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: deals with 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 some of the ideas of important writers to explain aspects of the international order. 

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

Years 3 and 4

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

Our international links

We have a long-standing 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 and Canada.

Entry requirements

Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2015

MA (SocSci)

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 2015 once all applications have been reviewed.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Must include English and a humanities subject at Grades A or B.

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 Higher subject to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages Higher subjects are listed below.

  • Art & Design
  • Business Management
  • Chinese Language and Culture
  • Classical Greek
  • Classical studies
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • English
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Media Studies
  • Modern Studies
  • Music
  • Personal and social education
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Education
  • Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
  • Russian
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Urdu

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 38 points.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 36 points.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Offers will specify subjects and grades to be attained at Higher Level.

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.

MA

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.

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 2015 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.

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 Higher subject at their first sitting to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages Higher subjects are listed below.

  • Art & Design
  • Business Management
  • Chinese Language and Culture
  • Classical Greek
  • Classical studies
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • English
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Media Studies
  • Modern Studies
  • Music
  • Personal and social education
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Education
  • Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
  • Russian
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Urdu

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 36 points.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 34 points.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Offers will specify subjects and grades to be attained at Higher Level.

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

A-levels

  • Standard academic entry requirements: AAA.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: BBB.
  • 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.

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 39 points.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 34 points.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Must include English at HL6. LNAT (see below).

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 2015. 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.

Advanced entry

If you have exceptional A-level or Advanced Higher grades it's possible to gain exemption from Year 1 study and enter directly into Year 2 or follow a faster route advanced entry programme, both of which allow you to complete your degree in one year less than usual. See: Advanced entry

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: 92; no sub-test less than 20*
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): B minimum
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): C minimum
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59

Please note that TOEFL has now been removed from the approved list of English tests by the Home Office and TOEFL tests taken on or after 17 April 2014 will no longer normally be accepted for UK visa applications. However, the University as an HEI can still choose to accept TOEFL tests for admission to degree level courses and so TOEFL tests can still be accepted as normal for this programme.

Pre-sessional courses
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre 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 Language Centre 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 contact the Language Centre.

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:

LLB

  • KIS
    Law/Politics: ML12

MA

  • 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
    Italian/Politics: LR23
  • KIS
    Music/Politics: LW23
  • KIS
    Philosophy/Politics: LVF5
  • KIS
    Politics/Scottish History: LV22
  • KIS
    Politics/Scottish Literature: LQ22
  • KIS
    Politics/Theatre Studies: LW24
  • Portuguese/Politics : 5Y4F
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Politics: VL62

MA(Soc)

  • 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/Public Policy: LL42
  • KIS
    Politics/Scottish History: LVF2
  • KIS
    Sociology/Politics: LL62

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details. If you’re from outside the EU, please see International students for more information.

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 closing dates for entry in 2015

The UCAS process requires applications to Medicine, Vet Medicine and Dentistry to be submitted by 15 October each year, and applications to all other degree programmes by 15 January each year. The University of Glasgow cannot accept any applications after these UCAS deadlines, nor can it accept changes to applications after these dates. 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 allowed 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 2014: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 15 January 2015: all other UK/EU applicants
  • 30 June 2015: 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 2015.

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