (Hons) and MSci (Hons) options.

UCAS has implemented an ‘invisibility of choices’ policy so that, on the initial application and while you are receiving decisions, each institution can see only their entry and not those of other institutions you have chosen. This ensures that your application for a course at City is considered solely on your academic and personal qualities.

You should submit your completed application form to UCAS with a £23 application fee. If you want to apply to City, University of London only, you can make a single choice application at a reduced rate of £12.

When to apply

Your application for entry in September 2021 should arrive at UCAS between 1st September 2020 and 29th January 2021. Applications that arrive after 29th January 2021 will be considered only at City's discretion.

When your application is acknowledged by UCAS, you will be sent a personal identification number so that you can access your records via Track on the UCAS website.


For general enquiries about the admissions process at City, please contact our Admissions Office:


Telephone: +44 (0)20 7040 8716.

If your enquiry is about admission to a particular course, please use the contact details provided on the course page.

Contacting UCAS


Address: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 3LZ

Telephone: from inside the UK 0871 468 0468; from outside the UK +44 (0)871 468 0468

For callers with hearing difficulties: from inside the UK use the Text Relay service on 18001 0871 468 0468; from outside the UK dial +44 151 494 1260 (text phone) and then ask the operator to dial 0871 468 0468.

“Practical Politics”
module designed to help you with relevant employment
Large range of elective modules
During your course

More about fees

* The fee for this course in 2020/21 was £9,250 for each year of study. Fees for students commencing study in 2021/22 are to be confirmed.

** In 2020/21 the fee was £15,920 for the first year of study. Fees for students commencing study in 2021/22 are to be confirmed. The institution reserves the right to increase your tuition fees annually to take account of the institution's increased costs of delivering educational services. The increase will normally be 2% but this is kept under review with reference to the RPI. If the institution intends to increase your tuition fees you will be advised of this alongside the published entry fee.


Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

Get the latest information on funding options, financial support and typical living costs.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.

The Lord Mayor of London Scholarship

Find out more

BSc (hons) Politics

Discover the BSc (hons) Politics degree at City University London, explore our campus and find out about our course.


While studying at the department you will have several opportunities to improve your employability skills and pave the way for a stellar career trajectory. First, you will be given the opportunity to secure a micro-placement and work on a research project of your interest at a politics related field such as an NGO, a think tank, the house of commons, a political risk consultancy, the civil service or public affairs lobbying. Reflecting back on your mini-placement will enable you to fully maximise the value of your experience in helping you to decide what your future career goals are and to articulate fully what you gained from your experience in future job application process. You will gain practical skills to prepare you to compete for professional graduate roles through the experience of preparing a professional CV and learning about how to effectively communicate your relevant skills, experience and motivation in a cover letter and interview.

Practical politics

In Year 3 we offer a module, titled ‘Practical Politics’, geared towards developing the skills required to secure graduate employment. This module will develop the written communication skills necessary to perform well in roles commonly obtained by politics graduates. Practical sessions training you in written communication skills very different from those you have developed through your degree so far will cover the writing of policy documents, press releases or political editorials for media outlets. These sessions will be delivered by external specialists from political organisations utilising these professional skills on a day-to-day basis.

Finally, you can spend four years completing your degree by undertaking a work placement between years 2 and 3 of your degree. The degree title awarded would be: BSc Politics with Integrated Professional Training.

Study abroad

The Politics BSc at City offers you an exciting opportunity to expand your horizons by studying abroad. Our previous students have taken up opportunities at a number of overseas universities, including:

Academic facilities

Student using the Bloomberg terminals at City university

As a student at City, you will not only study for a world-class degree at our modern central London campus, you will also have access to a variety of subject-specific facilities and resources, including:

  • Bloomberg and Datastream real-time data
  • Elsevier's extensive Handbooks in Economics series
  • Free online subscription to the Financial Times
  • Free online subscription to The Economist.


We operate a Guarantee Scheme for first year undergraduates which means you will be offered place in one of City's affiliated Halls if you meet the Scheme's criteria.

Read more about our undergraduate halls.

Our Accommodation Service can also help you find private accommodation.

Find out more about private accommodation.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply


Course timetables are normally available from July and can be accessed from our timetabling pages. These pages also provide timetables for the current academic year, though this information should be viewed as indicative and details may vary from year to year.

View academic timetables

Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.

Student support

We offer an extensive support network during your time here at City, University of London – from Learning Support (including disability support) and counselling to financial and career advice – leaving you free to enjoy every opportunity campus life has to offer.

Find out more about the different types of student support available.

