Undergraduate BA (Hons)


School of Arts and Media




Three year

Next enrolment

September 2020

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In a nutshell

According to Aristotle, humans are political animals. We only exist in and through political communities. How do we organise ourselves as communities? Who has power in these communities and how is it used? Do our communities lead us to ever greater forms of freedom and liberty or do we create the conditions for our own domination and subjection?

Ordinary citizens often feel disempowered because they find the political world confusing. By providing knowledge and understanding of how politics works, this course gives you the tools you need as a citizen to insist that elected representatives remain effectively accountable.

There is the opportunity to spend some or all of your second year studying abroad with excellent placement opportunities to boost your CV.

You will:
  • Learn from staff who are internationally recognised researchers
  • Develop your practice via an extensive study abroad programme. You can spend one or two semesters in Europe, the USA, Australia, or Canada
  • Learn a wide array of concepts and tools of research to make sense of the political and social world around you

options available


students accepted

This is for you if...


You are highly motivated with a keen interest in politics and contemporary history


You have strong writing and analytical skills


You have an interest in studying about in learning about international politics and history

Course details

All about the course

The first year of study seeks to give you a grounding in understanding political behaviour and institutions; political theory; comparative political analysis; and international politics and history.

To build on your knowledge, the second year gives you the option to choose from a wide range of modules. There are two core modules: Theories of Power and Domination and Researching in International Relations and Politics. The former expands your knowledge of political concepts and thinkers, and the latter prepares you for the dissertation in your third year. You can then choose four module options. You can spend one or two semesters studying abroad at one of our many partners in Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia. You can also opt to develop your language skills and take a language module as part of the University-wide Language Programme.

In the third year you will complete a dissertation on a political subject of your choice. You also choose four from a range of module options, or you can take advantage of a placement opportunity, such as the Westminster Parliamentary Placement - an exciting and unique opportunity to work with a Westminster MP in London and put your skills to work at the centre of British politics. 

Year one

Introduction to Political Theory

This is a critical political theory module that covers the most important theories, concepts and thinkers in politics: Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Freud, Schmitt and others. You will develop a critical knowledge of liberalism, power, and the state.

Britain and the World

In this module you will study the British political system, political parties, legislatures and executives, and elections. This module will also look at the international context, covering British foreign policy, decolonisation, and Britain's role in Europe and the 'special relationship' with the USA.

International History I

This module examines international history from the 1890s until the post-war period. You will study the European balance of power system, Wilsonian internationalism, the rise of powers such as Japan, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany and the outbreak of the Second World War.

International History II

You will continue your studies in international history by exploring the Cold War in Europe and Asia, deconolisation, European integration, the superpower relationship and the rise of China and Japan. You will also study the impact of US foreign policy and the global 'war on terror'.

International Organisations and Global Governance

This module is an introduction to new forms of governance at the global level. You will study international organisations such as the EU, UN, NATO and a host of others, including the World Bank and the IMF, and assess their role in global politics, as well as their impact on states and individuals.

Social Divisions and Inequality

You will be introduced to social scientific concepts and theories about the nature of social divisions, diversity and social inequality in advanced industrial societies. You will develop an understanding of evidence about major forms of social division and their causes and social consequences and compare alternative explanations of complexity and differentiation in contemporary society.

Year two

Theories of Power and Domination

Central to this module is the study of power, and you will explore the theories of Weber, Marx, Gramsci, Foucault and Althusser, with a focus on the social foundations of political power, political power and the formation of the individual, and political power and the role of organisation and bureaucracy.

Researching in International Relations and Politics

Central to this module is the study of power, and you will explore the theories of Weber, Marx, Gramsci, Foucault and Althusser, with a focus on the social foundations of political power, political power and the formation of the individual, and political power and the role of organisation and bureaucracy.

Optional modules typically include:

Labour's Century

This module introduces you to the history of the British Labour Party, its ideology, organisation and electoral strategy, while also focusing upon some of the most crucial periods, in particular that of Labour's early development as well as that of its apparent crisis and transformation

The United States and Vietnam 1941-75

This module provides an in-depth examination of the Vietnam War and the cost of US involvement. You will study US foreign and military policies and assess how different US presidents responded to events.

Political Communication: Media and Democracy

This module explores the relationship between the media and politics in liberal democracies. You will focus on the nature of political media and reporting, the media's influence on politics, and how political actors use the media. You will also study the rise of the internet and new media technologies and what this means for democracy.

International Politics and the Media

This module explores the claims and evidence about the impact of global media on international politics, particularly on the dynamics of international affairs, power relations among governments, foreign policy-making, conflict, security, diplomacy, development, and civil society.

Political Sociology

This module examines a number of sociological and political thinkers and problems fundamental for understanding contemporary forms of rule/domination. You will critically explore modern democracy, bureaucracy and the state. The issues of authority, domination and obedience, liberty and subjection, hegemony, conformity and resistance will be a regular focus of attention.

Poverty and Development in International Political Economy

You will study the impact of globalisation in relation to poverty and development. You will consider the role of the industrialised western states in the global economy, as well as post-colonial states, critically examining north-south relations.

Contemporary Security Studies

Contemporary Security Studies introduces you to 'traditional' and 'new' approaches to defining and conceptualising security. You will study some of the most important issues on the international security agenda such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, resource wars and energy security, the privatisation of warfare, peacekeeping, pandemics and health security, and environmental degradation.

Intelligence, Security and Politics in Britain 1909-1994

This module examines the British intelligence community from the birth of the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6) in 1909 through to the 1994 Intelligence Services Act. You will explore its activities primarily within the context of British domestic policy, while considering the links between the worlds of intelligence and politics.

