Undergraduate 

Politics MA(SocSci)/LLB/MA

Politics students

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 a wide variety of topics within the discipline of politics including courses in international relations, political theory and British politics taught by leading researchers in the field.

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 relations between nation-states in the international system.

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 Flexible degrees.

Years 3 and 4

If you progress to Honours you can choose from over 30 courses in Politics and International Relations, such as Global Environmental Politics, Chinese Politics, Just War, Narratives of Conflict in the Middle East, and Politics, Communication & Democracy, among many others.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Special Glasgow feature

Glasgow Q-Step Degrees

The University of Glasgow's Q-Step Centre offers programmes which develop your quantitative skills, or in other words, your ability to handle data and use numerical evidence.

Developing quantitative skills and your confidence in using them, will really enhance your insight and understanding of the key issues you encounter in your chosen field of study.

The University of Glasgow Q-Step Centre offers five degree programmes that integrate quantitative skills training within the School of Social and Political Sciences. All of these programmes aim to engage you with meaningful ways of understanding the social world.

We will teach you how to understand and analyse quantitative results, as well as how to present your own, and how to discuss their substantive implications. These are essential skills for understanding quantitative evidence presented in academic literature, but also for interrogating data in public media and government reports.

Around one quarter of your study time will be devoted to quantitative methods. And our degrees also offer you the possibility to gain valuable experience by participating in internships with selected high-profile employers.

MA (SocSci) Politics with Quantitative Methods

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.

Our international links

We have a longstanding and active programme of International Exchange. 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 2019

About entry requirements

SQA Highers

The S5 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades which, if attained in addition to successfully meeting mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests), will normally result in an offer being made. Students must achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5).

The S5 Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades which an applicant must have obtained by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5) in order for them to be considered for a conditional offer based on S6 results. Not all applicants who achieve the Minimum Academic Entry Requirements will be made an offer. This will depend on the number of applications we have received for a degree programme and the number of applicants who have met the Standard Academic Entry Requirements.

Where an applicant is made a conditional offer based on S6 results, the S6 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the cumulative grades that must be attained by the end of S6, in addition to meeting any mandatory subject and non-academic requirements. All degree programmes allow applicants to “double count” Highers and Advanced Highers in the same subject when calculating cumulative grades. A Grade B in an Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade A at Higher Level and a Grade C at Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade B at Higher Level. All degree programmes require grades in a minimum of four different subjects.

Advanced Highers

Advanced Highers are a qualification of increased importance to the University, which recognises that applicants with these qualifications find the transition to university easier and perform better in their university exams. Many of our degrees specify Advanced Highers as part of the S6 Entry Requirements.

If a school is unable to offer specific Advanced Higher subjects applicants will be made bespoke offers which will normally require the applicant to attain additional relevant Highers in S6.

Adjusted Entry Requirements

We adjust the Standard Academic Entry Requirements for eligible applicants who complete one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes. Criteria for eligibility include attending a Scottish target secondary school, living in a priority Scottish postcode area, current or previous experience of living in care or estrangement from family support.

For more information about your eligibility and our pre-entry programmes see: Access Glasgow.

Admissions Policy

A-levels and International Baccalaureate

The Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades at which any possible offer would be made. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

The Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades that the University will accept for entry to the degree programme. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

Admissions Policies

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: One A-level arts, humanities or language subject.

Highers

  • Standard S5 academic entry requirements: AAAAB.
  • Minimum S5 academic entry requirements: AABB. 
  • Standard S6 academic entry requirements: AAAAAA.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Higher English OR a Higher Humanities subject at Grades A or B.

We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants who complete  one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes: see Access Glasgow.

  • Adjusted S5 academic entry requirements: AABBB. 
  • Adjusted S6 academic entry requirements: AAABB-BBBBBB.
  • Adjusted mandatory requirements: Higher English OR a Higher Humanities subject at Grade 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/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 including three HL subjects at 6,6,6
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 32 points including three HL subjects at 6,5,5
  • Other mandatory requirements: HL6 English and a Humanities subject at HL6/SL6.

European qualifications

Typical entry requirements for European qualifications: European requirements: Arts, Science, Engineering, Accountancy, Social Sciences [pdf]

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

MA (Hons)

A-levels

  • Standard academic entry requirements: AAB.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: BBB.
  • Other mandatory requirements: One A-level arts, humanities or language subject.

