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BA (Hons) Politics and Economics

  • Late
  • UCAS Code:
    LL21
  • Institution:
    B50
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

This course will explore the political and economic consequences of contemporary global issues such as Brexit and the rise of nationalism and protectionism, as evidenced by the election of Donald Trump, the rise of Marine Le Pen and the German AFD party. We discuss some of the biggest issues facing the world today including pollution and climate change, health and healthcare, unemployment, inequality, and global poverty. Through these discussions you’ll develop an understanding of the significance of global politics and the factors that influence income, wealth and wellbeing.

You will also explore the social, historical and cultural contexts and the role of the media in contemporary politics and economics. Whether parliamentary decisions or street protests, information travels worldwide almost instantaneously and therefore we must consider the role that the media plays, including to reinforce and challenge who gets what, how, why, and where.

Outside of lectures you will have the opportunity to attend a wide variety of extra-curricular activities run by the Centre for Politics & Media including conferences and speaker seminars as well as fieldtrips to locations such as Westminster and Brussels, and local government and charities. You are also encouraged to engage in current research, working alongside staff as student research assistants which can lead to publications in peer-reviewed journals which can add an extra dimension to your studies.

You will also complete a work placement of either four or 30-weeks, which will help to build your professional contacts and gain invaluable experience that can serve as a platform for entry into a wide variety of careers. You may also wish to study abroad for a semester at one of our partner institutions.

Drawing on the research and teaching expertise of the Faculty of Media & Communication and the Faculty of Management, this course creates an interdisciplinary approach to politics and economics to provide a deep understanding and insights into power and wealth and their distribution in society.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018, September 2019

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

3 years including a 4-week placement (or 4 years including a minimum 30-week placement). Full-time

Entry requirements:

For 2018 entry: 112-120 tariff points from 2 A-levels or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2018 entry requirements page.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements page

Course details

Year one

Core units

  • 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.

Year two

Core units

  • 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.

Year 3/4

Core units

  • 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 specification

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.

Placement opportunities

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.

Your application

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.

Selection method

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.

BTEC qualifications:

  • 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.

Options include:

Careers

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

  • Politics
  • Diplomacy
  • PR
  • Marketing
  • Journalism

Further study

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.

Your lecturers

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.

Dr Shelley Thompson

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.

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide.
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Optional fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies (with or without attendane), you may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit. 

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Course changes

The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text
14/11/2017

After an annual review of the placement year tuition fee,  a price increase in line with current inflation, equating to 3% has been introduced.

Fees £790

How you can get involved

Your Election 2015

Your Election 2015

Take a look at our coverage of the UK General Election which includes written features, interviews, blogs and videos.
BU Politics blog

Politics blog

To stay informed on our staff and students, you can read the Politics blog.

Additional information

Students in Dylans Bar

Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding, including scholarships and bursaries.

Open Days

Open Days

We give a warm welcome to anyone who comes to meet us and we love showing off our campuses and Bournemouth to prospective students and their families. 

Undergraduate courses

Undergraduate courses

Our undergraduate courses prepare you for the workplace, with every student given the chance to undertake a work placement. All our courses are delivered by staff who are leaders in their fields.