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Politics Brought To Life. A guide to our undergraduate courses. The Department Of Politics.

Politics Brought To Life. - University of Sheffield/file/...Examines key areas of theoretical debate, including realism, liberalism, Marxism, postmodernism, constructivism, neo-realism,

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  • PoliticsBroughtToLife.A guide to our undergraduate courses.


  • Im positive that the reputationof the University and thedepartment helped me insecuring my first job. The skillsthat I developed through mydegree have enabled me toflourish in the short time sinceI graduated. The quality of theteaching has helped me tothrive in the policy and widerpolitical arena.Kieran Larkin, Graduate

    Politics brought to life

    We believe the study of politics and international relationsshould be interesting, invigorating and vital. Using innovativeteaching methods, backed by world-class research, we aim tobring politics to life.

    We offer modules in key areas of political theory,international relations, British and comparative politics,alongside specialist modules which allow you to focus on theissues that mean the most to you. We also develop yourresearch and interpersonal skills and provide opportunitiesto put these skills into practice, including the option of ayears work experience as part of your degree.

    In the National Student Survey we score highly for overalllearning experience and level of personal development. Inother words, our students feel they get a lot out of their timehere. Each of our students has a personal tutor whose role is to offer guidance on both academic issues and welfare. The Politics Society, run by our students, runs events andentertainment.

    Our 28 academic staff are engaged in leading-edge research.Their research shapes and inspires what youre taught. In thelast nationwide assessments, our department was awardedthe highest grades for research and teaching quality. Thismeans that our lecturers are political scientists withinternational reputations. It also means that what we teachyou is relevant today and tomorrow.


    13 About our courses

    7 Support for you

    9 Your future career

    11 A sense of our city

    13 The UKs best Students Union

    15 Accommodation

    16 How to apply

  • 32

    BA Politics and SociologyThis course combines political analysis and awareness ofconceptual debates with a strong policy studies orientation.The politics component introduces you to theories relatedto contemporary issues, political theory, and to thediscipline of political studies. Sociology offers theoreticaland empirical studies of modern industrial societies andpatterns of social change, a concern with social interaction,and the comparative sweep of social anthropology.

    BA Politics and a LanguageWe offer a range of dual degrees which combine the studyof politics with the study of the language, society, culture,and thought of a particular country. These degrees run forfour years, with a year spent studying abroad. The coursesare run jointly with the departments of French, German,Russian and Hispanic Studies.

    About our courses

    We offer a range of single and dual honours degrees, to giveyou the option of studying politics on its own or in combinationwith other subjects. All our courses are based on a core set ofmodules, which include coverage of research and analyticalskills, combined with a range of optional modules from theDepartment of Politics or other departments across theUniversity. This provides you with the right foundation and theflexibility to shape your studies to reflect your own interests.

    Single honours

    BA PoliticsA single honours degree in Politics will teach you to applyconcepts, topics, and methods used in the study of politicsto the analysis of political ideas, institutions, and socialbehaviour. You will be introduced to a wide range of topicsrelated to contemporary issues, political theory, and to thediscipline of political studies.

    BA International Relations and Politics This course focuses on the international dimension ofpolitical studies. You will investigate the changing role of thestate and international institutions in the modern world,alongside theories of international relations.

    Dual honours

    BA Economics and PoliticsThis course focuses on the interaction between economicand political aspects of the modern world. It combines thestudy of politics with a solid grounding in modern economictheory, incorporating the issues underlying current debateson economic policy and the quantitative and analytical skillsessential for economists.

    BA History and PoliticsThis course provides you with the opportunity to investigatecontemporary politics and political theory in historicalcontext. Although the main focus is modern history andpolitics, you can choose modules from earlier periods andvarious regions of the world.

    BA in International History and International Politics This course provides a comparative and internationalperspective on the world, offering modules on Europe,Africa, South and East Asia, Australasia and the Pacific. Itlooks at the impact of imperialism and decolonisation aswell as influential movements, world-views, and theirorigins.

    BA Politics and PhilosophyThis course provides a philosophical and political analysis ofkey concepts such as human rights, power, and democracy.This provides greater depth to the study of political theory,and enables the analysis of the values underlying politicalinstitutions, policies, and behaviour.

  • 4 5

    Teaching and assessment

    Most modules are taught by a combination of whole-classlectures and group seminars and assessed by courseworkor coursework and exams. You will be expected to makepresentations, join in discussions, and participate in groupprojects. Throughout the course you will carry outindependent research, and in the final year you undertake amajor research project and/or dissertation on a topic ofyour own choice.

