School of Law, Criminology and Government

BSc (Hons) Politics with Law

Understand how politics and law have shaped our past and explore how they will continue to shape our future. Study a broad range of legal and political systems and understand how the two fields interact. Put your knowledge into context by choosing these two intertwining and crossover subjects, fundamental to the running of today’s society.

You will gain eligibility for entry onto our Graduate Diploma in Law programme, enabling you to convert your degree to a ‘qualifying’ law degree. You will deepen your knowledge with optional modules on consumer law, environmental law, human rights law and media and information law. You’ll also enhance your employability by taking part in our weekly events and talks organised by the student-run Politics and International Affairs society (PIASOC).

NSS results for BSc (Hons) Politics with Law

We’re very proud of our National Student Survey (NSS) 2018 return showing that 92% of our law students and 91% of our politics students were satisfied with the quality of the course. While 100% of politics students and 93% of law students agreed that ‘staff are good at explaining things’, and 99% of politics students and 94% of law students agreed that ‘the course is intellectually stimulating’.*

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Key features

  • Study the English, EU and international legal systems.
  • Develop specific knowledge of the disciplines of politics – understand the significance and nature of political processes, the variety of forms of government and the concepts that inform their operation.
  • Gain eligibility for entry onto our Graduate Diploma in Law programme, enabling you to convert your degree to a ‘qualifying’ law degree.
  • Engage with political institutions and processes to acquire a detailed knowledge of these systems and how they interact. You’ll use current affairs as case studies to bring broader principles to life.
  • Deepen your knowledge with optional modules on consumer law, environmental law, human rights law and media and information law.
  • Learn from research-active staff, leading the way in their subjects. Members of the team are internationally renowned for their work on elections and electoral systems and ethnopolitics.
  • Enhance your employability by taking part in our weekly events and talks organised by the student-run Politics and International Affairs society (PIASOC).

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll develop your knowledge of the English, EU and International legal systems. Build your understanding of the basic and fundamental foundations of law whilst honing your legal problem solving skills. You’ll be introduced to the importance of the twin themes of democracy and democratisation, and investigate how different countries rule themselves. You’ll be encouraged to consider the contribution different theories can make to thinking about contemporary issues.
    Core modules
    • GOV1000PP One Planet? Society and Sustainability

      This module addresses some of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century from a variety of ideological and political perspectives. Through real-world case studies and critical reflection of lived experiences, we explore and debate the complex, interdependent processes underpinning sustainability and global inequality and insecurities. You develop an understanding of key drivers and public policy impacts and consider future alternative scenarios. The emphasis is on active, collaborative, learning via field trips and debates.

    • LAW1219 Legal Studies (Law Minor)

      This module focuses on providing an overview of key substantive areas of law with the integration of the development of legal problem solving skills for students on the Law Minor programmes.

    • LAW1220 Introduction to Law (Law Minor)

      This module focuses on providing an overview on the skills necessary to study law; of the English, EU and International legal systems; and of key substantive areas of law with the integration of the development of legal problem solving skills for students on the Law Minor programmes.

    • PIR100 Discovering World Politics

      The team-taught immersive module introduces students to key concepts in the fields of Politics and IR and provides them with the necessary skills and tools to write essays and engage with academic debates. It also provides an opportunity for team-building for both students and staff.

    • PIR101 Democracy and Democratization

      This module provides the foundation for the study of democracy and democratisation in politics and international relations, with a focus on competing theories of democratic governance and how these can be applied in a critical analysis of political practices and institutions both within states and in transnational global governance

    • POL101 Comparative Democracies

      This module introduces students to the key themes involved in the study of democracies. It examines each of these topics within a comparative framework. The application of the key themes will be achieved through the medium of theoretical approaches and case study application.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you'll build on your knowledge and sharpen your understanding of key issues in politics. You’ll also delve into topics at the heart of 21st century debate, including the EU, democracy and globalisation.

    Core modules
    • PIR200 International Political Economy

      This module analyses how the governance of international economic affairs has developed from the Mercantilist expansion of early modern Europe to the present day. It introduces four alternative approaches to the study of IPE. It presents the leading historical narratives of the evolution of the modern world political economy, and then investigates its development since 1945.

    • POL203 Civil Society and the Public Sphere

      This module analyses the role of civil society and the public sphere in democratic governance and in democratization from a variety of theoretical perspectives.

    • POL204 Politics of European Integration

      This module introduces students to the history, structure, key themes and potential future development of the European Union. It examines each of these aspects within the context of theories of democracy, and the challenges to such theories presented by the supranational institutions of the EU.

