Study Politics abroad

About this subject

  • About this subject
  • Is this the course for me?
  • Career prospects
  • Studying Political Science
  • Where to study?
Politics

Originating from the Greek word politikos meaning “of, for or relating to citizens” the study of politics often refers to the beliefs and principles and how these have an impact on the running of society. While the majority of people make the assumption that politics refers primarily to the government and state, there are a wide range of politics that are covered within degree courses from political freedom and the politics of gender.

Is this the course for me?

Are you interested in learning about the systems that structure society? Do you want to learn about national and international relations? If so, then you may be suited to a degree in politics.

While a passion for the subject is essential for any degree programme, it is important that politics have a keen interest in other subjects such as history and law, as there will be subject areas covered throughout the course. Students should also have strong analytical skills in order to understand the impact key historical events and legal cases have had upon the structure of politics.

Similarly, students of politics will be expected to research around the subject matter and to research criticism in their non-contact hours. As such, the students that make the most of their course are those who are hard working, self-motivated and highly organised.

Career prospects

Ironically, the majority of politics graduates do not end up becoming politicians – despite opinion to the contrary. However, for many graduates with strong degrees and the right work experience it is possible for a politics student to find research work within local and national political parties.

However, many politics graduates opt for careers in other fields within business, marketing and PR being particularly popular options for those who have proven analytical skills and have acquired an understanding into the psyhce of those with particular belief systems.

For those who have an interest in specific course areas such as economics or law, there are also a number of career options within these career fields. Those with an in-depth knowledge of the link between politics and economics are often highly sought after for jobs in finance and banking, whereas those who excel in law-based modules often decide to study for the Graduate Diploma in Law which will prepare students for further solicitor or barrister training.

Studying Political Science

The majority of Political Sciences courses last 3 years and although the title of the course ends with the phrase “science” the structure of the degree programme tends to be more humanities-like. Unlike pure and applied sciences, the majority of teaching will take place within lectures and will be assessed through essay assignments and end of semester examinations. Outside of your contact hours, you will also be expected to research political criticism which should assist in the formulation of your own beliefs.

If English is not your native language, but you are looking to study in the UK-don’t worry. Universities welcome applications from a large number of foreign applicants each year on the condition that they are able to score a minimum of 6.0 on an IELTS test.

The entry level requirements of your course will very much depend upon the University you are applying to. However, most establishments expect students to have demonstrated a previous interest in the subject. All students should have 3 A-levels or equivalent, and although the subjects required are rarely specified, qualifications in history, English, law or economics will strengthen your application.

Where to study?

There is such competition for places on Political Sciences courses that the decisions you make today regarding your institution of study will have a significant impact upon your future; particularly if you want to pursue a career in political research. If this is the case, it is best to investigate the links your chosen establishment has and whether you could use these links in order to gain valuable work experience and network.

Another consideration to take into account is the cost of your course, as well as the grade requirements. Most Universities will only accept graduates with strong A-level, so before deciding that law is the course for you, check that your predicted grades meet these requirements.

Of course it is also important to choose somewhere that will make you happy for the duration of your course, particularly if you’re opting to live away from home. Wherever you choose to study, your degree will end up costing you a lot of money, so you need to ensure that you get the most out of your time as a student. As such it is important that you consider whether the surrounding culture will add to the pleasure of your University years as well as academic benefits of studying at a particular institution.

Most importantly, you must ask yourself whether you can really afford the fees? Can you afford the living costs of your chosen locality? Your time at University will last a minimum of 3 years, so it is essential that you budget for both the cost of your degree and your maintenance.

If you’re struggling to secure funding, there are a number of scholarships and grants available.

What Politics courses are there?

1

International Relations

2

International Politics

3

Policy Studies

4

Development Politics

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