Ask a student

Chat to our current students and read their blogs to gain an insight into studying at City and learn more about our undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Course content and assessment

To make sure that you can begin or continue your studies with us during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reviewed and adapted our courses to ensure a safe learning environment for our students and staff. We have modified the way some of our courses are delivered, with many programmes being made available online.

Contact us to find out more about how our programmes will be delivered.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a combination of lectures, interactive sessions, practical workshops, small group classes, and use of online learning tools. Lecturing and teaching is supported by a personal tutorial, mentoring and supervision system. We also arrange an inspiring research seminar series with outside speakers, both professional and academic.

Contact hours

The BSc (Hons) Politics will include an average of 10 contact hours per week (8 face-to-face teaching hours and two office hours with module leaders and tutors) – around 200 contact hours during the academic year.

Independent study

In addition, you will undertake extensive reading and independent study. This will enable you to broaden and deepen your knowledge and understanding of the topics covered in lectures. You will also have time to prepare for the interactive sessions and practical workshops, where you will be invited to ask questions and participate in in-depth discussions with other students and teaching staff.

Our academic staff

Engaged in influential, cutting-edge research, which often leads to policy change and media appearances, our academic staff at the Department of International Politics are enthusiastic, passionate and ready support you through your studies.

Learn more about our International Politics staff.

Follow the International Politics team on Twitter: @cityintpolitics

Assessment methods

The assessment weighting for year one is 10%, year two is 30% and year three is 60%.

You will be assessed by:

  • Coursework (assessed essays and assignments).
  • Unseen exams.
  • Oral presentations.
  • Other types of assessment methods that are suitable to specific modules.

In addition, the Politics BSc (Hons) involves two research projects:

  • A 5,000-word research paper at the end of the second year.
  • A 10,000-word dissertation submitted at the end of your third year.

You will choose the topics for both research projects, in consultation with your module leaders and supervisors. These two research exercises are designed to help you develop and advance your conceptual and analytical knowledge in the field of politics, as well as key transferable skills that will become an asset when entering the professional world or embarking in further studies

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The balance of assessment by examination, practical examination and assessment by coursework will to some extent depend on the optional modules you choose.

The approximate percentage of the course assessment, based on 2017/18 entry is as follows:

Year 1

Written examination: 18% Coursework: 82%

Year 2

Coursework: 100%

Year 3

Coursework: 100%

Assessment weightings by year

Year 1: 10% ∙ Year 2: 30% ∙ Year 3: 60%


Your degree consists of three parts, corresponding to the three years of the full-time degree programme.

Year One

In the first year, we will introduce you to the main issues, concepts, and theoretical perspectives in the study of politics and related sub-disciplines, such as comparative politics and political theory. You will also begin to gain some of the skills required to succeed in your studies, such as writing appropriately constructed essays, interacting in small group seminars, and conveying complex arguments (typically in the form of presentations).

Year Two

During the second year, you will build upon the skills and knowledge gained in the first year to analyse politics comparatively in a variety of countries, from key industrialised and rising powers to developing and underdeveloped states. During this year, you will also start to systematically acquire some of the skills required to engage with the discipline as a researcher.

Year Three

During the final year, you will have the opportunity to engage with specific topics and sub-fields at length. First, through your dissertation – a sustained piece of independent research. Second, through the elective modules in the areas that interest you the most.

Year 1

The first year is made up of 120 credit (all modules are 15 credits).

You will take six core modules, which will provide you with a foundation in the main issues, concepts, and theoretical perspectives of politics, comparative politics and political theory.

In addition, you will choose two elective modules from a wide range of topics that are directly relevant to the study of politics. These are offered by the Department of International Politics, as well as other departments in the School of Arts and Social Science. In addition, you have the option of taking one foreign language course.

Compulsory core modules core (all modules are 15 credits each)

  • Introduction to Politics
  • Puzzles of Comparative Politics
  • Introduction to Political Theory
  • Emerging Powers in a Changing World
  • Introduction to Political and Economic Data Analysis
  • Studying Politics.

Year 2

The second year consists of modules that make up 120 credits. You will take two core modules, plus six elective modules (all modules are 15 credits).

During the second year, you will take two compulsory modules. One to consolidate your understanding of the key theories, approaches and concepts and another to develop your scholarly writing.

In addition to these two core modules you will be able to choose six elective modules – four must be chosen from a list of modules pertaining to the field of politics/comparative politics with the purpose of building your specialised knowledge in the subject field you are studying. The remaining electives can be chosen from a broader selection of modules.

Programme core modules (All modules are 15 credits each):

  • Advanced Topics in Comparative Politics

Choose at least 60 credits (4 modules) from:

  • Political Risk Analysis
  • Politics of the USA
  • Comparative Asian Politics
  • Comparative Political Economy
  • Violent politics: riots, civil wars and state repression
  • Political Psychology: Emotion & Reason in Politics
  • Theories of International Political Economy.