    • POL205 Campaigns, Voting, Elections and British Politics

      "This module undertakes an advanced examination of contemporary trends and developments in theories of electoral behaviour globally; then more specifically the relationship between electoral rules, electoral systems and election outcomes; the evolution of campaign techniques, and the role, mechanics, and accuracy of opinion polls in modern electoral politics. These global understandings are then applied directly to the case of British politics. "

    Optional modules
    • LAW2215 Environmental Law

      The module provides an examination of key themes in environmental law, with a focus on the generation, application and enforcement of this law within a critical and applied context.

    • LAW2216 Human Rights Law

      This module focuses on the law relating to human rights with reference to national, regional and international law principles. It examines the development and scope of fundamental rights in both theory and practice, and the legitimate limits and restrictions on rights in the interests of balancing conflicting interests in democratic societies.

    • LAW2218 Family Law

      This module will examine the principles of family law from both theoretical and practical perspectives.

    • LAW2220 Cybercrime: Issues and Regulation

    • LAW2226 Tort Law (Law Minor)

      A module for Law Minor students introducing principles and concepts of tort law and examining the principles involved in a number of selected torts. The Law of Tort is concerned with the creation and imposition of civil rights obligations on people generally. It is focused on the legal protection of a number of key rights, such as the right to bodily integrity, reputation, enjoyment of property and privacy amongst others.

    • LAW2229 Jurisprudence: law, society and justice

      This module follows jurisprudential inquiries into themes and topics relating to the concept of law and the intersection between law and society. It analyses key ideas and theories on the development of legal concepts and regulatory frameworks. It adopts a broad range of theoretical perspectives from sociology, cultural studies and economics to examine the phenomenon of law, providing a platform for developing rich interdisciplinary discussion and reflection.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you'll deepen your knowledge by engaging with key concepts and debates in modern politics. You’ll investigate ethnopolitics in contemporary Europe, the politics of the US and elections in the UK.

    Core modules
    • PIR300 Dissertation and PDP Review

      This module provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their attainment of the aims and objectives of the Honours Programme. It requires the design and execution of a dissertation of 12,000 words in the field of political science, together with the submission of a 1,500 word formative Literature Review detailing the aims and objectives of the dissertation together with a consideration of the extant academic literature in the field of the research question.

    Optional modules
    • LAW3229 Environmental Law

      The module provides an examination of key themes in environmental law, with a focus on the generation, application and enforcement of this law within a critical and applied context.

    • LAW3230 Family Law

      This module will examine the principles of family law from both theoretical and practical perspectives.

    • LAW3231 Criminal Law (Law Minor)

      This module provides an introduction to the principles and concepts of criminal law for Law Minors, including an introduction to modes of participation, and detailed analysis of selected offences and defences.

    • LAW3233 Commercial Law

      In outline this module covers elements of commercial law, trading, commercial relations and practice. It includes aspects of commercial transactions, agency, regulation enforcement and remedies.

    • LAW3235 Immigration, Nationality and Refugee Law

      This module focuses on the key and topical issues in Immigration, Nationality and Refugee law in the UK. The UK¿s system of immigration control is fully considered and there is some emphasis on the application of decision making to those entering the UK both for immigration purposes and as refugees. There is consideration of the global and European context and of the influence of policy, politics and the media in the field.

    • LAW3238 Sex, Power and Legal Control

      This module examines how law and society controls and regulates sexual behaviour and conduct and why and how it criminalises and punishes certain activities and sexual expression. In particular it will focus on the enactment and implementation of laws relating to sexual autonomy and sex crime and examine how these are practically operationalized within the criminal justice process. Within this context the impact upon those affected by such legal regulation is also examined.

    • LAW3239 Cybercrime: Issues and Regulation

    • LAW3244 Jurisprudence: law, society and justice

      This module follows jurisprudential inquiries into themes and topics relating to the concept of law and the intersection between law and society. It analyses key ideas and theories on the development of legal concepts and regulatory frameworks. It adopts a broad range of theoretical perspectives from sociology, cultural studies and economics to examine the phenomenon of law, providing a platform for developing rich interdisciplinary discussion and reflection.

    • LAW3249 Law, Literature and the Screen

      To introduce students to fictional representations of the legal order in prose, film and TV, and to examine the inter-connections between law, literature and the screen.

    • MAR321 Carriage of Goods by Sea

      The study of the law relating to charterparties and bill of lading contracts, and liability for pollution.

