The Arc De Triomphe

Politics and Modern Languages & Cultures BA

School of Languages and Cultures

Department of Politics and International Relations

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    You are viewing this course for 2023-24 entry.

    Key details

    Course description

    POL - Students taking notes win Elmfield lecture theatre (sociology students)

    By bringing together your study of politics and languages and cultures, you'll deepen your understanding of European culture and world affairs.

    You'll study in one of the top UK departments for research in politics and international relations (ranked 3rd in the Research Excellence Framework 2014). Our teaching is highly innovative, and draws directly on our world-leading research. You'll take at least three politics modules each year, choosing from a wide range of options across British politics, comparative politics, international relations, political economy, political theory and security studies. In the final year you'll carry out your own research project, individually supervised by one of our academics.

    The flexibility of the modern languages part of the degree means you have the option to study politics with either one or two of these languages: Catalan, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. You can study Italian on this degree but only alongside a second language as well as politics. Luxembourg Studies is available as an option from year two onwards, either on its own or with a second language and politics.

    You can take any language from beginner's level, and you can take French, German, Russian or Spanish post-A Level (or equivalent).

    You'll develop your communication skills in your chosen language or languages to a high level. Optional modules include linguistics, literature, society and politics, history, philosophy and film studies.

    We have recommended pathways through the languages and modules to enable you to create combinations that work well together. However, our flexible approach means you are not constrained by those pathways and we'll help you make the choices that are best for you.

    You'll spend the third year of your course abroad. We have a wide range of destinations on offer, both within Europe and beyond. You can choose to study at a leading university, carry out an approved work placement, or in some cases take part in exciting volunteering opportunities.

    This degree opens up a wide range of career opportunities, close to home and further afield. You'll get extensive training in analytical writing and techniques, as well as other transferable skills. You'll develop highly valuable language skills, and you'll gain a sophisticated understanding of the countries where your chosen language or languages are spoken.

    The course prepares you for a variety of professions in the UK and abroad, including law, teaching, translating, journalism, broadcasting, accountancy, or working with governments, international organisations or business.

    Dual and combined honours degrees

    Modules

    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    • You can find a comprehensive list of all of our languages and cultures modules broken down by language on the School of Languages and Cultures website 
    • Examples of politics modules on offer are below
    Title: Politics and Modern Languages & Cultures course structure
    UCAS code: RL60
    Years: 2022, 2023
    First year

    Core politics module:

    Analysing Politics

    This module is about (1) politics, and (2) how to analyse it. More specifically, it involves (1) understanding how power and truth operate in the contemporary world; and (2) discovering different ways to research these dynamics so as to build compelling and rigorous accounts of the political worlds that we find ourselves a part of. Students will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, and independent study; and will be assessed on the basis of an essay and online multiple-choice tests.

    20 credits

    Optional politics modules:

    The World's Wicked Problems

    This module will introduce students to key international relations concepts and discussions. Students will be able to understand, analyse and reflect on some of  the most pressing issues in the international arena including: 

    migration

    climate change

    poverty and global inequalities

    sexual violence 

    armed conflict 

    This introductory module will equip students with the tools to continue engaging with more in-depth theoretical and empirical international relations discussions as they progress through their studies.

    20 credits
    Introduction to Global Political Economy

    This module provides an introduction to global political economy (GPE). It covers key mainstream and critical theories and considers critically what GPE is. Following this, the main focus will be on sketching the outlines of the global economy (past and present) by considering particular commodities. This provides a novel way to introduce the student to the major processes of global trade, finance and production. It also considers the political economy of race, class and gender as core theoretical themes that interweave the empirical examination of the global political economy, from roughly 1500 through to the 21st century.

    20 credits
    Introduction to Western Political Thought

    This module provides an introduction to key themes and thinkers in Western political thought. It explores the different meanings of the nature of politics and the political in this tradition. One key theme will be the relation between human nature and politics. This will be explored through a series of deep conflicts between reason and desire, the state and individual, and the public and private. These conflicts are examined through the different visions of politics of a selection of ancient and early modern thinkers. The module will also engage with critiques of the canon of Western political thought itself, in particular from a postcolonial perspective.

    20 credits
    Planet Politics

    From the atmosphere to Antarctic ice sheets, the Earth has been fundamentally transformed by human activity: we now inhabit a ‘human planet’. At the same time, from mining and agriculture to modern patterns of resource consumption, humankind has become dependent on the very activities that have caused these transformations. 

