- History of Political Thought: You’ll be introduced to classical texts and ideas in political theory – from Plato to Hobbes, Rousseau, Marx and Rawls. This unit will relate historical debates and disputed meanings to contemporary political realities.
- Economics for Accounting & Finance: You'll develop an understanding of the operation of markets, including the interaction between related markets along with an understanding of the impact of economic policies on business and society in the context of a global economy.
- Political Sociology: You will explore how social factors shape, enable and change power structures and political processes. The unit examines social attributes such as race, ethnicity, class, religion, gender, and sexuality and how they influence political engagement and behaviour and the distribution of political power.
- Global Governance & International Relations: You will develop an understanding of the historical and political context in which different countries are operating and the ideologies which shape a nation’s political culture and institutions.
- Basic Statistical Techniques: By the end of this unit you'll be able to calculate a range of basic statistical techniques and interpret the results and perform various significance tests.
- Political Economy: This unit explores the relationship between politics and economics and debates about how politics, government and power influence how wealth is generated and distributed.
- Political Psychology: This unit will provide a broad grounding in political psychology, and aims to establish psychological perspectives as an intrinsic element in the systematic study of politics, including exploring leaders and leadership, democracy, conflict, and inequality.
- Microeconomics I: The unit aims to develop your understanding of Microeconomic theory and the economic behaviour at the level of the individual – person, household, company or industry. This unit will help you to apply Microeconomic principles in the analysis of contemporary issues and problems.
- Macroeconomics I: The unit helps you understand the broader economic environment and the problems facing economies as a whole like inflation and economic growth. Understanding of Macroeconomic theory allows you to apply these principles in the analysis of contemporary issues and problems.
- Civil Society & Social Movements: The unit provides a more political understanding of engagement in civil society by examining social movements in relation to society and its development. Students will explore the evolution of collective action and the relationship between social movement dynamics and political change in the context of modernisation, globalisation and changes in socio-economic dynamics.
Option units (choose one economics unit and one politics unit)
Economics option units
- Industry, Region & Environment: The focus of this unit is on three inter-related specialist areas of economics: industrial organisation, regional development and the environment.
- Econometric Techniques: This unit will extend your knowledge of the fundamental statistical processes, techniques and ideas used in the analysis and interpretation of economic data.
Politics option units
- Political Journalism: You will analyse the news media’s role in civic education, democratic accountability, and political engagement, as well as the extent to which news media fulfil these normative roles. You will also have the opportunity to develop core journalistic skills.
- Digital Politics: This unit will enable you to understand the impact of emerging digital technologies, to assess, apply and evaluate the role of digital communications in the promotional and media communications industries. The unit will equip you with practical skills in designing, implementing and evaluating digital communications strategies and campaigns.
- International Relations, State Power & Public Diplomacy: By focusing on primary texts from Thucydides to the Westphalia Treaty, contemporary thinkers, and policy reports, this unit will encourage you to think about and comment critically on the relevance of different approaches to practices in international relations.
- Microeconomics II: The unit aims to develop your knowledge of the fundamental economic and quantitative techniques and your application to business, management and economics.
- Academic Dissertation or Consultancy Dissertation: The dissertation offers you an opportunity to become an expert on a topic of particular interest. You can develop a study that connects your learning with real-world observations enabling you to develop and demonstrate your critical, analytical and research skills.
Option units (choose one economics unit and one politics unit)
Economics option units
- Global Markets, Development & Labour: The unit aims to develop you knowledge of economic theory and your ability to apply it to an inter-related set of specialist areas of economics: global markets, national labour markets and economic development.
- Macroeconomics II: You will develop your knowledge and the ability to critically analyse macroeconomic problems and issues in the context of the global economy. It seeks to provide you with the theoretical and empirical foundations to understand macroeconomic activity and policy in a global context.
Politics option units
- Environmental Communications: You will explore and understand how significant environmental communication is for organisations and will be equipped with critical and practical skills in this area.
- Promotion, Power & Democracy: You will be exposed key theoretical ideas from social and critical theory, political economy and political philosophy.
- Social Communications: This unit will encourage you to create new ways of using promotional communication perspectives, insights and skills for social purposes.
- Media (In) Equality: You will critically examine the ways that the mainstream media maintains and perpetuates social inequalities with a specific focus on race, gender and class, both as a topic of academic study and social and political practice.
- Persuasion & Influence: You will explore theory and practice as it relates to persuasion and influence.
Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.
Download the programme specification for BA (Hons) Politics & Economics.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.
All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.
At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career; therefore we now offer every new student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course.
We will provide a great deal of help and support to ensure you achieve a rewarding and satisfying placement. What’s more, you can also choose to undertake your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market.
