BA (Hons) Politics

Enhance your understanding of how the world works, and gain the skills you need to play your part in shaping it with a Politics degree from the University of Stirling.

Key facts

  • Award BA (Hons)
  • Start date September 2024, January 2025
  • Duration 48 months or 36 months
  • Mode of study full time, part time
  • Delivery on campus
  • UCAS Code L200
  • Study abroad opportunities

Overview

Politics permeates every aspect of our lives – shaping our opinions, informing our decisions and helping us to understand what motivates people.

When you study Politics at the University of Stirling, you’ll increase your awareness of the different political systems, ideologies and policies that impact people’s lives regionally, nationally and globally. We’re ranked among the best universities for Politics in Scotland, and are highly regarded for our strong, research-led approach to teaching.

A Politics degree helps you develop the intellectual, communication and analytical skills employers are looking for. You’ll open the door to a wide range of career opportunities – from politics itself, to connected arenas such as commerce, civil service, journalism, law and teaching. There are also plenty of opportunities to broaden your horizons by studying abroad during your course, including through our Politics-specific partnership with the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Enhance your understanding of how the world works, and gain the skills you need to play your part in shaping it with a Politics degree from the University of Stirling.

Top reasons to study with us

* Rankings are based on institutions within the Guardian University Guide 2022

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

SQA Highers
AABB - by the end of S5
AABBB - by the end of S6

GCE A-levels
BBB

IB Diploma
30

BTEC (Level 3)
DDM

Widening access students
Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

Year 2 entry – Three-year honours

SQA Advanced Highers
ABB

GCE A-levels
ABB

IB Diploma
35

Essential subjects
To include either Politics, Government and Politics, or Modern Studies.

Other Scottish qualifications

Scottish HNC/HND
Year one minimum entry - Bs in graded units.

Access courses
University of Stirling access course - for mature students only. You must pass the course with 50% or above.

SWAP access course - for mature students only.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

Foundation Apprenticeships
Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Other qualifications

English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
Merits and Distinctions

English, Welsh and Northern Irish access courses
Access to Higher Education - 60 credits, minimum 45 at QCF Level 3, pass at 60% or above.

International entry requirements

Advanced entry

Year 2 entry
Entry into Year 2 may be possible depending on your HNC/HND course. To find out more go to our articulation pages.

Other qualifications
Advanced entry may be possible depending on your qualifications. For more information, contact our Admissions Team at admissions@stir.ac.uk.

Other routes of entry

If you don't currently meet our academic requirements, INTO University of Stirling offers a variety of preparation programmes that can earn you the qualifications and skills you need to progress onto some of our courses. Explore INTO University of Stirling to see the Foundation and International Year 2 routes available.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with a minimum of 59 in each sub-skill.
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

Course details

See a detailed overview of what you'll study on this course.

Modules

The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the current academic year (September 2023). Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course details

Teaching

Throughout this course, you’ll be taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials. You’ll begin with a series of core modules that give you a broad grounding in politics – before specialising in Semesters 5-8, and choosing from a wide range of modules. As you study, you’ll achieve a firm grasp of how different political systems work, and how to interpret political issues and events.

Assessment

Assessment is divided between exams, essays and presentations. You’ll also undertake class tests, take-home exams and research data exercises.

Study abroad

As a University of Stirling student, you’ll have the opportunity to broaden your horizons and study abroad through our well-established connections with several international universities. 

Find out more about studying abroad.

Contact

Dr Sean Kippin - Programme Director and Adviser of Studies

sean.kippin@stir.ac.uk

+44 (0)1786 467580

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Academic year: 2023/24 2024/25
Scottish students £1,820 £1,820
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250
International students (including EU) £16,400 £17,200

Scottish students

This fee is set by the Scottish Government and is subject to change.

Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, if you are domiciled in Scotland you can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government on your behalf.