    Far from being automatic or inevitable, these transformations are deeply political on multiple levels – in their causes, in their consequences, and in the many arguments and differences over how to respond to them. 

    This module will introduce students to some of this ‘Planet Politics’. It will consider questions such as: 

    Are we on the verge of a planetary ecological crisis? 

    Is capitalism the problem, or the solution? 

    Are there just too many people? 

    Is meaningful international environmental cooperation possible? 

    What are the vested interests obstructing change? What forms of social resistance are appropriate? 

    What is ‘environmental justice’? 

    Examining both key environmental and resource issues and the main approaches to studying them, the module asks some of the biggest questions about life: how should we live, and what should we do?

    20 credits
    British Politics

    This module will introduce students to key concepts and debates in British politics through an examination of post-1976 British political history. Each lecture will take as its starting-point one day in recent British history and will describe what happened on that day and what happened as a result of that day. Each of the seminars will then follow that discussion: paying particular attention to concepts and ideas within the study of politics which can help us make sense of those events.

    20 credits
    Gender and the World

    This module aims to interrogate the role of gender and sex in shaping world politics. To do this, it asks how notions of masculinity and femininity shape our institutions, how gender might influence the political problems we prioritise and whose voices are taken seriously in developing responses to these problems. 

    Students will answer these questions through the study of the politicisation of sex, the relationship between gender and violence, how current practices of gender are shaped by colonialism and a range of other timely topics that shape the world today. 

    The module will allow students to develop an understanding of different approaches to gender, be introduced to key concepts from feminism and queer theory, learn to apply these ideas practically to a set of case studies and debate what the future of gender is in world politics. 

    20 credits
    Political Violence

    This module will provide students with an introduction to political violence and begins by engaging with debates over the conceptualisation of violence, and when violence should be understood as “political”.  It will then introduce students to debates over the causes and consequences of violence through an examination of specific topics, which may include:

    histories of violence

    terrorism

    interstate war

    settler-colonial violence

    structural violence

    slow violence

    gender based violence

    war ecologies

    the politics of violence prevention

    violent resistance

    attempts to regulate violence.  



    We will explore these themes by asking how violence is refracted through race, gender, ethnicity, and other forms of social difference. Students will have the opportunity to explore these topics through specific examples and develop the necessary skills to apply them in practice. 

    The module will allow students to develop an understanding of the key theories, concepts, issues and themes in the study of political violence by:

    understanding the debates on the conceptualisation of “violence” and what makes violence “political”

    developing skills in critical analysis, writing, and presentation

    developing the ability to apply theories and issues to specific cases of political violence

    20 credits
    Race and Racism in World Politics

    Through historical and contemporary case studies, students will study how our world today has been shaped by historical events, many of which continue to inform current relations. We will discover how discourses around race, ethnicity, gender and class construct realities today, determining who rules and who is ruled, who lives and who dies. 

    The module will give students a theoretical toolkit, including approaches from the majority world, enabling them to appreciate power and the political significance of silences in accounts of the global and political.

    We will learn about the historical production of the idea of race; how it configured the world in particular ways; how race mandated the colonial project. However, the module will also go beyond race to think about colonialism and the identities that operate in conjunction with race including class, ethnicity, and gender, and how they can determine what type of life people can live or whether they can live at all. For example, they determine whether a child has the right to security, or has to risk losing life in the Mediterranean escaping violence at home. 

    Students will also learn about resistance and efforts to construct a different and more just world. Through rich historical and contemporary case studies, students will learn how to connect theories to understand current affairs, drawing on thinkers from various backgrounds to counter some of the dominant narratives within international relations.

    20 credits

    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. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

    Learning and assessment

    Learning

    You'll learn through a mix of lectures, seminars and language classes. Language teaching is in small groups, so you'll get plenty of tailored support and will get to know your tutors well.

    We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

    Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

    Learning support facilities and library opening hours

    Assessment

    We use a range of assessment methods during your course. In the language programme you will be given regular homework assignments and take a mix of coursework and exam assessments at appropriate points over the academic year. You will be assessed on the core skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Our assessment methods vary across our courses and include taking sit-down exams, developing a portfolio, writing essays, taking part in group projects or giving individual presentations.

