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L202 Politics Year Abroad BA Undergraduate 2012


UCAS code L202
Degree BA
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 4 years
Location Durham City
Typical offers A Level
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Related qualifications

Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 5689

Course Content


Level 1 Compulsory modules:

  • Ideas and Ideologies
  • Democratic Political Systems.

Plus one of the following:

  • International Security, Interdependence and Organisation
  • Global Regions in International Relations
  • Theory and History in International Relations.

Elective modules may vary but typical examples include: Introduction to Islam and the Muslim World and Introduction to Middle East Politics or modules offered by other departments.

Level 2 Compulsory modules:

  • Either Foundations of Western Political Thought
  • And Democracy and Democratic Theory
  • Or one of the above plus one of the following:
  • International Relations Theory
  • Politics of Pacific Asia
  • International Organisations
  • Global Political Economy
  • Middle East in the International System.

Elective modules vary but typical examples include: The Israel-Palestine Question, German Politics and Society, Political Research: Theory and Practice or a module offered by another department.

Level three

Single Honours Politics (Year Abroad) which is broadly similar to the Politics programme, but with an additional year abroad at a university in Italy, France, Spain, Holland, Poland, Germany or Sweden through the SOCRATES/ ERASMUS programme. We also have overseas exchange programmes with universities in the USA, Canada, China and Singapore. Students apply for a one year study placement in these institutions at the end of their first year.  

Level 4 Compulsory module:

  • Dissertation (Double).

 Elective modules vary but typical examples include: Culture and Conflict in American Politics, The Ethics of Violence in International Relations, Theories of Liberty, The Political Economy of the Enlarged European Union, The Middle East and the Global Economy, or a module offered by another department.

Teaching and assessment details

We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures in large groups to provide you with a framework for more detailed study, seminars to analyse key issues arising from your coursework and tutorials in small groups to analyse your written work. You will also write a 10,000 word dissertation during your third year.

Assessment takes the form of either examinations at the end of each year, assessed essays and group projects written during the year; or a mixture of both, depending upon modules chosen. Assessment marks in your second and final years will count towards your final degree classification.

Study Abroad

If you take Politics (Year Abroad) you will spend your third year at one of our partner universities, taking modules in politics and related subjects. Our current partners are IEP in Aix-en-Provence, Science PO in Paris, Amsterdam, Konstanz, LUISS in Rome, Salamanca, Jagiellonian in Krakow and Uppsala. Students can also apply for a one year study placement in one of the following institutions: the University of California and Boston College in the USA, British Columbia in Canada, the University of Hong Kong, and the National University of Singapore. In some cases courses are offered in English, while in others teaching is in the local language. We have an ERASMUS/Year Abroad Coordinator who will help you prepare for your year abroad, and who will maintain contact with you while you are away.

Admissions Process

Subjects required, level and grade

In addition to satisfying the University's general entry requirements and the programme specific entry requirements, please note:

We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. 

Grade A in a Social Science or Humanities subject at AS-level, or equivalent, is required.

Grade A in a Social Science or Humanities Subject at GCSE, or equivalent, is required. 

Grade B in Mathematics at AS-level or equivalent is required to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics or Joint Honours Economics and Politics.

We do not include General Studies as part of our offer.

If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Centre offers multi-disciplinary programmes to prepare you for a range of specified degree programmes.

English Language requirements

IELTS 6.5 (no component under 6.0); TOEFL iBT 92 (no component under 23); Cambridge Proficiency (CPE) Grade C; or Cambridge Advanced (CAE) Grade A

Requirements and Admissions

Information relevant to your country

Fees and Funding

Fees have not been set for this academic year.

Scholarships and funding

Career Opportunities

School of Government & International Affairs

Choosing Durham for my undergraduate education is without doubt one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only does it excel academically as an institution, it also provides its students with an incredibly varied range of opportunities for personal development.
Kristina Hagen, BA(Hons) Politics and Sociology

Of those students that left in 2012:

- 40.8% are in full time paid employment

Of those in employment:

- 81% are in graduate level employment
- Median salary £23,000

Of those in further study:

- 100% are in graduate level study

A significant number of students progress onto higher level study following their degree. Some remain within their academic field of interest and pursue a taught or research Masters at Durham, London School of Economics, University College London, York, Sheffield and Oxford.  Some progress on to PhD study with recent successes at Durham and Cambridge. Others take a different route and pursue professional postgraduate programmes in law, IT, advertising and marketing, finance and teaching.

Employment and developement opportunities

The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre works closely with the School of Government and International Affairs. The link Careers Adviser delivers presentations to each year group on topics relevant to that stage of their academic career. These cover career decision making, successful applications and interviews, and advice for those considering further study. The department also hosts a range of guest speakers from external organisations to expand our students' knowledge of their different career options.

Durham University School of Government and International Affairs graduates enter a wide range of career areas including business and finance, local and national government, armed forces, marketing and PR, media, recruitment and teaching, Our graduates are recruited by leading employers such as the House of Commons, Accenture, British Airways, Ernst and Young, British Telecom, Goldman Sachs, PwC, Royal Navy, House of Fraser, Aldi, Channel 4, HSBC, Teach First, Durham University, Black Rock and the Audit Commission. Specific roles our graduates have progressed into include business manager, press and publicity assistant, accountant, political assistant, retail manager, international financial analyst, Naval Officer, marketing executive, stockbroker, tax adviser and political researcher.

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Pre-application open days are the very best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments and opportunities to explore college options they will provide a full experience of Durham University for any prospective undergraduates.

Pre-application open days in Durham City will take place on:

  • Monday 25 June 2012
  • Saturday 30 June 2012
  • Saturday 22 September 2012

Further details, and information on how to book.  

Campus tours

Overseas Visit Schedule

Department Information

School of Government & International Affairs


From soapboxes to statecraft, you'll learn how and why nations are run the way they are.

At the School of Government & International Affairs, rated 9th in the Complete University Guide 2011, our aim is to help you to develop a thorough knowledge of the structure and functions of the modern state, the history of ideas about the nature and purpose of politics and the development of particular regions and their political systems. You will study political thought, government, international relations and another subject such as geography, economics, history, psychology, sociology, philosophy, or law, subject to availability.

RAE results


The School of Government & International Affairs is a concentration of research expertise in political processes and institutions, political thought, and international and area studies. Teaching takes place both in the Department's own rooms and in conveniently located lecture rooms. The University Library has an excellent collection in politics as well as specialised research collections such as the European Documentation Centre. Colleges provide additional library resources as well as computing facilities.


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