There has never been a more exciting time to study politics!
From the politics of energy to climate change, the politics of migration to global pandemics, and democratic accountability to the politics of self-identity - questions of power, representation, and protest loom large. Traditional party politics creaks under the weight of social transformation, while long-standing left / right allegiances are challenged by the rise of populism, nationalist sentiment and multiculturalism.
The study of Politics here at Lancaster examines the contemporary political processes, arguments and compromises through which these challenges are met, denied or avoided. Your studies at Lancaster will include analysis and exploration of UK domestic party-politics and policy, as well as the politics of nations such as the USA, China and Russia and regional contexts such as Latin America and the EU.
You’ll learn about the theories, concepts and approaches through which politics is academically engaged and understood, as well as gaining applied knowledge of how politics takes place on the ground.
The course at Lancaster University is taught by lecturers who are passionate about their specialisms and bring their latest research into their teaching.
The degree covers a very wide range of topics and, as you advance through the degree, you increasingly have the opportunity to tailor the degree to your own interests by choosing from a wide range of modules. You will find that the core topics we offer are typical of most Politics degrees in the UK. An important difference however is that we also offer modules in many areas of specific and topical staff expertise concerning government and politics in Britain, Europe and the world, as well a range of other relevant optional modules due to the interdisciplinary (Politics, Philosophy and Religion) nature of our department.
The cornerstone of your first year is the core module Politics in the Modern World which introduces key themes, concepts and events that are important in the study of modern politics at university level. This includes a balance of political practice and theories, in Britain and across the world.
In the 21st century there is an increasing interdependence between national and global, which means that domestic politics and international relations can no longer be properly understood in isolation from one another. We therefore recommend that in the first year you choose the optional module International Relations: Theory and Practice to complement to the core Politics module. However, you also have the option to take an introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality. You will be able to choose a third module from a range of subjects that complement your studies.
In the second year and final years you will be able to choose from a broad range of options. These are just some examples of the many modules we offer:
- Britain in the World
- Power in British Politics: The Role of the Prime Minister
- Elections, Voters and Political Parties in Europe
- Russian International Politics
- Politics and History of the Middle East
- Exploring Key Economic Issues
- Public Policy
- Politics of Global Danger
- Contemporary Issues in Human Rights
- Counterculture and Protest Politics
The options available in any given year will vary depending on our latest research, student feedback and topical concerns. You will find further information about modules in the Course Structure section.
In your final year, you have the opportunity to undertake a sustained investigation of a specific political subject that interests you via the dissertation option.
Your placement year
To prepare students for their work placement year, our Careers and Placements Team will provide advice and guidance on: the skills required to create effective CVs, cover letters and applications; tips and techniques on how to make an impact at interviews and assessment centres; how to create a relevant digital profile; and how to research employers and career sectors of interest. In addition, there is great emphasis placed upon developing self-awareness and on how to present yourself in a professional manner to employers. This optional provision will be delivered via a blend of traditional and digital methods including face-to-face workshops, online webinars, e-courses and 1:1 appointments.
The University will use all reasonable effort to support you to find a suitable placement for your studies. While a placement role may not be available in a field or organisation that is directly related to your academic studies or career aspirations, all placement roles offer valuable experience of working at a graduate level and gaining a range of professional skills. If you are unsuccessful in securing a suitable placement for your third year, you will be able to transfer to the equivalent non-placement degree scheme and continue with your studies at Lancaster, finishing your degree after your third year.
“The Department has been a fascinating, welcoming and supportive environment from the beginning of first year to the end of final year. It is staffed by a diverse and friendly team that are always on hand to assist in matters, academic or general, whenever you need help. Lancaster offers a wide and varied range of modules throughout the degree which are taught with up-to-date research and essential critical insight.”
Ben Crumpton, BA (Hons) Politics and Philosophy
We are a lively department and several staff are involved in national and international advisory groups and our students benefit from these connections. We have extra-curricular events such as conferences, talks and seminars taking place throughout the year.
Our students take part in several Politics-related clubs and societies that are among the large number of clubs and societies supported by Lancaster University Student’s Union. These include the Politics Society, which is independent of any particular political leaning, as well as societies for all main UK political parties. There are regular events, debates, trips and high profile visiting speakers, which provide numerous ways to get involved and meet other students who share your interests.