Course details

A Levels AAB Other entry requirements
UCAS code L201
Duration 3 years
Fees and additional costs Home/EU students International students
Related subjects International Relations Politics

Any questions?

Undergraduate Admissions
Department of Politics and International Relations
Telephone +44 (0)114 222 1641

Department of Politics and International Relations

UK top three for research
Research Excellence Framework 2014

UK top 10 for politics
The Complete University Guide 2020 The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

Course description

This degree will give you a strong grounding in the core skills of political analysis and political theory, whilst placing emphasis on the international dimensions of the study of politics. You'll explore and apply many of the theories to issues such as international trade or climate change.

Our programmes are designed to give you a solid foundation in theory, methods and analytical skills, whilst at the same time offering you the choice to specialise in the subject areas that you find the most interesting, ensuring you get the most out of your degree.

Level 1:
You'll be introduced to the key areas of the discipline. We'll support you in making the transition to degree-level study, and provide you with the knowledge and analytical skills you'll use as you progress throughout your time with us.

Level 2:
You'll further develop your existing skills and apply them to real life political questions and issues. By examining different approaches and perspectives we'll help you to become an independent researcher in your own right.

Level 3:
By your final year you'll be ready to carry out your own independent research, with our support, alongside your choice of taught modules. You'll learn about the cutting-edge research we're doing in the department.

Additional options
- Study abroad - We offer you the chance to study abroad for part of your degree at one of our partner universities, in either your second year or as a sandwich year. Locations include USA, Australia, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore or Canada.
- Employment experience - You will have the opportunity to undertake a year in employment as a sandwich year. It is a great way to apply the skills you have developed in your degree and to prepare you for employment when you graduate.

Find out more about the additional opportunities we offer alongside our politics courses.

Modules: what you study and when

Financial help from the University - bursaries

If you're a UK student, you could be entitled to a University bursary. A bursary is the same as a grant - you don't have to pay it back.

How our bursary scheme works

Entry requirements

Qualification Grades
A Levels AAB
A Levels + additional qualifications ABB + B in the EPQ; ABB + B in Core Maths
International Baccalaureate 34
Scottish Highers AAAAB
Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AA
Access to HE Entry requirements for mature students
Other qualifications Other UK qualifications
Other EU/international qualifications
Other requirements
  • BTEC relevant subject areas required are either Applied Law, Business, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship or Personal and Business Finance. No other subjects are accepted
  • GCSE Maths grade 4 or grade C or equivalent
  • You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification
  • Equivalent English language qualifications
  • Access Sheffield - find out if you're eligible for additional consideration or an alternative offer
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department

Modules - what you study and when

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department direct.

Department of Politics and International Relations website

First year

Core modules:

Analysing Politics
Introduction to Global Political Economy
Introduction to International Relations
Introduction to Western Political Thought

Optional modules:

British Politics
Introduction to Comparative Politics

Second year

Core modules:

International Relations Theory
Political Analysis: Research Design and Data Analysis

Optional modules:

Contemporary Security Challenges
Human Rights, Power and Politics
Oppression and Resistance
Political Theory in Practice
The Left: Past, Present & Future
The Political Economy of Global Capitalism
The Politics and Government of the European Union

Third year

Optional modules:

Dissertation (Work Related)
Dissertation in Political Analysis
Dissertation in Politics
Animals, Ethics and Politics
Anti-Politics and Democratic Crisis
Britain and the European Union
Britain in the Global Economy
Civilisation, Empire and Hegemony
Civilisation, Empire and Hegemony
Contemporary Chinese Politics
Corporations in Global Politics: Possibilities, Tensions, and Ambiguities
Framing Politics? Economic Ideas as Political Weapons
Hunger in the Global North
Justice in World Politics
Legitimate and Illegitimate Violence
Marx and Contemporary Marxism
Pandemics and Panics: Health, Security and Global Politics
Parliamentary Studies
Party Politics: Competition, Strategies & Campaigns
Peacekeeping, State-building and International Intervention
Political Psychology: The Personal Side of Politics
Political Theory in An Age of Total War
Politics and the Quality of Life
Research Project 1
Research Project 2
Sex, Race and Death: Feminist Perspectives on War, Violence and (In)Security
Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict
Terrorism, Violence and the State
The Ethics of Political Leadership
The Making of the Modern Middle East
The Political Economy of Social Policy
The Politics of Security
Water, Climate, Energy

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.

In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Learning and assessment

We use innovative teaching methods backed by world-class research to bring politics to life. Our lectures and seminars provide a rich and interactive learning experience. As well as attending lectures and seminars, you'll work on group projects and develop digital skills; for example, you might create a video or podcast. We use a wide variety of assessment methods, including: coursework, exams, dissertation, projects, book reviews, policy reports, oral presentations and group work. Assessment methods vary between modules. These figures give an indication of how you'll learn and be assessed. They're a combined average of all the years of the course. The learning and assessment percentages could vary depending on the modules you choose.

Scheduled teaching 10%
Independent study 90%
Placement 0%

Exams/tests 25%
Coursework 75%
Practical 0%

Department of Politics and International Relations

We are proud to be one of the UK's leading departments for research and teaching in politics and international relations.

We have over 50 specialists in the key areas of politics and international relations working at the cutting edge of the discipline on issues such as: Brexit, transgender politics, animal rights, environmentalism, populism and Middle East Politics. This research directly shapes and inspires what you're taught on all levels of our programmes.

- First department to pioneer the 'Parliamentary Studies' undergraduate module that's accredited and co-taught by the House of Commons.

- Our politics and international relations courses have been ranked 7th in the UK for 2020 - The Complete University Guide

Department of Politics and International Relations website

What our graduates do

A politics degree from Sheffield can set you apart from everyone else. You'll have many opportunities across all levels of your course to add valuable work experience and transferable skills to your CV.

Our degree programmes are designed so you can tailor your course to your own interests and career aspirations. They also provide a foundation to go on to work in a wide range of professional, political and administrative organisations across the world, in local, national, and international government, the charitable sector, education, the media, public relations, research and the private sector.

Student profile

"The most exciting thing I've learnt about so far was where we did a module which compared the political systems of the UK, USA, France, Germany, Russia and Brazil."

Jonathan Guy
Department of Politics and International Relations

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Undergraduate Admissions
Department of Politics and International Relations
Telephone +44 (0)114 222 1641

Department website >

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