    We give feedback on all written and assessed work, andcarefully supervise independent research. We also aim to provide important skills for general analysis,communication, and personal development.

    One of the ways we ensure the quality of our teaching is toask you for your views. We do this through end-of-semestermodule questionnaires and regular meetings of theStudent-Staff Consultative Committees.


    Each module carries a number of credits (normally 20) and you must take 120 credits per year. In each academicyear there are two semesters. Its normal to study three 20 credit modules per semester.

    Level One

    Introduction to Political AnalysisA general introduction to the analysis of politicalphenomena with an emphasis on understanding the wayswe think and argue about politics.

    Comparing Modern PolitiesAn examination of the use of the comparative approach topolitics in an era of the proclaimed end of history andglobal convergence.

    An Introduction to the History of Western Political ThoughtAn introduction to key themes and thinkers in Westernpolitical thought. It explores the different meanings of thenature of politics and the political in this tradition.

    The Politics of GlobalisationAn overview of the dynamics of globalisation during the post-Second World War period. It covers key features in the international political system during the Cold War period.

    British PoliticsAn examination of key determinants and dilemmas of British politics at the start of the Twenty-first century,highlighting some of the key issues which continue to shape British politics.

    Level Two

    The Analysis of British PoliticsAn analysis of where power lies within British politics usinga range of political concepts and theories.

    The Global Political EconomyAn account of the major theoretical traditions and coreissues involved in understanding the global politicaleconomy.

    Political Analysis: Research Design and Data AnalysisAn examination of a range of approaches and methods usedin the study of contemporary political phenomena.

    The Politics and Government of the EUAn examination of the history of European integration andof the main institutions of the European Union.

    Contemporary International AffairsInvestigates recent developments in international relationsincluding the decline of the state and the rise of chaoticsub-state and cross border conflict.

    International Relations TheoryExamines key areas of theoretical debate, including realism,liberalism, Marxism, postmodernism, constructivism, neo-realism, feminism and critical theory.

    Modern Political ThoughtThis module provides an overview of the history of modernpolitical thought (c. 16001900). It does this by engagingwith a series of key philosophical texts from the period andexploring the different understandings of the nature ofpolitics and key political concepts contained within them.

    New Politics of Latin AmericaThe module focuses on the impacts of neoliberalism,democratization and the rise of the left in Latin America.

    Comparative Politics: Citizens, States, Power and ProtestThis module introduces students to the theories andmethods of conducting comparative political analysisthrough an examination of democracy.

    International Security StudiesSecurity studies is broadly conceived to encompass bothmilitary (weapon proliferation, intra-state armed conflict,asymmetrical warfare, terrorism, etc) and non-militarydimensions (immigration flows, organised crime, naturalresources, information technology, ethical dimensions,global institutions, third-party mediation, etc).

    Level Three

    Core Module Advanced Political AnalysisThis module introduces the theoretical bases of the keyanalytical approaches used across the discipline.

    Optional modulesIn Semester One, youll choose modules from an extensivelist of options directly linked to the personal researchinterests of members of staff. The current list includes

    War and Peace Foreign Policy: Power and Persuasion Civilisation, Empire and Hegemony Terrorism, Violence and the State Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict The Politics of International Trade Development Cuba in the Post-Bipolar World The Political Economy of Africa Politics and Public Policy in Germany Immigration Politics in Europe Britain and the European Union Issues and Decision Making in British Politics Delegated Governance The Changing Role of the State The Politics of Gender Politics and the Quality of Life Contemporary Rights Theory Challenges to Contemporary Democratic Theory Constitutionalism Elections and Voting Reading Politics Dissertation in Politics Dissertation in Political Analysis Dissertation (Work Related)

    Project and dissertation modulesIn Semester Two, you will pursue independent research on asubject that you choose. This could take the form of a projectmodule or a dissertation. Project modules linked to a taughtmodule are assessed by a 7,000 word essay. Dissertations are12,000 words.

    For details about any of our degrees ormodules, see our website or email us.