You will be charged the annual tuition fee each year when you enrol.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

This tuition fee may be subject to change depending on guidance provided by the UK Government.

You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body. Students from the Republic of Ireland are eligible for a tuition fee loan of up to £9,250 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

We also offer additional funding – such as our Honours Year Scholarship – for students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. See our funding opportunities section below for more information.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

International students (including EU)

Eligible students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. See our range of generous scholarships for international undergraduate students.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Funding

See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

Students from Scotland

Find funding opportunities for Scottish students.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Eligible students will automatically receive our Undergraduate Welcome Scholarship, Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, and our Honours Year Scholarship, which are worth between £1,000 and £9,250.

International students

Eligible international students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. Find funding opportunities for international students.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

International (including EU) students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

After you graduate

What jobs can you get with a Politics degree?

From social and political research to journalism, marketing and HR, our Politics course opens up a broad range of career opportunities. Potential employers include international organisations such as the UN, the third-sector, the civil service, local and national government, lobbying organisations and commercial businesses. Jobs directly related to a Politics degree include:

  • government social research officer
  • public affairs consultant
  • civil service fast streamer
  • public relations account executive
  • politician’s assistant 

Other roles where a Politics degree is useful include market researcher, marketing executive, journalist, charity officer, forensic accountant, public relations officer and many more.

As a Politics graduate, you’ll have a clear understanding of domestic and international politics – as well as how organisations like the World Trade Organisation, the United Nations and the European Union operate. This provides you with a solid understanding of the issues involved in international relations and the significance of politics as a global – and local – activity. When you graduate with a BA Politics from the University of Stirling, you’ll be in good company. Our alumni include Former Secretary of State for Defence Dr John Reid, and current MPs Anum Qaisar-Javed and Angela Crawley. 

  • Tailor your Politics degree for a particular career path by combining courses such as Journalism, Social Policy or Business Studies.

Employability skills

Your employability is one of our highest priorities, and we want to make sure you have every possible advantage when you enter the job market. We offer a comprehensive employability and skills programme to help you maximise your time at Stirling and develop the attributes required by employers. We also have a dedicated Faculty Employability and Skills Officer and a Careers Service that work in partnership with academic staff to ensure you get the best out of your University experience and are given the right opportunities to make you ready for the world of work.

Your studies will equip you with skills in the following areas, plus many more:

  • critical analysis
  • communication and presentation
  • flexibility
  • team working
  • intellectual independence
  • research

Discover Uni

Discover Uni provides official data on each university's undergraduate courses, including satisfaction scores from the National Student Survey, details of graduate jobs and salaries, and other key information for prospective students.

What our students said

Amy McDermott
Amy McDermott
United Kingdom
BA (Hons) Politics and Social Policy
The Careers Service is a wonderful resource that all students should make use of during their time at Stirling (and even after they graduate)! The guidance they offer gives you the skills you need to be a cut above the rest of the graduate market.
Read Amy's story

Flexible study

Are you interested in more than one of our courses? You might not have to choose between them. Here at Stirling, we believe in choice and offer more than 170 course combinations.

Politics can be combined with any of the following courses:
Course nameUCAS code
Business Studies UCAS code for this combination: LN21
Criminology UCAS code for this combination: ML92
Economics UCAS code for this combination: LL12
Environmental Science UCAS code for this combination: FL92
Film and Media UCAS code for this combination: PL32
History UCAS code for this combination: LV21
History and Education (Secondary) UCAS code for this combination: LX21
Journalism Studies UCAS code for this combination: PL52
Law UCAS code for this combination: ML12
Philosophy UCAS code for this combination: LV25
Psychology UCAS code for this combination: LC28
Religion UCAS code for this combination: LV78
Social Policy UCAS code for this combination: LL24
Sociology UCAS code for this combination: LL23

For a combined honours degree where the two subjects have different entry requirements, you will usually be asked to meet the higher entry requirement.

Find out more about degree flexibility and how you can take combined courses.