Year three

The Politics of European Union Enlargement

You will learn about the history of EU enlargements, tracing the expansion of the EU to include more member states. You will also study the key ideas behind enlargement and the concepts that guide it.

European Union Simulation

Aimed at giving you a taste of EU decision making and negotiation, in this module you are assigned to national, EU institutional and other teams and play your role in a simulated decision making scenario that concludes with a final one-day European Council 'summit'.

The Rise and Fall of Socialist Internationals

This module examines the rise and fall of the main socialist traditions from their origins in 19th century Britain and France to their global spread in the 20th century. You will study key aspects of the course of socialism in Germany, Britain, Sweden, Russia, and China.

Modernity and its Discontents

This course introduces you to a number of key social and political thinkers who have sought to understand the singularity of the modern epoch. Some of the topics you will study include liberalism, fascism, and colonialism, using film and other methods. The module is expected to help you identify and critically assess some of the major problems and prospects of modern and contemporary capitalist societies.

International Political Economy

Develop your knowledge of political economy; this module aims to help develop critical ways of thinking about the contemporary world of work and the political economies of production in our post-industrial world.

E-Democracy: Politics and the New Media

This module assesses the growing influence of new media technologies (internet, email, mobile phones) on democracy. You will explore questions of censorship, voting, power relations and the effects of new media technologies in society.

Ethics in International Relations

This module explores the place of ethical and moral questions in global politics, covering democracy and human rights, humanitarian intervention, just wars, foreign aid and sanctions, and the problems of international society and realising a universal order. You will engage with critical approaches to these topics and explore normative questions.

The Politics of Islamism

In this module, you will assess Islamism comparing it to fundamentalisms in other religions. It includes an examination of Muslim responses to Western modernity, and the development of modern Islamism from the Muslim Brotherhood to al Qaeda, as well as wider questions of the adaptability of Islamism to democratic practices.


We can help you arrange a placement opportunity, including the chance to spend six months in an MP's Westminster office or constituency office.

Corruption in Contemporary Politics

Studying political corruption in detail you will explore the dynamics and impact of this problem for western democracies through key theories and case studies.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


You will benefit from a diverse range of teaching methods:

  • Lectures: interactive lectures, making use of available audio visual technology
  • Seminars: explore the lecture topics and beyond with your fellow students, via groupwork, reviews, debates and presentations
  • Workshops: combined lecture and seminar session where discussion and analysis is concentrated
  • Debates: debating teams are sometimes a feature of learning
  • Individual supervision: students enjoy close supervision of their dissertation topics in the year leading up to submission
  • Student-directed study: in some modules, students are assigned tasks with deadlines
  • Dedicated study skills support: we have our own study skills officer who helps you with exam preparation, essay writing skills, good academic practice and a variety of other skills you need to do well
  • Subject librarian: you will benefit from research training as part of your course and we have a dedicated subject librarian who is on hand to help you locate material and use available resources effectively
  • Personal tutoring system: you will be assigned a personal tutor who helps you with all aspects of your studies and can offer advice with other issues.


You will be assessed through a combination of exams and coursework such as essays, presentations and portfolios. Most modules incorporate some form of assessment as they progress in order to allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses prior to undertaking your final exam or essay.

School of Arts and Media

The School of Arts and Media is the largest School at the University of Salford with more than 4,000 creative students. Across sites at MediaCityUK and the University's Peel Park campus, we offer a huge variety of courses, from fashion image making and styling, television and radio, creative writing and music to journalism, animation, design and performance.

This broad range of disciplines offers enhanced opportunities for specialist and interdisciplinary study, including collaborative work across subject areas.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Students have gone on to a range of career paths that include elected office, education, the civil service, broadcast and print media, and non-governmental agencies. 

Graduates from this course may progress to a number of career paths, and thanks to the transferable skills you develop as part of this degree, you have many options. 

This course is designed to support your personal development and skills to enhance your employability. You will learn to work to deadlines, write clearly and effectively, present your ideas in a professional style, develop vital research skills and methods of communication. These are all desirable and essential skills necessary for well-paid jobs.

A taste of what you could become

A Public Adminstrator

A Consultant

A Political analyst and researcher

A Civil Servant

A Local government professional

and more...

Career Links

You may be able to take part in the Parliamentary Placement Scheme, spending six months in the Westminster office of an MP. You are also encouraged to attend seminars throughout the year, which give you the chance to meet with people from the industry.

The placements, guest speakers and seminars help you to understand how the industry works and informs your career path after leaving the University.


What you need to know


We are looking for highly motivated students with a keen interest in politics and good writing and analytical skills. Students who provide evidence of extensive reading and knowledge in the subject area are of particular interest to us. Students without formal qualifications may be asked to attend an interview and complete an assignment.


International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.

Standard entry requirements


English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is required. Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

104 – 112 points

A level

104 – 112 points. General studies accepted, history or politics desirable

BTEC National Diploma


BTEC Higher National Diploma

120 credits in appropriate subject may be considered for second year entry

Access to HE

104 – 112 points UCAS Tariff points from a Level 3 QAA Approved Access to HE programme

Scottish Highers

104 – 112 points

Irish Leaving Certificate

104 – 112 points

International Baccalaureate

30 points

European Baccalaureate

Pass Diploma with 71% overall

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019/20 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2019/20 £12,300per year
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £12960per year
Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for international students 2020/21

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship.

For more information go to International Scholarships. 

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Enrolment dates

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID L200

Institution S03