    Degree with employmentexperience

    You have the option of spending a year working with anoutside organisation as part of your degree. This gives youthe chance to put your skills into practice and gives you anedge in the careers market. The organisation could be agovernment department, private company, internationalorganisation or charity. www.sheffield.ac.uk/placements

    Spend a year abroad

    Through our Erasmus and Study Abroad schemes you canspend from six months to a year at one of our partneruniversities in Europe, or a full academic year at one of ourpartner universities in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong,Singapore or the USA. www.sheffield.ac.uk/ieu

    The University of Toronto: one of many Study Abroad destinations for our students.

  • 6 7Support for you

    Academic and personal supportWe provide a study environment that is engaging, supportiveand flexible. As well as your Personal Tutor, all our academicstaff are available to offer advice, answer questions, andprovide general guidance. The department has specialisttutors for women, disabled, mature and internationalstudents. The University and the Students Union operate arange of services where trained staff provide practical helpand advice on all aspects of student life.

    Cash supportThe University offers cash awards called bursaries. The money does not have to be paid back. For the latestinformation and our online bursary calculator seewww.sheffield.ac.uk/bursaries/2011.html

    International students The University has a diverse student community. There are over 3,000 international students here, from over 116 different countries. To find out more about being an international student at Sheffield, seewww.sheffield.ac.uk/internationalwww.sheffield.ac.uk/politics/international

    Students with special requirements We are committed to responding effectively to the needs of people with disabilities and dyslexia. Let us know whatyour requirements are and well do everything we can to support you.

    Facilities and resources

    In the departmentWere based in the Elmfield building, where all our staff havetheir offices and most seminar and small-group teachingtakes place. The University Sports Centre is just next door.Accommodation, the Information Commons, and theStudents Union are within a few minutes walking distance.

    The Information CommonsOur Information Commons is a brand new building born out of fresh thinking about learning resources for the Twenty-first-century student. Its open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The latest IT resources are combined withlibrary facilities and a range of study spaces.

  • 9Your future career

    What makes us unique? We believe in combining research-ledteaching with the development of key skills that employers arelooking for. So, by the time you graduate, you will be more thanready for the world of work or further study. In the careersmarket, you will stand out from the crowd.

    Our Politics degrees open doorsA Politics degree from Sheffield is respected by employers.Graduates are equipped for a variety of careers includingwork for government and non-government organisations,international organisations, the public sector, politicalresearch, journalism and the media or postgraduate study.

    The wide range of courses on offer means you pick thesubjects that best meet your needs. There areopportunities to study in a work-based setting and applyyour learning to real-world situations and problems. Our skills training in IT, team work, project planning,presentation and communications skills is invaluable,whatever career you choose.

    What we do to helpThe University Careers Service has a dedicated Politics adviser who arranges specialist workshops for final year students including employer presentations, skills development sessions, CV workshops, and mockapplication tests.

    The Careers Service keeps a database of graduatevacancies. They can also support you throughout theprocess of applying for a job. Our Student Jobshop, based in the Union, displays all current vacancies from part-timework to structured work experience placements.

    We want you to develop as a person too. That could meangetting involved in a student club or society, volunteering inthe local community or undertaking paid or charitablework. This kind of experience can give you the edge when it comes to impressing an employer. Well make sure youreaware of all the options open to you.

    In the short term I want to do mymasters degree. In the long run, I aim to represent my country atinternational level. The Universityprovides me with experience in intercultural communication and a strong foundation for myfuture career.

  • 10 11A sense of our city

    Sheffield is Englands fourth-largest city. Its located roughly inthe centre of the country, on the edge of the Peak DistrictNational Park, about two hours by train from London andserved by several international airports in the region. Those arethe facts. Then theres the way we feel about the place. Werejust as proud of our city as we are of our campus. We love thefact that although Sheffield is a major city it has kept its senseof community. This is a friendly city, a place where you canmake yourself at home.

    Our city was given five stars for social life and entertainment in The Virgin 2010 Guide to British Universities. The nightclubsare famous; the music scene legendary. We have the largestregional theatre complex in the UK and the biggest independentcinema outside London. Our sporting facilities are first-class.

    Greenest city inEngland150 woodlands and50 public parks

    Among the safestcities in the UKHome Officecrime figures

  • 12 13Our Union of Students

    Its the best. Ranked joint first in the UK by the Virgin guide andthe Times Higher survey. Winner of countless awards, ourUnion has live music, club nights, a 400-seat cinema, shops, anadvice centre, travel agent, banks and much more. There are250 different clubs and societies to get involved in the PoliticsSociety is one of the most popular so you'll never be short ofsomething to do or someone to do it with.