A placement should be a highly rewarding experience for you and the employing company and we do our best to ensure that everyone involved feels that they have got the most that they can from the experience. Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?
The benefits to you as a placement student are many. You will have the chance to:
- Put the theory learnt throughout the course into professional practice
- Enhance your study and help you decide on subject options (where appropriate)
- Learn a wide range of skills such as time management, problem solving and team work (all of these are important to succeed in any career)
- Make contacts, as it is not uncommon for our students to be offered permanent positions to return to after graduating
- Gain a real insight into how the industry operates in roles that would be almost impossible to achieve for an outsider
- Many of our students, during their placement, are given responsibilities normally associated with graduate trainees.
Our student have previously worked for:
- Lucy Allan MP
- Strategy Digital
- Dawbell PR
How long is my placement?
You will begin your placement after completion of your second year of study and you can choose to complete 4-weeks or a minimum 30-week placement.
Background and experience
We are an inclusive, friendly university and we value the different skills and abilities that a wide range of people can bring to our courses. That’s why we welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds with varied and different experiences. We consider lots of different qualifications, to make sure that those who have the talent and the ability to study and learn with us are given the chance to do so. If there’s anything in here that isn’t clear, or we don’t answer your questions, get in touch with the Future Students Enquiry Team.
We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications, there are no interviews or selection activities needed. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply web pages.
Our offer making process
Our offer making will typically be based on your main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.
If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.
How we'll assess your application
We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.
If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.
Unconditional offer scheme
Applicants who are predicted to achieve strong academic results will be eligible for BU’s Unconditional Offer Scheme in recognition of their academic performance and potential to succeed at university. If you are selected for the scheme and commit to us as your firm choice of university, then we will match this commitment by making your offer unconditional, which will guarantee your place at BU.
You will receive a standard conditional offer based on the entry requirements for your course via UCAS Track and your offer letter – it will advise that you are eligible for the unconditional offer scheme. We will then update your offer to unconditional should you choose BU as your firm choice on UCAS Track. We believe that unconditional offers reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible, and we will reward you with an Academic Excellence scholarship of £1,000 in your first year if you achieve AAA or above at A-level or equivalent.
2018 entry requirements
We use the UCAS Tariff to show our entry requirements and will accept a combination of grades from your qualifications. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to tariff points.
The entry requirements for this course are 112-120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.
GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications.
Numeracy and literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the Future Students Enquiry team to find out more.
Other qualifications: We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the Future Students Enquiry team – it may be that we can still consider it.
Access courses: 112-118 tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.
- Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
- Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff
- BTEC National Foundation Diploma/90-credit Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent
- BTEC National Extended Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent
Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: 112-120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 principal subjects.
Cambridge Technical qualifications:
- Extended Diploma: 112 tariff points
- Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff
- Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent
- Introductory Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent
International Baccalaureate (Diploma): 30-31 points overall including grade H5 from 2 Higher Level subjects.
Scottish Advanced Higher: 112-120 points including a minimum of 2 Advanced Highers
Welsh Baccalaureate: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent.
Extended Project Qualification: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by 2 A-levels or equivalent qualifications.
Deferred entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.
International entry requirements
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:
IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.
View further information about our English language requirements.
If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.
Academic entry requirements
You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students’ page.
We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.
The world of politics is constantly evolving and in today's hyper-mediated environment, there is an even greater need for people who understand the role the media plays within politics. This course will prepare you for working in various roles within this fascinating area, including in local and national government, non-government organisations, think-tanks, lobbying groups and emerging political industries such as soft diplomacy and nation branding.
This is a new course, 85% of our students from similar courses are in work or further study within six months of completing their course, with an average salary of £23,500 per year*. Among the roles you will be prepared for are:
- Political press officer/spokesperson
- Campaign strategist
- Digital communication strategist
- Political project manager
Industries worked in
Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.
*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.
Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the politics sector which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Find out more about some of the staff and their research activities who will be teaching on this course below.
Shelley Thompson is the Politics programme leader and a senior lecturer in the Corporate and Marketing Communications Academic Group in The Faculty of Media & Communication, Bournemouth University. Her research centres on media framing of social and political issues, especially emerging/controversial science.
Shelley is a former US journalist who worked at a variety of publications covering finance and securities regulation in New York City to politics, education, crime, and health at the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning Eagle-Tribune in it's New Hampshire bureau. While working at the Eagle-Tribune, she received several awards for her reporting, including investigative reporting awards and a First Amendment award for a series on a secret government payment to a public employee leaving his job.
Shelley teaches on a variety of degrees including the Politics, Public Relations, Advertising, and Marketing Communications. She is also a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.
||Changes to this course
||Where the change was made
After an annual review of the placement year tuition fee, a price increase in line with current inflation, equating to 3% has been introduced.