Politics

POLITICS

Politics is the study of the way power and influence are distributed within society and how this affects decision making within and among countries and states.

You will study the ideas which inform and explain political activity alongside political institutions and behaviour.

Programme structure

At all levels of study, politics is a subject that is open to interpretation and debate. Our methods of teaching, therefore, are based largely on classroom discussion. You will attend lectures that identify themes and then explore these themes in depth during seminars.

You will think about ethical questions such as the role and limits of state power, the nature of a ‘good society’, and the obligations that one nation has to another. You will also consider empirical questions such as how we explain differences in political institutions and culture, and the nature of the international system as a whole.

Year 1

Initially you will study two courses:

  • Introduction to liberal democracy: deals primarily with the British, Scottish and European political systems
  • Comparative politics: explores a number of different countries using a comparative analytical framework.

Year 2

Your second year will also comprise two courses:

  • History of political thought: examines political thought from the ancients, primarily Aristotle, through Machiavelli, Hobbes and Locke to Rousseau and Karl Marx
  • International relations: uses the ideas of important writers to explain key aspects of the international order

You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2: see Degrees in Arts, Life Sciences, Science and Social Sciences.

Years 3 and 4

If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) you can choose from over 30 courses, taught by academic staff who specialise in the themes and topics covered. 

Special Glasgow feature

Glasgow Q-Step Degrees

Studying Politics at Glasgow can be taken in partnership with the Glasgow Q-Step programme to give you more opportunities to develop your quantitative research skills. For more information, visit: Q-Step Centre.

Our international links

We have a longstanding and active programme of International Exchange. Each year, we welcome dozens of students from countries around the world who come to take courses at Glasgow. At the same time, our Politics students have the opportunity to spend their third year studying at universities around the world, including in the United States, Australia, Canada and Europe. See Study abroad.

Entry requirements

Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2017

Applicants to subject-combinations with Psychology must meet the Psychology degree programme entry requirements.

MA (SocSci) (Hons)

A-levels

  • Standard academic entry requirements: AAB.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: BBB.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Must include English or a humanities subject.

Highers

  • Standard academic entry requirements: S5 entry requirement = AAAAB. S6 entry requirement = AAAAAA. (S6 entry requirements only apply to applicants who achieved the minimum S5 requirements and have been made a conditional offer.)
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: Applicants who achieve less than AAAAB in S5 but have achieved at least AABB MAY receive an offer based on S6 results. A decision will be made in March 2017 once all applications have been reviewed.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Must include English or a humanities subject at Grades A or B.

We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants, from AABBB at S5/S6, based upon completion of a pre-entry programme. For pre-entry programme eligibility and adjusted grade requirements, see Access Glasgow.

Accepted humanities and languages Highers

Higher applicants to Social Sciences MA (Soc Sci) degrees must attain, or have attained, EITHER English Higher OR another humanities/language/social science Higher subject to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages/social science Higher subjects are listed below.

  • Business Management
  • Cantonese
  • Classical studies
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • English
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Mandarin
  • Media
  • Modern Studies
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Education
  • Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Urdu

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 38 points.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 34 points.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Must include three HL subjects at 6,6,6. Applicants must have English and a humanities subject. Whilst HL6 is preferred for both these subjects SL6 may be considered for ONE.

European qualifications

Typical entry requirements for European qualifications: Social Sciences European Requirements [pdf]

Please note: all A-Level, International Baccalaureate, and other EU entry requirements must be achieved in first sitting.

Advanced Entry or Faster Route

Applicants who attain exceptional grades may be considered for Advanced Entry (commence their degree at year 2) or Faster Route (additional classes enabling them to condense a 4 year Honours degree into three years). The availability of Advanced Entry or Faster Route will vary by subject and thus reduce the flexibility that a student has in selecting optional subjects.

Applicants who are interested in Advanced Entry or Faster Route should apply for year 2 (Y2) on their UCAS application. In the event that the specific subject is unavailable or their application is unsuccessful they will automatically be considered for year 1 entry without having to submit a separate UCAS application.

Indicative Grades for an applicant to be considered for Advanced Entry or Faster Route are:

  • A-levels: A*A*A* at one sitting
  • Advanced Highers: AAA at one sitting
  • International Baccalaureate: 40 Points

In all cases the mandatory requirements specified above must also be met. Applicants may be invited for interview.

