Politics and Philosophy (BA)

Philosophers investigate the nature of reality using logical reasoning rather than empirical methods. It is therefore integral to the study of Politics.

Combining Philosophy with Politics enhances your ability to explore and test the basic beliefs and values that underpin our ideas about politics, and gives you sophisticated intellectual tools with which to do it.

In your first year you will concentrate on core modules. In your second and final years you can choose from a wide range of optional modules.

Politics as an area of study develops your knowledge and understanding of governments, governance and societies. Politics is central to our everyday lives. It explores people and power and involves drama and events of great significance both today and historically. Think of the electoral struggle between Left and Right, the power play of the Cold War, and the great enterprise of European integration.

 Studying for a politics degree means investigating how politics works and delves into how parliaments and governments function while also allowing you to evaluate political ideas such as power, freedom, democracy, conflict, legitimacy and accountability.

Philosophy at Cardiff covers the full range of philosophical concerns, with a particular emphasis on ethics and aesthetics. Modules cover both the analytic and Continental styles of Western philosophy, which is unusual in the UK.

Distinctive features

  • You will be taught by academics, many of whom are world experts in their field.
  • Unrivalled academic links with the National Assembly for Wales via the Welsh Governance Centre and long established relationships with national and international organisations such as the Westminster parliament, European Union and NATO.
  • A strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and philosophy of mind.

 

Key facts

UCAS CodeLV25
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Studying in WelshUp to 33% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information
Typical A level offerABB (excluding General Studies, Citizenship Studies and Critical Thinking).
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above).
Typical International Baccalaureate offer34 points with 6, 5, 5 at Higher Level.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course
Admissions tutor(s)

This is a three year, full time course consisting of 120 credits per year. You will take an equal number of credits in Politics and Philosophy modules in each year, allowing you to tailor your degree to reflect your specific interests.  

The first year is an introductory year with results from Years 2 and 3 determining your degree classification.  A particular feature is the option of writing a dissertation in your final year. This is highly regarded by employers because it indicates that you can undertake original research.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by July 2017.

Year one

The first year provides a graduated transition to studying philosophy and politics at degree level, and offers instruction in the skills, techniques and arguments that you will use.

You will study 60 credits in Politics and 60 credits in Philosophy during your first year of study.

Year two

You will take 60 credits in optional Philosophy modules and 60 credits in optional Politics modules.

Year three

You will take 60 credits in optional Philosophy modules and 60 credits in optional Politics modules.

Module titleModule codeCredits
The Problem of ConsciousnessSE437920 credits
Dissertation in PhilosophySE438520 credits
MetaethicsSE436720 credits
Moral PsychologySE437220 credits
Politics DissertationPL938620 credits
Elections in the UKPL938720 credits
Modern Welsh PoliticsPL938820 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangPL937720 credits
Cenedlaetholdeb, Crefydd a Chyfiawnder: Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruPL937820 credits
International Relations DissertationPL938520 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangSE439420 credits
Parliamentary Studies ModulePL938020 credits
The Limits of Ethics in International RelationsPL937620 credits
US Government and PoliticsPL937420 credits
Philosophy of ScienceSE431220 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 credits
Global International Organisation in World PoliticsPL939120 credits
Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruSE439620 credits
The History of Thought in International RelationsPL931120 credits
Free Speech in a Multicultural SocietyPL931420 credits
Feminist PhilosophySE438620 credits
Devolution in Practice: Welsh Law and Politics Work PlacementPL931020 credits
International Politics in the Nuclear AgePL932020 credits
Bombs, bullets and ballot-boxes: The Northern Ireland Conflict, 1969 to 1998PL932420 credits
Global Environmental PoliticsPL932220 credits
Africa in International Thought and Practice: Colonialism, Anticolonialism, PostcolonialismPL932120 credits
Intelligence in Contemporary Politics: Bond, Bourne and the Business of SpyingPL932320 credits
FairnessSE440320 credits
Philosophy of Time TravelSE440420 credits
Philosophy and Modern ArtSE440220 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management.

You will be taught both by lecture and seminar. Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas. Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lectures.

Seminars usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small-group work and student-led presentations.

Politics and International Relations provides opportunities for learning and teaching through the medium of Welsh. Seminar teaching in Welsh is available in modules in each of Years 1, 2 and 3.  Students may elect to write all or some of their assessed work and examinations in Welsh. 

How will I be supported?

As well as having regular feedback from your personal tutor in each course, you will have a reading week each semester for guided study and a chance to catch up on assessed work, reading and revision. These weeks are also used by staff to visit students on their year abroad.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

Feedback

We’ll provide you with frequent feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback during tutorials, personalised feedback on written work, feedback lectures, generic written feedback and feedback on tutorial performance.

Coursework will be marked by your module tutor and your tutor will give you written feedback on your work. You will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following the May/June examination period and you will be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor as part of the monitored student self-assessment scheme.

How will I be assessed?

A range of assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios and creative assignments.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enable you to produce your best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling you to develop your strengths and address any weaker areas.

The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study, to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

What skills will I practise and develop?

As a result of engaging fully with this course, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’. These will allow you to:

  • grasp complex issues with confidence
  • ask the right questions of complex texts
  • have an imaginative appreciation of different views and options and analyse these critically
  • identify and apply relevant data
  • develop practical research skills
  • propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence
  • communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech
  • work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
  • learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights
  • work as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving
  • use IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate
  • take responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development.

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

In 2013/14, 91% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.

Philosophy graduates are known for their incisive analytical skills and their ability to construct and communicate clear arguments. Studying philosophy develops your abilities to identify the reasons for people’s claims, to find the assumptions lying behind those reasons, to critically assess both and to communicate all of this clearly and effectively.

School of Law and Politics

In 2013/14 over 95% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Politics at Cardiff is a respected recruitment pool for a variety of employers within this sector with the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, the Department for Education, the UK Border Agency and a range of political parties all recruiting from the last graduating year.

Outside of the political sector, the degree is of interest to employers in both the public and private sectors, with graduates taking up management training opportunities within EY, Enterprise Rent A Car, Zurich Insurance and King Worldwide.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

Any equipment required will be supplied by the School.


Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.