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Politics and Philosophy (BA)

Entry year


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

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Course overview

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.
UCAS codeLV25
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
  1. School of English, Communication and Philosophy

    John Percival Building

    Colum Drive

    Cardiff

    CF10 3EU

  2. School of Law and Politics

    Law Building

    Museum Avenue

    Cardiff

    CF10 3AX

Entry requirements

ABB-BBB. You will not need to achieve these from any specific subjects but please note that General Studies, Citizenship Studies and Critical Thinking will not be accepted. 

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

Award of the IB Diploma with 34-32 points including 665-655 in 3 HL subjects.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of English, Communication & Philosophy and Cardiff School of Law and Politics admissions criteria pages.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other sub-scores.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 with minimum scores of 22 for Writing and 20 in all other components.

PTE Academic

At least 62 with 62 in Writing and no less than 54 in all other components.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: a Distinction in Writing and at least one Distinction and two Merits in other components.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

GCSE English Language Grade B or 6, IGCSE English First Language grade B. IGCSE English as a Second Language not accepted.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

Any equipment required will be supplied by the School.

Accommodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Course structure

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 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Gender, Sex and DeathPL922020 credits
International Relations of the Cold WarPL922120 credits
Colonialism, GPE and DevelopmentPL922220 credits
Digital Technologies and Global PoliticsPL922320 credits
Global GovernancePL922420 credits
EU PoliticsPL922520 credits
From Espionage to Counter-Terrorism: Intelligence in Contemporary PoliticsPL922920 credits
The Power and Politics of Research MethodsPL923020 credits
Critical War and Military Studies: an IntroductionPL923120 credits
Comparative European PoliticsPL923220 credits
Modern Welsh PoliticsPL923320 credits
Modern Political Thought: Machiavelli to MillPL923420 credits
The History of Realist Political Thought in International RelationsPL923520 credits
Local to Global Sustainable DevelopmentPL923620 credits
Political Theories Across the Globe: Methods and Issues in Cross-cultural ThinkingPL923720 credits
Damcaniaethu a Dadfeilio’r Gymdeithas GyfalafolPL923820 credits
Credoau'r CymryPL928620 credits
British Politics since 1945PL928720 credits
International Security: Concepts and IssuesPL928820 credits
Justice and Politics: Contemporary Political TheoryPL929120 credits
Global JusticePL929220 credits
International Law in a Changing WorldPL929920 credits
Philosophy of ScienceSE431220 credits
MetaphysicsSE436420 credits
French ExistentialismSE436920 credits
Modern Moral PhilosophySE437320 credits
Contemporary Ethical TheorySE438820 credits
EpistemologySE439820 credits
Credoau'r CymrySE440020 credits
Ancient PhilosophySE440520 credits
Philosophy of FeminismSE441820 credits
Philosophy of PsychologySE442120 credits
AestheticsSE442420 credits
ENCAP Employability ModuleSE625520 credits

Year three

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

Module titleModule codeCredits
International Politics in the Nuclear AgePL932020 credits
Africa in International Thought and Practice: Colonialism, Anticolonialism, PostcolonialismPL932120 credits
Global Environmental PoliticsPL932220 credits
Bombs, Bullets and Ballot-boxes: the Northern Ireland Conflict, 1969 to 1998PL932420 credits
Political Economy: Rationality in an Irrational World?PL932520 credits
Popular Culture and World PoliticsPL932820 credits
China in the WorldPL933020 credits
Cybersecurity: Diplomacy and Digital Rights in Global PoliticsPL933220 credits
A History of British IntelligencePL933320 credits
The Politics of Violence and KillingPL933520 credits
Justice, Legitimacy and International LawPL933620 credits
Latin American PoliticsPL933720 credits
Sex, Drugs and Public PolicyPL933820 credits
Visual Global PoliticsPL933920 credits
Politics in Practice: Work Placement ModulePL934020 credits
The Soul and the City: Plato's Political PhilosophyPL934120 credits
Crisis and Commitment in 20th Century Political ThoughtPL934320 credits
Science, Knowledge, PoliticsPL934420 credits
The Many Faces of Thomas HobbesPL934520 credits
Be the Change: Governing without the StatePL934620 credits
US Government and PoliticsPL937420 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangPL937720 credits
Cenedlaetholdeb, Crefydd a Chyfiawnder: Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruPL937820 credits
Parliamentary Studies ModulePL938020 credits
International Relations DissertationPL938520 credits
Politics DissertationPL938620 credits
Elections in the UKPL938720 credits
Global International Organisation in World PoliticsPL939120 credits
Personality and PowerPL939220 credits
MetaethicsSE436720 credits
Moral PsychologySE437220 credits
The Problem of ConsciousnessSE437920 credits
Dissertation in PhilosophySE438520 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangSE439420 credits
Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruSE439620 credits
Cognition and TechnologySE441020 credits
Animal MindsSE441120 credits
The Social ImaginationSE441220 credits
Modern German PhilosophySE441320 credits
Athroniaeth CrefyddSE441720 credits
Belief & IrrationalitySE441920 credits
Desires, Emotions and HappinessSE442020 credits
Ethics of KnowingSE442220 credits
Beauty & EthicsSE442520 credits
Moral ResponsibilitySE442620 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 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.

Learning and assessment

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. 

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

19%

Guided independent study

82%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

17%

Guided independent study

83%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

20%

Guided independent study

80%

Placements

0%

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.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

58%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

42%

Year 2

Written exams

50%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

50%

Year 3

Written exams

45%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

55%

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.

Careers

Career prospects

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

In 2015/16, 95% 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 2015/16, 97% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.

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.

Studying in Welsh

Up to 33% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

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Saturday 26 October

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