    Best Students Unionin the UKClub Mirror Awards2007ExcellentThe Virgin 2008Alternative Guide toBritish Universities

    SportsThe Universitys sports facilities include a 33m swimmingpool with sauna and steam room, bouldering wall, syntheticpitches, squash and tennis. Join a team, start your own, orjust play for fun whatever your level is, theres somethingfor you. You wont have to look off-campus for a high-techgym either weve got one of our own.

    The Politics SocietyWith over 450 members, Sheffields Politics Society(PolSoc) is the Universitys fastest growing society. We aimto entertain, invigorate and support every politics studentthat comes to Sheffield.

    PolSoc organises a wide spectrum of activities and events,including a programme of political speakers and theUniversitys largest intra-mural sports club ten footballteams, three netball teams and still growing.

    Our socials are fast becoming legendary and our membersget discounts in Sheffield restaurants, bars and clubs. Wealso host debates with authors and politicians with recent appearances from Nick Clegg, David Blunkett, andAnthony Giddens. Each year, PolSoc organises a majorparliamentary visit.

  • Accommodation

    Theres a great choice of accommodation so you can live theway that suits you best: catered or self-catering, city centre or leafy suburb. The University has recently built two entirelynew student villages. All of our student housing is within easywalking distance of campus and close to a frequent bus service. As a first-year, youre guaranteed a place in Universityaccommodation, provided you meet a few simple conditions.For details see www.sheffield.ac.uk/accommodation


    Leafy suburbsor city lifeCatered or self-catering

  • How to apply

    UCAS must receive your application between 1 Septemberand 15 January of the academic year before your coursestarts. If youre planning to take a year out before you startyour course, thats fine. Deferred entry applications aretreated exactly the same as standard applications. The University of Sheffield UCAS code is SHEFD S18. To apply online visit www.ucas.com

    What grades do I need?

    A LevelsBA Politics (L210): AABBA International Relations and Politics (L201): AABBA Politics and Philosophy (LV25): AABBA Politics and Sociology (LL23): ABBBA History and Politics (VL12): AAA BA International History and International Politics (VLF2): AAA BA Economics and Politics (LL12): AAB (plus B in GSCE Maths)BA French and Politics (RL12): ABB (including a language)BA Hispanic Studies and Politics (RL42): ABB(including a language)BA German and Politics (RL22): ABB(including a language)BA Russian and Politics (RL72): ABB(including a language)

    Entry requirements are subject to review. For thelatest please see the departments web page at:www.sheffield.ac.uk/politics/prospectiveug/entry.html

    International Baccalaureate3337 points including at least 4 in English and MathsScottish Advanced HighersAAAABBIrish Leaving CertificateAAAAAAAABBThe department accepts a variety of national andinternational qualifications. Please contact the AdmissionsSecretary for further information.

    What if English is my second language?You will need IELTS 6.5 or above with no less than 6 in each component, or TOEFL 575 (paper-based test) 232 (computer-based test) 100 (internet-based test).

    Open DaysIf we offer you a place, you will be invited to visit theUniversity on one of our departmental Open Days betweenFebruary and March. The day usually includes

    Introductory talk on courses, the University and life inSheffield

    Opportunity to meet staff and talk to current students Tour of University accommodation Tour of the department and campus

    If youd like to visit Sheffield and the University beforeapplying, book a place on one of the University Open Daysheld between June and September. For details visitwww.sheffield.ac.uk/opendays

    ContactKatie MiddletonUndergraduate Admissions Secretary Department of PoliticsThe University of Sheffield Elmfield, Northumberland RoadSheffield S10 2TU

    T: +44 (0)114 222 1641F: +44 (0)114 222 1717E: [email protected]

    Further information www.sheffield.ac.uk/politics

    This publication is available in different formats.To request an alternative formatT: 0114 222 1303E: [email protected]

    Copyright The University of Sheffield 2010SRAM0435 version 2


    Being a student here has helped medevelop leadership skills and mostof all has helped me gatherknowledge. It has also made memore open-minded than I wasbefore and increased my interestin other cultures.Ivana Tsvetkova, Level Three, International Relationsand Politics

    Of all the six top universities whoaccepted me, I had a special feelingthat the University of Sheffieldwould give me every opportunity toevolve both professionally and asan individual. And I have neverregretted my decision.Loretta Salajan,Graduate

  • PoliticsBroughtToLife.A guide to our undergraduate courses.