MA (Hons)

A-levels

  • Standard academic entry requirements: AAB.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: BBB.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Must include at least one arts, humanities or language subject. Applicants wishing to study Mathematics or Computing Science as part of their degree will require A-level Maths at Grades A or B.

Highers

  • Standard academic entry requirements: S5 entry requirement = AAAA/AAABB. S6 entry requirement = AAAAAB (S6 entry requirements only apply to applicants who achieved the minimum S5 requirements and have been made a conditional offer).
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: Applicants who achieve less than AAAA or AAABB in S5 but have achieved at least ABBB MAY receive an offer based on S6 results. A decision will be made in March 2017 once all applications have been reviewed. 
  • Other mandatory requirements: Must include English and a humanities subject or language at Grades A/B or B/A. Applicants wishing to study Mathematics or Computing Science as part of their degree will require Maths at Grades A or B.

We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants, from AABB at S5/S6, based upon completion of a pre-entry programme. For pre-entry programme eligibility and adjusted grade requirements, see Access Glasgow.

Accepted humanities and languages Highers

Higher applicants to Arts MA degrees must attain, or have attained, grades A/B or B/A at Higher in English Higher and another humanities/language/social science Higher subject at their first sitting to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages/social science Higher subjects are listed below:

  • Business Management
  • Cantonese
  • Classical studies
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • English
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Mandarin
  • Media
  • Modern Studies
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Education
  • Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Urdu

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 36 points.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 34 points.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Must include three HL subjects at 6,6,5 including English AND a humanities subject (or language). While HL6 is preferred for English and Humanities/Language subjects, SL6 will be considered for ONE of the subjects. Applicants wishing to study Mathematics or Computing Science as optional subjects require Mathematics at HL6 or SL6. 

European qualifications

Typical entry requirements for European qualifications: Arts European Requirements [pdf]

A-level and IB applicants can expect offers to be between the minimum and standard entry requirements depending on demand for places on the degree.

Please note: all A-Level, International Baccalaureate, and other EU entry requirements must be achieved in first sitting.

LLB (Hons)

A-levels

  • Standard academic entry requirements: AAA.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: ABB.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Must include English or GCSE English Literature and Language. LNAT (see below).

Highers

  • Standard academic entry requirements: S5 entry requirement = AAAAA. S6 entry requirements: applicants who achieved between AAAAB and AABBB in S5 will be asked to attain either two Advanced Highers or a mix of Advanced Highers and additional Highers: subject to a satisfactory LNAT score.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: Conditional offers MAY be made to applicants who achieve a minimum of AABBB in by the end of S5.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Must include English. LNAT (see below). Applicants who are made conditional offers based on S6 results are encouraged, where possible, to study Advanced Highers in arts/social science subjects.

See Access Glasgow for pre-entry programme eligibility and adjusted grade requirements.

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 38 points.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 34 points.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Must include English at HL6. LNAT (see below).

Law National Admissions Test (LNAT)

Law National Admissions Test (LNAT): Applicants to all LLB degrees who do not already hold an undergraduate degree are required to take the LNAT test by 20 January 2017. The LNAT is run by a consortium of UK universities and comprises a two-hour on-screen test made up of multiple choice (80 minutes) and essay questions (40 minutes). It is designed to assess verbal reasoning skills and command of written English. The test can be taken by applicants at centres throughout the UK and overseas. Information on how to sit the test can be found at: www.lnat.ac.uk.

Please note: all A-Level, International Baccalaureate, and other EU entry requirements must be achieved in first sitting.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications:

  • ibTOEFL*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • IGCSE: English language: B minimum
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: Elaine.Shortt@glasgow.ac.uk

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:

my academic qualifications are below the requirements?

Glasgow International College offers Foundation courses to upgrade your academic qualifications.

Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.

Career prospects

Through debate, written essays and projects, the study of politics will develop your analytical skills and writing abilities, equipping you for a wide variety of careers. Popular career destinations for our graduates include the media, teaching, the civil service, the charity sector and the armed forces.

