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Politics and Sociology (BSc Econ)

Why study this course

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Sociology in context

Explore sociology in a range on contexts such as globalisation, education, social media, culture and consumption and ethnic relations.

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Links to political institutions

Benefit from links to Westminster parliament, Senedd Cymru, the European Union and NATO.

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Experience politics in action

Choose a module taught in-conjunction with Westminster which includes teaching by clerks of the House of Commons and study visits.

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Study Britain and beyond

Explore politics in Britain & further afield as well as the influence of multi-national organisations.

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Placement opportunities

Undertake a placement with the help of our dedicated Employability and Placement manager.

Many students find studying a joint honours programme stimulating and rewarding as they are able to observe both similarities and differences between the two subjects. By combining Politics and sociology, you will gain a variety of transferable skills and knowledge beneficial for your future.

The field of politics allows you to explore how parliaments and governments function and evaluate political ideas such as power, freedom, democracy, conflict, legitimacy or accountability as well as incorporating international relations.

Modules are varied, allowing you to explore how politics works in Britain and further afield as well as investigate how public policy is made. Other strands of work discuss justice, democracy, human rights and international relations; providing you with a broad understanding of politics tailored to your own particular needs.

This degree aims to provide you with an excellent understanding of politics and government while also equipping you with associated intellectual and communications skills that will be of value whether you work in government or in the private or voluntary sectors.

Sociology is dedicated to the study of social life as found in groups, institutions and societies. It provides the critical tools for handling the analysis of all aspects of social conduct, from face-to-face interactions to how economic forces shape and are shaped by global society.

This course uses a wide range of approaches to help you learn the methods and ideas needed to make your own contribution to understanding and improving society.

As a joint honours student, you will find that often there are complementary issues and perspectives that link subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research.

 

Subject area: Politics and international relations

  • academic-schoolSchool of Law and Politics
  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 6102
  • MarkerMuseum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX

Subject area: Social sciences

  • academic-schoolSchool of Social Sciences
  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4208
  • MarkerKing Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA

Entry requirements

We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. Typical offers are as follows:

A level

ABB-BBB

Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ 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.


This grade range reflects our typical standard and contextual offers. We carefully consider your contextual data (the circumstances in which you've been studying) upon application. Eligible students applying for this course will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.

International Baccalaureate

32-31 overall or 665 in 3 HL subjects. 

Baccalaureate Wales

From September 2023, there will be a new qualification called the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales (level 3). This qualification will replace the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate). The qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

Other qualifications from inside the UK

BTEC

DDM in a BTEC Extended Diploma in any subject.

T level

Acceptance of T Levels for this programme will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic School. Consideration will be given to the T Level grade/subject and grades/subjects achieved at GCSE/Level 2.

Qualifications from outside the UK

See our qualification equivalences guide

Additional entry requirements

GCSE

Grade B or grade 6 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other subskills.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 overall with a minimum of 22 for writing and 20 in all other subskills.

PTE Academic

At least 62 overall with a minimum of 69 in writing and a minimum of 62 in all other communicative skills.

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.

You must have:
- English language or Welsh language at GCSE grade C/4 or an equivalent (such as A-levels). If you require a Student visa, you must ensure your language qualification complies with UKVI requirements.

We do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects.
We will accept a combination of BTEC subjects, A-levels, and other qualifications, subject to the course specific grade and subject requirements.

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement, including the ability to travel to outside of the UK or to undertake a placement/studies outside of Cardiff University
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.

Tuition fees for 2023 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year. Fees for the previous year were £9,000.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year.

Additional costs

You should be prepared to invest in some key text books and to cover the costs of basic printing and photocopying.  You may also want to buy copies of other books, either because they are particularly important for your course or because you find them particularly interesting.

If you have a laptop computer you will have the option of purchasing software at discounted prices.

Course specific equipment

What the student should provide:

You do not need any specific equipment to study on this programme.  Access to a laptop computer would be advantageous as many readings are available electronically and most assessments are prepared using standard word processing software.

What the University will provide:

Networked computers with appropriate file space and all necessary software.  Access to essential and background reading for each module plus a wide range of journals and other online resources.  All course documents will be available online (via the VLE) and hard copies of essential documents will be provided if requested.

Accommodation

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

Living costs

We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Course structure

This is a three-year, full-time course consisting of 120 credits a year.  The final degree classification that you are awarded is based on the grades you achieve in the modules that you take in years two and three.

In year one you will lay the foundations for later specialist study, taking a number of core modules and following a study skills programme designed to help you make the transition to higher education. In years two and three, you will be encouraged to study and learn more independently, giving you the opportunity to read more widely and to develop your own interests. The final year also includes the option to study a 40 credit dissertation.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2023/2024 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.

Year one

Year one is a foundation year to give you the skills for advanced study and an overview of the two subjects to inform your later choices. Our personal tutor programme will help you to make the transition to higher education.

