BA, 3-4 years

This is for you if... you want to understand where power lies in political systems and how this affects the organisation of society.

Course Description

Politics has been taught at Leicester since the 1940s and we have always been at the cutting edge of British political science – we aim to fire your intellectual curiosity about the politics of the world. As well as examining the workings of the political system in the UK and other states, you will explore some of the most important and interesting issues in politics: Who holds power and why? Is there a crisis of political participation? What are the appropriate limits to individual liberty? Is globalisation a positive process? When is war just?

Our lecturers produce internationally renowned, cutting-edge research, and are keen to share their knowledge. During your time with us, we will encourage you to focus your studies on your own areas of interest. All our degrees offer a wide range of exciting module choices – and as our lecturers have such diverse interests, you will receive enthusiastic support and guidance for whichever area you choose.

We are aware of the expectation for a degree to enhance your career prospects. With this in mind, we have worked with the University of Leicester Career Development Service to design modules that will ensure you are well equipped to secure graduate roles or places on postgraduate courses. The popularity of Politics at degree level also reflects the value of the transferable skills students gain. The ability to analyse complex issues and reach reasoned conclusions, to present coherent arguments in written and oral form, to engage in independent research, and work effectively as a member of a team are skills highly valued by employers.

Key Facts
Typical offer
UCAS code
Start date
September 2017
Politics and International Relations

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 2702

Politics and International Relations

View Key Information Sets

Why Leicester?

Notable figures who have given talks at Leicester in recent years include MPs, members of the House of Lords, MEPs, members of the US Congress, officials working in UK and EU institutions, diplomats and senior personnel from the armed forces.

Politics Review, the leading magazine for students of Politics, has been associated with Politics at Leicester for over 25 years.

Our student Politics and International Relations Society organises a series of events, including visiting speakers, socials and an annual Summer Ball.

Our research strengths in Politics include: political participation; political parties in Europe; ethics and war; environmental politics; Euroscepticism, and US social policy.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

In your first year you will take introductory modules that focus on the study of government, political ideas and ideologies, and power and ethics. You will also have a choice of option modules in politics and international relations.

Core modules

  • Comparative European Politics
  • Political Concepts
  • Politics, Power and Ethics

Option modules

Choose three option modules from:

  • Classics of International Relations
  • Cold War, Crisis and Confrontation: International Relations, 1945-1989
  • Introduction to American Politics
  • Order and Disorder: International Relations from 1989 to the Present
  • Power in the World Economy

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

In year two, you will develop your understanding of government and political theory. There is also greater flexibility to shape the course of your degree as you choose from a range of option modules in government, political theory and international relations.

Core modules

  • Political Ideas
  • Political Analysis
  • Political Parties in Contemporary Britain

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

  • Foreign Policy Analysis
  • Governing Societies in Conflict
  • International Security Studies
  • International Theory
  • The Making of Contemporary US Foreign Policy
  • Quantitative Data Analysis
  • Sex and Gender in Global Politics
  • Contemporary Political Philosophy: Theories of Justice
  • Latin American Politics
  • European Union Politics
  • Politics and Power in Africa

You will have the opportunity to spend one semester of your second year studying Politics and International Relations at one of our partner universities in Europe. If you wish to study abroad, you should decide during your first year. Alongside the University, we have awarded travel bursaries to students wishing to study the politics of another country in the Easter or summer vacations.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year Abroad (optional)

Year Abroad (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation, or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our International Office.

Please note that a year spent abroad still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.

Politics and International Relations at Leicester has links with several European universities, administered through the European Erasmus scheme. If you attend one of these, you may be eligible for an Erasmus grant if you comply with European Commission rules and regulations. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. During your second year at Leicester you will receive appropriate language training.

  • For the latest information on the future of the Erasmus scheme at UK universities please see our Brexit microsite 

We have links with the following universities:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Final Year

Final Year

In your third year you will have the freedom to specialise in areas of the subject that particularly interest you, as well as writing a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic of your own choosing.