Choose remaining credits (a maximum of 30 credits) from:

  • Transnational Social Movements
  • Advanced Theories of Global Politics
  • Security Studies: Conceptual Approaches
  • Security Studies: Contemporary and Emerging Issues
  • Foreign Policy Analysis 1: Theories and Issues
  • Foreign Policy Analysis 2: Instruments and Practice
  • New Media Challenges
  • Understanding Social Change
  • Sociology of Race and Racism
  • Reporting Conflict
  • Religion and Politics in the Age of Global Change
  • Ordering the World: International thought in the twentieth century
  • Analysing Political and Economic Data in the Real-World
  • Practical Politics
  • Advanced Principles of Economics: Financial Markets and Corporate Systems
  • Political Psychology: Reason & Emotion in Politics
  • Fifty Shades of Red – Russia in the Twentieth Century
  • The American Century: The United States in the Twentieth Century
  • Cultures of Benevolence: Philanthropy and Civil Society from 1601 to the Present
  • The Making of Modern Japan
  • India in the Eighteenth Century
  • Contemporary Social Theory
  • Data Journalism.

Year 3

Year three is made up of 120 credits. You will take six modules – one core module (45 credits) and 5 elective modules (total equivalent of 75 credits).

You will be able to apply the skills you have acquired during the first two years to your final year dissertation – a sustained piece of independent research on a subject of your choice within the field of politics/comparative politics.

You will also choose two elective modules in the areas that interest you the most and in doing so, specialise within the wider field of politics/comparative politics.

Programme core module:

  • Final Year Dissertation Project

Elective modules – choose 75 credits (all modules are 15 credits each):

  • Ethnicity and Nationalism: Global Comparisons
  • The Global Politics of Forced Migration
  • Political Economy of Global Inequality
  • Geopolitical Macroeconomy
  • Politics and International Relations of the Middle East
  • Global Governance
  • The Global Political Economy of Development
  • Political Change in Europe
  • Governance of the Global Economy
  • Global Money and Finance
  • Global Ethics: Power and Principle in World Politics
  • The Theory and Practice of Conflict and Peace
  • Advanced Topics in International Political Economy: The Offshore
  • American Foreign Policy
  • Global Migration Processes
  • International News
  • The Multinational Corporation: Governance, Politics, Ethics
  • Sexuality and Gender in World Politics
  • Technology, Money, Power
  • Radicals and Reformers: Left-Wing Politics and Activism in Britain and the World since 1945
  • Revolution: Rebels and Riots in Modern History
  • The Holocaust in History and Memory
  • Disruptive Divas. Riot Grrrls and Bad Sistas: A History of Women in Popular Music
  • Poverty: What Counts?
  • Reporting Business
  • Advanced Political and Economic Data Analysis
  • Micro-placement.

The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.

Overall workload

The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, interactive sessions and use of online learning tools and includes an average of 10 contact hours per week (eight teaching face-to-face hours and two office hours with module leaders and tutors). This amounts to around 200 contact hours during the academic year. In addition, you will be expected to undertake extensive reading and independent study.

Approximate study time, based on 2017/18 entry is as follows:

Year 1

Scheduled learning: 14% Independent learning: 86%

Year 2

Scheduled learning: 14% Independent learning: 86%

Year 3

Scheduled learning: 9% Independent learning: 91%
  • Student profile
    Ultimately, I believe all the skills and knowledge I gained at City helped me greatly in securing a place on the Civil Service Fast Stream programme.
  • Hanna Ahlqvist
    Student profile
    What I love about City is that you can really see how the professors love their subjects and it makes lectures and tutorials so much more fun and interesting.
  • Academic profile
    Portrait of Thomas Davies
    Senior Lecturer in International Politics
  • Academic profile
    Portrait of Anastasia Nesvetailova
    Director, City Political Economy Research Centre (CITYPERC) and BSc IPE
  • Academic profile
    Amnon Aran
    Senior Lecturer in International Politics
  • Academic profile
    Portrait of Sara Silvestri
    Senior Lecturer in International Politics
After you graduate

Career prospects

As a graduate of City's BSc (Hons) Politics degree, you will be suited to a wide range of career options such as:

  • The civil service
  • Politics
  • NGOs
  • Journalism and Communication
  • Research
  • Teaching
  • The corporate sector
  • International organisations.

Recent employers

Our graduates have found proactive roles in a number of companies and organisations, including:

  • Blackwood Group
  • The London Borough of Islington
  • The Conservative Party
  • The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
  • ESA Market Research
  • New Statesman.

Contact details

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