You will take 120 credits in total, equally split between 60 credits in Politics and 60 credits in Sociology.

Year two

You will again take 60 credits in Politics and 60 credits in Sociology.

Your personal tutor will help you to choose modules that best suit your interests and future career choices.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Contemporary InequalitiesSI028820 credits
Social Research MethodsSI029720 credits
Social TheorySI030020 credits

Year three

You will again take 60 credits in Politics and 60 credits in Sociology.

Your personal tutor will help you to choose modules to best suit a particular pathway with you future career choices in mind.

Module titleModule codeCredits
The History of Thought in International RelationsPL931120 credits
International Politics in the Nuclear AgePL932020 credits
Africa in International Thought and Practice: Colonialism, Anticolonialism, PostcolonialismPL932120 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
War and SocietyPL933120 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
Be the Change: Governing without the StatePL934620 credits
The Politics and Governance of BrexitPL934720 credits
Representing DevelopmentPL934820 credits
The Politics of Populism in EuropePL935020 credits
Terrorism and (In)securityPL935120 credits
Radical Political TheoryPL935220 credits
Governing Global Public Health: Viral Pandemics, and the Global Drugs 'Epidemic'PL935320 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
DissertationSI013140 credits
The Sociology of StigmaSI061320 credits
Society and GeneticsSI061620 credits
Environment and Human HealthSI062020 credits
Cymdeithas Gyfoes yng NghymruSI062520 credits
Live TheorySI063020 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

You will learn from scholars who are shaping the future of their fields. Our courses reflect both the core ideas of their disciplines and contemporary debates, theories and research.

Teaching methods include a mixture of lectures, seminars, independent study and self-directed learning that draw use of on-line resources, individual work and group tasks. Lectures generally provide an overview of the relevant topic, introducing key concepts or research, and highlighting contemporary issues or debates. An increasing number of lectures are now recorded. In contrast to lectures, seminars give you the opportunity to discuss particular readings, research or topics in detail. This allows you to consolidate your understanding and get feedback on your individual learning. Seminars also enable you to hone your communication, presentation and collaborative skills as you take part in group discussions and other tasks.

How will I be supported?

A personal tutor will guide you for the duration of your studies.  The tutors are available to discuss progress and provide advice and guidance on your academic studies.

Both Schools involved in delivering this degree offer a challenging course of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent student-staff relations.

All modules within the course make use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Blackboard, on which you will find course materials, links to related materials and information relating to assessment tasks. Additional module-specific support is provided by seminar tutors, lecturers and/or module convenors. Support for the dissertation is provided by a supervisor who will meet with students regularly.

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.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment methods vary from module to module but, across the degree scheme as a whole, you can expect a mixture of exams, coursework, essays, practical work, presentations, and individual and group projects.

You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake assessments that don’t count towards your final grade but give you an opportunity to assess your progress and to get feedback on your work.

What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Identify and explain the central concepts of political science, and demonstrate familiarity with the vocabulary of political discourse;
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key aspects of normative and empirical Political Theory;
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key aspects of modern politics, including the structure and operation of selected European political systems at the national and European Union levels and international politics embracing global and regional studies;
  • Demonstrate particular expertise in Political Theory and/or European Politics and/or international relations. Appreciate the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge;
  • Apply different concepts, theories and methods to the analysis of political ideas, institutions and behaviour;
  • Examine and evaluate different interpretations of political issues and events;
  • Make use of contemporary research, such as articles in refereed journals.

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Gather, organize and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of sources;
  • Develop a reasoned argument, synthesize relevant information and exercise critical judgement;
  • Reflect on your own learning and make use of constructive feedback;
  • Manage your own learning self-critically.

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Design and use a range of data collection instruments needed to explore and understand the social world
  • Critically evaluate, synthesise and interpret primary and secondary data generated using different methods, using specialist software where necessary
  • Work both collaboratively and individually on theoretically informed and empirically-grounded projects that draw on appropriate and relevant research evidence

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Communicate ideas effectively and fluently, both orally and in writing;
  • Use communications and information technologies for the retrieval and presentation of information;
  • Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management;
  • Collaborate with others and contribute to the achievement of common goals.

Careers and placements

Career prospects

School of Social Sciences

Turning theory into practical application and providing experience of the working world are important facets of preparing our graduates for life outside of education.

We encourage our students to think about life beyond University from day one, offering modules and support to give you a competitive advantage on graduating.

School of Law and Politics

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.

Placements

The School of Social Sciences has a dedicated Placements Manager who can offer advice on available work placements, internships, work experience and opportunities to enhance your CV and broaden your horizons. Support with job applications and interview techniques is also available.

Next steps

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Open Day visits

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International

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Get in touch

Contact us for help with any questions you have

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How to apply

Find out how to apply for this course


HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.