Highers

  • Standard S5 academic entry requirements: AAAA/AAABB.
  • Minimum S5 academic entry requirements: ABBB.
  • Standard S6 academic entry requirements: AAAAAB.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Higher English at Grade A or B AND a Higher Humanities or Language subject at Grade A or B.

We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants who complete  one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes: see Access Glasgow.

  • Adjusted S5 academic entry requirements: AABB/ABBBB.
  • Adjusted S6 academic entry requirements: AABB-BBBBB.
  • Adjusted mandatory requirements: Higher English at Grade B AND a Higher Humanities or Language subject at Grade B.

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 including three HL subjects at 6,6,5
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 32 points including three HL subjects at 6,5,5 
  • Other mandatory requirements: HL subjects should include English and a Humanities (or language) subject. SL6 will be accepted for one of English or the Humanities subject. 

European qualifications

Typical entry requirements for European qualifications: European requirements: Arts, Science, Engineering, Accountancy, Social Sciences [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: N/A.
  • Other mandatory requirements: A-level English OR GCSE English Literature & Language. LNAT (see below).

Highers

  • Standard S5 academic entry requirements: AAAAA.
  • Minimum S5 academic entry requirements: AAABB.
  • Standard S6 academic entry requirements: AAAAAA including two Advanced Highers at Grades BB (ie AAAA at Higher plus BB at Advanced Higher; grade B at Advanced Higher is considered equivalent to grade A at Higher).
  • Other mandatory requirements: Higher English. Applicants with conditional offers based on S6 results are encouraged to study Advanced Highers in Arts or Social Science subjects. LNAT (see note below).

We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants who complete  one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes: see Access Glasgow.

  • Adjusted S5 academic entry requirements: AAABB.
  • Adjusted S6 academic entry requirements: AAABB-BBBBBB.
  • Adjusted mandatory requirements: Higher English at Grade B. LNAT (see note below).

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 38 points including three HL subjects at 6,6,6
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 34 points including three HL subjects at 6,5,5
  • Other mandatory requirements: English at HL6. LNAT (see below).

Law National Admissions Test (LNAT)

With the exception of applicants to the LLB (Fast Track), applicants to all LLB degrees who do not already hold an undergraduate degree are required to take the Law National Admissions test (LNAT) by 20 January 2019. 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 (40 minutes) questions. 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, together with practice papers, 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.

Glasgow International College

International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of foundation certificates.

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 as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • 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:


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

Studying Politics will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. You will develop your research and analytical skills, writing abilities, and capacity to communicate effectively. You will be able to attend employability workshops and training days, which will provide you with skills and knowledge, essential for success in the job market. You will also be able to attend alumni careers talks.

As a Social Sciences student, you may have the chance to take part in one of our many internship placements. Popular career destinations for our graduates include the civil and foreign service, local government, the charity sector, international organisations, teaching, business 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
  • KIS
    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
    Common Law/Politics: ML92
  • KIS
    Scots Law/Politics: ML12

MA (Hons)

  • KIS
    Ancient History/Politics: VL12
  • 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 /Spanish: L2R4
  • KIS
    Politics/Scottish History: LV22
  • KIS
    Politics/Scottish Literature: LQ22
  • KIS
    Politics/Theatre Studies: LW24
  • KIS
    Portuguese/Politics: 5Y4F
  • 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 2019/20 Tuition fees for details. If you are starting in September 2018, please refer to 2018/19 Tuition fees.

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 in recent years.

RUK Access Bursary 2018 Entry

The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship and  available to new entrant full-time undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2018-19 as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

more information

RUK Excellence Scholarship 2018

The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent). 

more information

African Excellence Scholarship (IE Abroad)

The University of Glasgow is offering 1 exclusive scholarship to students from either South Africa or Zimbabwe who have been supported in their application by our representative in these countries – IE Abroad.  The scholarship is available to students entering any of the University’s Colleges to undertake an undergraduate programme excluding Medicine or Dentistry.

more information

Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has a total of 100 Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new international students for 2019 entry. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £5,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study.  

more information

Beaconhouse Schools

The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.

more information

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply

If you’re seeking full-time study you must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

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.

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

93%

Politics students thought staff were good at explaining things

Data published by Unistats, March 2018