Option modules

Choose four option modules from:

  • American Political Development
  • British Politics and European Integration
  • Contentious Politics in EUrope
  • Democratisation and EU Enlargement in Post-Communist Europe
  • Feminism
  • Global Justice and Human Rights
  • Parliamentary Studies
  • Political Participation in Britain
  • Political Parties in Western Democracies
  • Politics and the Environment
  • The Politics of Contemporary British Foreign Policy
  •  Politics of the International Drug Trade
  • Technology, Politics and War
  • The American Presidency
  • The Changing Character of War
  • Climate Change: Ethics, Issues, Justice
  • The Conservatives: Crisis and Recovery
  • The Political Legacies of Conflict in Northern Ireland
  • The Politics of Counter Terrorism
  • The Politics of Nuclear Weapons
  • The Politics of Slavery
  • The Politics of the Global South
  • The Politics of War and Peace: Northern Ireland after 1972
  • South African Politics 

Plus your dissertation

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Major/Minor Degrees

Major/Minor options allow you to create your own degree. You can concentrate on one subject as your Major (75% of your course) while broadening your knowledge with a Minor subject (25% of your course).

Why not complement your Major with a subject that you enjoyed before, or which has vocational elements that can boost your career prospects? Alternatively, you may want to try something completely new that you’ve always been interested in, like a language.

Find out more

Teaching and Assessment


You will experience a variety of learning and teaching methods throughout your time at Leicester. We use the latest teaching resources, such as the Blackboard virtual learning environment where students can access support materials for all our modules. As well as traditional lectures and seminars, you will work in small groups, take part in debates and simulation exercises, and undertake a research project of your choice in your final year.

The development of transferable skills is a key feature of teaching at Leicester. Our courses are designed to improve your skills in written communications (from short reports to a long dissertation), oral presentation (both formal and informal), working as part of a team, independent learning (e.g. information gathering and time management), problem solving and information technology.

All members of Politics and International Relations at Leicester are engaged in cutting-edge research. We believe that good teaching flourishes in an intellectual environment informed by original research. Final year modules reflect the research interests of academic staff, exposing students to the latest thinking.


You will be assessed through a variety of methods including written examination, assessed essay, reports, briefing papers and presentations.  

Research Stories

Entry Requirements

  • A/AS Levels: BBB. Two AS-levels considered in place of one A-level. General Studies accepted.
  • EPQ with A-levels: BBC + EPQ at grade B. Two AS-levels considered in place of one A-level. General Studies accepted.
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass relevant diploma with some credits at distinction.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 28 points minimum.
  • BTEC Nationals: Full Diploma with DDM.

Other national and international qualifications considered. If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC provides academic and English language support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester.

Second Year Entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

Applicants are not normally interviewed. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the University.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries List

Fees and Funding

  • Starting in 2016

    • £9,000 per year

    Starting in 2017

    An inflationary increase (2.8% based on RPIX*) in tuition fees and student support loans have been announced by the Government for 2017. This is still subject to formal parliamentary approval however, if approved, fees for 2017/18 entry could rise to £9,250 in 2017/18.
    After 2017/18, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation (RPIX) and is subject to government regulations.
    (*RPIX is a measure of inflation in the UK, equivalent to all items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.)

  • Starting in 2017

    • £15,290 per year
    • If you take a Year Abroad, your fee will be £2,293.50 which is 15% of the full-time tuition fee.

Career Opportunities

Our degrees provide you with the transferable skills to equip you for a wide range of careers, including government, the media, education, administration, and management in industry and commerce.

Our careers and employability tutors support and facilitate your academic, professional and personal development. They will help you to make an informed choice, provide help and advice on employability, and send you information on potentially interesting traineeships and vacancies.


Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Politics BA 3 years full-time L200 Apply Now
Politics with Year Abroad BA 4 years full-time L200 Apply Now
3 years full-time
Politics with Year Abroad
4 years full-time

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