    Programme specification

    This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

    Find programme specification for this course

    Entry requirements

    With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

    Standard offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    ABB
    typically including a modern foreign language

    A Levels + additional qualifications BBB, typically including a modern foreign language + B in the EPQ; BBB, typically including a modern foreign language + A in Core Maths

    International Baccalaureate 33, typically with 5 in a Higher Level modern foreign language

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDD in a relevant subject + typically alongside a modern foreign language

    BTEC Diploma DD + B at A Level typically in a modern foreign language

    Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher AABBB + B typically in a modern foreign language

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AB, typically including a modern foreign language

    Access to HE Diploma Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit

    Other requirements
    • GCSE Maths grade 4/C

    • If you are not studying a modern foreign language, the department will consider other evidence of aptitude for language learning (such as a languages GCSE at grade 6/B or, for non-native speakers of English, an English language qualification)

    Access Sheffield offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    BBB
    typically including a modern foreign language

    A Levels + additional qualifications BBB, typically including a modern foreign language + B in the EPQ; BBB, typically including a modern foreign language + A in Core Maths

    International Baccalaureate 32, typically with 5 in a Higher Level modern foreign language

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDM in a relevant subject + typically alongside a modern foreign language

    BTEC Diploma DD + B at A Level typically in a modern foreign language

    Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher ABBBB + B typically in a modern foreign language

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + BB, typically including a modern foreign language

    Access to HE Diploma Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 24 at Distinction and 21 at Merit

    Other requirements
    • GCSE Maths grade 4/C

    • If you are not studying a modern foreign language, the department will consider other evidence of aptitude for language learning (such as a languages GCSE at grade 6/B or, for non-native speakers of English, an English language qualification)

    English language requirements

    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 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

    Equivalent English language qualifications

    Visa and immigration requirements

    Other qualifications | UK and EU/international

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

    School of Languages and Cultures

    At the School of Languages and Cultures you'll develop your linguistic skills to a very high level and deepen your understanding of the cultural context of the countries where your languages are spoken.

    We offer a particularly wide range of languages - Catalan, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Luxembourgish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

    Right from the start, you'll work with the school's top specialists and native speakers who will help you realise your linguistic potential. Language teaching is in small groups, so you'll get plenty of support tailored to your needs and get to know your tutors well.

    We're a leading centre for modern languages and cultures research. Our work spans identity, gender, linguistics, politics, migration and literary studies. This research informs our teaching, helping you to develop a global understanding of language and languages across cultures and countries.

    You'll be able to study optional modules either in your individual languages, or across the school so you'll acquire an in-depth understanding of your chosen languages and their cultures, and how they relate to other languages and cultures across modern languages disciplines.

    Our student-run language societies organise multilingual events, trips and creative projects. There are opportunities to volunteer in the community and in schools, inspiring others to try new languages.

    School of Languages and Cultures students are based in the Jessop West building at the heart of the University campus, close to the Diamond and the Information Commons. We share the Jessop West Building with the Department of History and the School of English.

    School of Languages and Cultures

    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.

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

    Department of Politics and International Relations students are based in Elmfield building, but we timetable teaching across the whole of our campus.

    Teaching may take place in Elmfield, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space. Many of the University buildings are close together so it’s easy to walk between them and it’s a good way to get to know the city.

    Department of Politics and International Relations

    Why choose Sheffield?

    The University of Sheffield

      A top 100 university
    QS World University Rankings 2023

      92 per cent of our research is rated in the highest two categories
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      No 1 Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

    Department of Politics and International Relations

    UK top three for research

    Research Excellence Framework 2014


    Graduate careers

    School of Languages and Cultures

    Our graduates are excellent communicators, adaptable and culturally aware. They work in international development organisations, business and banking, translating and interpreting, intelligence services, journalism, teaching, publishing, and international sales and marketing. Many go on to further study.

    Department of Politics and International Relations

    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.

    John Student Profile

    Working in the humanitarian sector, being a linguist is indispensable

    John BA Modern Languages & Cultures

    John completed a BA that included Spanish and Portuguese

    Fees and funding

    Fees

    Additional costs

    The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

    Examples of what’s included and excluded

    Funding your study

    Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

    Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

    Visit us

    University open days

    We host five open days each year, usually in June, July, September, October and November. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

    Open days: book your place

    Subject tasters

    If you’re considering your post-16 options, our interactive subject tasters are for you. There are a wide range of subjects to choose from and you can attend sessions online or on campus.

    Upcoming taster sessions

    Applicant days

    If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

    Campus tours

    Our weekly guided tours show you what Sheffield has to offer - both on campus and beyond. You can extend your visit with tours of our city, accommodation or sport facilities.

    Campus tour: book your place

    Apply for this course

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

    2023-2024