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. 2022-23 entry is also available.

    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

    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:

    Introduction to International Relations

    This module will introduce students to the discipline of International Relations (IR) and therefore the study of global politics. IR is a complex, multi-level and multi-actor field whose terrain spans global to individual issues. To provide a comprehensive introduction to IR, the module will focus on two questions: 1) What is the subject matter of IR? And 2) What is the unit of analysis? Structuring the module as such will introduce students to key debates in IR and provide a broad overview of the subject matter (from global governance to individual activism) and different actors (from the UN to terrorists).

    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
    Introduction to Comparative Politics

    This module examines the utility of the comparative approach to politics with a particular focus on democracies, dictatorships, and semi-democratic regimes. The key features of each regime type are considered and these are used to explain the nature of the comparative method, its strengths and weaknesses. This course also applies a comparative lens to processes such as democratisation, modernisation, and mobilisation. This course will draw on a wide range of examples from democratic, authoritarian, and semi-democratic countries.

    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

    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

    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 + an appropriate modern foreign language qualification

    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 4/C or, for non-native speakers of English, an English language qualification)

    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 + an appropriate modern foreign language qualification

    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 4/C 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 2022
    QS World University Rankings

      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 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

    School of Languages and Cultures

    Top 10 in the Russell Group for research impact

    Research Excellence Framework 2014

    91% overall student satisfaction

    National Student Survey 2019


    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

    Our politics and international relations courses are ranked 7th in the UK

    The Complete University Guide 2020


    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

    There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

    Open days: book your place

    Taster days

    At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

    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

    Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

    Book your place on a campus tour

    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.

    Our student protection plan

    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

    2023-2024