Degrees and UCAS codes

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

MA (SocSci) (Hons)

  • KIS
    Politics: L202
  • KIS
    Archaeology/Politics: VL42
  • Business & Management/Politics: LN22
  • KIS
    Business Economics/Politics: LLC2
  • KIS
    Central & East European Studies/Politics: RL82
  • KIS
    Classics/Politics: LQF8
  • KIS
    Computing Science/Politics: LG24
  • KIS
    Economic & Social History/Politics: LV23
  • KIS
    Economics/Politics: LL12
  • KIS
    Geography/Politics: LL72
  • KIS
    History/Politics: LV21
  • KIS
    Mathematics/Politics: LG21
  • KIS
    Philosophy/Politics: LV25
  • KIS
    Politics/Psychology [*]: CL82
  • KIS
    Politics/Scottish History: LVF2
  • KIS
    Politics/Social & Public Policy: LL42
  • KIS
    Sociology/Politics: LL62

LLB (Hons)

  • KIS
    Law/Politics: ML12

MA (Hons)

  • KIS
    Archaeology/Politics: LV24
  • KIS
    Classics/Politics: LQ28
  • KIS
    Digital Media & Information Studies/Politics: GL52
  • KIS
    English Language/Politics: LQ2J
  • KIS
    English Literature/Politics: LQ2H
  • KIS
    Film & Television Studies/Politics: LW26
  • KIS
    French/Politics: LR21
  • KIS
    German/Politics: LR22
  • KIS
    Greek/Politics: LQ27
  • KIS
    History of Art/Politics: LVF3
  • KIS
    History/Politics: LVF1
  • KIS
    Music/Politics: LW23
  • KIS
    Philosophy/Politics: LVF5
  • KIS
    Politics/Scottish History: LV22
  • KIS
    Politics/Scottish Literature: LQ22
  • KIS
    Politics/Theatre Studies: LW24
  • KIS
    Portuguese/Politics: 5Y4F
  • Spanish/Politics: L2R4
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Politics: VL62

[*] Applicants to subject-combinations with Psychology must meet the Psychology degree programme entry requirements.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.

Scholarships

We offer a wide range of scholarships to our undergraduates, including both home/EU and international students. The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That’s why we’ve invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding over the last year.

For a full list of scholarships including eligibility criteria and how to apply, please see:

How to apply

UCAS deadlines

The deadlines for applications to Medicine, Vet Medicine and Dentistry is 15 October each year. The deadline for applications to all other degree programmes is 15 January each year.

The University of Glasgow does not usually accept any applications after these UCAS deadlines. It is the applicants' responsibility to ensure the accuracy of their application prior to submission, and requests from applicants to correct erroneous application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these UCAS deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
  • 30 June: international (non-EU) students.

Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.

UCAS tariff points

The University does not frame its offers in terms of UCAS tariff points.

How soon will I receive a decision?

We will usually respond before the end of March.

If your qualifications meet our requirements and we believe you could benefit from study at Glasgow, you will receive an unconditional offer.

If you haven’t yet gained the necessary passes for entry to your chosen subject(s), we may look at the qualifications you are taking when you apply and make you a conditional offer.

Will I be interviewed?

An interview will be part of the selection process for: Community Development, Dentistry, History of Art & Art-world Practice, Medicine, Music, Nursing, Teaching, and Veterinary Medicine & Surgery. You may also be interviewed if you’re applying for entry into Year 2 in any subject.

Is deferred entry available?

For Dentistry, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine programmes we are unable to consider applications for deferred entry. In other cases deferring may be possible but it’s not granted automatically.

University Transfers

Transfers from another University to the University of Glasgow will only be considered under the following circumstances:

  1. The applicant has a genuine personal circumstance (illness, bereavement or other family situation) which requires the student to move back to their home town to be closer to family; AND
  2. The applicant would have met the University of Glasgow entrance requirements at the time he/she went to the other institution. In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted if he/she was marginally below the University of Glasgow entrance requirements, and they have performed above average at the other institution.

Widening participation

We want to help talented applicants from all backgrounds to study at Glasgow. See our range of widening access pre-entry programmes at Widening Participation.

British Sign Language

UCAS has launched seven new videos using British Sign Language, including details on how to apply and a Parents' Guide.  

Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.

politics@glasgow.ac.uk