    • PIR304 US Foreign Policy Since 1945

      This module introduces students to different approaches to studying US foreign policy. As well as providing an empirical survey of America's foreign relations since 1945, it draws on IR theory to examine its changing place in the world. Students will examine historical and contemporary themes in US foreign policy and explore the complex mix of factors that combine to influence it. The module will examine US interests in different parts of the world and evaluate how US foreign policy has affected regional and international orders. The ultimate objective of the course is to explore how US foreign policy shapes the world we live in.

    • PIR305 The Politics of the United States

      This module introduces students to the fundamental principles of politics in the United States. Domestic politics and the foreign influence of the United States is considered, with specific emphasis placed on the role of the Constitution and institutions of governance in promoting (or inhibiting) democracy both domestically and abroad.

    • PIR306 Environmental Political Economy

      This module examines the problem of environmental degradation and its implications for our global political economy. It discusses the major debates in political thought around the causes of environmental degradation. The module outlines the major attempts to build international regimes for global environmental governance, and the difficulties and obstacles that such attempts have encountered. A wide range of ideas, policy proposals, innovations in governance, and templates for political activism within the environmental movement are critically evaluated.

    • PIR307 Europe in the World

      The European Union is the world's major trading block and its most integrated region. This module takes a holistic look at the EU's role in the world and the link between its economic and political presence. Accordingly it concentrates on the impact of the EU on the world (including the developing world) but also considers the internal dynamics of Europe.

    • PIR310 Work Based Learning in Politics or International Relations

      This module provides students with opportunities to gain practical insights into the workings of organisations whose role and function have clear relevance to the focus and subject matter of their undergraduate degree in Politics or International Relations, and to link such insights to their acquired knowledge and understanding of social science theories and concepts. In addition the module will prepare students for the graduate job market and encourage their autonomous engagement in personal development planning.

    • PIR312 The Politics and International Relations of the Middle East

      "The module introduces students to international relations in the Middle East. It equips them with the analytical skills to examine the Arab-Israeli conflict, Gulf conflicts, and the impact of the Arab Spring on regional politics. "

    • SOC3538 Philosophy of Social Science

      A critical introduction to the philosophical foundations of social scientific research, with an emphasis on the development of analytic skills through which students explore the philosophical and methodological possibilities and limits of knowing the social world. Critical reflexivity toward future research practice is sought.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Politics programme specification 0232

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

88 - 104

A levels
88-104 points including a minimum of 2 A levels. This course considers general studies.

BTEC
18 Unit BTEC Extended Diploma: MMM–DMM in any subject.  

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

Access
Pass a named Access to HE Diploma in any subject with at least 33 credits at merit/distinction.

International Baccalaureate
24 - 26 overall to include 4 at any subject at Higher Level. English and Maths accepted within: Higher Level = 4, Standard Level = 5.

GCSE
All applicants must have GCSE (or equivalent) mathematics and English at grade C or above.

Other
14-19 Diplomas: accepted – please enquire. 

Other combinations and non-A level qualifications also considered.

Short of the entry requirements for this course? Don’t worry you may be eligible for a foundation year to prepare you for possible entry onto this course for the following year.

English language requirements

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £13,400 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts and Humanities additional costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Study BSc (Hons) Politics with the University of Plymouth

Find out more about what it's like to study politics at the University of Plymouth

Discover more about the expert academic staff who will teach you on the course.

Find out more about BSc (Hons) Politics

Law

Are you ready to make your mark? From national competitions to High Court appeals and community projects, our students are prepared for a career in the legal profession and beyond.

With strong public and private sector connections, our degree will ground you in the fundamentals of law.

View the LLB (Hons) Law course page for more information.

The Elections Centre

Since 1985 the Elections Centre has compiled analysis and information relating to all aspects of electoral politics in Britain. Data supplied by the Centre is widely regarded as the ‘official’ source for such information.

Research projects have been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Arts and Humanities Research Council and the UK Government.

Meet the tutors

Professors Michael Thrasher and Colin Rallings have written extensively on electoral systems, results and British politics. Together they co-direct the Elections Centre and regularly appear on Sky News, ITV, and the BBC, as well as in print journalism.

Explore theory and method in political science to understand how Professors Rallings and Thrasher have achieved their high media profile.

Study sessions for students by students: Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS)

To complement your formal learning we offer regular sessions that provide the opportunity for you to learn with and from your peers. Share knowledge, discuss ideas, and ask questions in a relaxed and friendly environment

If you are a first or second year take the opportunity to study in a relaxed environment, along with other students on the same programme.

Find out more about how PALS can benefit your studies

* These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Unistats is updated annually in September.